Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Henderson.
Hi Michael, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
In late 2016, an opportunity presented itself to not only create a Scripted and Unscripted TV/Film concept but a chance to shift my career path entirely. Shifting from the security sector to the entertainment industry. As the new year quickly approached, it was clear that this new journey would not be easy, nevertheless intriguing and attainable. To start, I knew it was vital that we actually had experience producing, therefore, a company was created and we begin using our resources to do just that. From 2017 to 2019, we had completed four features and one short film. Part of that objective was to improve our content and familiarity with production and the other part was to have completed productions to leverage and grow from.
My transition occurred when, as a part of my job in security, I was asked to participate in television commentary as a Guest Expert on Fox and NBC News media affiliates; speaking on topics such as, terrorist activity and/or active shooter, workplace violence incidents. The demand became greater and more prevalent for exposure of me and my expertise, yet it would only occur during these unfortunate circumstances. Therefore, an idea formed to create a relatable, style content piece to share within Hollywood and grasp the interest of an agency, studio or network.
As myself and my team began navigating “Hollywood” in an effort to learn and become successful in this new venture, it was becoming more evident that building a company that could support and control “flow or access” and fill in the many gaps that exist was in great demand. It success would be of huge benefit to us and those we would ultimately work alongside.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Upon first arriving in Hollywood, having the assertion and motivation to succeed, plus funding, helps significantly when forming new relationships. Always seeking the best methods possible to achieve success. Having those resources allows you too easily avoid the “fast talkers” and “slow-to-no results” people interested in using you. You quickly learn that you can wait for the real opportunity and not feel obligated in any way to jump at the first thing that sounds good.
Throughout our initial and formative years, we began to learn that this is a journey to achieve and “breakthrough.” As we were beginning our 4th year in business, in Los Angeles, having made significant progress, relationships and (FAST) growth, it was the year that we were seeking to generate revenue to ensure we were on schedule with our business plan and growth model; when suddenly the COVID-19 global pandemic occurred. In its height, we still remained encouraged and focused to take some risks to find our rhythm & groove, to maintain stability while so many unknown questions were arising throughout the world.
As the industry and productions shut down, we focused on maintaining stability and finding existing content to share/sell, etc. Quickly the climate changed for us when our President of Production and I caught COVID-19. Having endured a multi-month battle to recovery placed the company and all our efforts in a downward spiral, as fast as if not faster than the growth we were achieving. Following the release of my first book, Interminable: Stories & Steps to Overcoming Life’s Obstacles After a Repetitive Cycle of Pain and Loss, in 2019, we could never have anticipated that my team and I would be living those words in real-time as we entered 2021. With massive losses occurring as fast as the days on the calendar appeared, it seemed, every executive would find themselves seriously ill with COVID-19. Furloughs, nonpayments and loss of talent; if there was a problem or curveball, it was happening to us. Just one smackdown after another.
Yet, those that remained as we came close to closing our doors like so many unfortunate businesses around the world and within the entertainment industry had, we began to look within and saw who we were as people first. We then assessed what contributions we felt we really could offer the industry and the world with our services. We decided we would fight. We are fighting to overcome and do more than just survive. Once the decision to repair, replace, rebuild, relaunch and find our success within the industry was made, we allow the judgments and chatter to be just that, as we proceed to find our winning lane.
TBD on how we fair, but we are focused and optimistic to find success.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Our company objective and creative focus at S.U.I.T.E. MP&M is connecting culture through inclusion. Delivering opportunities to entertain audiences at all levels through all genres. We are passionate about sharing human experiences and moral compass. Stories that include controversial journeys and perspectives to unite communities is part of our culture.
In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
Current trends or waves, can be elusive and change swiftly. Forecasting the future is a real speculation. However, we hope to see more inclusion and opportunities from the majors for new storytellers. Giving more access to deals and opportunities, ending the unknown question, “Where can great content be found?” I believe this is happening and see it continuing for many years to come. This would allow new technologies to be incorporated into more productions.
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