Michael is a screenwriter, transmedia director, and expert in storytelling on mobile devices. He has a M.S. degree in Comparative Media Studies from M.I.T. where he specialized in developing multiplatform documentary films. He has a B.A. in Science, Technology and Society from Vassar College where he wrote his thesis on scientific innovation in the works of Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut.
Michael’s media production career began as a freelance radio reporter filing segments on human issues in technology for NPR’s “Morning Edition” and PRI technology shows. At MIT he developed an award-winning radio show, "News Lab," which explored new formats for presenting current events, including live jazz, spoken word, and news satire.
In 2006 Michael founded Walking Cinema (www.walkingcinema.org), an interactive storytelling studio comprised of filmmakers, developers, and designers specializing in cinematic applications for mobile devices. The company has developed cross-platform apps for MTV, PBS, the Venice Biennale, and many museum and broadcast clients. Untravel’s 2009 project WALKING CINEMA: MURDER ON BEACON HILL (see: www.parkmanmurder.com) extended a PBS American Experience documentary into the streets of Boston as a mobile app. The app uses historic sites, interactive installations, and GPS guided video to rehash the details of a 160-year-old unsolved murder. The project was the first iPhone app to win an award at a major film festival, garnered international press, and has been continuously running in Boston for 5 years.
In 2013 Michael directed the Gold Muse-winning WALKING CINEMA: POSTS FROM GLOUCESTER (www.ghwalk.org). Built in tandem with the construction of a 2-mile Harborwalk along America’s oldest fishing port, this handheld documentary and corresponding installations immerse audiences in one family's fishing history.
Epstein is currently working on WALKING CINEMA: MUSEUM OF THE HIDDEN CITY (www.seehidden.city), a hybrid popup museum/documentary about San Francisco’s current tech. boom. The story blends a smartphone walking tour, live documentary film, and a popup museum to question San Francisco's current housing policy. He is a contributing writer for Wired Magazine and the producer of a new Audible location-based radio show called BOOKSTEPS.
Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Studies