A Bay Area native and graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Michael Swaigen’s discipline as a cinematographer and producer balances visually ambitious creative concepts with feasible and impactful production strategies. Coming from a background in editing, Michael emphasizes the importance of preparing a film so that it will not only be visually striking, but will also cut together as a cohesive work of art. He concentrates his energy on manifesting directors' visions from early on in pre-production until the final cut. 

Michael’s documentary and narrative work has screened at festivals worldwide including Doc NYC, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, and Woodstock Film Festival. His commercial and branded content portfolio includes projects with Nike, Levi’s, GQ, Google, Samsung, Conde Nast, Absolut, Viacom, Vice and many others.

In 2014, Michael received the annual ARRI Volker Bahnemann Award for Cinematography. 


"The Volker Bahnemann Award was established in honor and recognition of Volker Bahnemann’s half century of service to the filmmaking community. The grant is funded by ARRI, and was set up to inspire future generations of cinematographers." - ARRI

Michael’s current projects include an investigative documentary series set to premiere on Hulu in 2019.