Work samples

  • "He's a Big Boy Now" Clip

    When Sean loses his job, he decides the best way to get his life in order is to make a move on his dad's girlfriend. He's a Big Boy Now is inspired by my personal experience with ADHD and the unmooring of one's life that happens from losing one's job. His experiences mirror my own and those of my family and are largely born from the challenges that come with undiagnosed ADHD. I wanted to capture that reality in its messiest, and most darkly comedic, form. Film stars: Emmanuel Williams* (AKA Dapper Dan Midas), Andreina Byrne**, Kevin Murray^, Zachary Michel
    Written & Directed by: Zachary Michel
    Produced by: Miceal O'Donnell
    *Emmanuel Williams wrote and starred in the 2022 Sundance Film Festival official selection F^¢k 'Em R!ght B@¢k.
    **Andreina Byrne produced and starred in the 2019 Sundance Film Festival official selection Crude Oil.

  • "Blue Light - Haunt My Dreams" clip

    In 1957 Mildred Sullivan takes a surreal trip, skipping through time. Here, among other things, she sees herself as a child and becomes self-conscious, questioning whether or not she has lived up to her childhood expectations.

    This film was made as an immersive multimedia experience for Charm City Fringe's Nights on the Fringe, where staged actors in the audience acted across from the screen. We filmed the live performance, and then cut the two together.

    Development, Producer, Distributor: Zachary Michel

    Film stars: Jessie Pinnick

    Written and Directed by: Miceal O'Donnell

    Produced by: Eileen O'Donnell

  • Sea Monster - short clip

    Heather dares Sydney to sleep with the "big man" on campus, and gets more than she bargained for in this short about toxic masculinity.

    Film Stars: Zachary Michel

    Directed by: Miceal O'Donnell and Eric Cotten

    Written by: Miceal O'Donnell, story by Miceal and Eric

    Produced by: Eileen O'Donnell

  • The Sauce That Turns Everything Into Pizza

    An influencer learns that the hot new sauce on social media really does turn everything into pizza in this body horror YouTube short.

    Written & Directed by: Zachary Michel

    Stars: Zachary Michel

About Zachary

Harford County

Zachary Michel is a filmmaker and the co-founder and director of the Charm City Fringe theater festival. He also acted and worked on set for Maryland short films and theater productions for the past decade. As a producer of Baltimore's fringe theater festival, Michel brought attention to underrepresented groups and helped bring new stories and perspectives to audiences. His passion for film was reignited while taking classes at Baltimore Improv Group (BIG). He collaborates with new… more

Jump to a project:

Short Film

I am an emerging filmmaker inspired by the neurodivergent experience. I aim to capture the multitudinous ways in which different neurological abilities shape the human experience through both dramatic and comedic storytelling. I have released a series of shorts on social media drawing attention to ADHD and am taking my latest short film, a dark comedy titled He’s a Big Boy Now, to the festival circuit.

I was inspired to write and direct He's a Big Boy Now by my personal experience with ADHD and the mental unmooring that can happen when losing one's job. While the character of Sean may not be anyone's vision of a best friend or favorite son (he has a lot of growth to go through before that can happen), his experiences mirror my those of my family and my own and are largely born from the challenges that come with undiagnosed ADHD. I wanted to capture that reality in its messiest, and most darkly comedic, form.

My next projects will continue to explore themes of growth and the dialectical relationship between mental health and neurodivergence and mental illness.

  • He's a Big Boy Now
    He's a Big Boy Now
  • He's a Big Boy Now
    He's a Big Boy Now
  • He's a Big Boy Now
    He's a Big Boy Now
  • He's a Big Boy Now
    He's a Big Boy Now
  • He's a Big Boy Now
    He's a Big Boy Now

Charm City Fringe Festival

I am the co-founder and President Emeritus of Charm City Fringe (CCF). CCF produces an annual performing arts festival in Baltimore that unites people through art, builds community, provides a place for weird, and empowers artists in producing bold, fun entertainment.

Charm City Fringe, Inc. is a nonprofit that develops, showcases, and celebrates new and innovative theatre and performing arts in Baltimore. We aim to connect and elevate the theater community, engage existing audiences, attract non-traditional theatergoers, and reach out to under-represented communities. The Charm City Fringe Festival, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland, provides a platform for artists to elevate their work and reach new audiences, while eliminating obstacles and allowing audiences to discover and explore new artists and works. The Festival is run by a dedicated cadre of volunteers.

  • Charm City Fringe play
    Charm City Fringe play
  • Charm City Fringe music
    Charm City Fringe music
  • Charm City Fringe
    Charm City Fringe

Film on the Fringe

Flipping the script on traditional filmmaking, we hire professional composer Rick Szybowski to create a custom score for the short film program in the Charm City Fringe Festival. Filmmakers are then recruited to write and direct an original film using the same identical score. This pushes filmmakers into new territory, requiring them to build their work around the beats and emotions indicated by the composer. Notable participants include filmmakers Anthony Oberbeck and Ryan McGlade.

  • Film Audience
    Film Audience