Mike Tesh began making films when he was 13 years old. It all started when his friend Tom O’Leary suggested they get out the video camera and mess around with it. Mike decided he wanted to try something he had seen before, stop motion animation. So they got out some action figures, stood them up in play dough, locked the camera down and over the next five hours came up with their first stop motion animation. After that several others followed. During this period Mike went to a meeting with his school friend Andy Salive at Dans Chisnells’ house. The meeting was about Minds Playing Tricks On Me part 2 and at the time Mike only knew Andy. Mike didn’t end up getting involved in that project. Instead Tom and Mike tried their hand at a live action spot, setting up Toms’ parents basement to look like a sinister Frankenstein-ish lab where they shot the first scene of a movie they called Demonic Koils.
When high school came along a year and a half later Mike and Tom went their separate ways for a while. In that time Mike was asked by his friend Jamie McGuire if he was interested in helping them out with Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me part 3. Andy having moved away they were looking for someone taller to play the part Andy had played. Mike agreed and then re-met Dan Chisnell and Stephen Parpart who he had met a year a half before but didn’t really know. Everyone and became friends almost immediately and six months later Tom rejoined Mike and the rest of the guys and they all made films through high school together.
Near the end of high school Mike met Josh McAllister who became an integral part of Scape Films from 1998 onward.
Mike and Steve have been the two people driving Scape Films the most over the years and in 2003 six months before Steve was scheduled to move to Hawaii they decided to get together and shoot a new version of the old Minds Playing Tricks on Me films. This new film would be modern version that combined aspects of the original films into one. The new film would be titled Falling Apart. What started as a smaller project for old times sake, blossomed into the biggest project the two have done to date. With a cast and crew of 25 people over a production period of five months. Open casting auditions held at the Roseville Theatre, shooting locations in five different counties, a post production period of over a year and a sold out premiere at the Royal Oak Main Art Threater. It’s also the only film they’ve ever made their money back on, which for an indie production is a rare thing. Mike directed while Steve produced. Mike decided to bring on a Cinematographer so that he could pay closer attention to directing. So he met up with Joe Cwik and Joe agreed to come onto the project and shoot it. This was the only film done by Scape Films to date that wasn’t lensed by Mike.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Mike teamed up with Steve again in 2005 to shoot Crash which was written and directed by Steve. Mike would be acting cinematographer and editor on the project. Although Crash was a much small production then Falling Apart it was also a much tighter production. having the experience of Falling Apart under their belt made Crash a more developed and controlled film.
Mike is still a lover of film and enjoys dipping his hand into all aspects of production, from writing to directing, to cinematography, to editing and even acting from time to time. Mike prefers to be called a filmmaker more then anything specific like director or cinematographer, because so many times lines get crossed on indie projects and he enjoys just being in the thick of it.
Mike is married with two sons and currently lives in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. He works a day job as a Creative at a local media company running their audio/video production studio where he handles shoots and directs web spots for some major fortune 500 clients. He is also the creator of The Sanctuary an online independent filmmaking community (although he has since given it away) and also runs the online website MichiganFilm.org, as well as moderates the Filmmaking community on LiveJournal.com.