www.MichaelDSellers.com has been around in one form or another since 2006 –originally a blog site, now more of a portfolio site trying to weave together the various strands of my work life, creative life, and family life. Following is a quick overview–with other pages fleshing it out.
Education and CIA Years
I grew up as an Army brat, attending 13 schools in 12 years including overseas stints in Japan and Germany. Under my “stern taskmaster” Army Dad, sports and grades were equally important and I had no choice but to excel at both or face the wrath of a very intimidating Army colonel. I ended up attending the University of Delaware on a football scholarship, then went on to New York University Graduate Film School and from there to Hollywood.
When Hollywood didn’t succumb immediately to what I imagined to be my immense talents, I took a break from Hollywood and headed north to San Francisco where I got involved with Greenpeace USA , initially writing press releases and then evenutally putting in some i anti-whaling time aboard the Rainbow Warrior. I was immersed in Greenpeace when a CIA recruiter found me and after some iniital hesitaton at the idea of joining the “establishment” I found myself accepting a commission as an undercover CIA operations officer.
I spent the next 10 years with CIA serving in Eastern Europe, Africa, Moscow, and the Philippines. The work was challenging, rewarding, and exciting. My work in Moscow at a pivotal point in the Cold War has been written about in more than a dozen books on the era, including The Main Enemy, Circle of Treason, and The Billion Dollar Spy. I also served in the Philippines during a violent coup attempt in 1989 — and was recognized by CIA with the CIA Comendation Medal and citation that makes me a bit proud even today, citing: “courage in the face of personal danger, dedication to duty even at the risk of personal peril, and professionalism as an Intelligence Officer in the best tradition of the Service.” I left CIA a few months later to resume my creative pursuits.
I was in the Philippines when I left CIA — and restarted my film career by producing some local films in the Philippines, then some international coproductions shot on location in the Philippines. In 2000 I returned to Hollywood and over the next two decades I wrote, produced, and directed another dozen or so films, while also heading Quantum Releasing, a film production and distribution company. See my filmography/trailers page and IMDB Profile for more details about the films.
In 2012 it occurred to me that writing a book might be as creatively satisfying as a movie without all the hassle — so I wrote John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood, a behind-the-scenes look at what went wrong with Disney’s epic flop, and to my great surprise it became a #1 Best Seller on Amazon in two caterories, Entertainment Business and Film History. I then wrote two other historical non-fiction books — Warriors of Samar and Warrior of the First Light, neither of which duplicated the success of JCGOH. I have an upcoming book, Year of the Spy, which is a history of a major episode in Cold War Espionage history — an episode that I participated in on the streets of Moscow.
Investigation and Visual Legal Advocacy
Since 2012 I’ve also held down a post as an associate at John Brown & Associates, a private investigations firm specializing in Criminal Defense Investigations–meaning we are retained by criminal defense attorneys to conduct investigations on behalf of their client. We also do civil rights cases — typically wrongful death, police brutality, etc. A lot of the work that I do there takes advantage of my film-making and multi-media skills, doing visual investigations (bodycams, security cams, bystander cell phones,etc) and the creation of visual presentations for use with the prosecutors (to educate them about the case and present mitigating or exculpatory evidence) or in courtroom settings.
I am married to the the beautiful and amazing Abigael Sellers. Abby is a Kenyan who is a little difficult to categorize — a CPA specializing in corporate audits, a 6 foot model who still takes my breath away with her beauty, and a TikTok comedian (abby1_sellers) with a huge following in Africa. We are blessed to have a son Arsha, age 12. Our home is Nairobi, Kenya, although I spend about half my time in Los Angeles. I’m also blessed to have four wonderful grown kids — Patrick, Pilar, Kaitlyn, and Michelle, and a half-dozen grandkids–Mason, Quinn, Jace, Stella, Scout, and Charley.
Year of the Spy Book Trailer
Above is the Year of the Spy Book Trailer — for my upcoming non-fiction book about espionage upheavals on the streets of Moscow in 1985.
Below is a “trailer” showcasing the writing and video services I provide to clients.
Michael Sellers — Writing and Video Services
- How to help save American Democracy this election year
- What the Mueller Report Actually Says
- Remembering James Blount, an American Who “Got” the Philippines in 1901
- America the Beautiful? You Mean America the Pitiful. I Am Ashamed
- Betty White, National Treasure, Just Turned 95; 10 Great Video Clips from 1954 until Now