February 2, 2018
'Your Job as Director is to Download Your Brain': Michael Gallagher on Slamdance Comedy ‘Funny Story’
From Youtuber to feature director, Michael Gallagher’s love of making movies catapulted him into a rags-to-riches film career.
Back in 2009, Michael Gallagher became one of the OG YouTube partners in the early era of monetization, eventually co-founding Maker Studios, which sold to Disney to the tune of over half a million dollars. “You didn’t have to have a desk job, you didn’t have to be a PA. You didn’t have to work your way up the ladder. I thought [Youtube] was an incredible platform, where you can create your own destiny,” said Gallagher to No Film School.
And that’s exactly what Gallagher did. He quit college and his job in San Diego, moved to Los Angeles, and started stockpiling videos. He sent out casting notices, recruited sketch comedians, and one-man-banded himself into the Youtube channel Totally Sketch, which brought in millions of views right out of the gate. Now, his latest feature film, Funny Story, a tragicomedy about a has-been TV actor heading up the California coast to see his estranged daughter, premiered at Slamdance last week.