With Michael’s one-on-one coaching and consultation,
you will create characters and stories that entertain, enlighten, persuade and inspire your readers and audiences.
What Others Say About Working with Michael
“When I first contacted Michael, I wasn’t looking for someone to help me with story structure – I’ve been a professional writer for more than 20 years, and didn’t feel like I needed any more help with that. I needed someone to help me meet deadlines, and shape career goals, without talking down to me. This is a business where egos can get out of hand, but Michael turned out to be one of the most down to earth, unaffected people I’d ever met. It wasn’t long before I was talking to him about story all the time. It’s very easy to reduce writing principles to formulas, but for Michael, formula follows function. He has a very practiced sense of what makes a story work, but he is also deeply committed to discovering the story that you want to write. He starts every coaching session by asking questions. He never makes assumptions about your story, and instead finds out what you want your story to be. Michael is much more interested in getting your story right than in being right. If he says your story isn’t working, then it’s probably not working. But he can help you fix it.”
“Since he was recommended to us by Screen Australia, we have worked with Michael on three projects. He brings a candid, independent and compellingly fresh perspective to the work. He keenly understands how films are made and has a strong, global perspective. Michael is very collaborative. While he has distinct opinions, he draws out even reticent collaborators to express and think about options, and shapes conversations organically, never didactically. Michael’s personal dedication, sincerity and availability are qualities we haven’t found with anyone else of his caliber. Our team and I always look forward to our sessions.”
“I wouldn’t have made any of the progress I’ve made in my career without Michael’s genuine support for me as a serious writer. The first time I worked with Michael I was terrified. But once we got going, it was as if he placed a steadying and encouraging hand on my back urging me to go forward, do better, try harder. He simply said: “You’re working with me, and therefore you are a professional writer. Let’s get on with it.” And so I did. Michael’s primary concern is keeping the writer connected to the project. Implicit in that is that the writer can be trusted to come up with workable solutions. He is interested in the heart of the story, and how the writer connects to it. He understands and respects the fact that the writer is (consciously or unconsciously) revealing something of herself – no matter what the project or genre. He will bring out the creative best in you.”
“Michael adds immeasurable value to any screenplay. He asks all the questions one should be asking but hasn’t. He’s a neutral voice, and helps the story and characters make sense when everyone else is too close to see them clearly. He establishes great trust by taking in all the points of view in the room – writer, producer, director and actor. But in the end he is always on the side of the story. Michael is the rock star of consultants.”
“I met Michael through Will Smith, who brought him in as a consultant when we were developing The Karate Kid for me to direct. I have asked for his input and guidance on every project I’ve done since. To sit with Michael Hauge week after week was an incredibly enlightening experience. He constantly brought us back to what the process should be. Michael doesn’t think about who you are or what your position is; he speaks up for the story. Everyone who works with him thinks it’s amazing how matter-of-factly he makes the script better. He has the ability to take a step back and see the core of the story you want to tell. He always finds that intersection between the plot and the hero’s emotional journey. Michael also speaks a language that makes sense – it’s not all theory. And he has a great sense of humor, which is a wonderful way to get his message across. Any time I think I’m stuck in a corner, Michael will move some things around and suddenly the script works.”
“I have brought Michael in on numerous projects in all genres – his stature is above and beyond anybody I’ve worked with. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and the industry, and his demeanor is great – he is gentle and generous and doesn’t bring any judgment to the table. Writers, directors and producers all love working with him, because with Michael, it’s never about him; it’s about the writer and about the story. Working with Michael gives your screenplay the best shot it has of getting financed.”
“When Michael coached me on my screenplay, he would never say, “You should do it like this,” but rather would find out what I wanted my script to be and guide me to that point. He was able to question my work without it feeling like a critique. Sometimes the silence from his end of the phone could make me feel self-conscious and I would feel compelled to talk, but I soon realized that he was just listening and processing information. He never said anything that wasn’t deeply considered. Working with Michael is like seeing a good counselor: he doesn’t just tell you your problems; he listens to you and then offers solutions. He draws the best out of you.”
Michael is a genius with movies – when you have a problem or think you’ve come up with something clever, he will have a cinematic reference for it going back 20-30 years. Michael breaks things down into percentages, but he doesn’t lock into any formula. His ideas grow out of a character’s identity and essence, which is a more organic approach to story structure. He is very gentle but he’s not soft – he sticks to his guns when you have a problem. But when he does, he’s fighting for the story, not his opinion. And he doesn’t give up on you if you don’t agree.
“I have been a business executive and professional motivational speaker for more than 20 years. So when I brought Michael Hauge an important keynote on compassionate patient care that I was about to deliver to the Johns Hopkins Hospital Leadership Retreat, it was already pretty good. But when Michael was done working with me, it was (according to both my audience and the event planners) a masterpiece. I now have more opportunities to deliver my message than I ever hoped for. If you want your stories to move, educate, inspire, and transfix your audience, and get more bookings as a result, hire Michael. I guarantee it’ll be the best money you ever spent.”