Blythewood’s Eisenreich wins Oscar

BLYTHEWOOD – During the Academy Awards Sunday evening, Blythewood native Michelle Eisenreich, the visual effects producer for film company Double Negative, and her team won an Oscar for their work on the film, ‘First Man.’


And that wasn’t her first Oscar. Her team also won one last year for ‘Blade Runner 2049.’  It was a success she couldn’t have dreamed of when she arrived in Los Angeles in 1999 with a brand new degree in film from Florida State University. She was looking for a job, any job she could get in the film industry, short of acting.

“I was much too shy to act,” Eisenreich recalls.

She took the first job she was offered – a production assistant at Hammerhead Productions, a small visual effects company where her first assignment was a key role in creating the visual effects for the movie X-Men.

While Eisenreich said she’d never thought of herself as a visual effects person, she apparently was one. A good one.

“I was always interested in both the creative side of filmmaking and the technical, so, by chance, visual effects turned out to be a really good fit to combine both,” she told The Voice in a phone interview from her home in Vancouver, earlier this week.

The Oscar wins, Eisenreich said, are important to her both professionally and personally.

“It’s a great honor, of course, but it’s also very fulfilling on a personal level. I’ve been in the industry for a very long time. It’s a difficult industry – a lot of long hours, a lot of sacrifices. There‘s not much personal time,” she said. “When you’re on a project, everything’s about the project. It’s a big commitment, so it’s nice to be recognized.”

In her role as the visual effects producer, Eisenreich is responsible for the budget, the scheduling, putting the team together and being the main contact for the client whether it’s a studio or a director.”

As a result of her success on ‘First Man,’ Eisenreich has been asked to pull together and oversee a new TV division for her company.

“It’s exciting. Instead of one project at a time, I’m now involved in seven or eight different projects at one time,” she said. “We just finished work on Star Trek Discovery for CBS, which is in its second season, and we’re currently working on a couple of projects for Netflix and Amazon.”

One of those projects is a six-part series titled ‘Catch 22,’ with George Clooney which will launch on Hulu early this summer.

“For the next couple of years I think it’s going to be more television than features,” Eisenreich said. “It’s interesting times for sure. Everybody’s trying to get their own streaming systems going to try to catch up with Netflix and Amazon.”

While Eisenreich’s work sometimes takes her on movie locations, she more often works in the studio near her home, which is fine with her.

Now married with two children, son Cooper, 11, and  daughter Harper, 9, Eisenreich said she loves living in Vancouver where the seasons change and the view is great.

“Our home backs up to the mountains and the ocean is about 20 minutes away. It’s nice here,” she said.

But Eisenreich said she always loves coming home to visit family and friends. She is particularly looking forward to a trip to Blythewood to help judge the Doko Film festival, April 26 – 28.

“I would have loved to be involved with something like this [film festival] when I was growing up,” she said.

A reception will be held for Eisenreich on the opening night of the festival at Doko Manor. For more information about the festival, go to

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