School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

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Michael Peyser, B.A.


Affiliated Divisions:

Division of Film & Television Production


Michael Peyser is an accomplished producer of both major studio movies as well as cutting-edge independent films. Most recently he was executive producer of Woody Allen: A Documentary, which PBS/American Masters released to great acclaim in November 2011, and which debuted in a theatrical version as an Official Selection of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In 2010 Peyser produced the samurai/western action film The Warrior’s Way, starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth, Jang Dong-Gun and Danny Huston, released by Relativity Media.

Previously Peyser executive produced the groundbreaking U23D, a stereoscopic live-action 3D concert film that was the sensation of both the 2007 Cannes and 2008 Sundance Film Festivals before its worldwide release. Peyser’s extensive Producing credits encompass a wide range of commercially and critically successful films, including: Ruthless People (Bette Midler, Danny DeVito), Big Business (Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin), Hackers (Angelina Jolie), Desperately Seeking Susan (Madonna), and the children’s classic Matilda (directed by Danny DeVito). He also executive produced the Sundance cult classics Haiku Tunnel and SLC Punk. Early production credits include Milos Forman’s musical Hair, the classic thriller Marathon Man, and the hit comedy Arthur starring Dudley Moore and Sir John Gielgud.

He supervised production on several Woody Allen films including Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, and Purple Rose of Cairo. In addition to his producing credits, Peyser was the founding Senior Vice President of Hollywood Pictures at The Walt Disney Studios, where he supervised creative development, production, and a broad release schedule for an extensive slate of films.

Peyser is a tenured professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches all aspects of producing and the filmmaking enterprise. He is involved in research and development of creative production pipelines, digital studio stagecraft, storytelling and immersive media.