Michael Korolenko was born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, New York, which in itself is a frightening concept to contemplate. He did undergraduate work in English and film at Vassar College where he was in one of the first co-educational graduating classes which to this day causes him endless consternation. While doing graduate work in film and communication at Boston University, he experienced both the worst winter and the worst summer in Boston’s history. He received his Masters of Science degree for his thesis film, “SINCE ’45,” a documentary on recent American history and the media. The film went on to win a student Academy Award for Best Documentary as well as the Focus Competition Award. It was screened at both FILMEX in Los Angeles and the New York Film Festival and was televised nationally on Showtime, the Discovery Channel, and Jim Lehrer’s PBS series “U.S. Chronicle.”
During the period of time that Michael lived in New York City, he made his living as a writer and a maker of films. He was on the ground floor of interactive multimedia, working with the firm of Ramirez and Woods and MIT on an interactive exhibit for the US Pavilion at the Knoxville World’s Fair. He also created an interactive multimedia science lesson chosen by IBM for use throughout Europe, a project on which he foolishly accepted a flat fee. He also made numerous independent films, including “CHORDS OF FAME,” a musical biography about American folk singer Phil Ochs and the 1960’s, funded in part by grants from both The American Film Institute and The National Endowment for the Arts. He made a short “electric folk operetta,” “TAMLIN,” based on an old Scottish ballad, as well as numerous corporate films. He also appeared as an extra in the feature film “Somewhere In Time,” but his big scene where he bumped into Christopher Plummer was cut.
Michael moved out to Issaquah, Washington in 1986, working for awhile with Phil Lucas Productions, Inc., a Native American owned company. While at Lucas Productions, Michael wrote the legend sequences of the “Walking With Grandfather” series. Shown nationally on PBS and the winner of the National Educational Gold Apple Award, the series dramatized Native Indian legends. Michael began teaching at BC in 1992 and went on to make a series of short documentaries for the school dealing with new technologies. During this period, Michael’s fantasy story “Reynardine” was in the “Life On The Border” anthology series published by TOR and his textbook “Writing for Multimedia” was published by Wadsworth. His second textbook, “Storytelling and Design For The Digital Age”, co-written with Bruce Wolcott, was published by Pearson.
In 1999, “Arcadia,” another fantasy tale by Michael was published in “The Essential Bordertown” anthology. He worked for a while at Microsoft as a writer for MSN’s Online series about modern U.S. History: “Retrospect 360.” It was here that he learned never to threaten the life of a graphic designer. Michael has also spent the last eight summers working on dramatic videos as part of his “Making Movies” class (no wonder he has no social life). “ROCKET MAN: The Musical!”, the third of a trilogy of really bad 1930’s adventure serials was his last Making Movies opus and “Samantha In Waiting” was shot in the summer of 2009 by his Directing Actors for Film class. Last year, he directed a professional dramatic film titled “Of Yesterday and Tomorrow” where many BC film students worked as crew and assistants. His newest textbook, “Digital Futurama” co-written by Bruce Wolcott was also recently published by Kendall-Hunt.
Michael typically teaches Techniques & Technology of Propaganda, Exploring the Digital Future and various film courses (from Scriptwriting to Movie Making).