Michael O. Sajbel
Michael's also directed the recently released theatrical feature One Night With The King, based on the novel by Tommy Tinney. A faithful interpretation of the Old Testament Book of Esther, the film was shot in Jodhpur, India with an international cast that includes Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, John Rhys-Davies, John Noble, Luke Goss and Tiffany Dupont as Esther.
Variety reviewer Joe Leydon stated, "Blessed with abundant production values and a minimum of campy excess, One Night With the King is a surprisingly satisfying attempt to revive the Old Hollywood tradition of lavishly appointed Biblical epics aimed at mainstream audiences." Aside from using the modern tools of the trade like extensive visual effects, Michael also had at his disposal hundreds and hundreds of extras, not to mention forts of antiquity and the palaces of Maharajahs.
Michael O. Sajbel (pronounced SI-ble) started his career as a feature film writer, and then branched out as an accomplished Special Effects Director/DP before becoming a full-fledged Director.
Michael's other feature films include The Ride, which he directed for World Wide Pictures, starring Michael Biehn (Tombstone, Abyss, Terminator), Jennifer O'Neill (Summer of '42) and Brock Pierce (Mighty Ducks, First Kid). He also wrote the final draft screenplay based on the story of a washed up rodeo cowboy and a terminally ill boy who wants to be a bullrider.
The Ride completed a limited but successful theatrical release in 1998, was shown nationally on network television and was recently on all West-East American Airlines flights to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It has also won numerous awards and been featured in many film festivals. The Ride has since become one of World Wide's most profitable releases and is available on both video and DVD (with Director's commentary).
Michael also directed Come the Morning, a dramatic film about a homeless family, filmed on Los Angeles' Skid Row. Come the Morning won the Crown Award for Best Film of the Year for 1994. This compelling story, written by Academy Award winner Mark Jonathan Harris (The Long Way Home, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, is currently in video release. (World Wide Pictures)
From 1983 until 2002 Michael was also a Director and/or Director of Photography for Sessums Engineering of Redlands, California on a multitude of major studio features. Sessums is known for excellence in effects work, specializing in live action and miniatures. Productions included Paycheck, The Core, American Outlaw, X-Men, Men of Honor, Flubber, The Ice Storm, Broken Arrow, Speed, Money Train, Tall Tale, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Hunt for Red October, Flight of the Intruder, and both Hot Shots! features.
In recent years Michael has also directed several award winning documentaries, including Charles Colson: Reluctant Prophet (1995) and Zamperini: Still Carrying the Torch (1993). As a result of working with Charles Colson on his documentary, since 1995 Michael has directed a significant portion of all of the fundraising video presentations for Prison Fellowship. He also has, since 1990, directed annual Christmas and Easter television specials for the country of India, seen by millions on Doordarshan Broadcasting for the Gospel Association of India.
Michael has also produced a number of dramatic films, The Home Coming (1996), Powerplay (1994), and Superstition (1984).
A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, Michael began his career writing four produced feature films, including the western Grayeagle starring the legendary western star Ben Johnson (1977 American International Pictures) and, as non-credited staff writer, the enormously successful G rated Mountain Family Robinson. (1979 Pacific International Enterprises)
Presently Michael is searching for a studio to produce his latest feature length screenplay and, pending financing, up to direct any number of films in development. Michael has taught a Master Degree level course at the USC School of Film and Television and has lectured at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wisconsin (both Oshkosh and Madison) and BIOLA University in Los Angeles.
He was born and raised in Wisconsin and divides his time between residences in Los Angeles and Wisconsin. He is married to Susan Allen, MD and has three children.
Member: Director's Guild of America, Writer's Guild of America
Michael O. Sajbel Facts
|The Ultimate Gift|
|One Night with the King|
|Zamperini Still Carrying The Torch|
|Charles Colson: Reluctant Prophet|
|Ultimate Double Feature|