NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad

« Steven Allen: Creator of Prillen & film series Childlike | Main | Beau Lawrence: Founder of Ace Rivington »

Michael Willer: Filmmaker

My NativeAdVantage:


I'm a storyteller at heart, always will be. I'm originally from Virginia, but am now living in Los Angeles to direct film. I started making home movies around 11 years old with whatever camcorder I could get my hands on. Everything we made was edited in camera. Didn't get it in one take? Rewind and shoot again. I quickly learned that you had to rewind a bit extra (over the end of your previous scene) so that the delay when you hit record wouldn't cause a blue screen to flash during your movie.

I wrote and shot my first feature film at 19. I chose a fantasy setting which meant only shooting out in the countryside for 4 months in the Virginia summer, hauling equipment around in costume. We had 0 crew. I used no lights or reflectors, only natural lighting. We tackled blue screens (okay, these were lit), CGI, and everyone had to man the camera at one point (I was acting in the film, as well). The writing and acting are youthfully amateurish, but it looks beautiful. I taught myself effects compositing, 3D design and motion compositing, coloring, and sound design just to complete this project. It took two and a half years.

I am 100% self-taught, and proud of it. I learned to make movies by going out and making movies, then studying them intensely to find the mistakes. That was my film school and I can't recommend it enough.

What’s Your NativeAdVantage:

What do you do best?

Problem-solve. When I'm on set, a part of my brain engages that is otherwise hidden. If things go haywire, intsead of getting overhwelmed it's like I go into hyper-focus mode and I just think it through on the spot. It's hard to describe, but I think it has everything to do with being in my element. I'm not like that just anywhere, any time.  Just on set, in the moment.

What makes you the best?

I'll never sit back and think "I'm the best, time to stop growing and learning." No matter how good you were, there's always a way to get better.

How will you become the best?

I'll make movies until the day I die. If one of them is called "best", it's only because I never stopped trying and never stopped growing. Beyond that, I'm a critique-junky, whether it's self-critique or from respected peers. I want to know every way I could've done something better. I'll watch my own movies ad nauseam for that reason: to pick out the flaws so I can avoid them next time. I'll watch movies from the greats for the opposite reason: total inspiration.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: I want to iron out the things that make me a crummy person sometimes. I'll never stop trying to be a better person, but if, one day, I can look back and go, "I absolutely got to a better place" then I'll be happy with myself.

Business: I want to make films of enormous commercial success married with artistic integrity. I want to win Oscars and have my cast and crew win them in my pictures. The sky's the limit, and it's what I'm shooting for. I want to earn enough money to support the people dear to me without a second thought.

What fascinates you?

Light. It's such an artsy response, but it's true. As long as I can remember, I've been watching reflections, watching light bounce off objects and create glows, seeing how it interacts with materials and scatters and softens or hardens. It's part of my eye, it's something I can't get rid of and wouldn't for a whole cabinet full of Oscars.



I will, therefore I can.


Oscar Wilde, Steven Spielberg, Sam Mendes,


The redwood grove in Monte Rio, Northern California. It's awe-inspiring.


The pen. The kinetic joy I get from writing on a notepad with a pen in my hand is hard to describe. It's like biting into a crisp, flavorful apple in the middle of Autumn: satisfying to the core. Okay, that was unintentionally cheesy. But you know what I mean.


Storytelling is the obvious answer here, but beyond that, I love talking to people. Simple as that. People I've met, people I've never met. I'm not the extroverted guy who strikes up conversation with anyone, but I am absolutely the guy who will sit in a coffee shop with you can talk about our entire lives for five hours. I've done that more times than I can count, with all kinds of friends and acquaintances, and it never grows old. I suppose that's because we're just telling each other stories. And so we come full circle.

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Reader Comments (5)

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