Director – Cinematographer; and writer of scripts, books, music. He’s best known for his transitional work in the 1990’s when Sony recruited the Sarasota, Florida Director/film maker to join the once legendary technology think tank - the SONY VIDEO INSTITUTE, Los Angeles. The SONY institute shared the campus of the American Film Institute (The AFI). Over it’s 25 years of existence; SVI provided both SONY and the Hollywood Production Community a path from low-resolution analog video to our current HD DIGITAL CINEMA.
For twelve years, CiVon supported SONY PICTURES STUDIO, SONY’s Silicon Valley headquarters, and worked with hundreds of LA based Sony filmmakers. He spent those years teaching, writing Sony books and developing movie production techniques. Techniques which Max employed in the Indie Hit Film, “Sordid Lives” (2000) Staring Olivia Newton-John, Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Leslie Jordan and Bonnie Bedelia. CiVon along with Victoria Alonso (Of Marvel / Disney fame) shared producer credit on the early state of the art HD-to-Film movie. It’s been argued by some, that “Sordid Lives'” Theatrical Release was the very first pure feature shot on HD and then Distributed on 35mm film – let’s just agree it was one of the first. (Fox transferred & distributed it on DVD). CiVon was the credited Cinematographer, Production Manager, Post Production Supervisor and Camera Operator. “Sordid Lives” written & directed by Del Shores continues to have a huge fan following.
In reference to classic movies, CiVon’s first job was as an uncredited production assistant on the original “BLUES BROTHER’S” movie, shot in Chicago -- the summer of 1979, released in 1980. Max attended Columbia College (Chicago) and he became a cult hero at his school for being one of only two Columbia film students to work on the picture that summer.
With Degrees from both Purdue University and Columbia College Max was hired by (What is now Chase Bank) to become a staff writer, director, producer. One of only four at their multi-million dollar international television studio. Max worked downtown Chicago writing, producing and directing live and recorded shows for Chase’s World Wide Video Network. (First Chicago Bank Merged with Chase about that time)
From there, it was off to Max’s first tour of duty at SONY, working as a sales manager for their Professional Camera and Production equipment division. His success led to a transfer to Manage Sales throughout the entire state of Florida. In 1986 Max CiVon opened a Sarasota production studio, with sound stages, postproduction editing, remote truck and a full time production staff. Producing numerous TV commercials, Live to Tape shows, video brochures (Which were big cinematic events at the time) and a variety of other projects, including a micro-budget indie movie called, “Saturday Night Sarasota” which directly led to CiVon’s relocation to Hollywood.
SONY had just purchased Columbia Pictures/Tri Star and they had plans to compete with Kodak and film cameras – Completely unaware of SONY’s long-term intentions… Max wrote and directed his micro-budget movie before the term had any meaning. He shot with an early SONY CCD camera, using it like a film camera and creating some compelling filmic images (for the day and time). Max was hired and moved by SONY to LA in 1990 where he continues to live.
For Max CiVon, “Sordid Lives” represented the successful end of a technology journey he never expected to make. In film school, he began shooting his own movies and directing from behind the camera. A hundred projects later, he had developed his own cinematic style and people began to call Max an expert in digital cinema… and the rest you now know. But Max attended film school and all the rest to tell stories.
In 2001 after directing a fantastically enjoyable theatrical run of his stage play, “Honest, It’s Abe.”
...Max, with Latina Actress, Luisa Leschin formed a story development company where they concentrated on writing. Seventeen years later – With Luisa in the writing room, and Max managing the business, the partnership has earned WGA writing credits from ABC, NBC, CBS & FOX as well as TBS, CW, Disney, Nickelodeon, & Showtime -- recently, TNT, HULU, Amazon, and Netflix -- Luisa Leschin has become one of the most prolific Latina writers / Co-EP’s to date.
With Max’s creative management of their company, TORTUGA PRODUCTIONS -- the team has enjoyed a nice run,
selling eight TV pilots along the way.
Max also manages his own Indie career under CiVonMedia.com - books, scripts, music...
On CiVonMedia.com there’s an incomplete list of Max’s ready to shoot movies, books and Music.