Michael composed and designed & edited sound for Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun for theatrical release in 2008. The film stars Ben McKenzie and was directed by Rowan Joseph.
Mr. Mortilla is well known for his scores for The Master Mystery serials starring Harry Houdini, and his scores for The Chaplin Mutuals starring Charlie Chaplin. The Chaplin Mutuals are broadcast worldwide and are in their 7th printing at this writing (2 laser disk releases and 2 DVD releases from Image Entertainment, on home video VHS from Kino International, and inclusion in several collections such as The Slapstick Encyclopedia.) The Rink from that series was the world's first feature film with sound ever broadcast over the internet and was presented with Michael's score by the American Film Institute. Additionally, excerpts from Chaplin's The Immigrant from the series is included in the Warner Home Video / MK2 release Chaplin Today: Limelight.
Other silent titles Michael has scored include The Lighthouse Keepers Daughters for Fisher-Merlis TV and 7th Heaven initially for Japanese TV and later with a commissioned score for strings and piano at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The score premiered at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater, where Mr. Mortilla conducted the string players and performed the piano score for the two hour film. Other commissioned scores for the Academy of Motion Pictures include Beyond the Rocks with Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino, Triumph, The Blood Ship and the long lost Sorril and Son.
Michael also composed scores for many independent films, including An American Film Company (Mountain View Productions - Dana Driskel, Director), Beyond Darkness (Karma Productions - Roya Aryanpad, director), A Silent Story (Eduardo Cisneros, director), The Cone and Uncle Sam Meets His Maker (Tuck & Go Productions, - Geneieve Anderson, director), Purdie's Day in the Sunlight (Rex Harsin, director) and The Chamber Pot (Eric Darnell, director & animator).
Michael is well known internationally for his skill at improvisation accompaniment for silent films and has played for hundreds of presentations. His work in this area has been heard in many theaters and at many film festivals, including the Silver Lake Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Artivist Film Festival, Long Beach Film Festival, Lone Pine Film Festival, San Francisco Silent Film Festival, The Bagavabonds Festival, Silents Under the Stars, CINECON, Port Townsend Film Festival, Actor's Retirement Home, UCLA Film & TV Archive Preservation Festival and many others.
Michael with Oscar Nominee John C. Reilly at
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Goldwyn Theater