Meet Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Shadow Dragu-Mihai began professional life as a jazz trumpet player. Large ensembles and stage band performances were his forte, where he played first and solo trumpet.

Shadow's artistic path took a detour of a decidedly commercial character when he went into banking. He was a rising star at a major bank, in five years rising to Branch Administration Officer (he managed 10 different branches in a short time) and time on western division's Controller's desk. Not completely happy with accounting and management, Shadow returned to university, where he went into the political science honors program. While there, he was offered admission into a political science combined Masters & Ph.D. program at Stanford University. However, Shadow felt his future was in the more direct work of law, and entered law school, being admitted prior to completion of his undergraduate degree due to high academic standing.

Shadow Dragu-MihaiAs a practicing lawyer, Shadow at first in worked in corporate law and tax law. He was involved directly with the reorganization of Century 21 Real Estate, acting for the founder Peter Thomas. Another significant assignment was the "butterfly reorganization" of Earls Restaurants of Canada. Other notable clients, including singer Randy Newman were in entertainment, and Shadow quickly shifted into a entertainment law practice. He worked often in copyright issues and film development, as well as entertainment litigation. As well, Shadow acted for a number of talented actors and musicians as their professional representative.

While practicing entertainment law, Shadow had to admit his path really was to work in the arts. He aimed to shift into producing and directing. While still working as an entertainment lawyer, he attended film school in the evenings to cover the technical and artistic skills of filmmaking, including cinematography, lighting, special effects and stunt support. Soon he had produced and directed his first film, the 35mm featurette Duet. After that the die was cast.  Shadow moved to Los Angeles in 2000, and has worked as a filmmaker exclusively ever since.

Shadow worked as a cinematographer for several years, as well as writing and directing many short subjects. He is one of the founders and the first program director of The Hollywood Film Look Monthly Film Festival. He has produced three of his own features (at the time of this writing, he is working on numbers 4 and 5), and very many features and shorter works for other producers. Along the way, he worked several years in hands-on positions in major unscripted shows, from post-production to P.A. on set, Art Deparment, Camera, Coordinator, Line Producer and Executive Producer. Some of the shows Shadow has worked on are: Real World, Top Chef Masters, Project Runway, Pauly D, Mob Wives, Hell's Kitchen, Restaurant Express, Gigolos, Trading Spouses, Criss Angel Believe, American Ninja Warrior, Next Food Network Star, Mystery Diners, Jeff Ross Roasts America, and many more.

Although he will sometimes grab a camera on set, Shadow no longer hires out as a cinematographer or camera operator. He does have an ongoing outlet as a professional photographer, though. As an experienced cinematographer, he has an eye and compositional sensibility which is different from most other photographers.

Shadow is an award-winning director and producer. He won two Lookie awards as director for his short subject documentary "Woman Warriors" and the comedy short "Diet Zen". He directed two award-winning web series: The Christian Brothers won the Best Comedy at the 2016 Cannes Web Festival, and underPAID won the Best of the Fest and Audience Choice Award at the Wendy's Web Festival. The short "Thirteen", which Shadow produced and did 1st AD, won the Worldfest Houston Platinum Remi Award for Drama.

One highlight of Shadow's directorial work is the 2010 and 2011 run of his production of the Tony and Obie award-winning play for colored girls who have considered suicide, when the rainbow is enuf. Shadow was the first director-producer to do a professional production of this milestone work in Los Angeles since its record-breaking run in the early 1980s. Shadow's production featured original music and dance, and starred Carrie Cain Sparks (X-Files, Rumble in the Bronx), Niketa Calame (The Lion King, Timeless) and rapper/personality Constance "Buttacup" Reece.

Shadow has worked and works as director, producer, line producer, 1st assistant director and more. His experience covers series, short form, music video, feature film and series, and crosses all genres and themes. As a director, Shadow's vision is informed by a sensitivity to the poetic, symbolic and cultural expression of many cultures from ancient times to today. As a producer, his exceptionally strong business and legal background combine with his artistic and hands-on filmmaking experience, lending him a comprehensive, wholistic approach to production.

Shadow's production label, for film productions as well as photography is studio|ménage.