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(written from a Production point of view)
Michael George Tsucalas II (born 6 January 1982; age 34), normally credited as Mike Tsucalas, is an American film and television production assistant, writer, producer, boom operator, assistant director, and occasional actor. He was a set production assistant on 2009's Star Trek for producer and director J.J. Abrams. He previously worked for Abrams on the pilot episode of the short-lived ABC situation comedy series What About Brian.
Tsucalas was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey (just like TNG guest star Kirsten Dunst), and graduated from The Art Institute of Philadelphia with a major in Video Production in September 2002. His first project as a set production assistant was the CBS television series Hack in 2002. While still in Philadelphia, he was a set production assistant on the hit film National Treasure, which featured Ron Canada, Don McManus, and Christopher Plummer in the cast. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Tsucalas was a production assistant on the MTV Video Music Awards in 2003 and 2004 and the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. He also worked on the MTV reality series Damage Control. Since then, Tsucalas has served as a set production assistant on such television shows as Showtime's Weeds (starring Andy Milder), ABC's Grey's Anatomy and Dirty Sexy Money (starring Zoe McLellan), NBC's Heroes (starring Zachary Quinto) and My Name Is Earl, and CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (starring Wallace Langham) and Numb3rs.
Before Star Trek, Tsucalas worked on the productions of such films as xXx: State of the Union, The Dukes of Hazzard, Southland Tales (which starred Dwayne Johnson, John Larroquette, and Wallace Shawn), Hollywoodland (which featured Larry Cedar), The Guardian (starring Clancy Brown), Rocky Balboa, Iron Man (featuring Tom Morello, Bill Smitrovich, and Faran Tahir), and Hancock. He also appeared in Clerks II as a diner along with fellow set production assistant Steven Rau. In addition, he participated in re-shoots for Zodiac (featuring Zach Grenier, John Carroll Lynch, and Matt Winston), Spider-Man 3 (starring Kirsten Dunst and James Cromwell), and Charlie Wilson's War (featuring Cyia Batten, Spencer Garrett, Pasha Lychnikoff, Brian Markinson, Rachel Nichols, and Faran Tahir), as well as additional photography for the musical Dreamgirls.
Tsucalas is a co-creator of the four Chris & Reed short comedy films starring Christopher Baldi and Reed Ellis: Chris & Reed in: Flamin', Chris & Reed in: Strangers, Chris & Reed in: Nightmares!, and Chris & Reed in: Rollin'! Tsucalas also produced these films and appeared in the first two as a police officer. Another film Tsucalas produced was the direct-to-video thriller Dark Fantasy, for which he was also boom operator. He was a boom operator on the 2003 direct-to-video comedy The Black Ninja and the 2004 thriller film The 24th Day, as well.