USC Cinematic Arts

Michael Backes was a technical editor on four of Michael Crichton’s novels: Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, and Timeline.  He co-wrote the screenplay for Rising Sun with Crichton and Phil Kaufman. Backes designed the control room display graphics for the film, Jurassic Park, was associate producer on Congo, and wrote two sequences in Twister for Crichton and Ann-Marie Martin for their original screenplay.  Backes worked as science consultant to director Sam Raimi, and writers Gough & Millar, Michael Chabon and Alvin Sargent on Spider Man 2 & 3.  He also worked with director Marc Webb and writer Alvin Sargent on The Amazing Spider Man.  He also was the visual graphics supervisor on Dreamworks first live-action film, “Peacemaker”.  Backes co-founded the American Film Institute Digital Media Studies program and the AFI Apple Computer Center.  He has lectured at Stanford, Yale, Oxford and Tokyo University on emerging technologies.  He has spoken at conferences in twenty countries.  He has served on the boards of several software companies,  His consulting clients have included Apple Computer, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Sega, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th-Century-Fox, and Credit Suisse/First Boston.

Currently, Backes is involved in a long-term consulting project for USC and the Department of Defense concerning narrative science.