Award-winning motion picture director Michael Lauter began making short Super8 films at the age of ten and further experimented with image, sound and music throughout his junior high and high school years. In college he studied film and engineering. In 1990 Michael played keyboards in the industrial music group Creeping Eruption, which performed at the legendary underground club Ground Zero. That same year Michael also produced for his band a Cabaret Voltaire-inspired music video (Super8 with video FX) that aired on KBDI's innovative Teletunes music show.
After completing his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, he directed & photographed a handful of short 16mm experimental films, including the underground cult favorite Mallsoleum (1995), filmed in an authentically derelict shopping mall.
In 1996 Michael embarked on the production of his debut feature, Body Gulch (1997), an austere Neo Noir, which subsequently was awarded 'Best Experimental Feature' at the 1997 Denver Underground Film Festival. During this era, Michael frequently performed electro-industrial music under the moniker White Trash Compactor.
Having taught himself music composition at the age of fourteen, Michael has scored selected music cues for his films. His film & music background caught the attention of the recording industry; In 2002 the electronica record label Obliq Recordings commissioned Michael to produce 16mm film loops and music videos, accompany their artists' repertoires. This collaboration was known as the "Obliq Optik" project and the 16mm triptych version was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.
In the Autumn of 2003 Michael's controversial sophomore feature film Sleeping Pills (2003) premiered at Egypt's Cairo International Film Festival. Nearly all of the building locations where the film was shot have since been demolished. This fact gives emphasis to the film's underlying theme, whereby the architecture, entities and images forming ones identity are crushed without remorse in favor of new and improved versions.
During the years 2004 through 2007 Michael helped other filmmakers bridge the technology gap between traditional photochemical and high-end digital methods. Mr. Lauter gave technical lectures on Digital Intermediate (DI) techniques at Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) meetings. He also digitally restored the landmark 1971 computer animation film Galactic Bridges and Tails by astrophysicist brothers Alar and Juri Toomre.
In collaboration with internationally acclaimed music producer/composer Jeff Danos, 2007 saw the release of the experimental short Refraction (2007) with Michael returning to film directing and his visual trademark of stunning, multi-layered images. At the time of its release, it was one of the first films to utilize an entirely 4K digital intermediate process from start through finish (35mm scanning, grading/FX and 35mm film-out). The Starz Denver Film Festival was among the festivals programming Refraction (2007) in their events.
At the 2008 Denver Underground Film Festival, Michael Lauter was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to independent filmmaking.
Despite his arduous time from 2009 to 2011 Michael completed his third feature Spectrauma (2011), which subsequently was featured in Washington, DC's Reel Independent Film Extravaganza.
Mr. Lauter is also known for establishing VoMeR - or Voluntary Media Rating - a public domain content rating system for independent film and media makers. Although Michael created the system with Spectrauma in mind, when the Italian film Report 51 (2011) adopted the system in Summer 2011, it made film history by becoming the World's first global, international rating system.
In Summer 2012, Michael emerged again to the public under the moniker Sleepwalk Cinema, his new electronic music/film endeavor.