What is Design Thinking?
Michael Marshall is a business owner, web developer, screenwriter, lecturer and musician. Over the past decade Michael has produced award winning work for a multitude of large brands across South Africa and the international market. Michael has been running Marshall Arts Pty Ltd from 2009 to the present and is currently primarily focused on developing high end live-streaming virtual event platforms for companies such as Asba, Multi-Media, Currn't Events, Immersive Showtech and Carbon6.
Michael's early career as a musician began in 2014 with his band Elysium. Elysium produced music and played shows in Johannesburg from 2005 - 2008 and this is where Michael began to make a name for himself as a singer, event organiser and lyricist. From 2008 to 2014 Michael played in a dozen bands across South Africa as a vocalist or guitarist or drummer or all three. In 2014 Michae was approached by Intellilab, a Television company run by TV Tycoon, Nico Steyn. Nico wanted Michael to teach Lyric Writing on his new television show SugaRushed which featured musicians who wanted to become famous in Nigeria. Over the next year Michael worked with Intellilab and eventually was given the opportunity to produce several episodes of UJ TV. During this time Michael wrote his first screenplay which was produced by Mzanzi Magic through a young filmmakers program called The Bubblegum Factory. Michael wrote a second screenplay which was produced by Mzanzi Magic in 2015. At this time, Michael was still playing music with several South African lineups, but he was focusing on his career as a storyteller through his lyrics, screenplays, television segments and more. In 2014 Michael moved back from Cape Town to his home town in Johannesburg to be closer to his family and he built a voice over recording studio in his mother's garage. Over the next 6 years that studio booth would become the foundation Marshall Art's corporate advertising career. Within the four walls of that soundproof garage booth built specifically for voice over recording Marshall Arts recorded Voice Overs and wrote copy for brands like Clinique, Dial Direct, Anglo Platinum, Investec, Netcare and that's just naming a small fraction.
In 2016 Michael was steadily producing radio and TV commercial audio at the studio in the garage while taking the odd job as a screenwriter. AFDA Johannesburg had approached Michael late in 2015 to apply for the Masters programme, but Afda did not realise Michael ws only 24 at the time. His application for enrollment into the Masters was declined, but the school asked if he would consider their 1 year Honours Post Graduate Degree. Because He had not studied at tertiary level before and did not have a single qualification from a tertiary institution he decided to study at AFDA majoring in Writing and Directing, while running his business full time. 2016 was a aa busy year indeed with contracts with Litho pharmaceutical and Anglo American Platinum at the Voice Over Studio while doing a degree that most consider full time. Michael graduated from AFDA with a Post Graduate degree in Motion Picture Media, Majoring in writing and directing. It was at AFDA in the final moments of the year, that Michael picked up video editing for the first time.
2017 would see Michael's career shift dramatically. With the skills as a video editor he could now offer his clients a far more holistic service. BBy using stock footage or small crews of young filmmakers, Michael shot adverts for ZZ2, BAIC, the Optimal.me, Buygaloo and more.
By 2018 Michael had produced a solid portfolio of creative media work where Marshall Arts had done every aspect of the production from the conceptualisation to the final mastering and even distributing for broadcast. Michael was working closely with members of family who were all creatives in various fields. Michael worked most closely with Kerry Marshall and Catherine Hall. Kerry, a graphic Designer, had the eye to help Michael's projects look and feel like they came from a high end agency. Catherine, a cinematographer, was able to shoot high quality footage on unbelievably low budgets. Together they were a great team,
Towards the end of 2018 Michael was brought on as a consultant for Buygaloo, a South African start up that offers a digital marketing solution to brick and mortar retail stores. Michael consulted with Buygaloo on Marketing and their launch strategy for the Beta TEst. In August of 2019 Michael and Buygaloo launched the Buygaloo App at Maponya Mall with great success. The app was a hit amongst the shoppers and the shops and the feedback was phenomenal. With the Beta test successful and next stage pf the app development underway, the future was looking incredibly bright. But then of course 2020 rolled around and the world of brick and mortar retail went out the window.
In the early weeks of March 2020 Michael began developing highly secure live-streaming solution that his corporate clients could use to host internal events. It had come to Michael's attention that some of his clients were hosting online events during the early days of the pandemic and that these events were costing his clients aan arm and a leg. Michael decided to put all of his energy into developing a platform that could reliaable host live streaming in South Africa and do so over a SHA 256 encrypted network. By July 2020 Michael had cracked the secret sauce of his live streaming platform and the first live event was held for Absa in on 22 July 2020. SInce then Michael has hosted live events for Coca-Cola, Disney, Standard Bank, Dimension Data and more.
Marshall Arts has grown to a company of 4 full time employees while still maintaining the original ethos of hiring in freelancers and contractors regularly. In 2021 Marshall Arts was recognised as being in the top 20 partners of Wix Agencies around the world. Marshall Arts produces high quality audio, video, graphic design and websites for companies around the world. The team always has and always will have a work from anywhere ethos and Michael and his wife Jem currently live in Simons Town South Africa
Above: The garage
Right: Michael and Jemmé signing marriage contracts