a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

I am deeply saddened to report the sudden passing of a very talented young man who did camera and editing work for me just this past year. Michael Grinfeld died last week, and I didn’t get word of it, via Facebook, until it was too late to attend the wake or the funeral which took place on Monday and Tuesday of this week. If it wasn’t for Facebook, I would never have known this happened.

His death has sent me reeling. I’m writing about his because I feel he would want me to. He would want to be remembered. He wanted to conquer the world. He wanted to be a filmmaker. He loved movies and studied that at New Paltz where he went to college.

He was so young. Only 24, maybe 25. I don’t know the circumstances of his passing, but I know he’s gone and I can’t believe it. We worked together for several months just this past summer and autumn.

And he was sooo excited to be shooting(and editing his own footage) from the Toronto Film Festival. I could tell it was a highpoint of his life. As it is for most people who are privileged enough to experience the magic, the electricity of Toronto.

I’m including the Ciaran Hinds interview, which Michael shot and edited, which is above, which Michael I think felt was his best work there.

I never dreamed that his work on “The Stephen Holt Show” would be his entre and exit from Show Business.

Michael loved the movies. In particular, the Coen Brothers, and he was bummed that they had decided to skip Toronto this year and open their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis” at the New York Film Festival this year in October instead of TIFF (as the Toronto International Film Festival is abbreviated.) Everything seemed to remind him of a Coen Bros. movie.

I remember him commenting on the corridors of the hotel where we stayed, the Royal York, looking like “Barton Fink” to him. Everything was a movie reference. He was passionate about his work.

And as all who knew him knew he was very, very, VERY smart.

There was a tragic bus accident in New Paltz three years ago, in which Michael suffered severe head trauma.

I don’t know how or why he died, but I think now that his health was more fragile than he let on to me, clearly.

I don’t even have a picture of him. So this video of his best work will have to suffice for the time being.

I looked online for an Obituary, but couldn’t find anything. If there is one and some one sends it to me with a picture that I can use to go with it I’ll post it on this blog.

Michael was very supportive of “The Stephen Holt Show” and we remained friends. I sent him an email asking him how we was getting on in his hometown of Owego, New York, just a little over ten days ago. He was, as far as I knew, awaiting his results from his graduate school entrance test. He had plans to go to Bernard Baruch here in New York. I didn’t get a reply, which was unusual for him. Now I know why.

The tragedy of a young person’s dying before their time is enormous. My condolences, heart and thoughts are with his family and his friends. He was so talented.

Who knows what wonderful things he could have done?

Now we’ll never know.

R.I.P. Michael


Comments on: "Michael Grinfeld R.I.P." (2)

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful remembrance. I was one of Michael’s professors at SUNY New Paltz, and your words truly resonate. He was bright, talented, ambitious, and a pleasure to work with in class. I also just learned of his passing–and am stunned. Thank you for this blog.

    • Thank you, Mr. Bray. I don’t know what happened to Michael. How he passed. But you know how smart he was and how perceptive and how driven. I admired all those qualities in him. And am just stunned and saddened and perplexed by the news of his death.

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