Michigan Filmmaker Sean King O’Grady Takes Hulu by Storm with Horror Hit ‘The Mill’

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The Mill — A businessman (Lil Rel Howery) wakes up beside an ancient grist mill in the center of an open-air prison cell without knowing how he got there. Forced to work as a beast of burden to stay alive, he must find a way to escape before the birth of his child. Joe Stevens (Lil Rel Howery) is shown. (Photo: Courtesy of Hulu)

Listen: The Mill

Michigan Filmmaker Sean King O’Grady Takes Hulu by Storm with Horror Hit “The Mill”

• Sean King O’Grady, a Michigan native and passionate filmmaker, has taken Hulu by storm with his horror hit “The Mill”.
• After studying film, O’Grady pursued a career in moviemaking in Los Angeles. He returned to Michigan to direct his first narrative feature, “We Need To Do Something,” in 2021.
• Lil Rel Howery delivered an impressive performance, having been previously recognized by O’Grady for his talent while making the comedy “I Love My Dad.”• With a tight budget and schedule, O’Grady worked quickly and efficiently to complete the sci-fi thriller on time and within 15 days.
• His experience spans from working at public access TV stations to directing documentaries such as “Land Grab” (2016).
• Looking ahead, O’Grady dreams of creating films that bring joy to audiences and conquering the box office with new projects.

Growing up in Saginaw, filmmaker Sean King O’Grady has cherished memories of watching movies with his family on Friday and Saturday nights, and those moments ignited his passion for film, leading him to study the craft and eventually pursue a career in moviemaking.

After over a decade in Hollywood, O’Grady returned to Michigan and directed his first narrative feature, the gripping horror film “We Need to Do Something,” in 2021. His latest project, the dystopian sci-fi horror tale “The Mill,” premiered on Hulu this month and quickly soared to the top, currently ranking in the platform’s Top 15.

“The Mill” offers viewers a dark and intense experience, with “Get Out’s” Lil Rel Howery delivering a powerful performance. O’Grady had previously recognized Howery’s talent while working on the comedy “I Love My Dad” and knew he wanted to collaborate on a dramatic project. Little did he know it would turn out to be a sci-fi thriller.

Howery committed to the film in August 2022, and Hulu signed on three months later. O’Grady worked with a tight budget and schedule, shooting the film in just 15 days in New Jersey. Despite the challenges, he believes in working swiftly and efficiently.

O’Grady’s journey in the film industry started with his time at Michigan State University, where he double majored in English literature and theater. He gained experience at a public access TV station and began applying for film work in Los Angeles while still in college. He quickly found success and never looked back.

Throughout his career, O’Grady has worked on various film projects, building connections and gaining experience as a production assistant and executive producer. He directed the documentary “Land Grab” in 2016, showcasing urban farming in Detroit. His ability to work under pressure was exemplified by his achievement in completing “We Need to Do Something” during the pandemic on a tight schedule.

Looking ahead, O’Grady hopes to continue making films that bring joy to audiences. He has plans for more sci-fi and horror projects and has even discussed potential collaborations with fellow Saginaw native Paul Walter Hauser. With the success of “The Mill” on Hulu, O’Grady now has his sights set on conquering the box office.

Ultimately, O’Grady’s goal is to create films that resonate with audiences, much like the movies that brought him joy and meaning throughout his life. While Panorama Video may no longer exist, O’Grady keeps the spirit of those family movie nights alive through his work.

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