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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Born in Port Chester, New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameMichael Brent Piller

Mini Bio (1)

Michael went to school in New York before taking a creative writing course. The professor for this course told everyone, "There are enough bad writers out there. There needn't be anymore". Michael recalls that the professor would rip up his writing and he would be so broken-hearted. This professor eventually chased him into journalism, where Michael won two Emmys for his work as a news producer. Michael went back to New York for a few years before seeing a "Chorus Line" show and deciding to pursue his writing career. He originally came back to Los Angeles as a censor for CBS in the late seventies. He eventually started writing spec scripts for such TV series as Simon & Simon (1981) and Cagney & Lacey (1981) before landing a role as a producer on Simon & Simon (1981). He worked his way through the producer ranks and jumped from series to series before being called in by long-time friend, Maurice Hurley, who was, at the time, writing and producing episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). Michael wrote a few episodes for season three (1989-90) before becoming a full-fledged Executive Producer. In 1992, Piller and Rick Berman (who was also Executive Producer) decided to create a new series based in the "Star Trek Universe". Thus, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) was created. Piller oversaw the writing, casting, budget, etc. for two season before Paramount called him in again to create a new series after Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) ended in 1994. Star Trek: Voyager (1995), created by Jeri Taylor, Pillar and Rick Berman, was born into the television universe, as the flagship for the new United Paramount Network (UPN), running until 2001. Piller left Star Trek: Voyager (1995) in 1996, after nine years of working in the Star Trek franchise. He created the ill-fated, but critically-acclaimed, western for UPN called Legend (1995), starring Richard Dean Anderson and John de Lancie. Also in 1996, Piller successfully sold his first feature film script entitled, "Oversight" (1998). It has yet to be produced. In 1997, he co-wrote Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), with Rick Berman, which was released in 1998. His most successful post-Trek outing was developing the Stephen King property, "The Dead Zone", along with his son Shawn Piller, for television. Piller died from cancer on November 2, 2005.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous & Troy James Martin

Spouse (1)

Sandra Piller (6 June 1981 - 1 November 2005) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (12)

Piller is a HUGE baseball fan. He has over two hundred thousand baseball cards. You can see his baseball interest in "Captain Sisko" on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).
Son-in-law of actress/dancer Sandra Giles.
Father of writer/producer Shawn Piller.
Cast Anthony Michael Hall in The Dead Zone (2002) after seeing Hall's performance in Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999).
He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in radio, television and motion pictures in 1970.
Ex-father-in-law of Lindsay Price.
His wife, Sandra Piller, had a role as a reporter in the Simon & Simon (1981) episode, Simon & Simon: Simon Without Simon: Part 1 (1985), and a role as a saleslady in the Simon & Simon (1981) episode, Simon & Simon: D-I-V-O-R-C-E (1986).
On the week of Piller's death, Canadian sci-fi station Space aired a marathon of Star Trek: Voyager (1995) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) episodes he had written.
When he married Sandra Piller, her daughter Christy was age 12 and her son Shawn was age 8. After eight years of marriage, they had daughter Brent.
A fictitious 24th century chemical element on "Star Trek", "pillerium", was named for him in his honor for all the contributions after his death.
He used to work at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois, the very same TV station that produced the "Siskel & Ebert" TV show. Siskel knew him personally. And praised his self-penned "Star Trek: Insurrection" film. Roger's review was negative.
Received a group Emmy Award when he worked on CBS news.

Personal Quotes (5)

It's always about the human condition. Go back to that and you'll find your story.
A writer is very much like the captain on a star ship facing the unknown. When you face the blank page and you have no idea where you're going. It can be terrifying, but it can also be the adventure of a lifetime.
You will never come up against a greater adversary than your own potential, my young friend.
When I write a script, I like to write seven days a week-it helps keep me 'in' the movie-but I only ask myself to do six pages a day. Six pages don't feel like a lot, and that relieves some of the psychological pressure to sit down to sit down and perform. I've found over the years that I can easily write those six pages between eight and noon. Whenever I try go longer, my productivity drops sharply. I can do other things in the afternoon-read, take meetings, dictate memos, discuss other material. I just can't write.
"As I approach a new project, my process always begins with the question: what is it about? Here's one answer that might apply to a 'Star Trek' movie... I want it to be about the most horrible, treacherous aliens ever known to man who are about to destroy life as we know it, leading to the most spectacular thrill ride of an adventure with fantastic space battles and huge explosions and great special effects -- a white knuckle ride for the movie audience. Yeah, but what's it about? I can write space battles with the best of them, but what makes that space battle interesting to me is: why are they fighting? What are the stakes? What does the hero lose if he loses? And what does he win if he wins? Why should we care? I'm talking about the second level of story-telling. The level that examines what's going on inside the characters - their moral and ethical dilemmas, their doubts, fears, inner conflicts, how they change as the story progresses. These are the things that make us, as members of an audience, get emotionally involved." -- Michael Piller, Fade In: The Writing of Star Trek: Insurrection

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