The Other Michael Givens

Most of us know Michael Givens as the commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Here he is in 2011 rallying the troops to take a more active and aggressive role in promoting Confederate heritage.

I suspect most of you are unfamiliar with Michael Givens the writer, movie director, cinematographer, and photographer.  Check this out.  Yes, that’s Michael Givens introducing rock star Scottie in his film Angel Camouflaged which tells the story of “a rock and roll singer whose struggle with substance abuse causes her music career to implode.”

You can check out the rest of his films or head on over to his impressive list of commercials for Iams dog food and even Trojan condoms as well as a video for 2LiveCrew and Ice-T.  He even dabbles in a little photography, some of which is pretty good.

Nowhere will you find a reference to his leadership in the SCV mentioned on his website.  Even his personal twitter feed is void of any SCV rumblings.  It appears that these two worlds are completely separated from one another.  I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by this, but I have to wonder how many people in the SCV even know about his Hollywood moonlighting.

It’s just not what you expect of an SCV commander.  I have to say that I love the idea of Givens hangin’ with Hollywood elites and rap artists.  I don’t think I will ever look at the SCV the same.  This is a pretty hip organization.

9 comments… add one

  • Scott A. MacKenzie Aug 12, 2012

    Is it really so surprising? We all have day jobs. How many neo-Confederates are veterans and/or current or retired federal government workers – the same one they claim to oppose as “Southerners”?

    • Kevin Levin Aug 12, 2012

      Is it really so surprising?

      No, of course not. However, the point I was trying to make is that few people imagine him doing this type of work. I think it’s pretty cool.

      • Scott A. MacKenzie Aug 12, 2012

        I think it’s interesting too. He certainly has more talent than the commanding general of the new Confederate army. Remember him?

  • Connie Chastain Aug 12, 2012

    Wow, you really have a knack for ferreting out the deep, dark secrets and shadowy side of folks in Southern Heritage, don’t you? Givens does HOLLYWOOD work? How DARE he!

    BTW, here’s his page and the IMDb database. Looks like you missed it.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0321453/

    “Nowhere will you find a reference to his leadership in the SCV mentioned on his website.”

    Should it be? Is it pertinent to his film and photography career? Is his religious affiliation mentioned? Any fraternal organizations? Any civic organizations? Any educational organizations? His marital status? His parental status? These sites are about his career in film and photography. It isn’t surprising to me that he doesn’t put irrelevant info on them.

    “Even his personal twitter feed is void of any SCV rumblings.”

    So? He has a separate Twitter account for SCV tweets. Why repeat them on his personal feed? That would quickly become annoying to followers of both feeds….

    “It appears that these two worlds are completely separated from one another.”

    Scandalous! Wonder what OTHER worlds — separate from these two — that he inhabits? Like, say, husband and father… That’s not mentioned in the “Hollywood” websites, either., I believe. Does it surprise you that the CIC of the SCV has a wife and kids?

    “I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by this, but I have to wonder how many people in the SCV even know about his Hollywood moonlighting.”

    It’s interesting that you’d call his career in film and photography “moonlighting.” He’s been the SCV CiC since July 2010 (two years). He’s been doing cinematography for about thirty years. http://theislandnews.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/michael-givens-elected-commander-in-chief-at-national-scv-reunion/

    I was told about his career in film by a member of the SCV, so it’s not like he’s tried to keep that info from SCV folks.

    The CIC himself also mentioned it to me in a Facebook message reply. (I had messaged him to let him know that my newly released novel mentioned the SCV, but realistically, not in an attempt to demonize the organization or its members.)

    “It’s just not what you expect of an SCV commander.”

    It isn’t? It may be something YOU wouldn’t expect, because you have a two-dimensional, cardboard cutout view of Southern heritage advocates, particularly the SCV. I don’t have your biased and narrow-minded viewpoint of them. I know their vocations are widely varied — they’re in politics, religion, the news and entertainment media, education. I know that some are married and have children, and some aren’t.

    Interesting that you’d admit this prejudice of yours, though — that you can’t see past someone’s SCV membership to observe that they have multifaceted lives. Frankly, I’m surprised.

    “I have to say that I love the idea of Givens hangin’ with Hollywood elites and rap artists..”

    I’m sure he’ll be pleased to learn of your approval. He’s probably been walking the floor at night, worrying about what you’d think.

    “I don’t think I will ever look at the SCV the same. This is a pretty hip organization.”

    It’s good that you’re learning to overcome your prejudice and tendency to stereotype SCV members you know nothing about….

    • Kevin Levin Aug 12, 2012

      I missed you, Connie. I was starting to get jealous given all the attention you’ve lavished on Brooks of late. I am sorry you read this as some kind of attack or criticism. I admit to a bit of bias in my inability to imagine such a career for the commander of the SCV and “moonlighting” was probably not the best choice of words. Like I said, I think it’s all pretty cool.

      Thanks once again for hanging on my every word. :-)

      • Brooks D. Simpson Aug 12, 2012

        Several of us live rent free in Connie’s head … and in the heads (I use the term loosely) of her merry little group of followers. I knew she’d return one day to her first obsession. With a blog, FB group, and twitter feed all devoted to her favorite obsessions, we should take on the title of Sweet (anti-)Southern Heritage Boyz.

  • Jeffry Burden Aug 12, 2012

    As it happens, I sat next to Michael on the dais at the Sons of Union Veterans national meeting last night. No mention of his work life in his intro, or his talk. He gave a good ecumenical talk about shared heritage, etc. I wish I’d known about his other life; I’d have asked if he had any Dr. Dre stories. :-)

    • Kevin Levin Aug 12, 2012

      Very cool. I like that he attended an SUV meeting. This guy gets more interesting by the hour.

  • Doug didier Aug 13, 2012

    When I saw the movie trailer .. I just had to go to the 2010 Beaufort film festival .. (I think it was 2 years ago..). Must see.. Angel oak, avenue of oaks, mustang convertible .. Etc etc.  terrible movie.. So givens comes onstage after movie for questions etc.. What an ego.. His wife even better ” now that you know who I am, I want you to know I still hope to talk to you while grocery shopping at  publix..” something like that..
    So last year, at Beaufort historical society doing some reading, got into a conversation …why don’t we move forward with some kind of plaque or something for the 54th mass.. Reconstruction.. There is nothing here.. Reply…We tried that 10 years ago..  One day looked up from my desk and as foner walked by etc etc..We knew we were domned when we went to Columbia and the representative had a sons of confederate veteran button on his lapel.. Here is the folder.. 
       That’s when I discovered the connection.. He wrote a letter to the local paper that captured reconstruction as “the birth of a nation”.. Not to be commemorated in Beaufort SC..
     Then I got the movie..    Drug phase is the civil war..  Movie is mainly competition with scalawags..  Then she makes connection with here lost past.. redemption.. Just my opinion..

    At any rate.. One of the local news articles..
    http://www.lowcountrynewspapers.net/archive/node/71375

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