By DeAnn Lubell

Photos submitted by Chip Miller

This is part two of a two-part profile on the talented producer, actor, screenwriter, songwriter, and recording artist Chip Miller.

The California desert communities are populated with numerous individuals who excel as masters of their crafts whether as artists representing most mediums, novelists and journalists, directors and producers, actors, screenwriters, musicians, as well as songwriters and recording artists.  Chip Miller is a Coachella Valley resident with a stunning track record of being able to fulfill all the above talents.  Yes, truly!  All the above.  The man has done it all in the realm of creativity.


In part one we focused on Chip’s amazing life’s journey as a musician and songwriter.  Today, we will be introduced to his extraordinaire resume which includes a plethora of credits in the film industry as an actor, director, producer, and an accomplished artist and illustrator.

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, with a BFA from Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, Chip Miller served in the USAF and worked in England as an assistant to Terry Gilliam on the BBC TV series, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” On his return to the States, he studied for 4 months with Norman Rockwell, then became a successful freelance artist and designer during the day and toured the East Coast as one half of a popular folk duo, Reynolds and Miller, with his songwriting partner from Scotland, Michael Reynolds. Miller first met Reynolds at RAF Mildenhall Air Base, when they were both stationed there as Airmen in the USAF.

Chip was honorably discharged and returned to the States in 1971, followed by Reynolds six months later. As he carved out a new life in New Jersey as a freelance illustrator and went back to art school in NYC to complete his BFA, he and Michael were tightening up their folk act, writing new material, and doing shows at colleges throughout the area.

After moving away from live performing, Chip utilized his visual arts and writing strengths and worked in the ad business on Madison Ave, as an Art Director at J. Walter Thompson and a Creative Director at McCann-Erickson. He was also a head copywriter directing numerous national and regional television and radio commercials for such clients as CBS TV; Paramount Pictures; Filmways Pictures; Toyota; Kellogg’s Corp; Kodak; Marriott Hotel Corp (Chip designed their corporate logo still in use); Pepsi Corp feat. Eddie Murphy; Bob’s Big Boy feat. Mike Myers; KIMN Radio feat. Rodney Dangerfield; Jergens Lotion feat.  Lindsay Wagner; Jamaican Tourism; Tourism Ireland; Wrangler Jeans; Pizza Hut; IBM Corp; Levi’s Cords feat. Steve Martin; MTV; Ford Motors; Progresso; Canada Dry; Becton Dickinson; and Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals.

Chip founded his ad agency, American Media Advertising, in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the late 1970s.  Within two years American Media Advertising became the second most successful agency in the state specializing in medical, pharmaceutical, industrial, technology, and corporate development clients building in the Meadowlands – now the site of Giants Stadium. As a freelance writer, Chip wrote topical articles, movies, concerts, and music reviews for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Variety, LA Times, LA Weekly, and the NY Daily News. Though his songwriting was on hiatus, Chip gave spoken word performances of his original poetry and lyrics, and his poetry has been published in 33 national poetry anthologies, including the National Literary Society in Washington, DC. In addition, he toured throughout New England opening for great American poets, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Patti Smith.  Chip’s original illustrations and photos graced the covers of national magazines, best-selling novels, and record album jackets. He had exhibits of his work at galleries around NYC and major cities on the East Coast and had an original painting, a portrait of John Glenn, on display at the Smithsonian Institute’s Aerospace Division for 15 years.

In the early 1980s, Chip sold his ad agency and moved to Hollywood where he would go on to achieve a successful career as a film director, producer, and screenwriter, as well as a music producer, music supervisor, and songwriter.

While Chip kept one hand in the music world, he maintained the other in film, television, documentary, and streaming content worlds, as a screenwriter, film, television, and video director, as well as a producer/editor. After selling his first screenplay to director Brian DePalma, Chip moved to Hollywood and worked as a movie poster illustrator, creating original art for: “Tron,” “The Horror Star,” “St. Helen’s: Killer Volcano,” “Tess,” “Blow Out,” “Dressed to Kill,” “Taps,” “Hanky Panky,” and “Gandhi”. Soon he was hired as a film/TV development director by Noel Marshall, executive producer of “The Exorcist” for his West Hollywood film and commercial production company called The Film Consortium. Marshall was married to actress Tippi Hedren. Projects Chip developed and put into production were “Fire in The Sky” with James Garner, DB Sweeney, Robert Patrick and Henry Thomas; “Square Dance” with Jane Alexander, Jason Robards, Rob Lowe, and Wynona Ryder; “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon” with River Phoenix, Ann Magnuson, Ione Skye and Matthew Perry; and “Flashpoint” with Kris Kristofferson, Treat Williams and Rip Torn.

Chip started developing original stories and network teleplays with actress Lindsay Wagner, then went on to writing and developing film projects with Penny Marshall, Ron Howard, Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, British actress Susan George, Howie Mandell, and The Supremes’ Mary Wilson.  He partnered with Nicolas Cage to pitch and set up a rock biopic at Paramount Pictures called “Be Bop a Lula,” about rockabilly icon, Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps. Chip had up-and-coming unknown talents attached, so along with Cage as Vincent, he had Sean Penn as Vincent’s wild guitarist, Tom Cruise as Eddie Cochran, and to play Little Richard, a still undiscovered singer named Prince. But when Paramount changed owners, the project went into limbo, and one of the new studio execs said he didn’t want to gamble on our project with all “unknown” actors in it. A year later, “The Doors” was released as the first new rock biopic. And within the same year, Penn, Cage, Cruise, and Prince all exploded. The rest is history.

Chip founded his first production company in 1987 called Winmill Entertainment located on the Culver Studios lot. It became known as one of the top music video houses in the business. The company also created a slate of successful films, TV programs, and documentaries. “Mortuary Academy” was a theatrical film from Sony Entertainment starring Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Christopher Atkins, Perry Lang, Cesar Romero, Wolfman Jack, and Tracy Walters. Chip developed and produced the film, directed scenes, supervised post-production, music supervised, and performed and recorded a cover of The Beach Boys’ classic hit “Be True to Your School” with Brian Wilson adding backup vocals as the opening title theme song.  The film premiered at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.  It is presently a cult film in the UK and throughout parts of Europe.

“Four Day Shoot” was a low-budget mystery drama based on a true story.  Chip directed and co-wrote an Indie for Generic Films called “Swerve” a Gramercy Pictures movie directed by Sebastian Gutiérrez (“Gothicka” and “Snakes on a Plane”). It was edited and music supervised by Chip. When Chip was briefly dating actress/singer Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas, he optioned the book rights to her just-released autobiography, as well as her former husband, John Phillips’ autobiography, that was published two months later. Chip developed and scripted “California Dreaming” and successfully set the project up as a miniseries at Spring Creek Television and ABC TV. After the deaths of Papa John Phillips and Papa Denny Dougherty, Chip and Michelle continued development until ABC placed the project on hold after a scathing memoir was published about John by his daughter, actress Mackenzie. Chip is presently re-imagining the script with an eye toward 2025.

A new friend and collaborator, actor Liam Neeson, was introduced to Chip by Clint Eastwood. Together, they wrote a story and a screenplay for “The Californians,” an original western which was quickly optioned by Clint Eastwood’s Malpaso Films. But Eastwood was weighing two considerations for his final western “The Californians” and “Unforgiven.” With that, Penny Marshall’s Parkway Films picked up the project from Clint’s Malpaso Films and Sony Pictures – funded Parkway, picked up the script and put it back into development with her partner, writer/TV actor Ted Bessel (“That Girl”).

When actress Geena Davis was attached to Liam Neeson, Bessel died suddenly, and the project was put in turn around. Then Parkway left Sony for Universal Pictures and script development was delayed because Neeson left to do “Schindler’s List.” Following Penny’s untimely death, the script reverted to Neeson and Chip, where it is currently in development for 2024 at Desert C.A.M. Studios.

Chip wrote and directed “Karma Kula: Path of the Tiger,” a theatrical feature with Liu Yun Fat for Sunset Studios/Windward Films. The movie is an original prequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” It was released in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands. Chip followed by editing “The Importance of Being Earnest,” a pioneer, all-black cast in a theatrical feature film from Atlantic Releasing Corp with Brock Peters, CCH Pounder, and Chris Calloway. After Chip developed and wrote “The Seven Fishes,” a comedy-drama that was set to shoot in Philadelphia in October 2001 with James Caan, Fred Ward, Dean Cain, Hillary Swank, Alison Eastwood, and Grammy winner Gino Vannelli. Chip was set to direct the project, when on September 11th, everything came to a stop. All film production was halted for a year. Investors pulled out and talent moved on to other projects. Presently the script is being rewritten and updated at Desert C.A.M. Studios.


For the Disney Channel, Chip created, directed, edited, scored, and produced “The Sun Show” – a weekly TV teen series. He composed the show’s theme song, and music supervised the soundtrack. The series won Accolade Awards and Aegis Awards for Best Educational Video Program, Best Original Writing, Best Directing, and Best Musical Soundtrack. Next up, Chip created, wrote, directed, edited, and co-produced “PNTV (Players Network Television)” shot in Las Vegas which included forty gaming segments, and a gaming theme variety show, starring Paula Abdul, Will Smith, George Hamilton, Jamie Foxx, Sandra Bullock, Damon Wayans, and Queen Latifah.

In the 21st Century, Chip kicked off developing and writing an authorized screenplay for a TV Movie about legendary TV talk show host, Morton Downey, Jr. “Loudmouth” was picked up by F/X and Fox Television releasing the film as a docudrama. Besides writing and co-producing, Chip does a cameo in the film. Chip then began directing multiple live TV concert specials for HBO, Showtime, MTV Europe, PBS, FNX Channel, CMT, and BBC.  He directed major artists like The Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden; Brian Wilson at UCLA’s Royce Hall; Marc Anthony, Oscar winner Laura Pausini, singer Ana Isabelle (from Spielberg’s “Westside Story”) in Puerto Rico; The Beach Boys at the Greek Theater in Hollywood; Paul Simon’s Graceland Concert in Africa; Neil Young at The Hollywood Palace; The Black Crowes in Atlanta, Georgia; Alison Krauss & Union Station at the Hollywood Bowl; Celine Dion in Las Vegas; The Kingston Trio at the Avalon Hollywood Theater in LA; The Kingston Trio holiday concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and The Kingston Trio in Vancouver, BC; Donovan with guests Mike Love of The Beach Boys, Laura Dern, and David Lynch at the former Kodak Theater in Hollywood; Diahann Carroll at the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs (for producer Kim Waltrip); Earth, Wind & Fire in Japan; The National Dance Company of Ireland throughout Ireland and Holland; Trini Lopez at Cal State; a Songcatchers All-Star Native American Artists in Santa Fe; The Young Irish Tenors in Ireland; Jerry Douglas in Nashville, and Earl Scruggs farewell in Nashville, with Vince Gill, Randy Scruggs, Billy Bob Thornton, and Marty Stewart.

Chip recently executively produced and directed “Legends & Lyrics,” an 18-part one-hour concert series that took two years to shoot. It will air in 2024 as a cable TV program and streaming music series featuring 54 major recording artists, who each perform songs and discuss their song’s lyrics. Guests include Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Mac Davis, Charlie Daniels, Jimmy Webb, Robert Cray, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Griffin, Randy Owen (Alabama), Michael Martin Murphy, Pam Tillis, Shawn Colvin, John Hiatt, Jessi Colter, Melissa Manchester, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Art Alexakis (Everclear), John Waite (The Baby’s), Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), Roger McGuinn (The Byrds), Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary), Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Amy Lee (Evanescence), Billy Joe Shaver, Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks, Ray Stevens, Diane Warren, Billy Swan, Rick Derringer, and Loretta Lynn.

Chip heads up a savvy team of experienced production professionals at Desert C.A.M. Studios, an Indie production and post-production company out of Burbank and La Quinta since 2008. In 2020 the group relocated their desert office and studio to Palm Desert. The company has produced numerous local and regional video commercials, though its primary activities are national commercials, TV concert specials, and music videos for major and Indie record labels. Desert C.A.M. Studios’ other focus is developing and producing high-profile, character-driven theatrical movies, cable and television programs, feature documentaries, and original content for the worldwide digital marketplace. The company has produced a sizeable archive of successful productions since 2008.  Chip himself has amassed an impressive body of film, TV, and video credits since 1984. Coming up in 2024, Desert C.A.M. Studios will deliver an 18-part concert series with an all-star cast of major country and singer/songwriter recording artists. Also, in 2024, there will be two feature films going into production that have been on hold since May of 2023 when WGA and SAG strikes hit. Both film scripts are written by Chip.

More of Chip’s upcoming films and releases for 2024 include “The Kingston Trio Celebration: Part Two,” an all-star follow-up to the original concert that aired from 2015 to 2020 on PBS. Currently in post-production and projected for broadcast in February/March 2024. “All for One” is an all-star R&B TV concert special set to shoot in early March 2024 in Santa Clarita. His “Ride to Justice” award-winning script is a topical Indie biker drama set in 2026 with Neal McDonough and Jana Mashonee.  It was written by Chip and Allen Plone from a story by Chip, who will also direct the project. He also co-wrote a theme song with hip-hop artist Madd KD and Old Sand Mill. Production is tentatively projected for late March 2024. Also on the docket is “Stranger Paths,” a family-friendly movie with Kevin Sorbo, Meg Ryan, Susan George, Tom Selleck, and Rebecca Holden – written by Chip and Allen Plone. Sorbo will direct and Chip will co-produce, edit, and supervise music.

“The Butterfly and Goliath” is a docudrama based on a controversial true story and book, narrated by Anthony Hopkins and Marisa Tomei. Production is set to commence in Scottsdale, AZ in May 2024. “Nobody Wrote It Down: True Tales of Black Pioneers,” is a docudrama series co-written with multiple Grammy-winning African American recording artist, Dom Flemons, whose hit 2019 Grammy-nominated album “Black Cowboys” serves as inspiration for this series. Flemons will be an on-screen host. Chip is partnered with actress/producer Shari Belafonte. Miller co-wrote the series and pitch deck “Golden Swan – A Harlem Story,” a female-driven mini-series adapted from the best-selling Double Day novel “Harlem” by the late Len Riley in development at Desert C.A.M. Studios for 2024/2025. “Extension of a Man: The Music & Brief Life of Donny Hathaway,” a powerful biopic on the development fast track. Chip wrote the film treatment and pitch deck, working closely with Donny’s daughters, Grammy-winning R&B singers, Lalah and Donnita Hathaway. “Devil in Disguise” is a TV movie and true story about Elvis Presley during his Army years co-written with his barracks mate, legendary music producer, Quentin Tarantino’s favorite songwriter and former longtime head of Curb Records, Harley Hatcher. “The Marriage Zone” is a sci-fi comedy series based on the hit play by Jeff Gould is in development.  It is being adapted for the screen by Chip, who also co-produces.

Chip’s awards include a National Accolade Award, two Aegis Awards, two CMT Music Video Awards, five MTV Video Awards, an MTV Australia Video Award, three MTV Europe Video Awards, two Billboard Music Video Awards, an American Music Award, a Clio Award, a DANAE Literary Award, two Jasper Communications Awards, and an ENTENTE Award. He also received a Los Angeles Art Director Award, Golden Pyramid Award, Smithsonian Institute’s Aerospace Division Art Award, two Clover Writer’s Society of America Awards, and a Soho Writer’s Circle Award. He got an LA EMMY nomination for his critically hailed 12-part PBS documentary series on the former USSR: “After the Red Star: The Baltics, Western Republics, Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia,” which he edited with Travis Miller, as well as music supervised. Chip has also garnered numerous accolades and top awards for his illustrations, graphic designs, and paintings.

There are many more current and future projects that this amazing man is either busy creating or is involved with.  Does he sleep?

To learn more about Chip Miller please go to