}} Mike Rosenthal grew up in a creative family, born to a ceramicist and a meteorologist. His artistic interests and abilities were clear from a very young age, excelling at drawing, painting, and sculpting. Eventually his parallel love for computers fused with his love for art, and Mike began working in visual effects when he was 17, first for Warner Brothers Digital, then Landmark Entertainment Group. At 19 he began studying cinematography as well, taking classes at AFI and USC, and working as a camera PA on indie features.
After getting accepted to Art Center for Film, Mike postponed enrollment because of an apprenticeship opportunity. He was introduced to the Academy Award-winning cinematographer, Russell Carpenter ASC, and Russell mentored him in filmmaking while Mike taught Russell Adobe Photoshop.