Savannah Film Academy brings in EMMY Award-winning producer for a seminar on documentary production

The Savannah Film Academy at Savannah Technical College is hosting an award-winning producer and director who will be offering a two-day intensive seminar on documentary production. The seminar will take place Fri., Nov. 12 and Sat., Nov. 12. 

The seminar is produced and instructed by EMMY Award-winning producer and director Chris Schueler. He has created over 100 television programs that have been broadcast around the world. This is the fourth time this seminar is being presented in partnership with the Savannah Film Academy.

“The Savannah Film Academy is the perfect way to go from the classroom to the film set in a short amount of time and at a reasonable cost. In only two semesters, you will be prepared for an entry-level position in the film industry,” said John Grace, Department Head Savannah Film Academy, Savannah Technical College.

From beginners to seasoned professionals, there is something for everyone in the seminar. The seminar will go through various aspects of creating a project, including initial concept, budgeting, fundraising, the various stages of production and distribution. 

“Chris is my teaching inspiration. He keeps a class entertained and engaged while delivering life-changing lessons,” said Grace.

Schueler brings his 25 years of experience to his class and encourages participants to come with ideas of a documentary subject they would like to produce. 

“Anybody could easily say, hey, I can keep this formula to myself. I think if I am truly committed to making change, then the more people who can understand how to create change, the better,” said Schueler as he reflected on the reasons he created this seminar. 

Schueler has a BA in Drama and English and masters in playwriting and directing. 

He worked in broadcast journalism for some years before starting his company. It was these various skill sets he had that inspired him to find a way to combine them into a class.

“I loved writing. Writing is sort of the key to all of it. I had such great mentors and such great writing mentors in college but what I learned in the real world, if you will, is that starting a company is tough and it doesn’t always make money right away,” said Schueler. 

Eventually his company did become established and now he has experience in creating youth programming, cultural and social documentaries and video projects, and family series television all geared to create “Television to Touch the Heart.”

“I have friends who are producers, who are the most creative people I have ever seen, and they have never made money on their projects and then I’ve got people who are really business oriented, but they have none of the creativity. So, I wanted to link the two, business and creativity,” he said. 

His documentaries have raised public awareness and also impacted public policy nationally and internationally. His clients have included the United Nations, the National Institute of Mental Health, the PBS network, the CBS Network Foundation as well as networks and governments worldwide.

“I think what’s kept me interested is not only the creativity and the excitement of doing a documentary, but the idea of change and the ability to give people tools that will make their lives better, that will allow them to see things in unique and different ways that they can then share with others,” said Schueler. 

The seminar also includes a lesson in social marketing and target audience outreach for participants projects involving extensive use of internet and social media venues to address and engage stakeholders and the intended audience. 

Prior to the seminar on Thursday, November 11 at 6 p.m. there will be a screening of Schueler’s latest national PBS documentary Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus. The documentary covers vaccine history, how they are created, tested and what they contain. It also addresses misinformation and how to overcome that “epidemic” Schueler discussed.

Though the documentary does also address the covid vaccine, Schueler was actually already working this documentary about vaccines and hesitancy since 2017. 

The documentary includes information about many vaccines from over the years.

“I learned so much the more I delved into the hesitancy aspect of it because I didn’t understand the historical trauma aspect, the social determinants of health aspect, and then the misinformation that has approached people,” said Schueler. 

Like all of his works Schueler wants the heart of the people featured in the documentary to tell the story.  

“We brought in heartfelt anecdotes and that actually is the most effective in changing people’s opinions,” he said. 

You can find out more information about the screening and register for the class at christopherproductions.org and click on ‘coming up’. The two-day seminar is $100 and participants will receive a pre-session information package upon payment. Participants will also get more information about the Savannah Film Academy at the seminar as well.

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