This year, we are lucky to add Chuck Workman to our full time faculty for our Documentary Filmmaking program.
His credits include Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, What is Cinema? Visionaries, and The 82nd Annual Academy Awards, just to name a few.
Advice to students: “You’ll find that the professional film world is overloaded with result-oriented goals and people insisting you stick to them. But your time at school is yours creatively, and no one can really tell you what to do. So take advantage of that in your work here. Try things, experiment, learn, fail, succeed – that’s what this place is for.”
Workman’s Precious Images, won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short and was selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry. His most recent documentary, Magician, about Orson Welles, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. He wrote, directed and produced the documentary Superstar, on artist Andy Warhol and produced and directed The Source, a documentary film on the Beat Generation. His credits also include The First 100 Years, The Making Of A Dream, The People’s President, In Search Of Kennedy and Visionaries, and his recent documentary on the artistic side of film, What Is Cinema?, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
Workman has also created montages for 20 Academy Awards ceremonies, for which he has been nominated ten times for Emmy Awards. His shorts include work for three Michael Jackson concerts, the film shown at Michael Jackson’s memorial, and the compilation The Spirit Of America in response to the events of September 11, 2001, which was distributed in 10,000 theaters by the National Association of Theater Owners.
Workman has also written and directed dramatic features and shorts, created video installations, cut film trailers, produced movie and TV title sequences, directed television commercials, written plays, and directed theater and opera.
He has served as President of the International Documentary Association, receiving its Distinguished Achievement Award, and was a Board Member of the Directors Guild of America, where he directs its documentary screening series, served on the Motion Picture Academy Documentary Executive Committee, and is on the Academy Grants Committee. A noted writer and lecturer on filmmaking, he graduated from Rutgers University, and studied theater and drama with Francis Fergusson, Harold Clurman, and Stella Adler. He was recently Distinguished Artist and Visiting Associate Professor at SUNY Purchase College in Purchase, NY.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of In Production. Read other great articles, and catch up on older issues, by clicking here.