The cause was AIDS, said David Haugland, his companion and business partner.
Mr. Schmiechen's most recent film, made with Mr. Haugland, was "Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker." The film, about the psychologist who disproved the theory that homosexuality is a mental disorder, was nominated for an Oscar as best documentary feature.
He produced "The Times of Harvey Milk," a portrait of the San Francisco Supervisor who was shot and killed in 1978 by a disgruntled predecessor. The film, which was directed by Robert Epstein, also won two Emmys and a Peabody Award and was shown as part of the New York Film Festival in 1987.
Richard Kurt Schmiechen was born in St. Louis on July 10, 1947, and was brought up in Pekin, Ill. He was a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa and attended film school at Columbia College in Chicago. Before producing and directing his own documentaries, he was a film editor for the director James Ivory on "Roseland" and he worked with the documentarians David and Albert Maysles.
Among Mr. Schmiechen's other film and television credits are "Nick Mazzuco: Biography of an Atomic Vet," about a soldier who witnessed 23 atomic-bomb tests during the 1950's; "The Portrait," based on Tina Howe's play "Painting Churches"; "Arboreal Aviators," a documentary on the tropical rain forest, and "The Jungle Flying Machine."
Richard Schmiechen was a film producer who won an Academy Award in 1984 for the documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk," which was directed by Robert Epstein, and won also two Emmys. Schmiechen's most recent film, made with David Haugland, his companion and business partner, was "Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker." The film, about the psychologist who disproved the theory that homosexuality is a mental disorder, was nominated for an Oscar as best documentary feature.
The Art of Nonfiction Movie Making by Jeffrey Friedman, Rob Epstein and Sharon Wood
Hardcover: 239 pages
Publisher: Praeger (August 17, 2012)
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The past few years have featured such blockbusters as Super-Size Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, March of the PenguinS≪/i>, and An Inconvenient Truth. And as news articles proclaim a new era in the history of documentary films, more and more new directors are making their first film a nonfiction one. But in addition to posing all of the usual challenges inherent to more standard filmmaking, documentaries also present unique problems that need to be understood from the outset. Where does the idea come from? How do you raise the money? How much money do you need? What visual style is best suited to the story? What are the legal issues involved? And how can a film reach that all-important milestone and find a willing distributor? Epstein, Friedman, and Wood tackle all of these important questions with examples and anecdotes from their own careers. The result is an informative and entertaining guide for those just starting out, and an enlightening read for anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at this newly reinvigorated field of film.
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