Eddie Schmidt is an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker as well as a television producer of Emmy-nominated nonfiction series & specials.
Schmidt has produced five feature documentaries that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival: IFC’s acclaimed and irreverent THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED (which he co-wrote), HBO’s powerful TWIST OF FAITH (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award), the groundbreaking teenage tapestry CHAIN CAMERA, the all-star music documentary TROUBADOURS (later nominated for an Emmy), and now, 2013’s highly anticipated VALENTINE ROAD. Schmidt also executive produced BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING, which premiered at South by Southwest and will broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens.
For television, Schmidt has directed, produced, and written documentary and comedy specials and series for HBO, A&E, NBC/Universal, Lionsgate, PBS, E!, Current, GSN, and Adult Swim. Recent credits include directing/producing NBC’s Emmy-nominated celebrity genealogy series WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? and serving as the supervising producer of STORAGE WARS: NEW YORK, a new entry in the hit A&E franchise.
As a pundit, Schmidt has been seen on G4, MSNBC, IFC, and The Documentary Channel, featured in the Starz/Encore specials IN THE GUTTER and SEX AND THE CINEMA, and heard on NPR’s THIS AMERICAN LIFE. He appears throughout Current’s mini-series 50 DOCUMENTARIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE, and was one of the six experts consulted on the series. Schmidt is also a frequent speaker and host at industry events for the American Film Market, Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and Film Independent, and at universities such as UCLA and USC.
For thee years, 2009 through 2011 – the maximum term – Schmidt served as President of the Board of IDA, a nonprofit community and resource for documentary filmmakers (www.documentary.org). During the latter half of 2008, Schmidt was also the organization’s interim Executive Director. His work for the org included leading many groundbreaking advocacy efforts for free speech, fair use, and net neutrality.
Once upon a time, Schmidt was an actor/writer responsible for infamous media pranks as a member of the sketch group, OOZE. OOZE’s collective output resulted in viral videos with views over 500,000 as well as a development deal with Fox TV Studios and a book (which Schmidt co-authored), entitled THE FINGER: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FLIPPING OFF. The spirit of OOZE has been infused into much of Schmidt’s work since, most visibly in THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED.
Last year, Schmidt, along with Steve James, Barbara Kopple, and many other notable documentary filmmakers, was invited to direct a short film for the distinguished “Focus Forward” initiative with Cinelan, GE, and Morgan Spurlock. Schmidt’s film, GOOD BREAD, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, won acclaim from the LA Times, and has racked up 200,000+ views online.
Follow him on Twitter @Eddie_Schmidt.