CHRIS HEGEDUS and D.A. PENNEBAKER
CHRIS HEGEDUS- Director/ Camera/ Editor
Chris Hegedus has been making films as a director, cinematographer, and editor for over 30 years, recording some of the best-known personalities of our times. She received the 2001 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for Startup.com. With her husband and partner D A Pennebaker, she directed The War Room, a behind-the-scenes look at Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign that received an Academy Award® nomination and won the National Board of Review’s D.W. Griffith Award for Best Documentary. Hegedus has received the Golden Eagle CINE award and lifetime achievement awards from several organizations, including the International Documentary Association. In 2006, she theatrically released, Al Franken: God Spoke.
Hegedus first collaborated with Pennebaker as editor of Town Bloody Hall, about the infamous 1971 debate on feminism moderated by Norman Mailer. Subsequent collaborations include the 1977 television series The Energy War; DeLorean, following auto entrepreneur John DeLorean; Rockaby, written by Samuel Beckett for their project starring Billie Whitelaw; and the acclaimed 1998 feature Moon Over Broadway, which chronicled Carol Burnett’s tumultuous return to Broadway theater.
Hegedus and Pennebaker have devoted much of their creative energies to short and feature-length films about music. Before MTV, they filmed Randy Newman’s song “Baltimore,” helping establish the music video format. Their music documentary features include Depeche Mode 101; Down From the Mountain, a companion concert film to the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and the soul musical tribute Only The Strong Survive. Other music-related films include Branford Marsalis: The Music Tells You; Open Hand, chronicling Suzanne Vega’s concert tour; the 1994 series Woodstock Diary; and Searching for Jimi Hendrix. Their HBO special, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, won a 2004 Primetime Emmy™ Award for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Show. Other recent credits include Assume the Position with Robert Wuhl for HBO; and a segment for the highly regarded HBO special Addiction.
Recently, Hegedus and Pennebaker have made a number of political films for Sundance Channel. 2008's The Return of the War Room, which met up with the original cast of The War Room to discuss the changes in America’s political landscape over the interceding 15 years. Vote for Change chronicled the concert tour of Bruce Springsteen and others organized by MoveOn.org. Also for Sundance, Hegedus directed The First Amendment Project: Fox vs. Franken.
D.A. PENNEBAKER- Director/Editor/Camera/Sound
D A (Donn Alan) Pennebaker is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of cinéma vérité filmmaking. In the early sixties, Pennebaker and his colleague Richard Leacock developed one of the first fully portable 16mm synchronized camera and sound recording systems, which revolutionized filmmaking and introduced the immediate style of shooting so popular today. Pennebaker’s many professional honors include the IFP’s Gotham Award.
Pennebaker first film was the 1953 short Daybreak Express. In 1959, he joined Drew Associates, which produced for Time-Life the celebrated “Living Camera” series in the early 1960s. The subjects ranged from Jane Fonda’s Broadway debut, Jane, to Kennedy’s1960 Wisconsin Democratic primary, Primary, to the desegregation of the University of Alabama, Crisis.
In 1967, Pennebaker released the seminal classic Don’t Look Back, which followed Bob Dylan’s last acoustic concert tour in England. He continued to capture the musical moment in subsequent films, including the influential Monterey Pop, Keep On Rockin’ and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. 1970 brought Company – The Original Cast Album, about the recording of the Stephen Sondheim musical’s cast album.
In 1976, Pennebaker began his collaboration with his partner and future wife, Chris Hegedus, co-directing such acclaimed films as 1998’s Moon Over Broadway and 1993’s The War Room, which received an Academy Award® nomination and won the National Board of Review’s D.W. Griffith Award for Best Documentary. The team’s early films include the three-part special The Energy War; Town Bloody Hall, and DeLorean. Their many films about the performing arts and popular music include Rockaby; Elliott Carter at Buffalo; Depeche Mode 101; Searching For Jimi Hendrix; Down From The Mountain; Only The Strong Survive; and the HBO special Elaine Stritch at Liberty, winner of the 2004 Emmy Award™ for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Show. Other recent credits include Vote for Change, for Sundance Channel; Assume the Position with Robert Wuhl for HBO; and The Return of the War Room for Sundance Channel. and a segment for the highly regarded HBO special Addiction.
Pennebaker was executive producer for Startup.com and Al Franken: God Spoke, both directed by Hegedus.