There's nothing conventional about the Department of Theatre, Film & Dance's David Scheerer. Let's start with his education. For most aspiring filmmakers, a two year stint at graduate school in Los Angeles is de rigueur, but not if you're looking to avoid the crowded, urban lifestyle and corporate filmmaking style of Southern California. For someone who connects more with nature than with traffic and smog, heading to Utah to study film was a good choice.
"Sundance was 20 miles up the canyon and Sterling Van Wagenen, who founded the festival, was also founding the MFA in screen writing at Brigham Young University at the time. This person who was strategically critical in building the independent cinema movement 20-plus years ago was my mentor. I had so many more golden opportunities in Utah than in L.A," says David. "It launched my career as a director and producer of independent films that never would have happened if I had gone the traditional route."
Life outside L.A. opened up opportunities for David to pursue his work and his education, and inspire the schooling of others. At Montana State University David worked to establish a Master's of Fine Arts in Science and Natural Filmmaking—not only the first program of its kind, but David was right there developing the curriculum and working with the Discovery Channel and Sony to make it a world-class program.
David also takes his unique approach to the business side of filmmaking. On The Music Inside he's worked with other filmmakers to create a cooperative form of financing that aims to benefit everybody working on the film. Soon, David will be heading into the studio and on location to finish shooting the film and he's extending the opportunity to his students to be a part of this revolution in film financing.