INVISIBLE CORPS, 57min., USA
Directed by Chris Schueler
Who protects the health of the citizens of the United States? This program explains the evolution of the Public Health Service and the PHS Commissioned Corps. Although invisible, they touch millions of lives every day: from fluoridated water to an America free of malaria. Narrated by Ali MacGraw, the program examines the importance of public health and how the USPHS Commissioned Corps role in health care, research and disaster relief keeps our country safe and healthy.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
While I was working on a film during the pandemic, Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus, I met Rear Admiral Pam Schweitzer who was part of the Commissioned Corps. She was telling me about the corps and I had no idea they were a uniformed service like the Army, Navy, Airforce, etc. And then she gifted me the book "Plagues and Politics" which had the Corps history....incredible. We started research and to see how much they have done to keep our nation safe and healthy, was unreal...and no one knows. Thus the title.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
We always start with research and "think tanks" with key folks that may be associated with the film and it's content. That pre production was over a year and a half and then the production and post was another year...so about two and a half years.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The tight production schedule due to funding required a very very dense shoot schedule and organizing that with governmental agencies was quite a challenge.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Honestly, it was so gratifying to see that the audience really got what we were trying to convey. And that they learned about this amazing group of "invisible" heros.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I've been producing/directing documentaries for over 25 years. When I was working in news, it was clear that storytelling can have an impact and that documentaries can be used to create change. That's when I started my company and went whole hog into social change film production.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Usually don't watch films more than once just because there are so many to see. The amount of really good doc films is staggering.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I really like the audience feedback portion....fantastic...thanks for doing that. And it's very confirming and useful.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
10. What is your favorite meal?
Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas....I live in New Mexico
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm really enjoying teaching documentary film making master classes at colleges and universities around the country.