Joan Scheckel, producer, writer, director and creator of The Technique™, is known throughout Hollywood and the international film world as the crucial force behind the most exciting films and television being made today. The Technique™ is the most influential craft to be developed since Strasberg’s “The Method” and is changing how stories are told being told in Hollywood right now.
Utilizing The Technique™, Joan and has developed 81 completed features and television shows. 80 have been released. 71 came to her without financing. The works have been nominated over 1000 times and won over 450 times, including major nods at the Academy and Emmy Awards. Altogether the films have earned over 2 billion dollars. Having worked with so many of cinema and television’s most vital new voices, Joan's sphere of influence continues to expand.
Works include: Richard Press’ upcoming “Farnsworth House” (Executive Producer); Jill Soloway's Emmy Award Winning "Transparent" (Consulting Producer S1-S3) and “I Love Dick” (Producer); Mike Mills' Academy Award Winning "Beginners" (Executive Producer) and his most recent film “20th Century Women”; Niki Caro's "The Vintner's Luck" (Co-Writer); Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s Peabody Award Winning “UnREAL”; Niki Caro's Academy Award Nominated "Whale Rider", Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Academy Award winning "Little Miss Sunshine"; Rupert Sanders Academy Award Nominated "Snow White and the Huntsman"; Alison Maclean's Venice Little Golden Lion Winner" Jesus' Son” and New Zealand Film and TV Award Nominated “The Rehearsal”; Miranda July's Golden Berlin Bear Nominated "The Future"; Richard Press' Spirit Award Nominated "Bill Cunningham NY"; Sacha Gervasi's Spirit Award Winning "Anvil: The Story of Anvil"; Mark Ruffalo's Sundance Award Winning "Sympathy For Delicious"; Jill Soloway's Sundance Award Winning "Afternoon Delight"; Nick Jarecki's Golden Globe Nominated "Arbitrage"; Mark Romanek's "One Hour Photo" and many more.
With The Technique™, Joan has created a revolutionary new approach to writing, directing and acting craft which takes on Hollywood's outmoded story models and asks, "What happens when we take out all the fighting and all the fucking?" Joan questions our addictions to conflict-based narratives and instead reveals a new paradigm for storytelling that embraces action, feeling and meaning.
As a master of film and episodic craft, Joan believes passionately in the power of story. "I believe human beings crave authentic connection to themselves and others - and find it in stories that are daring, real, and true to the heart. From this root, I am compelled to bring about stories that inspire life."
Joan's visionary filmmaking workshops are unique in their exploration of all the art forms involved in filmmaking, from a deep study of character, story and script, to liberating and illuminating scene work with actors, to the investigation of visual personality of the film. The workshop provides practical but profound tools for finding the essence of each aspect of the film, and maximizing it for its strongest, most realized expression. Director Niki Caro said of Joan, "She brings insight and clarity to every project she works on. She has a deep understanding of the architecture of a story and is as rigorous with structure as she is with character. She is an invaluable partner. Working with her is thrilling."
A theatre actress since the age of three, Joan performed with some of the country's most visionary stage directors including Anne Bogart and Joanne Akalaitis. Joan has played over twenty leading roles at such theatres as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. Her performances have been hailed as "visceral and vivid" by the New York Times, "powerful...tantalizing" by the Boston Globe, and the Village Voice "admitted to being stunned, laid out and shattered" by her work.
As a theatre director, Scheckel staged Pirandello's: I'm Dreaming...But Am I? at the Evidence Room Theatre; Gillian Plowman's: Me and My Friend at The Los Angeles Theatre Center; and Strindberg's: Miss Julie on a sound stage at Warner Hollywood. It was in this arena that Scheckel refined her ideas about a new approach to directing, and the workshop was born.
Joan immediately gained support from the Sundance Institute and Film Independent (FIND). Within a few short years Joan and her technique were internationally recognized, with invitations to give master classes at FIND, the Writer's Guild Screenwriting Conference, the Vancouver International Film Festival, Australia's SPAA/Writer's Guild Conference, and New Zealand's SPADA conference. Her labs in Vancouver, Berlin, Amsterdam, Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles, and New York City have attracted thousands of participants.
Currently Joan is writing her first book on The Technique™. In 2015 she premiered her first solo show of Photographs, "Feel This", curated by Chivas Clem. Her photography, developed through the rigorous feeling work in the lab, are on view throughout this site. The deep intimacy and fearless revelation of authentic feeling is palpable in these sensual and provocative images. It is with great gratitude to all of her collaborators that these photos appear on this website. (For details see web-credits.)
With her reputation as a master of film craft firmly established, Scheckel believes passionately in the power of film: "A great actor, a great director must find the courage and ability to reveal the consciousness of the story as well as the complex reality of a character. To do that, we must first connect to feeling, emotional depth, and to the music and rhythm of story. I workshop films from this point of view. A vital cinema illuminates life."