Joan Scheckel is a producer, director, writer, photographer, teacher and the creator of The Technique™, a revolutionary new approach to writing, directing and acting craft. Her Filmmaking Labs are known throughout Hollywood and the international film world as the crucial force behind the most exciting films and television being made today. The Technique™ has quickly become the most influential craft to be developed since Strasberg's "The Method."
Joan has contributed to the development of 81 completed features and television shows. 80 have been released. 71 came to her without financing. The works have been nominated over 800 times and won over 406 times, including major nods at the Academy and Emmy Awards. Altogether they have earned over 1.8 billion dollars. Having worked with so many of cinema and televisions most vital new voices, Joan's sphere of influence continues to expand.
Credits include: Consulting Producer on the Emmy Award Winning TRANSPARENT, Producer on I LOVE DICK, Executive Producer on the Academy Award Winning BEGINNERS, co -writer on THE VINTNERS LUCK (directed by Niki Caro). She is the development force behind such hits as Academy Award winning LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, Academy Award Nominated SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s Peabody Award Winning UNREAL, Spirit Award Nominated NEVER LET ME GO, Spirit Award Nominated BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, Spirit Award Winning ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL, Venice Little Golden Lion Winner JESUSʼ SON, Sundance Award Winning SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS, Golden Berlin Bear Nominated THE FUTURE, Golden Globe Nominated ARBITRAGE, ONE HOUR PHOTO, HITCHCOCK and Academy Award nominated WHALE RIDER among many others.
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."