Created in 2005, All these wonderful things has become one of the most-read and respected online resources for nonfiction film.
"Schnack has become something of an authority figure for the world of documentaries, covering various issues faced by nonfiction filmmakers." - LA Times, 10/05/07
"The real and honest take of what nonfiction filmmakers have to go through." - Filmmaker Magazine, 01/08/08
"AJ Schnack seems to be everywhere at once, and writes about his doc adventures on his excellent blog." - indieWIRE, 03/28/07
AJ Schnack is an award-winning filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles.
His most recent film, CONVENTION, was an ensemble documentary shot during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Working with Oscar nominated filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (A LION IN THE HOUSE, THE LAST TRUCK), Laura Poitras (MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, THE OATH), and Daniel Junge (THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVERNOR BOOTH GARDNER), the film is a behind-the-scenes look at Denver's efforts in hosting the historic event. CONVENTION was acquired by IFC Films/Sundance Selects and premiered in theatres and VOD in June 2010.
AJ Schnack began writing All these wonderful things in June of 2005, initially as a personal blog as well as a planned production resource for his nonfiction feature KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON. As the year continued, the blog began to focus on issues related to nonfiction filmmaking.
By 2007, All these wonderful things was perhaps the most read film blog focused on documentaries and nonfiction online.
Schnack is also founder and co-chair of the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking, the inaugural edition of which was held in March 2008 in New York City. The fourth annual Cinema Eye Honors are scheduled for January 2011.
As a filmmaker, AJ has completed three nonfiction features - CONVENTION, ABOUT A SON and GIGANTIC (A TALE OF TWO JOHNS). All three films were produced by Schnack's longtime partner, Shirley Moyers.
Schnack is in the midst of production on a feature documentary about Branson, Missouri, which he is co-directing with David Wilson. Wilson and Branson documentary producer Nathan Truesdell also were part of the team on CONVENTION.
Schnack's KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON, an intimate, poetic meditation on the life of the late musician and artist, was released theatrically in the US, Canada and France. It was released around the world on DVD. AJ was nominated for a 2007 Film Independent Spirit Award for his work on the film and also received the inaugural Cinematic Vision Award at the AFI Silverdocs film festival.
His first film was a movie about They Might Be Giants called GIGANTIC (A TALE OF TWO JOHNS). It came out in movie theaters and on DVD in 2003. It currently airs now and then on television.
Schnack has served on juries at the Independent Spirit Awards, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Los Angeles Film Festival, AFI Silverdocs, CPH:DOX, BritDoc, DokuFest Kosovo, Denver and Sarasota.
He has written and directed two narrative short films, including The Heir Apparent, which was commissioned by the 2005 Bumbershoot/1 Reel Film Festival in Seattle, and Might as Well Be Swing, which premiered at the Los Angeles Intl Short Film Festival in October 2000 and later went on to play numerous festivals and venues.
In addition to documentary and short narrative films, he has directed a bunch of music videos for kids with They Might Be Giants, several commercials/PSAs and a single Super-8 indie rock video. He also wrote and directed two stage plays back in his days at the University of Missouri. Before he was a director full-time, he executive produced with a lot of other directors on many music videos, commercials and shorts through his company Bonfire Films of America, which he founded in 1995 with producer and partner Moyers.
Before moving to Los Angeles, he lived in Edwardsville, Illinois and Columbia, Missouri. His daughter is an excellent photographer and bacon aficionado.