Award-winning alumnus filmmaker tackles pandemic
It was natural for Chris Schueler ’78, to tackle the pandemic for his next project.
The alumnus has won 20 Emmy awards as a documentary filmmaker, concentrating on societal issues while emphasizing solutions and empowerment. “Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus” highlights the success of COVID-19 vaccines while delving into how media falsehoods and anti-science narratives have exacerbated the dire impact of the pandemic.
“This documentary is honest scientific information about all vaccines and how crucial they are to community health,” Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer, former United States assistant surgeon general and chief pharmacist, said in promotional material for the film.
Schweitzer will join Schueler for an on-campus screening of the hour-long documentary and question-and-answer session, set for 7 p.m., Oct. 7 at University of the Pacific’s Long Theatre. That will be the start to a busy homecoming weekend for Schueler.
“Media Mash” will engage students
Schueler and Dean Butler ’79, an award-winning filmmaker, actor and 2020 Pacific Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, will take part in several projects with Media X students. They are calling the weekend “Media Mash.”
There is a Friday workshop for senior students on how to finance their films.
On Saturday morning, it’s a high energy, up-tempo master class. In the afternoon, students will disperse on the Stockton Campus to shoot promotional spots for the university.
On Sunday, their work will be edited into a longer promotional video for the university.
“We have done this a couple of times and it has turned out great,” said Media X Professor Gary Armagnac. “With Chris, it’s a rare opportunity for students to work with someone who literally has a room full of Emmys.
“Chris and Dean are very generous with their time, and it is much appreciated. They leave a real impact on the students whenever they visit campus.”
Film that can “change behavior”
A 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Schueler reflected on making the pandemic-related film during the Pacific Alumni Association’s Leading Voices speaker series.
“We did a lot of research before we even took the cameras out of the box,” he said. “Our goal was to change behavior in a positive way that is going to help people make their lives better and safer.
“There is so much disinformation out there about the effectiveness of vaccines, the need for masks, whether people are getting chips implanted and more,” Schueler said.
Schueler does not set out to tell “all sides of the story” in his documentary. Instead, the spotlight is on the importance of relying on science and the need to have skepticism about COVID-19 mistruths.
Schueler’s previous work has focused on educational and social issues including the opioid crisis, global warming, vaping, homelessness and other topics.
“I hope people can make it out for the screening on October 7,” Schueler said. “Misinformation about vaccines is so common. People are dying who do not need to die.”">