Pete Chatmon, Director/Podcaster/Author: Sometimes when you’re trying to make that transition, you’re on two surfboards but you can’t ride them both at the same time, it’s impossible.
Film Courage: How many years was it between showing at Sundance and getting your first television directing job?
Pete: I went to Sundance in January of 2001. I booked my first episode of television in April of 2017.
Film Courage: Wow.
Pete: That would be 16 and a quarter.
Film Courage: You were active in film and television? You worked at NYU for a while?
Pete: Yeah, that whole time. To anyone watching and listening, I never stopped being a filmmaker. I think that’s part of what I try and touch on in the book, you have to define yourself, you have to claim what you are and who you are. While I worked the desk job at NYU, I was assistant production coordinator, I was signing forms for the students to go get film and rent equipment or here’s a voucher to go to Kodak or whatever. I was the signature toward other younger folks’ dreams. I answered a million questions at the window because they would come to our window and get this information and I would give unsolicited advice or it became sought after. People would kind of know that I had a real world skill, that I could kind of impart and offer to them. I had my production company during this time. I had a podcast. I was making things. I won a competition at Tribeca for a heist screenplay that I co-wrote in 2008. I wrote a bunch of screenplays I thought I might sell that I never did and so all of that time I was still creating, trying to…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
BUY THE BOOK – TRANSITIONS: A Director’s Journey and Motivational Handbook by Pete Chatmon
With a deft ability to balance both half-hour single camera comedies and one-hour dramas, Pete Chatmon has directed over 50 episodes of television including HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, Insecure, Silicon Valley, and Love Life, Netflix’s You, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Black-ish, Starz’ Blindspotting, FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the Apple TV+ series Mythic Quest. He is in development on The Education of Matt Barnes with Showtime, for which he will direct the pilot and serve as executive producer and is currently co-executive producer and producing director on Reasonable Doubt, the first project to be produced via Hulu’s Onyx Collective. His debut feature as writer/director, Premium, starred Dorian Missick, Zoe Saldana, and Hill Harper, and premiered on Showtime after a limited theatrical run. Chatmon also wrote, produced, and directed 761st, a documentary on the first Black tank battalion in WWII, narrated by Andre Braugher. Through TheDirector, his Digital Studio, he has directed, shot, and edited content for advertising agencies and Fortune 500 brands. Chatmon’s career began in 2001 with the Sundance selection of his NYU thesis film, 3D, starring Kerry Washington. His most recent short film, BlackCard, premiered on HBO, and his narrative podcast, Wednesday Morning, engaged voters around the 2020 election. His podcast, Let’s Shoot! with Pete Chatmon is available on YouTube, iTunes, and all podcast platforms. In January 2022 his book, Transitions: A Director’s Journey + Motivational Handbook was released by Michael Wiese Productions.
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