CSULB FEA Department Office: UTC 104 Phone: 562-985-5404 Fax: 562-985-5405
Helen Hood Scheer
MFA, Documentary Film and Video
BA, Highest Honors, American Studies
Helen Hood Scheer is a documentary filmmaker, freelance producer, and assistant professor. Documentaries that she has directed/produced/shot/edited have screened at over 100 festivals and museums including Hot Docs, True/False, Full Frame, and the National Gallery of Art. She has also produced documentaries for other directors, which have been broadcast on HBO, PBS, A&E, and National Geographic Television. Past credits include contemporary and historical films on a wide range of topics, from science and sports to arts and politics. Prior to teaching at CSULB, Helen was an adjunct instructor at Diablo Valley College and Chapman University.
Films Helen directs herself tend to be cinema vérité portraits about emotionally complex outsiders who subvert expectations and embody intriguing ambiguities or contradictions. She made her directorial debut with JUMP!—an award-winning documentary feature film about competitive jump rope following kids pursue their dream of becoming world rope skipping champions; it premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, was acquired by Showtime, broadcast nearly 250 times, and optioned for fictionalization. She also produced, shot, and co-wrote this project, produced an educational outreach campaign, and self-distributes DVDs. Scholastic Media created a 3-minute version for distribution to under-performing schools nationwide. Helen also made several acclaimed documentary shorts, including The Apothecary, which is about a druggist who operates the only pharmacy within a 4,000 square mile radius in the American Southwest while navigating a profound divide between his personal and professional life; it premiered at DOC NYC, won both Special Jury and Special Audience Recognition at Aspen ShortsFest, and the Student Academy Award. Both JUMP! and The Apothecary were selected by the U.S. Department of State as part of the American Film Showcase, a film diplomacy program that travels to American embassies worldwide.
Recently, Helen served as Archival Producer for In Country (Full Frame Film Festival's Garrett Scott Award) and as a Consulting Producer on Landfill Harmonic (winner of SXSW's 24 Beats Per Second Award, broadcast on HBO Latino). Currently, she is a Consulting Producer on three in-progress documentary features.
Helen is also now in the midst of producing Body Parts (directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan), a documentary feature about sex, desire, and gender in mainstream film and television—with a feminist perspective. The film explores what happens on screen, the behind the scenes processes, and the relationship between these and the real world. Body Parts has received funding from Sundance, California Humanities, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Fork Films, The Harnisch Foundation, UCLA, and CSULB.
In addition to spearheading the Department of Film and Electronic Arts' creative nonfiction track, Helen is also the internship advisor for FEA students.