Ross McElwee

Director, TV cameraman, Photographer's assistant
This thoughtful, quirky documentarian became famous through a film which took five years to make, and went through many personality changes before emerging in 1986 as "Sherman's March". McElwee was born and raised in ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1946 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Filmography

Director (11)

Resident Exile 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Photographic Memory 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

In Paraguay 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

Bright Leaves 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Six O'Clock News 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Director

Six O'Clock News 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

Time Indefinite 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Something To Do With the Wall 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Sherman's March 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Backyard 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

Space Coast 1978 (Movie)

(Director)
Camera, Film, & Tape (7)

Photographic Memory 2012 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

In Paraguay 2007 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Bright Leaves 2004 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

A Kalahari Family Part 5: Death by Myth 2001 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Six O'Clock News 1995 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Time Indefinite 1993 (Movie)

(Cinematographer)

Something To Do With the Wall 1991 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)
Actor (7)

Photographic Memory 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

In Paraguay 2007 (Movie)

(Actor)

Bright Leaves 2004 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Betting on the Market 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Six O'Clock News 1995 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Time Indefinite 1993 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Sherman's March 1986 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)
Producer (7)

Photographic Memory 2012 (Movie)

(Producer)

In Paraguay 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

Bright Leaves 2004 (Movie)

(Producer)

Time Indefinite 1993 (Movie)

(Producer)

Something To Do With the Wall 1991 (Movie)

(Producer)

Sherman's March 1986 (Movie)

(Producer)

Space Coast 1978 (Movie)

(Producer)
Editor (5)

Bright Leaves 2004 (Movie)

(Editor)

Six O'Clock News 1995 (Movie)

(Editor)

Time Indefinite 1993 (Movie)

(Editor)

Something To Do With the Wall 1991 (Movie)

(Editor)

Sherman's March 1986 (Movie)

(Editor)
Writer (5)

Photographic Memory 2012 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

In Paraguay 2007 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bright Leaves 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Something To Do With the Wall 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sherman's March 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Sound (3)

Time Indefinite 1993 (Movie)

(Sound Recordist)

Something To Do With the Wall 1991 (Movie)

(Sound)

Sherman's March 1986 (Movie)

sound recording (Sound)
Executive (1)

Playing the Part 1995 (Movie)

narration and editing supervisor (Supervisor)
Other (2)

Space Coast 1978 (Movie)

production crew (Production)

Just For the Ride (TV Show)

Special Thanks

Biography

This thoughtful, quirky documentarian became famous through a film which took five years to make, and went through many personality changes before emerging in 1986 as "Sherman's March". McElwee was born and raised in the deep South, then spent several years in France (as a wedding photographer's assistant), Iran and India. Returning to North Carolina, he worked as a TV cameraman for local stations. McElwee first began making his own films while at MIT in the mid-1970s; early efforts included shorts such as "68 Albany Street" (1976), about the evolution of a local lab, "Charleen" (1978), the bittersweet tale of a local schoolteacher, the longer "Space Coast" (1979), the bizarre recounting of three Cape Canaveral families, "Resident Exile" (1981), about an Iranian prisoner, and the autobiographical "Backyard" 1982).

McElwee began filming "Sherman's March" in 1981 as a straightforward travelogue of the General's route through the South, but the project became more personal when the director was dumped by his girlfriend and began interviewing old (and potential) girlfriends along the way, ruminating on the past and present complexes of Southern mentality. The film--not released until 1986--was a surprise hit, rocketing McElwee to fame as a cinema verite filmmaker. He followed up with "Something to Do with the Wall" (1991), a documentary about the Berlin Wall, and another autobiographical film, "Time Indefinite" (1993).

Relationships

Marilyn Levine

Wife

Mariah McElwee

Daughter
born c. 1995

Adrian McElwee

Son
born 1989

EDUCATION

Brown University

Providence , Rhode Island 1971

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge , Massachusetts 1975
attended the graduate film program

Milestones

2004

Wrote and directed the documentry "Bright Leaves"; received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Documentary

1996

Helmed "Six O'Clock News" a documentary about a man who carries a film camera around most of the time and films the events of his life

1993

Directed and starred in "Time Indefinite" a continuation of his film "Sherman's March"

1991

Helmed the documentry "Something to Do with the Wall" about the Berlin Wall

1982

Became teacher-in-residence at Harvard

1981

Began filming "Sherman's March" a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War (released 1986)

1979

Made first feature, "Space Coast"

1974

Made first film, short "20,000,000 Missing Persons"

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