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Leadership Profile: Assistant Professor Eric Stewart

Eric Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Arts at Landmark College and also a creator of his own documentary films. He makes these films on his own, but he sometimes works as a member of a crew for other projects.

When Stewart was 18 years old, he went to a school in Chicago to study painting and drawing. In a recent interview, Stewart mentioned, “it was really, really kind of getting to know Tom and getting to know the work of Deborah and Bill that I got really interested in film, and really like documentary and nonfiction filmmaking.”

Deborah Stratman, Bill Brown and Thomas Comberford were filmmakers who lived in Chicago that inspired Eric to create his own documentary and nonfiction films. Tom was one of Eric’s teachers who introduced him to film and who also introduced him to Deborah Stratman and Bill Brown.

Stewart has created films for 20 years, but it was only in the last seven that he has felt proud of himself. When it comes to filmmaking challenges, Eric says that his equipment is pretty expensive, and he’s slow at making his documentaries. What makes his documentaries expensive is that Eric uses 16-millimeter film. According to Wikipedia, “16 mm refers to the width of the film (about 2⁄3 inch); other common film gauges include 8 mm and 35 mm. It is generally used for non-theatrical (e.g., industrial, educational, televisual) filmmaking, or for low-budget motion pictures.”

Stewart’s skills in filmmaking include using a camera, audio recorders, and audio technology. He works on video editing and post-production of other artist’s projects, but that’s rare. Someday, Eric does want to lead a crew that creates a “straightforward fiction film”.

In a recent interview, Catherine, a Landmark student who observed some of Stewart’s qualities as a teacher, mentioned that “he is very nice and very calm in teaching the content. He is very visual and likes to connect with students in his classes and around campus. He likes to meet new students and teaches the basics of photography and other mediums too.” Catherine continued, “He is very nice to everyone in the classroom and teaches with confidence in and outside of the classroom.”

In the book, Introduction to Leadership Concepts and Practice, Peter G. Northouse talks about different types of leadership, leadership strengths, leadership traits, and much more. A section of the book talks about “Theory Y” leaders. A Theory Y leader loves to work, seeks and respects responsibility, and they are self-motivated. Stewart is a Theory Y leader because it seems like he loves his job and teaching students everything there is to know about photos and film. He also feels confident in what he teaches and produces. Stewart also gives off charismatic charm when he teaches his classes. This charm helps him to make connections with students and also inspires them to go out and film movies or take pictures.

I got the opportunity to ask Stewart if he had any advice for young film artists who want to become film directors. He mentioned, “if filmmaking is something that you want to do, it’s going to be hard for a long time—like some people, it really doesn’t start paying off until they’re in their later parts of their life—this is just true of anyone who wants to work in a creative field.”

Reflecting back on this section of the interview makes me think about how becoming a film director is hard and how much commitment it takes to make an outstanding film. I want to become a sci-fi/horror writer and director, so I need to keep pushing myself to get up there. Getting as much advice as I can will help me to get to my dream job.

Before the interview ended, I asked Eric about the most memorable moments of his filmmaking career. He mentioned his most memorable moment was recording a greenhouse. He was at a place called Kew Gardens in London and he was filming plants. One takeaway I have from this interview is that Eric Stewart loves to create documentaries and loves to teach at Landmark College.

The full interview will be on Voices TV YouTube Channel.

Sources:

Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, October 19). 16 mm film. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16_mm_film#:~:text=16%20mm%20refers%20to%20the,for%20low%2Dbudget%20motion%20pictures.

 

Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. SAGE. November 8, 2023, https://redshelf.com/app/ecom/search?terms=Introduction%20to%20Leadership%3A%20Concepts%20and%20Practice

 

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About the Contributor
Matthew Snell
Matthew Snell, Programming Manager for WLMC Radio
Matthew Snell is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. Once he graduates from Landmark College, he wants to pursue a film degree. Working for WLMC (Spring 2021-now) has made him passionate about playing music that he loves on air. Two of his favorite artists inspired him to create and play his own style of DJ music. He also wants to create his own Sci-Fi/Horror stories and direct them into movies. At some point in the future, he wants to show the world a movie series that he has created since he was in middle school.

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