Dale Schierholt is a documentary filmmaker known for his film portraits of compelling personalities, many of them renowned visual artists. Working one on one without a crew, Schierholt builds a rapport with his subjects, engaging in the intimate and candid discussions that have become a hallmark of his film work.
His informal style gives us more than the customary facts, data and archival material. He strives for a unique level of intimacy in his films which gives viewers the atmosphere of a personal visit, offering insight into his subject’s inspirations and motivations.
Over the course of twenty plus films, Schierholt’s subjects have included such renowned artists as Louise Nevelson, Robert Indiana, Tony DeLap and Ai Weiwei. A graduate of Miami University with a BA in Fine Arts, Schierholt’s film work has been commissioned by institutions across the US. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer at Universities and Arts Institutions. He has worked with organizations such as The National Academy of Design in Manhattan, Princeton University, The Art Students League of New York and The Asia Society in Hong Kong. His films have screened at festivals and arts venues around the world and on PBS affiliates from New York to California.
“I’m looking for a level of honesty and self-exploration from my subjects. I don’t interview, I have conversations. My goal is to to be enlightened by these dialogues and if I’m learning something as we talk, I know the viewer will as well. I want the people watching to feel as though they are the ones sitting across from these fascinating people - having a coffee, sharing a laugh, discovering.
I don’t present a point of view of my own, there’s enough propaganda out there. My role is to create an environment that allows my subjects to communicate directly with the viewer, to present his or her ideas and then to let the audience decide how they feel about it. I work alone for several reasons, first and foremost is the creation of that intimacy. Additionally, my personal creative history has followed several paths, from designer to director, photographer to writer, and creating these films allows me to draw from it all.
Filmmaking is often described as the most collaborative art form and that certainly applies to my work because it is the singularly important collaboration between myself and my subjects that is the secret to the success of all my films”.