Charles Ferguson (filmmaker)

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Charles H. Ferguson
Charles Ferguson (Representational Pictures, Inc.).jpg
Ferguson in New York, on April 19, 2012
Born Charles Henry Ferguson
(1955-03-24) March 24, 1955 (age 59)
San Francisco, California, United States
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Occupation Film director, film producer, entrepreneur, writer

Charles Henry Ferguson (born March 24, 1955)[1] is the founder and president of Representational Pictures, Inc., and director and producer of No End In Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq (2007) and Inside Job (2010),[2] which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.[3] Ferguson is also a software entrepreneur, writer and authority in technology policy.

Biography[edit]

Education and early career[edit]

A native of San Francisco, Ferguson was originally educated as a political scientist. A graduate of Lowell High School in 1972,[4] he earned a BA in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1978,[5] and obtained a Ph.D. in political science from M.I.T. in 1989. Ferguson then conducted postdoctoral research at MIT while also consulting to the White House, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Defense, and several U.S. and European high technology firms. From 1992–1994 Ferguson was an independent consultant, providing strategic consulting to the top managements of U.S. high technology firms including Apple Inc., Xerox, Motorola, and Texas Instruments.

In 1994, Ferguson founded Vermeer Technologies, one of the earliest Internet software companies, with Randy Forgaard. Vermeer created the first visual website development tool, FrontPage. In early 1996, Ferguson sold Vermeer for $133 million to Microsoft,[6] which integrated FrontPage into Microsoft Office.

After selling Vermeer, Ferguson returned to research and writing. He was a visiting scholar and lecturer for several years at MIT and Berkeley, and for three years was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. Ferguson is the author of four books and many articles dealing with various aspects of information technology and its relationships to economic, political, and social issues. Ferguson is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a director of the French-American Foundation, and supports several nonprofit organizations.

Film career[edit]

For over 20 years, Ferguson had been intensely interested in film, and regularly attended film festivals such as the Telluride Film Festival for over a decade. In mid-2005, he formed Representational Pictures and began production of No End In Sight, which was one of the first feature length documentaries on post-war Iraq.

No End In Sight won a special jury prize for documentaries at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 in the documentary feature film category.

Inside Job, a feature length documentary about the financial crisis of 2007-2010, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2010[7] and the New York Film Festival and was released by Sony Pictures Classics in October 2010.[8] It received the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Ferguson credits narrator Matt Damon for contributing to the film, specifically the structure of the ending, in addition to his narration duties.[9]

On May 1, 2011, The New York Times reported that Ferguson had agreed to make a film about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for HBO Films.[10] According to the IMDB the film is scheduled for release in 2013.[11]

On September 30, 2013, Charles Ferguson wrote on the Huffington Post[12] that he would be cancelling his CNN documentary on Hillary Clinton due, not just to pressure from the Clintons and their allies, but also from the Republican Party, to stop pursuing the project. In the article Ferguson lamented that "nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans — and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration."

Books[edit]

Films[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ California Births, 1905 - 1995, Charles Henry Ferguson
  2. ^ "Inside Job (2010)". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ The Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ Terence Abad (Winter 2008). "Caught in the Headlines" (PDF). Lowell Alumni Association. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  5. ^ "Haas NewsWire, March 15, 1999". Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. 1999-03-15. 
  6. ^ How filmmaking is like launching a start-up | Tech News on ZDNet
  7. ^ Hill, Logan (2010-05-26). "Is Matt Damon's Narration of a Cannes Doc a Sign that Hollywood is Abandoning Obama?". New York magazine Entertainment blog. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  8. ^ "At Cannes, the Economy Is On-Screen" by Manohla Dargis, The New York Times, May 16, 2010 (May 17, 2010 on p. C1 of NY ed.). Retrieved 2010-05-17.
  9. ^ "Charles Ferguson Makes Fat Cats Squirm, Globe & Mail". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). August 23, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ferguson to Direct Film About WikiLeaks Founder, New York Times". The New York Times. May 1, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Untitled Wikileaks/HBO Project (TV 2013)". IMDB. May 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ Ferguson, Charles (September 30, 2013). "Why I Am Cancelling My Documentary on Hillary Clinton". Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 

External links[edit]