Steven Fischer

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Steven Thomas Fischer (born June 10, 1972) is an American film director and producer. Fischer is an Emmy Award nominated filmmaker who works primarily on documentaries. Among his many accolades, Fischer's work has been honored by the Directors Guild of America, The New York Festivals, the CINE Golden Eagle Awards, and Marquis Who's Who in Entertainment. He was accepted into the Directors Guild of America at age 24 with the production of his first nationally distributed promotional documentary, This is CLEARCorps, for and about AmeriCorps. Fischer's creative films have touched many themes and genres, from the animated Wally the Green Monster cartoons that appeared on Score Card, a sports magazine show produced by noted New York television producer Mort Kasman (Sports Legends with Tom Seaver, Lorne Greene's World of Amazing Animals) to Silence of Falling Leaves, Fischer's foreign language tribute to Polish POWs murdered in World War II during the Katyn Forest Massacre.

Career[edit]

Fischer began his career at age 17 as a cartoonist, writing and illustrating freelance. Among publishers to publish his work were HarperCollins and 9–1–1 Magazine. In 1991, at the age of 19, Fischer moved to London, England and attended classes at the London Cartoon Centre while developing proposals for animated films and television programs.[1] Most notable were his Steve & Bluey cartoons which later aired in America through TCI Communications. The cartoons revived a vaudevillian style of family entertainment influenced by Fischer's childhood idols Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, Martin & Lewis, and Bergen and McCarthy. Steve & Bluey featured a young nerdy boy named Steve partnered with a sassy quick-witted blue dog. Much of their humor relied on heavy dialogue and a sharp clash of personalities. Print cartoons were published in two volumes entitled There's a Blue Dog Under My Bed and The Wonderful, Happy, Cartoony World of Steve & Bluey. Radio plays were released through a variety of broadcasters and radio production groups, most notably the Holiday Broadcasting Company and The Golden Radio Players. Fischer voiced both lead characters. Other actors to perform were Phillip Guthrie and Michele Fischer.

It was in London that Fischer befriended notable animation producer Steven C. Melendez. Melendez is best known for producing the 1979 Emmy Award winning film The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe for the Children's Television Workshop. Melendez's father, Bill Meléndez, animated for Disney in the 1940s and produced the classic Peanuts films A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

Melendez became Fischer's mentor, and together the two developed the original Steve & Bluey animated program. They pitched an independently-produced pilot to the major networks and distributors in Europe and the United States. One networked approached was Nickelodeon. Three years after discussions with Nickelodeon ended in a no-sale for the young producer, the network released Blue's Clues, a children's program that quickly became popular. The similarities between the two leading characters, Steve & Bluey and Steve & Blue, Blue's Clues protagonists, prompted Fischer to take legal action resulting in a widely publicized $30 million lawsuit with Viacom, owner of the children's network. The case was eventually dismissed in Federal court.[2]

Fischer went on to a successful career producing documentary films and commercials, winning many awards including two Emmy nominations for Silence of Falling Leaves (2000) and Now & Forever Yours: Letters to an Old Soldier (2007) . His work is also the recipient of eight National Telly Awards and the CINE [3] Golden Eagle, winning in 2007 for Draw the Line: An Animated Showcase, a documentary about surviving in the animation profession.

In 2007, Fischer directed Mariska Hargitay in Freedom Dance[4].

In 2010, The Daily Record cited Fischer as one of 60 Influential Marylanders.[5]

In 2011, Fischer produced and directed Old School New School, an educational documentary on the nature of creativity featuring artists Brian Cox and McCoy Tyner.

Fischer's track record also includes the role of Spencer Stanley in The FBI Files (1999)[6] on the Discovery Channel and two music videos for Jim Camacho, former front man for the legendary South Florida rock band The Goods. His international work includes documenting the first Irish National Tour of the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway play Coole Lady, a historical play about the life of Lady Gregory by noted playwright and W. B. Yeats biographer Sam McCready.

References[edit]

  • IMDB [7]
  • Video Steven Fischer Tribute to Animation Legend Bill Meléndez
  • Maslow Media Group [8]
  • Marquis Who's Who in Entertainment
  • The Budapest Sun [9]
  • The American
  • The Capital Newspaper
  • The Official Steve & Bluey Website [10]
  • The Daily Record [11]
  • The Associated Press
  • Belfast Telegraph
  • The Baltimore Sun
  • Baltimore Magazine