John Chester

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John Chester is a farmer, Emmy Award Winning documentary filmmaker, TV director, and cinematographer.

During his high school years Chester made student films[1] in his hometown, the mainly seasonal resort town of Ocean City, Maryland, USA.[2] He moved to the Los Angeles area where he worked as a Production assistant on a well-known TV mystery series for the 1994 season.[3] By 1995, he was again working on the East Coast, employed by the Baltimore County Public Schools as a TV producer for The Education Channel in Towson, Maryland, the school system's PEG-TV station.[4][5]

In 1997, Chester directed an unreleased 16mm low-budget independent narrative feature film shot on Assateague Island near his boyhood home.[2] Since then, he has produced, directed, and shot productions for Animal Planet,[6] ESPN,[7] the A&E Network and various nonprofit clients.[8] Similar to documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Chester has cast himself as a prominent character in several of his own projects, most notably the "Touched by a Slacker"[9] documentary-style reality TV series Random 1, and its feature-length film sequel Lost in Woonsocket. His cinematography and directorial style often features Dutch angles, a highly saturated color palette, and/or low-key lighting.[8][10]

In 2011, Chester decided to leave the film business and start Apricot Lane Farms with wife, Molly. However, he could not escape the storytelling he was made to pursue. In early 2012, the Oprah Winfrey Network ran John's film, Lost in Woonsocket, and followed up with a call to John asking him to make short films for their series, Super Soul Sunday. John informed them that he was no longer a filmmaker, but now a farmer, and they said, "great, make films about the farm!" Since 2012, John has been telling stories from the farm out of an old barn stall with a small film team. In 2016, they won an Emmy for their short film about a mama pig titled "Saving Emma".


  1. ^ "SXSW '07 Interview: "Lost In Woonsocket" Director John Chester". eFilmCritic. 1 November 2005. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Random 1 – Cast & Crew". 18 August 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Balto. Co. schools probe trips paid for by company – Baltimore Sun". 13 July 1995. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "72 from schools went on Ariz. trips – Baltimore Sun". 14 July 1995. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Filmmaker". John Chester. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Feel-good 'Random' has deliberate impact". 1 November 2005. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Rock Prophecies Official Trailer". YouTube. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 

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