Linda Schuyler

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Linda Schuyler
Linda Schuyler (8161964727) (cropped).jpg
Schuyler at the 70th Peabody Awards
Born
Linda Bawcutt

(1948-02-12) February 12, 1948 (age 74)
London, England
OccupationTelevision producer
Spouse(s)
(m. 1995)
ChildrenMax Stohn

Linda Schuyler, CM OOnt (/ˈsklər/; née Bawcutt; born February 12, 1948) is a Canadian television producer. She is best known for being the co-creator and producer of the Degrassi teen drama franchise, which has spanned five series over four decades. She is a co-founder of Playing With Time, Inc. (with Kit Hood), and of Epitome Pictures (with Stephen Stohn), the production companies involved with the franchise over its 40-year-long history respectively.

Born in London, Schuyler immigrated to Canada with her family in the 1950s. As a school teacher, she began creating short films, and formed a creative partnership with television commercial editor Kit Hood. In 1979, Schuyler purchased the rights to adapt the Kay Chorao book Ida Makes A Movie into a film, of which ultimately became the genesis of Degrassi. Schuyler is also created Instant Star, another commercially successful Epitome production.

Schuyler has received multiple awards and accolades for her work. In 1994, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2012, she was made a Member of the Order of Ontario.

Early life and career[edit]

The daughter of Jack and Joyce Bawcutt,[1][2] Schuyler immigrated with her family to Canada in the late 1950s and was raised in Paris, Ontario.[3] She attended Paris District High School.[3][2] After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in 1974,[4] where she studied film courses,[3] Schuyler became a school teacher and taught for four years at Earl Grey Senior Public School in Toronto's east end. As a teacher, Schuyler began creating short films,[1] which eventually became the inspiration for Degrassi.[3] Schuyler's first film was a documentary named Between Two Worlds.[3] She first attracted media attention when the NBC in the United States aired clips of Between Two Worlds out of context to support a news story about race relations in Toronto.[5][1] In 1976, Schuyler met Kit Hood, an editor of television commercials, when she needed help from an experienced editor to save the "muddled footage" of one of her projects.[5] Hood and Schuyler found a balance; editor Hood was inexperienced in writing, and writer/producer Schuyler was inexperienced in editing, leading to their creative partnership and the formation of Playing With Time, Inc.[5]

In 1979, Schuyler received a copy of the children's book Ida Makes A Movie, written by Kay Chorao, when she requested Earl Grey librarian Bruce Mackey to acquire several books about filmmaking.[6] Mackey was unaware that it was children's fiction about cats,[7] and disregarded it.[6] However, Schuyler became interested in potentially adapting the book into a movie, and planned to fly to New York to meet Chorao.[6] Before leaving, Schuyler sought legal advice from Stephen Stohn, a lawyer who would eventually become her producing partner and husband. Stohn advised her to forego a lawyer and instead propose the deal herself.[8][9] Schuyler purchased the rights to the film for $200, and repurposed the film to be about a girl who enters a movie about the garbage in her neighborhood into a National Film Board-sponsored competition and wins, despite the film being misinterpreted as an anti-war piece.[7] The resulting short film, Ida Makes a Movie, became the genesis for the anthology series[7] The Kids of Degrassi Street, which became the first series in the Degrassi franchise.[6]

In the early 1990s, Schuyler and Hood separated and Schuyler founded Epitome Pictures (a subsidiary of DHX Media) which came to produce Degrassi: The Next Generation, the franchise's most well-known series, and its direct sequel Degrassi: Next Class, which was released on Netflix. From 2004 to 2008 Schuyler executive produced the teen drama television series Instant Star about a young woman (played by Alexz Johnson) who wins a singer/songwriter contest.[10] In 2011 and 2012 she executive produced, alongside her husband, Stephen Stohn, the television series The L.A. Complex (working title: Highland Gardens) for Bell Media in Canada and The CW in the United States, about young Canadians dreaming of fame and fortune while struggling to survive in an apartment-style hotel in Los Angeles.[11][12][13]

In July 2021, it was announced that ECW Press purchased the rights to Degrassi Matriarch, an autobiography/memoir that is said to "chronicle Schuyler's nearly four-decade adventure producing the Degrassi television shows".[14] It was later announced as The Mother Of All Degrassi: A Memoir, with a slated release for November 15, 2022.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In 1995, she married her producing partner Stephen Stohn. They have one son together, Max.[citation needed]

Awards[edit]

In 1994, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada.[4]

In 2010, she received the Academy Achievement Award, at a Gemini Award ceremony. In 2011, Schuyler was presented the Bonham Centre Award from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for her contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.[16]

In 2012, she was made a member of the Order of Ontario.[17]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Schuyler, Linda (2022). The mother of all Degrassi : a memoir. Toronto. ISBN 1-77041-683-8. OCLC 1309065167.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Roper, Wayne (December 11, 1979). "The movie maker: Former Paris girl hits success in film world". The Expositor. p. 15. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  2. ^ a b DeRyuter, Ron (October 8, 1982). "Special screening Saturday for film series". The Expositor. p. 41. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Degrassi co-creator Linda Schuyler on why the franchise resonates with so many". CBC News. February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Linda Schuyler - Innis Alumni and Friends". November 6, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c West, Linda (September 1979). "Introducing...Kit Hood and Linda Schuyler" (PDF). Cinema Canada.
  6. ^ a b c d Ellis, Kathryn (2005). The official 411 Degrassi generations. Fenn Pub. Co. ISBN 1-55168-278-8. OCLC 59136593.
  7. ^ a b c "The real-life story that inspired the 'Degrassi' universe". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  8. ^ "Growing up Degrassi". Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  9. ^ Zekas, Rita (October 4, 2013). "Degrassi their home away from home". Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  10. ^ "Stephen Stohn". IMDb.
  11. ^ Kelly, Brendan (December 9, 2010). "'Degrassi' producers cultivate 'Gardens' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media". Variety. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  12. ^ "Bell Media Site - MuchMusic". Bellmediapr.ca. December 8, 2011. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Zekas, Rita (October 4, 2013). "Producers bring real desks, pool, baby photos to famous set — but watch for props in the men's rooms". Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  14. ^ "New Deal: DEGRASSI MATRIARCH by Linda Schuyler". therightsfactory.com. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Mother of All Degrassi: A Memoir". ECW Press. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  16. ^ "U of T to give awards for sexual diversity promotion" (Press release). University of Toronto. September 14, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  17. ^ "27 Appointees Named To Ontario's Highest Honour". news.ontario.ca. January 27, 2012.

External links[edit]