Meet the Filmmaker, John Schuermann, “The Gospel According to Stephenson”

“The Gospel According to Stephenson”


profile picQ: Why did you become a filmmaker?
JS: My answer is probably not even remotely original – it simply has to do with a love of films that goes way back to childhood. I loved going to the movies as far back as I can remember. My own personal desire is to make films that are both entertaining and thought-provoking. In my view, the two qualities need not be mutually exclusive!
Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
JS: I will be screening the “proof of concept” trailer for the feature film, “The Gospel According to Stephenson.” We shot the trailer to show the overall concept of the film and demonstrate our skills as filmmakers. We used this proof of concept trailer to build awareness around the film and as a tool to attract talent and investors. The trailer also became the basis of our crowdfunding campaign on Seed and Spark, where we exceeded our campaign goals and raised over $35,000 toward pre-production.
Much like SCREAM was a slasher movie about slasher movies, “The Gospel According to Stephenson” is a vampire movie ABOUT vampire movies – one that satirizes religious fundamentalism and cults in the process. Combined with its science vs. religion themes, we think our story is an original and very entertaining “meta” take on the vampire genre.
Here is the logline: After awakening in modern times, a “real-life” vampire capitalizes on the current pop-culture vampire craze to recruit followers and start his own religion. Standing in his way – a skeptical cop and the tools of modern science.
Q: What else are you working on?
JS: Actually, I am working on a sequel script to “The Gospel According to Stephenson.”
Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
JS: When it comes to screenwriting, I tend to massively overwrite. The original draft of the “Stephenson” screenplay was over 180 pages long. I always end up with more material than I need! The fun part comes in trimming all the fat out of the script so that what remains is tight, solidly constructed, and to the point.
Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
JS: There is lots more information about the film – including a full plot synopsis and character breakdown – atwww.stephensonmovie.com. In addition to being a writer and director, I also have a successful career as a film composer. The last score I composed, for “The Creep Behind the Camera,” was chosen as a Soundtrack Pick of the Month at Film Music Magazine Online (http://www.filmmusicmag.com/?p=15186). More information on my film composing and post production audio business can be found at www.jsmusicandsound.com.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
JS: I appreciate the opportunity to screen my trailer and talk about the film at a great venue like the Bug Theater! I also appreciate the fact that the EFP helps support the work of local filmmakers and supplies them with a platform where their work can be seen 🙂
“The Gospel According to Stephenson” proof of concept trailer will be screened at the December 17th Emerging Filmmaker’s Project. 

Kate Lowell