Neil Schell is an accomplished actor, acting coach, director and producer in film and television. He has been working in the film industry for over 25 years.
In the early lean years Neil was an actor. Work was scarce at first. While building his acting career, Neil was offered an apprenticeship in the editing department at Golden Era Productions in Los Angeles. Wanting to learn everything he could about film making, Neil snapped up the opportunity. He studied and worked for over 6 years cranking out more than a dozen half hour films and a half a dozen hour-long films. Although these films were industrial in nature, they were all story driven and of a quality second to none. Despite his love of editing, he couldn’t keep his acting impulses on hold forever. He decided to move back to Vancouver where the film industry was on the upswing.
To assist him in keeping his acting career alive back in 1994, he starting teaching a class for actors on maintaining continuity, hitting marks, frame sizes and how they affect the actor - kind of technical in nature. This class was designed to help actors cross over from the stage to screen. His initial classes filled up quickly and the demand for more of his teaching lead Neil into coaching acting technique as well. Since Neil had studied under one the greatest acting teachers alive, Warren Robertson, he was more than qualified to deliver. The demand for Neil’s teaching abilities grew. Now he was giving acting classes across Canada. Over the years, Neil has worked with well over a thousand actors in most every major city in Canada - from Vancouver to Toronto.
As an actor himself, Neil has appeared in several feature films including The A-Team, Watchmen, Dr. Dolittle 3. He has also acted in several popular US TV series like Fringe, Caprica, Eureka, Outer Limits and Cold Squad. Acting in these shows exposed Neil to such greats in the industry as Liam Neeson, Judy Davis, Joe Carnahan, Zack Snyder and Akiva Goldsman. Just being able to observe and work with these talented stars is a privilege most people only dream about.
Neil’s most recent expansion in the industry has been directing. His first directing job was for a fringe play in Vancouver in 1995. In the 90’s he directed a couple of commercials in between his acting work. But within the last 15 months, Neil’s directing accomplishments have exploded. He has completed the direction of 52, 1/2 hour episodes of the Kenyan drama series Higher Learning and 26, 1/2 hour episodes of the new Kenyan medical drama Saints - both of which air on NTV and Zuku Africa. Neil also played a key part in producing the series Saints by finding investors in Canada to help fund the project.
Directing has come naturally to Neil having a strong background in both editing and acting and coaching actors. And it is decidedly his true passion in the industry.
Working with extremely low budgets and compressed time schedules, Neil has had to complete the direction of over 2000 pages of script, 4500 camera setups, and work with over 200 actors in that 15 month time span. Directing under these circumstances challenges one’s ability as a filmmaker and raises the necessity level which makes a better filmmaker. One has to draw from ever fibre of their existence to make a high-quality product.
Neil has been contracted to direct another 26 episodes of the Saints series (shooting starts in October 2011) as well as the feature film My Life in Crime based on the best-selling Kenyan novel of the same name written by John Kiriamiti..
to get to know more about Neil.
You can also view his IMDB profile here
Featured : Fringe,Eureka,Stargate,Cold Squad,Da Vinci Inquest,
Movies : A-team,Watchmen,Dr Dolittle,
Theatres : Lips Together, Teeth Apart,Specter Vancouver,Solid Gold Cadillac,
Other Productions : TV Commercials
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