SPRUCE FILMS is award winning and internationally screened filmmaker Don Swanson. Officially founded in August of 2000, Swanson burst onto the legitimate independent film scene in 2004 with Suddenly Shay, a short film that would screen internationally and earn an award having been produced on a micro-budget of approximately $300.
With over a dozen projects to his credit, other notable projects include:Gallows Hollow, a horror short that was a pillar of the micro-cinema movement centered on Undergroundfilm.org in the early 2000’s and featured Jennifer Lynn Warren (American Horror Story: Coven); Wilson’s Woodworkers, a 16mm film that was featured in a symposium on media and violence at the 2009 Three Rivers Film Festival, where Swanson was also a panel member; Rosie Girl, a horror short from the original Dare-2-Direct contest presented by Chiller-TV; Ethel: A Country Girl, a documentary subject that chronicled an 81-year-old woman making a professional recording of her original Appalachian Folk Music, and What Was Lost, a dramatic short film featuring John-Patrick Driscoll (Law & Order: SVU, The Following, The Black List, House of Cards) that premiered at the 2014 Manhattan Film Festival.
Swanson has also directed music videos over the years, including Behind Closed Doors by Whitney Ann Jenkins (Scrubs) which recently took First Place at the 2017 Indie Gathering for Independent Music Video.
Don’s partners on projects range from New York City to Pittsburgh, Chicago and Los Angeles. Swanson holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications-Media, with a Minor in Theater, as well as Master of Arts in Communications Technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Don earned a NASAD Certificate in Film Production from Pittsburgh Filmmakers School of Film, Photography & Digital Media and also holds a Master of Arts in English.
Swanson has worked professionally in video production for over 15 years. He has done work for the Pennsylvania State System of High Education, Aptec Micro-systems and various community and local government agencies. Don also co-created a local educational TV show, Education Today, that airs to over 80,000 homes where he directed over 100 episodes as the Armstrong School District’s Multimedia Technician. Swanson also designed and oversaw the construction of a collegiate-level TV Studio during his tenure.
Don has been filming and editing weddings since 2001 with an ability to be as discrete as possible – operating under the mantra that if newlyweds barely remember that he was there then it was a job well done.
Mr. Swanson teaches Media Literacy, Intro to TV/Video Production, TV-Production/Broadcasting, Film Studies & Filmmaking and British Literature at Armstrong High School in Kittanning, PA where he wrote the current theory and production curriculum for his media-related courses.
Currently, Don is in post-production on his directorial feature debut, A Wish for Giants, filmed in the greater Pittsburgh area and based on a local novel with a premiere set for early 2018.