- Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016
Earlier this year, Director Clay Tweel signed with national commercial production company Community Films. This summer saw the theatrical release of his inspirational documentary “Gleason” about former NFL player Steve Gleason and his family’s struggle with his diagnosis of ALS. The film made its overwhelmingly successful debut at the Sundance Film Festival 2016 with U.S. rights purchased by Amazon Studios and Open Road Films just days after the festival. The film opened nationwide in theaters this summer and will be streamed this fall on Amazon.com. Tweel is also the Co-Director of “Finders Keepers,” which was co-produced by Community Films with fellow Community Director Seth Gordon serving as Producer.
"Working on a project like ‘Gleason’ was an amazingly moving experience,” says Tweel. “As a Director, it was an unmatched opportunity. There were countless hours of Steve Gleason and his wife Michel in intimate, poignant moments overcoming the challenges of ALS. The key was to balance multiple threads of humor, empathy and some almost overwhelming drama. And in the process find the portrait of a human being who when faced with the ultimate test of his character rose to the challenge. These are the kinds of stories you want to be involved with as a filmmaker -- stories that move people and get them to understand what it truly means to be alive.”
“Steve and Michel's story is powerful,” notes Community Films’ Executive Producer/Partner Lizzie Schwartz. “But that doesn't mean it is an easy one to tell. Clay was able to take thousands of hours of footage and from that tease out a deeply moving story that gives you the viewer an insight into what it is to rise to a challenge like ALS. And do so in a way that you can't take your eyes off the screen.”
“Clay really demonstrates the power of documentary filmmaking,” concludes Community Films’ Executive Producer/Partner Carl Swan. “To move an audience to the point where you can't help but feel changed for the better by the end.”
In March, Tweel joined a roster of directorial talent at Community Films, which includes Directors Marius Crowne, Seth Gordon, Jared Hess, Michael Patrick Jann, Emil Möller, Matt Smukler, Pam Thomas, and Clay Williams.
A native Virginian living in L.A., Clay Tweel made his directorial debut on the documentary “Make Believe,” chronicling six teenagers battling to become the world’s best teen magician, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the LA FILM FEST in 2010 and is currently running on Showtime Networks. Clay’s next film, “Print the Legend,” premiered at SXSW and was awarded the Special Jury Recognition for Storytelling and Editing. The film was bought by Netflix Originals and premiered in theaters and online in late 2014. His next film, “Finders Keepers,” premiered at Sundance 2015 to rave reviews and was bought by the Orchard. Clay was back at Sundance again this year with the film “Gleason.” He is currently developing numerous projects in both the scripted and documentary worlds.
To view Clay’s reel: http://www.communityfilms.com/directors/clay-tweel/commercials/
To view trailer to “Gleason,” go here: https://gleasonmovie.com
About Community Films
Established in 2012, Community Films, LLC (“Community Films”) is a rapidly growing commercial production company that is devoted to producing commercials, web films, short films, music videos and feature films. Based in the greater Los Angeles area, Community Films has offices in Chicago and London. Representing Directors Marius Crowne, Seth Gordon, Jared Hess, Michael Patrick Jann, Emil Möller, Matt Smukler, Pam Thomas, Clay Tweel, and Clay Williams. Combined, they have directed successful commercials for McDonald’s, Covergirl, Volkswagen, Taco Bell, Applebee’s, Febreze, Nike, Miller, Foot Locker, Oreo, Toyota, ABC, Tide, Visa and Hertz, etc. They have also directed such feature films as “King of Kong,” “Identity Thief,” “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Nacho Libre,” “Horrible Bosses,” “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and the forthcoming “Bay Watch.” In addition, their Directors have directed episodes of popular television programs such as “Community,” “Modern Family,” “Flight of the Concords,” “Children’s Hospital,” and “Parks and Rec,” “Last Man on Earth,” and “The Goldbergs.” 2015 also marked the release of the documentary “Finders Keepers,” Community’s first production outside of commercials. Founded by Executive Producers, Carl Swan and Lizzie Schwartz, who have over 30 years of combined experience in the field of commercial and film production, Community Films has made commercials for: Coke, United Air Lines, NFL, Buick, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Amica, Robitussin, EBAY, Applebees, MiracleGro, Direct Auto, Swiffer, Taco Bell, Sabra, Bissell, TJ Maxx, Exelon, Cotton, Butterfinger, Kraft, Armor All and McCormick. www.communityfilms.com