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Lance Loud! A Death in An American Family
About the Film - About The Filmmakers
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Alan and Susan Raymond
Academy Award-winning filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond have produced feature length documentaries for PBS, ABC News, Home Box Office and the BBC in England.

Their most recent documentary is Lance Loud! A Death in An American Family which will premiere on PBS January 6, 2003. This one hour film celebrates the life and legacy of Lance Loud as a gay icon and America's first reality TV star. This national PBS broadcast also commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of the original landmark 12-hour documentary series An American Family, which TV Guide named among The 50 Greatest TV Shows. Alan and Susan Raymond were the original series filmmakers that lived with the Loud family for seven months in 1971 and continued a friendship with the family that spanned thirty years. In 1983 they produced American Family Revisited, a film portrait of the Loud family and their reflections upon becoming media celebrities. This third film, or "final chapter" of An American Family, represents a unique filmmaker relationship seldom seen.

The Raymonds' previous films include Prime Time Emmy Award-winning Children in War, a feature-length study of the tragic consequences of war and terrorism for the children of Bosnia, Israel, Rwanda and Northern Ireland, with a companion book written by the Raymonds called Children In War, published by TV Books and distributed by HarperCollins.

Their most honored film is Academy Award-winning I Am A Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School, which chronicled a year in the life of a troubled inner-city elementary school in North Philadelphia. This film has been honored with an Oscar for Best Feature Documentary l994, a Prime Time Emmy Award for Outstanding Information Special, a George Foster Peabody Award, an Alfred I. Dupont Award from the Columbia School of Journalism, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for First Prize in Television Reporting and a Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association.

Alan and Susan Raymond with Lance, 1983
Alan and Susan Raymond's first Video Verite production in 1977 was The Police Tapes which followed the life of a high crime precinct in New York City. This experimental video production not only received numerous awards but also inspired Steve Boccho's Hill Street Blues. The Police Tapes would eventually contribute to the enormous proliferation of reality police television programs. Elvis Mitchell, film critic for The New York Times, recognized the Raymonds' contribution to mainstream film portrayals of cops through their original 1977 work The Police Tapes.

Alan and Susan Raymond specialize in long-form social issue documentaries. They have produced films on education and schooling, mental illness, policing in America, juvenile justice, prison reform, the British Army and the IRA in Northern Ireland as well as historical documentaries on the urban blues music of Chicago and the early days of rock and roll with Elvis Presley.

Many of the Raymonds' films are in the permanent collections of museums and public libraries, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Broadcasting in New York City as well as the Bibliotheque National in Paris. In 1995, the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles held a retrospective screening of the Raymonds' films. The Raymonds have been the recipients of an artists grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, received nine Emmy Awards and have twice been awarded the George Foster Peabody Award and the Columbia School of Journalism's Dupont Award. They also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Feature Documentary for Doing Time: Life Inside The Big House.

More information about Alan and Susan Raymond can be found at www.videoverite.info.

 

Lance Loud! A Death in An American Family is a presentation of WETA and ITVS, and was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service.

Copyright © 2002 WETA. All Rights Reserved.