Kansas-born and a converted Californian, Metzler endeavors to make work that connects with an outsider audience and communicates across socioeconomic boundaries. Traveling the USA, he attempts to capture the unseen corners of America and explore what others have determined to be failures and finding out what happens when they’re wrong.
After graduating from USC with a degree in business and cinema, Metzler’s film career has taken him from the depths of agency work, to coordinating post-production for awful American movies seen late at night in Belgium. His filmmaking work has resulted in him criss-crossing the country with the aid of caffeinated beverages, all the while making his way in the Nashville country and Christian music video industries, before finally forsaking his soul to commercial LA rock n’ roll. These misadventures eventually culminated in him winning a Billboard Magazine Music Video Award.
Burned out and hung over, he eventually fled to San Francisco to join the independent documentary film scene and start work on his film, PLAGUES & PLEASURES ON THE SALTON SEA, while still driving to Los Angeles to pay the bills. Premiering at the 2004 Slamdance Film Festival, the film went on to win over 35 awards for Best Documentary and was named by Booklist as one its Top 10 Environmental Films. PLAGUES & PLEASURES was broadcast on both the regional PBS documentary series “Truly, CA” and debuted nationally on the Sundance Channel.
With the success of that feature documentary, he has gone on to pursue other sub-cultural documentary subjects, including: Black punk rockers, rogue economists, gay truckers, lucha libre wrestlers, outsider taxidermists, and evangelical Christian backpackers.
Metzler’s work has received awards and recognition from The Pacific Pioneer Fund, Fleishhacker Foundation, Bay Area Video Coalition, HBO Films, California Council for the Humanities, Environmental Media Fund, Southern Arts Foundation, Museum of Television and Radio, Tides Foundation, and Johnson & Widdifield Charitable Foundation.
A veteran of the DIY touring scene, Metzler has programmed, booked and exhibited his films in theaters, museums, community spaces, and bars across the world. His outside programming work includes involvement in the Slamdance Film Festival and the LAB’s Rough Cut Film Series. In addition to these activities, he’s been a visiting artist lecturer at various universities across the country and a panelist in many workshops exploring the changing nature of non-fiction filmmaking.
He is currently directing short documentaries for HDNet's "World Report" and recently completed work on his newest feature documentary the Laurence Fishburne narrated EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: THE STORY OF FISHBONE, currently playing at film festivals worldwide.