Chris Metzler
  • San Francisco, CA
  • United States

Chris Metzler's Friends

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  • Raquel Chapa
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Chris Metzler's Page

Profile Information

Workshop Year
B.S. Business Administration (Finance Emphasis), Cinema Minor, May 1996
Company or station:
Tilapia Film
Your url(s) including your website, facebook, linkedin or other profiles:
Genre(s) you work in:
history, public affairs, science, lifestyles, arts, local interest
Professional credits:
producer, director, writer, editor, camera, independent media maker
Best way to contact me:


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.

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Comment Wall (5 comments)

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At 9:38am on January 25, 2012, Judith Vecchione said…

Hey Chris, In case you missed it, NPR ran a piece yesterday on folks living at Slab City/ Salton Sea area.  These things just go on, don't they, and isn't it wonderful?

At 10:44pm on December 8, 2011, Royce Osborn said…

Hi Chris, I'm in New Orleans. I know Angelo just came through here with the film. Sorry I missed it. Did you come?

At 9:09am on November 21, 2011, Judith Vecchione said…

Chris, another Fishbone fan - Royce Osborne, '04, see my blog post.  You guys should connect, see if you can cross paths at any of the screenings!

At 3:21pm on October 25, 2011, Judith Vecchione said…
Chris, I keep seeing stuff about NBPC's chat and being on AfroPop -- pls post more info, clips, stuff!
At 10:16am on January 4, 2011, Judith Vecchione said…
Tx for the update on FISHBONE -- maybe update here or on the Forums, too, for your other Workshop fans?  Happy 2011!

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