Richard Schenkman is an experienced writer/producer/director who began his professional career creating distinctive and award-winning promos, network ID’s and documentary programs for MTV, the pioneering cable music channel he helped launch. He went on to craft music videos, fashion videos, commercials & promos for such clients as Swatch Watch, Honda Scooters, Pepsi Cola, VH1, Showtime, Lifetime, NBC and perhaps most notably his Clio-winning commercials for the children’s cable TV network, Nickelodeon.
In the 90’s he moved into feature films while continuing in television. His first picture, The Pompatus of Love, was released theatrically August ‘96. In 1998 he directed the action/drama October 22 for Millennium Films, and festival favorite Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five, his second collaboration with Jon Cryer. In the early 2000’s, he wrote original pilots for VH1 and 20th Century Fox television. He directed episodes of Dick Wolf’s Arrest and Trial, and wrote and directed VH1’s original movie A Diva’s Christmas Carol, which was a ratings blockbuster for the network. He sold a sitcom pilot to NBC entitled “Drama Queen,” starring Vanessa Williams. When his daughter was born, he decided to take a multi-year break from filmmaking to concentrate on raising her. He did, however, teach a Master Class for the Rhode Island Int’l Film Festival, on whose advisory board he serves, and guest lectured at both USC and Cal Arts.
2007 saw the release of two new feature films: And Then Came Love, a romantic-comedy starring Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt, in her final screen appearance, as well as the cult phenomenon Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth, based on the final screenplay by the legendary science-fiction author, which is ranked on IMDB as one of the top sci-fi films of all time. He has also taught comedy directing at the LA Film School, and commercial production at Columbia College Hollywood. In 2011/12 he wrote several popular IOS platform games for TinyCo, and in 2012/13 directed three movies back-to-back for legendary micro-studio The Asylum, most notably the historical/horror mashup Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. More recently he co-wrote, produced and directed the Halloween-themed home invasion thriller, Mischief Night. He also directed a popular Lifetime thriller A Father’s Secret, a hugely successful sequel to I Spit On Your Grave, and a bawdy new comedy, Misfits.