MIT Architecture from Paper Fortress on Vimeo.
1. Who are you and what is your profession?
My name is Steven Joseph Schinnerer, but most people call me Stebs. I am lucky enough to make a profession out of being a filmmaker, and more often than not just telling stories.
2. Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I was born in a nice little town on the coast of Massachusetts and lived with my mom, my dad, my sister and my pets. I played with my friends, ate a lot of cereal, rode my bicycle and got a lot of stitches - really, I had a very stress-free childhood. My parents worked their butts off to give my sister and I a good life - but living in that small town made me itch to see what else was out there. Not just that, but to understand the world around me in a deeper way by meeting people and getting to know their world and their struggles. I hadn't had too difficult a life growing up and it's definitely something that drew me to understand a world outside of my own.
3. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I grew up watching my father paint - creating something from scratch - and definitely caught the creative bit that way. My parents always had the home video VHS camera out during family events and I decided to use it to make silly videos. Eventually, I went to school for film, all while making my own dumb videos and realized I could use this as a platform to tell interesting and sometimes personal stories. I loved edgy and interesting films, and after working in a video store for five years in middle school and high school, I fell in love with the idea of becoming a filmmaker.
4. Who or what do you most admire?
This is a really hard question to answer. I admire many things about many people...but I suppose I can boil it down to that I simply admire the human spirit. I admire perseverance and dedication. Confident people with a willingness to stand up for what they believe in. From Mandela and Ghandi, to my best friend and my mom, there are deep qualities in many people that I find admiration in.
5. What do you love about Boston?
Boston is a little-big city with a HUGE heart. The communities are incredibly diverse, the culture is rampant and you can't beat its history. We have some of the most die-hard sports fans in the nation, and some of the most intelligent people in the world walking the streets. We have people pushing the limits of technology, healthcare, business, food, sport, philanthropy and pretty much everything else you can think of. It inspires me to walk through the MIT and Harvard campuses, through communities having block parties and fund raisers, or through bustling farmers markets multiple times a week. All in all, this city and the people in it just never cease to impress and inspire me.
6. What do you fear most for Boston?
I fear that in the name of progress, too many of the quiet and simple communities will be torn apart by major developers to make way for big apartment buildings and chain restaurants and cafés. One thing I love about this city is how many small businesses there are, and I fear that our city could become stale if broken apart for big business.
7. What do you hope for Boston in the next 20 years?
During the next 20 years, I hope to see our tech industry grow and for us to continue to be on the forefront of science, education and technology. I also hope that more of the privileged communities will help to lift up, inspire, and care for the under-resourced. This city will best be served when everyone has equal opportunity, and when the haves can care more frequently for the have-nots.