UNNATURAL CAUSES: IS INEQUALITY MAKING US SICK? For Vital Pictures and California Newsreel

Eric Stange produced and directed one episode and produced another in this Dupont Award-winning PBS series about how race, class and socio-economic status affect the health of Americans. His episodes look at health and poverty in the Marshall Islands, and at why African-American women suffer a disproportionately high rate of pre-mature births.

Learn more at www.unnaturalcauses.org.


What if the French had won? 250 years ago, French and English armies clashed in the primeval forest of western Pennsylvania over the most important piece of real estate in 18th century North America. Overshadowed by the Revolutionary War that followed two decades later, it was the French and Indian War (1754-1763) that rooted America’s destiny as an independent nation. Historians argue it was truly the war that made America. The War That Made America is history that has been waiting to be told about a poorly understood – but vastly important – period of American history.

Eric Stange wrote, produced and directed two hours of this unusual four-hour PBS series that combines feature film techniques with documentary accuracy. Shot in high definition video, with a cast trained in 18th century diction and movement, everything from forts to horse tack, Indian dwellings to trading posts, is recreated to provide an accurate picture of life in the mid-18th century and an authentic context for the unfolding historical story.

The War That Made America on PBS.

John Webster

A historical who-dunit with Simon Schama

American Experience on PBS

Co-produced by Eric Stange and Melissa Banta
Directed by Eric Stange
With historian Simon Schama
Made possible by a major production grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and by American Experience, with additional funding from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and the Charles W. Bryant Fellowship, Harvard University Library.

A MURDER MOST FOUL... Edmund Pearson, the historian of homicide, called it "America's most celebrated murder." Edward Everett, a president of Harvard, said it was "the most painful event in our domestic history."

When Charles Dickens visited Boston one of his first requests was to see "the room where Dr. Parkman was murdered." Even by today's numbingly sensationalist standards, the grisly tale is disturbing.

It happened in November 1849 when Dr. George Parkman, a physician and scion of one of Boston's richest families, was allegedly beaten to death and dismembered by a Harvard professor of chemistry named John Webster. A week after Parkman's disappearance, the janitor of the Harvard Medical School discovered body parts dispersed about Webster's laboratory. Webster was put on trial in a spectacle that drew tens of thousands of on-lookers, as well as journalists from as far away as Europe. Webster was convicted and hanged. But his guilt is one of many uncertain details which have confounded those attempting to tell the story of the Parkman case for the past 150 years.

MURDER AT HARVARD, a one-hour TV documentary and Web site, examines different accounts of this infamous crime as an entertaining vehicle through which to analyze varieties of historical presentation. With historian SIMON SCHAMA (author of Death of a Harvard Man - an account of the murder) as our guide, we will demystify the work of historical storytellers, and in the process, uncover how the decisions they make affect the way the rest of us perceive the past. In an age when many people receive their knowledge of the past from popular media, this documentary provides audiences tools with which to better understand the uses-and potential abuses-of historical genres, from traditional works of history to popular entertainment.

Produced in association with the Center for Independent Documentary.

Students during filming at the Burke


Broadcast on WGBH April 2002

Eric Stange was one of four producer/directors who collaborated on an innovative program for WGBH Local Productions about a day in the life of Boston's Jeremiah E. Burke High School.

Following students, teachers, and administrators through a day at the busy Dorchester, MA high school, the filmmakers captured the inside story of real life for thousands of students. The program aired as part of the WGBH Eye on Education initiative in April 2002.

Lodz, Poland, 1899 -- birthplace of the Zamir Chorale

a film for PBS Pledge

Showing on PBS, Autumn 2000.
Contact your PBS station or see www.zamir.org for local listings.

In 1899, in the city of Lodz, Poland, a new musical sound was heard-- the first Jewish community choral ensemble, whose voices embodied the richness and passion of the Jewish culture of Eastern Europe. It called itself Hazomir, and for three decades it was at the core of a Jewish cultural movement that flourished throughout Europe.

Then, the Holocaust nearly silenced it forever.

Today, 100 years after its founding, Zamir is back. In June of 1999, the 50-member Zamir Chorale of Boston, now celebrating its 30-year anniversary, made a commemorative tour of Eastern Europe to perform in the places where the Zamir movement began.

ZAMIR: THE SONGS LIVE ON (working title), a one-hour documentary, will celebrate this emotional journey to the once-vibrant capitals of Jewish and Yiddish culture. With performances in Lodz, Warsaw, Cracow, Prague, and Vienna- and at the somber sites of two concentration camps- this film will recount a remarkable journey of music and memory that will be both joyous and contemplative- deeply personal and universally appealing.

Far more than a concert film, ZAMIR will be an illuminating expedition into the history of Jewish culture before the Holocaust. Evocative archival footage and photos will help bring to life the streets, parks and concerts halls that once rang with Jewish music, while interviews with survivors will tell the colorful and compelling cultural history of which the Hazamir movement was an integral part. For Jews and non-Jews both, this film's variety of sites, stories, historical footage and photos will provide an eye-opening account of Jewish life that will enrich understanding and help defeat prejudice.

By the end of this journey, viewers of the film will have shared many of the personal moments of joy, sadness, and discovery that these singers experienced. ZAMIR: THE SONGS LIVE ON is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together the old and the new Jewish life and culture in this century. Through the power of voices raised together, dark places will be illuminated and layers of history will be peeled away to celebrate the millions of lives and a vibrant culture that, though lost, will never be forgotten.


In its 30-year history the Zamir Chorale of Boston has performed throughout New England and New York, toured Israel and Great Britain, and appeared with the Jerusalem Symphony and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conductors Daniel Barenboim and Zubin Mehta, and soloists Theodore Bikel and Herschel Bernardi. Zamir has received consistent musical praise in both local and national media.

Joshua R. Jacobson, founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Northeastern University, where he is the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Studies. His articles on various aspects of choral music, and his compositions and arrangements, have been published and performed internationally.

Jesse H. Jones with President Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Story of Jesse H. Jones

Produced and directed by Eric Stange
Broadcast on PBS, April 2000.

See www.pbs.org/jessejones.

This documentary tells the previously untold story of a now-forgotten New Deal powerbroker who helped Franklin Roosevelt salvage the American capitalist system in the depths of the Depression.

A Tennessee farm boy who dropped out of school in the 8th grade, Jesse Holman Jones had made a fortune building Houston in the 1920s. When the crash came, he went to Washington to put his business skills to work for the government. As head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation he became, according to journalists, "the second most powerful man in the nation." Under his leadership, the focus of financial power in the US shifted from Wall Street to Washington, and the government became a crucial partner in the business life of the nation‹a trend that has now been reversed by recent administrations.

The film mixes interviews with evocative archival footage and personal stories to create a riveting portrait of a man who, although unknown to today's audience, had been called at one time "the fourth branch of government."

(A production of Blackside, Inc. for PBS)

Eric Stange was producer, writer and director for one hour of BreakThrough, a six-part series about minorities in American science and engineering produced by Henry Hampton and Blackside. Broadcast April 1996.
Award: CINE Golden Eagle.

(A Windfall Films Production for The American Experience on PBS)

Eric Stange was co-producer, co-writer and co-director of this one-hour documentary about an American family torn apart by their commitment to the American Communist Party and the Soviet Union. Broadcast January 1992.
Awards: CINE Golden Eagle; Silver Plaque, Chicago Int'l Film Festival.

Children of the Left


Eric Stange was producer, writer and director of this one-hour documentary about five children of American communists growing up during the McCarthy Era. PBS broadcast June 1992.
Awards: Red Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival; American Library Assoc. citation.

See New Day Films.

PICKING UP THE PIECES: Episode 5 of Making Sense of the '60s
(A co-production of Varied Directions and WETA-TV for PBS.)

Eric Stange was the producer and writer of one hour of a six-part series on the 1960s, exploring the social and political transformation that marked the end of the decade. Broadcast January 1991.

(A Windfall Films Production for NOVA on PBS)

Eric Stange was producer, writer and director of this one-hour documentary about contrasting approaches to alcohol policy and alcoholism treatment in the U.S. and Russia. Broadcast December 1992.

(For National Geographic Television)

Eric Stange produced, wrote, and directed this documentary on the work of extraordinary shark researcher Dr. Sam Gruber. Broadcast internationally 2000.

(For The Discovery Channel)

Eric Stange produced, wrote and directed four hour-long science documentary programs for this primetime DISCOVERY CHANNEL series.

(WGBH-TV, Boston).

Eric Stange produced, wrote and directed four documentaries for this national PBS series on health care policy. Broadcast between August 1992 and September 1993.

Other Projects

Corporate and Non-Profit Clients
We have produced pieces for corporate clients including Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Cambridge, MA, and non-profit clients including the Attorney General's Office, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

© All material copyright 2000-2005 Spy Pond Productions, Inc. • Site design by Korynn Rielly Kirchwey