Get to Know Hollywood Producer and Pro-Social Activist, Peter Samuelson
No one embodies FilmUp quite like its senior advisor, Peter Samuelson. Peter is a philanthropist and a veteran of the film industry, working on major projects for over 45 years. He’s made upwards of 26 films including Revenge of the Nerds, served on the board of Participant Media for seven years, and is currently producing the film Foster Boy. Since joining our team, he has been the compass for FilmUp and its mission to improve the world through film.
FilmUp aims to become the future of film networking. Here are Peter’s thoughts on the platform’s role in the industry:
“FilmUp is where the filmmakers go to find jobs, collaborators, community, encouragement: it’s the market square of bright futures in media.”
To share his passion with the FilmUp community, we’ve decided to dedicate our first Featured Filmmakers post to Peter Samuelson.
How FilmUp met Peter
Finding the parallels between Peter’s body of work and FilmUp’s mission is easy. We’re both working to improve the world in a way that inspires us. While it seems inevitable we would work together, the relationship started when co-founders Aryeh and Christina stumbled upon a Ted Talk.
“We were sent a Ted Talk and as soon as we heard Peter speak, we knew we needed to speak with him. We set up a short call and then spoke for nearly two hours. He’s now a Senior Adviser for FilmUp and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Here’s Peter’s take on their conversation:
“Hundreds of startups over the years have asked me to attach as a board member or advisor and I have learned to say ‘no’ almost every time. But, FilmUp addressed a real need: where do all the young filmmakers go after they graduate college with their degree and training in film? Where do they find a community? How do they get a job? How do they crew up a film with collaborators? FilmUp is that answer and a lot more. I really think Aryeh and Christina are exceptional strivers and succeeders.”
To support this sentiment, Peter posted open positions for his latest film, Foster Boy, on the FilmUp jobs page earlier this year. We’re pleased to support the collaboration between FilmUp members and his amazing project.
A pioneer of social philanthropy
In addition to his impressive resume in film, Peter has been a social entrepreneur for decades. In 1983, inspired by the life of an 11-year-old boy battling a brain tumor, he founded the Starlight Children’s Foundation to support the families of children facing life-threatening diagnoses. In that span, Starlight has served over 60 million children around the world.
In 1990, he partnered with Steven Spielberg and General Norman Schwarzkopf to create Starbright World, a pioneering social network, which connected seriously ill teenagers to their families and other patients. He has since merged these two organizations and has taken on another cause with First Star. First Star works to improve the lives of neglected and abused foster children in America and the UK, and help prepare them for college and self-advocation. Peter also founded EDAR or Everyone Deserves A Roof.
His mission to help people inspires us to keep pushing our pro-social mindset to the forefront of the film industry.
What Peter thinks of FilmUp
Peter’s passion for helping others and his vast knowledge of the film industry have made him an invaluable guide for FilmUp as we continue to learn and grow as a platform.
Here are Peter’s thoughts on FilmUp’s value to young filmmakers:
“I wish FilmUp had existed when I was starting out. It was lonely, demoralizing, difficult to feel appreciated or encouraged. I did it anyway, but boy, it would’ve been much faster, much more reliable, and a happier experience when I was breaking into the industry if I had FilmUp on my side.”
With Peter’s guidance, we’re excited to be the platform that brings the global film community together to help filmmakers of all backgrounds break into the industry.
How to get involved
FilmUp is more than a social media platform for filmmakers. It’s becoming the home base for young, industry-leading talent across the world. Join FilmUp for free and connect with other talented filmmakers, organizations, and students looking to create their next project. We believe the future of film is in the hands of the innovators and we’re ready to help them make their next project a reality.