Author John Hewitt at Shakespeare and Company


Over the past 40 years, John Hewitt’s films and books have explored a mosaic of cultures and nationalities. A native of Los Angeles, he has traveled in Europe, Asia, and South America.

A Bit of Reflection

Novels and films have much in common. To succeed, each must offer fascinating  interior story arcs that propel the action within a larger, dramatic shell.

Documentary Filmmaking

He has been producing, editing and shooting documentaries since 1969. His films have been shown internationally, on U. S. PBS, U.S. commercial television and in film festivals throughout the United States. His textbook: Documentary Filmmaking: A Contemporary Field Guide, co-authored with Professor Gustavo Vazquez and published by Oxford University Press, is used in universities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

His most recent documentaries include: Deadline Every Second, a look at photojournalists around the world; America’s Chemical Angels, the story of drug treatments for childhood ADHD ;¬† Landmines of the Heart, a probe into the need for political reconciliation in Cambodia, and Inside Sports Illustrated, a three-part look at the classic sports magazine.

University Teaching

John Hewitt taught for 32 years in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department at San Francisco State University. His specialties included documentary theory and production, broadcast journalism theory and production, and international broadcast systems. He also lectured on communication studies for 13 years at Stanford University in the Mass Media Institute and internationally in Malaysia, Thailand, Jamaica and Jordan.

He holds a doctorate from the University of San Francisco (1986), a masters in journalism from Columbia University (1969) and a BA in history and political science from the University of Santa Clara (1965).

His textbooks: Air Words: Writing for Broadcast News in the Internet Age and Documentary Filmmaking: A Contemporary Field Guide are published by Oxford University Press.