Alan Spearman is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and photojournalist. His photography has been seen in numerous publications including The New York Times and Sports Illustrated.
During his 16-year career, Spearman has worked as a photographer for eight newspapers, most recently for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, TN. His documentary projects as a photographer have included the struggle of a young boy learning to connect with his imprisoned mother; birth and death in a Memphis trauma center; the Memphis connection to a Mexican drug cartel; and the devastating aftermath of both Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti.
Spearman has created large photographic essays about the Mississippi River, Memphis music, and the controversial topic of globalization - a project that took him to China, India, Zambia, South Africa, Israel, England and Brazil. In 2006, he was inducted into the Scripps Howard Hall of Fame. Spearman also shot the film stills for the Academy Award-winning film Hustle and Flow and has created album artwork for a variety of Memphis musicians including Yo Gotti and Lucero.
In 2007, Spearman made his directorial debut with the feature film, Nobody. It premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and has been featured on the Dr. Phil show. Two years later he collaborated with MTV New Media and writer-director Craig Brewer to create an anthology of short documentary films called $5 Cover Amplified for the new media experiment and television series $5 Cover. The work premiered in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival New Frontier program. Spearman won two Emmy Awards for the project, including one for cinematography and a second for film direction.
In 2010, Spearman was personally selected by Werner Herzog to attend the legendary German filmmaker's first ever Rogue Film School. That same year he collaborated with U2’s the Edge to create a short film, Leaves in the Wind, about the guitarist’s dream of pushing the limits of organic architecture.
In 2012, Alan completed five short films including As I Am, a project recently named by the popular video-sharing website Vimeo as one of their top 12 videos of 2012. As I Am made it’s national television broadcast premiere in April 2013 on PBS’s Independent Lens series.
Spearman graduated from the University of Georgia Honors Program and the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. As a college student he twice won entry into the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards program and was first runner-up in 1997 as the national College Photographer of the Year.
Spearman lives in Memphis and in 2013 co-founded a new production studio, Spearman+Adams. He is currently developing a feature film, Ground, with writer-director Craig Brewer and continuing to shoot a series of short films around the world.