Stephen Sheppard was born and raised in
New York City. He went to a lot of colleges
and eventually got a BA in English from
NYU. After graduating, he took a summer
workshop in film production with Haig
Manoogian, where he edited a short
documentary on coffee.
From there he went into the Peace Corp
and spent two years eating arepas and
producing fourth grade social science
programs in Bogota, Colombia.
Back home, he tucked a copy of one of his social
science programs under one arm and that coffee
film under the other and went looking for a job.
The second guy he went to said sure, “a hundred bucks a week and you
can do everything."
Eventually, he wound up editing for a WCBS-TV half hour, documentary series, “Eye-On...” and eventually, CBS Reports for the network. After a while, he moved one flight up to “60 Minutes”, beginning a 25 year relationship with Don Hewitt, the genius behind the program and some of the best broadcast journalists in the business.
His first segment was “Inside Afghanistan,” a twenty four minutes segment that won a Network Craft Emmy for editing. Along the way, he got a Masters in creative writing, which is a lot of what documentary filmmaking is about. Besides editing more segments than he can remember, he produced, associate produced and wrote several stories as well. Then three years ago, after working at CBS News for thirty years, he retired.
Since then he has been helping friends with projects and writing a book about producing the magazine format and some of his experiences at “60 Minutes." He has taught writing and reporting for SPS, NYU as well as a hands of course in Producing the Magazine Format, the kind of story telling he did for all those years at “60 Minutes”.
He has taught that course all around the world, from New York University to University of California, Florida State University, The Maine Media Workshops, Singapore Media Academy and the Communications University of China.
A while ago he did a workshop in Bogota, Colombia for a group of broadcast journalists from CARACOL TV who were creating a hour magazine program, much like “60 Minutes”. They went on to produce the number one rated program in the country.
For many years he was an Adjunct Professor at NYU where he taught two courses. The first is the course in writing and reporting and the other, the hands on production workshop, Producing the Magazine Format.