His first twenty films, beginning with the critically acclaimed If Elected… were broadcast as a part of the series Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. The Emmy nominated Blood’s of ‘Nam followed on PBS as a part of the Frontline series. Also for Frontline, Ewing produced and directed A Journey To Russia during the last days of the Brezhnev era.
For NBC News Ewing made one hour documentaries, directing Women In Prison (1987) with Maria Shriver as correspondent and then producing and directing Gangs, Cops, & Drugs (1989) and The New Hollywood (1990) with Tom Brokaw as correspondent. Gangs, Cops, & Drugs is one of the highest rated documentaries (a 25/18 rating) ever broadcast on American television. His commercial television journalism also includes segments for Ted Koppel at ABC and Charles Kuralt at CBS.
In 1992, the feature film director Barry Levinson asked Ewing to design the photographic style of the dramatic series Homicide: Life On The Streets. Ewing’s handheld camerawork as Director of Photography brought a style of reality to drama that television critics have credited with changing the look of American dramatic television in the 1990’s. Ewing also directed the final show of the first season of Homicide.
Ewing returned to documentaries with his critically acclaimed independent documentary feature Breakfast With Hunter about the late gonzo journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Two other films about Thompson followed: When I Die focuses on the making of the Gonzo Monument and the blast off of Dr. Thompson’s ashes into the sky in 2005; Free Lisl: Fear & Loathing in Denver explores the most significant achievement of Hunter S. Thompson’s last years—the freeing of Lisl Auman who was sentenced to life without parole at the age of 21 for the murder of a Denver police officer by someone she had just met while she was handcuffed in the back of a police car.
Ewing’s other recent documentaries focused on politics – Benched which is about the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court Race and a companion film about the 2004 West Virginia Supreme Court election called The Last Campaign, a sequel to his first film, If Elected… (1973).
The Last Campaign was nominated by the International Documentary Association for their IDA Award as BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE of 2005 and selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be included in their Academy/UCLA Series of the best documentaries of 2005.
The Outsiders of New Orleans: Loujon Press premiered at the Starz Denver Film Festival in November, 2007.
The Border Wall premiered at the Starz Denver Film Festival in November, 2008, and was also selected for the Santa Cruz Film Festival in 2009.
Animals, Whores & Dialogue – the 91 minute sequel to Breakfast with Hunter – was released in July, 2010.
Wayne Ewing graduated from Yale College (BA, History, 1970) and The University of Texas Graduate School of Communications (MA, 1971). He has lived in the Aspen, Colorado area for over twenty-five years.