About Us

Sandy McLeod

Sandy McLeod is an Academy Award nominated independent filmmaker, with experience in most of the major areas of filmmaking. She formed Make-Do Productions in 1992 as an outlet for her own work, but her producing and directing career began with the formation of Working Pictures, a production company for feature film directors who wanted to try their hand at music videos—a new concept at that time. She worked with many industry leaders including Michael Lindsey- Hogg, Alex Cox, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, UB40, Bruce Springsteen, Chrissy Hynde, and Roy Orbison.

This experience led to Sandy’s directorial debut in music videos, when she directed a series for VH1 called The Sixties. Her next film was Doll Day Afternoon, a short film she directed for Saturday Night Live. The film was so well received it went on to be shown in museums nationwide, including the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Art. She conceptualized and directed a Talking Heads’ music video which was featured at the New York Film Festival and is now part of the permanent collection in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

She produced, directed and wrote segments of an AIDS awareness project aired by CBS called Red, Hot and Blue, which was used as an early educational tool for AIDS awareness. It was an international collaboration that included musicians and artists from all over the world including Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Annie Lennox, U2, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, the Neville Brothers, and Sinead O’Connor. The project led to an MTV special called Nothin but a She Thang in which she created segments promoting women’s awareness.

In her film career, Sandy began as a script supervisor working with such diverse directors as Richard Attenborough, Karel Reisz, Paul Schrader and Taylor Hackford. Working behind the camera resulted in an acting role in the Jonathan Demme film, “Last Embrace.” She later had roles in “Melvin and Howard,” “Tootsie,” “Something Wild,” and “City of Hope.” She starred in an independently produced film noir which was invited to the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Her performance was critically acclaimed. Joe Gelmis of Newsday wrote, “The best thing about Variety is Sandy McLeod’s perfect blend of intelligence and intelligent watchfulness. She makes thought visible.” This stint in front of the camera later proved to be invaluable in working with actors.

She has production designed such projects as Trying Times written by Beth Henley, starring Roseanna Arquette, and Mountainview, a dance film directed by John Sayles and choreographed by Marta Renzi for “Alive From Off Center.” As visual consultant for the Talking Heads’ concert film, Stop Making Sense, Sandy worked with Jordan Cronenweth and Jonathan Demme to establish innovative textural elements of this landmark film. From there, she went on to the production designing of Swimming to Cambodia, a one-man show by Spaulding Gray. A further collaboration with Jonathan Demme resulted in a documentary for Channel 4 called, Haiti, Dreams of Democracy.

Sandy has been a long-time collaborator with John Sayles as second unit director. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America. She directed an Academy Award nominated short documentary called Asylum—a film about a Ghanaian woman who sought political asylum in the United States to escape female genital mutilation. The film also won a Gracie and was nominated for an Emmy.

She is currently finishing her first feature length documentary, The Seeds of Time.

Sandy previously served on a grants panel for Independent Television Service which provides funding to independent producers for alternative programming, and on a judging panel for UNESCO that awards prizes for the best documentary of the year.