The Film and New Media department presented the documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett” in Watson Fine Arts Center on Feb. 10., followed by a post screening discussion with the producer. Wheaton alumnus George Kunhardt ’09 who is the producer of the new documentary took questions from students and faculty about the process of filmmaking, the struggle of manifesting creativity and advice for the next generation of Wheaton filmmakers.
Kunhardt, along with his brother and father, manages the production company Kunhardt Films. They specialize in documentaries that focus on American icons such as Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey and others who Kunhardt says, “have legacies with moral value to preserve and share, to make the world a better place.”
For his latest documentary on business magnate and philanthropist Warren Buffett, Kunhardt aimed to portray Buffett’s life through a personal lens. He revealed the effort that went into building a relationship of trust and respect with Buffett. Also, Kunhardt attributed the production’s power and unique hallmark of “first-hand” documentary to being able to interview Buffett as a friend rather than a businessman.
The conversation continued with a confession from Kunhardt about what he would have done differently during his time at Wheaton. He wishes he had written more. He explained that in order to succeed in a creative field, one must be able to tell a story in a way that has never been done before.
For Kunhardt, the key to achieving a balance between creative vision and the hinderance of time and money is practice. The Wheaton alum emphasized the importance of interning while in college. He advised students on the importance of experience when trying to enter the workforce. “Even if it’s just getting coffee or an egg sandwich for your boss,” internships will give a prospective employee the social skills that are essential in the job market, said Kunhardt.