Don Swaynos is a filmmaker and editor living in Austin, TX. He has written, directed, produced, and/or edited award-winning films, commercials, and music videos.
In his fourteen years as a professional editor Don has worked on a wide variety of projects including narrative films, documentaries, reality shows, commercials, music videos, and branded entertainment. He recently cut several indie features including Yen Tan’s Pit Stop (Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival; Independent Spirit Award Nominee), Bryan Poyser’s Love & Air Sex (aka The Bounceback) (Official Selection, SXSW; New York Times Critics’ Pick), James Bryan’s long-lost horror oddity Jungle Trap, Julio Quintana’s Terrence Malick-produced drama The Vessel (starring Martin Sheen), and John Bryant’s award-winning short film The Samaritans.
Don has also edited for television; including CNN’s Emmy nominated docu-series High Profits, Rooster Teeth’s critically-acclaimed science fiction drama Day 5, A&E’s long-running reality show Shipping Wars, as well as programs for TLC and The Discovery Channel.
As a screenwriter Don has won several awards for his work on branded entertainment and political advertising with Collection Agency Films. In addition he has written and directed the critically-acclaimed comedy feature Pictures of Superheroes and is currently in post-production on a new short film, Don’t Ever Change. He also co-wrote Yen Tan’s satirical horror-comedy The Outfit (starring AJ Bowen and Anna Margaret Hollyman).
Additionally, Don recently served as producer on Brad Besser’s meta-documentary Beaver Trilogy Part IV (Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2015) and Travis Matthews’ dark drama Discreet (currently in post-production).
Don’s work has screened at international film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, and the Los Angeles Film Festival and has earned a lot of attention in the press including mentions in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, ABC World News, Fangoria, Dread Central, Film School Rejects, Film Threat, The Huffington Post and Politco.
Awards and Recognition
Outstanding Business & Economic Reporting: Long Form, Emmy Nomination
New York times Critics’ Pick
(High Profits, Editor)
Jury Award, Best Texas Short, SXSW 2015
(The Samaritans, Editor)
John Cassavetes Award Nominee, Spirit Awards 2014
Best Actor (Marcus DeAnda and Bill Heck), Outfest 2013
HBO Film Award, Best Feature, Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2013
Louis LeQuire Award for Best Screenplay, Nashville Film Festival 2013
Texas Grand Jury Prize, Dallas International Film Festival 2013
(Pit Stop, Editor)
New York Times Critics’ Pick
Best Ensemble Cast, Napa Valley Film Festival 2013
Best Writing, Genart Film Festival 2013
(Love & Air Sex, Editor)
Best Experimental Film, Lausanne Underground Film Festival 2012
(Six Hundred and Forty-One Slates, Director/Editor)
Best Short Film, Lone Star International Film Festival 2012
(Sexy Chat, Producer/Editor)
Audience Award (Dark Matters), Austin Film Festival 2012
Best Horror Film, Arizona Underground Film Festival 2012
Best Feature, Minneapolis Underground Film Festival 2012
(Saturday Morning Massacre, Editor)
Semi-finalist, Screamfest LA 2011
(Blood Brew [un-produced script], Writer)
Special Jury Prize, Friars’ Club Film Festival 2010
(S&M Lawn Care, Editor)
Best Use of Web Video (Gold), Pollie Awards 2010
(Charles Wheelan: The Bright Knight, Writer)
Best Short Film, Indie Memphis 2009
(The Ballad of Friday and June, Producer/Editor)
Best Use of Web Video (Silver), Pollie Awards 2009
Best Use of Humor (Bronze), Pollie Awards 2009
(The Insur-Animals: Episode 1, Writer)
Recipient, Texas Filmmakers’ Production Fund 2008
(The American Widow Project, Co-Director/Producer/Editor)
Best of the Fests 2008, Film Threat
Grand Jury Prize, deadCENTER Film Festival 2008
(Year at Danger, Co-Director/Editor)
Best Advertising for the Arts & Sciences (Gold), Austin Addy Awards 2005
(Austin Film Festival: Uhhh…, Writer/Director/Producer/Editor)