Director / cinematographer Craig McCourry has worked on film productions in over 70 countries, shooting documentaries, travel films, TV commercials and stock footage shoots for the media industry. His early career was working as a cinematographer in Los Angeles, shooting on 16mm & 35mm motion picture film for TV commercials, network promos, helicopter aerials and time-lapse cinematography. Craig also worked as a filmmaker for a University study abroad program called Semester at Sea, which was a floating university ship that made 100-day around the world voyages with about 500 student passengers onboard.
Starting in 2000, Craig started producing, directing and photographing a series of documentary films made for the international television market. These films had universally appealing narrative storylines that showcased a culture, society or way-of-life that were purchased by many of the world’s major broadcasters. This documentary series included:
Venice: Tides of Change ~ What happens when the forces of the outside world threaten to submerge the local culture of an insular society? For over 800 years, the residents of Venice have preserved their city's culture despite the changes around them. But now Venice struggles to maintain its unique character against a host of problems including unprecedented rates of migration, mass tourism and environmental damage. The Venetian people now find themselves in a perilous balance as they reflect upon the issues that may soon swamp their society. Searching for solutions, the Venetians confront the possibility that their culture may drift away long before the city's historic landmarks sink into the Adriatic Sea. 50 minutes.
Press Pass to the World ~ Follows a cast of respected journalists through the challenging, adventurous task of reporting for some of the world's leading newspapers. Driven by their search for truth, the mystery becomes less about HOW these journalists get the story than WHY they do what they do. "Press Pass to the World" is a whimsical and poignant look at a way of life that is about more than chasing stories - it's about pursuing dreams. Filmed on location in New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, Washington, D.C., Havana and Vienna with foreign correspondents employed by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, The International Herald Tribune, The Times of India, The Jerusalem Post, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and others. 58 minutes.
The Great Bazaars ~ For centuries, across vast windswept deserts and through rugged outposts, the various peoples of the Islamic world traveled by camel caravan to trade in the ancient marketplaces of Cairo, Istanbul, Marrakesh and Fez. Today the Great Bazaars are struggling against an onslaught of economic and cultural changes that imperils their historic significance within the Muslim world. The Great Bazaars takes you on the journey of a lifetime, across the green-glaze tiled rooftops of Fez, through the cobbled lanes and blind alleys of Cairo, past the jutting minarets and domed mosques of Istanbul, into the heart of these ancient marketplaces. Enter a realm where religion and commerce are intertwined, where every transaction is a choreographed ritual of negotiation, where merchants and craftsmen keep alive old traditions in their everyday trade. Filmed on location in Morocco, Egypt and Turkey. 50 minutes
Empires of Steam ~ Take a journey into the windswept deserts of India and the cold frontiers of Northeastern China for a rare last glimpse of powerful steam trains that have managed to survive on the fringes of Asia's railway empires. This onetime "king of transportation" is riding on the brink of extinction - its last outposts now in the most remote areas of China and India. Empires of Steam explores the largest and most exotic centers of steam railway activity left anywhere in the world. Brilliant cinematography documents this closing chapter of the world's last great steam railway empires and the colorful people who still populate these remote regions. 50 minutes.
These documentary films (listed above) were sold for television broadcast on PBS (United States); TV Ontario (Canada); Discovery Channel; ZDF Television (Germany); La Cinquieme (France); Odyssee (France); RAI Television (Italy); NOS-EO (The Netherlands); SF-DRS (Switzerland); TSR (Switzerland) and TVE (Brazil) with home video and DVD release in the United States, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
In 2005, Craig founded a company called Stock Footage World. This media business provided film & television companies HD footage of the world’s major cities. Building up the footage library required Craig to frequently shoot in Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America from 2005 - 2013. The list of locations included the cities of London, Paris, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, St Louis, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Tokyo, Osaka, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Rome, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon, Prague, Budapest, Istanbul, Sydney, Melbourne, Doha, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Manila, Kolkata, Macau, Mumbai, Montevideo, Seoul, Taipei, Venice, Bangkok, Yangon, Hohhot, Siem Reap, Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Hanoi and Vienna. The Stock Footage World collection is now represented by Getty Images in New York.
In 2006, Craig worked as a cameraman with renowned film critic Richard Schickel and producer Brian Jamison on their documentary film, "Bienvenue à Cannes" (also known by the title, Cannes: All Access). This film is about the renowned Cannes Film Festival held each year in France. The film includes interviews and behind the scenes footage with various film personalities including directors Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Ron Howard, Brian Glazer, Harvey Weinstein, Dino De Laurentiis, Nick Nolte, Samuel L. Jackson, Chloe Sevigny, Gena Rowlands, William Dafoe and film critics Derek Malcolm (London Evening Standard), A. O. Scott (New York Times) and Roger Ebert. The film was broadcast on the Turner Movie Classics Channel.
In 2006, Craig worked as a cameraman on another documentary film titled “To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen's Journey.” This film follows the story of Hong Kong actress Nancy Kwan and her meteoric rise to fame when she was selected to star in the 1960 film “The World of Suzie Wong.” The film was mostly shot in Hong Kong and was released by Redwind Productions in Los Angeles.
In September of 2015, Craig moved to Hong Kong. His first filmmaking endeavor in Hong Kong will be a film series titled HongKonglicious. These social issue dramas will bring together aspiring young actors as they present some of the challenges facing the youth of Hong Kong.