American Sign Language Teacher
Born in Birmingham, England during the WWII Air Raids, Peter "Wolf" Wechsberg came into the world as a fighter. He fought to survive, fought for enlightenment, and continues to fight for his dreams.
His mother, Reneé Lawrence, a member of the Royal Ballet, Oxford University graduate with a Masters Degree in English and later a nurse, desired the best education and ample opportunities for her deaf son. Therefore, she and her husband, Max Wechsberg, decided to move to the USA. Max was an Auschwitz escapee, Army Chief Interrogator, successful businessman, Vice President of White Stag, and brother to the famous author Joseph Wechsberg who wrote "The Merchant Bankers" and "Murderers Among Us". Through real world experiences Max taught Peter how to face every obstacle with strength and character.
Peter attended New York School for the Deaf, fondly referred to as "Fanwood", graduated from Gallaudet University, then attended USC, and an underground film school Cinema Lab where he received "The Most Outstanding Filmmaker" award. He traveled for two years with the National Theatre of the Deaf until he became disheartened with "deaf" theater catering only to the hearing audience's novel fascination to "flying hands." Instead, he set off on a course which continues today to create visually stimulating entertainment for the Deaf.
With help from Governor Ronald Reagan, Peter created a daily television news show, NewSign 4, for KRON in San Francisco. He was a field reporter and anchorman, bringing the news to everyone in sign language. While with KRON, he won an Emmy Award for his pioneering news show, and another for his documentary, "My Eyes Are My Ears."
Peter began working in the mainstream film industry by shooting Documentaries, Industrial films, and even a top-secret CIA film where they blindfolded him during transport to and from the location! He shot Commercials for Rolls Royce, McDonald's, Sprint, Harley Davidson and many others.
Quitting his secure job in Portland, Oregon as a communication designer for US First National Bank, Peter shot the first feature film produced in sign language, "Deafula."
Over the years he continued working on scores of projects, everything from commercials to features, enabling him to purchase 35mm cameras, a Steadicam, aerial image optical printer and post editing equipment. He has been an actor, producer, director, cinematographer, stunt cameraman, aerial cinematographer - hanging out of a Huey helicopter to get the shot, editor, negative conformer, visual effects producer.
Although the main body of his work is with hearing productions, his heart still belongs to the deaf world. Together with his two sons and wife, Margaret (Sych CLU '87), they are now in production of Peter's fifth deaf feature film, "King Peddler." Their film studio, SignScope, LLC, in Camarillo, California incorporates high-end, cutting-edge technology. It has always been Peter's belief by owning the studio and equipment, budgets are kept at a minimum allowing for more dollars on the screen for audience enjoyment.
In addition to his film career, Peter has also taught sign language since the age of 14, and professionally in Colleges and Universities for over 37 years. He is a devoted husband, father and grandfather of three boys, and is also an avid animal lover. Peter enjoys life to the fullest, is a perfectionist in every way, and is determined to conquer all challenges confronting him.