Academy Originals’s Creative Spark series profiles screenwriter John August‘s creative process. August’s list of credits include Go, Charlie’s Angeles, Big Fish, Frankenweenie and many other films. He’s probably best known for his adaptations and his collaborations with director Tim Burton. We have often featured August on the site because we’re fans of his work (Go is in my top 10 of all time) and he puts himself out there to help aspiring screenwriters learn about the craft and how the business works — we sometimes point to the instructional content he produces. In this Creative Spark video, August gives us a rundown of how he comes up with ideas, how he crafts a scene, and how his screenplays are created. Watch the how to write movies video now embedded after the jump.
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CBS Films has been trying to crack the popular children’s book series, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, for a while. Originally, they brought on Saw writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton to pen a script. Evidently their take wasn’t what the company wanted. CBS has now gone back to square one and hired a writer who knows a little something about blending the tones that made these books so popular. John August, writer of Go, Charlie’s Angels, Big Fish, Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie, has been hired to write a new script for the scary series of short stories. Read more about the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark movie below.
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With Frankenweenie, Tim Burton goes back to a couple periods of his own history. One is his childhood, during which he was alienated from average school life, and found solace in monsters and movies. Another is his early career, when he created a short film for Disney that, creatively, was his first big success, and professionally his first major failure. Meant to run before the re-release of Pinocchio, the original Frankenweenie, about a boy who reanimates his dead dog, was deemed too dark and weird, and shelved for years.
Today Burton sees the release of a new, feature-length version of Frankenweenie in which the characters are gloriously rendered via stop-motion animation. The film is a nostalgia trip on many levels, but it is a loving one. Burton came to Fantastic Fest a couple weeks ago to present the film, and he and I sat down for a conversation about going back to your past, and the reliability of memory. Read More »
This is the first edition in a new regular series where I attempt to answer your questions about the film industry. We’ll be taking a look at the box office, forgotten Hollywood landmarks, the marketing process and more. Sometimes I’ll attempt to answer the question myself, and other times I will contact experts in the particular field to give a more detailed answer. Please feel free to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I decided to start off this series with an easier question, and use it as a jumping-off point to delve into the more complex world of screen credits.
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In 1984 Tim Burton made a short called Frankenweenie, about a kid who uses Frankenstein-like science to bring his deceased pet back to life. Deemed too dark and family-unfriendly to release, the black and white short cost Burton his job at Disney, but ultimately turned into a sort of demo reel that helped him make Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. In the quarter-century that followed the ’84 short, we’ve seen Burton’s friendly-goth style become hugely popular, and now Disney is bankrolling a feature-length remake of Frankenweenie. This new film is in 3D, but animated with stop-motion, and it is still shot in black and white.
Check out the first stills from the film below. Read More »
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Father issues and buckets of tears are soon coming to a Big Apple stage. Producers just announced that Big Fish, best known for its 2003 film adaptation directed by Tim Burton, will be turned into a Broadway musical with a book by John August, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and director Susan Stroman. August wrote the screenplay for the Burton film based on the original novel by Daniel Wallace, Lippa did the music for The Addams Family musical and Stroman directed the most recent film version of Mel Brooks’ The Producers. Producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, Oscar winners for American Beauty, hope to open the show on Broadway in the Spring of 2012. Read More »
When I Am Number Four came out in the United States, director D.J. Caruso had yet to officially sign on to direct the adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon‘s iconic comic book series Preacher. Now that Number Four is opening internationally, though, the cat’s out of the bag and the international press has been chatting him up about it. French website CloneWeb got the director not only to open up about the film, but name a few of the people who he’s talked to about potential roles.
Caruso was very insistent that casting hasn’t started and the script isn’t quite ready, but that he’s been getting a ton of texts and calls from people who want to join in. He said Chris Pine really wants to play Jesse, Shia LaBeouf wants to play Arseface and Alex Pettyfer wants to play the Saint of Killers. Read some more of his quotes and watch the video after the break. Read More »
Despite the poor box office and critic reception on his latest film, I Am Number Four, director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) recently tweeted the following:
My deal just closed on Preacher. Going back to the dark side and pretty fucking pumped!
Whoa! Someone is actually going to make a film version of Preacher. This fits in with the rumor Peter ran last week, saying that Caruso was in talks to direct the big screen adaptation of the famous, dark, Garth Ennis-written, Steve Dillon-drawn Vertigo comic book series. It appears he’s now locked the role down. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Monday, February 21st, 2011 by Angie Han
Way back in 2009, we reported that a big-screen adaptation of Mac Carter‘s four-part comic series The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft was in development. Carter’s book is a fantastical origin story for Cthulhu creator H.P. Lovecraft, in which a meek young Lovecraft falls under a curse that turns him into a kind of supernatural god. Ron Howard was attached to direct, from a script written by Carter himself.
We haven’t heard much news on the movie since then, but a new rumor that’s been floating around gives us hope that the project isn’t totally dead. According to The Tracking Board, screenwriter John August has been brought on to rewrite Carter’s screenplay. Hit the jump for more details, including an official synopsis of the comic book.
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