Robert B. Weide
|Robert B. Weide|
|Born||June 20, 1959|
|Occupation||Documentarian, producer, director, screenwriter|
|Notable work(s)||The Marx Brothers In a Nutshell, Curb Your Enthusiasm, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People|
|Notable award(s)||Three Emmy Awards (1986, 1999, 2003)|
Though his work with film began with inspecting 16mm educational films at the Fullerton Public Libray in Orange County, California; Weide's career began with an early passion for the Marx Brothers. In 1978, while taking film production courses at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, he announced his intention to produce a documentary film on the Marx Brothers. Undeterred about his career plans by repeated rejections of his applications to the USC School of Cinema-Television, he worked on the project on his own time, and with help from Charles H. Joffe got the rights to clips necessary to make the film. The Marx Brothers In a Nutshell was broadcast in 1982 on PBS, becoming "one of the highest-rated programs in PBS history."
His projects since then include documentaries on four comedians:
- W. C. Fields: Straight Up, which won a 1986 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series;
- Mort Sahl: The Loyal Opposition;
- Lenny Bruce: Swear To Tell the Truth, a 1998 documentary which won a Creative Arts Emmy and was nominated for an Oscar;
- Woody Allen: Woody Allen: A Documentary, a two-part film for the American Masters series on PBS that aired in 2011.
Weide was the principal director and an executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm for the show's first five years. He was the recipient of repeated Emmy nominations for his work on the show, and won an Emmy in 2003 for his work as director during its third season.
Weide's first feature film as director, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, was released in October 2008, to generally unfavorable reviews, though it topped the United Kingdom's box office during its opening weekend.
Work with Kurt Vonnegut
|“||I have some kind of knack for getting to know or becoming very close with people I've long admired. Kurt Vonnegut and I—it's not an exaggeration to say we were best friends. And I grew up just idolizing him."||”|
—Weide in October 2008
Weide wrote and produced the 1996 film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Mother Night. With Vonnegut's support, Weide chronicled him on film starting in 1988 and has obtained footage of him from 16mm home movies dating back to 1925; a documentary is in the works. Weide was also working on a film adaptation of The Sirens of Titan until the film rights were sold to another producer.
Writing under the pseudonym Wyaduck (a Marx Brothers reference), Weide was a frequent poster to Usenet group alt.books.kurt-vonnegut, where he reported on the progress of the Mother Night project, as well as his being mentioned in Vonnegut's Timequake.
Notable careers influenced by Weide
Josh Clayton-Felt, prior to creation of the successful band School of Fish, worked for Weide in 1987 as an informal office assistant during the production of: Swear To Tell the Truth. Shortly thereafter, Clayton-Felt reluctantly entered Brown University for a short-lived academic Term. Clayton-Felt later returned to Los Angeles after leaving Brown in haste to pursue his to-be successful artistic endeavors, following Weide's original advice. School of Fish later went on to be a highly successful American band in the late 1980s through the mid- 1990s prior to Clayton-Felt's death. Weide delivered the eulogy at Clayton-Felt's funeral, after his death from testicular cancer in early 2000.
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2009)|
- "A Sketch of Robert B. Weide's Career". Weide's official website. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- "Marx Brothers in a Nutshell". Weide's official website. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Robert B. Weide at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards for Robert B. Weide from the Internet Movie Database
- PBS.org American Masters, Woody Allen: A Documentary – About the Film, 21 July 2011; Note: the two part film first aired on November 20 & 21, 2011.
- Adam Baer (October 1, 2008). "Uncurbed enthusiasm". Salon.com. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- How to Lose Friends & Alienate People at Metacritic
- "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People tops the UK box office". Journalism.co.uk. October 8, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-02. "The film of Toby Young’s book, depicting his failed five-year attempt to make it in the U.S, as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, has shot to the top of the UK box office in its opening weekend. How to Lose Friends and Alienate People took £1.5 million over the weekend according to Screen International. It has, so far, failed to enjoy the same success in the US."
- wyad...@aol.com (WYADUCK) (1997-02-06). "<19970206023300.VAA11876@ladder01.news.aol.com>#1/1 WYADUCK's TIMEQUAKE Report". alt.books.kurt-vonnegut. Web link. "The reason I had to post to the NG right now is because I'm a little delirious. I'm not trying to gloat, but I can now say I'll die happy. I've lived every Vonnegut fan's ultimate dream... I'm in the book. (!!)". Retrieved 2013-12-07.
- Robert B. Weide at the Internet Movie Database
- Biography from the HBO website
- 40-Minute audio interview with Robert Weide on The Sound of Young America