Adam Wingard

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Adam Wingard
Adam Wingard by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Wingard at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1982-12-03) December 3, 1982 (age 35)
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.
Occupation Film director, editor, cinematographer, screenwriter Composer
Years active 2004-present

Adam Wingard (/ˈwɪŋɡɑːrd/ WING-gard;[1][2] born December 3, 1982) is an American film director, editor, cinematographer, and screenwriter.[3][4] He is notable for his works in the horror genre, especially the films You're Next, The Guest, and Death Note.

Life and career[edit]

Wingard was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and graduated from Full Sail University in 2002. His first feature, the horror comedy Home Sick, starring Bill Moseley and Tiffany Shepis, proved to be a stepping stone to his second feature, the psychotropic ghost story horror film Pop Skull. Made on a total budget of $2,000, Pop Skull had its international premiere at the Rome Film Festival and its domestic premiere at the AFI Film Festival in 2007. A Horrible Way to Die (2010) and What Fun We Were Having (2011) followed.

The serial killer love story horror film A Horrible Way to Die premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in the ‘Vanguard’ section and was acquired by Starz/Anchor Bay at the festival for a North American theatrical and home media release. What Fun We Were Having is a 4-part anthology dealing with the taboo subject of date rape. The anthology had its premiere at the 2011 Fantastia Film Festival in Montreal where Wingard was honored by the festival with his very own sidebar section: “Medicated Monsters – A Spotlight on Filmmaker Adam Wingard”.

In 2011, Wingard co-directed Autoerotic with mumblecore icon (and frequent actor in Wingard films) Joe Swanberg. He was selected to direct one chapter of The ABCs of Death, a 26-chapter horror comedy anthology for Drafthouse Films and Magnet. A recent solo directorial effort, You're Next, a home invasion slasher, premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the ‘Midnight Madness’ section.[5] The film was acquired by Lionsgate, and received a wide release in August 2013 to generally favorable reviews.

In 2014, Wingard directed The Guest starring Dan Stevens, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, receiving wide critical acclaim upon its wider theatrical release in mid-September.[6] Wingard directed Lionsgate's horror film Blair Witch, based on a script by Simon Barrett. The film is a sequel to the 1999 found footage horror classic, The Blair Witch Project and received mostly ambivalent reviews.[7]

In 2015, Wingard had signed on to direct a live-action American film adaptation of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's popular horror crime-thriller manga series Death Note.[8] The neo-noir dark fantasy horror-thriller was released on Netflix on August 25, 2017 to a mostly mixed to negative reception, with criticism aimed at the number of changes from the source material, the gratuitous gore present, rushed plot, shallow execution, incoherent writing and pacing, while praise was aimed at Wingard's direction, the visual style, production design, soundtrack, performances of the cast, and it's dark, macabre sense of humor.

In May 2017, Wingard was announced as the director for Godzilla vs. Kong.[9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Wingard's film Pop Skull[10][11][12] won the Best Feature Film award at the Indianapolis International Film Festival[13] and the Jury award at the Boston Underground Film Festival.[14]

Wingard's A Horrible Way to Die won Best Screenplay (Simon Barrett), Best Actor (A.J. Bowen) and Best Actress (Amy Seimetz) at the 2010 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.[15]

Wingard's You're Next won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Simon Barrett), and Best Actress (Sharni Vinson) at the 2011 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.[16]


Feature films and television[edit]

Year Title Director Screenwriter Cinematographer Editor Producer Actor Notes
2007 Home Sick Yes
Pop Skull Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Role: Raymond
2010 A Horrible Way to Die Yes Yes also camera operator and music supervisor
2011 Autoerotic Yes Yes Yes Yes co-directed with Joe Swanberg
also camera operator
What Fun We Were Having Yes Yes Yes Yes
Art History Yes Yes Role: Bill
Caitlin Plays Herself Yes
The Zone Yes Yes
You're Next Yes Yes also composer
60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero Yes Segment: "USA"
2012 V/H/S Yes Yes Yes Yes Role: Brad
also camera operator and sound designer
Segment: "Tape 56" / "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger"
The ABCs of Death Yes Yes Role: Adam
Segment: "Q Is for Quack"
2013 V/H/S/2 Yes Yes Executive Yes Role: Herman
also set photographer
Segment: "Phase I Clinical Trials" / "Tape 49"
24 Exposures Yes Role: Billy
Cheap Thrills special thanks
2014 The Guest Yes Yes
The Last Survivors Yes Yes Role: Compound Soldier
2016 Outcast Yes Executive Consultant TV Series
3 episodes
Blair Witch Yes Co-Producer also composer
2017 XX special thanks
Death Note Yes adaptation of the 2003 manga
2020 Godzilla vs. Kong Yes

Other works[edit]

Year Title Director Screenwriter Cinematographer Editor Producer Actor Notes
2004 The Little One Yes Yes Yes Short film.
2005 The Girlfriend Yes Yes Yes Short film.
2007 An Evening with P. Oswalt Yes Live comedy show.
1000 Year Sleep Yes Yes Yes Yes Short film.
2008 Laura Panic Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Short film.
Paradox Mary Yes Yes Yes Yes Short film.
Little Sister Gone Yes Short film.
2009 Her Name is Laura Panic Yes Short film.
2011 Ultra Modern Yes Short segment from the anthology film 60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero.
2012 Tape 56 Yes Yes Yes Yes Short segment from the anthology film V/H/S.
Q is for Quack Yes Yes Short segment from the anthology film The ABCs of Death.
2013 Phase I Clinical Trials Yes Yes Yes Yes Short segment from the anthology film V/H/S/2.


  1. ^ Walters, Mark (2013-08-23). "YOU'RE NEXT interview with director Adam Wingard at South by Southwest 2013". bigfanboy. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  2. ^ Champane, Jimmy (2016-07-26). "SDCC2016 - Blair Witch Interview with Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  3. ^ "Adam Wingard". Movies & TV. The New York Times (All Movie Guide and Baseline). 
  4. ^ "Home Sick Comes Home Today!". August 26, 2008. 
  5. ^ "'Guest' Director Adam Wingard Goes Back to Horror with 'The Woods' (Exclusive)". 
  6. ^ "Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Take a Trip into The Woods - Dread Central". 
  7. ^ "Adam Wingard Heads Into 'The Woods' - Bloody Disgusting". 
  8. ^ Adam Wingard to Direct ‘Death Note’. /Film, April 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (May 30, 2017). "'Godzilla vs. Kong' Finds Its Director With Adam Wingard (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 30, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Review of Adam Wingard's brilliant POP SKULL". September 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  11. ^ Brown, Todd (December 9, 2007). "News: Adam Wingard Convinces Me I've Wasted My Life. Trailer And Stills From POP SKULL". Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  12. ^ Koehler, Robert (November 21, 2007). "Variety Reviews – Pop Skull – Film Reviews – AFI". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  13. ^ "indyfilmfest". Indianapolis International Film Festival. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  14. ^ Everleth, Mike (March 28, 2008). "2008 Boston Underground Film Festival: Award Winners". Underground Film Journal. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  15. ^ "FANTASTIC FEST 2010 ANNOUNCES THE FANTASTIC FEST AWARDS". Fantastic Fest. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  16. ^ "FANTASTIC FEST 2011 ANNOUNCES THE FANTASTIC FEST AWARDS". Fantastic Fest. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 

External links[edit]