Frank Daniel

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Frank Daniel
Born
František Daniel

(1926-04-14)April 14, 1926
DiedMarch 29, 1996(1996-03-29) (aged 69)
NationalityCzech
American
OccupationFilm screenwriter, Teacher

František "Frank" Daniel (April 14, 1926 – March 29, 1996) was a Czech-American screenwriter, film director and teacher. He is known for developing the sequence paradigm of screenwriting. He served as a dean of FAMU, American Film Institute and USC School of Cinema-Television. He was also an Artistic Director of Sundance Institute.

Life[edit]

Czechoslovakia[edit]

František Daniel was born in Kolín, Czechoslovakia. He earned a master's degree in music before studying film at VGIK in Moscow. Daniel was a member of a production unit Feix-Daniel at state-owned Barrandov Studios. In addition to that he wrote screenplays and taught screenwriting at FAMU. Among his students were Miloš Forman, Věra Chytilová or Pavel Juráček. In 1959 he had to leave Barrandov after the movies he worked on were criticised for having "liberal tendencies" by František Kahuda. In 1956, Daniel and Miloš Kratochvíl published the screenwriting textbook Cesta za filmovým dramatem. In 1965, he produced The Shop on Main Street, which won an Oscar for the best foreign language film. In 1968 he served as dean of the Faculty of Film and Television – FAMU part of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

USA[edit]

"I am sorry to say he died not long ago, and I have to tell you that he was my only teacher. He gave much to other people, he helped many people. He was a noble-minded and non-egoistic man, and no one understood the art of film-making as he did. He understood it and truly loved it – his criticism was always constructive and never purposely offended anybody. He was open about saying what he didn't like, but he did it in a way that would help you. And that cannot be said about most of the critics in USA. I am very sorry he is not here." — David Lynch[1]

Daniel first toured the United States at the behest of W. McNeil Lowry of the Ford Foundation, who commissioned him to do a survey of film education in the United States and make recommendations for its future development. Daniel subsequently immigrated to the United States in 1969 after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. In 1969 he became the first dean of the American Film Institute, where he taught David Lynch or Terrence Mallick.

Daniel left the Institute in 1976 to become Henry Luce Professor at Carleton College in Minnesota. In 1978, he moved to Columbia University, where he was reunited with Miloš Forman, his former student, with whom he co-chaired the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Department. When Robert Redford founded Sundance Institute in 1981, Daniel was recruited by Sundance Executive Director Sterling Van Wagenen to be the Institute's first Artistic Director, a guiding post he held for over a decade. He taught at Columbia University until 1986. After Columbia he became the dean of USC School of Cinema-Television, a post he stepped down from in 1990, continuing to teach screenwriting in the Graduate Screenwriting Division. He continued to develop scripts. He was an advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation, consultant to David Rockefeller, member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He was married twice and had two sons. Michal, a photographer, and Martin, a film professor.

He died on March 29, 1996, at the age of 69 in Palm Springs, California, of a heart attack. He is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.[2]

Books[edit]

  • 1956 Zlatá zeď (Golden Wall) - novel based on his experiences in China
  • 1956 Cesta za filmovým dramatem (The Path to Film Drama)
  • 1957 Stručný přehled vývoje evropských dramatických teorií (The Compact Overview of European Dramatic Theories)

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kinorevue". July–August 1996. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  2. ^ Frantisek Daniel at Find a Grave
  • 1983 "The Czech Difference" in Art and Commitment in the East European Cinema, edited by David W. Paul, pp. 49 – 56, ISBN 0-312-62631-2.

External links[edit]