Scott Frank

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Scott Frank
Born
A. Scott Frank

(1960-03-10) March 10, 1960 (age 61)
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Barbara (BA)
American Film Institute (MFA)
OccupationScreenwriter, film director, author

A. Scott Frank (born March 10, 1960) is an American screenwriter, film director, and author. Known as "one of the most reliable and highly-paid screenwriters in the business",[1] Frank received two Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for Out of Sight (1998) and Logan (2017). His film work, credited and uncredited, extends to dozens of films.[2] In recent years he has worked for Netflix on television miniseries, most prominently co-creating The Queen's Gambit with Allan Scott.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Frank was born to a Jewish family[4] in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, on March 10, 1960.[5] His family moved to Los Gatos, California where he went to high school. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in film studies.[6][7] Frank earned a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the AFI Conservatory in 1984.[8]

Career[edit]

While a student at the University of California, Frank first had the idea for what would become the script for Little Man Tate in 1981, thinking that, in the aftermath of the Iran hostage crisis that there was "a slight petulance to world events at the time" and envisioning "an eight year old who was making more sense of the world than Ted Koppel."[9] After graduation he worked as a bartender while attempting to sell the script, which eventually led to him getting an agent, and subsequently being hired by Paramount Pictures in 1984. It would take several years before the script was made, with Frank's first produced screenwriting work in the meantime being the 1987 film Plain Clothes, which he would later describe as "terrible." Little Man Tate was ultimately made in 1991 as the directorial debut of actress Jodie Foster.[10]

In the years to follow, Frank's filmography included scripts for Dead Again, Malice, Heaven's Prisoners, and Get Shorty. The latter earned him his first award nominations with both the Writers Guild and the Golden Globes.[11] He credited the success of Get Shorty with reviving his interest in the job after a bad experience on Malice, and was particularly pleased as a longtime fan of Elmore Leonard's novels that he felt had not received satisfactory film adaptations previously. This success led to his being asked to work on another Elmore Leonard adaptation, Steven Soderbergh's 1998 film Out of Sight starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. The film was not a commercial success, but earned enormous critical plaudits.[10] Frank won both the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Frank was recruited by Steven Spielberg to work on the script for Minority Report, a Philip K. Dick adaptation, which he would later say was "a very difficult screenplay to write because it was loaded with so much technical detail."[2] He performed second unit directing duties for one segment of the film, an area of filmmaking he had contemplated moving into for some time.[9] Minority Report earned him the Saturn Award for Best Writing and several other nominations, including for Hugo and Nebula awards. Other credits from this period included The Interpreter and Marley & Me, the latter described as a film he would not have imagined himself working on but which he developed "a big soft spot for."[2] By 2012, Frank had worked on at least 40 films, including uncredited rewrites on films such as Saving Private Ryan, Entrapment and Dawn of the Dead.[2]

In 2007, Frank made his directorial debut on The Lookout, a script he had started work on in 1998 and which was originally meant to be directed by Sam Mendes, who eventually departed the project to make Road to Perdition while encouraging Frank to take on the task himself.[9] He had also attempted to recruit Sydney Pollack, the director of The Interpreter who he considered a mentor, to direct the project.[2] He won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for his work on the film. His second film as a director, 2014's A Walk Among the Tombstones, had a more mixed reception. In January of 2016, Frank published his first novel, Shaker, a crime mystery published by Penguin Random House.[12][13][14] He also worked in the burgeoning superhero genre for the first time, making two films with director James Mangold, The Wolverine (2013) and Logan (2017). For the latter, he received his second Academy Award nomination.[10]

Having had some previous experience working for network television, in Frank had begun to develop Godless, previously intended as a film, into a miniseries for HBO. However, Netflix outbid HBO for the project, which Frank both wrote and directed.[10] The miniseries earned Frank numerous award nominations, including from the Directors Guild and three Primetime Emmy Awards. The success of Godless led Frank to pitch further projects to Netflix, several of which were rejected, until they expressed interest in The Queen's Gambit, an adaptation of a Walter Tevis novel that Frank had previously attempted to make as a film.[3][15] Frank said that he viewed the novel as exploring "the cost of genius", a theme that he had first intended to explore in Little Man Tate but "didn't quite get there with it."[16]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Director Notes
1988 Plain Clothes Martha Coolidge
1991 Dead Again Kenneth Branagh
Little Man Tate Jodie Foster
The Walter Ego John Putch Short film
1993 Malice Harold Becker
1995 Get Shorty Barry Sonnenfeld
1996 Heaven's Prisoners Phil Joanou
1998 Out of Sight Steven Soderbergh
2002 Minority Report Steven Spielberg
2004 Flight of the Phoenix John Moore
2005 The Interpreter Sydney Pollack
2007 The Lookout Himself Feature directorial debut
2008 Marley & Me David Frankel
2013 The Wolverine James Mangold
2014 A Walk Among the Tombstones Himself
2017 Logan James Mangold

Television[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Executive
Producer
Creator Notes
1988 The Wonder Years No Yes No No Episode "The Phone Call"
1993 Fallen Angels No Yes No No Episode "Dead End for Delia"
1994 Birdland No Yes Yes Yes Episodes "Pilot" and "Plan B"
2004 Karen Sisco No Yes No No Episode "He Was a Friend of Mine"
2011 Shameless Yes No No No Episode "It's Time to Kill the Turtle"
2017 Godless Yes Yes Yes Yes
2020 The Queen's Gambit Yes Yes Yes Yes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
1992 Edgar Awards Best Motion Picture Screenplay Dead Again Nominated [17]
1996 Writers Guild of America Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Get Shorty Nominated
USC Scripter Awards Film Nominated
Edgar Awards Best Motion Picture Screenplay Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Screenplay Nominated
1998 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Screenplay Out of Sight Won
1999 Writers Guild of America Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Screenplay Won
Edgar Awards Best Motion Picture Screenplay Won
Academy Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2002 Bram Stoker Awards Best Screenplay Minority Report Nominated
2003 Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation — Long Form Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Writing Won
2004 Nebula Awards Best Script Nominated
2007 Satellite Awards Best Adapted Screenplay The Lookout Nominated
2008 Independent Spirit Awards Best First Feature Won
Edgar Awards Best Motion Picture Screenplay Nominated
2017 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Logan Nominated
2018 Writers Guild of America Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Long Form – Original Godless Nominated
USC Scripter Awards Film Logan Nominated
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directing – Miniseries or TV Film Godless Nominated
Academy Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Logan Nominated
Nebula Awards Outstanding Dramatic Presentation Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series Godless Nominated [18]
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Writing Logan Nominated [19]
2021 Golden Globe Awards Best Miniseries or Television Film The Queen's Gambit Won [20]
Writers Guild of America Awards Long Form – Adapted Won [21]
Producers Guild of America Awards Best Limited Series Television Won [22]
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directing – Miniseries or TV Film Won [23]
USC Scripter Awards Television The Queen's Gambit (Episode: "Openings") Won [24]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series (together with William Horberg and Allan Scott) The Queen's Gambit Pending [25]
Outstanding Directing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Pending
Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Pending

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scott Frank". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Scott Frank: Screenwriters' Lecture". guru.bafta.org. 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  3. ^ a b "For Queen's Gambit Creator, the Vineyard Is a Creative Force". The Vineyard Gazette - Martha's Vineyard News. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  4. ^ Bloom, Nate (March 6, 2018). "Anton Yelchin's final role lands in 'Thoroughbreds'; Appatow's 'Love' returns". The Jewish News of Northern California.
  5. ^ "Scott Frank biography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. New York City, New York: Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "Scott Frank bio". Penguin Random House. University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  7. ^ Bazer, Mark (March 25, 2007). "Screenwriter Frank takes action After years spent creating scripts, he's directing". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  8. ^ "Miller & Son — AFI". Miller & Son. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  9. ^ a b c "Screenwriting Chat: Scott Frank". Screenplay.com. 2002. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  10. ^ a b c d "Full transcript: Screenwriter, novelist and director Scott Frank on Recode Media". Vox. 2017-03-03. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  11. ^ "Scott Frank". www.goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 2020-11-30.
  12. ^ "Shaker". Penguin Random House. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  13. ^ "Shaker". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  14. ^ "Interview: Scott Frank on Finishing His Debut Novel 'Shaker' Fifteen Years After He Began". /Film. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  15. ^ "An interview with Scott Frank: THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT". Writers Guild of America, East. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
  16. ^ "The Queen's Gambit creator on 'bringing sexy back to chess' and the series' long journey to TV". Entertainment Weekly. 2020-10-25. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  17. ^ "Scott Frank". IMDb. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  18. ^ "Winners & Nominees 2018". Primetime Emmy Awards. September 17, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  19. ^ "Here Are the 44th Annual Saturn Awards Nominations". Bleeding Cool. 15 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Winners & Nominees 2021". Golden Globe Awards. February 28, 2021. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  21. ^ "'The Great,' 'Queen's Gambit,' 'Mrs. America' Take Early Wins at Writers Guild Awards 2021 (Updating Live)". Variety. 21 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Producers Guild Awards Winners (Updating Live)". Variety. 24 March 2021.
  23. ^ "DGA Awards: Chloe Zhao and 'Nomadland' Take Top Honor". The Hollywood Reporter. April 10, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  24. ^ Feinberg, Scott (14 March 2021). "USC Scripter Awards: 'Nomadland' and 'Queen's Gambit' Named Best Adaptations". The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 13, 2021). "Emmy Nominations: 'The Crown', 'The Mandalorian' Top List; HBO/HBO Max Edges Netflix For Top Spot – Full List Of Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved July 13, 2021.

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