Victor Miller (writer)
Victor Brooke Miller
May 14, 1940
|Occupation||Actor, film writer|
Victor Brooke Miller (born May 14, 1940) is an American writer for film and television. He is best known for his screenplay of the original Friday the 13th film, the popularity of which spawned a long series of sequels. Miller was not involved with any of the sequels, though he remains credited for creating the characters of Jason Voorhees, his mother Pamela, and the heroine Alice Hardy.
He has also written for several daytime television series, for which he has won three Daytime Emmy Awards. His television work includes Guiding Light, One Life to Live, Another World, and All My Children. Much of his tenure of several shows has been working under head writer Megan McTavish.
Miller was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of John Dabney and Barbara Leovy Miller. He attended Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts, and Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, where he says he took every creative writing course offered. Beginning in 1962, he worked in TV programming for a year with Stuart Erwin, Lee Rich, Irwin Segelstein, and Phil Capice at Benton & Bowles Advertising in New York City. He co-founded of the American Shakespeare Theatre's Center for Theatre Techniques in Education and attended Herbert Berghof's playwriting class in New York City.
Directing and writing career
Friday the 13th is Miller's most successful film, grossing $59,754,601 worldwide on a very low budget of $550,000. The original is the only one of the series that had Miller's involvement; it grew into a long series of sequels and became the highest grossing horror franchise in the United States, earning a worldwide total of $465,239,523.
Miller says he hasn't seen any of the other Friday the 13th films because he does not approve of Jason Voorhees being the killer rather than Jason's mother as she was in the original. Miller has been involved in a protracted lawsuit to gain the rights to the first Friday the 13th film. The issue turned on whether Miller's was a "work for hire", resolved on September 30, 2021, when the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided otherwise; consequently, Miller had the right to terminate rights to his work. For Copyright Act purposes, as a screenwriter, Victor Miller was an independent contractor of the film production company (Manny, Inc.) in 1979, when Miller wrote the screenplay (the film was released in 1980). The court concluded that copyright law, not labor law, controlled the "work for hire" determination, and thus affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Miller.
He adapted two novels into films: A Stranger Is Watching by Mary Higgins Clark was adapted into the 1982 film of the same name and the 1967 young adult novel The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell into the 1977 film of the same name. His horror film Rock Paper Dead was released in 2018 and he has co-written the script for the horror thriller Eden Falls.
Awards and nominations
- (1990, 1999, 2001, 2002 & 2004; Best Writing; All My Children)
- (1994 & 1996; Best Writing; Another World)
- (1983; Best Writing; One Life to Live)
- (1985, 1988 & 1998; Best Writing; All My Children)
- (1989 & 1999 Season; All My Children)
- (1997 Season; Guiding Light)
- (1993-1995 Season; Another World)
- WIN (1998, 2000, 2001 & 2003 Season; All My Children)
He was the author of several books titled, Telly Salavas Kojak in a numbered series. The books were published in New York by Pocket Books between 1974 through 1975. Several reprints were published by Star Books in the U.K. without the series number, but with same title. The series:
- 1974, Kojak #1: Siege
- 1974, Kojak #2: Requiem for a Cop
- 1975, Kojak #3: Girl in the River
- 1975, Kojak #4: Therapy in Dynamite
- 1975, Kojak #5: Death Is Not a Passing Grade
- 1975, Kojak #6: A Very Deadly Game
- 1975, Kojak #7: Take-Over
- 1975, Kojak #8: Gun Business
- 1975, Kojak #9: The Trade-off
- 1976, Fernanda, Pocket Books
- 1978, Hide The Children, Ballantine Books
- 1978, Giving In To Get Your Way: The attack-tics system for winning your everyday battles, Delacorte Press
- 1979, Toga Party, Fawcett Books
- 1979, The Glory Sharer, Jove Books
- 1981, Angel's Blood, Playboy Press
- 1981, The Book Of Worries: Hundreds of Horrible Things that Can Happen to You, Warner Books
- 1983, Windborne, Bantam Books
- 1993, Aikido In Everyday Life: Giving In to Get Your Way, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California Reprint of 1978 with Terry Dobson co-author.
- American Dynasty (3 volumes), Dell Books
- The Black Pearl (1977)
- Manny's Orphans (1978)
- Here Come the Tigers (1979)
- Friday the 13th (1980)
- A Stranger Is Watching (1982)
- Getting In (1994)
- Jury Duty (1995)
- On the Edge (2001)
- Rock, Paper, Scissors (2017)
- Eden Falls (2019)
- All My Children
- Associate head writer: 1984–1986, 1987–1989, 1997–2001, July 2003 – July 10, 2006
- Another World
- Associate head writer: 1990–1995
- General Hospital
- Associate head writer: 2001–2002
- Guiding Light
- Associate head writer: 1986–1987, 1995–1997
- One Life to Live
- Associate head writer: 1982–1984
- Martin Cheek (October 13, 2006). "Horror Writer Victor Miller to Keynote Poppy Jasper Film Festival". The Morgan Hill Times.
- Miller, Victor. "Frequently Asked Questions". Victor Miller - Writer. victormiller.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "Producer's Copyright of Friday the 13th Screenplay Slashed In Screenwriter's Termination Lawsuit". JD Supra. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
- "Horror Inc. v. Miller, No. 18-3123 (2d Cir. 2021)". Justia Law. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
- Matt Boiselle (November 30, 2017). "Rock Paper Dead Review – Tom Holland Returns With A Potential Future Franchise?". Dread Central.
- "Exorcist Star Joins Eden Falls" (press release). Bearclaw Films. January 4, 2016.
- "Victor Miller Weds Elizabeth Thurston". The New York Times. August 5, 1962.