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Wes Craven Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (10) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 2 August 1939Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Birth NameWesley Earl Craven
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Rising out of the mid-western suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold visions since the release of his first feature film, The Last House of the Left, which he wrote, directed, and edited in 1972. Craven reinvented the youth horror genre again in 1984 with the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film he wrote and directed. And though he did not direct any of its five sequels, he deconstructed the genre a decade later, writing and directing the audacious Wes Craven's New Nightmare, which was nominated as Best Feature at the 1995 Independent Spirit Awards, and introduced the concept of self-reflexive genre films to the world. In 1996 Craven reached a new level of success with the release of Scream. The film, which sparked the phenomenal trilogy, was the winner of MTV's 1996 Best Movie Award and grossed more than $100 million domestically, as did Scream 2. Between Scream 2 and Scream 3, Craven, offered the opportunity to direct a non-genre film for Miramax, helmed Music of the Heart (1999), a film that earned Meryl Streep an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. That same year, in the midst of directing, Craven completed his first novel, "The Fountain Society," published by Simon & Shuster. Recent works include the 2005 psychological thriller, Red Eye, and a short rom-com segment for the ensemble product, Paris Je T'aime. Over the last few years, Craven has also produced remakes of two of his earlier films for his genre fans, The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and The Last House on the Left (2009). Craven has always had an eye for discovering fresh talent, something that contributes to the success of his films. While casting A Nightmare on Elm Street, Craven discovered the then unknown Johnny Depp. Craven later cast Sharon Stone in her first starring role for his film Deadly Blessing. He even gave Bruce Willis his first featured role in an episode of TV's mid-80's edition of The Twilight Zone. In 2010's My Soul To Take, Craven once again brought together a cast of up-and-coming young teens, including Max Thieriot, in whom he saw the spark of stardom. The film marked Craven's first collaboration with wife and producer Iya Labunka, who also produced with him the highly anticipated production of Scream 4. Craven's most recent film, Scream 4 (2011) reunites the director with Dimension Films and Kevin Williamson, as well as with stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, to re-boot the beloved franchise. Craven again exhibits his knack for spotting important talent, with a cast of young actors bringing us a totally new breed of Woodsboro high schoolers, including Emma Robert and Hayden Pannetierre.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Erica Sterne fathertimethemovie@gmail.com

Spouse (3)

Iya Labunka (27 November 2004 - present)
Mimi Craven (25 July 1982 - 1987) (divorced)
Bonnie Broecker (1964 - 1969) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (10)

On-going in-joke feud with Sam Raimi
Family issues, specifically family breakdown
His characters often use elaborate booby traps, to capture the villain
Often features strong female characters
His unglamorous depictions of sadistic and realistically brutal killers
His protagonists are often ordinary characters caught in extraordinary and Horrific circumstances
Brutal and graphic depiction of violence
Villains are often deformed and monstrous looking
His horror films often contain important social issues (e.g. The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes)
Children in his films are often deformed or brutally murdered, often by the main villain

Trivia (22)

"The" Elm Street is located in Potsdam, NY (a small town just south of the Canadian border). Craven was a Humanities Professor at Clarkson College, also in Potsdam.
Rumoured to have named his onscreen horror creation Freddy Kruger for a boy who used to bully him in high school.
In 1976 he acted in "Tales That Will Tear Your Heart Out," a project being made under the supervision of friend Roy Frumkes, who was teaching at a state university at that time. Shortly after the filming, the raw stock was mistakingly re-exposed by another student, so both days' shooting were lost.
Donated to the Planned Parenthood/Dream Catchers Foundation charity a auction ten-minute personal phone call and two premiere tickets to his next motion picture, Pulse (2006). He has also donated the original mask from his movie Scream (1996) along with other original props. The auction started June 19, 2002, and the props auction started June 29, 2002.
He is an avid birdwatcher.
His father died when he was 4-years-old.
He was the disc jockey for the campus radio station at Clarkson College, where he was a humanities professor.
He nearly turned down the option to direct the hit Scream (1996) because the first scene with Drew Barrymore reminded him too vividly of the climax sequence of The Last House on the Left (1972), his first film.
Directed a documentary about former president Bill Clinton. Craven and the film crew followed Clinton for three hours into the White House a few days before his departure. (January 2001)
Former son-in-law, composer Michael Maccini.
When actor-producer Robert Evans suffered a stroke May 6, 1998, Craven was having a drink with him in Evans' screening room when he collapsed in front of him. Evans later quipped, "I really scared the shit out of the king of horror."
Co-wrote the screenplay for Pulse (2006) with Vince Gilligan. The script was based on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's original Japanese horror film. Craven and Gilligan scripted the final draft in the fall of 2002 for Miramax's Dimension Films. The production for this film should have started on October 1, 2002, in Los Angeles. In July 2003, Dimension's chairman Bob Weinstein announced that Pulse (2006) would never be produced because it was too similar to The Ring (2002).
Developed the "evil house" premise for the computer game "Wes Craven's Principles of Fear." Although the game won About Game's Bronze Medal award for Interactive Fiction when the prototype was demonstrated at the 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta, the game was never completed, due to the financial failure of the game's publisher.
Was set to direct Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) but was replaced after creative differences with star Christopher Reeve.
His vision of Freddy Kruger came from a childhood memory. When he was 10 years old, he looked out the window of the apartment he lived in and a drunk man dressed similar to Freddy was looking directly at him and continued to stay there looking at the window for several minutes. This scared him, so, later on, he decided this will be the look for Freddy.
Profiled in "Hollywood Horror from the Director's Chair: Six Filmmakers in the Franchise of Fear" by Simon Wilkinson (McFarland, 2008).
Directed one Oscar nominated performance: 'Meryl Streep' in Music of the Heart (1999).
He had a highly dysfunctional relationship with his parents, mainly having been raised by his severe, hyper-religious mother, whom he never allowed to watch his films, and never having a close relationship with his distant, violent-tempered father. His mother's judgmental influence caused him to be too terrified to talk to a girl until he was at college and lead him to marry, in his opinion, too young, and arguably contributed to the angry, bleak themes of his early films.
Authored newspaper article about his current, off-the-set downtime entitled "Retirement: Scarier Than Freddy Krueger" in NYTimes. [February 2013]
Based the story of ''A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)'' on a news report about a group of young men who died in their sleep during horrific nightmares despite having no history of health problems and showing no specific cause of death.
Freddy Krueger's appearance (especially the dirty clothes and hat) was inspired by a hobo who Craven saw staring at him through his window one day when he was age 10.

Personal Quotes (12)

I believe the cinema is one of our principal forms of art. It is an incredibly powerful way to tell uplifitng stories that can move people to cry with joy and inspire them to reach for the stars.
On horror movies: "It's like boot camp for the psyche. In real life, human beings are packaged in the flimsiest of packages, threatened by real and sometimes horrifying dangers, events like Columbine. But the narrative form puts these fears into a manageable series of events. It gives us a way of thinking rationally about our fears."
Horror films don't create fear. They release it.
I like to address the fears of my culture. I believe it's good to face the enemy, for the enemy is fear.
I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.
In retrospect, it's usually pretty easy to look at horror movies and see the influences of the time. And I think right now, with the post-9-11 world and Iraq, creative people are almost being goaded to look at things in the strongest way possible. If you look at the Academy Awards [movies], those are films about real issues. I think everybody is saying, 'We have to talk about the nitty-gritty stuff here.' It's not the time for confections. [March 2006]
Certainly the deepest horror, as far as I'm concerned, is what happens to your body at your own hands and others.
"If we don't get out of Iraq soon, it'll be like A Nightmare on Elm Street" (April 2007)
If I were interested in reality, I'd be making documentaries.
There is rage in my films, but it's a complete matrix. Sone could be directed at my father, a scary figure.
A producer said, 'Make a horror movie'. I said 'I've never seen one.' He said, 'You're a fundamentalist, you must have demons rattling around.
I think sometimes you might expect or want greater recognition. But to me it's a little like how French Impressionists felt about formal recognition. You know, once you're a member of the academy you never pose any danger or threat. I don't know if I'd like that.

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