Wes Craven

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Wes Craven
Wes Craven 2010.jpg
Craven in 2010
BornWesley Earl Craven
(1939-08-02) August 2, 1939 (age 75)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
OccupationActor, film director, writer, producer
Years active1971–present
Known forLast House on the Left
The Hills Have Eyes
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Red Eye
Scream
Spouse(s)Bonnie Broecker
(1964–69)
Mimi Craven (1984–87)
Iya Labunka (2004–present)
Website
http://www.wescraven.com
 
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Wes Craven
Wes Craven 2010.jpg
Craven in 2010
BornWesley Earl Craven
(1939-08-02) August 2, 1939 (age 75)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
OccupationActor, film director, writer, producer
Years active1971–present
Known forLast House on the Left
The Hills Have Eyes
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Red Eye
Scream
Spouse(s)Bonnie Broecker
(1964–69)
Mimi Craven (1984–87)
Iya Labunka (2004–present)
Website
http://www.wescraven.com

Wesley Earl "Wes" Craven (born August 2, 1939) is an American film director, writer, producer, and actor known for his work on horror films, particularly slasher films. He is the creator of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven's New Nightmare, and also co-wrote A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with Bruce Wagner, featuring the Freddy Krueger character. Craven also directed the entire Scream series, featuring Ghostface. Some of his other films include, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Vampire in Brooklyn, Cursed, Red Eye along with producing partner Marianne Maddalena. Craven also directed My Soul to Take.

Early life[edit]

Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Caroline (née Miller) and Paul Craven.[1] Craven earned an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois and a masters degree in Philosophy and Writing from Johns Hopkins University.[2]

Career before film industry[edit]

Craven briefly taught English at Westminster College and was a humanities professor at Clarkson College of Technology (now Clarkson University) in Potsdam, New York. His first job in the film industry was as a sound editor for a post-production company in New York City.

Directing and writing career[edit]

Craven left the academic world for the more lucrative role of pornographic film director. In the documentary Inside Deep Throat, Craven says on camera he made "many hard core X-rated films" under pseudonyms.[3] While his role in Deep Throat is undisclosed, most of his early known work involved writing, film editing or both. In 1972 Wes Craven directed his first feature film The Last House on the Left.

Craven's works tend to share a common exploration of the nature of reality. A Nightmare on Elm Street, for example, dealt with the consequences of dreams in real life. New Nightmare "brushes against" (but does not quite break) the fourth wall by having actress Heather Langenkamp play herself as she is haunted by the villain of the film in which she once starred. At one point in the film, we see on Wes Craven's word processor a script he has written, which includes the exact conversation he just had with Heather — as if the script was being written as the action unfolded. The Serpent and the Rainbow portrays a man who cannot distinguish between nightmarish visions and reality. In Scream, the characters frequently reference horror films similar to their situations, and at one point Billy Loomis tells his girlfriend that life is just a big movie. This concept was emphasized in the sequels, as copycat stalkers reenact the events of a new film about the Woodsboro killings occurring in Scream. Scream included a scene mentioning the well-known Richard Gere urban legend. Craven stated in interviews that he received calls from agents telling him that if he left that scene in, he would never work again.[4][5] He directed Scream 4.

Craven also frequently collaborates with Sean S. Cunningham. In Craven's debut feature, The Last House on the Left, Cunningham served as producer. Later, in Craven's most famous film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Cunningham directed one of the chase scenes, although uncredited. Their infamous characters, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, appeared together in the 2003 slasher film Freddy vs. Jason with Cunningham acting as producer, while screenwriter Victor Miller is credited as "Character Creator". Later, in The Last House on the Left remake, both Cunningham and Craven share production credits.[6]

Although known for directing horror/thriller films, he has worked on two that were outside this genre: the 1999 film Music of the Heart, and as one of the 22 directors in the 2006 collaboration Paris, je t'aime.

Recently Craven has created Coming of Rage, a graphic novel, with 30 Days of Night comic book writer Steve Niles. The comic will be released by Liquid Comics in 2013 with a possible film adaption directed by Craven and produced by Live Free Or Die Hard producer Arnold Rifkin and Liquid Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan.

Awards and nominations[edit]

During his career, Wes Craven won nine cinematic awards and received three nominations.

In 1977, he won the 'Prize of the International Critics' Jury' in the "Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival" for his film The Hills Have Eyes.

In 1985, his horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street won the 'Critic's Award' at the "Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival".

In 1992, the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film presented him the Pegasus Audience Award for the thriller The People Under the Stairs. His Fantasporto won the International Fantasy Film Award for Best Screenplay while the Best Film award went to his film Wes Craven's New Nightmare, the final A Nightmare on Elm Street film he directed. His Shocker was also nominated for Best Film in 1990.

The Gérardmer Film Festival granted him the Grand Prize in 1997 for Scream.

He was nominated for Best Director for Scream at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA, in 1997.

In 2006, he was honored at Spike TV's Scream with the Mastermind Award (the tribute was presented to him by Neve Campbell).

Other work[edit]

Craven designed the Halloween 2008 logo for Google,[7] and was the second celebrity personality to take over the YouTube homepage on Halloween.[8]

Craven had a letter published in the July 19, 1968 edition of Life magazine, praising that periodical's coverage of contemporary rock music, in particular Frank Zappa.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Craven's first marriage to Bonnie Broecker produced two children, Jonathan Craven (born 1965) and Jessica Craven (born 1968). Jonathan is a writer and director with a few credits to his name. Jessica was a singer/songwriter in the group the Chapin Sisters. The marriage ended in 1970.

In 1982, Craven married Millicent Eleanor Meyer. However, the two divorced. Craven has stated in interviews that the marriage dissolved after he discovered it "was no longer anything but a sham."[10]

In 2004, Craven married Iya Labunka. She frequently works as a producer on Craven's films.[11]

Craven is a birder. In 2010 he became a member of Audubon California's Board of Directors.[11]

Books[edit]

YearTitle
1999Fountain Society
2013Coming of Rage

Filmography[edit]

YearFilmDirector(Executive)
Producer
WriterCinematographerEditorActorRoleNotes
1971Together
NoN
1972The Last House on the Left
NoN
NoN
NoN
1973It Happened in Hollywood
NoN
NoN
King's Litter BearerAlso second unit director
1975The Carhops
NoN
Angela, the Fireworks Woman
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
The Fireworks Man
1976Thunder Buns
NoN
NoN
Photographer
Honey Pie
NoN
Sweet Cakes
NoN
NoN
Photographer
1977Hot Cookies
NoN
The Hills Have Eyes
NoN
NoN
NoN
1978Stranger in Our House
NoN
TV movie
The Evolution of Snuff
NoN
Here Come the Tigers
NoN
1981Deadly Blessing
NoN
NoN
Kent State
NoN
TV movie
1982Swamp Thing
NoN
NoN
1984Invitation to Hell
NoN
TV movie
A Nightmare on Elm Street
NoN
NoN
1985Chiller
NoN
TV movie
The Hills Have Eyes Part II
NoN
NoN
The Twilight Zone
NoN
TV series, 5 episodes
1986Deadly Friend
NoN
Casebusters
NoN
Episode of anthology TV series Disneyland
1987A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
NoN
NoN
1988The Serpent and the Rainbow
NoN
1989The People Next Door
NoN
NoN
TV series, Co-creator
Shocker
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
The neighbor
1990Night Visions
NoN
NoN
NoN
TV movie
1991The People Under the Stairs
NoN
NoN
NoN
1992Nightmare Cafe
NoN
NoN
TV series
1993Laurel Canyon
NoN
Body Bags
NoN
Pasty faced man in garageCameo
1994Wes Craven's New Nightmare
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Himself
1995Vampire in Brooklyn
NoN
The Hills Have Eyes III
NoN
AKA Mind Ripper
The Fear
NoN
Dr. Arnold
1996Scream
NoN
NoN
"Fred" (school janitor)Cameo
1997Scream 2
NoN
NoN
NoN
Doctor
Wishmaster
NoN
1998Hollyweird
NoN
TV movie
Don't Look Down
NoN
NoN
Carnival of Souls
NoN
NoN
1999Music of the Heart
NoN
2000Scream 3
NoN
NoN
TouristCameo
Dracula 2000
NoN
2001Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
NoN
HimselfCameo
2002They Shoot Divas, Don't They?
NoN
TV movie
They
NoN
2003Dracula II: Ascension
NoN
2004Tales from the Crapper
NoN
Himself
The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing
NoN
2005Dracula III: Legacy
NoN
Cursed
NoN
Inside Deep Throat
NoN
Himself
Feast
NoN
Red Eye
NoN
2006Pulse
NoN
Remake
The Hills Have Eyes
NoN
The Breed
NoN
Paris, je t'aime
NoN
NoN
NoN
Vampire's VictimSegment: Père-Lachaise
2007The Hills Have Eyes 2
NoN
NoN
Remake
Agitation
NoN
The Tripper
NoN
Top hat-wearing hippyCameo
2008Diary of the Dead
NoN
Radio voice
2009The Last House on the Left
NoN
Remake
2010My Soul to Take
NoN
NoN
NoN
2011Scream 4
NoN
NoN
NoN
Coroner at the RandallsCameo
Deleted scene
2013Castle
NoN
HimselfCameo
Episode: Scared To Death

Highest-grossing films[edit]

[clarification needed][citation needed] This is a list of the top 10 highest-grossing films by Wes Craven, each has made at least $30 million.

RankTitleLifetime gross (US$)
1Scream173,046,663
2Scream 2172,363,301
3Scream 3161,834,276
4Scream 4101,214,723
5Red Eye95,577,774
6The Hills Have Eyes (2006 film)69,623,713
7The Hills Have Eyes 267,915,885
8The Last House on the Left (2009 film)45,286,228
9A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors44,793,222
10The People Under the Stairs31,347,154

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wes Craven Biography (1939–) at filmreference.com
  2. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (1998). Wes Craven: The Art of Horror. Jefferson, South Carolina: McFarland & Co. ISBN 0-7864-0576-7. pp. 8–9.
  3. ^ http://www.radfordreviews.com/cgi-bin/rview.cgi?rm=mode2&type=article&name=ALookInsideDeepThroat
  4. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20021003142223/http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Boulevard/7811/screamreferences.html
  5. ^ Simels, Steve (September 5, 1997). "Slashed and Burned". Entertainment Weekly. 
  6. ^ "'Scream IV' Officially Greenlit with Wes Craven Attached". 
  7. ^ "Wes Craven Carves Google Logo". 
  8. ^ "Wes Craven Takes Over YouTube for Halloween!". Tubefilter News. August 31, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Letters To The Editors", Life, 19 July 1968, p.17. Reprinted at Google Books.
  10. ^ Emery, Robert J. The Directors: Take Three, Volume 3, Allworth Press, 2003. ISBN 1581152450. Reprinted at Google Books.
  11. ^ a b Frost, G (28 May 2010). "Director Wes Craven joins Audubon California's Board of Directors". Audublog. Audubon California (National Audubon Society). Retrieved April 3, 2011. 

External links[edit]