Out of Sight
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank first gained notice with his adaptation of Elmore Leonard novel, “Get Shorty” (1995), from which he took home a Golden Globe nomination and additional nominations at the WGA and Edgar Allan Poe awards. The Fort Walton Beach, Florida, native cemented his flourishing reputation three years later with his Oscar nomination for “Out of Sight,” Frank's second film adaptation of a Leonard work. The Steven Soderbergh-directed movie also brought him a National Society of Film Critic Award, an Online Film Critics Society Award, a Southeastern Film Critics Association Award, and an Edgar Allan Poe Award. He won a Saturn Award for his writing on the critically and financially successful “Minority Report” (2002). Other films he has scripted include Kenneth Branagh's “Dead Again” (1991), Jodie Foster's directorial debut, “Little Man Tate” (1991), Phil Joanou's “Heaven's Prisoners” (1996), John Moore's “Flight of the Phoenix” (2004), and David Frankel's “Marley & Me” (2008). Frank also wrote and directed the “The Lookout” (2007), from which he picked up an Independent Spirit Award, an Edgar Allan Poe and a Satellite nomination.
The father of 3 is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America.
Childhood and Family:
Born on March 10, 1960, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Scott Frank grew up in Los Gatos, California. He became interested in film and writing at an early age and pursued his passions at the Film Studies Department of the University of California in Santa Barbara. While attending the university, Scott wrote short stories and his talent attracted the attention of instructor Paul Lazarus, a former vice-president of Columbia Pictures. Giving him only the title “The Confrontation,” Lazarus asked Scott to create a four page screenplay. He subsequently renewed his goal to concentrate on screenwriting. Scott received his BA in 1982. Shortly after, he moved to Los Angeles to start a professional career.
Scott is married and he and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. They reside in Pasadena, California. Scott is the brother-in-law of director Phil Joanou (born on November 20, 1961).
Scott Frank began working as a researcher on documentary films at the Landsburg Company. Thanks to a screenplay he wrote while a senior in college, he got an agent and had the opportunity to meet producers in Los Angeles. During his early years in the industry, Frank rewrote existing screenplays, including “Casual Sex” (1988) and “A Rage in Harlem” (1991). Although the work brought him little attention, he secured work with Paramount Pictures, where he worked with such top names as Walter Parkes, the writer of “Wargames,” and Nick Meyer, the writer of “Fatal Attraction.”
In 1988, Scott wrote the script for “Plain Clothes,” a comedy that was directed by Martha Coolidge and starred Arliss Howard, Diane Ladd and Seymour Cassel. The romantic comedy marked his first produced screenplay. That same year, he also wrote an episode of ABC's “The Wonder Years” titled “The Phone Call.”
After working on the independent short comedy “The Walter Ago” (1991), Frank scripted “Dead Again,” a psychological thriller about a L.A. private detective who falls in love with a mute woman with amnesia. Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, the film was released on August 23, 1991, and topped the U.S. box office for three weeks. For his effort, Frank was nominated for a 1992 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture. Later that same year, he wrote “Little Man Tate,” a drama dealing with an intellectually gifted child. The movie starred Jodie Foster, who also made her directorial debut with the movie, Dianne Wiest, and Adam Hann-Byrd.
Frank returned to television in 1993 when he wrote “Dead End for Delia,” the pilot of Showtime's “Fallen Angels.” The episode was directed by Frank's brother-in-law, Phil Joanou. He then joined Aaron Sorkin to write the thriller movie “Malice” (1993), which was adapted from a story by Jonas McCord. Directed by Harold Becker and starring Alec Baldwin, Nicole Kidman, Bill Pullman, and Peter Gallagher, the film peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. box office and collected over $9 million on its opening weekend. It eventually grossed more than $46 million domestically. Frank, however, did not enjoy another big success until two years later when he worked on “Get Shorty,” a feature film adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, the movie brought the screenwriter a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture, a Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published, and an Edgar nomination for Best Motion Picture.
Frank followed his triumph by co-scripting (with Harley Peyton) “Heaven's Prisoners” (1996), which was based on a novel by James Lee Burke. A second collaboration with his brother-in-law, the psychological thriller, however, was considered a flop. Frank rebounded two years later with “Out of Sight” (1998), his second adaptation of Elmore Leonard's work. Centering on the relationship between a career bank robber (played by George Clooney) and a U.S. Marshal (played by Jennifer Lopez), the film, which was helmed by Steven Soderbergh, was nominated for two Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay, and went on to become a cult classic. Frank also picked up many other impressive awards and nominations.
Following a four year semi hiatus, during which time he worked on unaccredited rewrite work on such films as “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), “Entrapment” (1999) and “The Ring” (2002), Frank resurfaced with another critically acclaimed work, “Minority Report” (2002), which he adapted from the Philip K. Dick short story. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, the movie was a box office hit, grossing more than $132 million in the United States and over $226 million overseas. For his writing job, Frank received a Saturn Award and nominations at Bram Stoker, Online Film Critics Society, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Awards. He shared the honors with partner Jon Cohen. Apart from writing the script, Frank briefly appeared in front of the camera, which marked his debut as an actor.
After more unaccredited rewrite work on “Dawn of the Dead,” (2004) and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005), Frank co-scripted (with Edward Burns) “Flight of the Phoenix” (2004), a remake of the 1965 film of the same name. Directed by John Moore and starring Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Giovanni Ribisi, Tony Curran, and Jared Padalecki, the film received harsh criticism for being too similar to the original. He next co-wrote the thriller “The Interpreter” (2005), which starred Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn and Catherine Keener.
After nearly two decades in the business, Frank eventually made his feature directorial debut with “The Lookout” (2007), which he also wrote. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, Isla Fisher and Bruce McGill, the drama earned favorable reviews from critics and brought Frank a 2008 Independent Spirit for Best First Feature. He also netted an Edgar Allan Poe nomination for Best Motion Picture Screen Play and a Satellite nomination for Best Screenplay, Original. The following year, Frank co-scripted, with Don Ross, the comedy film “Marley & Me,” based on the 2005 New York Times bestselling autobiographical book “Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog” by journalist John Grogan. The film starred Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston and was directed by David Frankel.
Frank is working on the screenplay for an untitled James Mangold project. The film is scheduled to be released in 2010 with James Mangold sitting in the director's chair.
Independent Spirit: Best First Feature, “The Lookout,” 2008
Saturn: Best Writing, “Minority Report,” 2003
Edgar Allan Poe: Edgar, Best Motion Picture, “Out of Sight,” 1999
National Society of Film Critic (NSFC): Best Screenplay, “Out of Sight,” 1999
Online Film Critics Society (OFCS): Best Screenplay, Adapted, “Out of Sight,” 1999
Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA): Best Adapted Screenplay, “Out of Sight,” 1999
Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, “Out of Sight,” 1999
Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC): Best Screenplay, “Out of Sight,” 1998