Scott Frank

Scott Frank

Frank was born in Fort Walton Beach, FL and raised in Los Gatos, CA, the son of an airline pilot. Encouraged by friends and family, Frank pursued his childhood loves of film and writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where his short stories captured the attention of instructor Paul Lazarus. A former vice president of Columbia Pictures under the legendary taskmaster Harry Cohn, Lazarus recognized potential in Frank and assigned him to write a four-page screenplay, giving him only the title, "The Confrontation," and allowing him to write anything he wanted. His assignment was riddled with ink and harsh criticism upon return, but also contained the encouragement to keep writing. With a renewed sense of purpose, Frank rearranged his course load to focus on screenwriting. During his senior year, he wrote his first feature-length screenplay, a coming-of-age drama about a boy genius who explains the world in a newspaper column. Twelve long years later, the script became one of his first produced features, "Little Man Tate" (1991). After graduation, Frank used his screenplay as a calling card, showing it around town when he moved to Los Angeles in 1982. The work was good enough to get him an agent and meetings with producers and studios. In no time, Frank entered the lucrative world of rewriting existing screenplays - early efforts included "Casual Sex?" (1988) and "A Rage in Harlem" (1991) - and while financially rewarding, he received little more recognition than a thank you credit. He did, however, land a regular job with Paramount Pictures, courtesy of then-President of Production Jeffrey Katzenberg. Frank worked on the so-called "writer's floor," collaborating with the likes of Walter Parkes of "Wargames" (1983) fame and Nick Meyer, writer of "Fatal Attraction" (1986). Frank worked on "Dead Again" (1991), a gripping thriller about a Los Angeles detective (Kenneth Branagh) who falls in love with a mute amnesia victim (Emma Thompson) while trying to uncover the mystery of her nightmares involving an unsolved murder from the 1940s. After scripting the psychological thriller "Malice" (1993), Frank began to cultivate an interest in crime and detective stories, delving into the oeuvre of hipster noir author Elmore Leonard. Though he failed to get his adaptation of "Gold Coast" off the ground, Frank found success with "Get Shorty," (1995), a sharply funny crime noir about a Miami loan shark (John Travolta) who is sent to Hollywood to collect a gambling debt, but instead finds himself pursuing a producing career while falling for a B-movie actress (Rene Russo). Scott earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture from the Hollywood Foreign Press. But it was his next film, the undeniably brilliant "Out of Sight" (1998), which cemented Frank's growing reputation. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, "Out of Sight" told the comic romance of an escaped criminal (George Clooney) and the U.S. Marshall (Jennifer Lopez) trying to find him before he steals a cache of diamonds from a rich ex-con (Albert Brooks). Though not a commercial hit, "Out of Sight" became a cult classic, earning Frank an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.Frank spent the ensuing post-"Out of Sight" years engaged in lucrative, but uncredited rewrite work, including stints on "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), "Entrapment" (1999) and "The Ring" (2002). His next produced project, the adaptation of Philip K. Dick's futuristic dystopian yarn, "Minority Report" (2002) for director Steven Spielberg, earned strong critical notices for its heart-pumping action, darkly comic themes and haunting imagery. Frank even made his first cameo appearance onscreen, playing a conceited store customer. After more rewrite work on "Dawn of the Dead," (2004) and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005), Frank earned screenwriting credit for "Flight of the Phoenix" (2004), a ham-fisted remake of the 1965 classic action yarn that focused on a group of airplane crash survivors stranded in the Mongolian desert with no hope of rescue, but who ultimately devise a plan for building a new plane out of the wreckage. Following "Minority Report," Frank penned the Sidney Pollack-directed political thriller "The Interpreter" (2005), starring Nicole Kidman as a U.N. interpreter who overhears an assassination threat, triggering a frantic investigation by a Secret Service Agent (Sean Penn) that leads to uncovering the interpreter's shocking past.With nearly 20 years as a screenwriter under his belt, Frank decided it was finally time to try directing. Encouraged by his wife, Jennifer, and old friend, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, Frank dusted off an old script called "The Lookout" (2007) for his directorial debut. Though out of his comfort zone in the director's chair, Frank stayed with the tried and true crime thriller genre, focusing on a former high school hockey star (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) suffering brain damage from a car accident, who outwits a shady friend (Matthew Goode) and his ex-stripper accomplice (Isla Fisher) after a botched heist at the bank where he sweeps floors. Despite a paltry box office take, both Frank and his film were lauded by critics for being one of the most deeply engrossing noir thrillers in years.