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Michael H. Weber

Michael H. Weber

Weber was born Jan. 31, 1978, and raised in Manhattan. He always wanted to be a writer, but never really thought about it seriously until he was in college and found himself really falling in love with movies; absorbing up to three films from foreign to independent to classics a day. In 1999, while a student at Syracuse University, he was hired by future collaborator Scott Neustadter as an intern in the development department at Tribeca Films. The pair discovered they had a shared sense of humor and began to brainstorm ideas just for fun. They had already completed their first feature film script when Neustadter decided to pursue a Masters degree in London, but the duo continued to collaborate on ideas long distance. Meanwhile, Weber became a staff member at Tribeca, serving as Robert De Niro's assistant.When Neustadter returned to the U.S. with a fresh screenplay idea, the writing team completed what would become their first sale, "(500) Days of Summer." It was inspired by an ill-fated romance Neustadter had gone through while in London, and its dialogue-driven approach to the romantic comedy genre earned plenty of positive attention as they shopped it to everyone from major film studios to indie film producers. They finally received an offer from Fox Searchlight Studios, which had found success with such similarly low-budget, hip offerings as "Sideways" (2004) and "Juno" (2007). Though it was several years before Neustadter and Weber's first collaboration hit the screen, buzz over the newcomers led to the sale of half a dozen more screenplays.The first fruit of their labors to be released in theaters was "The Pink Panther 2" (2009), starring Steve Martin. The broad comedy was a commercial success that took a drubbing from critics, but it did prove that screenwriters Neustadter and Weber had the versatility and willingness to deliver both studio moneymakers and personal projects. A few months later, the two were generating positive attention when "(500) Days of Summer" debuted on the festival circuit, and eventually in theaters. Marc Webb directed, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt starred as an aspiring architect who falls for a lovely and equally music-obsessed Zooey Deschanel, who steadfastly insists that she does not believe in true love.Critics and audiences both fell for the fresh, funny, and realistic take on the romantic comedy, with its un-Hollywood ending, non-linear structure, and a more honest depiction of fragile human bonds than similar genre blockbusters relying on flashy settings and big payoff premises. The engaging storytelling and sharply observed (and abundant) dialogue had wide appeal, and while their studio partner was thrilled with the box office take of nearly $50 million on a $7 million production, Neustadter and Weber were embraced by their peers and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, a Satellite Award, and a Best Screenplay Award nomination from the Broadcast Film Critic's Association.With the success of "(500) Days," Weber and Neustadter became official hot properties in Hollywood, and were tapped to develop their own take on twenty-something relationships with their own primetime series, while collaborating on screen adaptations of James Collins' novel, Beginner's Greek and the Tim Tharp coming-of-age novel, The Spectacular Now, which re-teamed them with director Marc Webb.
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