Bob Nelson

Bob Nelson

Few screenwriters ever hit as much of a home run with their feature writing debut than Bob Nelson. As the writer of the independent film "Nebraska" (2013), Nelson received his first Oscar nomination for the first film script he ever wrote. Nelson was born in Yankton, South Dakota. He started off his career in the entertainment business when he moved to Seattle, where he joined the local sketch comedy show "Almost Live!" (KING-TV 1984-1999), where one of his co-stars was an unknown young actor named Joel McHale. His follow up projects were short-lived affairs, including a stint as a writer on NBA legend Magic Johnson's brief venture into late night television, "The Magic Hour" (syndicated 1998) and Bill Nye's move into science programming aimed at adults, "The Eyes of Nye" (PBS 2005). Meanwhile, Nelson was quietly working on his own screenplay, mostly as a vehicle to land other jobs on television. Through his connection with "The Eyes of Nye" producer Julie Thompson, the script eventually landed in the hands of director Alexander Payne. Enamored by the story of a son and his aging, alcoholic father and their trip to claim an obviously fraudulent million-dollar prize, Payne, Thompson, and producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa turned Nelson's script into the critically-acclaimed film "Nebraska" (2013). Having taken moments from his own experiences growing up in the midwest to produce a personal and bittersweet story, Nelson's debut screenplay won the Best First Screenplay award at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards and was also nominated for the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and the Writers Guild of America Award.