WES CRAVEN Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Name: Wes Craven                                                                         
Born: 2 August 1939 Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.                                               
Wesley Earl Craven (born August 2, 1939) is an American film director and writer,       
perhaps best known as the creator of many horror films, including the famed             
Nightmare on Elm Street series featuring the iconic Freddy Krueger character.           
Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Caroline (née Miller) and Paul           
Craven. He had a strict Baptist upbringing. Craven earned an undergraduate               
degree in writing and psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois, and a masters         
degree in writing seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to landing his           
first job in the film industry as a sound editor for a post-production company           
in New York, Craven briefly taught English at Westminster College and was a             
humanities professor at Clarkson University. With now ex-wife Bonnie Chapin, he         
is the father of Jonathan and Jessica Craven. Jonathan is a writer and director         
with a few credits to his name. Jessica is a singer/songwriter in the group the         
Chapin Sisters.                                                                         
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. Wes Craven's New Nightmare "brushes against" (but doesn't 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 is         
being written as the action is unfolding. 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. Craven           
was also set to direct Beetlejuice but dropped out to co-write and executive             
produce the third outing for Freddy Krueger. He says that he got the idea for "the"     
Elm Street by living next to a graveyard on Elm Street in his home town of               
Wheaton, Illinois.                                                                       
During his career, Wes Craven won eight awards and received three nominations.           
He did well in the box office, since he was known for his thriller films. For           
the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA, he was nominated an         
award for Best Director in 1997 for his hit film Scream.                                 
For the "Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival", he won a 'Critic's Award' in 1985,           
for his hit horror film: "A Nightmare on Elm Street".                                   
In 1992, Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film gave him the Pegasus           
Audience Award for the thriller The People Under the Stairs. For Fantasporto, he         
won and was nominated for the International Fantasy Film Award for Best                 
Screenplay and Best Film for New Nightmare, the final A Nightmare on Elm Street         
movie. He was also nominated for Best Film for the movie Shocker in 1990.               
The Gérardmer Film Festival granted him the Grand Prize in '97, for the movie           
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.               
Though there have been seven different Nightmare on Elm Street films (eight if           
one includes the crossover Freddy vs. Jason), only two have been directed by             
Craven himself. He has said in several interviews and discussions that he               
considers only his two films to be accurate depictions of his creation. For             
years it has been rumored that he would make one more film, essentially                 
completing his trilogy.