skip navigation
Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Dreams On Spec DVD Featuring interviews with screenwriting luminaries James L. Brooks, Nora Ephron,... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: S.M. Alexander, Scott M. Alexander Died:
Born: June 16, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, music coordinator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This screenwriter and his partner, Larry Karaszewski, struggled through several unsuccessful projects before hitting gold with self-described "weirdo biopics" of director Ed Wood Jr. and porn king Larry Flynt. Born and raised in Southern California, Scott Alexander began shooting Super-8mm films as a teenager, becoming in his own words, the "Joseph Levine-Ed Wood of Palisades High". While attending film school at USC, he met Karaszewski whom he discovered also shared his love for low rent horror films like those of Herschell Gordon Lewis. While an undergrad, Alexander began a script about porn publisher Larry Flynt but it was a senior project written in tandem with Karaszewski that helped them become established in the industry. Within two weeks of graduating in 1986, the pair sold their first spec screenplay, a crime comedy called "Homewreckers", to 20th Century-Fox for $300,000. Although it was never made, it provided a calling card for the duo. In the meantime, Alexander wrote and directed an episode of the syndicated series "Monsters" (1988), and did some directing for Nickelodeon and MTV. The writing partners then sold Universal a script for a dark "Bad Seed" comedy. The result, however, was...

This screenwriter and his partner, Larry Karaszewski, struggled through several unsuccessful projects before hitting gold with self-described "weirdo biopics" of director Ed Wood Jr. and porn king Larry Flynt.

Born and raised in Southern California, Scott Alexander began shooting Super-8mm films as a teenager, becoming in his own words, the "Joseph Levine-Ed Wood of Palisades High". While attending film school at USC, he met Karaszewski whom he discovered also shared his love for low rent horror films like those of Herschell Gordon Lewis. While an undergrad, Alexander began a script about porn publisher Larry Flynt but it was a senior project written in tandem with Karaszewski that helped them become established in the industry. Within two weeks of graduating in 1986, the pair sold their first spec screenplay, a crime comedy called "Homewreckers", to 20th Century-Fox for $300,000. Although it was never made, it provided a calling card for the duo. In the meantime, Alexander wrote and directed an episode of the syndicated series "Monsters" (1988), and did some directing for Nickelodeon and MTV. The writing partners then sold Universal a script for a dark "Bad Seed" comedy. The result, however, was "Problem Child" (1990), re-written by others into a cloying and critically-panned film. The two reluctantly agreed to co-write the sequel, imaginatively called "Problem Child 2" (1991), which turned out to be even worse.

While there were other projects that didn't reach fruition or went through the Hollywood mill of rewrites, Alexander and Karaszewski turned their focus to the man generally considered as one of the world's worst directors. The result was "Ed Wood" (1994), an odd, touching and warped biopic directed with care by Tim Burton. Their script managed to both laugh at and with Wood and also depicted a haunting Bela Lugosi (played by Martin Landau in an Oscar-winning turn). Burton asked them to work on his next feature, the big-budget "Mars Attacks!" (1996), but their efforts went unrecognized when the Writers Guild denied them credit.

With the critical success of "Ed Wood", though, the duo was able to sell an even more subversive biopic, "The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996), produced by Oliver Stone and directed by Milos Forman. Described by the writers as "Frank Capra with porn," the film took an outrageously vile character and made him a hero of sorts. As in "Ed Wood", the script provided strong roles for Woody Harrelson (as Flynt), Courtney Love (as Flynt's wife, Althea) and Edward Norton (as Flynt's attorney). The duo went on to co-write and co-direct the Norm McDonald comedy "Screwed" (2000), which spent more than two years in post-production and underwent several name changes. The end results, though, failed to impress critics or audiences. Alexander and Karaszewski, however, enjoyed kudos for their script "Man on the Moon" (1999), which Milos Forman directed. Another in their series of biographical dramas about eccentric characters--in this case comedian Andy Kaufman--the film proved their strengths perhaps lay in that genre. As such, the pair have been attached to film versions of the lives of other showbiz oddballs ranging from Liberace to Groucho Marx to the disco group, the Village People.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Screwed (2000) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Southern California
:
Began shooting Super-8mm movies while in high school
:
Met future partner Larry Karaszewski while at USC in the 1980s
1986:
Within two weeks of graduating from college, sold first spec script "Homewreckers" to 20th Century Fox for $300,0000
1988:
TV writing debut, an episode of the syndicated series "Monsters"; also directed an episode
1990:
First produced screenplay, "Problem Child"; co-written with Larry Karaszewski
:
Reportedly worked on the script for the animated "Cats Don't Dance" (1997); did not receive final credit
1994:
Had first critical hit with "Ed Wood", directed by Tim Burton; co-written with Karaszewski
:
Worked on script rewrites of "Mars Attacks!" (1996) for Tim Burton; denied on screen credit by the Writers Guild
1996:
Won critical and popular acclaim with the controversial "The People vs. Larry Flynt", directed by Milos Forman; co-penned with Karaszewski
1997:
Co-wrote the screenplay for the remake of Disney's "That Darn Cat"; credited as S M Alexander
1998:
With Karaszewski, made co-directorial debut with "Screwed", also co-scripted (released theatrically in 2000)
1999:
Pair reteamed with Forman to script biopic of Andy Kaufman "Man on the Moon"
2003:
Co-wrote the teen adventure, "Agent Cody Banks"
2007:
With Karaszewski, adapted a Stephen King short story called "1408"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Palisades High School: Pacific Palisades , California -
University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1986

Notes

"We write movies that--on paper--are studio films. They have three solid acts, a protagonist, an antagonist, and a twist on page 60, so a studio can feel comfortable with the form. But then we're taking the content and completely twisting it around. We've been lucky enough to get to the point where we can basically come in with as weird an idea as we want, and can probably find some sucker to buy it."--Scott Alexander quoted in Boxoffice, December 1996.

"I cried at the cast and crew screening, I was so embarrassed." --Scott Alexander on "Problem Child" in Movieline, November 1996.

"We were lucky enough to win the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay [for "The People vs. Larry Flynt"] which is one of the highs of our lives. And it's a great moment, and you get escorted backstage and there's. like, 100 reporters back there and crews, and lights flashing, and they all start asking us, 'Don't you feel ashamed having made this movie about him?' And I'm thinking, 'My God! If I can't have these ten minutes of pleasure, what does it take?' And I actually snapped at all of these reporters, saying, 'Can't you just let us enjoy this moment? Can't you just ask us the puff questions that everyone else gets?'" --Scott Alexander quoted in Written By, April 1997.

"Most biopic pitches you hear in Hollywood are about 'The first person to blah-blah-blah' ... But Scott and Larry are not concerned about a particular person's achievements as much as they are about their subject's passion, especially when if has a slanted angle." --Michael Costigan, then Columbia Pictures executive vice president of production, quoted in Time , December 31, 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Deborah Alexander.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Casey Alexander. Born on April 10, 1994.
son:
Jeremy Alexander.
daughter:
Lily Grace Alexander. Born on January 15, 2000.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute