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Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Madison, Connecticut, USA Profession: screenwriter, editor, director, producer, film instructor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

When he was ten years old, Brad Anderson received a Super 8 camera and a career was born. Born and raised in Connecticut, this independent filmmaker began his formal training at Bowdoin College followed by a year at London's International Film School. Anderson left the latter after completing the first of a two-year program, deciding his tuition would be better served funding a film. He settled in the Boston area and picked up professional experience on documentaries for PBS (e.g., 1991's "Making of the Sixties") and crafting short films. With several other local moviemakers, Anderson helped create the Boston Film Collective, for which he produced and edited the short "Crosley Fever" and paid homage to Ed Wood "Frankenstein's Planet of Monsters." By 1994, he felt ready to tackle a feature. Working on a tiny budget (reportedly $50,000), Anderson co-produced, wrote, edited and directed "The Darien Gap," casting his friend, musician Lyn Vaus, in the lead and intercutting some of his own home movies into the film. The film, a meditation on a slacker's inability to cope with his parents' divorce and its impact on his relationship with his girlfriend, received attention at 1996's Sundance Film Festival and...

When he was ten years old, Brad Anderson received a Super 8 camera and a career was born. Born and raised in Connecticut, this independent filmmaker began his formal training at Bowdoin College followed by a year at London's International Film School. Anderson left the latter after completing the first of a two-year program, deciding his tuition would be better served funding a film. He settled in the Boston area and picked up professional experience on documentaries for PBS (e.g., 1991's "Making of the Sixties") and crafting short films. With several other local moviemakers, Anderson helped create the Boston Film Collective, for which he produced and edited the short "Crosley Fever" and paid homage to Ed Wood "Frankenstein's Planet of Monsters." By 1994, he felt ready to tackle a feature. Working on a tiny budget (reportedly $50,000), Anderson co-produced, wrote, edited and directed "The Darien Gap," casting his friend, musician Lyn Vaus, in the lead and intercutting some of his own home movies into the film. The film, a meditation on a slacker's inability to cope with his parents' divorce and its impact on his relationship with his girlfriend, received attention at 1996's Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by the small firm of Northern Arts. Although the film received numerous festival screenings, its theatrical release was spotty.

Determined that his second feature would be more commercial, Anderson collaborated with Vaus on the screenplay for "Next Stop Wonderland" (1998), a quirky romantic comedy about a Boston-area nurse. The film earned positive notices and was favorably compared with Eastern European movies of the late 60s in its focus on the individual in scenes that uncover both the comedy of life and telling details of the character's day-to-day existence. After its initial showing at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, "Next Stop Wonderland" was snapped up by Miramax for a reported $6 million.

Along with the release of "Wonderland," Anderson's deal with Miramax including working on an Americanized remake of the French film "When the Cat's Away," but that deal fizzled and he was replaced on the project. The hyphenate tackled yet another genre, this time sci-fi, when he crafted "Happy Accidents" (2000), a romantic comedy about a time-traveling man who returns to the past to woo and save a woman whose picture has intrigued him. Enhanced by strong turns by leads Marisa Tomei and Vincent D'Onofrio, the film debuted at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival where it was quickly snapped up by Paramount Classics. Along the road to actually opening in theaters, however, "Happy Accidents" fell out of favor with the studio. By the time IFC Films (which had funded the movie) decided to release it, Anderson had completed his fourth film "Session 9" (2001), a creepy thriller about a team hired to remove asbestos from an abandoned mental hospital. True to his credo about not repeating himself, the writer-director was mulling the idea of tackling an historical drama or a documentary as his fifth project.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
3.
  Call, The (2013)
5.
6.
  Machinist, The (2004) Director
7.
  Session 9 (2001) Director
8.
  Happy Accidents (2000) Director
9.
  Next Stop Wonderland (1998) Director
10.
  Darien Gap, The (1996) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Madison, CT
1974:
Received first camera, a Super 8 at age 10 (date approximate)
1987:
Worked as freelance film editor
1989:
Moved to London to study filmmaking
1990:
Returned to U.S. and moved to Boston, MA
1991:
Made 40-minute experimental "A Short Film About Bowling"
1991:
Served as production assistant on PBS documentary "Making Sense of the Sixties"
1992:
Helped form the Boston Film Collective; produced and edited group's first short "Crosley Fiver"
1993:
Worked as editor on PBS series "The Americas"
1995:
Debut feature, "The Darien Gap"; film starred Lyn Vaus
1998:
Co-wrote with Vaus, edited, and directed "Next Stop Wonderland"; world rights sold to Miramax at Sundance Film Festival
1998:
Signed three-picture deal with Miramax
1999:
Made TV directorial debut with episode of NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street"
2000:
Helmed third feature "Happy Accidents"; film produced by IFC Pictures outside of his Miramax deal; screened at the Sundance Film Festival; picked up for distribution by Paramount Classics; option later dropped; IFC Films released film 2001, one week after opening of fourth movie
2001:
Directed horror-thriller "Session 9"
2002:
Helmed episodes of "The Shield" (FX) and "The Wire" (HBO)
2004:
Directed Christian Bale in "The Machinist" as a man who has lost the ability to sleep, causing deterioration of his physical and mental health
2008:
Co-wrote with Will Conroy and directed mystery-drama "Transsiberian," starring Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer
2008:
Made TV producing debut on Fox series "Fringe"
2013:
Directed Halle Berry as a veteran 911 operator in "The Call"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bowdoin College: Brunswick , Maine - 1987
Bowdoin College: Brunswick , Maine - 1987
London International Film School: - 1989

Notes

"The Darien Gap" received the Best Director Prize at the 1996 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

"I never want to do the same thing twice," he says. "It's always more daring and provocative to jump into something completely new." --Brad Anderson in The New York Times, August 5, 2001.

"I don't want to be known as the guy who makes cute, cuddly, happy movies." --Brad Anderson to The Boston Globe, August 5, 2001.

"'Wonderland' is my response to the glib, cynical attitude of today's youth culture. It's like the Joseph Campbell thing--follow your bliss. That may strike some people as cheesy, but what's the alternative? NOT to follow your bliss?" --Anderson to Thelma Adams in Indie, July-August 1998.

"That's my advice to anyone: move quickly into the next thing, because the more you sit on whatever laurels you might have, or the more you languish in self-approbation, the longer you're going to take to sink into obscurity." --Brad Anderson quoted in The Boston Globe, February 1, 1998.

"It's weird talking about yourself. I've only done two movies--I don't feel like I've earned it yet." --Anderson to Kenneth Turan in Los Angeles Times, January 17, 1998.

"My whole joy of filmmaking comes from piecing together scenes. I like shooting mounds of footage and putting it together into a story, the way that Lars von Trier does in 'Breaking the Waves'" --Anderson quoted in Variety, January 15, 1997.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Lauren Mansfield. Events planner. Met at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Pamela Taylor Anderson. Community services administrator. Worked at Yale.
aunt:
Holland Taylor. Actor. Acted in "Next Stop Wonderland" and "Happy Accidents".

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