The TV writer, director and producer's honorary service award will be presented at the 2020 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 1 at the Beverly Hilton.
Television writer, director and producer Brad Falchuk has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America West's 2020 Valentine Davies Award.
Falchuk — a founding member of the Young Storytellers Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aids literacy initiatives in more than 100 schools in Los Angeles, New York and Denmark — will receive the award in recognition of his "positive impact on young writers through his work and efforts to improve literacy and promote self-confidence through arts education in schools."
"Brad Falchuk sees the world as a better place when everyone has a chance to tell their story, and his commitment to that vision extends far beyond the works he has created," WGAW president David A. Goodman said Wednesday in a statement. "Whether it is giving a voice to diverse characters on television or through his work with the Young Storytellers Foundation, he has worked tirelessly to promote the creative arts as a positive way for young people to develop themselves."
Falchuk — a WGAW member since 2002 — has worked on a myriad of TV hits over the last two decades, including his most recent effort, Netflix's The Politician, which he co-created alongside Ryan Murphy. With Murphy, Falchuk is also known for his work on such other popular series as Pose, American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Glee, Scream Queens and Nip/Tuck.
Last year, Falchuk signed a multiyear deal with Netflix to develop, write, produce and direct new series through his Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision banner.
The WGAW's Valentine Davies Award honors guild members whose "humanitarian efforts and service have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere." Past recipients include Norman Lear, Larry Gelbart, Tom Schulman, Carl Reiner, Susannah Grant, Phil Rosenthal, Sam Simon, Ben Affleck, John August, Richard Curtis and Dustin Lance Black.
Back when Scream was released in 1996, it revitalized the slasher genre formula with its blend of self-referential humor and genuine scares. Once it became a cultural and box office phenomenon, it ushered in a new era of horror films in a similar vein such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Faculty. But then came a slasher pic that was inventive while showcasing the traditional slasher formula. Yet, because it still stuck to tradition and wasn’t entirely in the same vein as Scream, it became instantly underrated.
When Valentine came out 19 years ago, it received quite a critical bashing. According to the critics consensus on its Rotten Tomatoes page, it is a “formulaic throwback to conventional pre-Scream slasher flicks.” On the one hand, yes, it does follow the traditional slice-and-dice formula that slasher films would have in the pre-Scream era. However, it is both familiar and non formulaic and deserves more praise for how it attempts to stand out from other films within the rather interchangeable genre.
The story is familiar enough. A group of women: Kate Marley Shelton, Paige Denise Richards, Shelley Katherine Heigl, Dorothy Jessica Capshaw and Lily Jessica Cauffiel, are picked off one by one by a former classmate they tormented in their childhood. Also, the film takes place around Valentine’s Day, hence the title, and opens with a Valentine’s Day Dance from 1988. During that opening sequence, the killer, Jeremy Melton, asks his female classmates to dance with him only for most of them to harshly reject him. Thirteen years after that dance, Jeremy comes back for his revenge.
Its basic premise, along with the killer’s identity being evident, is what likely results in its reputation of being a copy-and-paste slasher flick. However, while the lack of grand mystery surrounding the antagonist may be true, Valentine is more interested in examining the mistakes made by the main characters. It mainly follows them in their adult years to show whether they’ve learned from the torment they caused Jeremy in middle school. It is hinted that there is a history of Jeremy being bullied outside of the night of the dance. So, the film asks whether some of them realized how wrong their bullying was.
Additionally, a false reputation that Jeremy was hit with becomes a method to his madness. After being accused of assaulting Dorothy at the aforementioned Valentine’s Day dance, he was sent away and eventually became the psycho that his classmates believed he was. He wasn’t motivated by fame the way some of the Ghostface killers in the Scream series were nor was he driven by the death of a loved one like Mrs. Voorhees in Friday the 13th. Instead, Melton is driven by his indignation over being deprived of an ideal existence due to torment by his classmates and the accusation that shattered...
As the escalating coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc in Hollywood, the WGA and AMPTP are frantically trying to figure out as we speak how to conduct upcoming contract talks next week — and if they should even happen at all for the foreseeable future.
Everything is in flux right now, but it looks like a consensus is emerging that the March 23 start of negotiations on a new film and TV contract will be pushed, at least for a couple of weeks, we hear.
Whether that sees discussions over a new deal paused for the time being or the May 1 expiring current contract itself extended as the essentially shuttered industry continues to deal with COVID-19 consequences is what guild and producer representatives are trying to figure out Thursday. As of this afternoon, there had been no official change in the announced plan for the two sides to meet Monday, but there had been flurry of activity. We have reached to the WGA and AMPTP for comment.
Also on the table this afternoon is a more far flung notion gaining a lot of traction in the AMPTP camp that the current overall three-year contract be extended with gains that the DGA achieved in their now completed deal with the producers, which still has to go to the full membership for approval.
However things shake down in this fluid situation and guild members await updates, it is clear that everyone at the top of the WGA West and WGA East and the Carol Lombardini-led AMPTP realizes it cannot be negotiations as usual. “Facing a potential new Great Depression, we all sink or swim together right now,” one scribe close to the guild brass declared as the mindset on both sides of the table.
To that end, the once almost certainty of a WGA strike hitting Hollywood this year has become virtually DOA, with writers already looking at thin pickings in harsh economic times, a crashing stock market and a pandemic. “The only thing extreme anyone who is thinking right is thinking right now is how to keep people getting paychecks, not picket lines,” another high-profile scribe remarked.
One possible scenario that is in play for the proposed talks is that all parties get together remotely on Monday via Zoom for a teleconference to kick things off according to the pre-set schedule.
Yet, several sources told us that even if that is the opening day move, the enthusiasm for such a tactic was pretty low among negotiating teams.
“You need to be in the room with each other,” a well-positioned exec close to the producers' side proclaimed, citing what may work well for writers' rooms right now won't work so well for their reps and the Sherman Oaks-based AMPTP. “There's a lot of history, good and bad, between the parties and tension over the WGA going to war over packaging,” the corner suiter added, noting the move...