abraham lincoln vampire hunter by seth grahame smith

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) 5th Anniversary

During 2012, there wasn’t a movie I was more interested in seeing than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I mean, I was also excited for other movies too, but this was the one that I was beyond excited for. It was also part of three movies with Tim Burton attached to it, Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie. I began reading the book earlier that April and was preparing myself for the spectacle I was to see that summer. On the morning of June 22, I bought the newspaper and flipped to the movie section, only to find that Abraham Lincoln was only awarded 2 Stars. Well what does one critic know?, I thought to myself, still keeping hope alive. I wasn’t looking for Shakespeare or anything, I just wanted to see what it was like.

I actually saw the film almost a month after it’s release. All I had was the book to go by, which I was still in the process of reading. Saturday July 14th, my Aunt took me to the last showing of the day, at 10pm. We sat down in a partially empty theater and watched. My reactions were actually of disappointment. I was expecting some changes, of course, but this movie had almost nothing to do with the book I’ve been studying for months. The beginning went from Abe learning about vampires and hunting them at a young age to him being a grown man and stumbling into the existence of vampires. Major characters were omitted and replaced with new ones, the basis of Henry and Be’s relationship changed just to give the movie an unnecessary twist. Action scenes and set pieces were added in. AND THERE”S NO EDGAR ALLEN POE! I was devastated and basically ignored the movie for a long time. Even when it was on DVD, I didn’t bother to re-watch it. Hell, I didn’t even finish the book. Months passed before I even opened it again and I would only read a few pieces of a chapter.

In the Fall of 2012, I started getting more into the Dark Shadows soap opera and had more exposure into Hammer Horror. I especially got into the Christopher Lee Dracula movies, my favorite being Dracula A.D. 1972. And suddenly, something clicked in my head. Much of these movies, Universal Classics and Hammer Horrors, are based on classic works of fiction, but the movies have very little to do with their novel counterparts. They take the theme and run with them, retweeking them into more filmable plots. Could that be the point of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? Was I too wrapped up with the book that I missed the point of the movie? Applying the main idea in a different platform. I started thinking about the phrase “film adaptation” and what that actually entails. I gave the film a second watch and definitely came around to it.The book read like an actual biography, with journal entries and photographic evidence, while the movie is a traditional hero’s journey. I bought the movie, the soundtrack, and even pins. It also came to mind that I can keep reading the book and still have a different experience. Once I finally finished the book, I was at peace and found myself liking the movie’s end than the book’s. 5 years later, I am still watching and talking about this movie and what it taught me about adaptions. Chances are, I’ll keep doing so til the end of time.

-Jose Barr (6-22-2017)

87TH OSCARS PRODUCTION TEAM ANNOUNCED

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron today announced 13 key members of the production team for the 87th Academy Awards, which will air live on Oscar Sunday, February 22, 2015, on ABC.

Director Hamish Hamilton returns to the show for the third time, after receiving an Emmy nomination for his work on last year’s telecast.  He made his Oscar debut with the 82nd Academy Awards telecast in 2010.  Hamilton has directed many other celebrated live televised events, including the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Bruno Mars, the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show featuring Beyoncé, the 2013 “MTV Video Music Awards” and the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, for which he also received an Emmy nomination.  He shared a 2011 Peabody Award for the fifth annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” and a 2003 Grammy Award nomination for the musical special “Robbie Williams – Live at the Albert.”

Production designer Derek McLane has been part of both Oscar shows that Zadan and Meron have produced.  He won a 2014 Emmy for his production design of the 86th Academy Awards, and earned a nomination in the same category the previous year.  McLane also has designed sets for numerous acclaimed Broadway and Off-Broadway shows; he has received four Tony Award nominations and won the award in 2009 for his work on “33 Variations.”  McLane’s designs can currently be seen in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”  His other Broadway credits include “The Heiress,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” “Follies,” “Anything Goes,” “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” “Grease” and “I Am My Own Wife.”  McLane’s television credits include “The Sound of Music Live!” which was executive produced by Zadan and Meron. 

Choreographer Rob Ashford has worked on the last two Oscar telecasts as well as the 81st Academy Awards show, for which he won an Emmy.  He was recently nominated for a Directors Guild Award for his work on “The Sound of Music Live!”  Ashford has been nominated for eight Tony Awards® and won for Best Choreography in 2002 for “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”  His other Broadway choreography credits include “The Wedding Singer,” “Curtains,” “Cry-Baby,” “Evita” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”  He also has served as choreographer on such feature films as “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “Cinderella,” due out next year.

Writer, producer and director Greg Berlanti joins the team as head writer for his first Oscars telecast.  Berlanti’s writing credits include the television series “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Everwood” and “Dawson’s Creek,” and the feature films “Wrath of the Titans” and “Green Lantern.”  Berlanti also has executive produced such series as “The Mysteries of Laura” and “Brothers & Sisters” as well as the miniseries “Political Animals,” for which he received an Emmy nomination.  His directing credits include the 2010 film “Life as We Know It.”

Zadan and Meron have brought in Michael GreenSeth Grahame-Smith and Andrew Kreisberg to complete the writing staff.  Green is a writer and producer whose writing credits include the feature film “Green Lantern” and the television series “Everwood” and “Heroes.”  Grahame-Smith is a writer and producer known for his work on the television series “The Hard Times of RJ Berger” and such films as “Dark Shadows” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”  Kreisberg, a longtime writer and producer, has written episodes of “The Simpsons,” “Boston Legal,” “Fringe,” “Arrow” and “The Flash.”  

Music director Stephen Oremus makes his Oscar debut this year.  A music director and Tony Award-winning orchestrator, he has worked on Broadway shows including “Avenue Q,” “Wicked,” “All Shook Up,” “9 to 5,” “The Book of Mormon” and “Kinky Boots.”  The latter two shows, which are still running, earned him 2011 and 2013 Tony Awards for Best Orchestration.  Oremus also served as the orchestra conductor and music director for Rufus Wainwright’s Carnegie Hall and London Palladium tributes to Judy Garland in 2006 and 2007.  He did his first feature film work on 2011’s “Shame,” arranging and producing “New York, New York,” which was sung by actress Carey Mulligan.

Costume designer Julie Weiss returns to the show after working on the 85th and 86th Academy Awards.  Weiss has designed costumes for more than 40 feature films, and received Oscar nominations for her work on “12 Monkeys” and “Frida.”  Her other feature credits include “Steel Magnolias,” “Searching for Bobby Fischer” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “A Simple Plan,” “American Beauty,” “Auto Focus,” “Bobby,” “Blades of Glory” and “Hitchcock.”  Weiss earned Emmys for her work on the TV movie “The Dollmaker” and the miniseries “A Woman of Independent Means.”  Her Broadway credits include “The Elephant Man,” for which she earned a Tony nomination, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Ann.”  In 2011 she received the Costume Designers Guild Career Achievement in Film and Television Award.

Talent producer Taryn Hurd joins the Oscar telecast team for the second consecutive year.  Hurd has served as talent producer on events including the FOX network’s “New Year’s Eve Live,” the Breeders’ Cup telecast, “Teen Choice 2013” and “VH1 Divas Salute the Troops.”  She also has served as talent producer on the FOX series “So You Think You Can Dance” and ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”  Previously, Hurd amassed numerous credits as talent executive on broadcasts such as “The ESPYS,” the “Billboard Music Awards” and the “Critics’ Choice Awards.”  She also was the talent producer for the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards.

Also rejoining the production team are supervising producer Michael Seligman, co-producer Lee Lodge and lighting designer Robert Dickinson.  Seligman has more than 300 major television events to his credit and has earned 12 Emmy nominations, including 10 for his work on Oscar telecasts.  Seligman’s other producing credits include “The American Giving Awards,” “America Celebrates July 4th at Ford’s Theatre,” “Stand Up to Cancer” and “Return to the Titanic…Live!”

Lodge served as co-producer on last year’s Oscar telecast and screens producer on the previous five.  His credits also include co-executive producer on the “MTV Video Music Awards” in 2012, 2013 and 2014, creative producer on the “CMA Awards” since 2010, and screens producer on the “Billboard Music Awards” since 2011.

Winner of 18 Primetime Emmys, lighting designer Dickinson has worked on 25 Oscar broadcasts, including the 86th Academy Awards earlier this year.  His numerous other credits include the “Kennedy Center Honors,” “Grammy Awards,” “Emmy Awards,” “Tony Awards,” “American Music Awards,” Olympic ceremonies in Atlanta, Salt Lake and Athens, and the television broadcasts “The Sound of Music Live!” and “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.”

The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.  The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Follow the Oscars producers and host Neil Patrick Harris for the latest updates throughout Oscar season.

Host
Neil Patrick Harris: http://twitter.com/ActuallyNPH

Oscars Producers
Neil Meron:  http://twitter.com/neilmeron
Craig Zadan http://twitter.com/craigzadan