September 3, 2000

50 Creatives to Watch

by Robert Hofler




The next wave of behind-the-scenes talent

For several years, VARIETY has gone out on a limb to pick talents who are just getting started in various showbiz areas. It’s a tricky business to judge people on the basis of one or two works, but these talents have all shown intriguing promise right out of the starting blocks.

Nevertheless, over the years, our reporters and correspondents have managed to select filmmakers, writers, TV creators and other talents who have gone on to impressive careers. We singled out "The Cell" director Tarsem in 1997, when he was still doing rock videos; in 1995, we looked at billionaire Internet exec Sky Dayton and Palm d’Or-winning filmmaker Lars von Trier, who was about to start "Breaking the Waves"; last year, Oscar-winning screenwriter Alan Ball was profiled before "American Beauty" premiered at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

So enjoy this year’s selection of 50 CREATIVES TO WATCH, and join VARIETY’s staff in trying to spot coming talent long before award night.

  • Patricia Saperstein

Managing Editor, Special Reports

[And somewhere in the middle of the list we find none other than…]


legit director


legit lyricist


legit composer

"Reefer Madness" is now a musical on its way to Off-Broadway this fall. Based on the 1936 propaganda film about the baddest weed, the show grabbed many L.A. Theatre honors, including a best musical nod from the Ovation Awards, when it graced the 1999-2000 season on the West Coast. Andy Fickman, Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney mark their Gotham legit debuts with the show.

"Reefer Madness" might be just another downtown tuner if not for the fact that William Morris’ Clint Mitchell put together the package that the mighty Nederlanders are producing. Talk about power theatre…

In addition to writing the songs, Murphy and Studney collaborated on the book. Previously, they were producer-writers on the TV series "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and "Weird Science."

Fickman has several L.A.-based helming credits, and next up, he writes and directs the remake of "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," to be produced by Daly-Harris Prods. In conjunction with Four Square Prods.

Fickman is repped by Jonathan Baruch at AMG. Dan Studney is with Ken Greenblatt at Major Clients Agency. Kevin Murphy is with Paul Haas at AMG.



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