Scott E. Essman (born September 19, 1966) is an American writer, who has been writing and producing projects about motion picture craftsmanship and Hollywood history since the mid-1980s.
Essman was born on September 19, 1966 and grew up on Long Island. In 1984 he went to college at Hobart in Geneva, New York. In 1986 he transferred to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he studied psychology, screenwriting, and film criticism.
In 1987, Essman's camera teacher was future director Jay Roach and in 1988, before graduating, he performed standup comedy in a show at USC's Cafe '84 hosted by future writer-director Judd Apatow and also featured actor Mark Christopher Lawrence.
After returning to New York in 1988, Essman formed Visionary Cinema, an eclectic artists group that was formed with a mixture of unproduced writers, performers, 2D artists, and filmmakers. When NYC proved unfruitful for Essman and Visionary Cinema, both he and the company relocated to Los Angeles. At that time, Essman wrote the screenplays KRAZY-TV, Rodeo Drive, and Candyland and made the rounds. There were a few bites but no buyers.
Career in Journalism
Switching to journalism, Essman was first published in Cinefex Magazine in 1996 with a story about makeup legend Michael Westmore. Essman has published over 400 articles as a freelancer for outlets also including The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Design, The American Cinema Editors' magazine, The CinemaEditor, Creative Screenwriting, MovieMaker, Acted By, Below the Line News, Fangoria, plus several Internet sites dealing with filmmaking, especially in the science-fiction and horror genres. In 1998, Essman established Directed By: The Cinema Quarterly, a periodical that strictly focused on the craft of movie directors and directing. Seven issues were published, printed, and distributed.
In February 1996, Essman and his team documented a weekend-long creature effects film called Wolvy. It was eventually made into a 24-minute documentary and a two-minute music video from the doc was uploaded to YouTube, with over 64,000 individual views as of Halloween, 2009.
Also in 1996, Essman created his first special live event, a tribute to the makeup artist, Dick Smith. Created at the Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn in North Hollywood, the event was decorated with original posters of Smith's films and was attended by 40 of Smith's closest protégés, friends, and colleagues and included film footage of Smith's work, interviews, and tributes to Smith by all in attendance. In 1998, Essman created a 30-minute highlights video of the event.
Events in 1997 (A Tribute to John Chambers and Planet of the Apes) and 1998 (A Tribute to The Wizard of Oz) ensued and doubled each year in attendance. In June 2000, Essman recruited 16 actors plus a team of production designers, lighting designers, makeup artists and costume designers to create Jack Pierce - The Man Behind The Monsters, which was a staged multimedia play with a 48-page unique commemorative program. In 2004, Essman created a tribute to silent film star Lon Chaney at Universal Studios' CityWalk. In 2009, he created a tribute to the Westmores of Hollywood at the Monsterpalooza convention in Burbank, CA.
Work for Universal Studio
In 2002, noting that "if you can't beat them, join them," Essman started working for Universal Studios as a writer and publicist of classic monster films. As of late 2009, he produced over 25 publicity projects for Universal Studios Home Entertainment where he made video documentaries about filmmakers, co-produced special live events, and wrote publicity materials and interviewed movie craftspeople, including directors Peter Jackson (King Kong - 2005), Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead), and David Twohy (The Chronicles of Riddick) and produced documentaries about the visual effects of The Incredible Hulk and the stunt work in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. In 2008, he served as publicist of the horror movie Trailer Park of Terror, and in 2009, he consulted on the publicity for the family comedy Monster Mutt, the horror film Sorority Row, and the remake of Mother's Day. Essman has also consulted as publicity and demo reel producer for the renowned Drac Studios.<r
Scott Essman published his first book, Freelance Writing for Hollywood, in 2000. He produced two short traditionally hand-drawn animated films: Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters and Monster Kids and is preparing to complete an animated film about dogs. He has partnered with a media financing and production company to shoot the first of three science-fiction features in 2010 under the banner My Science Fiction Project. Scott lives in Los Angeles county where he has won a multimedia teaching award from The Art Institute of California and has also taught video production and DVD authoring at California State University at Pomona and mass media at the University of La Verne.