As if filmmakers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods aren’t busy enough, the QC natives have a new book out that documents production of a couple of their horror hits.
“Haunt: Screenplay & Filmmaker Diaries” is 240 pages long, including over 60 pages that contain individual journal entries Beck and Woods kept while making both “Haunt” (2019) and “A Quiet Place” (2018).
The 38-year-old Bettendorf High and University of Iowa alums are most famous for co-writing the huge horror hit, “A Quiet Place,” directed by and co-starring John Krasinksi. On a $17-million budget, it brought in $340.9 million at the box office, spawning a sequel (which Beck and Woods were not involved in), directed and written by Krasinski, producing $297 million in box-office receipts.
Their combined journals span over three years — beginning in August 2016 when Beck & Woods set up “A Quiet Place” at Paramount, and culminate in September 2019 after “Haunt” was released, according to a recent e-mail from the pair.
Between those dates, the book covers the production of “Haunt,” release and awards tour for “Quiet Place,” as well as other projects including their new adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Boogeyman” for 20th Century Fox and setting up a project with Sam Raimi.
A good portion of the book is dedicated to the journey of “A Quiet Place,” “as we chronicle the entire process from the script sale, premieres at SXSW and in New York, what it was like opening weekend, the eventual awards circuit, and meeting some of our cinematic heroes along the way,” Beck & Woods said in the exclusive e-mail to Local 4.
“One of the biggest lessons we learned during this three year period of making A QUIET PLACE and HAUNT is to enjoy the small victories,” they wrote. “We encountered many ups and downs in this career, and we realized sometimes the most satisfying moments aren’t a big opening weekend or having your trailer featured during the Super Bowl.
“In retrospect, we have a greater appreciation for days when we push through a difficult day of writing and solve creative problems that we’ve been wrestling with. So we really try to appreciate those moments that often go unnoticed.”
The next big film the boys have upcoming is “65,” starring uber-hot Adam Driver and co-produced by Sam Raimi, written and directed by Beck & Woods. The only story nugget released is this summary — “An astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet only to discover he’s not alone.”
Sony Pictures will be releasing “65” worldwide in March 2023, and “The Boogeyman” will be released later next year by 20th Century Fox Studios.
When asked if Beck & Woods prefer directing their own scripts, versus having someone else direct (like “Quiet Place”), they said: “Our passion is filmmaking, which means we love every aspect of film. We’d consider ourselves lucky to be on set in any capacity, whether it’s writing, directing, or producing.”
“We never had a formal film education, so much of our insight into the film business was through similar journals and screenplays by our heroes like Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, and Tom DiCillo,” the filmmakers said this week.
“Each of their books shared honest, brutal filmmaking accounts, and those stories taught us more about filmmaking than we could have ever imagined. Our book chases those same instincts, and we hope it sheds more light into what the life of artistic pursuit entails.”
Beck & Woods also are leading development of a new indie movie theater in downtown Davenport.
The planned Last Picture House (named after the Peter Bogdanovich classic “The Last Picture Show”) will transform a vacant building at 325 E. 2nd St., Davenport. In October, it won $600,000 in state funding (through Destination Iowa) to support the $3.72-million project, a two-screen theater with a rooftop bar to open by June 2023.
For more information on the filmmakers, visit their website.