Industry Speaker: Writer-Producer David K. Kessler, MINAMATA (starring Johnny Depp)
Monday, August 29th, 5pm-6:15pm
Interview with David K. Kessler, Writer-Producer, MINAMATA
with Writers Boot Camp Founder Jeffrey Gordon
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Join Founder Jeffrey Gordon (JG) for a One-on-One interview with friend of Writers Boot Camp, David K. Kessler, writer and producer of the Hulu feature film MINAMATA. The film stars Johnny Depp, whose company also produced. While David is experienced in writing and performing comedy, his shift to drama was inspired by the book Minamata about journalist W. Eugene Smith’s photographic exploration of mercury poisoning victims in Japan. David’s recent transition from comedy and stand-up has led him to specializing in writing screenplays based on true stories.
Inspired by the book, David set out on a two-year quest to obtain the rights and life rights–and then adapted a spec script in only six weeks. When Johnny Depp was alerted to the script and read MINAMATA, he “immediately realized it was special”. The movie also stars Bill Nighy, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Tadanobu Asano. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2020 and screened at the Barcelona Film Festival in 2021. The movie is currently trending and viewable on Hulu.
David’s follow-up project, DREAMERS, is based on the book John Lennon Vs. The U.S. about John Lennon’s immigration battle with the Nixon Administration, credited with setting the stage for DACA/The Dream Act. He is also rewriting ADIDAS V PUMA about the two brothers who owned the competing athletic shoe companies.
JG’s interview with David via zoom will include ample time for Q&A. Initial questions will be screened in advance with alumni granted priority.
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