David Chase

David Chase

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David Chase is an American writer
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

, director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, and producer
Television producer
The primary role of a television Producer is to allow all aspects of video production, ranging from show idea development and cast hiring to shoot supervision and fact-checking...

 of television series. Chase has worked in television for more than 30 years; he has produced and written for shows as The Rockford Files
The Rockford Files
The Rockford Files is an American television drama series which aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974 and January 10, 1980. It has remained in regular syndication to the present day. The show stars James Garner as Los Angeles-based private investigator Jim Rockford and features Noah...

, I'll Fly Away
I'll Fly Away (TV series)
I'll Fly Away is a television series set during the late 1950s and early 1960s, in an unspecified Southern U.S. state. It aired on NBC from 1991 to 1993 and starred Regina Taylor as Lilly Harper, a black housekeeper for district attorney Forrest Bedford and his family...

, and Northern Exposure
Northern Exposure
Northern Exposure is an American television series that ran on CBS from 1990 to 1995, with a total of 110 episodes.-Overview:The series was given a pair of consecutive Peabody Awards: in 1991–92 for the show's "depict[ion] in a comedic and often poetic way, [of] the cultural clash between a...

. He has created two original series; the first, Almost Grown, aired for 10 episodes in 1988 and 1989. Chase is best known for his second original series, the influential and critically acclaimed HBO drama The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

, which aired for six seasons between 1999 and 2007. A prominent figure in American television, Chase has won seven Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

s.

Early life


David Chase was born on August 22, 1945 in Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, New York
Mount Vernon is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It lies on the border of the New York City borough of The Bronx.-Overview:...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. An Italian-American, Chase grew up in a small garden apartment in Clifton
Clifton, New Jersey
Clifton is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 84,136. The 2010 population represented an increase of 5,464 residents from its population of 78,672 in the 2000 Census, making it the state's 11th largest...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and in North Caldwell
North Caldwell, New Jersey
-Local government:North Caldwell is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office...

. Chase has stated that as a youth he had many issues with his parents, whom he feels were overbearing. He grew up watching matinée crime films and was well-known as a creative storyteller during his childhood. Chase claims his father was an angry man who belittled him constantly as a child and his mother was a "passive-aggressive drama queen" and "a nervous woman who dominated any situation she was in by being so needy and always on the verge of hysteria. You walked on eggshells." One of his characters on the HBO original series The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

, Livia Soprano
Livia Soprano
Livia Soprano , played by Nancy Marchand, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is the mother of Tony Soprano. A young Livia, played by Laila Robins and later by Laurie J. Williams is sometimes seen in flashbacks...

 is based on his mother. Chase struggled with panic attacks and severe depression
Clinical depression
Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities...

 as a teenager, something he still deals with today. He graduated from high school in 1964 and attended Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University is a private, coeducational university in the U.S. state of North Carolina, founded in 1834. The university received its name from its original location in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital. The Reynolda Campus, the university's main campus, is...

 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina, with a 2010 population of 229,617. Winston-Salem is the county seat and largest city of Forsyth County and the fourth-largest city in the state. Winston-Salem is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and is home to...

, where his depression worsened. "I slept 18 hours a day," Chase later stated. He described his problems as "what's come to be known as normal, nagging, clinical depression. It was awful." He also worked as a drummer
Drummer
A drummer is a musician who is capable of playing drums, which includes but is not limited to a drum kit and accessory based hardware which includes an assortment of pedals and standing support mechanisms, marching percussion and/or any musical instrument that is struck within the context of a...

 during this period, and held aspirations of being a professional musician. After two years, he transferred to New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

 (NYU), where he announced his decision to pursue a career in film, a decision that was not well-received by his parents. He went on to attend Stanford University's School of Film.

Career


Before creating and developing The Sopranos, Chase started in Hollywood as a story editor
Story editor
Story editor is a job title in motion picture and television production, also sometimes called "supervising producer". A story editor is a member of the screenwriting staff who edits stories for screenplays....

 for Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the 1974-1975 season. It featured a fictional Chicago newspaper reporter — Carl Kolchak, played by Darren McGavin — who investigates mysterious crimes with unlikely causes, particularly ones law...

and then produced episodes of Northern Exposure
Northern Exposure
Northern Exposure is an American television series that ran on CBS from 1990 to 1995, with a total of 110 episodes.-Overview:The series was given a pair of consecutive Peabody Awards: in 1991–92 for the show's "depict[ion] in a comedic and often poetic way, [of] the cultural clash between a...

and The Rockford Files
The Rockford Files
The Rockford Files is an American television drama series which aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974 and January 10, 1980. It has remained in regular syndication to the present day. The show stars James Garner as Los Angeles-based private investigator Jim Rockford and features Noah...

, among other series. He also worked as a writer while on The Rockford Files—a show which he worked on in various capacities for more than four years. He won several Emmys, including one for a television movie
Television movie
A television film is a feature film that is a television program produced for and originally distributed by a television network, in contrast to...

, the story of a runaway
Runaway youth
A runaway is a minor or a person under an arbitrary age, depending upon the local jurisdiction, who has left the home of his or her parent or legal guardian without permission, or has been thrown out by his or her parent and is considered by the local authorities to lack the capacity to live under...

 he scripted in 1980. After The Rockford Files run ended the same year, Chase worked in numerous television jobs until he wound up in charge of Northern Exposure in 1993. Chase worked in relative anonymity before The Sopranos debuted. Inspired as a youth by the film The Public Enemy
The Public Enemy
The Public Enemy is a 1931 American Pre-Code crime film starring James Cagney and directed by William A. Wellman. The film relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America...

, Chase created the critically and commercially successful show by drawing heavily on his own personal life; the character of Livia Soprano
Livia Soprano
Livia Soprano , played by Nancy Marchand, is a fictional character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos. She is the mother of Tony Soprano. A young Livia, played by Laila Robins and later by Laurie J. Williams is sometimes seen in flashbacks...

 is modelled after his own mother. In a recent interview Chase stated that he experienced frustration for a long period with being unable to break out of the TV genre and into film over this time. In 2000, David Chase was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival
Austin Film Festival
The Austin Film Festival was started in 1994 in Austin, Texas and is claimed to be "the first organization of its kind to focus on the writer’s unique creative contribution to the film and television industries"...

's Outstanding Television Writer Award. In 2005, Chase received a Special Edgar Award
Edgar Award
The Edgar Allan Poe Awards , named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America...

 from the Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America
Mystery Writers of America is an organization for mystery writers, based in New York.The organization was founded in 1945 by Clayton Rawson, Anthony Boucher, Lawrence Treat, and Brett Halliday....

 for his entire body of work.

His first original created series was Almost Grown in 1988, with Eve Gordon and Timothy Daly
Timothy Daly
James Timothy "Tim" Daly is an American stage, screen and voice actor, director and producer. He is best known for his television role as Joe Hackett on the NBC sitcom Wings and for his voice role as Superman/Clark Kent in Superman: The Animated Series, as well as his recurring role of the...

. Although the one-hour series was well-received by critics, only 10 episodes aired from November 1988 to February 1989.

The Sopranos


30 episodes of The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

are explicitly credited
WGA screenwriting credit system
In the United States, screenwriting credit for motion pictures and television programs under its jurisdiction is determined by either the Writers Guild of America, East or the Writers Guild of America, West . Since 1941, the Guilds have been the final arbiter of who receives credit for writing a...

 to Chase. However, as the show's creator, showrunner and head writer
Head writer
A head writer is a person who oversees the team of writers on a television or radio series. The title is common in the soap opera genre, as well as with sketch comedies and talk shows that feature monologues and comedy skits, but in prime time series this function is generally performed by an...

 he had a major role in all of the scripts, including producing and touching up each script's final draft. He also directed the pilot episode and the series finale
Made in America (The Sopranos)
"Made in America" is the twenty-first episode of the sixth season of the HBO television drama series The Sopranos and the series finale. It is the eighty-sixth overall episode of the series and the ninth episode of the second part of the sixth season, which was broadcast in two batches with a break...

 (both of which he also wrote). Of the controversial final scene of the series finale, Chase said, "I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there."

A Ribbon of Dreams


David Chase is in works to develop A Ribbon of Dreams, a mini-series for HBO. According to an HBO press release, the mini-series' pilot will "begin in 1913 and follow two men, one a college-educated mechanical engineer, the other a cowboy with a violent past, who form an unlikely producing partnership and together become pioneers and then powers for a time in motion pictures." Specifically, the two men will "begin as employees of D.W. Griffith, and then cross career paths with John Ford
John Ford
John Ford was an American film director. He was famous for both his westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and adaptations of such classic 20th-century American novels as The Grapes of Wrath...

, John Wayne
John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison , better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height...

, Raoul Walsh
Raoul Walsh
Raoul Walsh was an American film director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the brother of silent screen actor George Walsh...

, Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional...

, Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age...

 and others who gave shape to Hollywood as it grew from the age of rough-hewn silent
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 Western
Western (genre)
The Western is a genre of various visual arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of...

s, to the golden era of talkies and the studio system, to the auteur movement, to television, and finally to the present day."

Twylight Zones


David Chase is currently working on a new project for Paramount
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

. Twylight Zones (2012) — Chase's feature film
Feature film
In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

 debut — centers on the lead singer of a teenage rock 'n' roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 band (played by John Magaro
John Magaro
John Robert Magaro is an American film, television and stage actor. He will star alongside James Gandolfini in Twylight Zones —the upcoming feature film debut of David Chase, creator of The Sopranos.-Life and career:...

) in 1960s
1960s
The 1960s was the decade that started on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969. It was the seventh decade of the 20th century.The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe...

 New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

. Described as "a music-driven coming-of-age story," the film reunites Chase with James Gandolfini
James Gandolfini
James J. Gandolfini, Jr. is an Italian American actor. He is best known for his role as Tony Soprano in the HBO TV series The Sopranos, about a troubled crime boss struggling to balance his family life and career in the Mafia...

 (the former star of The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

will co-star as Magaro's father). Other cast members include Bella Heathcoate, Christopher McDonald
Christopher McDonald
Christopher McDonald is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore, Tappy Tibbons in Requiem for a Dream, and Mel Allen in the HBO film 61*.-Personal life:...

, Molly Price
Molly Price
-Personal life:Price was born in North Plainfield, New Jersey, and graduated from North Plainfield High School in 1984.She is a graduate of Rutgers University. She is married to a New York City Fire Department firefighter Derek Kelly...

, Lisa Lampanelli
Lisa Lampanelli
Lisa Lampanelli is an American stand-up comedian and insult comic. She is noted for her racy and raunchy style of comedy, which frequently includes taboo subjects such as race and homosexuality....

, Jack Huston
Jack Huston
Jack Alexander Huston is an English actor. Huston had a starring role in Neighborhood Watch and filmed Outlander with James Caviezel and Sophia Myles...

 and Brad Garrett
Brad Garrett
Bradley "Brad" Garrett is an American actor, voice actor, stand-up comedian, and professional poker player. Throughout he has appeared in numerous television and film roles....

. Chase himself has described the film as about "a postwar, post-Depression era parent who has given his kid every advantage that he didn't have growing up, but now can't help feeling jealous of the liberated, more adventurous destiny his son is able to enjoy." Former Sopranos cast member Steven Van Zandt
Steven Van Zandt
Steven Van Zandt is an Italian-American musician, songwriter, arranger, record producer, actor, and radio disc jockey, who frequently goes by the stage names Little Steven or Miami Steve...

 will serve as music supervisor and executive producer.

Personal life


After graduating from NYU in 1968 Chase moved to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and married his high school sweetheart Denise Kelly. He is the father of actress Michele DeCesare
Michele DeCesare
Michele DeCesare is an American actress, best known as Meadow Soprano's friend Hunter Scangarelo in The Sopranos.She is the daughter of Sopranos creator David Chase.-Filmography:-External links:...

 who starred in The Sopranos
The Sopranos
The Sopranos is an American television drama series created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the often conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads...

as Hunter Scangarelo. Despite (or perhaps because of) his lengthy career within the medium Chase claims to "loathe and despise" television shows, only watching The Sopranos and otherwise preferring to watch films.

Awards and recognition



External links