REX PICKETT BIOGRAPHY
Rex Pickett grew up in San Diego and attended the University of
California at San Diego. He graduated summa cum laude with a Special
Projects major, specializing in contemporary literary and film
criticism, and creative writing.
Rex moved to L.A. and attended USC graduate film school for
one year. He went on to write and direct two independent feature films,
California Without Endand From Hollywood to Deadwood. The former played
numerous festivals and was bought by Bavarian Radio Television. The
latter was acquired and commercially released by Island Pictures in
Rex has written numerous screenplays, some original and some
for hire. In ’89 he was commissioned by Sony/Tristar to write an
original screenplay for the actor, Kevin Bacon. In ‘90 he was brought
on for an uncredited rewrite of Alien III. In ’92 he wrote The Road
Back, an original screenplay which was purchased by Silver film
Productions. In addition, he adapted a novel, Striking it Rich, for the
same company. His 2002 script Repairman has also been optioned.
In ’96 Rex turned his attention to fiction and wrote a
mystery novel, La Purisima, which landed him representation with the
prestigious Curtis Brown, LTD. literary agency as his representation.
And though that novel ultimately wasn’t placed, it laid the groundwork
for his second novel, Sideways.
Sideways became the basis for the critically-acclaimed and
commercially successful Alexander Payne/Fox Searchlight release of
2004. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning the Oscar
for best adapted screenplay. It also won the prestigious Writers Guild
Award for best adapted screenplay, two Golden Globe Awards for best
screenplay and best picture (musical or comedy), five New York Film
Critics Circle Awards, including best picture and best screenplay, five
Los Angeles Film Critics Awards, again including best picture and best
screenplay. It swept the Indie Spirit Awards with six wins and won too
many other year-end awards to enumerate here. In all it won a total of
350 year-end awards in all categories. Rex’s novel has sold over
150,000 copies and has been translated into twelve languages. In 2008,
the Writers Guild of America voted it one of 101 Greatest Screenplays of
In addition to the success of Sideways, Rex’s screenplay for
My Mother Dreams the Satan’s Disciples in New York won best dramatic
short film at over 15 festivals, culminating in the winning of the 2000
Academy Award for best live action short. It was directed by his former
wife, Barbara Schock, at the American Film Institute.
Rex has just come out with the follow-up to Sideways. The
novel had a long gestation, beginning with a book deal with Alfred A.
Knopf -- the literary division of Random House. There were serious
creative differences when Rex decided he wanted to write the Sideways
sequel. So, in frustration, Rex found equity funding from a private
investor, Tim Moore, and decided to go the intrepid self-imprint route.
The result is Vertical, a tragi-comic epic road novel that saw its
realease January 10, 2011.
"Sideways," released in 2004, is
arguably the most influential wine-themed film in American history.
It grossed $300 million, damaged Merlot’s reputation with a single line, and
people are still debating whether the film alone caused Pinot Noir
sales to spike, or was merely a factor in the variety’s astonishing