8 Crazy Nights
Columbia Pictures Presents "A Happy Madison Production", Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. The direction is by Seth Kearsley. The writers are Brooks Arthur, Allen Covert, Brad Isaacs and Adam Sandler.
The producers are Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo and Allen Covert. The executive producer is Ken Tsumura.
The co-producer is Brooks Arthur. Philip A. Cruden is the Art Director/Layout Supervisor. The production design is by Perry Andelin Blake. The film is edited by Amy Budden, A.C.E. The music is by Ray Ellis, Marc Ellis and Teddy Castellucci. The music supervisor is Brooks Arthur.
The film is rated PG-13 for frequent crude and sexual humor, drinking and brief drug references.
In the contemporary animated holiday musical fable Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights, Adam Sandler gives voice to several distinct and unconventional characters, including the film's antagonizing protagonist Davey Stone, a young man who hates the holidays and is determined that no one else in the town of Dukesberry is going to enjoy them either.
On the first night of Hanukah, the perpetually grumpy Davey goes on a rowdy rampage and is arrested. Since this is hardly the first time he's gone on a destructive binge, the town judge sentences Davey to ten years in prison. It is only through the intercession of a kindly old codger named Whitey (also voiced by Sandler) that Davey is spared.
Whitey, a local basketball ref, agrees to take responsibility for Davey, who is hilariously ungrateful. Though Whitey suffers Davey's foul temper and bad attitude with good humor, others are less sympathetic, particularly his childhood sweetheart Jennifer, who has just returned to Dukesberry with her son, Benjamin.
When Davey's mobile home burns down, he is forced to move in with Whitey and his kvetchy sister, Eleanor (also voiced by Sandler). The familial atmosphere softens Davey somewhat until they tap into his painful past. He turns on Whitey and Eleanor, and goes off on a boisterous tear. It is only by confronting the ghosts of holidays' past, and an act of selfless kindness, that Davey is able to overcome his demons and enjoy the holidays again. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah to all!
LAUGH A LITTLE. CRY A LITTLE. AND MAYBE SING A SONG.
At last, a holiday movie for the hell-raiser in all of us.
"Eight Crazy Nights is an Adam Sandler movie that just happens to be animated," asserts Stephan Franck, the supervisor of character animation and clean-up supervisor on Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights."
The idea for the film came from an extended skit featuring the characters of Whitey and Davey on Sandler's comedy album "Stan and Judy's Kid," according to Brooks Arthur, the film's co-producer, co-writer and music supervisor.
Sandler, who had dabbled in flash animation previously, decided that Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights should be a fully-animated feature that would have the feel of a live-action movie, "but without any of the limitations of live-action," according to Franck.
Another reason for taking the animation route, according to Sandler, "is that I watch myself in live-action movies getting progressively older and uglier. So animation allowed me to use the youthful Sandler and the body I had when I was a 19-year-old and built like a stallion."
After coming up with an outline, Sandler teamed up with writers Allen Covert, Brad Isaacs and Brooks Arthur. The story was meticulously constructed to be a true holiday movie. "If you notice, most holiday movies rarely even talk about Christmas," says Covert, who is also one of the film's producers. "We wanted to make a movie about the actual basis for Christmas, and Hanukah as well. We wanted it to have that feeling."
"Adam is a master of jokes," says executive producer Ken Tsumura. "This is no sugar-coated animated film, though it definitely has heart."
As in all of Sandler's comedies, the humor ranges from the subtle to the extremely broad and everything in between. "It's classic animation but with our kind of humor that wouldn't normally be in that kind of movie," says Sandler. This way kids will laugh and, even if you're in college, you can have a good time watching it too."
Of the several characters Sandler voices in the movie, Davey Stone is the most realistic. "Davey's the kind of guy who, when he shows up, you kind of wish he hadn't shown up," according to Sandler. "He's just a little loud and a little too rowdy. But you knew him once as a sweet kid and a good member of the community and you hope he sees the light again."
The characters of Whitey and Eleanor, are much broader, but also done with affection. Whitey is an extension of the character on Sandler's album. "Whitey's like some of the guys in the town where I grew up, Manchester, New Hampshire," says Sandler. "They refereed the church league basketball games I played in. They thought they were really good and under-appreciated."
As for Whitey's twin sister, Eleanor, he adds, "her voice is like that of my Aunt Sarah, only she was not as drastic and annoying as Eleanor. She was much sweeter. Anyway, Eleanor hasn't left the house since she was young because some kids in the neighborhood stole her wig, I guess as a prank. She was shell-shocked and she's still nervous that it's going to happen again. It was like forty years ago but she thinks they're still out there waiting to get the rest of her wig collection."
Production designer Perry Andelin Blake observes that the comedy in the film "is quintessential Adam, realistic, but just a little bit off. There are moments when you're laughing so hard and others where you're ready to cry. Like all of Adam's movies, the jokes come fast and he just moves on. If you get it, you're gonna laugh, but he's not hanging around just waiting for you to get it."
And there is holiday music, of course.
"A lot of the story comes across in songs," says the film's director Seth Kearsley. "We wanted them to grow out of the plot. There are five original songs in the movie and each of them moves the story along."
One of the film's highlights is a comedic Broadway-style song-and-dance called "Technical Foul," which is also a technical feat. Three of the characters Sandler gives voice to in the film Whitey, Eleanor and Davey perform in this one number, requiring the actor to sing in three distinctive voices. "Technically, it was challenging," says Kearsley. "It was difficult to weave Adam's different voices in and out of each other. But it worked immensely well. It's a real show-stopper."
Sandler also wrote a new version of his beloved and classic Hanukah song for the movie. "People kept asking me when I was going to write another Hanukah song. I don't want them to get sick of it, so every few years I try to come up with some new rhymes about different Jewish people."
Working with many of the same people who helped produce his multi-platinum selling albums, Sandler collaborated with Marc Ellis, Ray Ellis, Teddy Castellucci and Brooks Arthur on several other tunes, which were sung by such artists as Alison Krauss, James Barbour and Ann Wilson. After recording the voices, the songs were scored using a full orchestra. Marc Ellis promises, "after they see this movie, people are going to be surprised at how musically talented Adam is." Ray Ellis adds, "It's very sophisticated. There's nothing 'Saturday morning' or cartoonish about it."
FROM THE PAGE TO THE STAGE
Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights was a different challenge for Stephan Franck. Most animated movies, he asserts, "are just fantasy and you can be very broad. While Adam's movie has fantasy elements, it's grounded in reality. The animation had to capture the subtlety of live-action, especially in the acting moments."
To design the look of the movie, Sandler and director Kearsley turned to a longtime collaborator, production designer Perry Andelin Blake. Sandler and Blake have worked together since Billy Madison, "so we have a kind of shorthand," says Blake.
"I don't know how people who design animated movies do it, but I broke down the scenes and started thinking about what each set would look like," says Blake. At Sandler's suggestion, Blake went to New Hampshire, where the actor grew up. He shot thirty rolls of film, everything from churches and town squares to malls, car dealerships and Pizza Huts. "Adam wanted it to feel like a contemporary New England town small, without being too quaint."
Adds Covert: "We wanted people to see the power lines, the street lights and the gas station. We wanted it to look like a normal town."
In addition, the film is crammed with details that also comment on the characters. "Whitey's dashboard looks like a real dashboard," says Blake. "There's one of those 'bobbily-headed' things on it and there are maps under the visor. We designed the characters in their clothes. We got an L.L. Bean catalogue and did cut -outs and paste-ups."
A big difference between working on an animated feature, as opposed to live action, "is that when I asked for a specific prop, instead of going out to get it, the animators would just draw it," observes Blake.
Since most of the movie takes place at night, "there were a lot of blues, purples and ambient lighting," says art director/layout supervisor Philip A. Cruden. He paid careful attention to the digital work being done on the film the crowd scenes, cars and background characters. "If you look at the mall scene, it has the feeling that people are really shopping there," says Cruden. "And the stores are the same stores you see in almost every mall. The same realistic feel carries through to the skating rink."
Except for the backgrounds, however, the movie is done in traditional animation, with hand-painted cels as opposed to computer-graphic images, according to Franck, who worked closely with Sandler and found him a quick study. "After awhile," said Franck, "Adam started catching on to the animation process. I was amazed at how fast he was learning the craft and having fun with it."
The production of the movie was half as long as most animated feature-length films less than two years. For most directors that would have been rigorous. But for Kearsley, who has worked extensively in television, "it was all the time in the world." The most painstaking part of his job was to keep tabs on the various animation teams in different parts of the globe.
"We had 300 to 400 people working on this film, so I was constantly directing through videoconferencing, to keep the performances consistent," says Kearsley.
Most of the acting animation was done on the Sony Pictures Entertainment lot in Culver City, as well as Arizona and Canada. Other parts of the film were animated in Europe. The computer-graphics animation was done in Asia.
The actors, such as Sandler, Jon Lovitz and Kevin Nealon, recorded their voices before the animators put pencil to paper. Cruden was impressed with how "the animators were able to create such incredibly lively performances with a pencil. They picked it all up from listening to the voices the body movements, the posture. It was truly amazing."
ABOUT THE CAST
ADAM SANDLER (Davey Stone, Whitey, Eleanor, Deer and Producer and Screenwriter) has enjoyed phenomenal success in the entertainment industry as an actor, writer, producer, director and musician. He first gained international recognition as a cast member of television's "Saturday Night Live."
Sandler made his motion picture debut in Coneheads, opposite Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin. He has gone on to become an almost self-contained mini-studio involved in all aspects of film production. Happy Gilmore was one of the most successful movies of 1996. With a budget of just $12 million, it grossed more than $40 million at the box office and $35 million on home video. The Wedding Singer was the first box office hit of 1998, with an opening weekend gross of more than $22 million. His next film, The Waterboy, had an opening weekend of almost $40 million. Other recent $100 million-plus grossing Sandler films include Big Daddy and Mr. Deeds.
Sandler collaborated with writer Tim Herlihy on the screenplays for Happy Gilmore, Little Nicky, Billy Madison, Big Daddy, and the smash hits The Wedding Singer and The Waterboy. Billy Madison has become a cult classic for college students across the country, with "Billy" nights and "Sandler" festivals.
Sandler served as executive producer on Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, The Animal, Joe Dirt, The Master of Disguise and the upcoming Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, and The Hot Chick. He has just completed production on the comedy Anger Management, opposite Jack Nicholson and Marisa Tomei.
Sandler's production company, Happy Madison Productions, has recently signed a deal with Columbia TriStar Domestic Television to develop shows for the studio.
During breaks from his busy filming schedule, Sandler spends time in the recording studio. Several of his comedy albums on Warner Bros. Records have gone multi-platinum. Collectively, they have sold more than six million copies to date. Several years ago, Sandler launched AdamSandler.com. This site is updated weekly with mini-movies featuring Sandler, the staff of Happy Madison, and his dog Meatball -- all in their daily routines.
AUSTIN STOUT (Benjamin) has appeared in such motion pictures as Family Tree, Richie Rich's Christmas Wish, The Little Things, Dick and Slick and Matilda. On television he has made guest appearances on "Malcolm in the Middle," "Politically Incorrect," "Fudge," and hosted "EP Kids."
KEVIN NEALON (The Mayor) holds the title of the longest-running cast member in the history of "Saturday Night Live," starring for nine seasons and bringing such notable characters to life as "The Subliminal Man," "Hans and Franz" and "Weekend Update Anchorman," among many others. His work in feature films includes, All I Want for Christmas, with Lauren Bacall, Roxanne, with Steve Martin, and Heartbreakers, with Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Born in San Francisco, Schneider began writing jokes as a teen, appearing at local venues including the Holy City Zoo. After cutting his teeth on the live stage as the opening act for comedians Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and Dana Carvey, he made his major network television debut on "The David Letterman Show" in 1987. In 1990, he was spotted by "SNL" producer Lorne Michaels after an appearance on HBO's "13th Annual Young Comedians' Special."
NORM CROSBY (Judge) is known as the Master of the Malaprop and is among the most widely recognized and quoted performers in show business. In addition to a wide variety of live performances annually, Crosby has appeared on and hosted numerous TV shows, as well as having his own series "Norm Crosby's Comedy Shop." Viewers also know him well as the Anheuser-Busch Company corporate spokesman for Natural Light beer and other products.
Born and raised in the Boston area, Crosby served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a radar operator in the North Atlantic anti-submarine patrol, where he developed a hearing problem caused by concussions from depth charges. His affliction prompted his interest in problems for the hearing impaired. He was the first national Chairman for the Council of Better Hearing and is a trustee of the Hope for Hearing Foundation at UCLA. President Reagan appointed him special ambassador for Better Hearing and Speech Month during his term of office. He has also worked for The City of Hope in Duarte, serving as Ambassador of Good Will for more than a decade.
Other charitable work includes co-hosting the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon and being national ambassador for Childhelp USA. He was invited by former First Lady Barbara Bush to launch National Child Abuse Prevention Month. He combines his philanthropic activities with a love of golf.
In recognition of his achievements, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce gave him a star on the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame in 1982. In 1991 he received the Viceroy Award from President George Bush at the Kennedy Center Awards Gala. He also received the lifetime achievement award in entertainment from Washington's prestigious Touchdown Club as well as the National Celebrity Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, among many other honors.
Norm lives in Los Angeles with his wife Joanie, a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, and their two sons, Daniel and Andrew.
JON LOVITZ (Tom Baltezor) has appeared in more than 25 films and worked with some of Hollywood's top directors including Woody Allen (Small Time Crooks), Todd Solondz (Happiness) and Penny Marshall (Big, A League of Their Own). He also starred in High School High and made a cameo appearance in The Wedding Singer. After joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 1985, Lovitz received two Emmy nominations for his remarkable range of memorable characters.
Lovitz received a B.A. in Drama at the University of California at Irvine. In 1982 he began taking classes at The Groundlings, the acclaimed Los Angeles improvisational theater company. He became a member of the company in 1984. The following year, he was signed by "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels. In addition, Lovitz was the first actor to guest star on the hit comedy series "Friends." He also guest starred on "Seinfeld" and "The Larry Sanders Show," among many others. Lovitz is also known for his voice-over work, which includes the animated films American Tail: Fievel Goes West, The Brave Little Toaster and Cats and Dogs. He also provided the voice for the title character of the critically acclaimed animated Comedy Central series, "The Critic," as well as for the website shockwave.com. He recently made his Broadway debut in Neil Simon's new play, "The Dinner Party."
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
SETH KEARSLEY (Director) studied film at California Institute of the Arts before moving to Los Angeles to work on MTV's "The Maxx." Kearsley spent the next couple of years honing his skills on a variety of animated television shows, including a season as a layout artist on "The Simpsons." In 1996, Kearsley became the Producer/Director of the animated kid's show "Mummies Alive." The show gave him a chance to develop his directing style and even flex his creative wings, occasionally, by helping out with writing duties.
After wrapping up "Mummies," Kearsley had the opportunity to collaborate with Scott Adams and former "Seinfeld" supervising producer Larry Charles, to bring the popular comic strip character, "Dilbert," to the small screen. Only 26, Kearsley was the youngest supervising director of a prime time show ever. While the show was short lived, it won an Emmy for Best Main Titles and gave Kearsley the experience he would need to take on his next challenge.
In 2000, at age 28, Kearsley became one of the youngest directors of an animated feature, when he was given the enviable task of helming Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. Kearsley took the story from script to screen in only two years, half the time it takes for most animated movies to be completed.
BROOKS ARTHUR (Screenwriter, Co-Producer, Music Supervisor) is a Grammy award-winning veteran music producer and engineer. In a career that spans more than three decades, he has worked with such artists as Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Janis Ian and Bruce Springsteen. Arthur has worked closely with such legends as Carole King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. Over the years he has earned a total of twenty Grammy nominations.
Arthur is responsible for engineering and/or producing such soundtracks as The Heartbreak Kid, Shirley Valentine, The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid II, Lean on Me and Big Daddy. He produced the original Broadway cast albums for "They're Playing Our Song" and "Oh Coward," as well as producing albums for Dusty Springfield, Bette Midler, Carole Bayer Sager, Liza Minnelli, Debby Boone and Bernadette Peters.
Arthur has also produced comedy recordings for Robin Williams, Pauly Shore, Jackie Mason and, most recently, Adam Sandler's four multi-platinum selling comedy albums. He is currently at work on Norm Macdonald's debut comedy album. Arthur is also the co-author of a semi-autobiographical musical, "Crooners," which is playing in regional theaters around the country.
ALLEN COVERT (Screenwriter, Producer) has co-starred in every Adam Sandler movie except Billy Madison. He was an associate producer on Big Daddy, Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds. He is currently co-starring and executive producing Anger Management, starring Sandler and Jack Nicholson. He has collaborated on four comedy albums, as co-writer and producer, with Sandler and Brooks Arthur.
BRAD ISAACS (Screenwriter) began his writing career on the last season of the "Newhart" show and went on to join the "Roseanne" staff as a writer/producer. During his second year on that show he co-created, and ran, "The Jackie Thomas Show." After that he joined "The Larry Sanders Show" as a consulting producer, and then he served as co-executive producer for "NewsRadio." Isaacs went on to become a consulting producer for "King of the Hill" during the show's first two seasons.
His screenwriting career has included re-writes of such films as Tommy Boy. Isaacs is currently involved with A West Texas Children's Story, an original script he wrote and is directing, with Polly Platt serving as producer.
ADAM SANDLER (Screenwriter, Producer, Actor) See bio above.
JACK GIARRAPUTO (Producer) began his film career as associate producer on Disney's Heavyweights, directed by Steve Brill. He then teamed up with his college buddy Adam Sandler to associate produce Billy Madison and the hit comedy Happy Gilmore.
He later went on to produce The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Big Daddy and Little Nicky. With Happy Madison producing partner Adam Sandler, he executive produced Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, starring Rob Schneider and Columbia Pictures' Joe Dirt, starring David Spade. He is currently producing Anger Management, starring Sandler and Jack Nicholson.
Giarraputo grew up on Long Island. He attended New York University before graduating from The Fordham University School of Law.
KEN TSUMURA (Executive Producer) served as producer of "Joseph King of Dreams," for DreamWorks' Home Video. Prior to that, he was supervising production manager on the animated feature The Prince of Egypt. He was also animation co-producer of such TV series as "The Simpsons" and "The Critic," and served as associate producer on the music video "Do the Bartman."
Earlier in his career, Tsumura worked for Walt Disney Television Animation as associate producer on the animated series "Tale Spins," and was assistant producer on the series "Winnie the Pooh." He also worked on the series "Gummi Bears" and "Duck Tales." Tsumura graduated for the University of Southern California with B.A. degrees in both Cinema/Television and East Asian Languages and Cultures.
PERRY ANDELIN BLAKE (Production Designer) is a versatile and innovative designer whose work has garnered acclaim and repeated requests from directors to craft the look of their films. His imaginative work can be seen in the production designs for Mr. Deeds, Joe Dirt, Little Nicky, Big Daddy and The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, Billy Madison and Half Baked. His other feature film credits include Bulletproof and Leave It To Beaver.
Before moving to L.A. to work with noted architect Frank Gehry, Blake received a Masters of Architecture from Harvard. He began his film career by serving as art director in commercials for such companies as Coca Cola, Reebok, Nike and Nissan, as well as such television shows as "In Living Color." He also worked on the Academy Award®-nominated short Birch St. Gym. His film sets and architectural work have been published in many books and magazines throughout North America.
Blake recently directed the hit comedy The Master of Disguise, starring Dana Carvey.
AMY BUDDEN, A.C.E. (Editor) has more than a decade of editing experience in the entertainment industry. She has worked on features, television and commercials. Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights is her third project for Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions. Previously, she was assistant editor for the blockbuster features Big Daddy and Little Nicky.
Budden began her editing career in Canada, working on episodic television, music videos and commercials. She served as editor for an entire season (1996) on the popular syndicated children's series "Kratt's Creatures." She cut such episodes as "The Best of the Best", "The Cow Show", "Giant Bug Invasion!", "The Great Canadians", "Leopard: Gatorglades!", "Leopard: Prince of Stealth", "Leopard: Three Cool Cats!," "Lion, King of the Beasts?", "Maximum Cheetah Velocity", "Planet of the Dolphins", "Why?" and "Sharks."
After moving to Los Angeles six years ago, Budden worked as an assistant editor on such television series as "Charmed," "The Love Boat," "The Next Wave" and such TV movies as "Miracle at Midnight," starring Mia Farrow and Sam Waterston.
RAY ELLIS (Composer) has held executive positions at Columbia Records, MGM Records and RCA Records. As an arranger and producer, Ellis has worked with a vast array of legendary talent including Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Carol Burnett and Sammy Davis, Jr. He has contributed to such TV animated shows as "The Archies," "Spider Man," "Fat Albert," "Tarzan," and "Star Trek," such TV movies as "Scanlon," "Nowhere to Hide" and "Flash Gordon," and the themes to the "Today Show," "NBC Nightly News," "NBC Sports," "Monday Night at the Movies" and "Tuesday Night at the Movies." His Broadway credits include "Fade Out/Fade In" and "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend."
MARC ELLIS (Composer) has composed the music for The Master of Disguise, Bimini Code, Little Heroes and Little Heroes 2. Among his television credits are the series, "Hot Streak," "Scrabble," "Disney Christmas On Ice" and the television docu-drama "The Search for Amelia Earhardt."
TEDDY CASTELUCCI (Composer) has scored such motion pictures as Mr. Deeds, Big Daddy, The Animal, The Guests, Good Advice, Deuce Bigalow, Repli-Kate, Little Nicky and The Wedding Singer. As a studio musician, his long list of recording and performing credits include such diverse artists as Michael Jackson, Jackson Browne, Boz Scaggs, Smokey Robinson, Olivia Newton-John, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton. Upcoming projects include Anger Management, starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, and Daddy Day Care, starring Eddie Murphy and Anjelica Huston.
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