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John Logan; About the writer of the Oscar nominated Best Screenplay Adaptaton for Hugo

I am counting down the days until this Sunday's Academy Awards. My brother, who works for the Academy, is taking me as his guest.  Instead of just obsessing about the stars and whether I will actually see George Clooney or Brad Pitt face to face, I've decided try to memorize the faces of the screenwriters nominated for best adaptation. If I see them at the bar I may have the courage to congratulate them vs blubbering or fainting on the spot which would be my reaction if I were to encounter George Clooney.  This is John Logan. He's nominated for his adaptation of Brian Selznick's Hugo and as I've been doing for the past few days with the nominees, I want to dig a little deeper into who this man is. A Northwestern graduate, Logan has been nominated previously for Gladiator and The Aviator, another Martin Scorsese collaboration. He has three projects out on film this year, Hugo, Corialanus as well as the nominated animated film, Rango. He also wrote the 2010 Tony winning play, Red. He is still tweaking Skyfall, the next James Bond movie which is currently in production AND AND AND he is working on a screenplay adaptation of Jersey Boys which has got to be a major blast and will certainly get a lot of people jumping for joy.

He's also written a book Hugo: The Shooting Script
Melena Ryzik took a look at both writing categories in The Carpetbagger section of The New York Times earlier this month.  I've excerpted her excellent article below.

If you can't be bothered to read the excerpt, promise me you will at least listen to this radio broadcast of an interview John Logan did for  KPCC. GIVE THIS A LISTEN! 

From the NY Times
"John Logan was already three years into adapting the complicated screenplay for “Hugo” when he learned that Martin Scorsese wanted the film to be in 3-D. “I was in the deep end of the pool with just my nose out of the water, when Marty and Graham King” — one of the producers — “came and pushed me completely under,” Mr. Logan said.

Mr. Logan, a Tony-winning playwright turned screenwriter whose credits include Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday and Mr. Scorsese’s “Aviator,” set about reworking the story, based on Brian Selznick’s children’s book about an orphaned boy (Hugo, played by Asa Butterfield) who lives in a train station.
“I was looking for opportunities to make that a very physically active journey,” Mr. Logan said. So he had Hugo traverse the station’s innards; scenes with dogs were also added, a Doberman and a dachshund, “long dogs that looked good” in 3-D.
Even with much prep and the involvement of veterans like the production designer Dante Ferretti, the movie was a challenge to produce: Mr. Scorsese’s first foray into 3-D and HD filmmaking, and his first time working at length with children and animals, meant lots of on-set changes. An electrifying 3-D moment when a train crashes through the station was added late in the process.
“When we decided to put that in, I had to find a way to justify it, to justify the train crash, and so we came up with a dream-within-the-dream” sequence, Mr. Logan said, adding, “I felt like Stephen Sondheim writing ‘Send in the Clowns’ overnight.”
All told, Mr. Logan said “Hugo” was far and away the hardest movie he had ever worked on, and that includes his Sondheim adaptation. “It makes ‘Sweeney Todd’ look like ‘My Dinner With André,’ ” he said.
He was rewarded with an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay, his third nomination, and one of 11 for the movie. (He had also been nominated for his original screenplays for “Gladiator and The Aviator.”) Mr. Logan is one of the few veterans in the screenplay categories this year; many of the other hopefuls are first-time screenwriters.
On Oscar night, Feb. 26, after picks by groups like the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild and others will have made the rest of the Oscar race easier to predict, the writing categories may remain a toss-up. Will voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences skew to Hollywood favorites, like Woody Allen, who received his 15th screenplay nomination for Midnight in Paris,” or Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, previous winners who adapted the famously difficult-to-wrangle Moneyball”
Or will they reward unorthodox original-screenplay nominees like Asghar Farhadi, the writer-director of the Iranian family drama A Separation,” or J. C. Chandor, for the financial thriller “Margin Call”? The writing Oscars often hold surprises. "
To read the rest of the story, go to The Carpetbaggers.