Chris Columbus

Hi everyone hope you’re all doing okay after hearing the news about tighter restrictions being put in place i.e. reducing the numbers of people you come into contact with at one time, to putting businesses under a curfew. It is worrying that Covid has started to spike again, but we were warned that by the time Autumn/Winter comes round there will be a spike, well so far we’re on track for it to happen.

I must admit 2020 has been the worst year yet, but there is only one good thing to come out of this year for me and my family and that is my eldest daughter and her husband are expecting their first baby. I hope by the time all the expectant parents that found out during this horrible pandemic, get to have their new babies the other side of this pandemic. I for one will be keeping my fingers crossed for them.

Now on to my blog! I am doing Christopher Columbus, and no not the explorer, I am talking about the Producer, Writer, Director, Author and that’s to name but a few… It is his birthday today, so happy birthday.

Biography:

Born Christopher Joseph Columbus on 10th September 1958 in Spangler in Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania, USA, to parents Mary Irene [Puskar] a factory worker and Alex Michael Columbus an aluminum plant worker and coal miner. Columbus is an only child and comes from Italian and Czech descent.

He loved making his own storyboards, and it was through his love of creating them that he began making 8mm films in high school. Chris graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, in Warren, Ohio, from there he went onto study at New York University’s Film School at the Tisch School of the Arts where he was schoolmates of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and Alec Baldwin.

It is during his time at NYU that he received a scholarship, but he had forgotten to renew it, which meant he was forced to get a factory job to pay his way through schooling, and it was while he was working on shifts that he secretly began working on a 20 page screenplay, which his teacher would later use to get him an agent. Chris Columbus has stated that the whole experience “saved my life” as he was faced with the harsh, but terrifying reality that he could spend the rest of his life working in that factory and living in the same town if he didn’t make it.

Columbus was first inspired to make movies from the age of 15 after seeing “The Godfather” and while he was at NYU he sold his first screenplay, but he never produced while a sophomore.

25 Fascinating Facts:

Here is some interesting facts about Christopher Columbus

  • Married Monica Devereux in 1983
  • Is a father of four, three daughters Eleanor Patricia Columbus, Violet Columbus, and Isabella Columbus and to one son Brendan Columbus?
  • Columbus’s fourth script was Gremlins (1984), but it was written as a dark satire of it’s a Wonderful Life (1946).
  • He lived in England for a year and a half, during filming the first two Harry Potter films. For the third instalment of the potter franchise he would commute between England and the US as he decided that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
  • While staying at his wife’s parents house in Chicago, and after they just had their first child, Columbus was sent two scripts by John Hughes. One was for Home Alone (1990), which he fell in love with and struck a chord with him, and he felt he could make a really strong film out of it. He and Hughes hit it off instantly so Hughes gave him the job of directing it.
  • When making Mrs Doubtfire (1993), he and Robin Williams would often clown around between takes, with Mrs Doubtfire introducing Columbus as his son.
  • Columbus became the director on Harry Potter after being a long-time front runner of Steven Spielberg and passed on the project from J.K. Rowling whom he had met in England and won the job after promising her, he would film entirely in the UK and use an all British cast. Most of the crew was also British. He beat several candidates for the job.
  • Once lived in River Forest, Illinois, which shares a high school with the suburb, Oak Park, in which Adventures in Babysitting (1987) was based. Oak Park and River Forest High School’s name was changed specifically for the movie, but they kept the style of the high school’s jackets for the film.
  • Adventures in Babysitting (1987) was Columbus’s first directorial job since his senior thesis film at NYU in 1980. It was his first time working with major lighting, cameras and cinematographers.
  • He now reside in San Francisco with his wife.
  • Had a cameo in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) as a man in the toy store. He was holding his daughter Eleanor Columbus. 
  • Writing screenplays seemed an inexpensive way for Columbus to graduate towards the director’s chair.
  • A big fan of Marvel Comics as a child in the 1960s, he was especially impressed with the artwork because it was almost the same as filmmaking. He later moved to New York because Marvel Comics were largely set there. He wanted to write or draw for Marvel but decided against it because it’s an isolated existence and he liked working with people. Columbus drew comic book panels in his basement like early storyboards as a child. When he later directed Adventures in Babysitting (1987), one of the characters, Sara is also a big Marvel fan.
  • Wrote three House of Secrets books with Ned Vizzini.
  • Columbus sold scripts to Steven Spielberg that became Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985) but his career didn’t truly take off until after directing Home Alone (1990) and Mrs Doubtfire (1993). He then had greater success with the first two Harry Potter films.
  • Columbus was inspired to become a filmmaker at the age of 15 after seeing The Godfather (1972).
  • Columbus was expected to follow in his parents footsteps which meant working in an automotive or aluminium factory.
  • When he scripted Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) and directed Home Alone (1990), both films have the line “It’s Christmastime”.
  • While in high school, he read an article in Time magazine about film school, and these magical words would teach him about the art of filmmaking.
  • All of his four children made cameos in the Harry Potter films he worked on, and he is the only director on Harry Potter not to make a cameo appearance in one of the films.
  • Brother-in-law of actor Doyle Devereux, who is the bailiff on the Judge Mathis show.
  • He is the only American to have directed a Harry Potter instalment.
  • Considered directing Spider-Man (2002), however passed that up to direct Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001).
  • Started going to the movies at age 10 on Saturday afternoons; one of the first was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). It gave him an escape from the dreary factory town he lived in.
  • Casting Harry Potter was a big challenge; they saw 5000 auditions and none of them felt right. Columbus saw Daniel Radcliffe in David Copperfield (1999) and showed it to the casting director and said Radcliffe was the one and that he was amazing. But she said they wouldn’t get him because his parents want him to focus on his schoolwork and not acting as well as all the attention he’d get. So they interviewed Harry Potter’s of different nationalities all over the world and still hadn’t found him. She got frustrated with Columbus because he had his heart set on Radcliffe. By sheer coincidence, the producer and screenwriter went to the theatre and in the front row was Radcliffe with his father, so they talked and slowly persuaded him to cast Radcliffe.

10 Best Movies:

10 of my favorite movies which Christopher Columbus was involved in one way or another whether its Producing Directing, or Screenplays. There is know stopping him. He as made some great movies, these are only but a handful.

  • The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
  • Pixels (2015)
  • Percy Jackson 1 & 2 (2010/13)
  • Night at the Museum 1-3 (2006/9/14)
  • Fantastic 4 1&2 (2005/7)
  • Harry Potter 1-3 (2001/2/4)
  • Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
  • Home Alone 1 & 2 (1990/92)
  • Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
  • The Goonies (1985)

Books:

HOUSE OF SECRETS follows three siblings and their family as they are forced to move to a mysterious new house in San Francisco and end up embarking on a journey to retrieve a dark book of untold power. The first story in an epic fantasy adventure trilogy!

Battle of the Beasts, Book two in the bestselling HOUSE OF SECRETS series. Get ready for another action-packed adventure!

Just when the Walker kids thought they were safe, the Wind Witch blasts Kristoff House into a crazy world of battles, beasts and cyborgs. From the searing heat and clashing swords of the Colosseum, to the snow-capped Tibetan mountains and some seriously freaky monks – the stakes have never been higher!

Clash of the Worlds, The third and final book in the epic HOUSE OF SECRETS series. Get ready for another roller coaster ride of an adventure!

The Walker kids – Cordelia, Brendan and Nell – may have saved the world, but they can’t save their home and must leave Kristoff House. Things can’t get any worse, but then…

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! See you all next week…

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