Rick Stevenson was an American earning a doctorate degree in international relations at Oxford when he produced fellow Yank Michael Hoffman's "Privileged" (1982), a well-received comedy that has become a footnote in motion picture history as the film debut of Hugh Grant. With Hoffman and three others, Stevenson formed the Oxford Film Company with David Puttnam and John Schlesinger as honorary chairs. They created Britain's first national screenwriting competition and a summer institute for filmmakers. Through their new company, Stevenson produced Hoffman's "Restless Natives" (1985), a comedy about two Scotsmen who rob American tourists.
Based on his work in England, Stevenson was invited by Robert Redford to participate at the Sundance Institute. There, Stevenson and Hoffman developed two projects for which Redford eventually served as executive producer. The moody "Promised Land" (1987) featured Jason Gedrick and Kiefer Sutherland as former high school friends who end up on opposite sides of the law while the uneven "Some Girls" (1988) starred Patrick Dempsey as a young man who spends Christmas with his girlfriend's eccentric family. Ending his collaboration with Hoffman, Stevenson produced "Crooked Hearts" (1991), Michael Bortman's drama about the repercussions of a man's infidelities featuring Peter Coyote and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Stevenson returned to his native Seattle in 1991 and joined forces with Red Farm Entertainment to oversee a stage adaptation of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Returning to features, he produced "Arctic Blue," the story of a city couple who move to Alaska and find themselves at odds with a trapper and his thugs. Filmed in 1993 in the harshness of the terrain and in Vancouver, Canada, "Arctic Blue" was not released theatrically and appeared on video after its TV premiere on HBO in July 1995. Moving behind the cameras, Stevenson wrote and directed the family drama "Magic in the Water" (1995), with Mark Harmon as curmudgeonly radio psychiatrist who learns compassion from his children.
Director (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
While studying at Oxford, produced the comedy "Privileged", directed by Michael Hoffman; film debut of Hugh Grant
With Hoffman, formed Oxford Film Company; served as chair; began Britain's first national screenwriting contest; also founded summer institute for filmmakers
Became associated with Robert Redford's Sundance Institute
Served as producer on Hoffman's "Restless Natives"
Produced "Promised Land" with Redford as executive producer; directed by Hoffman
Returned to Seattle; with Red Farms Entertainment produced stage adaptation of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"
Made directorial debut with "Magic in the Water"; also co-wrote screenplay with Icel Dobell Massey