Todd Berger (born April 5, 1979) is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, and novelist most prominently known for writing and directing the feature films It's a Disaster, Cover Versions, The Scenesters, and the documentary Don't Eat The Baby: Adventures at post-Katrina Mardi Gras.
|Alma mater||The University of Texas at Austin|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, screenwriter, actor|
(m. after 2009)
Early life and educationEdit
Berger was born and raised in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. As a child and teenager he would make movies with friends using a VHS camera, and in 2015 used some of that footage with newly shot material to make the sci-fi time travel short film Teenage Wasteland, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 No Budget Film Festival.
He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, where he worked for the student television station KVR-TV and wrote and directed the nationally syndicated comedy show Campus Loop. In a class at the University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio–Television–Film he wrote and the produced the puppet short film Manifest Destiny, directed by classmate Dee Austin Robertson, which later inspired them to create the idea for the film The Happytime Murders.
Film and TV careerEdit
Berger's first feature film as writer/director was the documentary Don't Eat The Baby: Adventures at post-Katrina Mardi Gras, which played the closing night of the 2007 New Orleans Film Festival. The film examined the city of New Orleans staging its first Mardi Gras after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and included interviews with Mardi Gras historians, activists, and residents effected by the flood. The film's title refers to the plastic baby hidden inside a King Cake.
His next film was The Scenesters, which he made with the comedic film group The Vacationeers (Kevin M. Brennan, Jeff Grace, and Blaise Miller). The Found footage (film technique) black comedy, which told the tale of crime scene workers attempting to catch a serial killer, premiered at the 2009 Austin Film Festival, played the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival (where it won the "Most Interesting Film Award") and later received distribution through Monterey Media.
Following that was It's a Disaster, starring Julia Stiles, David Cross, and America Ferrera. The black comedy was the story of four couples who meet for brunch only to find themselves trapped inside during a VX (nerve agent) attack. It premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival where it was acquired for distribution by Oscilloscope Pictures. The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the funniest films of recent vintage."
His most recent film Cover Versions was produced by Lakeshore Entertainment and starred Katie Cassidy, Drake Bell, Debby Ryan, and Jerry Trainor. A murder mystery involving four band members telling varying accounts of a night of sex, drugs, and murder before their first big show at a popular music festival, it premiered at the 2018 Palm Springs Film Festival and was acquired for distribution by Sony Pictures. Parts of the film were shot on location during the Kaaboo Del Mar music festival in San Diego, California.
In addition to the films he's directed, Berger wrote the original drafts of The Happytime Murders, an R-rated comedy puppet film directed by Brian Henson and starring Melissa McCarthy, and is writing a screenplay for a film adaptation of Where's Waldo? He also wrote the ABC Family original film Chasing Christmas and is credited as the writer of several animation projects, including Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five.
Berger has been involved with the Slamdance Film Festival as a feature film programmer.
|The Happytime Murders||2018||Yes|
|Cover Versions||2018||Yes||Yes||Yes||Pizza Guy|
|Where's Waldo?||2019||Yes||In production|
|It's a Disaster||2012||Yes||Yes||Yes||Hal Lousteau|
|Cinema Six||2012||Yes||Ron Garber|
|Holiday Road||2012||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tom||(Directed and wrote "January" and "October" segments)|
|Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters||2011||Yes||Yes||
Pig Server (voice)
|The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol||2011||Yes||Short film|
|Parks and Recreation||2011||Yes||Kip||TV series, 1 episode ("Road Trip")|
|The Scenesters||2009||Yes||Yes||Yes||Wallace Cotten|
|Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five||2008||Yes||Short film; 'Nominated', 2009 Annie Award, Best Writing in an Animated Television Production or Short Form|
|Southland Tales||2006||Yes||Bing Zinneman|
|Chasing Christmas||2005||Yes||TV movie|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2019||Golden Raspberry Awards||The Happytime Murders||Worst Screenplay||Nominated|||
- "Time-Traveling Short Film TEENAGE WASTELAND is a Found Footage Delight". nerdist.com.
- "Todd Berger : Film Method". film-method.com.
- "How Peter Jackson's Low-Budget Cult Comedy 'Meet the Feebles' Inspired 'The Happytime Murders'". hollywoodreporter.com.
- "LAFF Review: It's A Disaster". The Hollywood Reporter. 25 June 2012.
- "Exclusive: How R-Rated is Brian Henson's The Happytime Murders?". 22 June 2012.
- "'Liberty Crossing' Unveils Trailer & Gets Premiere Date On Go90". 4 January 2018.
- "Fiction Book Review: Showdown City". June 2016.
- "39th Razzie Nominations!". YouTube: Razzie Channel.