PERSONAL: Married Nancy Neufeld (a producer and screenwriter); children: Cosmo Benjamin. Education: Attended University of Southern California (cinema). Hobbies and other interests: Music.
ADDRESSES: Home—Encino, CA. Office—c/o The Walt Disney Company, 500 South Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-9722.
CAREER: Screenwriter, producer, and actor. Actor in Mercy Point, UPN, 1998; Old Man and the Studio (short film), Diag Productions, 2004.
(With Lois Duncan) I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (screenplay; produced by Columbia TriStar/Sony Pictures, 1998), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1998.
(With others; and creator and executive producer) Mercy Point (television series), United Paramount Network, 1998.
(And executive producer, with others) Lost in Oz (television movie), USA, 2000.
(And executive producer, with Michael Katleman) Phobia (television series), American Broadcasting Company, Inc. (ABC), 2001.
(And executive producer, with others) Utopia (television series), Sci-Fi Channel, 2003.
(And executive producer, with others) Tahoe Search and Rescue (television series), WB Television Network, 2003.
(And executive producer, with others) The Branch (television series), ABC, 2003.
(And executive producer, with Donald P. Bellisario) Quantum Leap: A Bold Leap Forward (television movie), Sci-Fi Channel, 2004.
(With Andrew Guerdat and wife, Nancy Neufeld Callaway; and consulting producer) Witch (animated television series), Walt Disney Television, 2004.
Also author, with Tim Burton, Michael Katleman, and Joel T. Smith, of unaired television pilot, Lost in Oz, 2000.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Coauthor of screenplay The Last Word.
SIDELIGHTS: Trey Callaway grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where hot and humid summers drove him inside in search of activities he could enjoy in airconditioned surroundings. The result was quality time spent reading books and watching movies or television, his imagination stretched by the works of authors such as Roald Dahl and John Steinbeck. Callaway took inspiration even from television commercials, crediting his parents' careers in advertising for sparking his interest in the medium. In an interview for the Writers Guild Association, he remarked that "when it's really good, I think there are powerful lessons for writers to learn from the act of manipulating an audience to feel before they think or vice versa. Economical dialogue. Carefully constructed description. The impact of surprise. Brevity of wit. I try hard to accomplish some of the same things in my own work."
As a screenwriter, Callaway gravitates toward stories that involve characters confronting great odds and/or weighty moral dilemmas, and much of his work falls within the adventure or science-fiction genres. His screenplay I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, a sequel to the hit film based on Lois Duncan's young adult novel, explores the dangers faced by a tight-knit group of friends as they continue to grapple with the choices they made in an extreme situation. In this case, the friends find themselves trapped on a storm-ridden resort island while a killer hunts them down.
Callaway's writing projects include a number of television productions. Mercy Point, a series for UPN, was a medical drama set in outer space that stars actor Joe Morton. For Lost in Oz, a contemporary return to L. Frank Baum's wondrous land, Callaway worked with director Tim Burton. Quantum Leap: A Bold Leap Forward, written for the Sci-Fi Channel, revisits the hit show from the 1980s. With Witch, a show for the Walt Disney Company about five teen girls who learn they have special powers, Callaway worked with his wife, Nancy Neufeld Callaway.
Like many writers, Callaway admits to preferring the sensation of finishing a project over the actual process itself. He told the Writers Guild Association interviewer, "I live for the feeling of inserting those brads and then flipping sixty pages of TV script or another sixty more of feature right in front of my face. There's nothing like your own work generating a breeze." When asked why he writes, Callaway stated that it is because his head gets filled up with so many ideas that he has to do something with them. "My brain is writing all the time … working out the beats of day-to-day life … and then rewriting it all at the end of the day when nothing plays quite the way it might have been imagined. Writing gives you the control you may or may not ever have in your real life off the page."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Boston Globe, November 13, 1998, Renee Graham, "Dull-witted 'I Still Know' Ignorant of True Suspense," p. D6.
Chicago Sun-Times, November 13, 1998, Roger Ebert, "This 'Summer' a Bummer," p. 33.
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), October 4, 1998, Benjamin Morrison, "'Mercy Point' Doc Operates in Space," p. T54.
TV Guide, September 12, 1998, Mat Roush, review of Mercy Point, p. 52.
Washington Post, November 13, 1998, Richard Harrington, "We Don't Care What You Did Last Summer," p. N3.
Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (August 30, 2004), "Trey Callaway."
Writers Guild Association Web site, http://www.wga.org/ (December 16, 1998), "Trey Callaway."*