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Rex Pickett

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Writer, film director

Rex Pickett


Rex Pickett Sideways author releases Pinot Noir

July 9, 1952 (age 71) (
Merced, California, United States

Barbara Schock (m. ?–1995)

University of California, San Diego

Sideways, My Mother Dreams the Satan's Disciples in New York, From Hollywood to Deadwood

Sideways, Vertical, Sideways 3 Chile, Vertical: The Follow‑U

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Jim Taylor, Alexander Payne, Thomas Haden Church, Michael London, Virginia Madsen

Rex Pickett's Path to Writing

Rex Pickett is an American novelist and filmmaker best known for his novel Sideways, which was adapted into a 2004 movie of the same name directed by Alexander Payne.


Rex Pickett httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

The writing of sideways chile rex pickett 2013 www magallanica com

Education and early career

Rex Pickett 2jpg

Pickett was born in Merced, California, and grew up in San Diego. He attended the University of California at San Diego where he was a Special Projects major, specializing in contemporary literary and film criticism and creative writing. He graduated summa cum laude, then moved to Los Angeles to attend USC’s Graduate School of Cinema. He dropped out in the early ‘80s and, with his then wife, Barbara Schock, wrote and directed two independent feature films, California Without End and From Hollywood to Deadwood. California Without End was sold to Bavarian Radio Television, a German television station, and From Hollywood to Deadwood to Island Pictures.

Rex Pickett rex2jpg

Pickett returned to writing, landing a job as a writer on David Fincher’s first feature, Alien 3. In 1998 he wrote the screenplay for My Mother Dreams the Satan's Disciples in New York, which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 1999.

Novels and Sideways

Rex Pickett Oregon Wine Press dedicated to Oregon wine pinot noir

In 1995 Pickett began writing novels. His first, a mystery titled La Purisima, didn’t sell. His second was Sideways. Completed in 1999, the novel was submitted to both publishers and film production companies. After 18 rejection letters from publishers, Pickett’s agent pulled it from submission. Film production companies also passed. In late 1999, nearly a year after it had been written, one of the submissions by Pickett’s agent, Jess Taylor, at Endeavor, was to Alexander Payne’s agent, David Lonner at the same agency. Payne’s assistant, Brian Beery, read it, then passed it to Payne who immediately optioned it. Shortly after Payne optioned Sideways it was greenlit by Artisan Entertainment. Emboldened by front page Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter news about the Artisan greenlight, Pickett’s agent at Curtis Brown went back out to publishers in a mass submission, but to no avail. It was rejected by every one of them. Eventually, Payne would put Sideways on hold and go off to make About Schmidt.

Rex Pickett Sideways Author Rex Pickett Intimate Revelations From

In early 2003, Payne, fresh from the success of About Schmidt, returned his attention to Sideways. The project was greenlit by Fox Searchlight, who gained control of it from Artisan, in July 2003 and a start date announced for late September. After over 100 rejection letters, Pickett’s new agent at Trident Media Group went back out with his still unpublished novel and ended up selling it at a fire sale to St. Martin’s Press for $5,000. It was published in June 2004, five months before the film was released.

Rex Pickett Wine Notes Don39t expect IPNC to be anything like

Sideways the film was released October 22, 2004. It went on to win over 350 awards from various critics and awards organizations, including 6 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, 5 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 5 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, 6 Indie Spirit Awards, 2 Golden Globes, et al. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. The film had an enormous impact on the world of wine, driving Pinot noir sales – and prices – into the stratosphere, and causing serious damage to Merlot, the grape variety the main character vocally expressed hatred for.

In 2011, Pickett released a sequel to Sideways, titled Vertical. That same year it won the Gold Medal for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

In 2012 Pickett staged a play version of his novel Sideways at the Ruskin Group Theater in Santa Monica, California. It ran for six months, and a production was later staged at the La Jolla Playhouse under the direction of Des McAnuff.

Pickett spent a year traveling in Chile, New York and Costa Rica and then worked on Sideways 3 Chile, set in the Chilean wine world. It was published in 2015.


  • California Without End (1984) (Bavarian Radio Television)
  • From Hollywood to Deadwood (1989) (theatrically released by Island Pictures)
  • Screenplays

  • California Without End (1984)
  • From Hollywood to Deadwood (1989)
  • My Mother Dreams the Satan's Disciples in New York (1998)
  • Repairman (2010) (as writer/director/producer)
  • Editor

  • California Without End (1984)
  • Novels

  • Sideways (2004)
  • Vertical (2011)
  • Sideways 3 Chile (2015)
  • References

    Rex Pickett Wikipedia

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