Douglas J. Eboch, author of the original screenplay for the upcoming feature film Sweet Home Alabama starring Reese Witherspoon, lived in the Aramco Dhahran camp with his parents where he attended 1st through 6th grades (1973 - 1980). The film is scheduled for release by Touchstone Pictures on September 27th.
After leaving Saudi Arabia, Eboch went to high school in Alaska and then attended the University of Southern California, earning a BA in film production and an MFA in screenwriting. For his master’s thesis he wrote the feature script Sweet Home Alabama, which he subsequently sold to producers Neal Moritz and Stokely Chaffin. Eboch receives “Story by” credit on the completed film.
“It’s been amazing to see what started out as my thesis become a major motion picture,” Eboch says. “It’s kind of the dream of every film school student, but you don’t really expect it to come true.”
In Sweet Home Alabama, a romantic comedy, America’s new sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon, stars as New York fashion designer Melanie Charmichael. Melanie suddenly finds herself engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor (Patrick Dempsey), but her past holds many secrets, including Jake (Josh Lucas), the redneck husband she married in high school, who refuses to divorce her. Bound and determined to end their contentious relationship once and for all, Melanie sneaks back home to Alabama to confront her past. As Melanie discovers that falling in love a second time is even better than the first, she realizes that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the girl. Andy Tennant directed the film.
Eboch is the recipient of the 1995 Carl Sautter Memorial Screenwriting Award for Most Promising New Voice – Features, presented by the Scriptwriters Network. He recently wrote and directed the short film The Twenty-Four Year-Old Virgin. In addition to writing and directing, he edits the web site www.letsschmooze.com, which is dedicated to film festivals, and is currently working on a non-fiction book for filmmakers taking their films on the festival circuit for the first time.