Stuart “Stu” Krieger, professor of screenwriting at the University of California, Riverside, worked with filmmaker John Singleton in 1994-1995 to develop “Ecco the Dolphin,” an animated film adopted from the video game.
Singleton, 51, died April 30, following a stroke he suffered on April 17.
Throughout the six-month project, Krieger recalls the meetings at Sony Studios in Culver City as true collaborations. Brainstorming meetings were opportunities for Krieger to learn more from Singleton, a man he describes as passionate and thoughtful.
“I was intrigued that he was passionate about this, an animated family film that was so out of his wheelhouse,” said Krieger, professor with UCR’s Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production. “The main character had an ecological message and John wanted kids to have an awareness about saving the Earth. This was way before climate change was in the forefront.”
Singleton gave Krieger the freedom to develop the characters, Krieger remembers. This work was after Krieger penned “The Land Before Time,” the animated classic he wrote for producers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
“I was always struck by the quiet power he possessed,” Krieger said. “There was a real power in his silence, his focus, that I found very inspirational.”
Krieger co-wrote the Emmy award-winning miniseries “A Year in the Life,” and has been nominated for the Humanitas Prize for the Disney Channel original movie “Going to the Mat.” He has also produced 10 original movies for the Disney Channel, has been a story editor and writer on Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and the supervising producer on the ABC series “Jack’s Place.” His first novel “That One Cigarette,” was published in 2017 by Harvard Square Editions and is available on Amazon.com.