By The Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections Staff
Primary Creator: Luck, Coleman (1945-)
Extent: 118.0 boxes. More info below.
Arrangement: The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.
Date Acquired: 00/00/1988
Subjects: Christian drama, Equalizer (Television program), Gabriel's Fire (Television program), Luck, Coleman, Matrix (Television program), Motion picture authorship., Otherworld (Television program), Television authorship.
Forms of Material: Articles., Audiotapes., Biographies, Clippings Files, Correspondence, Film Scripts, Financial Records, Interviews, Legal Documents, Memorabilia, Photographs, Television Scripts, Videotapes
The Coleman Luck Collection (SC-41) provides a look at the process of free-lance and contracted writing for television and screenplay. Mr. Luck's materials show a project's journey from a simple concept, to an outline, treatment, research, first draft, revisions, final manuscript, and finally to the screen. This collection contains a wide variety of materials including correspondence, periodical clippings, manuscripts and video tapes. The bulk of the material dates from 1984-present. The arrangement of the collection is primarily chronological, though the professional written work is filed alphabetically. All correspondence is filed chronologically when possible with a section of the business correspondence arranged alphabetically.
Personal notes and business memoranda are filed separately with undated material at the end or merged alphabetically (business).
Periodical clippings are divided into three categories. First, are the files which Mr. Luck called "general interest." These contain a wide array of articles, usually connected in some way with the arts and entertainment industry. The other categories concern "The Equalizer," "Gabriel's Fire," and "Matrix" television series. Clippings were copied for preservation reasons.
The business material of "The Equalizer," "Gabriel's Fire," and "Matrix" series help to give a behind-the-scenes look at a television production. Budget reports detail a variety of costs, from building leases to actor salaries. The production information provide day-to-day shooting and script schedules. The production material is arranged alphabetically, while the budget material is arranged chronologically.
Any written material, or projects not printed as a script are filed under "Potential Projects." These materials are arranged alphabetically. An attempt was made to arrange each project's papers in start-to-finish order, but this was not always possible.
The bulk of the Coleman Luck Collection concentrates in the manuscripts of the collection. The first such series contains manuscripts written by or associated with Coleman Luck. These manuscripts are arranged alphabetically as are the rest of the manuscripts in the collection.
"Equalizer" script material was received both in loose-leaf form and three-ring binders. Items in binders were removed to folders with this fact noted in the container list. The "Gabriel's Fire" series contains files concerned with writers of the show as well as manuscripts. The "Matrix" and "Otherworld" series manuscripts follow. It is in the manuscripts of these four series that one can best see the process behind Mr. Luck's production as the manuscripts are present in drafts, revisions, etc.
The section of the collection containing secondary material is also rather large. It contains articles, concepts, scripts, subject files, and talent files. These files while not directly connected to Coleman Luck are related to his line of work. These files are arranged alphabetically within each subseries.
Interviews are also an included series in this collection. Other materials in the Coleman Luck collection include computer disks, a record album, books, and a large number of audio and video cassettes. The video cassettes detail the filming process behind Mr. Luck's productions.
Born in 1945 in Paris, Texas, Coleman Luck grew up in Wheaton, Illinois. While studying speech at Northern Illinois University, Luck wrote his first screenplay entitled “Wintergreen,” which garnered the of The New Yorker magazine film critic Pauline Kael. After his studies at Northern Illinois Luck enrolled in the University of Southern California’s graduate screenwriting program. Upon completing studies at USC, Coleman entered the feature film industry with the sale of his first script entitled, “The Foxbat Strategy,” to United Artists. In the next few years his scripts were acquired by Twentieth Century Fox, MGM, Disney and others.
Like many of his generation Luck’s life was interrupted by war in Southeast Asia. Luck served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army infantry. And, in 1968, he was decorated six times for his actions in combat including the Bronze Star for valor. It was during his time in the military that he married Carel Ann Gage.
In the mid-1980s Luck turned his attention to television when he joined the staff of a science fiction series entitled, “Otherworld” (1984-85), produced by Universal for CBS. This began his television career that would wind its way through popular television shows, like “The Equalizer” (1985-89), “Gabriel’s Fire” (1990-91), “Matrix” (1991-92), “The M.A.N.T.I.S.” (1994) and “The Burning Zone” (1996) with ever-increasing responsibilities.
In more recent years Luck has devoted his attention back to his roots in writing. He has worked with various leaders in Christian media on various movie projects. In addition to screenplays, Luck is working on a novel.
Coleman and his wife Carel Gage Luck live in north-central California. Together they have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Access Restrictions: MCA contracts may be accessed only with the author's permission or that of his estate. A few individual files are also restricted and are noted as such in the container list.
Use Restrictions: Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.
Acquisition Source: Gift
Acquisition Method: Special Collections secured an agreement to receive Luck's materials in 1988.
Preferred Citation: Coleman Luck, Jr. Papers (SC-41), Wheaton College Special Collections, Wheaton, Illinois.
Other Note: The Coleman Luck Collection includes the working materials of this contemporary television and screenwriter. His work on the network television series "The Equalizer", "Gabriel's Fire", and "Mantis", as well as independent projects are documented in this collection.
Other URL: http://library.wheaton.edu