ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
DAVID BOWERS (Director) studied animation at West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, but left during the first year to work on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" as an in-betweener under director Richard Williams. By the end of production, Bowers also found himself animating bits and pieces for the film.
After "Roger Rabbit," Bowers worked at Cosgrove Hall for 18 months on the cult-favorite television shows "Danger Mouse" and "Duckula" before moving to London to work for Steven Spielberg's Amblimation animation. He worked as an animator on "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West" before going freelance to work on commercials and features. Bowers later returned to Amblimation as one of the Supervising Animators on "Balto." After providing story work in the early stages, he was ultimately credited as a story artist on the project.
With the founding of DreamWorks SKG, Bowers moved to Los Angeles to work as a story artist on "The Prince of Egypt" and "The Road to El Dorado." It was during this period that he met Aardman's Nick Park and Peter Lord, who asked him to do storyboards for Aardman's first feature length film, the critically acclaimed "Chicken Run."
After "Chicken Run," Bowers continued to shift between Los Angeles and Bristol, England, working on several DreamWorks and Aardman projects, including the hit animated comedy "Shark Tale" and the Oscar®-winning "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit." "Flushed Away" marks his directorial debut.
In 1990, SAM FELL (Director/Story By) gained a first class degree in Fine Art at Nottingham University. At the end of the course, he won a place on the Channel 4 MOMI program, which was set up to enable young talent to develop and produce new animation.
The program resulted in Fell directing a short film for Channel 4 television called "The Big Cheese," which was produced at 3 Peach Animation in London.
Also during this period, he worked as a freelance animator in the UK at Aardman Animations, 3 Peach, Redwing, Filmfair, and the BBC. While at Aardman, Fell's working relationship with Peter Lord resulted in him working as a key animator on "Wat's Pig," Lord's Academy Award®-nominated short film.
In 1996, Fell signed on as a director of commercials at Aardman. During this time, as he continued making short films and directing commercials, Fell began to develop projects that combined CG technology and clay animation. "Flushed Away" is his first feature film.
PETER LORD (Producer/Story By) is co-owner and Creative Director of Aardman, which he co-founded with his longtime collaborator David Sproxton in 1972. As a director, Lord has been honored with two Academy Award® nominations for Best Animated Short, the first in 1992 for "Adam," and again in 1996 for "Wat's Pig." He has also earned BAFTA nominations for "Adam," "The Amazing Adventures of Morph," and "War Story."
In 2000, Lord co-directed with Nick Park and produced Aardman's first full-length feature, DreamWorks Animation's "Chicken Run," starring the voice of Mel Gibson, which was a commercial and critical smash. Under the Aardman banner, Lord produced the first feature-length film starring the beloved duo from their short films, the cheese-loving Wallace and his faithful canine sidekick Gromit. DreamWorks Animation's "Wallace & Gromit in: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" was released in 2005 and won the Oscar® for Best Animated Feature Film.
Lord first met David Sproxton in the early 1970s at school, where they started experimenting with animation techniques on their kitchen table. They tried a range of methods before settling on clay model animation. While they were still in their teens, a BBC children's television producer offered them the chance to make short animated films for his program "Vision On." Their first character as professionals was Morph, who later starred in his own series "The Amazing Adventures of Morph." As a testament to Morph's enduring appeal, he still appears in new productions today. Moving to Bristol in 1976, Lord and Sproxton built Aardman into one of the world's leading model animation studios. In 1978, Aardman was commissioned by BBC Bristol to make two short films entitled "Animated Conversations." The resulting "Down and Out" and "Confessions of a Foyer Girl," both co-directed by Lord and Sproxton, broke new ground in animation by using recordings of real-life conversations. That led to a series of five "Conversation Pieces" for England's Channel 4, all of which were co-directed by Lord and Sproxton, including "Early Bird" and "On Probation."
Expanding into music videos, Aardman collaborated with director Stephen Johnson and the Brothers Quay to create Peter Gabriel's award-winning video for "Sledgehammer." In 1987, Lord created the video for Nina Simone's "My Baby Just Cares for Me." Two years later, Channel 4 again commissioned Aardman to create the five-picture "Lip Synch" series, which included Lord's "War Story." Lord's other directing credits include "Going Equipped" and "Babylon."
Together with Sproxton, Lord has also played a major role in encouraging and promoting new directors. His executive producer credits with Aardman include "Creature Comforts," "Rex," "HumDrum," and "Stage Fright."
Aardman's special brand of animation has also been seen in commercials for such products as Chevron, Lurpack, Mita Copiers, Cadbury's Crunchies and Polo.
Lord is a visiting professor at UWE and also attends numerous animation and film festivals to give talks and sit on juries. In Aardman's 30th year, Lord and Sproxton are celebrating being awarded CBEs in the 2006 Queen's
Birthday Honours list.
DICK CLEMENT and IAN LA FRENAIS (Story by/ Writers) have enjoyed a long and successful career, which embraces films, television and theatre.
Their work for British television includes three award winning series that have become classics - "The Likely Lads," "Porridge," and "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet." Ian created the long-running "Lovejoy." In America, for four years they were writers and supervising producers for HBO's Emmy winning show, "Tracey Takes On…"
They have produced, directed and written for the cinema, where their credits include "The Jokers," "Otley," "Hannibal Brooks," "Villain," starring Richard Burton; "The Commitments," which won the Evening Standard's Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and BAFTA's Best Adapted Screenplay, "Vice-Versa," "Excess Baggage," and "Still Crazy" for Columbia Pictures, which was nominated for a Golden Globe award as Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). In the theatre they adapted Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar into the stage musical "Billy," starring Michael Crawford. Clement directed John Wells's hit play "Anyone For Denis?" The BBC recently aired "The Rotter's Club" and "Archangel," which they adapted from best-sellers by Jonathon Coe and Robert Harris respectively. Their most recent film is "Goal!" for Milkshake Films, released by Disney. Next year will see the release of "Across the Universe" for Revolution Studios, featuring the music of The Beatles, directed by Julie Taymor.
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD (Writer) is a six-time Emmy Award winner and is best known for his work on the hit comedy "Frasier." Joining the show at its inception, Lloyd served as executive producer/show-runner for eight successful seasons. During his tenure, the series won five consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, securing its place in television history as the only series to have achieved such a feat.
Lloyd has been a successful television comedy writer and producer for the past 20 years. He began his career working on the first four seasons of "The Golden Girls," which received two Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Comedy Series during his stint with the show. Subsequently, Lloyd produced two seasons of the Paramount comedy series "Down Home" before serving as producer on the sitcom "Wings." In addition to his Emmys, he is the recipient of a Writer's Guild Award, Golden Globe Award, and other honors.
A native of Connecticut, Lloyd currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer/producer/actress Arleen Sorkin and their two sons, Eli and Owen.
JOE KEENAN (Writer) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He attended Columbia College and received an MFA from New York University's Musical Theater writing program. After graduating, he wrote two comic novels, Blue Heaven and Putting on the Ritz, which received the 1991 Lambda Award for Humor.
Keenan began writing for television in 1991, shortly after his musical The Times garnered that year's Richard Rodgers Development Grant from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. After The Times premiered in 1993 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., the show's lyrics were awarded the Kleban Award. In 1991, "Cheers" creators James Burrows and Glen and Les Charles, having read Blue Heaven, invited Keenan to create a new sitcom for their production company. The resulting pilot, "Gloria Vane," led to a writing post on "Frasier." His first produced script for the series, "The Matchmaker," received an Emmy Award nomination, a GLAAD Media Award, and the 1995 Writers Guild Award for Episodic Comedy. He won an Emmy Award in 1996 for his part in writing the episode "Moon Dance," and also received Emmy Award nominations for three other episodes: "The Ski Lodge," in 1998; "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue," which Keenan wrote with Christopher Lloyd in 2000; and the series finale "Goodnight Seattle" in 2004. "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue" received the 2001 Writers Guild Award for Episodic Comedy. He was the co-creator and Executive Producer of "Out Of Practice," a CBS comedy that starred Stockard Channing, Henry Winkler, Jennifer Tilly,
Christopher Gorham, Ty Burrell, and Paula Marshall. He is currently the Co-Executive Producer of "Desperate Housewives." His third novel, My Lucky Star, was published by Little Brown in January 2006. He and his partner of 23 years, Gerry Bernardi, live in Studio City, CA.
WILL DAVIES (Writer) started his career as a sportswriter for the Daily Mail in London before coming to Los Angeles with his first screenplay, "Twins," which was produced in 1987 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito and went on to gross over $200 million worldwide. Since then, he has written scores of studio movies, including "Johnny English," starring Rowan Atkinson, "The Real McCoy," starring Kim Basinger and Val Kilmer, and "The Guilty," starring Bill Pullman and Devon Sawa. He has also written and executive-produced pilots for both NBC and Fox, while his production company in London, Stormy Pictures, made the critically-acclaimed series "Red Cap" for the BBC. He currently has an overall deal with DreamWorks Animation and lives in Los Angeles.
HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS (Composer) is one of Hollywood's most sought after composers, working on a variety of high-profile projects, both animated and live-action.
On the live-action side, he most recently composed the scores for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," directed by Andrew Adamson (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe),"Kingdom of Heaven," directed by Ridley Scott,"Domino" and "Man on Fire," both directed by Tony Scott, and "Bridget Jones:The Edge of Reason," starring Renée Zellweger.
Gregson-Williams' live-action credits also include "Veronica Guerin," "Phone Booth," "Spy Game," "Enemy of the State," "The Match," "The Borrowers," "The Replacement Killers," "Deceiver," "Smilla's Sense of Snow","The Rundown," and "Return to Sender."
Gregson-Williams also composed the music for the blockbuster film "Shrek 2" and previously won an Annie Award for the score to the original "Shrek." Other animated films include "Team America:World Police," "Chicken
Run," "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas," and "Antz."
Born in England to a musical family, Gregson-Williams earned a scholarship from the music school of St. John's College in Cambridge at the age of seven. By age 13, he had been a soloist on over a dozen records, and then earned a coveted spot at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He started his film career as an orchestrator and arranger for composer Stanley Myers, and went on to compose his first scores for the veteran English director, Nicolas Roeg.
Gregson-Williams' initiation in to Hollywood film scoring was then facilitated by his collaboration and friendship with Oscar®-winning composer Hans Zimmer. This resulted in Gregson-Williams providing additional music for such films as "The Rock," "Broken Arrow," "The Fan," "Muppet Treasure Island," "Armageddon," "As Good as it Gets," and "The Prince of Egypt." Upcoming projects for Gregson-Williams include Tony Scott's "Déjà Vu," "Seraphim Falls," starring Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson and Anjelica Huston, "The Number 23," starring Jim Carrey, and the highly anticipated "Shrek the Third."