EXECUTIVE PRODUCER STEVEN SPIELBERG
STEVEN SPIELBERG (Executive Producer) is a principal partner of DreamWorks Studios, which he co-founded with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen in October 1994 and which was sold to Paramount Pictures in early 2006. Under their leadership, DreamWorks has enjoyed critical and commercial success, and has been responsible for some of the most honored films in recent years, including three consecutive Best Picture Academy Award® winners: "American Beauty," "Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind" (the latter two co-productions with Universal).
One of the industry's most successful and influential filmmakers, Spielberg has directed, produced, or executive produced some of the top-grossing films of all time, including "Jurassic Park" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial." Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner, earning two Oscars® for Best Director and Best Picture for "Schindler's List," and a third Oscar® for Best Director for "Saving Private Ryan."
A DreamWorks/Paramount co-production, the critically acclaimed World War II drama "Saving Private Ryan," starring Tom Hanks, was the highest-grossing release (domestically) of 1998. It was also one of the year's most honored films, earning five Oscars®, including the one for Spielberg as Best Director, as well as two Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director. Spielberg was also recognized by his peers with a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award, and shared with the film's other producers in the Producers Guild of America's (PGA) Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Picture Producer of the Year. That year, the PGA also presented Spielberg with the prestigious Milestone Award for his historic contribution to the motion picture industry.
"Saving Private Ryan" also won Best Picture honors from the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, British and Broadcast Film Critics Associations, with the Los Angeles, Toronto and Broadcast Film Critics also naming Spielberg Best Director.
In 1994, Spielberg won two Academy Awardsâ, for Best Director and Best Picture, for the internationally lauded "Schindler's List," which received a total of seven Oscarsâ. The film also collected Best Picture honors from the major critics' organizations, in addition to seven BAFTA Awards, including two for Spielberg. He also won the Golden Globe Award and received his second DGA Award.
Spielberg won his first DGA Award for his work on "The Color Purple." He has also been honored with Academy Awardâ nominations for Best Director for "Munich," "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Additionally, he earned DGA Award nominations for those films, as well as "Empire of the Sun," "Jaws" and "Amistad." With 10 in all, Spielberg has received more DGA Award nominations than any director in history, and, in 2000, he received the DGA's Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Spielberg is currently at work on the fourth installment of the "Indiana Jones" adventure which is starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf, and will be released in theaters worldwide May 22, 2008. In 2006, Spielberg produced two films with director/producer Clint Eastwood - "Flags of Our Fathers," nominated for two Academy Awards®, and it's companion film, "Letters From Iwo Jima," which was nominated for four Oscars® including Best Picture. In 2005, Spielberg directed two films - "War of the Worlds" and "Munich" - and was a producer on "Memoirs of a Geisha." "War of the Worlds" starred Tom Cruise and was a contemporary retelling of H.G. Wells' classis futuristic novel. "Munich," a historical thriller set in the aftermath of the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, earned five Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg. The Universal/DreamWorks co-production starred Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, and Geoffrey Rush. "Memoirs of a Geisha," directed by Rob Marshall and based on the best-selling book by Arthur Golden won three Oscars® for Best Cinematography, Art Direction and Costume Design. Spielberg's other recent films include "The Terminal," starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and "Catch Me If You Can," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Spielberg also wrote, directed and produced "A.I.," which was realized from the vision of the late Stanley Kubrick. In 2000, Spielberg won the Stanley Kubrick Brittania Award for Excellence in Film, presented by BAFTA - Los Angeles.
Born on December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Spielberg was raised in the suburbs of Haddonfield, New Jersey and Scottsdale, Arizona. He started making amateur films while still in his teens, later studying film at California State University, Long Beach. In 1969, his 22-minute short "Amblin" was shown at the Atlanta Film Festival, which led to his becoming the youngest director ever to be signed to a long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio.
Four years later, he directed the suspenseful telefilm "Duel," which garnered both critical and audience attention. He made his feature film directorial debut on "The Sugarland Express" from a screenplay he co-wrote. His other earlier film credits as director include "Always," "Hook," and the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" sequels "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."
In 1984, Spielberg formed his own production company, Amblin Entertainment. Under the Amblin banner, he has served as producer or executive producer on more than a dozen films, including such successes as "Gremlins," "Goonies," "Back to the Future I, II, and III," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," "An American Tail," "The Land Before Time," "The Flintstones," "Casper," "Twister," "The Mask of Zorro," "Men in Black" and "Men in Black II." Amblin Entertainment also produces the hit series "ER" with Warner Bros. TV.
Spielberg's other TV endeavors include executive producing with Tom Hanks the award-winning miniseries "Band of Brothers" for HBO and DreamWorks Television. Based on the book of the same name by the late Stephen Ambrose, the fact-based World War II project won both Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries. Also an Emmy winner for Best Miniseries was 2002's "Taken," which Spielberg executive produced for DreamWorks Television and The Sci-Fi Channel. In 2005, Spielberg and DreamWorks Television partnered with TNT to executive produce the 12-hour limited series "Into the West" which followed two multi-generational American and Native American families with each telling the dramatic stories of the development of the West from their distinct points of view. Coming in May 2007 is "On the Lot," an unscripted series which will allow aspiring director/filmmakers to vie for a studio development deal at DreamWorks. "On the Lot" is produced by Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television and Amblin Television. The reality series, which will air on Fox, was created by Spielberg and Mark Burnett, who will also serve as executive producers.
Spielberg has also devoted his time and resources to many philanthropic causes. The impact of his experience making "Schindler's List," led him to establish the Righteous Persons Foundation using all his profits from the film. He also founded Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which has recorded more than 52,000 Holocaust survivor testimonies. Spielberg executive produced "The Last Days," the Shoah Foundation's third documentary, which won the Academy Award® in 1999 for Best Documentary Feature. In 2005, the Foundation's repository of testimonies were transferred to the University of Southern California. The new USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education will be dedicated to research and scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. In addition, Spielberg is the chairman emeritus of the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation, which combines the efforts of pediatric health care, technology and entertainment to empower seriously ill children.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR MICHAEL BAY
After launching his career as an award-winning commercial and music video director, MICHAEL BAY (Director/Executive Producer) quickly emerged as one of Hollywood's boldest and most bankable feature film directors. Characterized by his aggressive visual style, high-octane action sequences and quick-cut editing that have become the L.A. native's cinematic signature, Bay's half-dozen films have topped nearly $2 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
Now established as one of the industry's elite action filmmakers, Bay's latest effort is "TRANSFORMERS," one of this summer's most hotly anticipated movie events.
Bay has been dazzling audiences since the premiere of his first feature film, "Bad Boys" starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, in 1995. Won for Best Action Sequence at the MTV Movie Awards, the $9 million dollar film grossed over $140 million worldwide, making it Columbia Pictures' top-grossing film of that year. Bay's impressive sophomore effort, "The Rock" starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage, followed a year later. Shot on location on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, "The Rock" surpassed Bay's blockbuster debut, taking in more than $325 million worldwide. His third directing effort was "Armageddon," an idea he came up with, with writer Jonathan Hensleigh. Bay produced with Jerry Bruckheimer. "Armageddon" starred Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler, and earned over $550 million around the globe.
Bay continued his hot streak in 2001, directing the epic "Pearl Harbor" and sharing producer credit on the film with Bruckheimer. Their collaboration once again bore fruit, as "Pearl Harbor" raked in $450 million in box office receipts worldwide, and at the time became the best selling DVD of all time. In 2003, Bay re-teamed with Smith, Lawrence and Bruckheimer for the summer hit "Bad Boys II." The filmmaker's most recent effort was the action thriller "The Island" starring Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean and Steve Buscemi, which earned receipts totaling more than $160 million.
Bay's production company, Bay Films, remains one of the most cutting-edge production entities in Hollywood today and continues to grow. Five years ago, Bay joined forces with producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form to create Platinum Dunes, a company whose mission is to make films with budgets under $15 million that would give talented commercial and video directors the chance to break into the feature world. The first offering from the company was "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," a re-imagining of the 1974 cult classic, which opened to top-notch reviews and grossed over $110 million worldwide. The company's second film, "The Amityville Horror," reached receipts of more than $108 million. Two more films quickly followed: the original script, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2: The Beginning," which earned $51 million; and a re-conceptualization of the 1986 thriller, "The Hitcher" that garnered $20 million.
Last year, Bay and two partners bought one of the film industry's premier digital effects houses, Digital Domain, from James Cameron. The $100 million dollar company is expanding into video games and will be the first production house to build an animation film in a gaming engine, which will greatly reduce animation costs.
One week out of out of film school in 1989, Bay began directing commercials and music videos for Propaganda Films. His works for such acts as Meat Loaf, Aerosmith, Tina Turner, Donny Osmond, and the DiVinyls won the young filmmaker recognition, acclaim, and a number of MTV Video Award nominations. He won the coveted Best Music Video prize in 1992 and 1999.
When Bay's first television spot -- for the American Red Cross -- was honored with a Clio in 1992, it heralded the aspiring film director's rapid ascent from unknown film school grad to creative force. Over the next three years, the Wesleyan University graduate would direct some of the best known and most acclaimed advertising campaigns in the world, including those for Nike, Budweiser, Coca Cola, Reebok, Miller and Victoria's Secret. In 1995, Bay, at the young age of 27, was honored by the Directors Guild of America as Commercial Director of the Year.
Bay is the youngest director to have won nearly every award bestowed by the advertising industry. He won the Grand Prix Clio for Commercial of the Year for the irreverent "Got Milk?/Aaron Burr" commercial; this famous spot was voted into the top ten classic spots of all time. Bay's famous "Got Milk" campaign now resides in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Bay's next film is "The Horsemen," which he executive produced. Scheduled for release in December, the fifth release under the Platinum Dunes banner stars Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Peter Stormare and Eric Balfour under the direction of Jonas Akerlund.
ALEX KURTZMAN & ROBERTO ORCI (Screenplay by, Story by) have been partners-in-imagination since high school. Penning adventure stories and making ambitious home movies prior to meeting each other, they soon realized the magic of their combined creativity and began to dream of one day making Hollywood movies together.
After high school, each traveled to different corners of the U.S. to attend college -- Kurtzman to NYU, then Wesleyan, and Orci to the University of Texas -- where they continued to write scripts in tandem over the phone. They landed their first writing job in television on the popular adventure shows "Hercules" and "Xena: Warrior Princess," where they ascended to the position of head writers at the unusually young age of 23. Kurtzman and Orci subsequently went on to become writers and executive producers on the acclaimed, award-winning television spy thriller "Alias."
Their produced feature film writing credits include "The Legend of Zorro" starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas; Michael Bay's sci-fi thriller "The Island" starring Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor; "Mission: Impossible III," starring Tom Cruise in the iconic role of super-agent Ethan Hunt; the upcoming "Star Trek" feature film to be directed by J.J. Abrams for Paramount Pictures; and another Michael Bay project, "2012: The War for Souls" for Warner Bros., which they will also produce. Next in the pipeline is the action-adventure "Amazon," which chronicles the life of a female gladiator and is set to star Scarlett Johansson.
In addition to these writing projects, Kurtzman and Orci are producing a continually growing slate of movies for a variety of Hollywood studios.
READ A QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH KURTZMAN AND ORCI
Raised in the United States, JOHN ROGERS (Story by) moved to Montreal to get his theoretical physics degree and wound up staying. In 1988, he took a comedy writing course at the Comedy Nest in Montreal. Within a year, he was invited to perform at the International Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, the largest all-comedy event in the world. At Just for Laughs, a booker for the Melbourne Comedy Festival spotted Rogers and brought him out to Australia as part of a three-man show which ran for two months.
Back in North America in 1990, Rogers honed his routine in the competitive Boston comedy scene. Along the way he tended bar, slept in his car and on couches, and co-wrote a comedy show on a Boston Top-10 radio station. It was while bartending in a Harvard hangout, recounting road stories to the waiters after the bar had closed, that his offbeat style gelled. From bungee jumping to theoretical physics, relationships to exploding cars, Rogers' material doesn't come across as just a string of one-liners. The routine is one of those wandering, eclectic, after-hours conversations friends will have, leapfrogging from story to story.
After another four years of touring -- headlining clubs in both Canada and the U.S., performing at over two hundred colleges and special corporate shows - Rogers really peaked in the summer of 1994. He appeared in the "Just for Laughs Showtime Special" with Kelsey Grammer and Brett Butler, and signed a six-episode sitcom development deal with CBS, where he starred in the CBS/Touchstone Television pilot "In the Mood." As a stand-up, Rogers has starred in two solo network comedy specials, has received three Gemini-Award nominations (Canadian Emmys) and has been hailed by The Montreal Gazette as "one of the funniest people on the planet."
When Rogers' pilot was somehow left off of CBS' fall schedule, it was not long before he found himself in the employ of CBS once again -- this time as a writer on the series "Cosby," for which he served as a writer-producer for three years. After his third season on the series, he signed an overall deal with Big Ticket Television, where he wrote pilots for CBS, NBC and USA. Rogers also found the time to create the Sony animated series "Jackie Chan Adventures" with Jackie Chan, which became a runaway hit on the Kids WB. In 2004, John returned to television to develop and executive produce a show based on the DC graphic novel Global Frequency for the WB network.
Not one to rest on his television laurels, Rogers decided to add feature film screenwriter to his resume with the Morgan Creek/Warner Bros. production "American Outlaws," which led to subsequent assignments including the Paramount action film "The Core" and Warner Bros.' "Catwoman."
Rogers is currently getting set to make his directorial debut on Studio Canal's "Honor Among Thieves," produced by two of his cinematic heroes, John Woo and Terence Chang.
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