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Michael Mann Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (20) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (8) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 5 February 1943Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameMichael Kenneth Mann
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch (1975). He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile (1979), in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release, Thief (1981) starring James Caan as a safe-cracker who falls under the spell of the mob. He followed with The Keep (1983), an adaptation of F. Paul Wilson's novel about a mysterious force within a Nazi fortress. He hit it big in 1984, when he produced and created the long-running TV series Miami Vice (1984), which made Don Johnson a household name. He followed that up in 1986 with the underrated, lesser-known TV series, Crime Story (1986), and the thriller Manhunter (1986) a precursor of The Silence of the Lambs (1991). He spent the next few years involved in television, directing films like L.A. Takedown (1989) and producing films like the Emmy-winning Drug Wars: The Camarena Story (1990). In 1992, he returned to feature film with the box-office hit The Last of the Mohicans (1992), which starred Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Stephen Currence <billyc@erols.com>

Spouse (1)

Summer Mann (1974 - present) (4 children)

Trade Mark (20)

Often uses art deco buildings for his shoots
Uses dramatically colored lighting, especially the color blue
Pop/Rock and Ambient music often underscores his work
Often portrays criminals as likeable and sympathetic. See Thief (1981) and Heat (1995).
Has often worked with the following actors and crew: Jamie Foxx, Dennis Farina, Wes Studi, Tom Noonan, film editor Dov Hoenig, cinematographer Dante Spinotti, and composer Einstürzende Neubauten.
Often portrays the leader of a group of criminals as a hard-edged loner
Often has a scene overlooking a broad horizon of some sort.Neil and Eady staring at the bright L.A. landscape in Heat (1995) and the end credits of The Last of the Mohicans (1992) are both examples of this.
Most of his movies contain a group of people using a speaker phone. The person on the other end always asks, "Who am I talking to?" and one of the others will rattle off a list of names (Heat (1995) and Manhunter (1986)).
Backgrounds and scenery often include and focus on water, like oceans, rivers, rain (Miami Vice (2006)).
.45 caliber 1911 model pistols appear in almost all of his movies:Thief (1981), Miami Vice (2006), _L.A. Takedown (1989), Heat (1995), The Insider (1999), and so on.
Often works with real criminals, police officers and ex-military officers in his films: Chuck Adamson (Chicago Police Department), Dennis Farina (Chicago Police Department),Jim Zubiena (U.S. Army), Robert Deamer (Los Angeles Police Department), Chic Daniel (Los Angeles PoliceDepartment), Tom Elfmont (Los Angeles Police Department),Rey Verdugo (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department),Mick Gould (British Special Air Services), Andy McNab (British Special Air Services), John Santucci (ex-safecracker), 'Gavin McFadyen' (ex-bankrobber) and Edward Bunker (ex-bank-robber).
Often films pivotal or imporant scenes at night, such as the end shootout at the airport in Heat (1995), Collateral (2004) and the end shootout in the boat yard, as well as others, in Miami Vice (2006).
Often begins his movies without opening credits or title, see _Collatera l(2004)_ and Miami Vice (2006).
Unlike most directors, likes to operate the camera himself to get much of his photography, as he did in Heat (1995), shooting almost 60% of it.
Mann has re-edited every single one of his feature films for home video. With the exception of Warner Home Video's Region 2 release and the FoxNTSC laserdisc release of The Last of the Mohicans (1992), none of his films are available on video or DVD in their theatrical versions. The alterations vary from using alternate takes and lines in Heat (1995) and The Insider (1999) to adding and deleting scenes: He has re-edited Manhunter (1986) at least three times.
Many of his films are set in Chicago, and many of his cast members are from Chicago or the surrounding neighborhoods.
Abrupt endings in his films. Especially his crime dramas. Examples: Heat (1995), Collateral (2004), Miami Vice (2006), and Public Enemies (2009).
Most of his contemporary films feature a scene in a nightclub
The nickname 'slick' is often used in his movies
Known for shooting several different takes, at numerous different angles, of even short scenes.

Trivia (21)

Born at 12:45am-CWT.
Attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the International Film School in London.
Was Will Smith's personal choice to direct Ali (2001). Spike Lee campaigned vigorously against Mann, saying that only a black director could do Ali's story justice.
Father of Ami Canaan Mann.
Got an impressive knowledge about criminality and police procedures.
Is a close friend of legendary author Edward Bunker, since they both worked together on the adaptation of the novel "No Beast So Fierce", and independent film director Abel Ferrara.
Is one of Robert De Niro's favourite directors.
Directed the first Hannibal Lecter film (Manhunter (1986)), and produced The Aviator (2004), which at one point he had been attached to direct. Jonathan Demme, who directed The Silence of the Lambs (1991), also directed Melvin and Howard (1980), which also featured the character Howard Hughes.
Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Directors Branch) [2000-2006]
In 1985, sued William Friedkin for plagiarism, claiming that Friedkin stole the entire concept of Miami Vice (1984) when he made the movie To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) (which, ironically, starred William Petersen, who later played Will Graham in Manhunter (1986)). Mann lost the lawsuit. Despite this, the two directors are close friends nowadays. Friedkin even tease Mann in several interviews by saying "Michael Mann is one of my favorite directors because he tries to make films like mine!".
He was executive producer of the Miami Vice (1984) TV series and among other things greatly responsible for the show's unique look and feel.
Tried to make an epic film about drug-trade in Southern California with screenwriter Shane Salerno. But they abandoned the project after 'Steven Soderbergh''s rival project, Traffic (2000), got green-lighted.
Frequently uses the "thumbs up" sign after he feels that last take was the one.
Directed Brian Cox, Dennis Farina and Peter Dobson in one of two roles that they each share with Anthony Hopkins, Harvey Keitel and Val Kilmer. Cox and Farina played Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford in Manhunter (1986), roles played by Hopkins and Keitel in Red Dragon (2002). Farina and Keitel had both played Ray Barbone in Get Shorty (1995). Hopkins was playing King Lear with the Royal Shakespeare Company while "Manhunter" was in production. Cox was doing the same when The Silence of the Lambs (1991) was in production. Dobson plays Chris Sirhelis in L.A. Takedown (1989), which was remade as Heat (1995), with Kilmer. "Heat" was also directed by Mann. Kilmer played Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993), while Dobson played him (except for the voice) in Forrest Gump (1994).
During production of Manhunter (1986), he wanted Francis Dollarhyde (Tom Noonan) to have a tattoo of William Blake's "Red Dragon" painting on his back, but ended up discarding the idea after deciding the tattoo trivialized Dollarhyde's inner struggles. In the film's remake, Red Dragon (2002), director Brett Ratner decided to include the tattoo.
Directed four different performers in Oscar-nominated performances: Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jon Voight and Jamie Foxx.
Has Ukrainian roots from his father's side.
Owns a house in the canals of Fort Lauderdale, Fl, which was used in some Miami Vice (1984) TV scenes.
As of 2007, he has used Mick Gould as a technical advisor on three of his films: Heat (1995), Collateral (2004) and Miami Vice (2006). For all three of these films, Gould served as a weapons trainer, instructing cast members how to properly handle firearms.
Was 38 years old when he released his first feature film.

Personal Quotes (8)

[In 1999, on whether he operates camera in his movies] The criterion is when I want to see what's going on through the lens. Usually, it comes down to performance more than technique . . . I've also worked with the same camera crews, even down to the assistants, on the last four films. So, we've developed a family in camera. A family that picks right up where they left off every few years. I see the world from the perspective of a 5'8" person, not someone who is 6'4". so naturally, I'm going to choose certain lens heights over and again . . . Sometimes nature makes choices for you.
[on the cinematic experience] A 65-ft.-wide screen and 500 people reacting to the movie, there is nothing like that experience.
Could I have worked under a system where there were Draconian controls on my creativity, meaning budget, time, script choices, etc.? Definitely not. I would have fared poorly under the old studio system that guys like 'Howard Hawks (I)' did so well in. I cannot just make a film and walk away from it. I need that creative intimacy and, quite frankly, the control to execute my visions, on all my projects.
I think it's easy for directors to stay fresh more than actors, especially once an actor becomes a star. It's hard for Russell Crowe to walk down a street or take a subway. I can fly coach.
It said to my whole generation of filmmakers that you could make an individual statement of high integrity and have that film be successfully seen by a mass audience all at the same time. In other words, you didn't have to be making Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) if you wanted to work in the mainstream film industry, or be reduced to niche filmmaking if you wanted to be serious about cinema. So that's what Stanley Kubrick meant, aside from the fact that "Strangelove" [Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)] was a revelation.
The best-kept secret about Don Johnson is the fact that he is a terrific actor.
[on his racetrack series Luck (2011)] It's about the basic yearning, that impulse, to somehow venture skills, hope they'll collide with the opportunity and yield a change in your material circumstances. That hope for an outcome, that transcendence, is what the show is really about.
[on working with Daniel Day-Lewis on 'The Last of the Mohicans'] 'Hawkeye' is pretty close to who Daniel is as a person. Daniel is a deep, romantic man with a very strong value system. He's kind of classic. He's drawn to see great values in simple things. He's somebody who eschews celebrity. He and Rebecca have a very strong family, a real literary sensibility.

Salary (1)

Ali (2001) $5,000,000

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