Alexander Richard Ludwig was born in Vancouver, Canada. His mother, Sharlene Martin, is a former actress and serves as his manager, and his father, Harald Horst Ludwig, is a businessman and co-chairman of the board for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. He has 3 siblings; Nicholas, Natalie and Sophia, as well as a golden retriever named Waverly. He has German, Belgian, English, and Scottish ancestry.
Alexander is a sophomore at the University of Southern California, studying film, theater, and entrepreneurship. In addition to acting and film making, he is a gifted musician who is in discussions about recording his original material.
In his free time, Alexander can be found competing in extreme freestyle ski competitions on Whistler Mountain, or surfing the coast of California. He is an avid athlete who water skies, plays tennis, basketball, and ice hockey.
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver. However, a terrible car accident just after his high school graduation ended that dream permanently. The accident changed his views on life. He decided to attend Modesto Junior College before enrolling in the University of Southern California film school. As a film student, he made several short films including THX-1138: 4EB (Electronic Labyinth) which won first prize at the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival. In 1967, he was awarded a scholarship by Warner Brothers to observe the making of Finian's Rainbow which was being directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas and Coppola became good friends and formed American Zoetrope in 1969. The company's first project was Lucas' full-length version of THX 1138. In 1971, Coppola went into production for The Godfather, and Lucas formed his own company, Lucasfilm Ltd. In 1973, he wrote and directed the semiautobiographical American Graffiti which won the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy Award nominations. This gave him the clout he needed for his next daring venture. From 1973 to 1974, he began writing the screenplay for Star Wars. He was inspired to make this movie from Flash Gordon and the Planet of the Apes films. In 1975, he established I.L.M. (Industrial Light and Magic) to produce the visual effects needed for the movie. Another company called Sprocket Systems was established to edit and mix Star Wars and later becomes known as Skywalker Sound. His movie was turned down by several studios until 20th Century Fox gave him a chance. Lucas agreed to forego his directing salary in exchange for 40% of the film's box-office take and all merchandising rights. The movie went on to break all box office records and earned seven Academy Awards. It redefined the term "blockbuster". The rest is history. Lucas made the other Star Wars films and along with Steven Spielberg created the Indiana Jones series which made box office records of their own. From 1980 to 1985, Lucas was busy with the construction of Skywalker Ranch, built to accommodate the creative, technical, and administrative needs of Lucasfilm. Lucas also revolutionized movie theatres with the T.H.X. System which was created to maintain the highest quality standards in motion picture viewing. He went on to make several more movies that have introduced major innovations in film-making technology. He is chairman of the board of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. In 1992, George Lucas was honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his life-time achievement.
An award-winning actor, writer, producer and director, Bo Svenson has during his career worked with over one hundred Academy Award winners and/or nominees.
He is a prolific writer in addition to being an accomplished actor. His first novel, "For Love and Country", was published in December 2015. His screenplay "Don't Call Me Sir!" won the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest's "Park Avenue Prize for Drama" and 1st Place in Drama at the 2015 Los Angeles Screenplay Contest -- and his screenplay "For Love and Country" won two Gold Awards at the International Independent Film Awards.
He has several other screenplays in various stages of development and preproduction, including "Yakuzano"; "Misguided"; "Viking: The Red Cloth"; and "Fate, Two Kids and an ET".
Born in Sweden to a Russian Jewish mother and a Swedish father, Svenson emigrated by himself to the US as a teenager and began by serving his new country with six years in the U.S. Marines. After an honorable discharge, he was spotted in Miami by James Hammerstein Jr. and cast in a revival of "South Pacific". Curious to find out if acting was for him, he headed to New York where he landed the lead role as Yang Sun in Bertolt Brecht's play "The Good Woman of Szechuan" at The Circle In The Square Theater in Greenwich Village -- and cast in a starring role in the CBS TV pilot The Freebooters.
Other starring roles followed, as well as a recurring role as Big Swede on "Here Come the Brides". His role as the Creature in the three-hour TV movie "Mary Shelley's Original Frankenstein" brought him great acclaim and led to a starring role in "Maurie" and the co-starring role with Robert Redford in "The Great Waldo Pepper".
Major starring roles followed: Sheriff Buford Pusser in "Walking Tall Part II", "Walking Tall Final Chapter" and the "Walking Tall" TV series; crazed football player Jo Bob in "North Dallas Forty"; heroic airline pilot Captain Campbell in "The Delta Force"; jealous bar-owner Roy Jennings in Clint Eastwood's "Heartbreak Ridge"; and cold-blooded killer Ivan in "Magnum, P.I."
In addition to recently being the Russian mob boss Vadim in "Icarus", he portrayed Reverend Harmony in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" and The Colonel in Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds". He was the only actor from the original "The Inglorious Bastards" cast included by Tarantino in his homage to that movie, one of his all-time favorites.
An accomplished athlete, he has competed in world championships, Olympic selections and/or international competition in judo, yachting, track, and ice hockey -- and he drove NASCAR.
A black belt in judo, karate, and aikido, he has been inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame. He retired from judo competition after winning a silver in the 2009 USA Judo National Championships, a bronze in the IJF World Judo Masters Championships, and a gold in the 2013 USJA Winter Nationals.
He was recently Sports Commissioner at the Special Olympics World Games: 2015 LA -- held at his alma mater UCLA where he had pursued a Ph.D. in metaphysics until his film career took over.
He is president and CEO of MagicQuest Entertainment, a California corporation engaged in international motion picture and television development, production, and branded advertainment. MagicQuest also provides consulting service to actors and writers.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscar.org) since 1987, he serves on the nominating committee for Best Foreign Language Film and is a juror on the Student Academy Award committee.
He was Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Motion Picture Group of America from 1984-2004.
His numerous honors and nominations include Lifetime Achievement Awards from Action On Film, the Movieville International Film Festival, and The Reel Cowboys Hall of Fame; the NAACP Image Award Nomination; the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy Golden Scroll Award; the Hollywood Women's Press Club Golden Apple; the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast for Inglourious Basterds; and the Italian Institute of Art Award of Merit.
His short film, "Made For Each Other" -- that he wrote, produced and directed starring Dennis Hopper -- was nominated for Best Short at numerous festivals and won the Award of Excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition.
He conducts "Acting for Life - Be All You That You Can Be" seminars in colleges, universities and corporate boardrooms around the globe.
Actor and singer born on 14th February 1956 in Toronto, Canada, from English parents who had migrated to Canada after Word War II. The family transferred to New Jersey in 1958 and Tom was the typical all-American youngster with the Little League baseball cap, striped T-shirt and turned-up jeans. In 1962 the family transferred to England with the father's job and young Tom went to school with a North American accent. In 1965, just before Tom turned 10, the family transferred again, this time to Australia. After six months his parents divorced and his mother and two younger sisters went back to England, leaving him with dad and his older sister, Susan. His first public appearance was as Colonel Pickering in Mosman Primary School's production of My Fair Lady. Moving to Bayview, Tom went to Pittwater High School, becoming school captain in his final year. His father wanted him to be a lawyer but he had other ideas. A friend had been accepted for NIDA so he auditioned and to his great surprise was accepted into the class of '74. In 1981 his career break came when he was cast as Jim Craig in The Man From Snowy River, alongside Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson and Sigrid Thornton. In 1983 he starred in Phar Lap, playing the young Tom Woodcock, alongside Martin Vaughan. Had a relationship with Nicole Kidman in 1986 during the filming of Windrider. They dated for nearly two years. Being a great Frank Sinatra fan since he was about seven, asking his mother to play 'the man in the hat', he heard of the mini series Sinatra being produced in America by Sinatra's daughter, Tina. He put himself forward for the main role but was selected for singing the voice of the young Sinatra. Now he was a singer and soon sang in his first musical in 1993 - How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Here he met the young singer and dancer Mandy Carnie. They married in December 1996. They had their first child in April 1999 and a second in 2001. In 1998 he created Frank, The Sinatra Story In Song which opened at the Seymour Centre in Sydney, Australia then on to other major cities. Incredibly, Old Blue Eyes, The Chairman of the Board, Sinatra died around the opening time of the show.
Jon Avnet has directed, written, and produced more than 70 motion pictures (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business), television movies (The Burning Bed, Uprising, The Starter Wife), and Broadway plays (Spamalot, History Boys, Pillowman), winning Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Peabodys, Golden Globes, the Humanitas, DGA, WGA, and AFI Awards.
For the last six years, Mr. Avnet directed 10 episodes of FX's Justified, starring Tim Olyphant and Walton Goggins, and created by Graham Yost from Elmore Leonard's story "Fire in the Hole." Justified won the Peabody Award and scored multiple Emmy nominations, winning for Margo Martindale and Jeremy Davies. Mr. Avnet also collaborated with creator Graham Yost on the critically acclaimed Boomtown, where they were Executive Producers of the show, which won Television Critics Association awards for Best Drama and Best New Show, as well as the Peabody Award. Mr. Avnet directed the pilot and 9 episodes of Boomtown, which starred Donnie Wahlberg, Neal McDonough, Lana Parilla and Mykelti Williamson.
Mr. Avnet was the executive producer of Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman (winner of the Oscar for Best Actress) and directed by Darren Aronofsky. Black Swan received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, as well as multiple nominations and wins from the PGA, WGA, SAG, BAFTA, AFI, and the Golden Globes. It grossed 326 million dollars theatrical worldwide.
Mr. Avnet co-wrote, directed and produced Fried Green Tomatoes, which garnered multiple Academy Awards for writing and for Jessica Tandy, who co-starred with Kathy Bates, Mary Louise Parker, Mary Stuart Masterson and Cicely Tyson. Fried Green Tomatoes was one of the top grossing films of the year, won the Scripter Award, and was nominated for a WGA Award as well. It received Golden Globe nominations for Best Comedy, and for Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates (Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress), BAFTA nominations for Jessica and Kathy, and won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film.
Avnet also directed and produced Red Corner starring Richard Gere, Up Close and Personal written by Joan Didion and John Dunne starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer, and Righteous Kill starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Mr. Avnet's first directing outing (which he also co-wrote and produced) was the ABC TV movie Between Two Women, starring Colleen Dewhurst and Farrah Fawcett. Miss Dewhurst won her first Emmy for her performance, while the film received rave reviews and was the highest rated movie on ABC that year.
Avnet, during his partnership with Steve Tisch, produced for David Geffen the classic film Risky Business, which launched the career of Tom Cruise and that of the first time writer/director Paul Brickman. Tom Cruise received a Golden Globe nomination and Mr. Brickman, a Writers Guild nomination. The dance sequence featuring Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" with Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear has become iconic. He produced with Mr. Brickman, for David Geffen again, the cult classic Men Don't Leave starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Cusack, and introducing Chris O'Donnell. Mr. Brickman directed and co-wrote with Barbara Benedek.
Recently, Mr. Avnet has been very active and innovative in the digital space. In conjunction with Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Big Love) and Jake Avnet, he launched the scripted digital channel WIGS in May 2012. Funded by YouTube for its first two seasons, and by FOX network for its third season, WIGS has produced nearly 35 hours of premium scripted content. It has won most of the major awards for Internet productions and has been nominated for WGA awards (twice) and other traditional media awards as well. It is available at youtube.com/wigs, watchwigs.com and Hulu.com.
In September of 2014, WIGS became a subsidiary of Indigenous Media, which has WPP (the world's largest advertising company) and ITV (the largest channel in Great Britain) as its primary investors and Garcia and Avnet as CO-CEO's, with Jacob Avnet as the Chief Operating Officer. Indigenous will continue producing digital content (as well as cable content) for all digital platforms and developing select new channels.
In television, Avnet produced (with Steve Tisch) The Burning Bed, starring Farrah Fawcett, which garnered eight Emmy nominations, multiple Golden Globe awards, WGA awards, a DGA nomination and won The Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials. It was the highest-rated television movie ever aired on NBC. This landmark event was instrumental in making "the battered woman defense" a viable plea for victims of domestic violence and bringing the issue out of the closet, giving it national attention.
He also directed and executive produced The Starter Wife, a six-hour limited series for the USA Network starring Debra Messing, Joe Mantegna, and Judy Davis (who won the Best Supporting Actress Emmy for her performance). Based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer, it aired May 2007 as the highest-rated limited cable series that year and received ten Emmy nominations, as well as DGA and PGA nominations for Mr. Avnet. It became a series for the USA network in 2008.
In 2001, Avnet directed, co-wrote with Paul Brickman (his frequent collaborator) and produced the critically praised miniseries Uprising for NBC. It starred Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight, Donald Sutherland and introduced Stephen Moyer to American audiences. Based on the actual events of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, this film dealt with Jewish Resistance during the holocaust. It caused an international debate about what constitutes resistance and why victims of the holocaust were castigated as passive participants. Mr. Avnet was nominated for a Directors Guild Award and the film was nominated for Golden Globes, Emmys (it won two) and won the ASC award for cinematographer Denis Lenoir. It was released theatrically by Warner Brothers in Europe and received more critical accolades in France and other countries.
In 2000, Mr. Avnet financed and produced Rodrigo Garcia's film debut Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her. Starring Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Cameron Diaz, and Calista Flockhart, the film was selected by the Cannes Film Festival for "Un Certain Regard." It also played at Sundance and received glowing reviews. It began Mr. Garcia's collaboration with Mr. Avnet, which continues to this day.
Avnet produced and co-financed with Aurelio DeLaurentiis Paramount's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. With Jordan Kerner, Avnet produced Less Than Zero (bringing Robert Downey and James Spader to prominence), When a Man Loves a Woman, Miami Rhapsody, The Mighty Ducks films and George of the Jungle, to name a few, as well as the ABC mini-series Mama Flora's Family, based on the Alex Haley novel. Avnet and Kerner also produced Heat Wave, the true story of the Watts riots, which won all the major Cable ACE awards that year, including Best Picture, Best Actor for James Earl Jones and Best Actress for frequent collaborator, Cicely Tyson.
On Broadway, his plays have received 35 nominations and 12 Tony awards. He produced with Bill Haber the Tony award winning "History Boys" and the Mike Nichols directed "Spamalot." He also produced "The Pillowman," "Inherit the Wind" starring Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer, "The Seafarer" by Connor McPherson, and the Mike Nichols-directed "Country Girl," starring Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand. Mr. Avnet began his career working for his mentor, writer/director Wilford Leach at Ellen Stewart's experimental theater La Mama.
Mr. Avnet attended the University of Pennsylvania, received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and was awarded a fellowship in directing to the American Film Institute. Today, Mr. Avnet is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at the American Film Institute, where he has been a guiding force for over 20 years (and Chairman for eight years). In June 2013, Mr. Avnet received an honorary Doctorate in Communications from the American Film Institute. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Directors Guild of America, The DGA Western Directors Council, and is a Trustee of the DGA Pension and Health Plan.
Mr. Avnet is a member of the Board of Overseers of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and participates as a mentor in the Director's Lab at Sundance and its sister program Emergence in France. He also lectures on film and holocaust studies at numerous universities worldwide and has supported a diverse range of charitable organizations.
Mr. Avnet is the recipient of numerous awards, including the ACLU's Freedom of Speech award, The AFI's Franklin Shaffner Award, and the Janus Korshak award (for Uprising) given by the American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters House in honor of the famous Polish educator who gave his life so his orphans would never be abandoned.
Michael Wayne was the eldest son of John Wayne and his first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz, the daughter from a socially prominent Latina family living in Los Angeles. He graduated from Loyola University of California in 1956 and served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. His interest in film production began when he served as a production assistant during the filming of the John Ford 1951 classic The Quiet Man, which starred his father. Michael Wayne joined his father's film production, Batjac, during the filming of The Alamo and became the line producer for McLintock!. He subsequently produced many star vehicles for his father, including Brannigan, The Green Berets, Big Jake and The Train Robbers.
Following his father's death from cancer in 1979, Michael Wayne served as the head of Wayne Enterprises, which owns many of his father's films. Other business interests included movie distribution, merchandising his father's image, real estate and other investments. He also served as the chairman of the board of the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center.
Stella Adler was born on February 10, 1901, in New York, the youngest daughter of the Yiddish theater actors, Jacob P. Adler and Sarah Adler, who founded an acting dynasty. In addition to her parents, Stella's family included her siblings Charles Adler, Jay Adler, Julia and Luther Adler, all of whom appeared on Broadway. Stella made her debut at the age of four in the family-owned theater in the play "Broken Hearts". At the age of 18, she made her London debut as "Naomi" in "Elisa Ben Avia", in which she appeared for a year before returning to New York. Stella then spent the next 10 years treading the boards in vaudeville and Yiddish language theaters throughout North and South America and Europe. In all, she appeared in 100 plays.
Adler was widely acclaimed in the Yiddish theater, but she wanted to break out of that theatrical ghetto and play a wider variety of roles on the legitimate stage and in Hollywood. What was constant in Adler's 83-year-long career was her intense dedication to broadening the level of artistry in the theater.
She made her Broadway debut as a replacement in Carl Kapek's "The World We Live In". (Her official debut as a member of the original company was in "The Straw Hat" on Oct 14, 1926). After its run played out, she joined the acting school run by Richard Boleslawski and Maria Ouspenskaya, the American Laboratory. Both Boleslavsky and Maria Ouspenskaya were former members of the famous Moscow Art Theatre.
While married to Horace Eleaschreff, Adler met Harold Clurman, who would become her second husband and one of the co-founders of The Group Theatre, in 1924 (They would marry 19 years later). In this period, she met another future Group Theatre co-founder, Lee Strasberg, at the Actor's Laboratory when she participated in classes there in 1928. Along with Cheryl Crawford, Clurman and Strasberg founded the Group Theatre in 1931. It became arguably the most influential theater group in 20th century America, at least in terms of its influence on acting by introducing the teaching of Konstantin Stanislavski's System to the American stage. Its aim was the championing of realism and it is credited with bringing naturalism into the American theater. Clurman and Strasberg invited Adler to become a founding member of the Group Theatre. The Utopian political ideals that were central to the idea of the Group Theatre did not appeal to Adler, nor did the cooperative focus of the company, but she did join after being promised leading roles and because she supported Clurman's vision of the theater as an art form. It was with the Group Theatre that Stella played some of her more acclaimed roles, including "Sarah Glassman" in "Success Story", "Bessie Berger" in "Awake and Sing" and "Clara" in "Paradise Lost".
In 1934, she took a leave of absence from the Group Theatre and traveled to Russia to study for five weeks in Moscow Art Theatre, and in private sessions with the great man himself, Konstantin Stanislavski, whose motto was "Think of your own experiences and use them truthfully." Adler was among few American actors, such as Michael Chekhov and Richard Boleslawski to study privately with Stanislavsky. In August 1934, she returned from Russia, and made a presentation of what she learned from Stanislavski, then she began teaching acting classes to members of The Group Theatre troupe, including the actors Elia Kazan, Sanford Meisner and Robert Lewis. Meisner and Lewis would go on to be the most influential acting teachers in America after Adler herself and Strasberg. Kazan, who would go on to become the greatest theatrical director in 20th century American theater, also had a huge impact on American acting by championing what became known in the vernacular as "The Method", which was closely related to Adler's teaching. Kazan's exposure to Konstantin Stanislavski's System via Adler was highly influential in his work.
Stella Adler, being the most experienced of the Group Theatre actors, had not accepted Lee Strasberg's idiosyncratic version of Stanislavski's System, which Strasberg interpreted as "method" and shifted its goals to memory exercises. "The (memory) emphasis was the sick one" in Strasberg's "method", said Stella Adler, as it made acting under Strasberg increasingly painful for her. Feeling uncomfortable with the Group Theatre members, many of whom were also Communist Party members, Adler left the company in 1937 to conquer Hollywood. According to her later student and friend, Marlon Brando, she had a bad nose job to camouflage her looks, so hell-bent was she on conquering the movies as she had the stage. She was not to succeed.Adler spent six years as an associate producer at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, at which she acted in movies under the name "Stella Ardler."
She did not achieve the quality of roles or the acclaim that she had in the theater, and she eventually returned to the stage in the early 1940s, acting and directing on Broadway and in London. Adler also began to teach at German émigré Erwin Piscator's acting workshop at the New School for Social Research, where she mentored the young Marlon Brando. She married Clurman in 1943. At its core, the theatrical experience is rooted in the willing suspension of disbelief, with an audience willingly ignoring the fact that it is watching a synthetic entertainment in a highly unrealistic venue. Such is the power of good theater to draw the audience into the world created upon the stage that this suspension of disbelief not only occurs, but that it, as an art form, provides an immediacy that other more "realistic" forms such as movies or television cannot provide. Adler believed that "the theater exists 99% in the imagination" and it was this belief that was the foundation of her philosophy and instruction.
Drawing on Stanislavski's System, Adler made it the bedrock of her technique that an actor's primary concern was with the emotional origins of the script. An actor (and acting student) must search between the lines of the script for the playwright's important, but unspoken, messages. To tap into this vein and bring forth the real meaning in a character, an actor needed both imagination and the ability to open oneself up emotionally. Essentially, Adler's method emphasized that authenticity in acting is achieved by drawing on inner reality to expose deep emotional experience. Konstantin Stanislavski taught her that "the source of acting is imagination and the key to its problems is truth, truth in the circumstances of the play."
It was a fortuitous occasion when Brando enrolled in Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at New York's New School and came into Stella Adler's orbit. The results of this meeting between an actor and the teacher preparing him for a life in the theater would mark a watershed in American acting and culture as it was through Brando that "The Method" was introduced into the American theater and movies. It would dominate American acting for more than half-a-century and is still the dominant paradigm now, over sixty years since Adler tutored Brando.
"The Method" as taught by Adler and other Group Theater alumni was a more naturalistic style of performing, as it engendered a close identification of the actor with the character's emotions. The extraordinarily sensitive and intelligent Brando was the ideal student due to the prodigious talent he could yoke to the harness of technique that was "The Method". Adler took pride of place among Brando's acting teachers, and socially she helped turn him from a fairly ignorant Midwestern farm boy into a knowledgeable and cosmopolitan artist who one day would socialize with presidents.
Aside from acting, Adler directed two plays on Broadway, "Manhattan Nocturne" during the 1943-44 season, and "Sunday Breakfast" in 1952. Her last appearance as an actress on the Broadway stage was in the revival of "He Who Gets Slapped" in 1946.
Stella Adler left the faculty of the New School in 1949 to establish her own acting school, the Stella Adler Theatre Studio (which would be renamed the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting before taking its final name, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting). She developed a curriculum from her wide knowledge and experience, combining her understanding of Konstantin Stanislavski's System with the techniques and traditions of the Yiddish theater, The Group Theatre, Broadway and Hollywood. In addition to acting technique, the school offered workshops in play analysis, character, and scene preparation; the students gleaned on-stage experience by performing scenes and plays before invited audiences. Among the alumni of her school were Marlon Brando (chairman of the board of the school until his death), Warren Beatty (who has taken over the position), Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
Adler taught script analysis at Yale for a year and half. Courses for advanced students and professionals were added to the curriculum of her own school, including rehearsal technique and script analysis. Due to her reputation and connections, the school was able to attract distinguished lecturers, including Sir John Gielgud and Arthur Laurents.
Stella Adler was a major inspiration to her students. Her mantra was, "You act with your soul. That's why you all want to be actors - because your souls are not used up by life". Adler is still, more than a decade after her death, viewed as one of the foremost influences on contemporary acting.
Adler divorced Clurman in 1960, after 17 years of marriage. Subsequently, she married Mitchell Wilson, whom she remained married to until his death in 1973. She did not remarry.
Stella Adler died on December 21, 1992 in Los Angeles, California. She was 91 years old.
Ryan Kavanaugh is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Relativity, a next-generation studio. The company is engaged in multiple aspects of entertainment, including film and television financing, production and distribution; music publishing; sports management and digital media. Kavanaugh is a highly successful producer and global expert in film finance. Under his leadership, Relativity has produced, distributed or structured financing for more than 200 motion pictures generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box-office revenue and earning 60 Oscar® nominations.
Among the newest Relativity films Kavanaugh has produced or executive produced are McG's Three Days to Kill, starring Kevin Costner; Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace, with Christian Bale and Zoe Saldana; and Luc Besson's The Family, starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones.
Previous Relativity productions include Safe Haven, directed by Lasse Hallström; Mirror Mirror, starring Julia Roberts; Immortals, which grossed more than $225 million worldwide; Neil Burger's thriller Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper; David O. Russell's The Fighter, which earned seven Oscar nominations and won two; and David Fincher's The Social Network (executive producer), which received eight Oscar nominations.
Kavanaugh began his entertainment industry career as the architect of innovative slate-financing arrangements for a number of major studios. He crafted feature-film funding structures for Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and others, introducing more than $10 billion in capital to the sector. Relativity evolved from a finance and production company into a full-fledged movie studio after Kavanaugh led its acquisition of Overture Films' marketing and distribution operations in 2010. He further strengthened the studio's distribution network by negotiating a first-of-its-kind television deal with Netflix, forging a strategic partnership with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Mobile and Virgin Produced and overseeing the studio's aggressive expansion into China.
Kavanaugh's work has garnered numerous accolades. In 2011 he was named Variety's Showman of the Year. The Hollywood Reporter honored him with its 2010 Leadership Award and he was honored with the 2009 Hollywood Producer of the Year Award at the 13th Annual Hollywood Awards Gala. In a special issue dedicated to him, Variety recognized Kavanaugh as a "Billion Dollar Producer."
A devoted philanthropist, Kavanaugh serves as chairman of the board for The Art of Elysium, an organization that encourages artists to donate their time and talents to children battling serious medical conditions. He is a recipient of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors' Hollywood Humanitarian Award and the Anti-Defamation League's 2011 Entertainment Industry Award. In recognition of his dedication to helping inner-city youth, he was presented with the Sheriff's Youth Foundation Community Champion Award.
Born in Atlanta, Virginia Dabney studied dance at the Potter-Spiker school, and during her sophomore year at Washington Seminary she moved to Beverly Hills. After attending Westlake School for Girls, she began as a ballroom dancer in orchestral shows, before attracting the attention of scouts while playing in two musical comedies at the Mayan Theater in Los Angles. Although she never desired an acting career, and only sought a way to support herself and her mother during the Depression, by 1932 she was working in movies from Scarface To Forty-Second Street.
Beginning in mid-1933, Virginia was placed under contract as a "stock-girl" at Warner Bros. for two years, earning $50 a week, $1700 a year, and with a contract specifying she could not add or subtract more than five pounds from her 5'4", 118 pound frame. During this time Virginia worked on a number of the musicals of Busby Berkeley, including Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Fashions of 1934, Dames, Gold Diggers of 1935, and In Caliente; he considered her an ideal model and dancer. Virginia was also the poster girl for Dames and Gold Diggers of 1935. Virginia was also a favorite of dance director Bobby Connolly, and even after leaving Warner Bros., she was asked to return for Gold Diggers of 1937 And The King and the Chorus Girl.
By the beginning of 1935, Warners had singled Virginia, who also sang, for development into a feature player, one of twelve Berkeley girls so chosen. Seeking to lose her accent and improve her elocution, she took speech lessons with Josephine Dillon, former wife of Clark Gable. Virginia graduated to small roles, sometimes as a featured performer, freelancing for a variety of companies, large and small, in pictures of all genres, playing opposite stars from William Powell to Buck Jones to Barbara Stanwyck, Betty Grable, Alice Faye, Anna May Wong, and Laurel and Hardy. By then she was earning $125a week; during 1936 she made $2434, including $463 at Paramount, $1081 at Warners, $789 from Central Casting, and about $100 from independent studios; in 1937, she made $2041.
The local newspapers in Atlanta gave the career of the homesick home-town girl considerable publicity. Virginia's older sister Marion, after appearing in the Greenwich Village Follies in New York in 1924-35, and a number of other plays, abandoned dancing by 1934 to return to Atlanta for a career in radio, then came to Los Angeles to work in the costume department of Selznick Pictures on Gone With The Wind.
In April of 1937, Virginia was cast in the hillbilly comedy Mountain Music. She became reacquainted with director Robert Florey, whom she had met briefly several years earlier while playing bit parts in some of his Warner Bros. pictures, Smarty, The Pay-Off, and The Woman In Red. While directing one scene of Mountain Music, Florey was daydreaming of Virginia, and forgot to yell cut, leaving a crowd of men running into the distance. Both he and Virginia had recently been divorced, and neither was looking for romance, but within less than three months friendship had turned into love. Virginia appeared in an increasing number of Florey's films, and two of the pictures he directed with Virginia starred Gail Patrick, who complained to the front office that Miss Dabney was receiving better camera angles than she was.
At the end of 1939, Virginia was making $250 weekly, but left the screen when she and Florey were married in Palm Springs. Their love proved enduring, with the two devoted to one another for the next forty years, and she died in the home he had helped design and build for them at the time of their marriage.
During Bob and Virginia's romance, she studied his native French language and soon became fluent, allowing her in the 1940s to assist her husband in entertaining French filmmakers and help refugees settle in Hollywood and find work in the studios. Her care helped him to maintain strenuous shooting schedules, particularly during the television years, and during his retirement as his health declined.
After the end of World War II, Virginia demonstrated her artistry in another way by taking up painting, and winning a number of awards; her paintings were also utilized as decor in some of her husband's movies, such as The Crooked Way and Johnny One-Eye. In 1950, while with Florey, who was directing Adventures of Captain Fabian in France, she received the decoration of the Order of Reconnaissance Francaise and the medal of Education Artistique. Her "Diary of an American Girl in France," a photo essay using Florey's snapshots of her, and tied in with the celebration of Paris's 2000th birthday, appeared in seven American magazines with a circulation of 8 million. In the 1950s Virginia joined in the University Religious Conference at UCLA, and was chairman of the board of the Women's Associates, and by the 1960s she was active at All Saints Epicopal Church, chairing various activities and serving as President of the Women of the church.
In the 21 years after Florey's death, Virginia was able to enjoy the revival of interest in his films and books. She granted full access to Brian Taves for his biography of Florey, and she was happy when both that book and Florey's last volume on Hollywood history happened to be published simultaneously in 1987. She was most thrilled in the early 1990s when Cinecon screened Florey's version of The Desert Song, and she was introduced as the director's widow--but many in the audience also remembered her as actress Virginia Dabney from her 1930s pictures.
Everyone who knew Virginia was impressed with not only her personal kindness but also her gracious manner and southern charm. Yet somehow her blond hair and soft accent had been interpreted by Hollywood casting directors as perfect for a nonchalant gangster's moll. Perhaps her largest and most typical role was at Paramount in 1938, playing her characteristic persona opposite J. Carroll Naish's mobster in King of Alcatraz, with future husbands Robert Florey directing and Lloyd Nolan costarring. Virginia's favorite story, at her own expense, was having to ask the meaning of the slang "Dummy up," which was one of her lines in her last picture, a 1939 Paramount production in which she was cast as the tough inmate of a woman's prison, Women Without Names.
After being widowed, Virginia married Lloyd Nolan, with whom she had appeared in King of Alcatraz, Prison Farm, and The Magnificent Fraud, but he died from cancer after a short three years. Subseqently, Virginia enjoyed seeing many of her early pictures again on the Turner Classic Movies cable channel, and her beauty has been recognized by others at TCM, who have frequently chosen her visage in new advertisements and documentaries utilizing old movie clips.
|Roy Edward Disney
Roy Edward Disney began working for the Walt Disney Company as an assistant film editor on the True-Life Adventure film in 1954. In 1967, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the company. In 1984, he returned to the company as vice chairman of the board, and head of the animation department. On October 16, 1998, in a surprise presentation made at the newly unveiled Disney Legends Plaza at the company's headquarters, Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner presented him with the prestigious Disney Legends Award.
Peter Guber, Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group, has been a force in the entertainment industry for over thirty years. He has leveraged his creativity and business acumen into record-breaking profits and critical acclaim, establishing him as one of the most successful executives in the entertainment and communications industries. Films he personally produced or executive produced, including Rain Man, Batman, The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Gorillas in the Mist, The Witches of Eastwick, Missing and Flashdance, have resonated with audiences all over the world, earning over three billion dollars worldwide and garnering more than 50 Academy Award nominations.
Guber joined Columbia pictures in 1968 and, within three years, became Studio Chief. During his tenure at the creative helm, Columbia surged to record breaking profits on the strength of such box office hits as Shampoo, Taxi Driver, Tommy, The Way We Were and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
In 1976, following his entrepreneur instincts, Guber founded Casablanca Record and Filmworks. Its record operation included such superstars as KISS, Donna Summer and The Village People. It also included some of the most successful soundtracks of all time including Flashdance, which sold more than 14 million albums. In 1979, Guber formed PolyGram Entertainment where he was Chairman of the Board and CEO. He sold his interest in Polygram in 1983 and formed and served as Co-Owner of the Guber-Peters Entertainment Company (GPEC) which established a major presence in motion pictures, television and music including producing the music and official soundtrack for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Within five years, GPEC became a public company and, in 1989, was acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
In 1989, Guber reached a personal milestone when he was named Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). Under his visionary leadership, the company re-framed its entire Loews exhibition circuit, introducing Sony's SDDS sound system, introduced the concept of IMAX theater and films integrated into multi-plex theaters and transformed the Sony lot into a state of the art digital production facility. SPE's motion picture business earned an industry best domestic box office market share averaging 17% over four years, propelled by an enormous string of successes including A Few Good Men, Philadelphia, Basic Instinct, A League of Their Own and Sleepless in Seattle, among many others. During this same period, Sony Pictures led all competitors with a remarkable total of 120 Academy Award Nominations, the highest four year total ever for a single company.
After leaving Sony in 1995, Guber formed Mandalay Entertainment Group as a multimedia entertainment vehicle in motion pictures, television, sports entertainment and new media. Mandalay Pictures is a pre-eminent motion picture company that finances, produces and distributes motion pictures for the global marketplace. It's box office hits include I Know What You Did Last Summer, Seven Years in Tibet, Sleepy Hollow, Enemy at the Gates, The Score, Into the Blue, Darfur Now and Never Back Down, among many others. Mandalay Series Television has enjoyed great success with Cupid, Mercy Point, Rude Awakening, Oh, Baby, and the critically acclaimed television series, Brotherhood, winner of The George Foster Peabody Award. Mandalay Television has produced eight original Movies of the Week for Lifetime Television, based on the books of the world renowned and best-selling author, Nora Roberts. The Nora Roberts franchise has been a worldwide ratings success for the cable network.
Following his location based entertainment leadership experience with Loews, Guber expanded Mandalay into a national entertainment sports provider with Mandalay Sports Entertainment. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mandalay Baseball Properties (MBP), a subsidiary of Mandalay Sports Entertainment which includes professional baseball franchises, sports marketing, stadium development, ownership, management and consulting. The seven sports franchises that MBP owns, operates and/or consults with are Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A affiliates of the New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox.
Guber is Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mandalay Media, a publicly traded company on the OTC. Mandalay Media is at the forefront of new media with online ventures and innovative mobile and interactive offerings. In February 2008, Mandalay Media acquired Twistbox Entertainment, Inc., a global producer and publisher of mobile content. In October 2008, Mandalay Media acquired AMV Holding Limited, a leading European mobile entertainment and marketing company delivering games and lifestyle content and services directly to consumers.
In late 2006, Guber became a significant investor in and now serves on the Advisory Board for Betawave Corporation, a leading entertainment and media company focused on brand immersion experiences that reach consumers in a deeply engaged state of mind. The Betawave portfolio of publishers has a unique monthly audience of 32.9 million users domestically and 69 million worldwide and is a major media opportunity among "Big 3" for youth marketing. Betawave recently surpassed Disney Online and Nickelodeon to become the number one online U.S. youth opportunity.
In 2009, Guber co-founded GeekChicDaily with Wizard Entertainment's Gareb Shamus and digital entertainment entrepreneur, Peter Levin. GeekChicDaily, is a free opt-in daily email newsletter and website designed as a one-stop resource for relevant and discerning content for video games, technology and applications, comics, collectibles, gear and TV and film. Leveraging Shamus' Wizard Entertainment platform, GeekChicDaily is entering the market with a loyal base of followers.
Throughout Guber's career, he has never strayed from his passion to teach and mentor the future entertainment and business leaders. He is a full professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and has been a member of the faculty for over 30 years. He is also a member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as the winner of UCLA's prestigious Service Award for his accomplishments and association with the school. Guber has turned this legacy and experience in front of the camera where he has been seen every Sunday morning for the last 6 years on American Movie Classics (AMC) cable network, as co-host of the critically acclaimed national TV show, Shootout, featuring the major stars and entrepreneurs of the entertainment industry. AMC moved Guber's talents to prime time with a series of one hour specials in 2009 called StoryMakers. He can be seen as co-host of In the House, a weekly, half-hour news and interview show focused on industry trends in pop culture, providing a platform for major stars, key filmmakers and other creative and business leaders to comment on their industry. The show, the first original series to air on Encore, has a two season commitment. He can also be seen on the NBC-owned Los Angeles outlet KNBC, as co-host of Show Business with Bart and Guber. This weekly show features discussion and analysis specifically designed for Los Angeles' showbiz community and offers a fresh perspective on the inner workings of the entertainment industry.
Peter Guber is a noted author with works including "Inside The Deep" and the L.A. Times best-seller "Shootout: Surviving Fame and (Mis)Fortune in Hollywood." In December 2007, Guber wrote the cover article for the Harvard Business Review titled "The Four Truths of the Storyteller". Guber has also authored op-ed pieces for the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.
A passionate, humorous, and tireless motivator, Peter Guber is a sought after speaker at numerous global events. Tapped for his wisdom and expertise, he is a regular entertainment and media analyst for Fox Business News. He has also recently appeared on NBC's Today Show, CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, MSNBC's Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann, Fox News's Your World w/ Neil Cavuto, Chris Matthews' Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNBC's The Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo, CNN's Paula Zahn Now, CNBC's "Power Lunch", 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas and "Fox Business News" with David Asman.
Sal was born in Franklin, Kentucky and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the oldest of seven siblings with one brother and five sisters.
Sal loves to sail and would like to live aboard a sailboat. He loves to travel and act. He has very diverse interests and is a "renaissance man". Sal has worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, in environmental health, as a Navy hospital Corpsman and later got into Information Technology fields. He has worked as an autopsy assistant, a security guard and managed bars. He has also held corporate management and board positions.
He's an avid fan of Sci-Fi and Horror movies and served a three-year term as the president and chairman of the board for Starfleet, the International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc. He continues as an actor, a stand-up comic, works as a professional real-bearded Santa and has recently formed a production company, LZP Films, Inc.
Matty Simmons, born in Brooklyn, was a high school and college basketball player, who, at the age of seventeen, became a newspaper reporter for the "New York World Telegram and Sun". After a brief stint in the army he became a New York press agent, opening his own firm and representing show business clients as well as commercial accounts such as Heinekein Beer. He then became one of the three men who started "The Diners Club", the first all purpose credit card company and served as Executive Vice President of that company primarily directing its marketing and publishing operations including "Signature Magazine", which he founded shortly after the company's inception. He resigned in the late 1960s to form 21st Century Communications which was later to become National Lampoon, Inc. The company went public in 1972 with Mr. Simmons as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Its first magazine was "Weight Watchers Magazine", founded in 1968. In 1970, the company introduced "National Lampoon" which was to become the most popular humor magazine in publishing history. In 1972, Mr. Simmons produced the musical comedy "Lemmings" in which he introduced a number of new faces including John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest. Over the next years, Mr. Simmons produced three other Lampoon shows: The National Lampoon Show, That's Not Funny, That's Sick, and The Class Of '86. During that period, he also produced the "National Lampoon Radio Hour," which was the most popular radio show in America in 1973 and 1974, and 12 comedy albums. In 1978 he produced, Animal House, considered the most popular movie comedy of all time. He has also produced, among other films the National Lampoon "Vacation" series, the most popular family movie series (box office) of all time. In 1979, he was named "Producer of the Year" and in 1980, "Publisher of the Year" by industry organizations. His film and television discoveries include 'Michele Pfeiffer', Tom Hulce and Kevin Bacon. His film "Animal House" won the 1978 People's Choice Award. Over the years, Mr. Simmons has written eight books including several best-sellers and in the 1960s was the principal owner of the San Francisco Warriors, later to become the Golden State Warriors. His most recent books, "If You Don't Buy This Book, We'll Kill This Dog", and "The Credit Card Catastophe" were published in 1995 and 1996. In March of 1989, he sold his controlling interest in the National Lampoon, Inc., and now lives in Los Angeles and continues to write and produce movies and television.
Magarditch Halvadjian has more than 15 years of experience in the creation, production and direction of full feature movies, music and commercial videos, and TV shows. He is co-founder and manager of Global Films, co-founder of Global Vision and Global Rent, as he is actively involved in the management of the companies. He has won many awards from various movie and media festivals. Also he is Chairman of the Board the Bulgarian Association of TV Producers. A member of CEPI. He has a B.A. in Movie direction from New Bulgarian University, Sofia.
Cernan was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 14, 1934, son of a Slovak father and a Czech mother. He graduated from Proviso Township High School in Maywood, Illinois. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1956 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He also earned an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Western State University College of Law in 1969, an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Purdue University in 1970, and other honors from other universities.
Cernan, a United States Navy Captain, received his commission through the Navy ROTC Program at Purdue. He entered flight training upon graduation. He was assigned to Attack Squadrons 26 and 112 at the Miramar, California, Naval Air Station, and later attended the Naval Postgraduate School.
Captain Cernan was one of fourteen astronauts selected by NASA in October, 1963.
He occupied the pilot seat alongside of command pilot Tom Stafford on the Gemini IX mission. During this three-day flight which began on June 3, 1966, the spacecraft achieved a circular orbit of 161 statute miles; the crew used three different techniques to effect rendezvous with the previously launched Augmented Target Docking Adapter. Cernan logged two hours and ten minutes outside the spacecraft in extravehicular activities. The flight ended after 72 hours and 20 minutes with a perfect re-entry and recovery -- Gemini IX landed within a mile and a half of the prime recovery ship USS WASP, and only three-eighths of a mile from the predetermined target!
Cernan subsequently served as backup pilot for Gemini 12 and as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 7.
On his second space flight, he was lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, May 18-26, 1969, the first comprehensive lunar-orbital qualification and verification flight test of an Apollo lunar module. He was accompanied on the 248,000-nautical-mile trip to the Moon by Thomas P. Stafford (spacecraft commander) and John W. Young (commander module pilot). In accomplishing all of the assigned objectives of this mission, Apollo 10 confirmed the operations performance, stability, and reliability of the command/service module and lunar module configuration during trans-lunar coast, lunar orbit insertion, and lunar module separation and descent to within 8 nautical miles of the lunar surface. The latter maneuver involved employing all but the final minutes of the technique prescribed for use in an actual lunar landing, and allowed critical evaluations of the lunar module propulsions systems and rendezvous of the landing radar devices in subsequent rendezvous and re-docking maneuvers. So close and yet so far!
In addition to demonstrating that humans could navigate safely and accurately in the Moon's gravitational fields, Apollo 10 photographed and mapped tentative landing sites for future missions.
After getting back from Apollo 10, Cernan took a gamble. He turned down the assignment as backup crew of Apollo 13, knowing that from there, he would probably rotate to Apollo 16, giving him a "potential" opportunity to walk on the Moon. He took that risk because he hoped he would get a chance to command his own crew, instead of again taking the role of lunar module pilot. Not only was he lucky to skip the ill-fated Apollo 13, his gamble worked.
Cernan's next assignment was backup spacecraft commander for Apollo 14, and he made his third space flight as spacecraft Commander of Apollo 17--the last manned mission to the Moon for the United States--on December 6, 1972, with the first manned nighttime launch; they returned home on December 19.
With him on the voyage of the command module "America" and the lunar module "Challenger" were Ronald Evans (command module pilot) and Harrison H. (Jack) Schmitt (lunar module pilot. In maneuvering "Challenger" to a landing at Taurus-Littrow, located on the southeast edge of Mare Serenitatis, Cernan and Schmitt activated a base of operations from which they completed three highly successful excursions to the nearby craters and the Taurus mountains, making the Moon their home for over three days.
This last mission to the Moon established several new records for manned space flight that include: longest manned lunar landing flight (301 hours 51 minutes); longest lunar surface extravehicular activities (22 hours 6 minutes); largest lunar sample return (an estimated 115 kg (249 lbs.) of space rocks and soil); and longest time in lunar orbit (147 hours 48 minutes). While Cernan and Schmitt conducted activities on the lunar surface, Evans remained in lunar orbit aboard the "America" completing other assigned work tasks. Apollo 17 ended with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
Cernan left his daughter's initials on the lunar surface (TDC, for Teresa Dawn Cernan, who was born March 4, 1963).
Captain Cernan logged 566 hours and 15 minutes in space--of which more than 73 hours were spent on the surface of the Moon.
In September, 1973, Cernan assumed additional duties as Special Assistant to the Program Manager of the Apollo spacecraft Program at the Johnson Space Center. In this capacity, he assisted in the planning, development, and evaluation of the joint United States/Soviet Union Apollo-Soyuz mission, and he acted for the program manager as the senior United States negotiator in direct discussions with the USSR on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
On July 1, 1976, Captain Cernan retired after over 20 years with the U.S. Navy. At the same time, he terminated his formal association with NASA.
Cernan joined Coral Petroleum, Inc., of Houston, Texas, as Executive Vice President-International. His responsibilities were to enhance Coral's energy related programs on a worldwide basis
In September 1981, Captain Cernan started his own company, The Cernan Corporation, to pursue management and consultant interests in the energy, aerospace, and other related industries. Additionally he was involved as a co-anchorman on ABC-TV's presentations of the flight of the shuttle.
Cernan became Chairman of the Board of Johnson Engineering Corporation. Johnson Engineering provides NASA with Flight Crew Systems Development and has supported NASA in the design of crew stations for Space Shuttle, Spacelab, Space Station, Lunar Base and Mars Outpost, as well as the Weightless Environment Training Facility.
He was married to Barbara Jean Atchley from 1961-1981; their daughter, Teresa Dawn, was nicknamed Tracy. His second marriage was to Jan Nanna Cernan (of Jan Nanna Cernan Designs Inc. in Houston, Texas); they had two daughters, Kelly and Danielle. His hobbies included love for horses and all competitive sports activities, including hunting, fishing and flying.
Among his numerous honors, the most significant are the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the FAI International Gold Medal for Space, induction into the U.S. Space Hall of Fame, enshrinement into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Naval Aviations Hall of Honor and the International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Cernan was awarded NASAs first Ambassador of Exploration Award, the Federal Aviation Administrations prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, and the 2007 Lindbergh Spirit Award (presented only every five years). In December, 2007, The National Aeronautic Association presented Cernan with one of the most prestigious aviation trophies in the world, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, in Washington, DC. Cernan received the 2008 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Gold Air Medal, one of the most important international awards, in 2008.
Cernan wrote (with New York Times bestselling author Don Davis) the book "The Last Man on the Moon: Astronaut Eugene Cernan and America's Race in Space" (1999, ISBN 0312199066).
A prolific producer and 20-year movie industry veteran, Jack Giarraputo has produced movies at Disney, Paramount, Sony, Fox and Warner Brothers that have grossed over $3.5 billion in worldwide box office. Along with partner Adam Sandler, he has built Happy Madison into a consistently successful brand, with an amazing streak of had an amazing streak of 14 different movies that have surpassed the $100 million mark. The films include Grownups 1 &2, Mall Cop and The Longest Yard amongst others. The brand identity has been successfully transitioned to the small screen. Happy Madison TV has one hit in the bank, with 7 seasons and 100 episodes of "Rules of Engagement", and one hit on the horizon, with the upcoming ABC comedy series "The Goldbergs". And his success goes far beyond Hollywood. In the sports industry, he is Chairman of The Board for Fuel Sports Management, the largest motor sports talent representation firm in the United States. Clients include top NASCAR drivers, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth. He also has ownership interests in premier talent management firms in the NFL, MLS and the English Premier League. In the world of venture capital, he is an avid entrepreneur, with numerous private equity investments through his firm Sweet Water Capital, which he runs with partner Keith Lehman. They focus on early stage companies where Jack can use his background and relationships to strategically add value His philanthropic endeavors include contributions and collaborations with Paralyzed Veterans of America, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Make a Wish Foundation and Wounded Warriors, among others. Jack has a Bachelor of Arts from NYU's Stern School of Business and a Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law. He lives in Malibu, California with his wife, Michelle, and his two sons, Duke and Ace.
Tommy Tallarico is a veritable video game industry icon. As one of the most successful video game composers in history, he has helped revolutionize the gaming world, creating unique audio landscapes that enhance the video gaming experience. He is considered the person most instrumental in changing the game industry from bleeps & bloops to real music now appreciated worldwide by millions of fans. As a well-recognized on-air television personality, Tommy brings his in-depth knowledge, years of experience, and love of cutting edge multimedia and video games to the masses. Tommy has worked in the gaming industry as a designer, product manager, producer, writer, games tester and heads of both music and video departments.
An accomplished musician, Tallarico has been writing music for video games for more than 17 years. He has won over 35 industry awards and has worked on more than 275 game titles; to date, they total sales of more than 100 million units and over four billion dollars in revenue. No one in the history of the video game industry has ever worked on more titles and projects. In 1994, he founded Tommy Tallarico Studios, the multimedia industry's largest audio production house. In video games, television, film, radio, soundtracks, toys and even on floats in the New Years Day Rose Parade in Pasadena CA, Tallarico's music has been heard by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Tommy is a cousin of rock star legend Steven Tyler (nee Tallarico) and in 2002 Tallarico's music was used as the opening song for Aerosmith's "Girls of Summer" world tour. His top titles include Earthworm Jim, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Disney's Aladdin, Spider-Man and Metroid Prime as well as top selling popular game franchises such as Madden Football, Blitz Football, Unreal, Pac-Man, Knockout Kings, Mortal Kombat, Test Drive, Scooby Doo, WWE, Lineage, Twisted Metal & Time Crisis. His score for Advent Rising has been noted as "one of the greatest musical scores of all time" by websites such as Yahoo, Gamespot and others.
Tallarico has been featured on numerous national and international television shows, appearing repeatedly on CNN, FOX and MTV. Currently, Tommy hosts, writes and co-produces the top rated and very popular Reviews on the Run/Judgment Day television show as well as the longest running award-winning video game television show, The Electric Playground (www.elecplay.com), which has been on the air since 1997. The show is syndicated worldwide and airs daily in prime-time. The Electric Playground won the 2001 Telly Award for "Best Entertainment Cable Program". In 2006, Tommy also started hosting the Championship Gaming Series for DirecTV.
In 2002, Tallarico teamed up with fellow video game composer Jack Wall to form Mystical Stone Entertainment, the front runner in the field of live game music performance. Together they created the critically acclaimed Video Games Live (www.videogameslive.com), an immersive, audio and video concert experience celebrating video games. Video Games Live features music from the best video games performed by top orchestras and choirs around the world combined with synchronized video footage, lasers, lights, special effects, interactivity and live action to create an explosive and unique one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. The debut performance was launched on July 6th, 2005 at the world famous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles with the LA Philharmonic. Over 11,000 people attended making it the biggest video game concert in the world. Most of the game music played (Halo, Sonic, Metal Gear Solid, Mario, Zelda, Warcraft, Tomb Raider, Myst, Kingdom Hearts, Tron, Medal of Honor, Advent Rising, etc.) had never been performed live. On October 30, 2005 they broke new ground once again by putting on the very first video game concert in Canada (Vancouver). They followed with groundbreaking first ever game concert performances in countries such as Brazil, New Zealand, Spain and England. Video Games Live was also the very first American video game concert to perform in Asia (Korea). In 2007 they were recipients of a major industry award in Brazil for "Special Breakthrough Achievement" following their performances in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo the year before. Sponsored and endorsed by some of the top corporations in the world, the Video Games Live concert event is currently touring the world.
Tallarico was the first musician to release a video game soundtrack worldwide (Tommy Tallarico's Greatest Hits Vol. 1 - Capitol Records). He has released seven video game soundtrack albums since, including the highly acclaimed James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies, MDK and award-winning Advent Rising and Earthworm Jim Anthology. Tommy was the first person to ever use live guitar and 3-D audio in a video game (The Terminator), and was instrumental in bringing true digital interactive 5.1 surround to the gaming world. He has written, produced, performed and recorded with a wide range of talented musicians including the LA Philharmonic, Hollywood Studio Symphony, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra, the English National Ballet, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Chamber Choir, the band "Fear Factory", composer/DJ/artist BT and guitarists Dweezil Zappa and Steve Vai. He continues to work with a plethora of GRAMMY and Academy Award winning producers and engineers. He has performed on the biggest and most prestigious stages in the world including London's Hammersmith Apollo, the Olympic Park Stadium in Korea, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and multiple shows at the Hollywood Bowl attended by tens of thousands of fans. In 2004 he performed the grand finale music act on national and worldwide television (E! Entertainment, G4TV) with BT & Mobius 8 for the G-Phoria awards show.
Tommy is the founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), which is a non-profit organization educating and heightening the awareness of audio for the interactive world (www.audiogang.org). With over 1,200 members representing over 30 countries since its inception in 2002, G.A.N.G. has quickly become known as one of the strongest and best examples of helping the game industry community. Each year during the Game Developers Conference Tommy produces the annual G.A.N.G. awards revered by many as one of the best award shows in the industry. Tommy is an Advisory Board member for the Game Developers Conference, a Governor for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS/Grammys), a spokesperson for the Entertainment Consumers Association, a proud member of the International Game Developers Association and a nominating peer panel leader for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. From 1991 to 1994, he headed Virgin Interactive's music and video division, and executive produced numerous video game "green screen shoots" for films including "Demolition Man" with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes.
Tallarico has appeared in a myriad of magazines and newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Billboard, the Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Daily Variety and the Chicago Tribune. In 1999, he helped secure official recognition of video game music by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and the Grammys. Also in 1999 he co-designed the award-winning boxing game "Knockout Kings" for the Nintendo 64 with Electronic Arts which went on to win the "Best Console Sports Product of 1999" by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
Tommy has consulted for Fortune 500 companies such as Intel, Sony, AMD, Microsoft and Apple as well as audio companies including DTS, Dolby, Roland, THX and Creative Labs. He has given lectures and speeches all over the world on audio and video games which include his keynote at the 1999 Game Developers Conference, and MILIA 2000 (the multimedia conference in Cannes, France). He also teaches courses and has been the guest speaker at many schools, organizations & universities such as Yale, UCLA, USC & Full Sail.
Tommy is involved in many community, non-profit, scholastic and charitable organizations which include the Hollywood Arts and GRAMMY In The Schools. In 2007, Tommy's many charitable works were recognized by the Hollywood Arts organization when they chose him as the first honoree and recipient for their now annual Dream Awards. The IDG video game industry white paper mentions Tommy (along with Bill Gates) as one of the people who contributed the most to the advancement and growth of the industry in 2003.
Shaune Bagwell was born to an English professor and the Chairman of the Board of a conveyor belt manufacturing company in Houston, Texas. A ballerina and former Miss San Jacinto, she was drawn to the performing arts at a very young age. Spotted at school at the age of twelve by a local modeling agent who persuaded her parents to let her audition for a television commercial, she booked the commercial and, then a short time later, landed a small role in Paul Sorvino's comedy, Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter. With a genius level IQ, Shaune also has a natural love of science and medicine. Her studies of bacteriology and her theory of the New Ice Age earned her top accolades at several engineering science fairs, and she seriously considered a career in medicine. Scoring in the top one percent of her class on college entrance exams, she postponed formal education to pursue a career in modeling. Having traveled the world as a model, Shaune settled in Los Angeles to chase her dream of acting. After winning a role on the popular soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and several films, she landed an up and coming series for the Women's Entertainment Network, "Single in the City", that was viewed worldwide in the spring of 2003.
Always fond of the fashion industry and a fan of the designer's works, Shaune has appeared regularly in many magazines such as People, InStyle, US Weekly, Women's Wear Daily, and has been seen on the E! Channel. Even though she loves every aspect of the world of film and television, she hopes to one day earn her formal education degrees and possibly become a doctor.
|William Ivey Long
He is a costume designer, known for Grease, Live! (2015) The Producers (2005), The Cutting Edge (1992) and Life with Mikey For his design work for the stage, he was recently nominated for his 15th Tony Award for On the Twentieth Century. He is currently represented on Broadway with Chicago, now in its 20th year! He also serves as Chairman of the Board for The American Theatre Wing. Other Broadway Credits include: Cabaret (2014 and 1998 revivals), It Shoulda Been You, Bullets Over Broadway, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Tony Award), Big Fish, The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Don't Dress for Dinner; Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway; Catch Me If You Can, Pal Joey, 9 to 5, Young Frankenstein; Curtains; Grey Gardens (Tony Award); The Producers (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); A Streetcar Named Desire; La Cage Aux Folles; The Boy from Oz; Hairspray (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); Cabaret; Contact (Hewes Award); The Music Man; Annie Get Your Gun; Swing; Smokey Joe's Café; Crazy for You (Tony, Outer Critics Circle Awards); Guys and Dolls (Drama Desk Award); A Christmas Carol; Six Degrees of Separation; Lend Me a Tenor (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards); Nine (Tony, Drama Desk, Maharam Awards). Recent Off-Broadway productions include The Belle of Amherst with Joely Richardson, Bunty Berman Presents; Lucky Guy and The School for Lies. Mr. Long recently made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera with his designs for The Merry Widow starring Renée Fleming and Kelli O'Hara. He has also designed for such artists as Mick Jagger, Siegfried and Roy, the Pointer Sisters, Joan Rivers, and for choreographers Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Peter Martins, David Parsons and Susan Stroman. He serves as Production Designer for North Carolina's oldest running seasonal outdoor drama, The Lost Colony, which was the 2013 recipient of the Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. He returned in 2015 for his 45th season with the production. Mr. Long holds honorary degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina at Asheville, and The College of William and Mary. He was the recipient of the Morrison Award (1992), the UNC Chapel Hill Playmakers Award (1994), the National Theatre Conference "Person of the Year" award (2000), the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (2001), the Distinguished Career Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference (2002), the Raleigh Medal of Arts (2010), and the 2004 North Carolina Award presented by Governor Easley. Mr. Long earned an undergraduate degree in history from The College of William and Mary, was a Kress Fellow at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in stage design from Yale University School of Drama.
Isadore Schary had a long and checkered history in motion pictures. He was first employed as a screenwriter at then-lowly Columbia after a story editor was struck by the crispness of a writing sample. The editor also happened to think that the writer was a woman, mistaking Dore for Dora. By 1933 he'd been lured away to the first of a number of writing stints at MGM at $200 per week working under producer Harry Rapf. Schary and Rapf (known as "the anteater," he'd prove to be his lifelong nemesis), then in charge of MGM's B-productions (although Louis B. Mayer frowned on the term), didn't see eye to eye on a number of issues and fought continually. Schary soon left for work as a hired gun with a typewriter but found himself back at MGM writing a Spencer Tracy vehicle, Big City, when he became intrigued in the story of Father Flanagan's Nebraska Boy's Town, envisioning Tracy for the role. But Tracy was weary at playing a series of priests and the script was shelved. On top of that he was unable to escape the irritating presence of Harry Rapf and he quit again. Boys Town was resurrected after Tracy reconsidered, becoming one of it's biggest hits of the year and co-writer Schary nailed an Oscar for best original screenplay. E.J. Mannix dangled more money at the now-hot property and he was back again at MGM developing Joe Smith, American with Mayer offering him a dream job as a producer, except that he'd be back working for Rapf. Sensing he could do more as a producer across a wide range of projects and undoubtedly drawn to a whopping salary increase, Schary accepted. He definitely favored scripts with liberal allegories, which represented the very antithesis of the ultra-right-wing Mayer. But even Mayer was impressed by the man's versatility and ability to deliver hits such as Lassie Come Home and Journey for Margaret which introduced the biggest box-office draw the studio ever had in a child: Margaret O'Brien. But a planned return to liberal allegory with a proposed project with Nobel prize winner Sinclair Lewis called "Storm of the West" failed to win Mayer's final approval and he quit once again in protest. At the end of 1943 Schary accepted an offer with David O. Selznick's new independent division, Vanguard. He soon moved to RKO where he enjoyed a brief period of total autonomy prior to it's purchase and ultimate ruination by eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes. Schary's textbook liberalism was called into question after he made a vigorous appeal on the behalf of the brilliant writer Edward Dmytryk and producer Adrian Scott, both RKO employees, before HUAC in 1947, but seemed to back pedal after helping draft the so-called Waldorf-Astoria declaration (the result of which, ironically would affect writer Maurice Rapf, his nemesis' son, profoundly), denouncing employment of known Communists. Coincidentally, it was during the HUAC hearings that he ran into Loew's Inc. (and MGM's parent) chief Nicholas Schenck on a train bound for New York. MGM itself had begun to feel the financial effects of changing public tastes by 1947, which could rightly be laid on the lap of the Victorian-minded Louis B. Mayer. While other studios were booming in the immediate post-war era, MGM's releases were rapidly losing their appeal. It truly was a dismal period for the studio, highlighted by the recent flops The Sea of Grass, Lady in the Lake and what many film historians consider the nadir of big-budget MGM releases, Desire Me, a film so awful it was released without a directorial credit (the two assigned directors disowned the film). The Tiffany of Studios had fallen into 4th place in profitability and the prospects for 1948 were decidedly mediocre (and would prove to be so, suffering a whopping $13.8 million slide from their peak in 1946). Schenck, who had ascended to his position after founder Marcus Loew's death in 1926 never enjoyed an ideal relationship with Mayer but tolerated their rancor in light the studio's enviable financial record. As a reward for it's remarkable profitability during the Great Depression, Mayer became the highest paid executive in the country year after year. Schenck may not have initially envisioned Schary as Mayer's replacement, but he wanted to reinvigorate the studio with new (or at least, recycled) blood. Mayer first proposed his son-in-law, Selznick, who flatly refused to work for him. Schary, by then at RKO, was having his own troubles. His latest pet project, Battleground had been rejected by an increasingly invasive and erratic Howard Hughes, who felt the public was weary of war pictures. Schary, sensed his career had hit another brick wall and opted to jump back to MGM as production chief and took the project with him, purchasing the rights from RKO. Mayer's position at MGM by this time was considerably weakened but he counseled Schary against producing the picture, reiterating the opinion of the public's distaste for war stories, predicting it was doomed to failure. Mayer's veto of the project was overridden by Schenck, irritating Mayer to no end. Battleground came in under budget, largely thanks to casting numerous then-unknown contract players and became a huge hit. Schary's stock grew enormously in Schenck's eyes and undoubtedly further infuriated the aging Mayer. Schary announced a huge increase in MGM's 1949-50 production schedule, detailing some 67 projects, compared to it's meager 24 the previous season (many of which proved to be outright flops). With this new sense of vitality, the studio's profits rose 50% in 1949 but faced the looming threat of television. Like nearly every major studio in Hollywood (with the exception of Columbia and Paramount) MGM chose to fight TV's burgeoning popularity--- MGM reverted to what the box couldn't: provide spectacle. The result would become Mayer's last greenlighted hit, Quo Vadis and the cause of another one of many fissures in his relationship with Schary, who wanted to interject an anti-fascism allegory into the biblical plot. Innumerable production delays would mean it's success would be an empty victory for Mayer; he was ousted prior to it's release. One of the final straws would involve the production of The Red Badge of Courage, when Mayer appealed to Schenck regarding his disapproval of the picture (Mayer's instincts here proved correct; the picture, although now considered a minor classic, failed financially). Inevitably Schary was played as a pawn by both Mayer and Schenck in a power gambit. Mayer, in a repeat of his 1934 falling out with Irving Thalberg, was irate over Schary being awarded 100,000 shares of stock without his consultation and threatened to quit. Schenck called his bluff and accepted his resignation on June 22, 1951 and the 46-year old Schary found himself in charge of MGM. At this point Schenck sought to solidify his position of overall control by reviving the old executive committee, his early concept of centralizing corporate management. But he oddly chose to retain Mayer loyalists within the command structure, who considered themselves higher up the Loew's corporate ladder than their new studio chief. This committee held MGM's purse strings and many of Schary's requests for production funding would be nixed by Benjamin Thau, whose office dealt with all of the studio's contracts. Athough MGM would appear to again thrive in 1952, the actions of the executive committee, the impending Supreme Court ruling demanding theater divestment (a subject worthy of a book itself), and the external threat of TV would ultimately threaten MGM's future. MGM/Loew's had fought theatrical divestment for over a decade but failed to take advantage of this temporary reprieve by corporate political in-fighting and a severe lack of industry vision. In retrospect, it should have embraced television production and re-invented itself as a media conglomerate in the later mold of Warner Brothers. Instead, austerity measures were enacted, UK production was increased (due to lower labor costs) at the expense of it's Hollywood operations and the studio drastically cut its roster of talent. The undeniable fact was that MGM was in irreversible decline, based primarily on the actions of Mayer, Schenck and Rapf in the preceding decade. But even Schary failed to grasp both the threat and promise of television and backed the board's decision to withhold it's massive film library from broadcast licensing. Schenck himself rebuffed NBC chief David Sarnoff's repeated offer of a MGM-NBC alliance. The studio finally approved a foray into television with MGM Parade on ABC, then an also-ran network. The series, featuring the somewhat bland career MGM contract star, George Murphy and largely consisting of old film clips, and gratuitously promoting upcoming MGM releases, was no great success. Another power struggle occurred within Loew's in late 1955 when Arthur Loew opted to assert familial control over his father's company. Schenck was kicked upstairs and the film library was finally made available to TV, bringing in an infusion of cash that glossed over worsening problems within the film industry and MGM in particular. Arthur Loew's tenure proved brief; he held no particular fondness for corporate politics and abruptly quit, reverting to his previous position as head of Loew's International and chairman of the board. Schenck's tenure as President of Loew's Inc. was marked by one pronounced gross oversight: he never groomed a replacement. A search for a new company president resulted in the ascendancy of career company man Joseph Vogel, who viewed Dore Schary as a plausible scapegoat for the under performance of MGM in the mid-1950's (among other things, the disappointing performance of the $1.9 million Forbidden Planet---originally conceived as a modest B-picture--- rankled the board). Vogel asked for Schary's resignation, which was refused; he wanted to be fired. Schary left his 20+ year on-again, off-again employment at MGM for the final time, pocketing $100,000 in cash and another $900,000 in a deferred salary package. In retrospect, Schary was probably ill suited for corporate world; too creative to effectively macro-manage and possessing a genuine desire to be liked even by those he disagreed with. Unlike Mayer, Schary had a second career after life at MGM. He'd wind down his career as a successful Broadway producer, director and playwright focusing much of his attention on the life of his personal hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (see "Other Works"). He died in 1980.
Dorothy Arzner, the only woman director during the "Golden Age" of Hollywood's studio system--from the 1920s to the early 1940s and the woman director with the largest oeuvre in Hollywood to this day--was born January 3, 1897 (some sources put the year as 1900), in San Francisco, California, to a German-American father and a Scottish mother. Raised in Los Angeles, her parents ran a café which featured German cuisine and which was frequented by silent film stars including: Charles Chaplin and William S. Hart, and director Erich von Stroheim. She worked as a waitress at the restaurant, and no one could have foreseen at the time that Arzner would be one of the few women to break the glass ceiling of directing and would be the only woman to work during the early sound era.
In her 15-year career as a director (1928-43), Arzner made three silent movies and 14 "talkies". Her path to the director's chair was different than that of women directors in the future (indeed, different than most male directors too). Directors nowadays are typically graduates of film schools or were working actors prior to directing. Like most of the directors of her generation, Arzner gained wide training in most aspects of filmmaking by working her way up from the bottom. It was the best way to become a filmmaker, she later said.
After graduating from high school in 1915, she entered the University of Southern California, where she was in the pre-med program for two years. When the US entered World War I in 1917, Arzner was unable to realize her ambition of serving her country in a military capacity, as there were no women's units in the armed forces at the time, so she served as an ambulance driver during the war.
After the cessation of hostilities, Azner got a job on a newspaper. The director of her ambulance unit introduced her to film director William C. de Mille (the brother of Cecil B. DeMille, one of the co-founders of Famous Players-Lasky, which eventually became known by the title of its distribution unit--Paramount Pictures). She decided to pursue a film career after visiting a movie set and being intrigued by the editing facilities. Arzner decided that she would like to become a director (there was no strict delineation between directors and editors in the immediate postwar period as the movie studios matured into a "factory" industrial production paradigm).
Though she was the sole member of her gender to direct Hollywood pictures during the first generation of sound film, in the silent era a woman behind the camera was not unknown. The first movie in history was directed by a Frenchwoman, and many women were employed in Hollywood during the silent era, most frequently as scenario writers (some research indicates that as many as three-quarters of the scenario writers during the silent era--when there was no requirement for a screenplay as such as there was no dialogue--were women). Indeed, there were women directors in the silent era, such as Frances Marion (though she was more famous as a screenwriter) and Lois Weber, but Arzner was fated to be the only female director to have made a successful transition to "talkies". It wasn't until the 1930s and the verticalization of the industry, as it matured and consolidated, that women were squeezed out of production jobs in Hollywood.
The introduction to William deMille paid off when he hired her for the sum of $20 a week to be a stenographer. Her first job for DeMille was typing up scripts at Famous Players-Lasky. She was reportedly a poor typist. Ambitious and possessed of a strong will, Arzner offered to write synopses of various literary properties, and eventually was hired as a writer. Impressing DeMille and other Paramount powers-that-be, Arzner was assigned to Paramount's subsidiary Realart Films, as a film cutter. She was promoted to script girl after one year, which required her presence on the set to ensure the continuity of the script as shot by the director. She then was given a job editing films. She excelled at cutting: as an editor (she was the first Hollywood editor professionally credited as such on-screen), she labored on 52 films, working her way up from cutting Bebe Daniels comedies to assignments on "A" pictures within a couple of years. She came into her own as a filmmaker editing the Rudolph Valentino headliner Blood and Sand, about a toreador. Her editing of the bullfighting scenes was highly praised, and she later said that she actually helmed the second-unit crew shooting some of the bullfight sequences. Director James Cruze was so impressed by her work on the Valentino picture that he brought her on to his team to edit The Covered Wagon. Arzner eventually edited three other Cruze films: Ruggles of Red Gap, Merton of the Movies and Old Ironsides. Her work was of such quality that she received official screen credit as an editor, a first for a cutter of either gender.
While collaborating with Cruze she also wrote scenarios, scripting her ideas both solo and in collaboration. She was credited as a screenwriter (as well as an editor) on "Old Ironsides", one of the more spectacular films of the late silent era, being partially shot in Magnascope, one of the earliest widescreen processes. She would always credit Cruze as her mentor and role model. "Old Ironsides" proved to be the last film on which she was credited as an editor, as her ambitions to become a director would finally come to fruition. To indulge her, Paramount gave her a job as an assistant director, for which she was happy--until she realized it was not a stepping stone to the director's chair, and she was determined to sit in that chair.
Arzner pressured Paramount to let her direct, threatening to leave the studio to work for Columbia Pictures on Poverty Row, which had offered her a job as a director. Unwilling to lose such a talented filmmaker, the Paramount brass relented, and she made her debut with Fashions for Women. It was a hit. In the process of directing Paramount's first talkie, Manhattan Cocktail, she made history by becoming the first woman to direct a sound picture. The success of her next sound picture, The Wild Party, starring Paramount's top star, Clara Bow, helped establish Fredric March as a movie star.
Arzner proved adept at handling actresses. As Budd Schulberg related in his autobiography "Moving Pictures", Clara Bow--a favorite of his father, studio boss B.P. Schulberg--had a thick Brooklyn accent that the silence of the pre-talkie era hid nicely from the audience. She was terrified of the transition to sound, and developed a fear of the microphone. Working with her sound crew, Arzner devised and used the first boom mike, attaching the microphone to a fish pole to follow Bow as she moved around the set. Arzner even used Bow's less-than-dulcet speaking tones to underscore the vivaciousness of her character.
Though Arzner made several successful films for Paramount, the studio teetered on the edge of bankruptcy due to the Depression, eventually going into receivership (before being saved by the advent of another iconic woman, Mae West). When the studio mandated a pay cut for all employees, Arzner decided to go freelance. RKO Radio Pictures hired her to direct its new star, headstrong young Katharine Hepburn, in her second starring film, Christopher Strong. It was not a happy collaboration, as both women were strong and unyielding, but Arzner eventually prevailed. She was, after all, the boss on the set: The director. The fiercely independent Hepburn complained to RKO, but the studio backed its director against its star. Eventually the two settled into a working relationship, respecting each other but remaining cold and distant from one another. Ironically, Arzner would display her directorial flair in elucidating the kind of competitive rivalries between women she experienced with Hepburn.
The Directors Guild of America was established in 1933, and Arzner became the first woman member. Indeed, she was the only female member of the DGA for many years.
Arzner's films featured well-developed female characters, and she was known at the time of her work, quite naturally, as a director of "women's pictures". Not only did her movies portray the lives of strong, interesting women, but her pictures are noted for showcasing the ambiguities of life. Since the rise of feminist scholarship in the 1960s, Arzner's movies have been seen as challenging the dominant, phallocentric mores of the times.
Arzner was a lesbian, who cultivated a masculine look in her clothes and appearance (some feel as camouflage to hide the boy's club that was Hollywood). Many gay critics discern a hidden gay subtext in her films, such as "Christopher Strong". Whereas feminist critics see a critique of gender inequality in "Christopher Strong", lesbian critics see a critique of heterosexuality itself as the source of a woman's troubles. The very private Azner, the woman who broke the glass ceiling and had to survive, and indeed thrived, in the all-male world of studio filmmaking, refused to be categorized as a woman or gay director, insisting she was simply a "director." She was right.
Arzner did have less troubled and more productive collaborations with other actresses after her experience with Hepburn. She developed a close friendship with one of her female stars, Joan Crawford, whom she directed in two 1937 MGM vehicles, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney and The Bride Wore Red. Arzner later directed Pepsi commercials as a favor to Crawford's husband, Pepsi-Cola Company's Chairman of the Board Alfred Steele.
In 1943 Arzner joined other top Hollywood directors such as John Ford and George Stevens in going to work for the war effort during World War Two. She made training films for the US Army's Women's Army Corps (WACs). That same year her health was compromised after she contracted pneumonia. After the war she did not return to feature film directing, but made documentaries and commercials for the new television industry. She also became a filmmaking teacher, first at the Pasadena Playhouse during the 1950s and 1960s and then at the University of California-Los Angeles campus during the 1960s and 1970s. At UCLA she taught directing and screenwriting, and one of her students was Francis Ford Coppola, the first film school grad to achieve major success as a director. She taught at UCLA until her death in 1979.
She was honored in her own lifetime, becoming a symbol and role model for women filmmakers who desired entry into mainstream cinema. The feminist movement in the 1960s championed her. In 1972 the First International Festival of Women's Films honored her by screening "The Wild Party", and her oeuvre was given a full retrospective at the Second Festival in 1976. In 1975 the DGA honored her with "A Tribute to Dorothy Arzner." During the tribute, a telegram from Katharine Hepburn was read: "Isn't it wonderful that you've had such a great career, when you had no right to have a career at all?"
Jonathan Wacks - Bio
Jonathan Wacks is the Founding Director of the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, NY, and Professor in Film at Brooklyn College. He has directed a number of films including Powwow Highway (Warner Bros), produced by Beatle, George Harrison. The film was winner of the Sundance Film Festival Filmmaker's Trophy, nominated for 4 Independent Spirit Awards, and winner of awards for best picture, director, and actor at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Wacks' first film, Crossroads/South Africa (PBS), won a Student Academy Award in the documentary category. He then produced the acclaimed cult-hit Repo Man (Universal), starring Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton, and directed, Mystery Date (Orion), starring Ethan Hawke and Terri Polo, Ed and His Dead Mother, starring Steve Buscemi and Ned Beatty. He also directed an array of TV productions including 21 Jump Street, with Johnny Depp, Sirens and Going To Extremes. Prior to his career as a director, Wacks served as Vice President of Production at the Samuel Goldwyn Company. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the Independent Feature Project/West (IFP/West), the largest organization of independent filmmakers in America, and has served on the selection committee of the Writers' Program at the Sundance Institute. His work has been seen at numerous international film festivals including Sundance, Montreal, Tokyo, Florence, London, Leipzig, Leeds, Cape Town, Deauville, New York, Munich, and Berlin. Wacks has written several screenplays including, Recoil based on the Jim Thompson novel, No Cure for Love, Another Year in Africa, Coldsleep Lullaby, and Stuck. He served as Chair of the Visual and Media Arts Department at Emerson College, Head of the Film Department at the Vancouver Film School in British Columbia and Chair of the Moving Image Arts Department at the College of Santa Fe. He was also Director of Garson Studios in Santa Fe. Wacks holds a BA (Hons.) from the University of Essex (UK) and an MFA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America.
Tony is the Founder and CEO of Lifeforce Foundations which is a For-Cause Organization focused upon Global and Local Social Concerns.
Tony has received numerous honors and awards such as the Official People's Mayor of Hollywood and a honorary PhD from his former learning institution.
Tony continues to grow his relationships with his newest position as the West Coast Director of Acquisitions for Blairwood Entertainment and is the Director of Celebrity Memberships with a top PR/events firm called F.A.M.E. located in Hollywood, California.
Tony also owns his own branding company where he continues to take his clients from obscurity to celebrity status.
Tony Boldi and Associates is an acclaimed acting studio (with enrollment of more than 200).
Tony was the stage director for the 34th Key Art Awards at the famous Academy Awards Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.
Tony started his career in the fine arts as a drummer turned celebrity dj and got his big break while working for Mary Jo Slatter in Casting at MGM.
Tony has performed with countless celebrities and even won the 2002 Armenian Grammy for best music video of the year as well as the 1998 New York Film Festival's best new film of the year award to name just a few of his accomplishments.
Tony has dealt in everything from financing feature films to directing, writing, producing, editing and selling his projects from start to finish.
Tony is the Co-Host of the LA Music Awards and new Co-Producer of the World Dance Awards and Choreographer's Carnival as of 2011.
Tony was a candidate for the West Point Academy and received a full ride scholarship to the learning institution of his choice where he chose Western Michigan University where his mother was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Tony's parents were very successful in politics and music and his brother toured the World as a surf instructor for over a decade.
Tony earned his Black belt at the age of 16 as well as ran the 1999 LA Marathon and finished in the top quarter with an exemplary time.
Tony also just recently finished writing two of his own original screen plays entitled "Humble Pie" and "The Ultimate Chess Move" which are both due out sometime in the near future.
Westberg was born and raised in Seattle, graduated in Radio/TV Speech from Washington State University, served a stint as a naval officer on board a destroyer primarily in the Western Pacific and arrived in Hollywood in 1966 to seek his fame and fortune. His progress moved along nicely, and by the early 70's, was earning a living as an actor, and continued to do so for the next ten years. In 1982, he moved behind the camera, and was hired as an admin. assistant at Actors Equity. There he oversaw the agency dept. and the 99-seat Waiver Program. In 1983, he joined the staff at ICM as the West Coast Head of Theatre at the agency. In 1986, he headed at Triad Artists Inc. where he covered theatre and independent features. Then, in 1991, he established David Westberg Management which he headed for the next fifteen years. Finally, inn 2006, he returned to acting, having come full circle. Westberg volunteers time and energy to entertainment-related organizations. He served four years as Chairman of the Western Council of the Actors Fund of America, sits as Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SAG.AFTRA Federal Credit Union, and for the past four years, has been on the SAG.AFTRA Board of Directors of the Los Angeles local.
On November 1, 1895, the first public motion picture film presentation was projected at Berlin's Wintergarten with the "Bioscop" apparatus invented by Max Skladanowsky and Emil Skladanowsky. In December 1895, Auguste Lumière and Louis Lumière began exhibiting projected films to the paying public in Paris with their "Cinematographe," a portable camera, printer and projector. Thomas A. Edison's company meanwhile had developed the "Vitascope" for motion picture projection. In 1896, the Gaumont Film Company became the first film company in the world, founded before any other studios. Within a few years, the 35-mm wide Edison film and the 16-frames-per-second projection speed of the Lumière Cinématographe had become the industry standard.
On July 20, 1889, Erich Pommer was born at Altpetristrasse 496, Hildesheim, Germany. As a boy going to school in Göttingen, he neglected some classes in preference to reading stories and books by famous writers of all ages, in English and French as well as German. After he and his brothers had finished sufficient schooling to require only one year of military service, the family moved to Berlin.
In 1906, Pommer went to work at Machol & Lewin's Men's Furnishings shop. There he met his future wife, Gertrud (Gerdy) Levy, who was the company's accountant and whom he married in 1913 in a civil ceremony.
In 1907, Pommer's younger sister Grete, who was working at the Berlin office of the Gaumont Film Company, told him that they needed another salesman. Pommer applied and got the job to make bookings for Gaumont films at movie theaters.
There he met a young projectionist who aspired to become a film cameraman; Karl Freund and Pommer become lifelong friends.
By 1909, Pommer was so successful that he wrote in his letters about "chasing all over Germany and beyond, almost to the border of Turkey". Soon thereafter, Gaumont placed him in charge of film distribution for the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Through his job, he met many film executives, including Marcel Vandal, the director-general of the Éclair Company, with whom he became close friends.
In 1911, Pommer served his mandatory year in the German Army. During his first leave that year, Vandal invited him to Paris, where Pommer was well impressed by the equipment at the Éclair studios (they started manufacturing cameras in 1912).
Pommer did not return to Gaumont because their Berlin office wanted to keep control over Pommer's Vienna branch, while he wanted to report to the Paris corporate headquarters. Instead, he joined Éclair where he would report directly to its Paris headquarters.
Pommer started Éclair's newsreel division. Éclair News photographed a balloon flight in Vienna, with Pommer scheduled to shoot the aerial shots while his cameraman photographed from the ground. Just as Pommer was about to enter the gondola, a gust of wind blew the balloon into the air with him hanging on the outside. He was pulled into the gondola and covered the flight as he had intended. After landing, Pommer found out that his cameraman on the ground was so worried about Pommer that he forgot to crank the camera and got no shots of Pommer hanging outside the balloon and being pulled in. Pommer fired the cameraman for not photographing his assignment regardless of circumstances.
After film, flying and the development of aviation was perhaps Pommer's greatest fascination. The Wright brothers' first flight in 1903 may not have had any impact on him, but in August 1908 a demonstration in LeMans, France, made the Wright brothers world-famous. By 1912, Pommer had made the acquaintance of and flew with Louis Blériot, the first man to fly across the English Channel. Pommer had started to produce feature films, and one of his first two productions Das Geheimnis der Lüfte (Mystery of the Air) had an aviation theme. In 1933, his last pre-Hitler German production was F. P. 1 Doesn't Answer, a science-fiction film with an aviation background.
At that time and throughout the first half of the 20th century, a creative producer could initiate, coordinate, supervise and control all aspects of a motion picture from inception through completion, including release. Pommer became an exemplar of the "creative producer" and remained so throughout his career.
At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Pommer was immediately called into service by the German army. He arranged to place the assets of his French employer, Éclair, into a German company called Decla (Deutsche Éclair), while he served on both the Western and the Eastern fronts. He was seriously wounded twice and was awarded the Iron Cross.
In 1916, the Pommer's son Hans (later changed to John) was born. That same year the German Government founded the Bild-und-Filmamt (Bufa). Still a non-commissioned officer, Pommer was placed in charge of its Bucharest, Romania office where he supervised all stage and film showings until the end of the war.
During one of his trips for Bufa, going between Berlin and Bucharest, Pommer stopped over in Vienna where he was introduced to a young actor with training in art and architecture, who was interested in films. Pommer initially engaged in conversation only to be polite. However, he ended up talking with Fritz Lang the entire night, finally inviting Lang to come work for Decla after the war.
Since the early 1900s, Max Reinhardt had been giving the German theater a new dimension to old plays through powerful performances and a targeted combination of stage design, language, music and dance. Film was the new medium that could bring those dimensions to the entire public. A number of Reinhardt-trained directors and actors transitioned to film, including to Decla.
After the war, Pommer assumed hands-on management of Decla. Before the war, France dominated the European film market. Soon after the war concluded, Germany's film companies faced a new competitor - Hollywood. Pommer, however, was by then an experienced film businessman with insight into the international implications of the film industry. Post-war competition between international film companies was sometimes hostile. The Berlin trade press saw Decla as the emerging leader in the industry, crediting Pommer's "very skillful and goal-oriented leadership."
Decla acquired large movie theaters through the Decla-Lichtspiel-GmbH as well as more theaters, studios and distribution channels through mergers with other companies. In 1919, Decla merged with Meinert Film and Oliver-Film. In February 1920, Decla released the first of several international hits, including Fritz Lang's spy thriller Die Spinnen (Spiders) and Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
In 1921, Decla merged with Deutsche Bioscop, which owned the large Babelsberg Studios. In 1922, Universum Film (Ufa) bought Decla-Bioscop and placed Pommer in direct charge of most of its product. Pommer was also able to improve Babelsberg and made it into the largest film studio in Europe.
Ufa had grown out of the wartime Bufa through a series of forced mergers. As Prof. Thomas Elsaesser has pointed out, with the acquisition of Decla-Bioscop, Ufa had became a modern multi-national company and media conglomerate. Very aware of Hollywood, Ufa tried to emulate it, rival with it, or differentiate itself from it. Focused on principles of product differentiation and niche marketing, Ufa deliberately created an art cinema and super-productions for export (the latter specifically designed and budgeted to break into the American market), while it looked to domestic cinema based on popular genres and stars for its economic foundation.
Pommer's and Ufa's international successes during this time included Fritz Lang's two-part Nibelungen (Die Nibelungen: Siegfried and Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge) and F.W. Murnau's The Last Laugh where the camera was "unchained" for the first moving shots taking place by strapping the camera to Karl Freund's chest and allowing him to walk forward and backward. When Pommer and Lang attended the U.S. Premiere of Nibelungen, they saw the skyline of New York as their ship came into harbor. The view inspired the look for Metropolis, probably Ufa's most ambitious project thus far. Typical for Pommer productions, Metropolis implemented new film techniques, including the first zoom shot where Karl Freund sat on a swing with the camera on his lap, pulling focus as he was swung forward and back.
By 1926, disagreements arose between Pommer and Ufa's new CEO and its Board of Directors appointed by Deutsche Bank, including whether the studio should invest in developing sound technology and over the terms of the Parufamet agreement (which later proved disastrous for Ufa, as Pommer had predicted). Pommer therefore left Ufa, even before Metropolis was finished shooting. Under financial pressure, Ufa management also did not allow Fritz Lang to participate in post-production, so the film was never shown as intended. Nonetheless, images of Metropolis have influenced many science-fiction films. The most complete version of the film since its Berlin premiere in 1927 was released in 2010, after discovery of 16mm footage in South America and restoration by the Murnau Foundation and the Deutsche Kinemathek.
Having left Ufa, Pommer brought his family to Hollywood. After producing Mauritz Stiller's Hotel Imperial and Barbed Wire, both with Pola Negri, for Paramount and several uncredited films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, including The Demi-Bride with Norma Shearer and Mockery with Lon Chaney, Pommer returned to Berlin in 1928 at the request of a new Ufa ownership. He did not resume his old position but produced films as an independent within Ufa.
When sound came, Pommer often made simultaneous multiple language versions of his films with the same international crew, including The Blue Angel introducing Marlene Dietrich and directed by Josef von Sternberg and Bombs Over Monte Carlo starring Hans Albers. In addition, Pommer continued to experiment with innovative musicals, such as Wilhelm Thiele's Die Drei von der Tankstelle (The Three Good Friends) with Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey.
In February 1933, Pommer, accompanied by his wife Gerdy, traveled to New York for business meetings. They left New York a week or so later to return to Germany. On the last night before reaching Europe, they were guests at the captain's table. In those days, intercontinental communications were strictly by transatlantic cable. Radio had only a limited range. During dinner, the radio officer reported to the captain that European stations had just come into range. After the meal, the captain invited his guests to the radio room. In honor of the Pommers, the captain asked the operator to find a German station. Soon over the loudspeaker came one of Hermann Göring's early, vitriolic anti-Semitic speeches!
The Pommers stopped over in Paris before traveling on to Berlin. Their French and American friends counseled them not to return to Germany as it could be dangerous. With their son still in Berlin, staying in Paris was not a option. They returned to Berlin near the end of March 1933. Ludwig Klitzsch, chairman of the board of Ufa, personally assured Pommer the following day that Ufa would make no distinction between Aryan and non-Aryan employees. However on 28 March 1933, Josef Goebbels assembled the leaders of the motion picture industry at the Hotel Kaiserhof to explain the Nazi concepts of film policy and production. Pommer did not attend this meeting.
The following day, at its Meeting No. 905, the Ufa Board complied fully with the Nazi directions. Regarding the "national question" about continuing the employment of Jewish employees, the Executive Board decided that the contracts with Jewish executives and employees should be terminated. Item (4) of the meeting reads in part: "It was also decided to terminate the contract with Pommer, in view of the impossibility under the present circumstances of exhibiting his films." Pommer sent his wife and son to the safety of Paris.
Josef Goebbels tried to have Pommer run the German motion picture industry for him. During his years as Ufa production chief and president of the Spitzenorganisation of the German film industry, Pommer had been very active in the export of German films. He was in close contact with aides of German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann, and Pommer had maintained his connections to the Aussenamt (Foreign Office) through the years. He was approached by some of his contacts in the Foreign Office on behalf of Goebbels in April 1933. Pommer never had the slightest intention of coming to terms with the Nazis. Nevertheless, he entered a series of talks with Stresemann's aides, held at his home. These discussions gave him enough time to arrange for his business affairs and pending commitments.
By early May 1933, Pommer felt that he could not stall Goebbels any longer. In his last meeting with the Foreign Office officials, he showed them a recent notification from John's high school of a meeting to discuss the school's participation in a May Day parade. Pommer also showed them a newspaper article, advising that Jewish pupils would not be allowed to participate with their fellow students in the parade. He asked the Aussenamt officials: "Gentlemen, how can you expect me to work in a country that summons my son to school to tell him in front of his peers that he is not good enough to participate with them in the parade?" The next morning Pommer received his exit visa.
That evening, Pommer boarded the express train to Paris. He knew that the Nazis were arresting passengers at the border. When the train stopped in Hannover, he got off. He had his car and driver waiting. They crossed the border into Belgium, without incident, at a local crossing normally not used for Berlin-Paris traffic. Perhaps the diplomats had been kind enough to delay their report to the Nazis. Pommer was also permitted to export his household belongings to France, although they were later confiscated in Paris by the German Army.
In France, Pommer produced two films for Fox, Fritz Lang's Liliom (the storyline was later used for the musical Carousel), with Charles Boyer and Madeleine Ozeray, and Max Ophüls' Man Stolen, with Lili Damita and Charles Fallot On June 5, 1933, the United States went off the gold standard. Later in the year, Fox management came to the conclusion that - due to the new exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against French franc - production activities on the European continent were no longer financially advisable. They directed Pommer to complete the two films that were in production and then move with his family to Hollywood. This was one of several decisions that possibly saved Pommer's immediate family from becoming victims of the Holocaust.
After Pommer produced one more film, Joe May's Music in the Air with Gloria Swanson, Fox was acquired by 20th Century. Louis B. Mayer tried to bring him to MGM, but Pommer had already made a handshake deal with Alexander Korda to go to London. There he produced two films for Korda's London Film Productions: Fire Over England with Laurence Olivier and Tim Whelan's Troopship.
During the filming of Fire Over England, Pommer met Charles Laughton who was starring in Korda's Rembrandt. When Laughton's next project,I, Claudius, was canceled, Laughton and Pommer founded Mayflower Pictures. Pommer had previously worked well with reputedly difficult actors, and he worked very well with Laughton. He produced three films with Laughton, including The Beachcomber, where Pommer took over as director, Sidewalks of London, where Laughton starred with Vivien Leigh, and Alfred Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn that introduced Maureen O'Hara.
In 1939, Pommer was in New York negotiating with RKO to distribute Mayflower's future productions when World War II broke out in Europe. Pommer still had a German passport and could not risk return to England. He went to RKO where he produced Dorothy Arzner's Dance, Girl, Dance with Maureen O'Hara and Lucille Ball, and also Garson Kanin's They Knew What They Wanted with Charles Laughton and Carole Lombard. In 1941, Pommer had five more films in preparation, with scripts completed for three, when his heart attack forced a hiatus.
In 1946, he was hired by the U.S. State Department and later transferred to the War Department - with assimilated rank of Colonel - to reorganize the German motion picture industry in the American Zone as Chief Film Officer, Office of Military Government, United States (OMGUS). Working under strict policies to prevent Nazis and Communists from entering the film industry, he was to reorganize and later to rebuild the German film industry and its private assets as part of the Marshall Plan, the overall plan of reconstruction of the German industrial base destroyed in WWII. He headquartered in war-devastated Berlin and quickly re-instituted his practice of frequent dinner parties, not only to transact business but also to feed film industry colleagues who were starving in the post-war chaos. He would often "rest his eyes" during meetings, surprising colleagues who thought he was sleeping when he would suddenly add insightful comments and offer solutions to the discussion.
Pommer was in charge of new film production in the U.S. Zone, which meant that he was responsible to guide studios and film producers, approve all scripts and major contracts, supervise new productions and studio operations, and supervise the financial arrangements of producers, studios and distributors concerning new films. Production of "Rubble Films" began in West Germany, a neorealist genre characterized by location exteriors in the rubble of bombed-out cities, began, including Harald Braun's Zwischen gestern und morgen and Josef von Báky's ... und über uns der Himmel.
In June 1948, in an attempt to wrest control of Berlin from the West, the Soviet Union began a blockade. American and British planners devised an airlift. The pilots and crews of 342 planes made 277,000 flights to deliver millions of tons of food and clothing to Berlin until the blockade was lifted. Denied use of the Babelsberg Studios, which were in the Russian Zone, Pommer had been rebuilding Berlin's Tempelhof Studios. Although the Tempelhof Studios were eventually rebuilt, they were then not yet ready, and the blockade forced the focus of production away from Berlin and Pommer to move his headquarters to Munich and its Geiselgasteig Studios, which had survived the war intact.
During his tour of duty with OMGUS, Pommer was able to abolish government censorship of films in Germany through establishment of a national Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (Voluntary Self-Control) system, envisioned as an improvement on the U.S. Motion Picture Production Code system. Pommer also built greater flexibility into the process through periodic critical self-review. Initially opposed by the Soviets, the British and the French, all protecting their own economic and political interests, the FSK system was eventually adopted throughout Europe and continues to this day. After three years, having re-established the film industry throughout West Germany and considering his job complete, Pommer returned to California in 1949. He and Dorothy Arzner together planned a new production company, Signature Pictures, but promised financing fell through.
In 1950, Pommer again returned to Munich, as the best location for his next films despite the fact that his work for OMGUS in abolishing state censorship of films had been over the vehement opposition of politicians in the State Government of Bavaria. After Pommer resumed producing films in Munich, Bavarian politicians continued to complicate his professional life.
Pommer's first post-war film, The Mistress with Hans Albers won the Best Picture Award at the 1951 Berlin Film Festival. His last film, Sons, Mothers and a General was awarded the Grand Prize of the Belgian Critics as Best Picture of 1955, beating out such remarkable films as Bad Day at Black Rock and Blackboard Jungle. Pommer's last film was also awarded the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in the U.S. under the title Sons, Mothers, and a General.
In 1956, Pommer took what was to be a two months' trip to the United States to negotiate for an English-dubbed version of Sons, Mothers, and a General. While he was in California, a foot infection aggravated by diabetes worsened to such a degree as to require amputation of his right leg and a long-term recovery. He could not return to Germany. He canceled all projects and retired. He lived in a modest house in Southern California with Gerdy until she died in 1960. Then he lived with his son's family, including his two grandchildren, until his death in 1966.
Mary Sinclair was historically significant for being the first actress to sign a seven-year contract with a television studio. In 1951 she signed with CBS and became a staple in an emerging genre, the one-hour television drama. She regularly appeared on the most popular programs such as The U.S. Steel Hour, and Playhouse 90. Her performances in Wuthering Heights, with Charlton Heston, The Scarlet Letter, and Little Women paved the way for strong women characters in television. Mary SInclair began her career as a model. With a desire for more, Sinclair moved to New York City in 1944. This is where she met her future husband, Broadway producer 'George Abbot'. The catalyst of her career as an actress, however, was a chance encounter with CBS chairman of the board 'William S. Paley'. This encounter eventually resulted in the history-making contract, which lead to her stardom. A divorce from Abbot soon followed. Sinclair continued working in television and theater through the 1950s. She received an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in 1951, and appeared in the western Arrowhead with Charlton Heston and Jack Palance.
She retired from the spotlight in the 1960s. She decided to move to Europe and began painting. She studied and lived in Italy and France. During the early '70s, Sinclair relocated to Los Angeles, where she became active in local theater. Retiring to Arizona in her later years, she continued expressing herself with her paintings. Mary Sinclair died in Phoenix on November 5, 2000, at the age of 78. Sinclair's legacy lives on with her great niece, Krystee Clark who is a television and film actress in Los Angeles.
Gregory Zanfardino was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He entered into the entertainment industry when his company, C1TV Entertainment Television (precursor to the LOGO Network), brought the British cooking show Two Fat Ladies and the original British version of the controversial Queer as Folk to the United States to launch their niche cable network. The company later evolved to include feature films and became Alliance Filmworks and Television. In 2008, Alliance Filmworks and Television sold intellectual properties to Alliance Atlantis in Canada. The company was then renamed to Moniker Entertainment which now operates under parent company-- Entertainment Media Rights (EMR).
Gregory was also at Paramount Pictures for eight years. His time there included Creative, International Marketing, World Wide Digital Media Distribution, Home Entertainment, Post Production, Consumer Products, Studio Operations and Finance. He has served as Chairman of the Board for the IFP (Independent Feature Project) aka Film Independent and as a juror for the Brazilian International Film Festival. Gregory is a story consultant for movies and television projects that deal with supernatural, metaphysical and spiritual components or story lines, most recently for the "Paranormal Activity" franchise.
From 1988 through 1990, Philippe Martinez was President of the famous Odeon Theater in Marseilles, one of the largest playhouses in Europe. At the end of 1990, deciding to focus on a career as a feature film producer, he moved to the United States, later becoming Chairman of the Board of distribution company Ulysses Entertainment as well with offices in Los Angeles, Paris and London.
From 1996-1999 Philippe headed Betar Entertainment - based in Los Angeles and with offices in Montreal - producing Canadian co-productions for international distribution; he served as Executive Producer on the features Ultimate Weapon (starring Hulk Hogan) and In Her Defense (starring Marlee Matlin & Michael Dudikoff).
In 1999, Philippe launched Bauer Martinez Studios and has Produced over 14 films including The Piano Player(Christopher Lambert, Dennis Hopper) with Andreas Klein of Splendid Film, Out of Season (Dennis Hopper, Gina Gershon), The Defender (Dolph Lundgren, Jerry Springer,) Dot Kill (Armand Assante, Directed by John Irvin) and House of 9 (Dennis Hopper, Kelly Brook).
Most recently, Philippe Produced Modigliani starring Andy Garcia and Elsa Zylberstein. The film, directed by Mick Davis, was an official Gala Selection at the Toronto Film Festival, as will open the Miami International Film Festival.
Going back to his true passion, Philippe took to Directing, completing Citizen Verdict (Armand Assante, Jerry Springer) which will have its theatrical debut in the first quarter of 2005, as well as the action-packed Wake of Death starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film has been getting rave reviews across Europe and the United States, and will have theatrical debuts in several countries later on this year.
Philippe recently Produced Irish Jam starring Eddie Griffin, and in 2005 will Produce Land of the Blind (Ralph Fiennes, Donald Sutherland), Genuine Article(to be Directed by Dennis Hopper) and will Direct another high budget, action packed feature.
Nico Hofmann was born to journalist parents in Heidelberg on December 4, 1959. Since 1998 he served as producer and Chairman of the board of teamWorx, one of Germany's most successful production companies. Over the last 15 years numerous well-known TV and film awards as well as national and international nominations give impressive evidence of teamWorx' competence in the fictional field: Productions such as "Laconia", "Hindenburg", "The Tunnel", "Dresden", "Storm Tide", "Airlift" and "March of Millions" have won some of the most prestigious media prizes and have been sold to many territories outside Germany.
In autumn 2012, both parts of "The Tower" achieved about seven million viewers each. The production won various prizes like "Hessischer Filmpreis", "Goldene Kamera", and the reputable "Grimme-Preis". The year 2012 approached its end with the broadcast of "The Case Jakob von Metzler", "Rommel" and "Baron of the Cannonball". In 2013, the political satire "The Minister", the docu-drama "George" and the multi-million-euro project "Generation War" sparked long-lasting and nation-wide debates in Germany. The highly acclaimed miniseries "Generation War" has reached record ratings in Germany, Poland, Norway and Sweden and has been sold to more than 100 countries all over the world so far. In January 2014 it started in US cinemas. The production has won a great number of national and international awards including the International Emmy Award 2014 in the mini-series category.
Since 2013, Nico Hofmann is producer and Chairman of the Board of UFA FICTION, which unifies all fictional activities of UFA Fernsehproduktion, Phoenix Film und teamWorx. In addition, since September 2015 he is Co-CEO of UFA, an umbrella under which three units operate (UFA FICTION, UFA SERIAL DRAMA and UFA SHOW & FACTUAL)
In 2014, a film about the last days in office of former German president Christian Wulff named "The Resignation" and "Open the Wall", a movie about the opening of the Berlin Wall have been broadcasted with great success. The two-parter "Grzimek", about a famous German zoologist and the adaption of Bruno Apitz' novel "Nackt unter Wölfen" ("Naked among Wolves") have just premiered on German television. In April 2015 "Naked among Wolves" has also been broadcasted on French TV station M6.
The eight-part series "Deutschland 83", which takes place in coldwar Berlin of the 1980s, had its world premiere at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. The drama series has just been sold to Sundance TV as well as to several European TV stations and will become the first ever German-language drama to be aired on a US Television Network.
A docu-drama about the life of Hannelore Kohl and a miniseries, that is based on Thomas Webers' "Hitler's First War", are in preparation. A documentary about sports legend Franz Beckenbauer is in production at the moment. Nico Hofmann also produced cinematographic works such as "Hanni & Nanni" 1+2+3, "Jesus loves me", "The Weekend", "The Physician" and most lately the film version of the bestseller "Ich bin dann mal weg" ("I'm off then") by German comedian Hape Kerkeling.
In this respect, Nico Hofmann has made a lasting mark on the German TV landscape with his record-ratings event movies and miniseries.
In addition to the development and production of its own materials and formats, Nico Hofmann is committed to young talents in film and television for years. Since 1995 he has regularly lectured at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg. In the year 2000 Nico Hofmann and Bernd Eichinger established the German newcomer award FIRST STEPS, today's most important distinction for young filmmakers.
Ron Leach began his career over twenty years ago as a talent agent with Canada's largest talent agency, The Characters Talent Agency, Limited representing a stellar roster of young and established stars. For the past ten years, Ron has worked as a casting director, casting the independent feature films THE HIGHWAYMAN, GRIZZLY FALLS, THE THREE HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIRST, BLACK HEART, PALE SAINTS, MEN WITH GUNS and TC 2000, Roger Spottiswood's Emmy and Gemini award-winning docu-drama HIROSHIMA,, the controversial drama GANG IN BLUE, produced and directed by Hollywood legends Melvin and Mario Van Peebles, the shocking true-life story DELICATE CUTTING, and the first Chinese/Canadian television series co-production DASHAN & HIS FRIENDS. Ron co-ordinated the talent for the internationally acclaimed television talk, variety show "TABLE FOR TWO," and assumed the role of Producer as well as casting director on the show. He was co-casting director of the Canadian Film Center productions NIGHT OF THE LIVING, HOCKEY CARDS and STRANDS. As a casting consultant with Clare Walker Casting he worked on the series TOP COPS, DOGHOUSE, SWEATING BULLETS, FOREVER NIGHT, FAST TRACK, PSI FACTOR, EARTH FINAL CONFLICT, THE RAVEN, CRUEL INTENTIONS, TWICE IN A LIFETIME, SOUL FOOD, DOC, and numerous films and films-for-television including the movies-for-television THE JAMES MINK STORY, AT THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, EVIDENCE OF BLOOD, CAGNEY & LACEY III & IV, MURDER IN A SMALL TOWN, MURDER SHE PURRED, DEAD AHEAD, THE LADY IN QUESTION, THE UNCONCERNED, and the feature films: Mary Harron's AMERICAN PSYCHO, Rose Troché's THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS, and Sir Richard Attenborough's LOVE & WAR. Mr. Leach is currently casting the DOGMA feature film projects "INVISIBLE DARKNESS," based upon Steven Williams' best selling chronicle of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka's horrific relationship; DARKNESS FALLING, a gripping true crime story; and "CALL ME IRRESPONSIBLE," a light-hearted look at classic movie musicals, for Toronto's NORSTAR Filmed Entertainment. He is the Producer of the acclaimed documentary film "SHURTLEFF " on the famed author, teacher, and casting director Michael Shurtleff, for the CBC, BRAVO and PBS; "AUDITION", a four part instructional series on the teachings of Michael Shurtleff for TV Ontario; "ECO-TV" a half-hour children's program commissioned by Earthday Canada. Ron was commissioned by Creature Features Inc (Hong Kong) to write the children's television series bible "CREATURELAND" in 1992; has written the screenplay "EQUINOX": and through his production company in Los Angeles and Toronto (Spectacle Entertainment), is producing the feature films "BLESSED BE THE CHILD," "THE LOCKSMAN," and "SHOTGUN HIGHWAY.". Ron Leach is the founder and past president of The Talent Representatives Association Of Canada (3 terms); past Chairman of the Board of the Canadian International Animation Festival (2 terms) and retired as the President of the Board of Directors of Toronto's award-winning ACME Theatre Company.
Alan Wendell Livingston was born in McDonald, Pennsylvania on October 15, 1917. He was the youngest of three children, whose mother encouraged reading books and playing musical instruments. He began his career in the entertainment business leading his own college orchestra as a student at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce with a B.S. in Economics, he moved to New York where he worked in advertising for three years. At the start of World War II, he enlisted in the army as a private and served as a second lieutenant in the infantry. After his discharge, he borrowed some money, hitched a ride on an army plane and headed for Los Angeles, California where he obtained his first position with Capitol Records, Inc. in Hollywood as a writer/producer.
His initial assignment was to create a children's record library for the four-year old company, for which he created the legendary "Bozo the Clown" character. He wrote and produced a popular series of storytelling record-album and illustrative read-along book sets beginning with the October 1946 release of "Bozo at the Circus." His record-reader concept, which enabled children to read and follow a story in pictures while listening to it, was the first of its kind. The Bozo image was a composite design of Livingston's, derived from a variety of clown pictures and given to an artist to turn into comic-book-like illustrations. Livingston then hired Pinto Colvig to portray Bozo on the recordings. Colvig, a former circus clown, was also the original voice of Walt Disney's Pluto, Goofy, Grumpy, Sleepy and many other characters. Billy May produced the music. The series turned out to be a smash hit for Capitol, selling over eight million albums in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Successful record sales led to a variety of Bozo-related merchandise and the first television series, "Bozo's Circus", starring Pinto Colvig on KTTV-Channel 11 (CBS) in Los Angeles in 1949. The character also became a mascot for the record company and was later nicknamed "Bozo the Capitol Clown."
Livingston wrote and produced many other children's recordings including product for Walt Disney; Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker; Bugs Bunny and all of the Warner Bros. characters. In the case of the latter, he wrote the 1951 pop hit "I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat" for Mel Blanc's Tweety Pie.
Within a few years, Livingston moved on to the adult music arena and became Vice President in charge of all creative operations of the company. He signed Frank Sinatra when Sinatra was at a low point in his career. Livingston wanted Sinatra to work with arranger Nelson Riddle, however Sinatra was reluctant to do so out of his loyalty to Axel Stordahl with whom he had worked for most of his career. The first Sinatra/Stordahl recordings for Capitol failed to produce the magic Livingston and producer Voyle Gilmore were looking for, and Sinatra agreed to try a session with Riddle on April 30, 1953. The impact was immediate, producing the classic "I've Got the World on a String." However, it was "Young-at-Heart" that became the defining moment in Sinatra's comeback, peaking at #2 during its 22-week run on the charts in the spring of 1954.
Livingston has been credited as the creative force responsible for Capitol Records' growth from net sales of $6 million per year to sales in excess of $100 million per year.
After 10 years with Capitol, Livingston and the company sold the "Bozo the Clown" licensing rights (excluding the recordings) to Larry Harmon, one of several people hired to portray the character at promotional appearances, as Livingston left the company to accept a position as President of California National Productions, Inc., the wholly owned film production subsidiary of the National Broadcasting Company. Shortly thereafter, Livingston was also named Vice President of NBC, in charge of Television Network Programming, dealing principally with all films made for the network. In this capacity, he hired David Dortort to write and produce the pilot for the series "Bonanza", for which Livingston's older brother, songwriter Jay Livingston, wrote the memorable theme. During this time, Alan also served on the Boards of Bob Hope Enterprises, Inc. and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's motion picture production company, Figaro, Inc.
Five years later, Capitol Records induced him to return as President and, eventually, Chairman of the Board. He was also named to the Board of Electric and Musical Industries (EMI), a British corporation that was the largest stockholder in Capitol. Subsequently, he merged Capitol Records into Audio Devices, Inc., a magnetic tape manufacturer listed on the American Stock Exchange, and changed the name of the surviving company to Capitol Industries, Inc., of which Livingston was named President. It was during this period that he turned Capitol Records into a more rock-oriented company with such artists as The Beach Boys, Steve Miller, The Band, and others. His most noteworthy accomplishment at that time was signing The Beatles for Capitol in 1963 and bringing them to the United States in 1964.
Livingston later sold out his stock in Capitol Industries to form his own company, Mediarts, Inc., for the production of motion pictures, records and music publishing. He eventually sold his interest in that company to United Artists as a result, particularly, of its success in the record business including Don McLean, who reached the #1 position in the country with his "American Pie" single and album in 1972. Two feature motion pictures were completed during the company's operation: Downhill Racer starring Robert Redford and Gene Hackman, and Unman, Wittering and Zigo starring David Hemmings; both released by Paramount Pictures.
In August 1976, Livingston joined Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation as Senior Vice President and President, Entertainment Group. He left in 1980 to accept the presidency of Atalanta Investment Company, Inc., and resigned in 1987 to produce a one-hour film for television and to form Pacific Rim Productions, Inc.
Livingston also wrote a novel titled "Ronnie Finkelhof, Superstar" about a shy Harvard pre-law student who becomes an overnight success as a rock musician. It was published by Ballantine Books in the spring of 1988.
On August 1, 1998, Livingston received his first honor for his creation of "Bozo the Clown" as the International Clown Hall of Fame in Wisconsin presented him their Lifetime of Laughter Achievement Award.
Alan Livingston passed away on March 13, 2009 at the age of 91 in Beverly Hills, California.
Internationally celebrated published writer, director and producer, Bruno Pischiutta is known for his lifelong commitment to fostering the art of filmmaking. He established his career in his native Italy and, in 1975, he founded and directed Rome's Centro Iniziative Di Azione Culturale, the nation's only alternative school for theatre and film at that time. He is known for his high quality film production skills and specifically noted for his politically and socially oriented feature films.
Born in Udine, Italy in 1947, Pischiutta graduated from the Institute of Dramatic Art in Trieste in 1966. He studied philosophy at the University of Trieste in 1971 and he is an International Academician appointed by Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia in 1981.
In his long career he has been a film director, screenplay writer, producer, executive producer, lead actor, editor, casting director, costume and scenery designer and film teacher. He has created films, documentaries, TV and theater shows, artistic portfolios and photographs for posters. He is a play-writer, event presenter, show host, film festival artistic consultant, published author and he has been featured in many documentaries and TV shows. Last but not least, Bruno Pischiutta is a businessman and head of his own film studio. Along the way, he has discovered and launched few talents and he has worked with many personalities in the film, theater, literature, art and business fields.
In Brasov (Romania) he discovered and is now launching film actress Denisa Barvon.
In Toronto he founded The Film Palace that, at that time, was one of the largest film studio's in Canada. The Studio had screening facilities too and often the premiere of the movies produced by Bruno Pischiutta took place there.
In Brasov, with Daria Trifu, he founded Brasov International Film Festival & Market, the most important and renown nonviolent Film Festival in the world, and Brasov Film Center, the largest film production center in Transylvania (Romania).
In Rome, Toronto, Accra and Brasov he held his International Film Workshops several times and they will soon be published in multimedia and distributed worldwide.
In Friuli (Italy), in Pordenone (Italy), in Toronto and in Brasov he wrote, directed and produced 5 documentaries.
In Toronto he wrote, directed, produced, cast and anchored 3 TV Series for a total of 52 episodes.
In North Italy and in Toronto he wrote, directed and produced over 100 TV commercials that were broadcast locally and nationally in several languages.
As an artistic portfolios and posters photographer, he photographed many actors and actresses. Recently he took the photos for the posters of the 2nd and the 3rd editions of the Brasov International Film Festival & Market.
Today, he is the Chairman of the Board of three Canadian Corporations, the President of a Canadian Corporation that went public in New York City, the Vice President of a Romanian SRL and the Executive in charge of Brasov Talent Agency - a Division of Global Film Studio Inc.
In 1961 in Udine (Italy) he produced, directed and played in a "Recital of Poems and Monologues by William Shakespeare".
In 1962 in Udine he produced, directed and played in a "Recital of Poems and Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht".
In 1963 in Udine he played in "La Pesca", a drama by Eugene O'Neill.
In 1964 he played in a drama of Father David Maria Turoldo, "Quando La Terra E' Madre" in Udine in the San Francis' Monumental Church.
In 1965 he played in "Pentecost", another Turoldo drama, in the Velodromo Vigorelli in front of an audience of 9,000 people. He was honored to play before the Cardinal Giovanni Montini who, few months later, became Pope Paul VI.
In 1965, at 18, he moved to Trieste, he graduated from the Institute of Dramatic Arts and he became a professional actor.
In Trieste he worked as an actor at RAI radio and in theater.
In 1966, at 19, he auditioned to become an actor in the Italian language theater group of the Narodno Kazaliste Theater in Rijeka (Yugoslavia) and he got the job.
In those first years of his life he was blessed to know and to befriend the local intellectuals. He was a personal friend of writers such as Tito Maria Maniacco, Elio Bartolini and Amedeo Giacomini, of artists such as Mario Baldan and Mimmo Biase, of philosophers such as Sergio Sarti, of actress Rosita Torosh and director Giorgio Marini and many others. They constituted the local "intelligentsia". Some of them were much older than he was and his cultural education was, in many ways, formed by their influence. Pischiutta remained their friend for many years after.
Some of the plays he performed in while at the Narodno Kazaliste Theater in Rijeka are:
The "Song of the Lusitanian Bogey" by Peter Weiss, directed by Francesco Macedonio,
"The Miser" by Molière,
"La Locandiera" by Carlo Goldoni,
"Uncle Vanja" by Anton Chekhov.
This was the time when the American film production companies started to leave Italy, as their preferred shooting location, and commenced to shoot in Croatia.
He acted in motion pictures produced by Columbia Pictures, Dino De Laurentiis Productions and several others. He was a professional film and theater actor and he had the possibility to work with great directors such as Nanni Loy and Francesco Rosi, with some great actors such as Nino Manfredi, Martin Landau, Jason Robards and Peter Falk, with Oscar-winning Director of Photography Pasqualino De Santis and others.
He was cast in major international movies such as Many Wars Ago directed by Francesco Rosi, with Mark Frechette, Gian Maria Volontè and Pier Paolo Capponi. In this picture he played in a scene where he performed alongside Alain Cuny, the great French actor who played the organ player in Fellini's La Dolce Vita.
When he was 22 years old he completed his university studies in Philosophy at the University of Trieste with an average of 27.5 out of 30.
In 1971, as soon as he left Rijeka and arrived back to Italy, he shot a 50 minutes long documentary (his first film). He wrote, produced, directed and executive produced Solo Miseria e poi... e' Sempre Cosi'. (Only Poverty and then... it is Always Like That.) that was screened in Milan and later had a limited release in Italy.
In 1971 he produced an LP record of poetry written during the Italian Resistance: "Poemi Della Resistenza Friulana". Pischiutta recited the poetry. One of the poems was by the great Pier Paolo Pasolini and this created the first contact between them, this is how Pasolini got to know about Bruno Pischiutta. Every copy of the disk was sold and Pischiutta's choice and performance received great reviews in Italian newspapers and on Radio.
He created, with Dario Fo and Vittorio Franceschi, the Political Theater in Italy.
In 1972 he left Dario Fo and he founded, with Vittorio Franceschi and Salvatore Cafiero, Nuova Scena, the most interesting theater group of that time.
In 1973 he created his own theater in Milano and he wrote, directed and acted in a very successful tragic-comic play about the environment entitled "Pulci & Smog" (Fleas & Smog).
Bruno Pischiutta was against the Vietnam war and when Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir called for peace marches across Europe, he participated in the first one that took place in Torino. He then wrote to Bob Dylan and asked him the permit to translate, in Italian language, certain songs he wrote against the Vietnam war and to produce a record. Bob Dylan gave him the requested permissions and Bruno Pischiutta produced and recorded the LP entitled "Vietnam Chiama Lotta" (Vietnam calls for a fight). The record was very favorably reviewed by the national newspaper L'Unità in Italy and it went on to receive a wide success.
He also produced a recital entitled "The Vietnam War Today" that he presented in Milan and in Florence very successfully. In the recital Bruno Pischiutta as the lead actor was reading parts of the spiritual will of Ho Chi Minh and Marco Tutino was singing the songs of Bob Dylan in Italian language.
In 1973, in Milan, he wrote his first complete screenplay: "Mare Povero" (Poor Sea).
In 1974 he moved from Milan to Lecco, on the Como Lake, few kilometers north of Milan. There he produced some successful shows; the best one was, probably, a "Recital of Italian Religious Poetry".
In 1974 he arrived in Rome where he lived until 1983, when he emigrated to Canada.
In Rome, few months after he arrived, he had an agent, and he had many important friends such as film director Nanni Loy, the Honorable MP Marco Pannella, the journalist Luciano Bruni, the Minister Giacomo Mancini, the TV host Osvaldo Bevilacqua, the professor Antonio Garofalo, the actors Ubaldo Lay, Dario Penne, Vittorio Gassman, Bruno Vilar, Raimondo Penne, the actress Paola Borboni, the artist Beppino Volpe and many other journalists and reporters.
He produced, directed and played the leading role in "Antonello Capobrigante Calabrese", a theater drama in 5 parts written by Vincenzo Padula. He brought the show on tour to every city in Calabria.
When he went back to Rome he wrote and brought on the stage a drama entitled "Mr. Oukonto".
He produced, directed and acted in an off the ground theater "Recital of Calabrian Folk Songs and Poems" with Anna Gadaleda.
He produced and directed a "Recital of Spanish and South American Poetry" with Spanish songs and poems by Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda and others. Pischiutta was acting in the show and Raul Cabrera was singing and playing the guitar. The show was performed at different cabaret and off the ground theaters in Trastevere (Rome). The show had a great success and Pischiutta brought it to several cities across Italy and to the Stadium of Torino in front of an audience of 8,000.
He opened his own theater and theater school in Ostia, the part of Rome by the sea. He called the enterprise Centro Iniziative di Azione Culturale (C.I.A.C.).
There, he taught theater and, Professor Paolo Uccello who was a published author and the one authority in film technology in Italy, taught film to the students. At C.I.A.C., Bruno Pischiutta produced theater shows that were always followed by a debate with the audience and, every two weeks, he organized an art exhibition with painting by the best painters of Rome in that time. Once a month, on Sundays, a show for children was presented. The audience was filling the place. The activity of the Center got the interest of Rome's major media and it was not followed by the people of Ostia only, but also by artists and intellectuals from the capital city. The clan of Federico Fellini was often present at Bruno's Center; the great and important journalist Domenico Pertica, "Momo" for the friends, was a fan of the Center and he promoted its activities in Giornale d'Italia where he explained to the political people the social and artistic importance of C.I.A.C.. At the theater there were screening facilities and often the premiere of the movies produced by Bruno Pischiutta where held there.
He produced and directed "The Frog's Tale", a theater show for children. He also produced, directed and performed in a recital entitled "Poesia Come Magia and Magia Come Poesia".
The most successful play he wrote and published was "Sotto Processo" (On Trial). This was his last theater show. He wrote the script, he produced and directed it and he also performed in it. It was a two hours one man show and the subject was about the immobility of the Italian intellectuals of that time.
In 1976 he wrote, cast, produced, directed and executive produced Compagne nude, his first feature film. In the film, he cast Irma Olivero. The film is portraying several aspects of Italian women's lifestyle at that time. The film was released nationally and internationally in 1977. He shot the picture in Rome in black and white and he mono-colored it later.
Also in 1976 he wrote, cast, produced and directed the feature film Il Suicidio di Elsa (Elsa's Suicide). The story is about the motivation of suicide of two young girls, one very rich and one very poor, both called Elsa. It describes certain aspects and problems of the high and of the low classes of Rome in the late 70s. The film premiered in the theater of Centro Iniziative di Azione Culturale and it was followed by a limited release.
In 1978 The Belle Arti of Rome awarded him One Million Lire for the organization of suburban youth cultural activities related to film & theatre.
In 1978 Anna Maria Scheible awarded him in Salerno for Outstanding Playwriting & Direction.
In 1979 in North Italy he wrote, produced, cast and directed the feature film Isola meccanica (Mechanic Island) - 30M Italian Lire budget - with Femi Benussi. The story starts with an act of violence that generates other acts of violence. Bruno Pischiutta was also the lead actor in this feature.The film, distributed by Lark Distribution, premiered in the theater of Centro Iniziative di Azione Culturale and it was later released (limited) in North Italy.
In 1980, between Rome and Venice, he wrote, produced cast and directed Ultimo incontro a Venezia (Last Encounter in Venice) with a budget of $2M. The plot is about an American war correspondent, Vietnam veteran, who is dying in Venice for alcoholism. Bruno Pischiutta also starred in this film alongside Irma Olivero. The film premiered in Venice and it was released in North Italy. In 2012, the English version of the picture was released by Tribeca Film Institute's 'Reframe Collection' and it is now available on Amazon.
In 1980 he made his first international production, the feature film titled The Comoedia with a budget of $4M. The movie is freely inspired by the Divina Commedia of Dante Alighieri. The film is a modern transposition of the antique poem and it deals with young people's drug problem in the USA in the 80s. The Comoedia was shot between North Italy and New York City. He wrote, produced, cast and directed the film. Actress Liliana Tari was cast in the starring role. The Comoedia was freely drown from the Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri. Bruno Pischiutta edited this picture together with Ruggero Mastroianni, Marcello's brother. The film premiered in Galleria Rizzoli in New York City and it was later widely screened in Italy, Norway and other European countries. The English version of the picture was released by Tribeca Film Institute's 'Reframe Collection' and it is now available on Amazon.
In 1981, at the New York International Film and Television Festival, Bruno Pischiutta receives the Bronze Medal for producing, directing and writing The Comoedia - selected among 3,800 entries.
Following the success of the film in New York, Pischiutta was appointed International Academician by the Instituto Universitario di Pavia (Italy).
A stepping stone in launching his North American presence was the interview that famous Italian TV anchor Paolo Frajese conducted with him in New York City. The interview was broadcast nationally and internationally.
In 1982, at the request of Pordenone TV station, he directed, produced, cast and anchored in Italy By Bruno Pischiutta, a half an hour documentary about himself. The documentary was broadcast by Pordenone TV.
In 1982 he wrote the full feature film screenplay entitled "Witches 2001".
Until this time he had published only one book, the theater play "Sotto Processo". Now, after the release of The Comoedia, he published a hard cover book about the film containing the whole script in Italian and English languages as well as many stills. He also published one more book entitled "... E Va Bene, Parliamo di Cinema..." (...and OK, let's talk about movies...). This was an essay about the Italian Cinema and the related media.
In 1983 he emigrated to North America and he choose to live in Toronto, Canada. In less than a month after his arrival there he was hired as Film Director by Visual Productions Inc. and Emmeritus Productions Inc. headed by Executive Producer Lionel Shenken.
As soon as he arrived in Toronto in 1983, Bruno visited Eaton Center and, for the first time, he saw a gigantic North American shopping mall. This gave him the idea to write a TV series called "Shopping Center". He wrote, directed and cast "Shopping Center", 5 short features of 24 min. each (1983-1984), that were produced for Visual Productions Inc. These features were widely distributed on principal Canadian TV networks and in the United States.
That same year, he was hired by Telelatino (TLN), a new Canadian Television Network broadcasting in Italian and Spanish languages that was founded by Executive Producer Emilio Mascia. For Telelatino, he wrote, directed, cast and produced _La Piazzetta (1985-1986)_ (The Little Square), 13 shows of 24 min. each, in association with Luce Film Inc. and Executive Producer Vito Barbera).
He founded a TV production company called Genvilm International Inc. where he worked for one year and a half. He directed over 100 TV commercials (mostly about fashion and furniture) that were broadcast on local and national TV stations. He also created a TV series of 13 episodes of half hour each called Wonderful Woman. In this series, fashion models were photographed and featured at some of the most beautiful and renowned architectural structures of Toronto. The most memorable include the CN Tower where models were filmed at the top of the tower with the city as background, the Royal Bank of Canada's sky rise golden buildings where models were strategically positioned on concrete supports located in the fountain, the Imperial Commerce Bank of Canada headquarters in downtown Toronto where models were filmed on the top balcony and he positioned male and female models against the rock of the Scarborough Bluffs. The series Wonderful Woman was presented in world premiere during a cruise on the tall ship "Empire Sandy" on Lake Ontario that was attended by the top TV executives of Toronto.
In 1986 Bruno Pischiutta became a Canadian Resident and he founded his first Canadian film and TV production company.
With his company, he wrote, directed, cast, produced, anchored and executive produced Telemoda (Fashion TV), 26 shows of 24 min. each. The shows were broadcast twice a week on CFMT International Toronto.
He also wrote, directed, cast, produced, anchored and executive produced La Vetrina Del Successo (The Window of the Success), 13 shows of 24 min. each that were broadcast twice a week on CFMT International Toronto too.
In 1987 Bruno Pischiutta wrote, directed, cast, produced and executive produced the feature film Life's Charade, starring Josette Garramone. The film features a fictional story of an unexplained teenage suicide. It deals with the wide problem of teenage suicide and it proves that, after all, the suicide of teenagers are not unexplained. The picture premiered in Toronto at the headquarters of Action Basis Inc. It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival as a non-official entry and as an Official Selection at the New York International Film & TV Festival; later it had a limited release in Canada.
In 1987, at the New York International Film and Television Festival, Bruno Pischiutta received the Finalist Award, for producing, directing and writing Life's Charade a feature film that addresses the phenomenon of teenage suicide. The film qualified between the first five selected among 5,600 entries.
In 1989 in Niagara falls he wrote, directed, cast, produced and executive produced The Telegram - $1.4M budget - with Sonia Lindgreen. The picture premiered in Toronto at the headquarters of Action Basis Inc. It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival as a non-official entry and, later, it had a limited release.
In 1990 in Niagara Falls and in St. Catherines (Canada) he filmed The Glassblower which he directed and cast. The movie had John Anderson in the lead role. This feature film was written and produced by Yvonne Korent for Pangea Productions inc. The picture premiered in 1991 in Toronto at The Film Palace and it later had a limited release.
In 1991 he founded The Film Palace that, at that time was one of the largest film studios in Canada. The Studio also housed screening facilities and often the premiere of the movies produced by Bruno Pischiutta took place there.
In 1992 in Toronto, he created and held the first edition of the International Film Workshops at The Film Palace.
That year, he also wrote, directed, cast, produced, edited and executive produced the feature film Lured with Christina Macris and Byron McKim in the starring roles. The film is based on a fictional story about a young man who has everything money, family and a good social position. A casual meeting with a young girl results in him loosing all what he had in the beginning and finishing with nothing. The picture premiered in Toronto at The Film Palace and it later had a limited release in Canada.
In 1994 Pischiutta wrote, directed, cast, produced, edited and executive produced Easy Weekend, a full length feature film starring Christina Macris again. The film is based on a fictional story of a date rape and it deals with this widely diffused phenomenon. The picture premiered in Toronto at The Film Palace and it later had a limited release.
In 1996 he wrote, directed, produced, edited and executive produced the 24 min. documentary titled "The Film Palace". The picture premiered in Toronto at The Film Palace and it later had a limited release.
In 1997 in Quebec City, Pischiutta directed, cast, edited and executive produced Dead Love with a $300K budget. This is a 24 min. short feature film starring Christina Macris and Gabe King. The picture premiered at the cinema of the National Film Board of Canada downtown Toronto and it was later released (limited) in Canada and broadcast on TV.
In 1998 in Toronto, Bruno Pischiutta wrote, directed, cast, produced, edited and executive produced the feature film Maybe with a budget of $2.8M. Most of the characters of the film are young and the film features several situations of a group of friends. In particular, one of them is bulimic and, by following her story, the movie offers a very precise pictures of bulimia and its motivations. In America over nine million females and one million males between nine and sixteen years old are bulimic. The film, starring Christina Macris, was completed and released in 2003 in North America. It was screened in Toronto and at the Cannes Film Festival as a non-official entry. Later, the film was an Official Selection and screened in-competition at the Bahamas One World Film Festival.
In 2000 Pischiutta held the second edition of his International Film Workshops program for actors, directors, producers and screenplay writers. The Workshops took place at the new headquarters of his company, Toronto Pictures Inc., in Toronto.
In 2003, at the Bahamas One World Film Festival, Bruno Pischiutta received the The Visionary in Film Award for his outstanding direction, writing, producing and editing of the feature film Maybe.
In 2005 in Accra, together with film producer Daria Trifu, a graduate of his 2000 International Film Workshops, Pischiutta founded the Toronto Pictures' Film Academy of Ghana. As founding partners, they were joined by African screenplay writer Kingsley Sam Obed.
The same year, Pischiutta held his International Film Workshops program in Accra for the students of the Film Academy.
In 2005, after giving the Ghanaian talent the necessary international filmmaking knowledge and training, Pischiutta directed, edited and cast the feature film Punctured Hope: A Story About Trokosi and the Young Girls' Slavery in Today's West Africa - $5.8M budget. The picture was co-written by Pischiutta and Kingsley Sam Obed.
The film was executive produced and produced by Bruno Pischiutta and Daria Trifu. It was filmed entirely in Ghana with principal photography ending in August 2005. The film features actors Belinda Siamey and Ruffy Samuel Quansah in the leading roles; they are two African young talent who were trained by Pischiutta.
In 2008 the film premiered in Accra. In 2009 Punctured Hope: A Story About Trokosi and the Young Girls' Slavery in Today's West Africa was screened in Los Angeles in the race for the Oscars and it was qualified for nomination consideration.
The same year, The Political Film Society (Hollywood) nominated Bruno Pischiutta alongside James Cameron, Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino for his direction of the feature film Punctured Hope: A Story About Trokosi and the Young Girls' Slavery in Today's West Africa that received nominations in two categories: Best Film Expose and Best Film on Human Rights.
In 2014 Punctured Hope: A Story About Trokosi and the Young Girls' Slavery in Today's West Africa was screened, out of competition, at the third edition of Brasov International Film Festival & Market.
In 2012 Bruno Pischiutta wrote, directed and edited Bruno Pischiutta Film Director - $273K budget - a 24 minutes documentary about his work. The documentary was produced by Daria Trifu. It consists of an assembly of clips selected and cut by Maestro Pischiutta from the most relevant films he made between 1980 and 2009. The documentary was release by Tribeca Film Institute's Reframe Collection and it is now available on Amazon.
That same year, Pischiutta co-produced with Daria Trifu the English versions of two of his earlier critically acclaimed films, The Comoedia and Ultimo incontro a Venezia (Last Encounter in Venice). These films were subsequently released by Tribeca Film Institute's Reframe Collection and they are now available on Amazon.
In 2012 Pischiutta and Trifu founded in Brasov, Romania the Brasov International Film Festival & Market, the most important and renowned nonviolent film festival in the world. The 1st edition of the Festival in 2012 (July 19-29) was presented by Bruno Pischiutta who addressed the audience from the stage before each evening screening. Pischiutta continued as the Official Presenter of the subsequent 2nd and 3rd editions of the Festival in 2013 and 2014. At both the 1st and the 2nd editions of the Festival, Pischiutta served as the President of the Jury.
Also in 2012 he held the first edition of his International Film Workshops in Brasov followed by the 2nd and 3rd editions that were conducted in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
In 2012 Bruno Pischiutta created the Brasov Talent Agency, a Division of Global Film Studio Inc., and he was appointed its Executive in Charge. That year, he also created, directed, edited, cast and executive produced the Brasov: Probably the Best City in the World, a full length feature documentary that had a budget of $2.1M.
The documentary was produced by Daria Trifu and the principal photography lasted 14 months in order for the film to be able to showcase all four seasons. It also featured an interview with Pischiutta. The film premiered, out of competition, at the Brasov International Film Festival & Market in 2012. Few months later, it was screened, with Spanish subtitles, in Havana (Cuba) where Bruno Pischiutta and Daria Trifu were invited by the Romanian Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Cuba Dr. Dumitru Preda and by the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (I.C.A.I.C.).
In 2013 and 2014, Pischiutta photographed and created the artistic portfolios of several actors and actresses.
The photographs of the official posters of the Brasov International Film Festival & Market featured on both the 2013 and 2014 are Pischiutta's original works.
In 2013 he produced together with Daria Trifu the 24 min. documentary Brasov International Film Festival & Market 2013 with a budget of $850K. The film features Daria Trifu and actress Denisa Barvon. The documentary was released in 2014.
Alfred "Fred" Cerullo made his feature film debut in the motion picture 1969 written and directed by Oscar winning screenwriter Ernest (On Golden Pond) Thompson, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Kiefer Sutherland, and may also be recognized from his numerous appearances on the daytime dramas All My Children, Guiding Light and the former NBC hit Another World. Soap opera fans may also recognize Fred from his nearly 23 years of appearances on One Life To Live, culminating in a long stint as the "Security Guard" to fictional Llanview Mayor Dorian Lord. No stranger to the media in real life, Fred has been cast several times as a member of the press, first as the "CNN Reporter" in the NBC Television Miniseries, Robin Cook's Invasion; later as the "Anchorman" in the Hallmark Miniseries, Gone, But Not Forgotten which aired on the Lifetime Channel; as Newscaster "Fred Robinson" in the Miniseries,"Final Approach" starring Dean Cain, and in Citizen Jane starring Ally Sheedy. Fred has also been featured as "Roger" opposite Liza Minelli and Shirley MacLaine in the CBS Television Movie, The West Side Waltz.
Fred starred as "Ken Gorman" in Neil Simon's Rumors produced by The Neverland Theatre Company, for which he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He has also starred in Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre (SIST) productions of Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter as "Timber Tucker" and Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor as "Kenny Franks." He portrayed the bigoted "Juror # 10 in 12 Angry Men, "Tami Giacopetti" in "The Detective Story" and "Lt. Keefer" in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial all at Sea View Playwright's Theatre. He has appeared as "Bill Warren" in Neil Simon's California Suite at the Center for the Performing Arts at City University of New York/CSI, and also played "The Mayor" in a celebrity reading of Sam's Song starring Eartha Kitt for the Manhattan based Theatre Arts Productions of New York, Inc. Fred also made his directorial debut with a production of Maxwell Anderson's The Bad Seed at SIST getting to work with his Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated aunt, the original Bad Seed herself, Patty McCormack.
In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Fred Cerullo has spent many years serving in both the public and private sectors as well as serving as a board member of many non-profit organizations. While he has served since 1999 as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Central Partnership, one of the world's largest Business Improvement Districts, Fred began a his career outside of entertainment in local New York City government as Counsel to the Minority Leader of the New York City Council. He became one of the youngest ever New York City Council Members, winning his first of four consecutive elections to the New York City Council representing the South Shore and portions of the Mid-Island communities of Staten Island, while also holding the position of City Council Minority Leader.
Cerullo became one of the youngest ever New York City Commissioners when he was tapped to run the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and later became the City's Commissioner of Finance, running both agencies simultaneously for six months.
He served on the Mayoral Transition teams of Rudolph W. Giuliani and Michael R. Bloomberg as well as serving on the Mayor's Committee on Appointments. Since 2004 he has also served as a Commissioner of the New York City Planning Commission a position he took after serving for more than four years as a Member of the New York City Campaign Finance Board having the distinction of being the first Board Member to have participated in the city's landmark campaign finance program.
Presently, Fred serves on the Boards of the St. George Theatre Restoration, Inc., Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, the Staten Island Foundation, the American Museum of Natural History Planetarium Authority, and St. John's University School of Law Alumni Association and is an active member of numerous organizations citywide. He also spent several years as a co-chair of the Staten Island Film Festival.
Cerullo, who resides in Staten Island, New York was born in Brooklyn and is a graduate of the New York City public school system. He received bachelors' degrees in English and American Studies from St. John's University, and his law degree from St. John's University School of Law.
While a member of SAG/AFTRA, he is also a member of the bar in New York, New Jersey, California, and Washington D.C.
David Shor is the founder and CEO of The Shor Group of Companies headquartered in Santa Barbara, California.
Shor has an extensive background in entertainment management, motion picture and live performance production, consulting and finance. He has served as the managing director of the Shor Group of Companies for over 20 years, serving startup clients as well as Fortune 500 companies, in numerous industries in the U.S., Western Europe and the Middle East. He provides leadership and management skills in the health care and insurance industries, telecommunications, defense, information technology, financial services, consumer products, alternative materials, advertising and entertainment.
Shor is a principal and managing partner of Labrador Media Group, a Santa Barbara, California headquartered company that provides financing, production, development and distribution for filmmakers, writers and other artists, and of Labrador Pictures, a motion picture production company. Shor is also the managing director of Sleepless In Seattle Management, LLC, a company formed to bring that iconic title to the Broadway stage.
In his capacity as adviser/consultant to emerging entrepreneurs, Shor has helped to guide and navigate the products and careers of clients as diverse as organic cotton farmers, producers of alternative feminine hygiene products, multinational developers of information technology products, Fortune 100 companies, charitable organizations, mobile fitness centers, multinational insurance underwriters and brokers, Internet service providers, advertising and public relations firms, medical device manufacturers, inventors, writers and performers.
Shor's business advisory clients in the entertainment industry include screenwriters, producers, directors and performers across the spectrum of the industry; from major showroom acts in Las Vegas, to world-renowned "cirque" performers, to movie production, to screenwriters, to event productions. Shor has raised and managed tens of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients. Shor has held senior executive positions with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG), Mc Donnell Douglas Corporation (now Boeing), Ferranti International Healthcare Systems Corporation, Pentamation Enterprises, Inc., Micro Healthsystems Corporation (now McKesson Corp.), and University of Maryland Medical System.
Shor has served as Producer/ Executive Producer and managing partner of Labrador Pictures (feature motion pictures), Executive Producer for The Flying Cranes (cirque performers-worldwide), Producer for Goodman Productions (live events-Las Vegas), Producer for TJ Productions (live events), Production Adviser/Consultant for Delaware Pictures (motion pictures) and Producer for Liberty Jam Corporation (live concerts including: Eric Clapton, Santana, The Eagles) and he represents performers, writers, filmmakers and other entertainment professionals as manager. Shor was Producer and Executive Producer of the recently released motion picture "Dave Barry's Complete Guide To Guys" and he is presently producing the stage adaptation of "Sleepless In Seattle" on Broadway. Shor has several motion picture projects in various stages of production.
Shor has served as an advisor on numerous motion picture projects. Mr. Shor serves on numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards. Mr. Shor recently served as President of the Tahoe-Reno International Film Festival and is presently a member of the Producer's Network of the Cannes Film Festival, serves as Chairman of the Board and President of the Ojai -Ventura International Film Festival and he served on the board of the Ray Bradbury Theater and Film Foundation.
|James R. Adams II
Born James Ray Adams II on Dec 27, 1971 in Topeka, KS Lived in Topeka, Basking Ridge, NJ, Chesterfield, MO, Far Hills, NJ, Dallas, TX, Ladue, Mo. before age 18. Undergraduate business/engineering degree and MBA in Finance from University of Texas at Austin in 2003. Worked as a private equity and venture capital investor, as well as a nonprofit CFO. When he turned 40, Adams couldn't stand denying his inner voice telling him to write. He began writing his first manuscript on January 4, 2015, finishing it in November of 2015 with a total word count of 128,000 words. It is tentatively titled 'A.K.A.'. It was edited by Susan Leon in March 2016 and is being revised by Mr. Adams. He hopes to finish it this summer 2016. A screenplay is planned as soon as book is completed. Adams and Larson have discussed Larson directing the novel-based feature film. 'Cuckold Picasso' is entirely inspired by Jim Adams and Lance Larson's discussions and takeaways of the manuscript 'A.K.A.' The screenplay will be written regardless of 'A.K.A.'s' publishing date. Most likely fall 2016.
James (Jim) is married to Amanda Adams and has one son: James R Adams III. Jim's father, James R Adams, Sr. Is a highly successful business executive who currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Oncor Electricity in Dallas, TX at the age of 76. He was previously the Chairman and CEO of Texas Instruments, as well as the CEO of Southwestern Bell Telephone.
Lindsey Glass is the daughter of veteran author, playwright and director Leslie Glass and the granddaughter of Milton Gordon, producer of Lassie and other beloved early TV series. Her father, Ed Glass, is an investment banker and consultant and her brother, Alex, is a successful literary agent and founder of The Glass Literary Management. She grew up in Manhattan where she attended The Riverdale Country School, then Johns Hopkins University, then received her masters from NYU in Communications, Management and Technology. She has written screenplays, TV shows and made several documentaries. In 2014 her second documentary premiered on PBS. She's written with musician, writer and director, Chris Jaymes on several film projects. In 2011 she co-founded the non-profit Reach out Recovery and served as Chairman of the Board for three years. She has served as a recovery advocate working to reform health care and legal policy for people suffering from addiction and mental health issues. In the fall of 2014 she started her second venture, FDR Technologies, a technology company dedicated to helping people maintain the Recovery Lifestyle. In 2015 she adapted the novel The Dogs Who Spoke with Gods into a screenplay for Maven Pictures and wrote To Take Your Life for Timber Ridge Productions. As of 2016 she's working on the expansion of FDR Technologies and writing screenplays. She also serves as a consultant for non-profits to help create grants and programming and maintains her status as an advocate.
Since the creation 1999 of Haifisch Entertainment AG in Munich,Germany, Michel Morales works as Producer, Author and Director and has produced films like the Oscar awarded short "Quiero Ser" (Categorie "Best Short Life & Action 2001"). In 2001 he has obtained the highly endowed newcomer price for film production of the German "Verwertungsgesellschaft fuer Nutzungsrechte an Filmwerken". In 2003 Morales founded "MIROMAR Entertainment AG" in Ludwigsburg, Germany; he works as the company's Chairman of the Board and Executive Producer. For the production of international documentary films the CMdoc has been created as seperate company in 2005. In January 2007 his documentary "Goering - A Career" wins Gold at the New York Festivals.
Larry Sugar has enjoyed a successful 35 year career in the motion picture business, specializing in the international licensing, marketing and distribution of feature films for such media giants as Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Lorimar, CBS and Republic Pictures. After receiving his law degree from USC School of Law in 1971, he began his career with Warner Bros., where, as Director of Legal & Corporate Affairs for the International Division, he oversaw the preparation of international licensing for films, as well as joint venture agreements with 20th Century-Fox and Columbia Pictures.
In 1974, Sugar moved to 20th Century-Fox where he split his time between Business Affairs, International and Production. While at Fox, his responsibilities included overseeing the development and production of several feature films as well as their international licensing and distribution.
After founding a successful independent distribution agency, Serendipity, which represented major studio releases, their licensing and marketing, Sugar became President of Lorimar International in charge of Distribution and Acquisition. He was responsible for the placement of all Lorimar feature films, in all media, on an international basis as well as for all acquisitions.
From Lorimar, Sugar moved to CBS Productions in 1985, as Vice President of Distribution and Acquisition, where he was responsible for the placement of all features in all media and supervised CBS Broadcast International, the television licensing arm of CBS.
In 1987, he gained invaluable experience as the Executive Vice President of Weintraub Entertainment Group, where he was responsible for the distribution in all media not only of the new feature productions, but also the Thorn-EMI 2000-title film library, for which he negotiated licenses in all media worldwide.
In 1989, Sugar served as the President of Republic Pictures International, where he was responsible for the distribution of all feature films in all media worldwide as well as for supervision of co-productions and acquisitions.
He has, since 1993, been producing and writing. In 1994 he produced, wrote or co-wrote three features in association with Showtime as part of a series of films which he created. One of the films that he wrote and produced was "Robin of Locksley" which, on airing, was the highest rated of all of Showtime's family films. To date, Larry has produced seven classics in his family film series. In 1997 and 1998, he produced "Dead Man's Gun," the critically acclaimed Western anthology series for Showtime, MGM and Peace Arch Entertainment. He produced the science fiction series entitled "First Wave" in association with Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope and Pearson International and which aired on SciFi Network in the US. He also produced the series "Just Deal" for NBC. In addition to directing several episodes of "Dead Man's Gun" and "First Wave", Larry also produced and directed the acclaimed "So Weird" for Disney Channel and produced "Out of Time" and "Mermaid", two additional family films for Showtime.
More recently, he produced and directed 22 episodes of the television cooking series "Barely Cooking" in conjunction with City TV and completed three seasons of the one-hour dramatic series entitled "The Collector," for CHUM/Space. He has also completed a third season of "Romeo", a ½ hr television series for Nickelodeon in association with Tom Lynch Company as well as "Secret Central," a mini-series for Hasbro.
Sugar has been an adjunct professor at the College of Santa Fe for the past many years where he taught a course entitled, "The Business of Entertainment". He has lectured at many colleges and Universities, including Brandeis, USC, UCLA, Tulane and UBC.
He has acted as consultant for various organizations including Showbiz Expo, AFMA (where he served as member of the board for 10 years and was one of the 10 people who formed AFMA) and NATPE, and has served as a consultant and/or board member for several production and distribution companies. He is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the Writer's Guild of Canada, the Director's Guild of Canada, the British Columbia Motion Picture Association and various other associations. Larry is also a founder and the Chairman of the Board of D-Cinema Entertainment Inc. He resides in Vancouver, Canada.
Before graduating from college, Smith had already amassed an eclectic resume in the entertainment business. He acted in CBC sitcoms, commercials, two feature films, worked as a radio announcer, and produced segments for CBC Radio. Upon graduation from Ryerson University, Arthur, at the age of 22, began work as a CBC Network Sports producer and was immediately assigned to major sporting events around the world, including the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and Hockey Night in Canada. In 1988, after being responsible for the Grey CUP, the 1988 Calgary Olympics, and the 1988 Seoul Olympics (for which he earned two Gemini awards), CBC appointed Smith Head of CBC Sports at the age of 28. While running CBC Sports, word of his innovative work and reorganization of the network division spread internationally, and in 1990, he accepted an offer from Dick Clark to join Clark's company, Dick Clark Productions, in Los Angeles.
As Senior Vice President of Dick Clark Productions, Smith quickly created a wide range of new entertainment programming. After half a decade at the production company, Smith accepted a position at MCA Universal, becoming the first ever Senior VP of the television group. Within months, Smith garnered commitments for programs at all the major networks. His stay at Universal was a brief one, however - FOX, newcomer to the sports business, was eyeing a major expansion and needed a creative and entrepreneurial executive to spearhead the initiative. Beginning in 1996 as Executive VP of FOX Sports Net, Smith was not only head of all programming, production and news, but led the expansion of the Fox Sports brand while serving as Executive Producer of all Fox Sports Net national programming. Smith launched and oversaw programming on 22 sports networks which encompassed tens of thousands of hours of events and original programming each year.
In 2000, Smith fulfilled his dream of starting his own company, A. Smith and Co. Productions, and quickly grew the business in to one of the most successful and important suppliers of television programming to US broadcast and cable networks. Over the course of its existence, A. Smith & Co. has produced thousands of hours of programming and countless series on more than 40 networks, including hit shows like the Emmy and People's Choice award nominated Hell Kitchen (FOX), Kitchen Nightmares (FOX), American Ninja Warrior (NBC/G4), Trading Spaces (TLC), Pros vs. Joes (SPIKE), The Swan (FOX), UFC Countdown (Spike, Fuel), Paradise Hotel (FOX), Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura (truTV), Skating with Celebrities (FOX), Surprise with Jenny McCarthy (NBC), Unsung (tvOne) and Full Throttle Saloon (truTV), to name a few. He is one of the most influential and key figures in television today and has been a consultant to major media companies and individuals like Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. When he's not in production, Smith can frequently be seen on the lecture circuit and also finds time to serve as the narrator on a number of high profile television series. In addition to being the CEO and Executive Producer at A. Smith & Co., he serves as Chairman of the Board of Tinopolis North America.
|Joe Michael Terry
Joe Michael Terry is an actor, writer, producer, and film executive who is best known, as an actor, for co-tar performances in Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985), Going Undercover(1988) Cannery Row (1982), I'm Going to Be Famous(1983) and First Monday in October (1981) before he quit acting to become the President of the British Film Company Hammer Films at Warner Bros. where he was in charge of developing films for the studio out of the Hammer Film library. At Warner Brothes, Joe worked with major film directors, writers, and producers. As a WGA writer, he has written film scripts for Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier and Directors like Irvin Kershner (who Directed "Star Wars -- The Empire Strikes Back), as well as writing and developing material for many others.
Joe-Michael Terry was born in Philadelphia October 23, 1954. And he attended private Catholic schools with his identical twin, Artist Alan F. Terry. Due to a divorce, his mother moved Joe and Alan to their summer home in Southern Florida where the twins finished High School as the first graduating class of the newly built Deerfield Beach High.
The twins headed off to separate colleges -- Alan had a full Academic Scholarship to attend the very private Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he mastered in foreign languages before enlisting in the Army as an Army Intelligence officer. And Joe, who had starred in some High School Theater performances, headed off to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He joined the Sigma Nu fraternity and was President of his pledge class, and was the only freshman to make the varsity Debate Team, but after two years at Mercer, Joe met someone he fell in love with and they both transferred schools -- moving to Denver, Colorado where they both enrolled in the private Catholic College, Loretto Heights, which was run by the Sisters of Loretto.
At Loretto Heights Joe studied International Relations under teacher, friend, and mentor U.S. Marine Colonel Francis James Kelly (who was the commander of an all Special Forces Unit in Vietnam. An important figure in that war who devised the Army's plans for Unconventional Warfare. John Wayne had played the Colonel in the feature film, The Green Berets). The Colonel had hoped that Joe would graduate Loretto and attend the John F. Kennedy War Memorial College. Unfortunately, Joe's partner, who had become intensely involved in the college's Theater Arts program unwittingly altered Joe's lifeline.
Joe's partner, Don Laney, "forced" Joe to act in some one-act plays that Don directed, and Joe displayed an intense, crude raw talent for the craft. It was while starring in a play there, that a New York Broadway Director, who was in Denver with his Broadway Bound stage show "The Belle of Amherst," with the legendary Julie Harris, came to the campus and noticed Joe stand out in a dramatic role. The story goes that the Director was so impressed with Joe that he went back stage after the performance and pushed past the two leads to get to Joe who only had a small, but important part. The Director knew that with the right teachers, Joe could be a star. The Director had founded the musical theater departments at the prestigious Uta Hagen Studios in New York, and was teaching Musical Theater at the Debbie Reynolds School for Acting in Hollywood, California. The Director, on the spot, gave Joe a full scholarship to either school, leaving the decision to Joe to decide which to take.
Joe was bit. He could not walk away from this opportunity. And, taking advice from industry professionals, Joe went to Hollywood where he began training at Debbie's school. It wasn't long before he started doing some commercial and print work which lead to small parts in television shows. In time, Joe had some major roles in episodic television, appeared as a regular in a failed pilot that starred triple threat Cloris Leachman, and began to emerge in full length, major motion pictures. Joe's manager was grooming Joe for a film career and, moving slowly into that world, Joe played small, bit parts in huge big budget studio films like "Cannery Row" with Nick Nolte and Debra Winger; "First Monday in October," with superstar Walter Mathau and Jill Clayburgh, etc.
But acting parts did not fill the days of the week and Joe started to get behind the camera. He got a job working for a New York talent agent who had just moved to California, Ruth Webb. And soon he became a sub-agent. Ruth represented some very important Hollywood royalty, putting fallen idols into dinner theater. Among others she represented Julie Newmar, Claudette Colbert, Martha Raye, and Mickey Rooney. And when Mickey told Ruth that he had found an investor to produce seven half-hour episodes of a T.V. series but needed to find a line producer, Ruth told Mickey "let Joe do it!" And Joe did. He produced those shows and went on to produce several TV commercials with Mickey. And he would have continued working with Mickey, except that Mickey's son, Tim, fired Joe and took over Joe's job. What can you do? Family, right!
So now, having experience with contracts and producing projects, Joe began work on a couple of low- budget films as an associate producer and then, at 23, formed his own production company called LT (Leder Terry) productions. Paul Leder was a director, who is most famous for his success in fathering a successful television writer, Rueben, and a soon to be, today important woman in film - Director Mimi Leder (who worked for Joe as a script supervisor on the film "I'm Going to Be Famous" which Joe co-produced and co-starred in.
"I'm Going to be Famous" shot on weekends, Friday night to late, late Sunday nights for 21 days. The film was about young Hollywood hopefuls who wanted to make it in Hollywood. And Joe played the key role of "Kevin McGraw" a "sick" would-be actor who claims the he KNOWS he is going to be famous, no matter what no matter how. And when he doesn't get cast in a Broadway bound play, Kevin grabs a gun, appears at the play on opening night and shoots the show's movie star/stage actress -- brilliantly played by TV personality Meredith Macrae. Joe had approached actors he had worked with in Television to work in the film. Directed by Paul Leder, the film starred, among others, the one and only Vivian Blane, Dick Sergeant (from Bewitched), Meredith Macrae, John Gaynes (Tootsie and Police Academy) Roslyn Kind (Barbara Streisand's talented singer sister), Stanley Kamel, and others. When if was finished the film attracted a lot of interest from some of the major studios. And it began Joe getting heavily involved in film production.
Ultimately Joe became a WGA film writer who wrote and developed scripts for some major A-list talent. He wrote two scripts for Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, he developed several scripts, and wrote two for Irvin Kershner (Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back; Never Say Never Again; the Eyes of Laura Mars, etc.), and others. Joe was represented by one of the founding fathers of CAA, Marty Baum (who also represented Sidney Poitier), and Marty began introducing Joe to some important CAA clients. But Joe was given an offer he couldn't refuse. Roy Skeggs, then the Chairman of the Board of the fifty year old major British Film Company, Hammer Films, offered Joe a job as President of the company, here in America.
Joe took the job and walked away from his burgeoning writing career in order to shepherd Hammer Films, and its 214 film's in its library, into a major Hollywood Studio Development and Production Deal. The first thing Joe did when he took command of the studio was to fire Hammer Films' agent at CAA because the agent had been ignoring London's call to Hollywood. Then, Joe took the film library to a number of major film producers, looking for an American based Film Production Partner. With the help of their attorney, Barry Hirsch, of Armstrong Hirsch, Joe caused to come into existence a major film production and development deal with Warner Bros. by partnering his company with the company Donner/Shuler Donner (Director Richard Donner of "Lethal Weapon, The Goonies, Superman, Tales from the Crypt, The Omen, etc. and Dick's wife Lauren Shuler Donner, producer of X-Men, Constantine, You've got Mail, and so many others). Over the next couple of years, officed on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Joe worded to develop scripts with Dick and Lauren for Hammer/Donner/Shuller Donner to produce. Joe worked with A level writers and Directors. He had arrived. But tragedy struck.
While working at Warner Bros., Joe, who has now been diagnosed and successfully treated for a schizo-affective condition, began to hear voices. He became more and more paranoid. He fell victim to drug abuse, and he got out of control. A lot of people tried to help him, and he tried to help himself, but the actual problem, his mental condition, was not immediately identified. Joe was let go from Hammer with a large severance package paid to him by Chairman of the Board, Roy Skeggs, who told Joe and others, sadly, "Joe was the best President we ever had.... But he had to be let go."
Joe became homeless for a while, and filled with shame and disgrace, wandered the streets of Los Angeles. But his family never gave up on him. His brother, Alan, did everything imaginable to rescue Joe. And people like Randolph Davis, who had been one of Joe's best friends and writing partners, for twenty years, misdiagnosed his problem as being drug related. Then, after being hospitalized in the Cedars Sinai Thalien Psychiatric ward for trying to kill himself, a psychiatrist realized that Joe was schizo-affective.
And the long process of finding the right combination of drugs to "fix" him began.
It took almost ten years to find the right combination to restore Joe to "sanity." And for the last ten years, Joe has been dealing with the shame and the guilt of "having had it all" and "having lost everything" to a condition that, although outside his control, was his, and his alone, "failure." Today, Joe is living a quiet existence in a West Hollywood condo, where he is the only non-owner to ever be elected to the Board of Directors (serving for five years now as the Board's Secretary), and he is once again writing (after a ten year retreat from the pen). He believes he is still alive because he has something still to say.
Joe has been active as an advocate for patients dying of Aids, with the Actors Fund and the City of West Hollywood, and he has volunteered time at The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center... He is very reclusive, but open to the idea of expanding his horizons. He believes that depression is Natures' way of helping you, of forcing you, to reevaluate who you are, why you are here, who is important to you, and what you can and cannot do... He believes if you bite off more than you can handle, and you fail, depression, and shame, as crippling as they can be -- are tools to help you focus on what's important.
Joe says he will never act again, will probably never produce again, but will continue to write and to develop film and television products "that are about something."
Joe is hoping that he will find a way to help people with mental illness. He hopes we all will.
Born in Philadelphia, he attended Temple University and received a B.S in Business. George Litto's career as a highly successful film producer, talent agent, and film executive began at the William Morris Agency in New York City.
In 1965, Mr. Litto formed his own literary agency representing screenwriters, producers, and directors. In over ten years, Mr. Litto brought together or "packaged" the creative elements for films including M*A*S*H, Planet of the Apes, Nashville, Midnight Cowboy, Fiddler on the Roof, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here starring Robert Redford, Hang 'Em High starring Clint Eastwood, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, and Papillon starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
Mr. Litto negotiated distribution deals for films financed by independent producers. Those films include Robert Altman's Images and That Cold Day in the Park starring Sandy Dennis, Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback's Baadassssss Song, Brian De Palma's Sisters, Marty Davidson and Stephen Verona's The Lords of Flatbush, and Rodney Amateau's Where Does It Hurt? starring Peter Sellers.
Mr. Litto's clients have also included directors Robert Altman, Joe Losey (The Go Between) and Brian De Palma and writers Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy), Dalton Trumbo (Papillon), Ring Lardner, Jr. (M*A*S*H), Michael Wilson (Planet of the Apes), Abraham Polonsky (Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here) and Arnold Perl (Cotton Comes to Harlem and Malcolm X). In addition, Mr. Litto represented Leonard Freeman, who created and produced the long-running series Hawaii Five-0 and wrote and produced the Clint Eastwood western Hang 'Em High.
In 1973, while still managing his agency, Mr. Litto began his producing career as the Executive Producer of Thieves Like Us, the critically acclaimed Robert Altman film. In 1975, Mr. Litto began to devote his full attention to producing feature films. He financed and produced Obsession, distributed by Columbia Pictures and starring Cliff Robertson, Genevieve Bujold, and John Lithgow. This film established director Brian De Palma as a distinguished filmmaker. In 1976, Mr. Litto financed and produced Drive-In, a successful comedy for Rod Amateau for Columbia Pictures. In 1977, he financed and produced Over the Edge, distributed by Warner Brothers. This critically acclaimed youth film, directed by Jonathan Kaplan, introduced Matt Dillon.
In 1979, Mr. Litto produced his most successful and well-known film, Dressed to Kill, directed by Brian De Palma and starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, and Dennis Franz. In 1980, Mr. Litto again collaborated with De Palma to produce Blowout starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, and John Lithgow. While producing Blowout, Mr. Litto was recruited by Filmways to become Chairman of the Board and to help restructure the company. Mr. Litto successfully reorganized Filmways and made it an attractive company to acquire. In 1982, Filmways was acquired by Orion Pictures.
After leaving Filmways, Mr. Litto entered into a contract with Twentieth Century Fox as an independent producer. In 1988, Mr. Litto produced Kansas starring Matt Dillon and Andrew McCarthy, and Night Game starring Roy Scheider, directed by Peter Masterson.
After being married 20 years and raising two daughters, Mr. Litto took some time off to spend with his family, travel the world, and pursue other areas of personal interest.
In January 1998, Mr. Litto formed George Litto Pictures, Inc. and negotiated a $100 million line of credit with JP Morgan Chase Bank to finance and produce pictures. The first film, The Crew, in partnership with Barry Sonnenfeld was released by Buena Vista (Disney) in August 2000. The Crew starred Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Carrie Ann Moss, Jeremy Piven and Jennifer Tilly.
George Litto Productions, Inc. has an extensive development program, some of which are Vanished, a prison escape and love story based on true events by Eric Adams, The Blizzard, an action suspense thriller, by Marco Mannone, How Little We Know, a romantic comedy with international cast and appeal, and Unplanned Parenthood, a screenplay based on the novel by Liz Carpenter. Both screenplays are written by Andria Litto. Andria is George's daughter, partner and President of George Litto Productions, Inc.
|William J. Immerman
William J. Immerman is President of Production of RSVP Entertainment LLC, an independent motion picture production company which he formed with Howard and Karen Baldwin, his former producing partners from Crusader Entertainment LLC. RSVP is partially owned by Salem Productions, Inc., Immerman's solely owned independent motion picture production and consulting company that provides production and business affairs consultation to production and distribution companies. Immerman was formerly Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Yari Film Group and its affiliated independent motion picture and television production, financing and international distribution companies. Prior to joining Yari, Immerman was Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Crusader, an Anschutz Film Group company, from its founding until its merger with Walden Media, LLC. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. from Stanford Law School. He also served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve, attaining the rank of Captain. He began his career as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles and soon after entered the motion picture industry with American International Pictures ("AIP") as Associate Counsel. At AIP, Immerman acted a Director of Business Affairs, Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Board, Vice President in Charge of Business Affairs and as the AIP production executive on such successful films as "Wild In The Streets" and "Three In The Attic" among others. He was also a member of the Production Committee for AIP that had final approval on all projects made by the film company and all budget matters. He also acted as production executive for AIP on the television special entitled "AN EVENING OF EDGAR ALLEN POE" starring Vincent Price. While at AIP, Immerman represented the company on the board of directors of International Film Importers and Distributors of America, Inc. He next joined Twentieth Century Fox ("Fox") as Vice President in charge of Business Affairs and acted as chief talent, production and distribution negotiator for the studio and represented Fox on the board of directors of both the Motion Picture Association of America and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Immerman had supervisory responsibility for both motion picture and television business affairs at Fox. In addition, he was also responsible for bringing in several of his former creative associates from AIP and their projects to Fox, which resulted in the financing by the studio of a number of very successful motion pictures, including "DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY," "LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE" and "RACE WITH THE DEVIL." Promoted to Senior Executive Vice President of Fox's feature film division, Immerman joined a three-man board of senior EVP's who reported directly to the Chairman of the Board. Among the projects approved for production during this period were "STAR WARS," "YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN", "THE OMEN" and "SILVER STREAK." Immerman was also a Senior Executive Vice President of the parent company. While at Fox Immerman was the executive in charge of the original Broadway production of "THE WIZ". Immerman resigned from Fox to establish Scoric Productions, Inc., an independent production company. Scoric had an exclusive production agreement with Warner Bros. for two years. While at Scoric he acted as Executive Producer of the motion picture "HIGHPOINT" starring Richard Harris and Christopher Plummer, which was one of the original pictures produced at the inception of the Canadian tax incentive program, and was released by New World Pictures and he arranged financing and distribution for the syndicated television special "THAT'S PANTHERTAINMENT" which was distributed by United Artists Television. He next formed Cinema Group, Inc. and was Chairman of the Board and President of the company. Cinema Group was the first motion picture company to raise start up money from Wall Street through both an initial private placement and a subsequent public offering. Immerman acted as Executive Producer on the company's productions: "TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT" (Avco Embassy) starring Robert Hays and Barbara Hershey; "SOUTHERN COMFORT" (Fox) starring Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe; and "HYSTERICAL" (New World) starring the Hudson Brothers. During Mr. Immerman's tenure at Cinema Group the company also secured financing for the cable television series "LIKELY STORIES", which was distributed by Atlantic Television and had its initial exhibition on Cinemax, and arranged the co-financing with Paramount for the films, "STAYING ALIVE," "STAR TREK II" and "FLASHDANCE." Immerman has also executive produced or produced the following motion pictures: "MIND GAMES" starring Edward Albert and Maxwell Caulfield ; "PRIMAL RAGE" starring Patrick Lowe and Bo Svenson; "WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK" starring Nicholas DeToth, Michael Parks and John Saxon; "WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS PART II" starring Wilfred Brimley, Doug McKeon, Chad McQueen and Lisa Whelchel; "THE ST. TAMMANY MIRACLE" starring Mark Paul Gosselar, Jamie Lunar, Soliel Moon Fry and Steve Allen; "THE LOST TREASURE OF SAWTOOTH ISLAND" starring Ernest Borgnine; "BRING HIM HOME" starring Edward Asner and Sharon Gless; "CHILDREN ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS" starring Christopher McDonald, Sheryl Lee and Tom Arnold; "SWIMMING UPSTREAM" starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis; "DANNY DECKCHAIR" starring Rhys Ifans and Miranda Otto; "WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS" starring Dave Matthews and Dabney Coleman; "SOUND OF THUNDER" starring Ed Burns and Ben Kingsley; "RAY" starring Jamie Foxx ( which was nominated for several Academy Awards and received "Best Actor" and "Best Editing" awards); "GAME OF THEIR LIVES" (aka "THE MIRACLE MATCH") starring Gerard Butler and Wes Bentley ; "SAHARA" starring Matthew McConaughey, Steve Zahn, Penelope Cruz and William H. Macy; "NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH" starring Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Alan Alda, Vera Farmiga and Angela Bassett; "WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU" starring Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke and Amanda Peete; "THE MAIDEN HEIST" starring Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, William H. Macy and Marcia Gay Harden; "REFUGE" starring Linda Hamilton and Christopher McDonald; "GUNS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING" starring Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, Dane Cook, and Powers Boothe; "CAN'T STAND LOSING YOU", a documentary about the legendary musical group "the Police" : "PAPA" starring Giovanni Ribisi and Joely Richardson and for RSVP:.. "MR. HOCKEY, THE GORDIE HOWE STORY," a television movie produced for the CBC and Hallmark Channel; and "BEFORE WE GO" starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve. Until its merger with The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Immerman served as a member of the Board of Directors of Heritage Entertainment, Inc., a public company which then owned and operated the Landmark Theaters chain of theaters. Immerman has also served as Special Consultant to the Office of the President of Pathe Communications Corporation and as Vice Chairman of Pathe's subsidiary company, Cannon Pictures, Inc. He has also been President of Distribution Expense Company, a company that provided loans to independent producers and distributors used to pay for motion picture theatrical distribution expenses. During the 1980's Immerman served on the National Advisory Board of the Sundance Film Festival and from the early 1990's until 2007 served on the National Advisory Board of the DeSantis Center for Motion Picture Industry Studies at the College of Business, Florida Atlantic University. He also is a member of the Los Angeles Advisory Committee of the University of Wisconsin Foundation and a Trustee of the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union Building Fund. Immerman has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the Thalians Mental Health Center at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Immerman has produced The Valentino Awards Show (televised on RAI-TV in Italy) on several occasions for the Thalians and other live event shows for other charities. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and serves as a director of The Screen Actors Guild Foundation. Immerman produced the Los Angeles legitimate stage production and international tour of "THE KNIFE THROWERS ASSISTANT, A LIFE ON THE CUTTING EDGE" and the Los Angeles legitimate stage production of "BERLIN TO BROADWAY, the music of Kurt Weil''. Immerman has been "Of Counsel" to the law firm of Barash & Hill where he served as the supervising attorney of the entertainment law department and "Of Counsel" to the Los Angeles law firm of Kenoff & Machtinger and senior member of The Law Offices of William J. Immerman. During that time he specialized in representing sales agents, independent producers, financiers and distributors and negotiating complex financing deals and acting as production and distribution counsel for his clients. He is a member of the State Bar of California and the Los Angele County Bar Association and Beverly Hills Bar Association which has elected him to "The Order of Distinguished Attorneys". He has received the "Highest Rating In Legal Ability & Ethical Standards" from the "LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbard Peer Review Ratings". Immerman is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has served as an arbitrator for the Independent Film and Television Alliance (formerly AFMA), the non profit membership organization of all the leading international motion picture distributors and is recognized as an expert on the motion picture industry by many of the courts in the U.S. and frequently testifies in arbitrations and court cases, federal, state and international, as an expert on the motion picture and television business.. In 2010 he received "The Louis B. Mayer Award" from the UCLA Anderson School of Management as "the Outstanding Motion Picture Business Executive of the Year".
|Spyros P. Skouras
Spyros Panagiotis Skouras was born on 27 September, 1892 at Skourahorian, Greece, the son of a local sheepherder. After initially studying for the priesthood, Skouras, with the help of his older brother, [error], joined his younger brother, George P. Skouras, and traveled to America. While working as a bus boy in St. Louis, Skouras would spend his nights studying English, business practices, accounting and law. In 1912 the three brothers pooled their money and purchased a rundown nickelodeon in a poor neighborhood in St. Louis. After turning the theater around the brothers were able to build on their success and borrow $150,000 to buy and refurbish the old Grand Central Theater in St. Louis. Eventually the Skouras brothers would go on to control 650 theaters spanning coast to coast.
Skouras, along with his brother George joined the Army Signal Corps during the First World War. After the war they returned to St. Louis and their theater interests.
The Skouras brothers sold their theater franchise in 1928 to Warner Brothers where Skouras and his younger brother George were made officers in the company. Charles Skouras went on to become president of National Theaters Inc. In 1931 Skouras left Warner's to work for Paramount and the following year was lured away to take over Fox Metropolitan Theaters in New York, which was loosing a million dollars a year. He was able save the franchise from bankruptcy and by 1942 was in a position to take over the presidency of 20th Century-Fox. During his tenure as president Skouras is credited with embracing cinemascope technology in an attempt to save the movie industry from the growing competition from television. By early 1960s, mounting losses compounded by the 30 million over-budget production of Cleopatra, led to Skouras being forced out. He remained on as chairman of the board though, retiring in 1969 to devote more time to his shipping line business, Prudential -Grace Lines.
Skouras died of a heart at his home in Mamaroneck, NY on 16 August, 1971. He was survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Saroula Bruiglia, two daughters and two sons.
|Salah M. Hassanein
Mr Salah M. Hassanein was born in 1921 in Egypt. He attended the British School, Alexandria, and the London School of Economics, Cairo. He came to the United States in 1945, where he served in the U.S. Armed forces from 1945 to 1947. He joined Skouras Theatres Corporation as an usher in 1947, and became President in 1961. Subsequently, and until 1987, Salah M. Hassanein was appointed Executive Vice president, a member of the Board of Directors of the United Artists Communications and President of United Artists Eastern Theatres. In 1987, he was appointed President of Warner Brothers International Theatres and was entrusted with the task of building a network of multiplex theatres in Europe, Japan and Australia on behalf of Warner Brothers. In July of 1994, he assumed the Presidency of The Todd-AO Corporation, which he occupied until June of 2000. Currently, he is President of SMH Entertainment, Chairman of the Board of PointSource Technology and a member of the Board of Directors of SeeBeyond. He is Chairman of the Board of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, past Chairman of the Board and President of Variety Clubs International, Honorary Chairman of the Will Rogers Memorial Fund, past Chairman and President of the Foundation of Motion Picture Pioneers, a member of the New York State Motion Picture and Television Advisory Board, an advisory board member of the National Bank of New York City, past member of the Board of Television & Film Committee of the United States Information Agency, a trustee of the North Shore Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y. and a member of the Board of Aging in America, Inc. He is also currently Chairman of the Variety International Lifeline Program. Mr Hassanein currently resides in San Diego and lives with British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.
Chicago-born Braun has been a successful and honored filmmaker for over 30 years. In 1964, his production of "Goldstein" won the Prix De la Nouvelle Critique at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1974, his co-production of Maximilian Schell's "The Pedestrian" won the Golden Globe Award as Best Foreign Film and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category. His production of "The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane", starring Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen, was voted Best Horror Film by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. In 1986, Braun again teamed up with director Schell to co-produce "Marlene", which earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature along with winning the New York Film Critics Award, The National Society of Film Critics Award and the National Board of Review Award. Braun's all-consuming interest in filmmaking led him fresh from studying Humanities and Classic Arts at the University of Chicago to enter movies while still serving as President of Braun International, his family's packaging firm. Some of Mr. Braun's other productions include: "Angela", starring Sophia Loren and John Huston; "Freedom Road", starring Muhammad Ali and Kris Kristofferson; "The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu", starring Peter Sellers and Helen Mirren; and "Where are the Children", starring Jill Clayburgh and Frederick Forrest.
The 1987-88 television season saw the company bring to the screen a two-hour movie-for-television, "Stillwatch", starring Lynda Carter and Angie Dickinson; a four-hour mini-series, "Murder Ordained", starring JoBeth Williams, Keith Carradine and Terry Kinney; a two-hour NBC movie, "The Father Clements Story, starring Louis Gossett, Jr., Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Carroll O'Connor (winner of the Christopher Award and CEBA Award). "Tour of Duty", the highly acclaimed weekly prime-time series about the Vietnam War, also premiered in 1987 and ran for three successful seasons on CBS. Other television series from Mr. Braun include "Murphy's Law", starring George Segal, which ran on ABC and "Bagdad Cafe", starring Whoopie Goldberg and Jean Stapleton for CBS. In 1991, Braun produced "A Seduction in Travis County", a two-hour movie for CBS, starring Lesley Ann Warren, Peter Coyote and Jean Smart. Expanding into the cable marketplace, he produced "Split Images", a two-hour movie based upon the best selling novel by Elmore Leonard and starring Gregory Harrison. In 1994, Braun produced the critically praised four-hour mini-series "Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills for CBS starring Edward James Olmos and Beverly D'Angelo. Also that year at CBS was "Dominick Dunne's 919 Fifth Avenue", a two-hour pilot movie that starred James Marsden and Denise Richards.
In 1996, "Abducted: A Father's Love, a two-hour NBC movie starring Chris Noth, Peter MacNichol and Stepfanie Krammer, turned out to be one of the highest rated television movies for the year and was highly acclaimed, as well. "Lethal Vows", starring John Ritter and Marg Helgenberger, aired on CBS in 1999, and also proved extremely successful.
Braun then produced "Edges of the Lord", a feature film shot in Poland and starring Haley Joel Osment and Willem Dafoe, distributed by Miramax Films.
He executive produced the CBS 2005 May Sweeps entry, "Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution" starring Janel Moloney.
Most recently, Braun won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Movie for Television for the highly rated movie he produced for Lifetime Television, "A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story", directed by Agnieszka Holland starring Mercedes Ruehl.
Braun is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He serves on the Board of Trustees for The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) and the Board of Directors for The Heart Touch Project. Zev Braun was also a founding member of the Board of Directors for GIRF (the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation) of the University of Chicago hospitals as well as the Chairman of the Board for the International Kidney Institute at UCLA. Braun also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Saban Vaccine Institute. He was awarded the City of Hope's Golden Key for his work in connection with this organization.
Born in Tirana, Albania. He is a graduate of Albanian Economic University and University of Law.
President of the "Albanian Producers and Filmmakers Association"
Member of European Film Academy
Chairman of the Board of the Albanian National Center of Chinematography
In 2011 he was selected for "Producers On The Move" in Cannes Film Festival, by European Film Promotion
He is Producer in "On Film Production" movies company.
In 2015, he will produce the movie "Distant Angels" by Gjergj Xhuvani
In 2015"Alarm für Cobra 11 - Vendetta (2015) TV episode (line producer)
In 2013, he is executive produce the movie "Amsterdam Express" by Fatmir Koci
In 2013, he is executive produce the movie "Amaneti" by Namik Ajazi
In 2011, he produced short movies: "Bela", "Sarina", "24 Hours", "Doors, doors", "The Lession" "The Passion", "When the death turn the road", "Lucky letters"
In 2010, he produced the movie "The Albanien" by Johannes Naber
In 2010, he produced the TV movie "In search of !" by Gjergj Xhuvani
In 2010, he produced short movies: "Albania - Italy", "Family Market", "Heat", "Lost Days" "A night of bright weather", "Children Jobs"
In 2009, he produced the TV sitcom "Komuna e Parisit" by Altin Basha
In 2009, he worked as executive producer "Honey Moons " by Goran Paskaljevic
In 2009, he produced short movies: "The Farewell Waltz", "Horoscopes", "Money" "Hospital window, "Soldiers", "Two Friends"
In 2008, he worked as executive producer "Alive" by Artan Minarolli
In 2008, he produced short movies: "The avenger's Family", "Parallel Life " "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ", "The death of the grad father Trifon", "The first Day of the Job " "Beyond the Borders" "The Guests "
In 2007, he worked as executive producer "Lenin and us " by Saimir Kumbaro
Shashi Balooja is an award winning actor,filmmaker, writer, director and producer. After working extensively on stage, television, and film, he produced, co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the 27-minute short film "Ariana", which won numerous awards including Best Story and Best Screenplay at the Italian Short Film Festival "arrivano i corti". Shortly thereafter, he appeared and starred in 4 feature films including "And Then Came Love", distributed by Warner Brothers and the WE Network, starring Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt, which he also co-produced. Shashi is the executive producer, co-director, and lead actor of the feature film "Exposed", which was recently released. Other recent acting credits in films released or in post-production include "Gametime, "Sweet Pea", "Kulcha Krazy", "Crumbling" and "Subject 1" (Canada). http://www.mediaatlarge.com
Some of his numerous off-Broadway and Regional stage credits include "Equus" with Alec Baldwin, "Moby Dick" with Peter Boyle, and the title role in "Julius Caesar". He also co-produced and starred in August Strindberg's "Miss Julie" at The Blue Heron Theater in NYC and most recently starred in and produced Tennessee William' "In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel" at New World Stages in the heart of Manhattan's Theater District". Over the last 10+ years Mr. Balooja has performed in several main stage productions at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York, and has been an integral part of the East End Theater community. He will star in the world premiere of "Out" by Rain Pryor off- Broadway in 2015/2016 which is also in development as feature film .
Television performances include "Law and Order SVU", "Third Rock", and "As the World Turns". He is developing a reality-based program documenting the development of rising stars in the performing arts. He completed his first Canadian film "Subject 1" in Toronto this year and is creating the sci-fi TV series based on the film.
Mr. Balooja is the founder and Executive Producer of Media at Large http://www.mediaatlarge.com #mediaatlarge formerly ABC Film & Video, LLC which has produced numerous films, television content, commercials, industrials, documentaries, theatrical and music videos. As voted by a panel of 200 angel investors and venture capitalists from the Funding Post in 2007, ABC Film & Video was named "one of the top emerging companies under the leadership of actor Shashi Balooja" and touted on the Reuters Jumbotron in Times Square.
Shashi has been involved in, and continues successful philanthropic and fund-raising efforts and relationships with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, MTEAF (Maria Torres Emerging Artist Fund), The Public Theater, The All Stars Project, and The John Drew Theater at Guild Hall. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the arts organization Dorill Productions.
Shashi is an alumni of NBC Universal's and Outfest's by invitation only Fusion & Access LA Festival which includes symposiums addressing programming, and top level executive conferencing at NBCU for up and coming diversity oriented content creators, performers, directors and producers. He was one of the celebrity hosts of the Antigua Film Festival where he led workshops for aspiring native actors, filmmakers, producers and designers. He is leading a workshop at "Jumby Bay", a Rosewood 5 Star Resort on a private Island, for the top executives and management team based on Stephen Covey's "The 7 habits of Highly Successful People"
Recently Shashi became an alumni of Caribbean Tales Incubater and had his work pitched and showcased at TIFF (Toronto International Film Film Festival). He will head the Canadian/US/Caribbean co-production of "Mama Grace", which is based on his highly acclaimed multi-award winning 27min. debut short film "Ariana", in 2015. The DVD "shortsatlarge", a compilation of 5 films produced by, and starring Shashi Balooja, produced by Media at Large will be released in the fall of 2015.
Other films in development, written by Shashi Balooja, are Kulcha Krazy and XS. Shashi is a lead producer of the award winning "Fried Chicken & Latkes" written and performed by close friend Rain Pryor, daughter of Richard Pryor, and an owner of Media at Large, along with James Brent White. #friedchickenandlatkes had it's world premiere in June 2015 at the National Black Theatre, followed by a second invitation to The National Black Theatre Conference. The show is scheduled to begin its Broadway debut winter 2016/2017, after several limited engagements off-Broadway, regionally, and globally.
Scott is a Co-Chairman, Board of Advisors for various Publishing and Comic/Graphic Novel companies. Formerly he was the Executive Vice President of 10 time Emmy Award Winning Motion Picture and Television production company, Wonderland Productions. He also headed up the Media fund "The Pinnacle Group" which comprised of many Wall Street financiers and corporate executives along with Palms Casino owners George, Gavin Maloof and Trump President Nicholas Ribis. There he financed projects with Academy Award Winning Producer Laura Bickford, New Line Cinema, Lions Gates, Propaganda Films, Interscope Films and Sony Pictures. After the success of the Fund, Scott took a position as Executive Vice President for Mike Medavoy's Ionic Worldwide, a division of Phoenix Pictures. Some of his credits include the TV series "Second Chances" with Cube-Vision and "The Middle" with Trifecta Entertainment. He received "Special Thanks" for Director Guy Ritichie's RocknRolla and Snatch, starring Brad Pitt. He also received a "Thanks" credit for The Game starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. Scott started his career as an attorney at the Chicago offices of the global law firm Sidley Austin. At Sidley he represented clients including boxing promoter Don King , the Trump Corporation, Airbus and Viacom.
Film Producer in France since 1992, Chairman of the Board of AAA Group and President of Studio Dudelange in Luxembourg, Gilles Thompson has written several screenplays for cinema. DARKWEB, produced in 2015, was his first feature as a supervising-director. He has written and directed CA$H with Kerry James in 2015. He will be writer and director of KILLER POINT and CODE NAME DESERT FOX shooting in 2016. The film RELATIVITY and the Serie ARTICLE 6, are in preparation.
Dr. Cornelis Abraham (Boet) Troskie, born 2 November in Bloemfontein, South Africa, established Mimosa Films in 1964 when reading a script from the legendary comedian Al Debbo. After his successful debut, one of the most successful partnerships arose for Boet, with writer and director Jamie Uys, who at the time was climbing the ladders of the South African film industry. Between 1969 and 1973 Boet produced award winning films, including the popular "Dirkie", aka "Lost in the Desert", which followed a father's journey to save his son from the harsh Namibian desert. In 1972, "Lost in the Desert" won an award at the Teheran Film Festival, and became a classic in its own right. In 1974, Boet produced a highly successful documentary with Jamie as writer, director and cinematographer. The film took a number of years to complete, but their efforts were well awarded. Internationally, "Beautiful People" aka "Animals are Beautiful People" won the Golden Globe for Best Documentary, the Golden Scissors award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing and the Eddy Award for Best Editing. Between 1975 and 1980, Boet continued to work with the most successful names in the South Africa film industry, including directors Daan Retief, Jan Scholtz, Dirk de Villiers, Elmo de Witt, Emil Nofal, Ivan Hall and Jamie Uys. In 1980 Boet, as Executive Producer, released South Africa's most successful feature film to date, the cult classic "The Gods Must be Crazy". Boet secured an agreement with Twentieth Century Fox for the film and settled in America to personally oversee the film's distribution and promotion. Boet returned to South Africa and produced another six films between 1981 and 1989, including the sequels "Funny People II" and "The Gods Must be Crazy II". Today, Boet remains an integral part of the Mimosa Film group as Chairman of the Board.