|George Roy Hill
Combative director George Roy Hill never hit it off with the critics, despite the fact that two of his films -- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting -- had remained among the top ten box office hits by 1976. His work was frequently derided as 'impersonal' or lacking in stylistic trademarks, Andrew Sarris famously referring to it as 'idiosyncratic odious oiliness'. Hill himself didn't help his own cause by shunning the limelight, avoiding appearances on chat shows and often keeping the press off his sets. In a rare interview for a book by Edward Shores in 1983, he declared: "I find publicity distasteful and I don't think it does the picture any good to focus on the director" (LA Times, Dec. 28 2002). Conversely, Hill was 'commercially reliable', a winner with the public and with the academy, picking up an Oscar and a Director's Guild Award for "The Sting" and a BAFTA for "Butch". At his best, he was an 'actor's director', a gifted storyteller with a powerful sense of narrative and a nostalgic flair for detail. His world was inhabited by individualists, often outsiders or loners, harbouring unattainable ideals or fantasies or trying to escape from the realities of a humdrum existence. According to biographer Andrew Horton, Hill framed "a serious view of life in a comic-ironic vein, manipulating genres for his own purposes" (A. Horton, "The Films of George Roy Hill", p.7).
Hill was born to a wealthy Roman Catholic family of Irish background (owners of the Minneapolis Tribune) and educated at private school, followed by graduate studies in music at Yale under the auspices of composer Paul Hindemith. While at university, he became involved with the Yale Dramatic Society and was at one time elected its president. After his graduation, he served as a transport pilot with the U.S. Marines for the duration of the Second World War. He was recalled as a night fighter pilot for the Korean War, rising to the rank of major. Hill had a lifelong passion for flying, which often reflected in his films (he held a pilot's license from the age of seventeen and later acquired a 1930 Waco biplane, which he took on spins in his spare time -- whenever he was not indulging his other favourite pastimes of reading history or listening to recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach). In 1949, he gained his B.A. in literature from Trinity College, Dublin. Remaining in Ireland, he first acted on stage with Cyril Cusack's company, making his debut in "The Devil's Disciple" at the Gaiety Theatre. He then appeared on Broadway in "Richard II" and "The Taming of the Shrew". After Korea, he divided his time between writing/directing live anthology TV (1954-59) and directing plays on and off Broadway (1957-62).
Hill's cinematic breakthrough came with Period of Adjustment, featuring an up-and-coming Jane Fonda (Hill had previously directed the original Tennessee Williams play on Broadway, featuring Barbara Baxley in the Fonda part). After eliciting strong performances from both Geraldine Page and Wendy Hiller in his filming of Lillian Hellman's Toys in the Attic, he followed with a moderately successful comedy The World of Henry Orient, which centred around a second rate pianist (Peter Sellers) as the object of fantasies by two female adolescents. This sort of put him on the map. However, his fourth film, Hawaii, shot at the cost of $15 million, was a critical and box office failure, though quickly redeemed by the exuberant Thoroughly Modern Millie, one of the best musicals of the 1960's (and possibly the zaniest ever made!). Hill was then instrumental in securing the serendipitous pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford for the first of his two mega hits, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". He tenaciously fought studio executives who envisaged more seasoned performers like Jack Lemmon and Warren Beatty (or, possibly, Steve McQueen) in the respective parts. Hill's military discipline and predilection for stubbornness prevailed, while it was Newman who worked on Hill in setting the humorous tone for the picture. "Butch and Sundance" effectively reinvigorated the western genre. The Newman-Redford chemistry resumed with the best caper comedy of its day, "The Sting", which was inspired by the exploits of Fred and Charlie Gondorf, famous practitioners of the 'big store' confidence racket in the early 1900's. Complete with a clever trick ending, this was, arguably, Hill's crowning achievement. He used very little camera movement and shot the picture in the 'flat camera style' of the typical Warner Brothers gangster films of the 30's and 40's. The in-between chapter titles were inspired by The Saturday Evening Post, a widely-read weekly publication of the period. Aided by Henry Bumstead's elaborately constructed 'aged' sets, rotogravure cinematography by Robert Surtees and costumes by Edith Head, the film grossed some $68.4 million in its initial run and garnered seven Oscars.
None of his later efforts even came close to emulating these successes, not even a pet project, The Great Waldo Pepper, for which Hill provided the original story (about a pioneer flying ace (Redford) whose quest to prove himself is stymied by progress and changing values). Slap Shot, a drama about minor league ice hockey, was another near miss. It failed to find mass audience support despite the star power of Paul Newman, mainly because of its excessive violence and crass language, though it gained something of a cult following among sports enthusiasts in later years. Hill sadly rounded off his career with a lame duck farce, misleadingly titled Funny Farm. After that, Hill left Hollywood to teach drama at Yale. He also donated original materials, including story boards, interviews, stills, scene sketches and set designs from the making of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and Slaughterhouse-Five to the Sterling Memorial Library in New Haven, Connecticut. One of few entirely unpretentious, self-effacing film makers whose directness and confrontational manner unnerved actors (Newman and Redford excepted!) and studio execs alike, Hill died in New York from Parkinson's Disease on December 27 2002.
Tall, blond and of rugged proportions, handsome actor Philip Carey started out as a standard 1950s film actor in westerns, war stories and crime yarns but didn't achieve full-fledged stardom until well past age 50 when he joined the daytime line-up as ornery Texas tycoon Asa Buchanan on the popular soap One Life to Live in 1979. He lived pretty much out of the saddle after that, enjoying the patriarchal role for nearly three decades.
He was born with the rather unrugged name of Eugene Carey on July 15, 1925, in Hackensack, New Jersey. Growing up on Long Island, he served with the Marine Corps during World War II and the Korean War. He attended (briefly) New York's Mohawk University and studied drama at the University of Miami where he met his college sweetheart, Maureen Peppler. They married in 1949 and went on to have three children: Linda, Jeffrey and Lisa Ann.
The 6'4" actor impressed a talent scout with his brawny good looks while appearing in the summer stock play "Over 21" in New England, and he was offered a contract with Warner Bros as a result. Billed as Philip Carey, he didn't waste any time toiling in bit parts, making his film debut billed fifth in the John Wayne submarine war drama Operation Pacific. Phil could cut a good figure in military regalia and also showed strong stuff in film noir. A most capable co-star, he tended to be upstaged, however, by either a stronger name female or male star or by the action at hand. He was paired up with Frank Lovejoy in the McCarthy-era I Was a Communist for the FBI, and Steve Cochran in the prison tale Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison. Warner Bros. star Joan Crawford was practically the whole movie in the film noir This Woman Is Dangerous co-starring the equally overlooked David Brian and Dennis Morgan; Calamity Jane was a vehicle for Doris Day; and he donned his familiar cavalry duds in the background of Gary Cooper in the Civil War western Springfield Rifle.
In 1953, Carey left Warner Bros. and signed up with Columbia Pictures where he was, more than not, billed as "Phil Carey." Here again he fell into the rather non-descript rugged mold as the stoic soldier or stolid police captain. He did find plenty of work, however, and was frequently top-billed. He battled the Sioux in The Nebraskan; played a former subordinate member of the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid gang who has to clear his name in Wyoming Renegades; was a brute force to be reckoned with in They Rode West; and had one of his standard movie roles (as an officer) in a better quality movie, Columbia's Pushover, which spent more time promoting the debut of its starlet Kim Novak as the new Marilyn Monroe. Overshadowed by James Cagney and Jack Lemmon in Mister Roberts and by Van Heflin, young Joanne Woodward (in her movie debut) and villain Raymond Burr in the western Count Three and Pray, Phil turned his durable talents more and more to TV in the late 1950s.
The man of action took on the role of Canadian-born Lt. Michael Rhodes on the series Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers alongside Warren Stevens. He eventually left Columbia studios to do a stint (albeit relatively short) playing Raymond Chandler's unflappable detective Philip Marlowe. Most of the 60s and 70s, other than a few now-forgotten film adventures such as Black Gold, The Great Sioux Massacre and Three Guns for Texas, were spent either saddling up as a guest star on The Rifleman, Bronco, The Virginian and Gunsmoke or hard-nosing it on such crime series as 77 Sunset Strip, Ironside, McCloud, Banacek and Felony Squad. He also played the regular role of a stern captain in the Texas Rangers western series Laredo.
Phil was a spokesperson for Granny Goose potato chips commercials, and his deep voice served him well for many seasons as narrator of the nature documentary series Untamed Frontier. One of his best-remembered TV guest appearances, however, was a change-of-pace role on the comedy All in the Family in which he played a vital, strapping blue-collar pal of Archie Bunker's whose manly man just happened to be a proud, astereotypical homosexual. His hilarious confrontational scene with a dumbfounded Archie in Kelsey's bar remains a classic.
Phil's brief regular role in the daytime soap Bright Promise in 1972 was just a practice drill for the regular role he would play in 1979 as Texas oilman Asa Buchanan in One Life to Live. His popularity soared as the moneybags manipulator you loved to hate. Residing in Manhattan for quite some time as a result of the New York-based show, he played the role for close to three decades until diagnosed with lung cancer in January of 2006. Forced to undergo chemotherapy, he officially left the serial altogether in May of 2007, and his character "died" peacefully off-screen a few months later.
Divorced from his first wife, Phil married a much younger lady, Colleen Welch, in 1976 and had two children by her -- daughter Shannon (born 1980) and son Sean (born 1983). Phil lost his battle with cancer on February 6, 2009, at the age of 83.
Donated money made from his role on the television series "Prince Street" to the making of his independent feature film "Smiling Fish And Goat On Fire".
Is the singer/songwriter of the band "The SpaceShip Martini Kundalini".
Writes for the screen and television with his brother Derick Martini
He and Derick Martini were invited to develop their film "Lymelife" at the Sundance Filmmaker's Lab. During the summer long lab they were one of the focal points of the Robert Redford produced documentary "Sundance 20", which is an inside look at the Sundance Filmmaker's and Screenwriter's labs.
Was mentored by 'Scott Frank', 'Chris Mc Quarrie', 'Robert Redford' and 'Alfonso Cuaron' among many others and the Sundance Filmmaker's lab.
Personal Quotes "Sure, it's an unusual title, but how many people knew what Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid meant before that movie was released?" - New York Times (2000)
Brian Joseph Robinson was born in Dublin. He began acting in 2003. He trained at the 'Gaiety school of Acting' and then went on to further his craft at 'The Irish Film Actors Studio'. Brian and a friend entered a contest which was running by Fox in 2005, in which the contestants must re-enact a scene from a famous movie. Brian picked Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Their entry won and they were awarded an all expenses trip to New York where they would be given the opportunity to appear in 'My Super Ex Girlfriend' by Ivan Reitman. After appearing in numerous short films, it was his debut in Gary Shores 'The Draft' that brought Brian attention. It was critically acclaimed and went on to show at various film festivals and win numerous prizes. Brian then went on to play the lead in Shane Corry's hilarious short film, 'Delivery'. Not wanting to be only associated with comedy, Brian then played a small supporting part in 'The Farm', a horror feature by Trinity graduate Daire McNab. 'The Farm' screened at numerous film festivals and went on to secure a distribution deal in the United States. Sticking with drama Brian also played a leading role in Patrick Wimp's 'Four' which won the best drama award at the Chicago film festival and is currently in negotiations for a distribution deal. Although Brian's true love is acting in film, he has also 'thread the boards'. His debut stage performance as Henry Irving in Mike Publete's, 'Stoker' astounded viewers and critics alike. He then returned to 'The New Theatre' in Temple Bar to play Taylor in Steve Gunn's rendition of Sam Shepard's 'The Curse of the Starving Class'. Brian has also done commercials for the likes of 'Guinness' and 'Permanent TSB bank'. Represented in Ireland by the Ann Curtis Agency, he is currently living in Los Angeles.
Scott Conrad, the Academy Award-winning film editor (Rocky), began his career in 1964 at 20th Century Fox. Twenty years old at the time, he worked his way up from the mail room. In his search to discover his niche in the studio, he worked for a short time in the Publicity Department covering such films as The Sound of Music and Goodbye, Charlie. The more he learned about the craft of film making, the more he was drawn to film editing. Many of the producers and directors such as Frank Schaffner, Vincente Minelli and Robert Wise encouraged Conrad, explaining that editing was the key to good film making.
Robert Mintz, who was the head of TV Post Production, gave Conrad his opportunity. At that time the Film Editors Union was a closed union membership was coveted and very limited. In the previous five years, only 3 new members had been accepted. It was a Catch 22 situation, said Conrad. In order to be accepted into the Editors Guild, you had to have a job as an editor and in order to have a job as an editor, you had to be in the union. In September of 1964, Robert Mintz told Conrad that he would hire him on a temporary basis and that if he were to remain employed for ninety days, the Editors Guild would accept him.
Soon the temporary job became a permanent job and Conrad was accepted into the Editors Guild. However, according to Conrad, You first served as an apprentice and when you were lucky enough to get the opportunity, you moved up to assistant editor. But at that time, you had to be in the Guild for a minimum of eight years before you could become an editor.
After working as an apprentice and assistant for two years, Conrad became impatient waiting for the opportunity to actually cut a film of his own. In 1966 he returned to college to complete his education, this time majoring in Cinema at the University of Southern California. While at USC he was mentored by some of the legendary professors of the Cinema School such as Bernie Kantor and Herb Farmer and exchanged ideas with fellow students John Milius and George Lucas.
While working on his senior project, Conrad who had been working part time at 20th Century Fox to pay for his tuition, was offered an opportunity which he couldn't turn down. The Film Editor on Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid was fired by director George Roy Hill. The assistant editor, John Howard, was given the job of editor and in turn asked Conrad to move up from apprentice to assistant editor. Needless to say, even though it meant dropping out of USC, he accepted.
George Roy Hills assistant on Butch Cassidy was Ron Preisman, a close friend of Conrad. While on location in Colorado, Preisman asked Hill if he could use Hills 16mm Bolex to shoot a few of the background scenes, such as the trains safe being blown up. Conrad and Preisman began collaborating on what other scenes they could film and came up with the idea of doing a behind the scenes documentary. Cinematographer Conrad Hall taught Preisman how to use the camera and the footage improved. Conrad asked the studio for a 16mm Moviola and stayed late at night playing with the footage and shaping it into a film. That project became The Making of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid and won an Emmy for Best Documentary.
With the success of the Butch Cassidy documentary came what could have been an end to Conrads career as a film editor. He had violated the sacrosanct eight year rule and was brought before the Editors Guild Board to explain why he should not be expelled from the union. Fortunately Conrad was able to persuade the Board that he had begun the project merely as an educational experiment and had no idea that it would become a full-fledged film, garnering such an award.
The Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid documentary launched Conrads career as an editor and in 1972 he was finally able to attain recognized status as a Film Editor. At first he worked as an Associate Editor under the legendary editors Lou Lombardo (The Wild Bunch) and Danford Greene (M.A.S.H). Subsequently he was the sole editor on some low-budget films such as The Messiah of Evil. In 1974 he teamed up with director-actor-producer L.Q.Jones to edit A Boy & His Dog. That film was not only a success at the time it was released, but has gone on to become a cult favorite and is still played in art house theaters.
Finally, in 1976 Conrad was given the opportunity he had been looking for when fellow editor Richard Halsey asked Scott to help him edit Rocky. Their collaboration resulted in an Academy Award for Best Film Editing and his career took off.
He currently resides in Malibu with his wife Aissa Wayne Conrad.
Twemlow was a one time night club bouncer and avid movie fan who entered the film world via working as a stuntman. Based in the Manchester area, Twemlow came into his own by starring in a series of extremely low budget action films mostly shot on videotape. The first, 1983's G.B.H., was a true labour of love for Twemlow in which he not only played the lead role but also produced, co-ordinated the stunts and wrote the music for all under a variety of pseudonyms. It features Twemlow as an embittered former night club bouncer called Steve Donovan a.k.a. 'The Mancunian', drawn back into the violent world of Manchester club land. This was a world Twemlow knew only too well, his autobiography published around the time of the film's video release was called 'Tuxedo Warrior: Tales of a Mancunian Bouncer'. Although boasting fine performances from such curiosities as 3-2-1 voiceover man Anthony Schaeffer and stand up comedian Jerry Harris, most of the cast were merely Twemlow's mates from the local gym and fellow stuntmen. Movie buff Cliff filled the film with references to the likes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and did the music under the name 'John Agar'. GBH very much set the tone for Cliff Twemlow's unique blend of cinema, with impressive stunt ridden set pieces, heavy emphasis on Manchester settings and Mancunian characters plus lots of very Northern humour.
A modest success GBH begat around 13 Twemlow vehicles filmed throughout the 80s and 90s. Mostly directed by David Kent-Watson they include the horror themed The Eye of Satan (1988) and a GBH sequel called Lethal Impact (1991) which was shot in Malta, Liverpool and naturally Manchester. Twemlow was also a horror novelist penning the paperbacks 'The Beast of Kane' and 'The Pike', the latter of which was meant to be made into a film starring Joan Collins which never happened. Sadly Twemlow passed away in 1993, but his two fisted legacy of action films and horror paperbacks is well worth celebrating.
Since he was 3 years old and thanks to his parents who were true moviegoers, Stephane Guenin has been introduced to powerful and entertaining movies such as "The Jungle Book", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "Serpico", "The 3 Days of the Condor", "The Sting", and others.
After completing a PhD of Law at Paris II Pantheon-Assas law school, he was in charge of numerous clients for a product placement company - Film Media Consultant - for both feature films and TV shows like "Goldeneye", "Taxi 1 and 2", "Les Visiteurs 2", "Ronin". This gave him experience and the idea to create his own feature film production and distribution company - JDM Productions - that he ran from 1999-2006. In 2007 Stephane Guenin was elected as General Delegate and since 2012, as President for the French Producer's Guid, AFPF.
Stephane Guenin was also a junior partner of GSFR Paris, a law firm where he practiced entertainment law for 6 years (2000-2006), mainly representing authors.
Stephane wrote several screenplays which were the adaptation of the Hasbro's game, "Clue", a prime time show for the French National TV Network France 3 which were his first steps as a filmmaker. This film debut has been followed by 3 short films, "Fer 5", "Gun!" and "Janus".
"The 7th Lie", his first feature film was presented at the 2003 Savannah International Film festival for its World Premiere, to the 2004 Sarlat Film Festival for its European Premiere, to the 2004 Films de Quartier in Dakar for its African Premiere, then to the 2005 Paris Film Festival and the 2005 French Film Festival in Cosne/Loire.
"Stigmatize", (screened at 2009 Clermont Ferrand Film Festival and 2009 Berlin Kurtz Film Festival) is a strong but still humorous warning sent to those who practice their religion without any understanding of the peace and wisdom message that it delivers and who kill for their derived believing. It features actors such as Diane Haziel with whom Stephane had worked since his first short film, "Fer 5", Beatrice Romand (Best actress award in a leading role at 1988 Venice Mostra for "Un beau marriage") and Hiro Uchiyama.
In 2007, Stephane Guenin also directed a couple of documentaries, one dedicated to the 60th Cannes festival ceremony featuring Diane Haziel who was the model for the official robe for this event and the other in which he showed the behind the scene of an international ice skating world event, the 2007 Eric Bompard Trophee.
In 2011, Stephane Guenin completed a concert film starring the French violin virtuoso, Frederic Moreau, titled "Trio Solstice".
In 2012, Stephane Guenin co-produced and co-directed a short film which had its World Premiere at the 2012 City Of Lights, City Of Angels (Col Coa) at the prestigious DGA theater in Los Angeles and is still entering in the major International Film Festivals around the world and won the Silver Screen Award at the 2012 NIFF and the Audience Award at the 2012 Cosnes/Loire French Film Festival
In 2013, Stephane Guenin completed his second fiction feature film "L'Engagement 1.0" (aka "The Assignment 1.0) starring Geoffroy Thiebaut, Franck Cabot-David and Bruno Henry. The film has been screened at the Laemele theater in Santa Monica for its Market Premiere at the 2013 AFM, then at the 2014 Berlinale under the Canadian Pavillion for the Panorama section. The film is scheduled for a worldwide release in 2015.
Stephane Guenin is now completing the post production for his third fiction feature film, a US production film titled "Killing Uncle Roman".
In between film productions, Stephane Guenin teaches in Paris at the Cefpf ("Acting and directing master class" and "Produce and direct a 5 minutes TV show").
Ally Warren was raised on the east coast of Canada (Montreal and the Maritimes) so that her family could be close to her Caribbean roots (Antigua, Dominica, Trinidad). Her family moved to the west coast (Vancouver) where she took up modeling and studied acting for 4 years in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs at the University of British Columbia.
After university, Ally participated in Master Classes at Workshops in the Performing Arts in British High Comedy with Maria Aitken from Oxford (A Fish Called Wanda/Fierce Creatures) and in Stanislavski Method with Alexei Batalov from the Moscow Art Theater. (Alexei Batalov was one of the last students of Stanislavski and was an accomplished Russian film actor). Relocating to California to study, she studied with Actor's Studio's original alumni and Classic American film star, Jeff Corey (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) in Master Classes in American Film Acting at his Malibu California Studio.
Ally Warren won Best Actress at the Persistence of Vision Film Festival in 1994 for her portrayal of Gail, a cancer patient gone insane, in the short film The Tumor.
Ally played "The Steakbroker" in 'The Food and I' which won Special Jury Prize at Italy's Invideo 2002 Film Festival.
She is an accomplished equestrian: British Horse Society Pony Club B with Awards in English show jumping and dressage
Avid downhill skier and swimmer.
Canadian by birth, her father is British West Indian of Welsh decent from the the Eastern Caribbean and mother is Canadian/Ukrainian decent.
J.P. Scott was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He spent most of his adolescence and childhood living on a golf coarse (aka the world's biggest backyard). Many of his fondest memories were made in that house and in that yard which spurred his creativity as well as his childlike heart. While there, J.P. took up a great love for film thanks to his father who would watch classic films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jaws, The Good the Bad and the Ugly with him. By the time he was twelve, J.P. had started taking an interest in making films around the house and for school projects. He recalls making movie book reports for Andromeda Strain (for which he made a miniature town to mimic a plane fly by), The Sphere, Saving Private Ryan, and The Trench. Attending Arcadia High School, J.P. continued his creativity in film as well as in theatre and choir. For his senior musical, J.P. played Jean Val Jean in Les Miserables. He also made several more films during his high school career. He then attended Arizona State University where he majored in various areas as he searched for his niche (at the time ASU had no film school). Then, after being informed there would be a film school, J.P. immediately re-registered as a film major. Having already been in school for about 3 years, J.P. had to accelerate his film major career, which was a required two years, to just three semesters. During film school, he directed 4 short films and crewed on many others. In the summer of 2008, he was selected for a five week directing internship at Twentieth Century Fox with there hit show Prison Break. This experience further confirmed his conviction in becoming a film director. Weeks after the internship, Stephen King allowed J.P. Scott to adapt and film from his work Everything's Eventual. Originally, the script, written by Chad Callaghan, was only meant to be a short with a length of between 20 and 30 pages. But he soon realized the true potential of the story would be in a feature length film. He now knows, as he finishes the film, how big of an undertaking the project was. The film has exceeded all of his expectations for his first feature. He is very proud of the work put into the project and will cherish the experience for the rest of his days.
Born May 5, 1984, Marion Dean, while growing up in Alatoona, Pennsylvania, was exposed to music at a very young age. Under the guidance of his grandmother, a Broadway performer, Dean began singing and playing the piano at the tender age of two. In teaching him, his grandmother discovered very early on that Marion Dean's ears for tone and pitch were superior than anyone she had met. An active and expressive child, Dean would perform anything from "Beetlejuice" to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" while infusing silly string as props.
An original songwriter, Dean, while in high school, developed a talent for composing plays, films, and commercials. His gift gained him the attention of ivy league schools and state universities across the nation. He ultimately accepted a scholarship to a university in Georgia where he won a NCAA division award for Theater Composition. His accolades only heightened Dean's desire to make "his" music and he ultimately chose to defer his final year of school. He headed to Hollywood to pursue the musical career he had been dreaming of.
Dean's first album, "Cast of Characters" has been a lifetime in the making. Staying true to his multi-faceted musical background, Dean departed from the digital perfection that is a staple in today's music. He bravely relies on his own talent by writing every song, singing every lyric, and playing all but one of the instruments on the album. Dean selected 12 songs from his continually growing song bank to compile "Cast". To Marion Dean, it is important that he restore the analogue approach to music. Not only as an artist, but also as an individual. He feels that today's artists are too reliant on the digital equipment and due to over-production, the result is a lack of soul. His traditional approach to music, partnered with his ability to understand others through intuition, results in honest, character-rich music.
Dean now resides between Atlanta and Los Angeles
Michael Urnikis was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the south suburbs of Chicagoland. Creative endeavors throughout his entire life always led him to writing. He has written comic books, novels, screenplays, and articles. Eventually his creative drive took him to his biggest love, the silver screen, cinema. His favorite films are Rocky, Jeremiah Johnson, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Running on Empty, and Forrest Gump.