Thomas Stanley Holland was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, to Nicola Elizabeth (Frost), a photographer, and Dominic Holland (Dominic Anthony Holland), who is a comedian and author. His paternal grandparents were from the Isle of Man and Ireland, respectively. He lives with his parents and three younger brothers - Paddy and twins Sam and Harry. Tom attended Donhead Prep School. Then, after a successful eleven plus exam, he became a pupil at Wimbledon College. Having successfully completed his GCSEs, in September 2012 Tom started a two-year course in the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology notable for its numerous famous alumni.
Holland began dancing at a hip hop class at Nifty Feet Dance School in Wimbledon, London. His potential was spotted by choreographer Lynne Page (who was an Associate to Peter Darling, choreographer of Billy Elliot and Billy Elliot the Musical) when he performed with his dance school as part of the Richmond Dance Festival 2006. After eight auditions and subsequent two years of training, on 28 June 2008 Tom made his West End debut in Billy Elliot the Musical as Michael, Billy's best friend. He gave his first performance in the title role of Billy on 8 September 2008 getting rave reviews praising his versatile acting and dancing skills.
In September 2008 Tom (together with co-star Tanner Pflueger) appeared on the news programme on channel FIVE and gave his first TV interview. In 2009 Tom was featured on ITV1 show "The Feel Good Factor". At the launch show on 31 January he and two other Billy Elliots, Tanner Pflueger and Layton Williams, performed a specially choreographered version of Angry Dance from Billy Elliot the Musical, after which Tom was interviewed by host Myleene Klass. Then he became involved into training five ordinary British schoolboys learning to get fit and preparing their dance routine (fronted by Tom) for the final "The Feel Good Factor" show on 28 March 2009. On 11 March 2010 Tom Holland along with fellow Billy Elliots Dean-Charles Chapman and Fox Jackson-Keen appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV1.
On 8 March 2010, to mark the fifth anniversary of Billy Elliot the Musical, four current Billy Elliots, including Tom Holland, were invited to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It was Tom Holland who was chosen to be a lead at the special fifth anniversary show on 31 March 2010. Elton John, Billy Elliot the Musical composer, who was at the audience, called Tom's performance "astonishing" and said that he was "blown away" by it. Holland had been appearing on a regular basis as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical rotating with three other performers till 29 May 2010 when he finished his run in the musical.
In two months after leaving Billy Elliot the Musical, Holland successfully auditioned for a starring role in the film The Impossible (directed by Juan Antonio Bayona) alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. The Impossible was based on a true story that took place during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2012, and was released in Europe in October 2012, and in North America in December 2012.
Tom has received universal praise for his performance, in particular: "What a debut, too, from Tom Holland as the eldest of their three lads" (The Telegraph); "Tom Holland, making one of the finest feature debuts in years" (HeyUGuys); "the excellent Tom Holland" (The Guardian); "The child performers are uncanny and there is an especially terrific performance from Tom Holland as the resourceful, levelheaded Lucas terrified but tenacious in the face of an unspeakable ordeal" (Screen Daily); "Young Holland in particular is astonishingly good as the terrified but courageous Lucas." (The Hollywood Reporter); "However, the real acting standout in The Impossible is the performance of Tom Holland as the eldest son Lucas. His portrayal is genuine, and at no moment does it feel melodramatic and forced. The majority of his scenes are separate from the lead actors and for the most part it feels like The Impossible is Holland's film" (Entertainment Maven); "Mr. Holland, meanwhile, matures before our eyes, navigating the passage from adolescent self-absorption to profound and terrible responsibility. He is a terrific young actor" (New York Times).
Tom has given a number of interviews about his role in The Impossible. In particular, he talked on video to Vanity Fair Senior West Coast editor Krista Smith and with IAMROGUE's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick. He has also given interviews to The Hollywood Reporter, to the MovieWeb, to Today Show on NBC and to other outlets. Tom's director and co-stars have also talked about him. Juan Antonio Bayona: "He had this extraordinary ability to get into the emotion and portray it in a very, very easy way. The best I'd ever seen in a kid." Ewan McGregor: "It was wonderful watching Tom who had never worked in front of a camera before, to see him really get it and grow as a film actor as he went along. He's really talented and polite to everyone. It's very easy for children to lose perspective but he's absolutely on the right road and a brilliant actor." Naomi Watts: "He has an incredible emotional instrument and an unbelievable sense of himself... Tom Holland and I had a couple of moments where we came together and I could just tell how wonderful he was and what a beautiful instrument he had. It was just easy to work with him, that was one of the greatest highlights for me: discovering a friendship with Tom off-screen and this beautiful relationship between mother and son on-screen. The intimacy that develops through the course of the film between Lucas and Maria, I just loved that relationship. I mean, Tom is a beyond gifted actor. He's just a raw, open talent that is just so easy to work with. And Tom, he's inspiring, he kind of lifts everyone's game around him because he can do nothing but tell the truth. He was great."
In his turn, Tom Holland has returned favours to Naomi Watts when he was asked to present Desert Palm Achievement Award to her at Palm Springs International Film Festival. According to HitFix: "One recurring theme of the night was how the introductions were often better than actual winner's speeches... The best intro, however, had to go to 16-year-old Tom Holland who intro'd his "Impossible" co-star Watts. Holland admitted of all of Watts' great performances his dad had only let him see "King Kong" and while they spent six weeks shooting in a water tank he didn't know it was "difficult" because he actually "loved it"... Most important, this was Holland's first film role and he sweetly noted, "From the moment I met you, you took my hand and you never let go." Cue the "awwww" from the audience." The presentation is available on video.
In 2011, Holland was cast in British version of the animation film Arrietty, produced by Japan's cult Studio Ghibli. He has provided voice over for the principal character Sho. In 2012 Tom Holland played the starring role of Isaac in the film "How I lived Now" (directed by Kevin Macdonald) alongside Saoirse Ronan. The film is due to be released in 2013. Awards, nominations and affiliations
On 17 October 2012, Holland became a recipient of Hollywood Spotlight Award for his role in The Impossible. "We are very excited that we will be able to recognize acting talents that are on the road to discovery and stardom," said Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive director of the Hollywood Film Awards in a statement. On 6 December 2012 it was announced that Holland became a winner of the National Board of Review award in the "Breakthrough Actor" category. In the end of December 2012, Holland was voted a winner for the year's Best Youth Performance in Nevada Critics Awards.
In December 2012, Holland received a number of nominations (pending) for his role in The Impossible: for the 18th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, in the "Best Young Acror/Acress" category; for Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2012 in the "Most Promising Performer" category; for the 27th Goya Awards in the "Best New Actor" category; for the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2012 in the "Best Youth Performance" category; for the London Film Critics Circle Awards 2012 in the "Young British Performer of the Year" category.
Kristopher Tapley, Editor-at-Large of HitFix, reported on 27 August 2012 that Summit Entertainment, the company responsible for distribution of The Impossible in USA, would be campaigning Holland rather than McGregor as the lead, and strongly argued that Tom Holland deserved to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category. The fact of long-listing for an Academy Award was confirmed in the article in the Hollywood Reporter: "And though McGregor stars as his father in the film, Holland has been submitted as the lead actor for awards consideration. Regardless if he receives any nominations, his performance as the strong-willed and determined eldest son is garnering critical acclaim."
As one of the most promising young actors, Holland was featured in Screen International's "UK Stars of Tomorrow - 2012" and in Variety's "Youth Impact Report 2012". Holland has been signed up by William Morris Endeavor (WME) global talent agency and is represented by Curtis Brown literary and talent agency.
Andrew Clement G. Serkis was born April 20, 1964, in Ruislip Manor, West London, England. He has three sisters and a brother. His father, Clement Serkis, an ethnic Armenian whose original family surname was "Serkissian", was a Medical Doctor working abroad, in Iraq; the Serkis family spent a lot of time traveling around the Middle East. For the first ten years of his life, Andy Serkis used to go backwards and forwards between Baghdad and London. His mother, Lylie (Weech), who is British-born, was busy working as a special education teacher of handicapped children, so Andy and his four siblings were raised with au pairs in the house. Young Andy Serkis wanted to be an artist; he was fond of painting and drawing, and visualized himself working behind the scenes in productions. He attended St. Benedict's School, a Roman Catholic School for boys at the Benedictine Abbey in London. Serkis studied visual arts at Lancaster University in the north-west of England. There, he became involved in mechanical aspects of the theatre and did stage design and set building for theatrical productions. Then, Serkis was asked to play a role in a student production, and made his stage debut in Barrie Keeffe's play, "Gotcha"; thereafter, he switched from stage design to acting, which was a real calling that transformed his life.
Instead of going to an acting college, Serkis, in 1985, began his professional acting career at the Duke's Playhouse in Lancaster, where he was given an Equity card and performed in fourteen plays, one after another, as an apprentice of Jonathan Petherbridge. After that, he worked in touring theatre companies, doing it for no money, fueled by a sense of enthusiasm, moving to a new town every week. He has thus appeared in a host of popular plays and on almost every renowned British stage. In 1989, he appeared in a stage production of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", so beginning his long association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where he would return many times, to appear in "She Stoops to Conquer", "Your Home in the West" and the "True Nature of Love", among other plays. In the 1990s, Serkis began to make his mark on the London stage, appearing at the Royal Court Theatre as "The Fool" in "King Lear", making his interpretation of "The Fool" as the woman that "Lear", a widower, could relate to - a man, in drag, as a Victorian musician. He also appeared as "Potts" in the hit play, "Mojo", playing in front of full houses and earning huge critical success. In 1987, Serkis made his debut on television, and he acted in several major British TV miniseries throughout the 1990s.
In 1999, Andy Serkis landed the prize role of "Gollum" in Peter Jackson's epic film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's saga, "The Lord of the Rings". He spent four years in the part and received awards and nominations for his performance as "Gollum", a computer-generated character in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won 11 Oscars. "Gollum" was the collaborative team's effort around Serkis's work in performance capture - an art form based on CGI-assisted acting. Serkis's work was an interactive performance in a skin-tight CGI suit with markers allowing cameras to track and register 3D position for each marker. Serkis' every nuance was picked up by several cameras positioned at precisely calculated angles to allow for the software to see enough information to process the image. The images of Serkis' performances were translated into the digital format by animators at Weta Digital studio in New Zealand. There, his image was key-frame animated and then edited into the movie, Serkis did have one scene in "The Return of the King" showing how he originally had the ring, killing another hobbit to posses it after they found it during a fishing trip. He drew from his three cats clearing fur balls out of their throats to develop the constricted voice he produced for "Gollum" and "Sméagol", and it was also enhanced by sound editing in post-production.
Serkis spent almost two years in New Zealand and away from his family, and much of 2002 and 2003 in post-production studios for large periods of time, due to complexity of the creative process of bringing the character of "Gollum" to the screen. Serkis had to shoot two versions for every scene; one version was with him on camera, acting with (chiefly) Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, which served both to show Wood and Astin the moves so that they could precisely interact with the movements of "Gollum", and to provide the CGI artists the subtleties of Gollum's physical movements and facial expressions for their manual finishing of the animated images. In the other version, he'd do the voice off-camera, as Wood and Astin repeated their movements as though "Gollum" were there with them; that take would be the basis for inserting the CGI Gollum used in the released movie. In post-production, Serkis was doing motion-capture wearing a skintight motion capture suit with CGI gear while acting as a virtual puppeteer redoing every single scene in the studio. Additional CGI rotomation was done by animators using the human eye instead of the computer to capture the subtleties of Serkis' performance. Serkis also used this art form in his performance as "Kong" in King Kong, which won him a Toronto Film Critics Association Award (2005) for his unprecedented work helping to realize the main character in "King Kong", and a Visual Effects Society Award (2006) for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture.
Apart from his line of CGI-driven characters, Serkis continued with traditional acting in several leading and supporting roles, such as his appearances as "Richard Kneeland" opposite Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30, and "Alley" opposite David Bowie in The Prestige, among other film performances. On television, he starred as 'Vincent Van Gogh' in the sixth episode of Simon Schama's Power of Art, the BBC2 series about artists. Serkis is billed as "Capricorn" in the upcoming adventure film, Inkheart. At the same time, he continued the development of performance capture while expanding his career into computer games. He starred as "King Bothan" in the martial arts drama, Heavenly Sword, a Playstation 3 title, for which he provided a basis for his in-game face and also acts as a dramatic director on the project.
Andy Serkis married actress and singer Lorraine Ashbourne, and the couple have three children: daughter Ruby Serkis (born in 1998), and two sons Sonny Serkis (born in 2000) and Louis George Serkis (born on 19 June 2004). Away from acting, Andy Serkis is an accomplished amateur painter. Since his school years at Lancaster, being so close to the Lake District, Serkis developed his other passion in life: mountaineering. He is pescetarian. Serkis has been active in charitable causes, such as The Hope Foundation, which provides essential life-saving medical aid for children suffering from Leukemia and children from countries devastated by war. In October 2006, he was a presenter at the first annual British Academy Video Games Awards at the Roundhouse, London. Andy Serkis lives with his family in North London, England.
Canadian-born Fay Wray was brought up in Los Angeles and entered films at an early age. She was barely in her teens when she started working as an extra. She began her career as a heroine in westerns at Universal during the silent era. In 1926 the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers selected 13 young starlets it deemed most likely to succeed in pictures. Fay was chosen as one of these starlets, along with Janet Gaynor and Mary Astor. Fame would indeed come to Fay when she played another heroine in Erich von Stroheim's The Wedding March. She continued playing leads in a number of films, such as the good-bad girl in Thunderbolt. By the early 1930s she was at Paramount working with Gary Cooper and Jack Holt in a number of average films, such as Master of Men. She also appeared in such horror films as Doctor X and The Vampire Bat. In 1933 Fay was approached by producer Merian C. Cooper, who told her that he had a part for her in a picture in which she would be working with a tall, dark leading man. What he didn't tell her was that her "tall, dark leading man" was a giant gorilla, and the picture turned out to be the classic King Kong. Perhaps no one in the history of pictures could scream more dramatically than Fay, and she really put on a show in "Kong". Her character provided a combination of sex appeal, vulnerability and lung capacity as she was stalked by the giant beast all the way to the top of the Empire State Building. That was as far as Fay would rise, however, as this was, after all, just another horror movie. After "Kong", she began a slow decline that put her into low-budget action films by the mid '30s. In 1939 her 11-year marriage to screenwriter John Monk Saunders ended in divorce, and her career was almost finished. In 1942 she remarried and retired from the screen, forever to be remembered as the "beauty who killed the beast" in "King Kong". However, in 1953 she made a comeback, playing mature character roles, and also appeared on television as Catherine, Natalie Wood's mother, in The Pride of the Family. She continued to appear in films until 1958 and television into the 1960s.
Slim Pickens spent the early part of his career as a real cowboy and the latter part playing cowboys, and he is best remembered for a single "cowboy" image: that of bomber pilot Maj. "King" Kong waving his cowboy hat rodeo-style as he rides a nuclear bomb onto its target in the great black comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Born in Kingsburg, near Fresno in California's Central Valley, he spent much of his boyhood in nearby Hanford, where he began rodeoing at the age of 12. Over the next two decades he toured the country on the rodeo circuit, becoming a highly-paid and well-respected rodeo clown, a job that entailed enormous danger. In 1950, at the age of 31, Slim married Margaret Elizabeth Harmon and that same year he was given a role in a western, Rocky Mountain. He quickly found a niche in both comic and villainous roles in that genre. With his hoarse voice and pronounced western twang, he was not always easy to cast outside the genre, but when he was, as in "Dr. Strangelove", the results were often memorable. He died in 1983 after a long and courageous battle against a brain tumor. He was survived by his wife Margaret and children.
Paul Fix, the well-known movie and TV character actor who played "Marshal Micah Torrance" on the TV series The Rifleman, was born Peter Paul Fix on March 13, 1901 in Dobbs Ferry, New York to brew-master Wilhelm Fix and his wife, the former Louise C. Walz. His mother and father were German immigrants who had left their Black Forest home and arrived in New York City in the 1870s. (The name "Fix" is of Latin/Germanic origin, and is derived from St. Vitus and means "animated" or "vital").
Besides Peter Paul, the Fix family consisted of two girls and three boys, the youngest of whom was six years older than the future actor. Peter Paul's childhood was a happy one. He and his family lived on the 200-acre property on which the Manilla Anchor Brewery, where his father was brew-master, was situated. Such was the importance of Fix to the brewery that when he died at the age of 62 on the eve of America's entry into the First World War (two years after his 54-year old wife had died), the brewery closed.
The orphaned Peter Paul, who kept to himself a lot and had a vivid imagination, was sent to live with his married sisters, first one who lived nearby in Yonkers, and then to another in Zanesville, Ohio. The just-turned-17-year-old Peter Paul Fix joined the U.S. Navy on March 12, 1918, and spent his state-side service time during World War I in Newport, Rhode Island and Charleston, South Carolina. He first tread the boards as an actor while a sailor stationed in Newport, when the baby-faced salt (who looked much younger than his age) was one of six gobs chosen to play female roles in the Navy Relief Show "HMS Pinafore". The Navy staging of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta was a big hit and chalked up a run of several weeks in Providence and Boston.
Fix was assigned as an able-bodied seaman to the troopship U.S.S. Mount Vernon, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of France but did not sink as it was run aground. The rest of Fix's naval career was less exciting, and he was demobilized on September 5, 1919. After his discharge, Fix went back to his girlfriend Frances (Taddy) Harvey, whom he had left behind in Zanesville. He and Taddy were married in 1922 and they moved to California as Fix had always wanted to live in a warm climate.
Fix and his bride settled in Hollywood, not so much because he had set ideas about becoming an actor but because he didn't know what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He liked writing and acting in local plays, and soon became friends with the fellow tyro actor Clark Gable, who was his own age. Fix and Gable were discovered by the stage actress Pauline Frederick, who hired them to be members of her touring troupe that traveled by train the length of the West Coast putting on plays. In all, Fix - who had informally renamed himself Paul Peter - appeared in 20 plays with Gable.
Paul Fix had one of his earliest acting roles on celluloid in the mid-1920s, appearing in a silent Western starring William S. Hart. The Western genre eventually would become the one he was most identified with. He played uncredited bit parts and small roles in silents before getting his first credited role in an early talkie (which was part-silent and part-talking), The First Kiss, which starred future Hollywood superstar Gary Cooper and the dame that drove King Kong ape, Fay Wray. In all, Fix appeared in 300-400 films. The Western programmers of the silent and early talkie days could be shot in less than a week.
In 1925, Taddy gave birth to their daughter Marilyn Carey, who eventually would marry Harry Carey Jr., the son of one of the first great Western superstars. They would have three more children and become part of the extended family gathered around the director John Ford. In his career, Paul Fix would appear with another Western legend, John Wayne, in 26 films, starting in 1931 with Three Girls Lost. Urged on by Loretta Young, Fix became an acting coach for the young actor, and Wayne later paid him back when he became a star by having Fix appear in his movies. (The Duke also was a part of the close-knit group that collected around John Ford). With the Duke's patronage, the kinds of roles that Fix played changed. He had been typed as villains in the 1930s but, in the 40s, he began assaying a better class of character.
Paul Fix was also a screenwriter, and is credited as the writer on three films: Tall in the Saddle, Ring of Fear and The Notorious Mr. Monks. His favorites parts included playing the stricken passenger in the John Wayne picture The High and the Mighty, Elizabeth Taylor's father in George Stevens' classic Giant, the grandfather of the eponymous The Bad Seed and the judge in To Kill a Mockingbird. His last screen appearance was in the Brooke Shields movie Wanda Nevada, but he is most famous for appearing in the recurring role of "Marshal Micah Torrance" in the popular Western TV series The Rifleman. As of 1981, the 80-year old Fix was still getting mail from all over the world from "Rifleman" fans.
Paul Fix died October 14, 1983 of kidney failure. He was survived by his daughter Marilyn Carey and son-in-law Harry "Dobe" Carey, three grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Craig Hall was born on May 10th, 1974 in Auckland, New Zealand after his parents emigrated from Glasgow,Scotland. He is an actor, known for King Kong (2005), The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013), The World's Fastest Indian (2005) and A Place To Call Home (2013). His film debut was in Savage Honeymoon (2000), which was initially restricted by the New Zealand Office of Film & Literature Classification to adults over 18 because of a scene where characters throw a barbecue's gas bottle onto a fire and watch it explode.
Hollywood stalwart Bruce Cabot's main claim to fame, other than rescuing Fay Wray from King Kong, is that he tested for the lead role of The Ringo Kid in John Ford's Western masterpiece Stagecoach. John Wayne got the role and became the most durable star in Hollywood history, while Cabot (eventually) found himself a new drinking partner when the two co-starred in Angel and the Badman. In the latter stages of his career, Cabot could rely on Wayne for a supporting part in one of the Duke's movies.
It wasn't always so. In the 1930s Cabot's star shone bright. He was born with the unlikely name Etienne Pelissier Jacques de Bujac in Carlsbad, New Mexico, the son of French Col. Etienne de Bujac and Julia Armandine Graves, who died shortly after giving birth to the future Bruce Cabot. After leaving the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, the future thespian hit the road, working a wide variety of jobs including sailor and insurance salesman, and doing a stint in a knacker's yard. In 1931 he wound up in Hollywood and appeared in several films in bit parts.
The young Monsieur de Bujac met David O. Selznick, then RKO's central producer (a job akin to Irving Thalberg's at MGM), at a Hollywood party, which led to an uncredited bit part as a dancer in Lady with a Past and a supporting role in The Roadhouse Murder. On a parallel career track at the time, Marion Morrison (John Wayne) had failed to follow up on his audacious debut in Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail (the Duke had appeared in 18 movies previously but had only been billed in one, as "Duke Morrison" in the unlikely John Wayne vehicle Words and Music). Cabot and Wayne eventually appeared in 11 films together.
Although Cabot was prominently featured in the blockbuster "King Kong" in 1933, he never did make the step to stardom, though he enjoyed a thriving career as a supporting player. He was a heavy in the 1930s, playing a gangster boss in Let 'em Have It and the revenge-minded Native American brave Magua after Randolph Scott's scalp in The Last of the Mohicans; over at MGM, he ably supported Spencer Tracy as the instigator of a lynch mob in Fritz Lang's indictment of domestic fascism, Fury. A freelancer, he appeared in movies at many studios before leaving Hollywood for military service. Cabot worked for Army intelligence overseas during World War II; after the war, he continued to work steadily, with and without his friend and frequent co-star, the Duke.
Bruce Cabot died in 1972 of lung and throat cancer. He was 68 years old.
Born Leung Kwok Ng in Hong Kong October 13, 1952, John Lone was spartanly raised by a single mother until the age of 7 when he was sent off to be schooled with the Peking Opera. He never again saw his mother. The Peking Opera could be a brutal and grueling life for a child but he was a diligent and tireless student and he later received sponsorship to continue his education in the United States as a teenager.
He attended Santa Ana Community College, where he met Nina Savino, an Asian American studying drama and art, and they married in 1972. Lone continued his education at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena and New York. They divorced in 1979.
John once said that Ng, Lung and Lone were variants of "dragon" in different dialects of Chinese and that he intended to harness the power of the dragon for his life, which was why he adopted the stage name he would become known by.
A theatrical workaholic, John became part of the East/West Players along with other notable Asian actors such as Mako, Sab Shimono and Soon Tek Oh. He performed in "Pacific Overtures" as the Lion Dancer and his discipline and talent blossomed. He danced, sang, wrote and directed. John signed with the then famous Bessie Loo Agency (most of the Asian talent of the day was represented by them). The early years of his career, consisted of small television roles, local theater and lots of study.
His first real break came with the Di Laurentis remake of "King Kong" as the ships cook. It was followed by perhaps the most brilliant performance of his career - "Iceman" which was poignant and powerfully played without dialogue by Lone. The film opened the doors of his career to Michael Cimino (Year of the Dragon) and Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor) who made him a household name in the United States. Lone directed an acclaimed documentary on the Chinese Railroad workers in America which aired on PBS. He was voted one of the 50 most Beautiful People of the Year by People Magazine in 1990.
The past decade he has spent his time between NY, China and Canada where he continues to act, direct, produce and he has even found time to nurture a singing career.
An intensely private man, it is no wonder so many differing stories about his personal life abound unanswered. Perhaps the mystery of his persona is a large part of his attraction.
Robert Armstrong is familiar to old-movie buffs for his case-hardened, rapid-fire delivery in such roles as fast-talking promoters, managers, FBI agents, street cops, detectives and other such characters in scores of films--over 160--many of them at Warner Brothers, where he was part of the so-called "Warner Brothers Stock Company" that consisted of such players as James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Frank McHugh, Alan Hale and Humphrey Bogart, among others.
Although he could easily be taken for having grown up in a tough area of Brooklyn or the Bronx, he was actually from the Midwest. He was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1890, and his father owned a small and profitable flotilla of boats for use on Lake Michigan. Hearing the Siren call of the gold fields in late 19th-century Alaska, however, he packed up the family and headed west. A typical staging place to start north was in Washington state, and the family settled in Seattle. Rpbert spent a short hitch in the infantry during World War I. Afterwards he decided to go into law and started to study at the University of Washington. However, it wasn't long before that he decided he had a gift for acting and--perhaps influenced by his uncle, playwright and producer Paul Armstrong--decided to follow that path. He hooked up with future Hollywood character actor James Gleason, known to everyone as "Jimmy", who worked for a variety of playhouses in California and Oregon and who was heir to his parents' stock company, which toured across the US. Armstrong joined Gleason's company and returned with them to New York. He started from the bottom up, learning the craft of acting. After moving on to leading roles, he received the prime part in Gleason's own play "Is Zat So?" (1925-1926), a particularly successful play among several he had written (he also directed and produced plays on Broadway into 1928).
Hollywood scouts were watching, and Armstrong found himself with a film contract. He appeared in approximately 10 films in 1928 alone, and after the first five he was able, with the advent of sound, to give voice to the take-charge, mile-a-minute, clenched-teeth delivery that would make him one of the busiest character men in Hollywood--and right alongside him in several of his early 1930s features was his old friend and boss Jimmy Gleason.
It was in 1932 that Armstrong became acquainted with an ambitious and adventurous pair of Hollywood filmmakers. Both were World War I fliers, big-game hunters and animal trappers, and partners in high adventure documentaries, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack had found a friend in rising producer David O. Selznick, who brought them on board at RKO, with Cooper as production idea man. Schoedsack was the technical side of the pair, knowledgeable about the actual physical and technical side of filmmaking, , and became the actual director of their projects, with Cooper as an associate producer and sometime co-director. They turned out what would be the first of a string of horror-tinged adventure movies, The Most Dangerous Game, with Armstrong having a part in it. He got in his usual wisecrack lines but from a less dimensioned character who had an early demise--the film centered on Joel McCrea and still young silent screen veteran Fay Wray. Cooper saw much of himself in Armstrong's general personality and wanted him for a film that he had been wanting to make for quite a few years, an adventure yarn dealing with the stories he had heard during his years making films in jungles all over the world of giant, vicious apes. The resulting film, King Kong, would put Armstrong at stage center as big-time promoter Carl Denham (very much Cooper himself). The film also began co-star Fay Wray on the road to stardom. With Copper and Schoedsack co-directing and the legendary Willis H. O'Brien heading up a visual effects team supporting his for-the-time astounding animated miniature sequences, the film was a treasure trove for RKO, bringing newfound respect for a studio known mostly for its "B" action films and westerns. It was Armstrong's defining moment and set the stage for the plethora of leading man and second lead roles he would play through the 1930s.
A sequel, The Son of Kong, followed almost immediately with the same production team and, though not achieving the critical or box-office acclaim as its predecessor, showcased another Armstrong strength--a great sense of comedic timing that had been evident, but not really traded upon, in previous films. The Cooper/Schoedsack team got in one more for 1933, with Armstrong as an uncommon--for him--romantic lead in Blind Adventure, a fast-paced but but often uneven adventure yarn. All the studios wanted him, and what followed was a flood of usually good, crowd-pleasing roles, although still in "B" pictures. Among the better ones were Palooka and 'G' Men, with Armstrong playing a hard-nosed FBI agent who is mentor and partner to a young James Cagney. With a full menu of adventure yarns and colorful cop and military roles, at the end of the decade Armstrong even played one of America's great folk heroes - Jim Bowie - in Man of Conquest, this time at Republic Pictures.
Armstrong got more of the same in the decade of World War II--although with age he started to slip down the cast list--with some variety, playing a Nazi agent in the spoof My Favorite Spy and--in somewhat ridiculous "Japanese" makeup--as a Japanese secret-police colonel (named Tojo) with former co-star James Cagney in the escapist romp Blood on the Sun. Finally, Cooper--gorillas still on his mind--came calling for Armstrong again for his Mighty Joe Young, which he made about midway in his association with partner John Ford in their Argosy Pictures venture under the wing of RKO. Armstrong was again a reincarnation of Carl Denham as Max O'Hara, a fast-talking promoter looking for a sensation in "Darkest Africa". The Ford touch is perhaps seen in the cowboys who go along with young Ben Johnson as romantic lead to enthusiastic--to say the least--Terry Moore with her pet gorilla Joe (about half as big as King Kong but definitely no ordinary gorilla). It is a great little movie, with more light-hearted tone than "Kong" and a red-tinted fire scene recalling the silents. It was a Saturday matinée favorite for at least a decade afterward (this writer enjoyed it as his first movie theater adventure as a small child).
Armstrong increasingly went to the small screen through the 1950s. He was a familiar face on most of the TV playhouse programs of the period and did many of the series oaters and crime shows of the period. He received a great send-up as a guest on Red Skelton's variety show when the oft giggling host asked him, "Say, did you ever get that monkey off that building?" Armstrong liked keeping busy and helping friends. One of the latter was Cooper--still promoting as his alter ego Carl Denham in his old age. The two passed away within 24 hours of one another in April of 1973.
John Barry was born in York, England in 1933, and was the youngest of three children. His father, Jack, owned several local cinemas and by the age of fourteen, Barry was capable of running the projection box on his own - in particular, The Rialto in York. As he was brought up in a cinematic environment, he soon began to assimilate the music which accompanied the films he saw nightly to a point when, even before he'd left St. Peters school, he had decided to become a film music composer. Helped by lessons provided locally on piano and trumpet, followed by the more exacting theory taught by tutors as diverse as Dr Francis Jackson of York Minster and "Bill" William Russo, formerly arranger to Stan Kenton and His Orchestra, he soon became equipped to embark upon his chosen career, but had no knowledge of how one actually got a start in the business. A three year sojourn in the army as a bandsman combined with his evening stints with local jazz bands gave him the idea to ease this passage by forming a small band of his own. This was how The John Barry Seven came into existence, and Barry successfully launched them during 1957 via a succession of tours and TV appearances. A recording contract with EMI soon followed, and although initial releases made by them failed to chart, Barry's undoubted talent showed enough promise to influence the studio management at Abbey Road in allowing him to make his debut as an arranger and conductor for other artists on the EMI roster.
A chance meeting with a young singer named Adam Faith, whilst both were appearing on a stage show version of the innovative BBC TV programme, Six-Five Special, led Barry to recommend Faith for a later BBC TV series, Drumbeat, which was broadcast in 1959. Faith had made two or three commercially unsuccessful records before singer / songwriter Johnny Worth (Johnny Worth), also appearing on Drumbeat, offered him a song he'd just finished entitled What Do You Want? With the assistance of the JB7 pianist, Les Reed, Barry contrived an arrangement considered suited to Faith's soft vocal delivery, and within weeks, the record was number one. Barry (and Faith) then went from strength to strength; Faith achieving a swift succession of chart hits, with Barry joining him soon afterwards when the Seven, riding high on the wave of the early sixties instrumental boom, scored with Hit & Miss, Walk Don't Run and Black Stockings.
Faith had long harboured ambitions to act even before his first hit record and was offered a part in the up and coming British movie, Wild for Kicks, at that time. As Barry was by then arranging not only his recordings but also his live Drumbeat material, it came as no surprise when the film company asked him to write the score to accompany Faith's big screen debut. It should be emphasised that the film was hardly a cinematic masterpiece. However, it did give Faith a chance to demonstrate his acting potential, and Barry the chance to show just how quickly he'd mastered the technique of film music writing. Although the film and soundtrack album were both commercial successes, further film score offers failed to flood in. On those that did, such as Never Let Go and The Amorous Prawn, Barry proved highly inventive, diverse and adaptable and, as a result, built up a reputation as an emerging talent. It was with this in mind that Noel Rogers, of United Artists Music, approached him in the summer of '62, with a view to involving him in the music for the forthcoming James Bond film, Dr. No.
He was also assisted onto the cinematic ladder as a result of a burgeoning relationship with actor/writer turned director Bryan Forbes, who asked him to write a couple of jazz numbers for use in a club scene in Forbes' then latest film, The L-Shaped Room. From this very modest beginning, the couple went on to collaborate on five subsequent films, including the highly acclaimed Séance On A Wet afternoon, King Rat and The Whisperers. Other highlights from the sixties included five more Bond films, Zulu, Born Free (a double Oscar), The Lion In Winter (another Oscar) and Midnight Cowboy.
In the seventies he scored the cult film, Walkabout (Jenny Agutter), The Last Valley (Caine / Sharif), Mary, Queen Of Scots (Oscar nomination), wrote the theme for TV's The Persuaders (Roger Moore & Tony Curtis), a musical version of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, the hit musical Billy (with Michael Crawford - ran for 2 and a half years). Then, in 1974, he made the decision to leave his Thameside penthouse apartment for the peace of a remote villa he was having built in Majorca. He had been living there for about a year, during which time he turned down all film scoring opportunities, until he received an invitation to write the score for the American TV movie, Eleanor & Franklin. In order to accomplish the task, he booked into the Beverly Hills Hotel for six weeks in October 1975. However, during this period, he was also offered Robin And Marian & King Kong, which caused his stay to be extended. He was eventually to live and work in the hotel for almost a year, as more assignments were offered and accepted. His stay on America's West Coast eventually lasted almost five years, during which time he met and married his wife, Laurie, who lived with him at his Beverly Hills residence. They moved to Oyster Bay, New York and have since split their time between there and a house in Cadogan Square, London.
After adopting a seemingly lower profile towards the end of the seventies, largely due to the relatively obscure nature of the commissions he accepted, the eighties saw John Barry re-emerge once more into the cinematic limelight. This was achieved, not only by continuing to experiment and diversify, but also by mixing larger budget commissions of the calibre of Body Heat, Jagged Edge, Out Of Africa (another Oscar) and The Cotton Club with smaller ones such as the TV movies, Touched by Love and Svengali. Other successes included: Somewhere In Time, Frances, three more Bond films, the thriller, Jagged Edge and Peggy Sue Got Married.
After serious illness in the late eighties, Barry returned with yet another Oscar success with Dances With Wolves (1990) and was also nominated for Chaplin (1992). Since then he scored the controversial Indecent Proposal, My Life, Ruby Cairo, Cry The Beloved Country and has made compilation albums for Sony (Moviola and Moviola II) and non-soundtrack albums for Decca ('The Beyondness Of Things' & 'Eternal Echoes').
In the late nineties he made a staggeringly successful return to the concert arena, playing to sell-out audiences at the Royal Albert Hall. Since then he has appeared as a guest conductor at a RAH concert celebrating the life and career of Elizabeth Taylor and made brief appearances at a couple of London concerts dedicated to his music. In 2004 he re-united with Don Black to write his fifth stage musical, Brighton Rock, which enjoyed a limited run at The Almeida Theatre in London.
He continues to appear at concerts of his own music, often making brief appearances at the podium. In November 2007, Christine Albanel, the French Minister for Culture, appointed him Commander in the National Order of Arts and Letters. The award was made at the eighth International Festival Music and Cinema, in Auxerre, France, when, in his honour, a concert of his music also took place.
In August 2008 he was working on a new album, provisionally entitled Seasons, which he has described as "a soundtrack of his life." A new biography, "John Barry: The Man with The Midas Touch", by Geoff Leonard, Pete Walker, and Gareth Bramley, was published in November 2008.
He died following a heart-attack on 30th January 2011, at his home in Oyster Bay, New York.
Excellent and engaging character actor Dennis Fimple was born on November 11, 1940 in Ventura, California and raised in the nearby town of Taft. His father Elmer was an electrician and his mother Dolly was a beautician. Dennis first became interested in acting after he portrayed Tom Sawyer in a junior high school play. He was a graduate of Taft Union High School. Fimple attended San Jose College on a scholarship and majored in both speech and drama. He also earned a teaching credential at San Jose College. Dennis worked in a Cheetos factory by day and acted in dinner theater at night in his early struggling days as an actor. Fimple eventually moved to Hollywood where he initially worked as a teacher by day and a delivery man at night prior to getting his first break with a two episode guest appearance on the TV show "Petticoat Junction."
Best known as the lovably dim-witted Kyle Murty on the comedy Western television program "Alias Smith and Jones," Dennis popped up in many TV series throughout the years which include "Here Come the Brides," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," "M.A.S.H.," "The Rockford Files," "Starsky and Hutch," "Charlie's Angels," "Battlestar Galactica," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Matt Houston," "Highway to Heaven," "Knight Rider," "The A-Team," "The Incredible Hulk," "Simon & Simon," "Sledge Hammer!," "Quantum Leap," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and "ER." Fimple was frequently cast as scruffy rural types in both films and TV shows alike. Among his most memorable movie roles are the amiable Curly in the delightful Claudia Jennings drive-in classic "Truck Stop Women," easygoing moonshine runner Dewey Crenshaw in "Bootleggers," likable eager beaver college anthropology student Pahoo in the terrific Sasquatch cinema outing "Creature from Black Lake," the goofy Sunfish in the much-maligned '76 "King Kong" remake, and cloddish fur trapper Posey in the superior horror-Western "The Shadow of Chikara." His last film part was as the madcap Grandpa Hugo Firefly in Rob Zombie's enjoyably trashy 70's horror exploitation pastiche "House of 1000 Corpses."
Dennis was not only an avid reader, but also a lover of antiques and collectibles. He's the father of son Chris. Dennis Fimple died at age 61 of complications from a car accident at his home in Frazier Park, California on August 23, 2002.
Actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director - Mark Hadlow is one of New Zealand's most prominent actors and entertainers. He is driven by a passion for performance: 130 plays, musical theatre, dozens of film appearances, television series, commercials and radio voice-overs in the thousands.
Playing the dwarf Dori in The Hobbit was Mark's third Peter Jackson movie. In Meet the Feebles he played the voices of Heidi the Hippo and Robert the Hedgehog, and sang many of the songs. King Kong saw him performing the role of Harry in the vaudeville scenes opposite Naomi Watts and Bill Johnson. He regards Peter Jackson productions as the most exhilarating experiences.
He starred alongside New Zealand Maori comedian, Billy T James in "The Billy T James Show".
Mark Hadlow is renowned for his singing voice and has appeared in many musicals and concerts, his all time favourite being Little Shop of Horrors. (4 separate productions)
Mark has been nominated for and won several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy in a Television series Willy Nilly, playing the role of the challenged brother Harry in a three-season top rating sitcom.
He won Best Theatrical performance of the Year in 1993 for the hugely successful one-man show "SNAG", and ultimately went on to win Entertainer of the Year in 1995. He won Best Voice Over Artist in the Radio New Zealand Awards 2010.
Mark is also a master narrator, his most recent work being narrator of the enchanting short film 'The Story of Percival Pilts' by Janette Goodey & John Lewis. He has also released an audio CD called "Tall Tales", a collection of classic children's stories.
Phil Tippett is the founder and namesake of Tippett Studio. His varied career in visual effects has spanned more than 30 years and includes two Academy Awards; and six nominations, one BAFTA award and four nominations, two Emmys and the advent of modern digital effects in motion pictures.
As a child of seven, Phil was profoundly inspired by Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion classic, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and Willis O'Brien's classic character King Kong. His subsequent devotion to the creation of the fantastic creatures in film has become his raison d'etre. As a kid, and then as a student always drawing, sculpting and making animations, he developed his skills in a broader context first with a Fine Arts degree from University of California at Irvine, then as an animator at the commercial house, Cascade Pictures in Los Angeles. As a young adult Phil sought out teachers and mentors establishing connections and friendships with Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury.
A huge turning point came in 1975 when George Lucas hired Phil and Jon Berg to create a stop motion miniature chess scene for Star Wars: A New Hope. Phil also had a hand in many other aspects of the Star Wars films, including modeling and casting alien heads and limbs for the busy Cantina scene in the first film. By 1978 Phil lead the animation team at Industrial Light and Magic that would launch his career bringing life to the sinister Imperial Walkers and the alien hybrid Tauntaun for The Empire Strikes Back.
In 1982, building upon insights from 'Empire', the same ILM team developed a stop-motion process that they comically christened as 'Go Motion' that produced a startlingly realistic beast for Dragonslayer and won Phil an Academy Award; nomination. And in 1983, as head of the ILM creature shop, he began work on Return of the Jedi, designing Jabba The Hut and the Rancor Pit Monster as well as animating the two legged Walker and later winning the Oscar; for Best Visual Effects.
In 1984 Phil left ILM to create a 10-minute short film, Prehistoric Beast. The newly formed Tippett Studio, then operating out of Phil's garage, drew upon Phil's wealth of experience with stop motion and his expertise in anatomical modeling and rigging. He and Tippett Studio went on to create top-notch stop motion animations for various television and film projects including Dinosaur!, Willow, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and the Robocop trilogy.
In 1991, Steven Spielberg, learning of Phil's expertise in dinosaur movement and behavior, selected him to supervise the dinosaur animation for Jurassic Park. When Phil learned of the choice to go with the computer generated dinosaurs, instead of stop motion, his initial reaction was, "I think I'm extinct!" It was this project that was responsible for Tippett Studio's transition from stop-motion to computer generated animation and for which Phil was awarded his second Oscar®.
Phil's next major challenge came in 1995 when Paul Verhoeven, again with producer Jon Davison, asked Tippett Studio to create the swarms of deadly arachnids for the sci-fi extravaganza, Starship Troopers. Leading a team of 150 computer artists and technicians, earned Phil a sixth Academy Award; nomination in 1997. Starship Troopers firmly planted Tippett Studio (and Phil) into the digital age of filmmaking.
In the following years Phil has been a guide and mentor for the Tippett Studio VFX supervisors and crew as they create monsters, aliens and appealing creatures for the numerous films that wind their way through the Tippett pipeline.
Partnering with associate, writer Ed Neumeier (Starship Troopers and Robocop scribe), the two created the story for Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, which Phil went on to direct in 2004 for Screengems.
Recently, Phil oversaw the design and creation of the wolf pack in Summit Entertainment's New Moon and Eclipse, the second and third film installments based on the Twilight series of novels by Stephanie Meyer.
Phil's roots in stop motion, modeling and practical effects and his ability to use this foundation in conjunction with developing technologies has made him one of a handful of artists whose careers have spanned the transition of visual effects from largely practical to digital. In this way he is a great teacher and mentor to the crew passing on the tradition of mentorship given to him in the early part of his career.
|King Kong Bundy
King Kong Bundy was riding a win streak of 300 consecutive victories when he challenged Terry "Hulk" Hogan to the World Wrestling Federation World's Heavyweight Championship. Budy's streak was snapped when Hogan defeated him in a wild brawl.
Laura Surrich was born on January 17, 1988 in Auckland, New Zealand. She is an actress, known for The Cure, Diagnosis: Death, Separation City and King Kong.
Laura graduated from the New Zealand College of Performing Arts in 2007 and went on to obtain another degree in Film & Television Production in 2013.
|Willis H. O'Brien
In 1949, 16 years after his ground breaking work on "King Kong", Willis O'Brien worked as Chief Technician on another gorilla picture for Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Shoedsack called "Mighty Joe Young". A young Ray Harryhausen would animate most of the animation, but O'Brien did come up with the designs for the film. At the 1950 Academy Awards, O'Brien was awarded an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. This along with "King Kong", are often considered his greatest achievements.
Eve's diverse skills and talents have led her to a career that spans the stage, television and film industry.
Her previous film credits include roles in Peter Jackson's epic King Kong, Anguish and The Forgotten Mistake, and in the short film industry she has played the lead in several internationally successful experimental productions.
Eve graduated with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts in 2002 from UNITEC, and is the co-director of her own theatre company The Dust Palace. This coupled with the fact that she is a highly trained and specialised silk aerialist and circus artist makes her a naturally gifted stage performer. She has skillfully pulled off challenging roles in productions such as Cabaret, Burlesque As You Like It and The Sexy Recession Show.
Between shooting series one and two of the almighty Johnsons Eve co-directed and starred in Love and Money, a production which received rave reviews, as well as performing as an aerialist in Venus Is.
Awarded Best Actor at Tropfest and the New Zealand Performing Arts Cup for Dedication to the Arts. Jordan Rivers is best known for his numerous television appearances and films such as Maximilian The Great, Entropy (featured at the Pasadena International Film Festival) and Saving H ("Best Short Film international,1st runner up KLEFF) Since then Jordan has worked with such directors as Sir Peter Jackson (Lord of The Rings) Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilder People) Jonathan King (black sheep) and Sir Richard Taylor (King Kong)
Andre Pelzer is an Actor known for the 2015 television series Hawaii Five O ( He made his film debut in Warner Brothers King Kong Skull Island which releases in March 2017. Andre was born August 10, 1981 he is a native of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. He is a current student of Scott Rodgers Acting Studio in Hawaii. His first television debut was for the hit CBS's hit TV Series Hawaii Five O season 5 , where he took on the role of a wedding guest in Kono's wedding. Since his debut, Andre has appeared in other popular television shows and movies.
Danny Lee Sau-Yin, was born in 1952 in Shanghai. Lee did not do so well in school and sometimes dropped out to help support his family by working. While growing up, he held policemen in high regard and so, upon graduating high school, he tried entering the police academy, but could not complete the courses. He entered the TVB acting school in 1970, and got his first big film role in the 1972 film Water Margin.
The following year, Lee made his starring debut with River of Fury. He then went on to star in Shaw Brothers' 1975 Hong Kong Tokusatsu-style superhero movie and camp classic The Super Inframan playing the Chinese superhero himself.
After superstar Bruce Lee's death in the same year, almost every star in Hong Kong was pushed in to fill "The Dragon's" shoes, and Lee was no exception, even going as far as to actually portray the legend himself in Bruce Lee and I. By the late 1970s, Lee had begun to tire of Kung Fu movies and thus tried his hand at different fare, such as 1977's The Mighty Peking Man (a King Kong ripoff now considered a camp classic). Still being offered roles in Kung Fu movies, in 1978 he decided to form his own production company. One of the earliest products from his company, 1981's The Executor (aka Heroic Cops) was largely nondescript, except for the fact that it was the first on-screen pairing with Lee and future superstar Yun-Fat Chow.
In 1982, Lee directed his first movie, Funny Boys, and then followed it up in 1984 with the movie that would cement his image in the consciousness of Hong Kong, Law With Two Phases. The violent movie (for which Lee won both the Hong Kong Film Award and Taiwanese Golden Horse for his acting) featured Lee as a hot-headed but just policeman, a role that he reprises to this day.
Law With Two Phases also inspired other directors. Some of the elements used in the shootouts were used by John Woo in his breakthrough 1986 film A Better Tomorrow, and Law's documentary-like look inspired Kirk Wong to continue with a similar style (which he was also developing at the time). Both directors subsequently asked Lee to work with them. Lee appeared with Yun-Fat Chow in Ringo Lam's 1987 gangster classic City on Fire (where he plays a rare role as a criminal), and then appeared in John Woo's benefit project for Chang Cheh, Just Heroes (1987, which Lee also co-directed). Lee's next project with Woo was, of course, his most famous, 1989's The Killer. Originally, the studio did not want Lee in the role of a cop once again, but both Woo and Yun-Fat Chow insisted on putting Lee in the film, since he was so much in the public's minds as being an upstanding police officer, which they thought was crucial for the role. The movie was an international cult hit, and Lee became forever associated with being a cop in Western minds.
In 1987, Lee formed his second production company, Magnum Films, and had become a fairly powerful producer in Hong Kong. As fitting for a company named after Dirty Harry's favorite gun, many of Magnum's films are ultra-violent "Category III" (Hong Kong's equivalent of "NC-17," where no children are allowed to watch) films which have become classics in their own right. Movies like The Untold Story, Dr. Lamb and Twist scared local audiences and entranced foreigners with their over-the-top attitude.
In the late 1980s, Lee was also one of the first producers to back Stephen Chow (and is sometimes credited for "discovering" him), who was at the time a small-time dramatic actor, but who would then go on to be Asia's biggest star after appearing in a series of "Mo Lei Tai" (nonsense) comedies. Lee even directed Chow in one of his first comedies, 1991's Legend of the Dragon, the first film in which Lee does not appear, while on the director and producer's chairs.
He later produced, co-directed (with Herman Yau) and co-starred in The Untold Story, the controversial Category III thriller, which brought Anthony Chau-Sang Wong to stardom. The two actors later starred in Kirk Wong's action flick Organized Crime & Triad Bureau, which Lee produced.
Though his on-screen output has slowed down in recent years, reduced to mostly cameo appearances in movies like Young and Dangerous V, Lee (and his company) are still pretty busy with behind-the-scenes work, and it seems a given that as long as there will be a Hong Kong movie industry, Danny Lee will be there --especially if a movie needs to have a cop in it.
World renown archivist and historian of props, costumes, and other screen used paraphernalia from some of the greatest (and not so great) science fiction, fantasy, and horror motion pictures. Among some of the things found in his "basement" museum are, the original Time Machine from the George Pal classic of the same name, the original wolf's head cane from 1941's The Wolfman, the orignial King Kong armature, and a functioning full size head of the Alien Queen from James Cameron's Aliens.
The incredibly wide and diverse audience that Tom Boyd reaches through his oboe performances on over 1400 motion picture film scores makes him one of the most heard oboe players on the planet today.
Mr. Boyd attended The Julliard School and shortly thereafter won the Principal Oboe position in The Honolulu Symphony at the age of 21. After performing the standard orchestral repertoire of beloved greats such as Beethoven and Brahms (and surfing almost every day for ten years!), he decided to move to Los Angeles to see if he could break into the commercial studio scene. Three weeks later he found himself under the baton of John Williams playing principal oboe on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Mr. Boyd was a professor of music at the University of Hawaii for ten years and has become the new Professor of Oboe at Azusa Pacific University. He teaches and coaches many young and up and coming musicians throughout the United States.
Some of his larger films include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, King Kong, the Jurassic Park and Lethal Weapon series, Forrest Gump, and Cast Away. Most recently, he can be heard on The Bucket List, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Rush Hour 3 (composed by Lalo Schifrin), The Green Hornet, Green Lantern, Water for Elephants, and the upcoming film Big Miracle staring Drew Barrymore. Mr. Boyd is also no stranger to television and has performed in many well-known ceremonies including the Grammys, the Oscars, and the Latin Grammys, and has been on The Tonight Show several times including an appearance in the orchestra with Neil Diamond. Mr. Boyd has also performed on many albums including those by singing legends such as Barbra Streisand and Natalie Cole. He is currently involved in a recording project of John Denver songs with several world-class singers including Plácido Domingo and arrangements by Lee Holdridge. Those are just a few of the many enjoyable moments he has had in his musical career.
Born in Canton, Ohio on February 4, 1968, and raised in nearby Malvern, Shane is the third son of George and Linda Schoeppner. He discovered his love of film at the age of five, after watching 1933's "King Kong" on television. He performed in various stage productions in high school, including Lerner and Loewe's Brigadoon and Neil Simon's Plaza Suite. He attempted to make a horror film, A Walk in the Woods, in 1985, in collaboration with his friend David Crowl. A story was developed, locations were scouted, and some roles were cast, but the project was never completed. After graduation, Shane joined the Army and settled in Monterey, California in 1990. In 2004 he began to study filmmaking there, and continued his education in Los Angeles, where he moved in 2007. His career began as production assistant on the award-winning Rockchild music video Winded (2008) and he has since branched out into various production departments, included camera and electrical, sound, and script supervision. His crew credits include Disney/Pixar's John Carter, Jeremy London's The Devil's Dozen, and the hit web-series Beverly Hills Salon, as well as other feature films, television series, music videos, short films, and commercials. In front of the camera, Shane first worked as an extra in Paul Nihipali, Jr.'s Beach Kings, and made his acting debut in 2010 in the Roger Corman production Dinocroc vs Supergator, directed by Jim Wynorski. His other film appearances include Life with Miriam, Of God and Kings, and Don Carscarelli's John Dies at the End. He has also made featured appearances on episodic television, including episodes of Bones, Common Law, Desperate Housewives, Harry's Law, and Grey's Anatomy.
Paul Jeffrey Davids grew up in Kensington and Bethesda, Maryland, where he attended Garrett Park Elementary School, Kensington Junior High School and Walter Johnson High School. He is the son of Dr. Jules Davids (Ph.D.), the late tenured full professor of American Diplomatic History at Georgetown University who was one of the "Founding Fathers" of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. Jules Davids was also author of the textbook America and the World of Our Time published by Random House and a contributor to John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage who is acknowledged in the Preface to JFK's book for his material contribution to several chapters. Paul Davids' mother, Frances Davids, taught 5th grade throughout her career. Becoming a winner in the first Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine Amateur Movie Contest at age fourteen was an early influence for Paul Davids in choosing a career in motion picture production. From elementary school days onward, he made many amateur science-fiction, dinosaur, dragon and monster films using stop-motion animation, and his cinematic heroes from a young age were Ray Harryhausen, George Pal and Forrest J Ackerman. As an undergraduate at Princeton University (majoring in psychology) he won numerous writing awards, including the F. Scott Fitzgerald Prize for writing literature. He was the only undergraduate who kept an animation stand in his dorm room to draw and film cartoons while in college. From Princeton, he was accepted as one of the first 15 fellowship students at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies in Beverly Hills. His student film at AFI is called "Examination" and featured Paul Picerni, noted for TV's "The Untouchables." His mentor at AFI was George Seaton, writer of "Miracle on 34th Street" and director of many films. Paul Davids' earliest experiences in the entertainment business were as an employee of agent Paul Kohner, known as "The Magician of Sunset Boulevard." Work for five years as a script analyst and assistant to Paul Kohner created working relationships during the latter years of the lives of Kohner clients William Wyler, John Huston, Charles Bronson, Cornel Wilde and Alistair MacLean. It was at that time that he wrote the script for the Robert Dornhelm feature "She Dances Alone," about Nijinsky's daughter, Kyra. He was a segment producer for F. Lee Bailey on the TV series "Lie Detector," and then his first major break came when Marvel Productions' executive producer Nelson Shin hired him as the production coordinator for "The Transformers" animated series. He was aboard for 79 episodes, and he also wrote numerous episodes. Lucasfilm then contracted him (with his wife, Hollace) to write six sequel Star Wars novels ("The Glove of Darth Vader," "The Lost City of the Jedi," "Zorba the Hutt's Revenge," "Mission From Mount Yoda," "Queen of the Empire" and "Prophets of the Dark Side"). The illustrated books began appearing in 1992 and sold millions of copies in paperback and hardback worldwide, including translations into Japanese, French, Hebrew and several other languages. Following his role as executive producer and co-writer for Showtime's "Roswell" (1994) he went on to produce, write and direct almost a dozen independent films, dramas or comedies, and many of them feature documentaries, sometimes on controversial topics. Universal released five of Paul Davids' features to TV worldwide. The participation of Peter Jackson in the Paul Davids documentary "The Sci-Fi Boys" helped with its release around the time of Peter Jackson's "King Kong," and it went on to win the Saturn Award for Best Documentary of 2006, as well as other awards, and extensive worldwide TV showings. Paul Davids has been a longtime member of WGA and PGA. He is been married to Hollace G. Davids (Senior Vice-President of Special Projects for Universal Pictures for over fifteen years), and they have two grown children, Jordan Duvall and Scott Michael Davids (who has many credits as an editor and special effects supervisor on major films and TV shows). Paul Davids is also a noted artist who has had many exhibitions (including a three month exhibit in 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton resort in Laguna-Niguel). He has lectured at many conferences, often on the subject of UFO's and the Roswell Incident. His favorite hobby is magic, and he has been a member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood (the Academy of Magical Arts) for 28 years - and he generally attends "The Castle" than once a month when he is in Los Angeles.
|Jarno Lee Vinsencius
Born and raised in Sweden, Jarno Lee Vinsencius began his passion for film making when his Indonesian father brought home a Super 8MM projector. Jarno's first movie he experienced was the original King Kong from 1933, a 20-min version. He was then mesmerized by the magical world of motion pictures when Star Wars was introduced 1977. In the late 90's J.L.V. moved to United States where he attended film school. After film school he returned to Sweden where he started his own production company called JLV Pictures. He has directed and produced several successful music videos. 2014, Jarno will release his first feature film, Evil Rising, which he wrote, produced and directed.
From the mid-1970s on, Sandra Seacat has been one of America's more sought-after and influential acting teachers/coaches. A method-based actor and teacher, closely associated with the Method's originator, her mentor Lee Strasberg, Seacat gradually became recognized as well for her groundbreaking work in the early eighties involving the application of Carl Gustav Jung's theories to acting technique and pedagogy, thus introducing the practice now known as dream work (also known as "The Way," much as Strasberg's Stanislavski-based system eventually came to be known as "The Method").
Born on October 2, 1936, Sandra Diane Seacat (whose first name, despite the spelling, is pronounced somewhere between 'Sondra' and 'Saundra') was the first of three daughters born to Lois Marion Seacat (née Cronic) and Russell Henry Seacat of Greensburg, Kansas.
After attending Northwestern University, Seacat made her way to New York, eventually being admitted to The Actors Studio, where she would become well versed in the method school of acting espoused by the Studio's director, Lee Strasberg. During the 1960s, Seacat began to get acting work in the city, appearing under her married name, Sandra Kaufman. In 1962, she earned plaudits from Village Voice critic Jerry Tallmer, making her New York stage debut in the American premiere of Leonid Andreyev's "Waltz of the Dogs," an Off-Off-Broadway production mounted by noted acting teacher - and Actors Studio member - Michael Howard.
While the next two years would be taken up with the birth and early rearing of her daughter Greta B. Kaufman (eventually also known as Greta Seacat), she returned to action in 1964 on Broadway with a small role in the Actors Studio production of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters," starring Kim Stanley, Geraldine Page, and Shirley Knight (though neither she nor Knight would appear in the version eventually preserved on videotape).
For the remainder of the decade, as she continued to hone her craft at the Studio, doing scene work with future stage co-stars Ben Piazza and Will Hare, as well as Robert Walden and Robert Viharo, each of whom would remain longtime friends, Seacat (aka Kaufman) quickly became one of Strasberg's prize pupils, and one of the Method's most articulate exponents. Thus, at just about the time her first marriage was coming to an end, a new career path beckoned, when, in 1969, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute was born.
By the early 1970s, Seacat was leading classes, not only at the Institute, but also at the City College of New York's Leonard Davis Center for the Performing Arts, as well as teaching privately. By 1980, she would also teach at John Strasberg's The Real Stage.
In the meantime, though, both Seacat's acting career - which, from this point forward, along with all other facets of her career, would be conducted under her maiden name - and her matrimonial status (in conjunction with fellow actor Michael Ebert) showed renewed signs of life, as the couple appeared together in a 1969 production of Brendan Behan's 'The Hostage," followed by the New Orleans Repertory Theater's June 1970 revival of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," directed by June Havoc, featuring Ebert as Harold "Mitch" Mitchell and E. Katherine Kerr as Blanche DuBois, as well as Seacat and Ben Piazza, respectively, as Stella and Stanley Kowalski.
Returning to New York, Seacat began to build her teaching practice. Among her early students were Treat Williams and Steve Railsback (the latter preparing for his film debut in Elia Kazan's The Visitors), and later, Lance Henriksen, Jessica Lange, and Mickey Rourke. Rourke would study with Seacat for several years in New York before departing for the west coast, and then, only at his mentor's behest.
Rourke has repeatedly cited his time with Seacat as the turning point in his career. "That's when everything started to click," he told Newsday in 1984, making a point - as he had in a New York Magazine profile the previous year - to contrast this with his disappointing Actors Studio stint ("I sat there a year, waiting for the teacup to develop in my hand"), saying of the Studio's director, "All I saw Lee do was tear people down." By contrast, speaking with the Los Angeles Times in 1984, Rourke credited Seacat with "channeling all it was that was messing me up into something creative and challenging."
Moreover, notwithstanding his subsequent disillusionment with the Studio, it was Seacat's counsel (as Rourke himself has mentioned more than once) - i.e. that, in order to bring some semblance of conviction to the scene Rourkee himself had chosen for his Actors Studio audition, he must immediately find his biological father (whom he hadn't seen in 20 years) - that enabled Rourke to realize his dream of membership in the alma mater of Brando, Clift and Dean. During Rourke's 2009 appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, after describing his first affective memory, executed under Seacat's guidance more than thirty years before, the 56-year-old Rourke was asked whether he still used what Seacat had taught him. "Very much," he replied. (13 years earlier, a previous generation of ITAS viewers had witnessed Jessica Lange call Seacat "a powerful influence on my acting," and two years before that, Lance Henriksen had offered Film Comment readers an unsolicited 20-year-old recollection of "a great teacher named Sandra Seacat.")
During the 1970s, Seacat continued to juggle her teaching and acting careers, portraying the female leads in a number of Off and Off-Off-Broadway productions, as well as minor roles in three Broadway and Off Broadway shows, receiving particularly favorable notices in the 1973 revival of William Inge's "Natural Affection," co-starring Nathan George, and the American premiere of John Hopkins's "Economic Necessity" in 1976. Halfway between the two came a much-anticipated but ultimately disappointing Actors Studio revival of Harold Pinter's "Old Times." Presented in the fall of 1974 (and followed by a particularly disastrous January 1975 Actors Studio West reprise) with the nominal participation of 'supervising director' Arthur Penn, the production was, in essence, self-directed by its three actors, Seacat, Hildy Brooks, and Will Hare, a fact much lamented by reviewers.
In February 1975, upon Seacat's less than triumphant return to New York following the "Old Times" debacle, Seacat's CCNY employment afforded her a welcome distraction, in the form of an upcoming four-day, Davis Center event featuring playwrights Peter Shaffer, Edward Albee and Arthur Miller, moderated by director Alan Schneider. Starting on May 12 with a symposium entitled "Theatre in the University," and concluding with one day apiece devoted to the works of each of the three guests, with student performances followed by discussions with the respective playwrights, the final day would be devoted to Arthur Miller's work, with each grade level in the Davis Center's acting program performing a scene from a different Miller opus.
The play assigned to Seacat's freshman class was "A View from the Bridge." After choosing as their showcase the final scene from Act One, she cast four of her regular students, but reserved the central role of Eddie Carbone for one of her private students who had just started auditing the class. And thus did Seacat, in this somewhat obscure setting, come to direct the stage debut of the as-yet unknown Mickey Rourke.
Starting in 1978 (after minor roles in two TV specials, NBC's Bicentennial tribute, First Ladies Diaries: Edith Wilson, and Hallmark Hall of Fame's premiere presentation of Arthur Miller's Fame, Seacat's stage career concluded on a decidedly anticlimactic note: a pair of smaller roles, albeit within the context of two somewhat notable productions - one being the first work to be staged in the new Harold Clurman Theatre, Eugene Ionesco''s "The Lesson;" the other, a rare directorial credit for Ellen Burstyn, in the 1979 Actors Studio production of Norman Krasna's rarely revived "Bunny."
In fact, 1978 provided a number of punctuation points for Seacat. Early that year, two significant eras had come to an end - first, on January 26, the end of her marriage to Michael Ebert, and next, just two days later, the death of her father, Russell. This was also the year Seacat persuaded her prize pupil Rourke that there was nothing further to be gained by staying in New York, that it was time to go west and test his fortunes in Hollywood.
Certainly, given her circumstances at that moment, one could see such advice applying equally to Seacat herself, and, indeed, by the early 1980s, Seacat had expanded her base of operations, teaching in both New York and Los Angeles (as she has continued to do ever since), helping actors like Lange, Rachel Ward, and Marlo Thomas give career-changing performances. On March 29, 1983, just weeks after the announcement of Lange's dual Oscar nominations, Seacat was acknowledged by the Associated Press as the one who "helped turn Jessica Lange from King Kong's consort into the soulful actress in Frances and Tootsie." A few years later, Liz Smith would acknowledge Seacat for "helping Jessica Lange to her Oscar and Marlo Thomas to her Emmy." Lange herself later told both James Lipton and Vanity Fair just how pivotal Seacat's contribution had been, both for her career in general and, in particular, her portrayal of Frances Farmer.
Regarding the latter, and the intensive nature of that collaboration, J.T. Jeffries writes in his 1986 biography of Lange: "In the spring of 1981, while still breast-feeding her newborn daughter by Baryshnikov, she worked on each scene with her coach, Sandra Seacat... Seacat had expanded her theatrical repertoire in recent years to include techniques from Eastern meditation. Lange regularly used those deep relaxation techniques on the set to improve her concentration in the grueling role." (For screen novice Baryshnikov, the Seacat connection - and those relaxation techniques in particular - would prove a welcome legacy of his relationship with Lange, long since ended by 1985, when the legendary dancer was coached by Seacat on the set of White Nights.)
Regarding the Emmy-winning performance that would help transform the image of Marlo Thomas (at least within the industry), from the indefatigable, relentlessly upbeat protagonist of That Girl to an actor who could take on any role and be taken seriously doing it, Thomas writes in her 2010 autobiography: "I only wish Lee [Strasberg] could have lived to see me portray a schizophrenic in Nobody's Child. I never could have gotten near playing that kind of part without Lee's exercises, and the subsequent work I did and continue to do with his primary disciple, the brilliant Sandra Seacat."
Of the three career turning points mentioned above, Rachel Ward's transformation - culminating in her Golden Globe-nominated lead performance in The Thorn Birds - stands out. In the fall of 1982 and continuing on through the following winter, even as Lange's two Oscar-nominated performances were receiving applause, acclaim, and, eventually, awards, the then inexperienced Ward was undergoing a rigorous makeover program under Seacat's guidance. But simply in order to get to that point, Ward first had to get the part. As the Associated Press reports: "Ward's first reading before producers David L. Wolper and Stan Margulies was disastrous. So she hired drama coach Sondra [sic] Seacat." "I studied exhaustively for two weeks," recalled Ward, "went back and did a screen test with Richard." According to Margulies, Ward's second reading "was so breathtaking that she got the part right there. But our questions were whether she could do it over the five-month shooting period."
Seacat had no problem answering those questions, but her prescription was radical, and required Ward's active participation and unwavering commitment. To her credit, Ward did not disappoint; under Seacat's direction, she gave up cigarettes and meat, started a daily exercise regimen, and - utilizing those same meditation techniques used by Lange to such great effect just months before - learned to calm her mind and focus on the task at hand. "You can almost see her develop as an actress in 'Thorn Birds,'" reported the Chicago Tribune. "By the finish, her Meggie is much stronger, more worldly, compassionate. The changes were in character, but they were taking place in Ward too. Thanks, in large part, to Seacat."
"She's extraordinary," Ward said of her new mentor. "She made me work in a totally different way than I'd ever worked before. For the first time, I really worked on technique... It was definitely not an easy five months. It was a lot of tying things together and understanding and confusion and frustration and anger. I asked a lot of questions about acting and about me and stuff, and Sandra just had these answers, and they were just like, of course, oh my God, of course!"
It was during this same period, as reported by The New York Times more than 25 years later, that Seacat's Jung-inspired experiments ushered in the now widespread practice known as dream work, wherein actors interpret and sometimes influence their own dreams, often casting and staging those dreams in the process, all in the interests of achieving the richest, most genuine characterization possible. A number of the younger dream work practitioners, such as Elizabeth Kemp, Kim Gillingham, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, and actor/directors John Markland and Jamie Wollrab, as well as Sandra's daughter and fellow acting coach, Greta, all claim Seacat as their mentor. Moreover, longtime Seacat clients Melanie Griffith and Gina Gershon, as well as onetime student, Diane Salinger, have long been on record regarding the impact this innovation has had on their own careers.
"In Sandra's class," recalled Salinger in 1987, "we had dream assignments where, before you went to sleep, you'd write out an assignment to yourself, and dream dreams that had connections to the work you were doing. I've done that with this play." "It's a great way to open yourself up," insisted Griffith in a 1986 interview. "It's been very healthy for me, because I think our interior soul knows a lot more about ourselves than our conscious intellect ever allows you to think about." More recently, Hélène Cardona, a Paris-born poet, translator and actor who studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Actors Studio in the early 1990s, recalled: "When I trained with Sandra Seacat at the Actors Studio in New York, she introduced me to a particular form of dream work. You could call it Jungian. I have kept doing this work for many years now. It's very therapeutic, a more holistic approach to [sic] medicine. And it can also be used to develop a character in a play or movie. You dig into yourself to find the answers. In the dream you are connected to your inner self and to the divine."
Gershon is particularly passionate on the subject, speaking in a 1998 interview: "Sandra totally changed my acting. Instinctively, I was always in love with psychology and my dream life had always been very important to me... What's really exciting to me about Sandra's work is that it changes your life, almost on a psychic level. Now I'll get parts and in working on them, she'll say, 'Well, let's see how you're developing, as a human being.' Because the parts you're doing, it's no accident. Those parts affect your life and they kind of illustrate the map that your life is following." As recently as August 26, 2012, speaking with The Lab Magazine, Gershon reaffirmed the importance of Seacat and dream work to her career.
In a 2001 interview with Back Stage West, another longtime Seacat client of mid-eighties vintage, Laura Dern, went public. While not specifically referencing dream work, Dern echoes both Gershon, Cardona and Rachel Ward in her portrayal of Seacat's holistic, almost therapeutic approach, a characteristic previously noted in 1994 by erstwhile Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter ("better than any therapist," Carter told USA Today, regarding the time spent studying with Seacat: "you strip yourself of ego, and the whole experience unearths all your analytical feelings and self-discovery"), and one which brings to mind another Jungian archetype central to Seacat's career from at least the 1980s onward; as Seacat would tell the New York Times in 2009, "I believe that the artist is a wounded healer, that they are healing wounds of their own, and when they do that truthfully, they heal the audience." Dern recalled:
"Through studying and through being raised on movie sets, I was surrounded by a lot of people who believed that the more tortured the person, the greater the artist. I always had a hard time understanding that, but thought, 'I guess that's the way it is'... Luckily through life and the gift of the acting teacher who's changed my life in so many ways since 1984 (her name is Sandra Seacat), I learned there's another opinion, which is: the better the person, the better the artist. The more true you are to who you are and the more honest you are as an individual, the more honest you can be as an actor, and I'm really liking that." Asked if she still studied, Dern replied, "I still study with Sandra and I love studying."
Speaking again with BSW in 2004, Dern elaborated: "All of a sudden, this new idea that the parts I play help me discover myself and I could maybe be kinder to the ambiguous places and the flaws - I was so lifted by that. Since then, I feel like it's an extraordinary experience of therapy and learning about being in the moment and honoring that. All of a sudden, acting wasn't this torment where you're supposed to be a screwed-up artist, but it's an opportunity for self-growth. And I think I've had fun ever since." Finally, in January 2012, at the The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Dern reaffirmed the connection, thanking Seacat in her acceptance speech for Best Actress in HBO's Enlightened, the first two episodes of which had each featured Seacat in a small role.
In 1988, with her dream work innovations now well underway, and some well-publicized individual success stories under her belt, a unique opportunity came Seacat's way - that being the chance to direct a feature film. This would eventually become In the Spirit, the first, and as yet, only film Seacat has directed, "a low-budget pic," as Variety would note, featuring "big-name talent."
The over-qualified/underpaid cast included no less than three of Seacat's regular clients, Marlo Thomas, Melanie Griffith and Peter Falk, as well as Olympia Dukakis at the height of her popularity, having just collected her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Moonstruck. Arguably the film's casting coup, however (and probably the positive element most frequently cited by reviewers), was landing the celebrated writer/performer Elaine May to co-star opposite Thomas (with May's daughter, Jeannie Berlin, who co-authored the screenplay, also appearing).
Very much a homegrown New York product (a passing reference to The Robin Byrd Show being just one of several inside jokes contained therein), the supporting cast featured an assortment of local luminaries, some of them professional actors, some not. The former group included both indie icons - e.g. Michael Emil, Mark Boone Junior and Rockets Redglare - and 'legit' stage and TV actors such as Hope Cameron and Gary Swanson (both fellow Actor Studio members); the latter, such miscellaneous notables as Fox TV anchor/reporter Steve Powers, musicians Roy Nathanson and Nora York, and playwright Christopher Durang. Of the remaining bit players, at least two were Seacat students, Phil Harper and Emidio La Vella (the latter of whom would be Seacat's first post-ITS coaching client in 1990). Moreover, making his film debut here was Seacat's current husband, Thurn Hoffman.
Notwithstanding numerous press references to Seacat's screen directing debut, both before and after the film's release (almost all citing her storied coaching career), Seacat herself maintained a characteristically low profile throughout, surfacing only long enough to contribute one sentence to an article on the film's producer, Julian Schlossberg: "There are two main things about Julian -- he has a big heart and he goes the distance." Speaking of Schlossberg, co-star Elaine May got into the act as well, providing her own characteristically tongue-in-cheek teaser, a mock-interview with the producer on the making and marketing of ITS, published in the New York Times just days before the film's release.
Regarding May, Liz Smith would report (circa December 1988, shortly after the film had wrapped): "Recent remarks here about the genius that is Elaine May brought forth the encouraging news that we'll soon see this gifted actress in a new suspense movie written by her daughter Jeannie Berlin (with co-writer Laurie Jones). In the Spirit had all its money raised independently by producers Julian Schlossberg and Beverly Irby. They're now editing the film and seeking a distributor for release next spring. The cast is a staggering one -- Elaine and daughter, as well as Peter Falk, Melanie Griffith, Marlo Thomas, Olympia Dukakis and Louise Lasser. The director was an interesting choice: Sandra Seacat, acting coach and guru to many stars..."
In retrospect, given both the fact that Louise Lasser - barely visible in the finished film and nowhere to be seen in its credits - was still being announced as one of the film's featured players even after the film had wrapped, and that the film itself would not make it to theaters until more than a year past its estimated release date, one becomes better prepared for the reality of ITS's narrative disarray - a reality made obvious by the titles themselves in this broad sample of reviews: "Grand and Goofy Comedy," "'In the Spirit' - An Endearing Mess," "Screwball Comedy Holds Up Even When Plot Sags," "Spirit Loses Its Comic Flair Halfway Through," "'Spirit' Amusing, But Unpolished," "'In the Spirit' Needs a Bit More Body," "'In The Spirit' Needs To Be More Perky, Less Poky," and "A Few Screws Are Loose But 'In The Spirit' Offers A Rare Glimpse Of Elaine May In A Feminist Comedy."
As one can see, critical reaction among the nation's dailies was mixed at best. Two reactions were almost universal: appreciation for the film's performances, especially those of the two leads, as well as disdain for its technical shortcomings - seen primarily in the areas of camera placement and pacing, as well as the aforementioned matter of narrative construction. What distinguished the favorable from the unfavorable review in these cases was largely a matter of emphasis. Unfortunately for Seacat, when it came to evaluating her impact on the finished film, the emphasis was placed almost exclusively on the shortcomings. And while reviewers had, almost without exception, made the obligatory mention of Seacat's storied coaching career, in practice, it appears, few felt compelled to credit her with even contributing to her actors' success.
Two of the more sympathetic reviews, by Dave Kehr of the Chicago Tribune and ex-Village Voice critic Carrie Rickey, writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer, tended however to bypass both Seacat and the film's screenwriter, Jeannie Berlin, and instead credit Elaine May as the film's true auteur.
Two of the film's most merciless drubbings were administered, respectively, by the Washington Times ("New Age 'Spirit' Gets Old and Boring Quickly") and by the Chicago Sun-Times ("The Mystery of 'Spirit' is Finding Film's Funny Parts"); however, given the film's target audience (even the Los Angeles Daily News called it "a flat-out New York comedy, with all of the pluses and minuses"), the most damaging blow of all was almost certainly delivered by the New York Times' Janet Maslin, with her considerably more polite, yet thoroughly condescending dismissal:
"The beneficial power of crystals has done nothing for In the Spirit, a nervous new-age comedy much more notable for good intentions than good luck. A rare appearance by Elaine May, who co-stars with Marlo Thomas in what proves to be an unexpectedly mundane caper story, and a directing credit for the respected acting coach Sandra Seacat give In the Spirit a lot more curiosity value than it would otherwise have... Ms. Seacat's direction is especially strange, since it is so thoroughly unaccommodating to the actors. The camera is treated as if it were radioactive, never being allowed to linger where a performer might be heard clearly or shown off to good advantage." Even the generally lauded female leads do not escape unscathed: "The actors, especially Ms. May and Ms. Thomas, spend a lot of time yammering simultaneously in time-honored sitcom style."
If America's original paper of record had delivered one of Spirit's most resounding pans, it would fall to the entertainment industry's trade 'paper of record' to supply arguably its most simpatico critique (though it did little to help the movie's less than middling box office returns). Not merely echoing the critical consensus regarding Thomas' and May's "memorable screen odd couple," Variety embraced the film itself, portraying its limitations as strengths: "an unusual case of big-name talent gathering with friends to make a low-budget pic freed of mainstream good taste and gloss." While not oblivious of the film's structural issues ("weakest element being a stupid framing device of a mystical narrator... midway shift in tone may put off some viewers, but others will likely relish the intensity of the May and Thomas segment"), it was Variety, virtually alone among reviewers, that cited Seacat for something beyond merely her ability to handle actors: "First-time director Sandra Seacat emphasizes slapstick but also female bonding as the gals on the lam reach beyond their wacky survivalist tactics to address feminist issues."
After Seacat's extended directorial excursion, the transition back to her customary regimen was eased considerably by the fact that the clients for her next few coaching projects were all ITS cast members. First, as previously mentioned, was Emidio La Vella in Un metro all'alba. Next in line was Thomas herself, on Held Hostage: The Sis and Jerry Levin Story; in addition, Seacat would work with Melanie Griffith on Born Yesterday, and with Thomas again on Reunion. Back on the east coast, Seacat would join the faculty of the recently formed Actors Studio Drama School at the New School for Social Research in the fall of 1996.
Starting in 1999, Seacat embarked on an unprecedented binge of media exposure, becoming the 'talking head' on three TV documentaries in the space of two years, and, even more uncharacteristically, speaking at length about three of her clients in the process. Despite this seeming incongruity, given Seacat's customary regard for client confidentiality (witness the Sandra Seacat entry at TakeHollywood.com), the fact is that, whenever a given actor has had no qualms about revealing their working relationship, or has already done so, Seacat has always been happy to grant interviews on the subject, as she did at length in 1983 for New York Magazine's Mickey Rourke profile. Speaking of whom, Rourke is the subject of the first of these three documentaries (as well as one in 2008, in which Seacat also participated), followed, respectively, by two very vocal Seacat champions, Laura Dern and Jessica Lange.
Another Seacat outburst, addressed not merely to the press, but to one of her longstanding client's potential employers, would occur in 2003, part of an image makeover much like that of Seacat's oft-recounted early success stories, Jessica Lange and Marlo Thomas, especially the latter, another era's perpetually perky, seemingly ubiquitous paragon of 'cute.' This time, however, instead of a sixties sitcom princess, it was the nineties romcom queen, Meg Ryan, who was chomping at the bit for some more challenging roles. While working with Seacat on her upcoming Jackie Kallen biopic, Against the Ropes, Ryan saw the opportunity for an even more radical departure with Nicole Kidman's early exit from Jane Campion's In the Cut.
Interviewed shortly before the film's release, Campion recounted Seacat's surprising phone intervention: "Sandra said, 'Look, I'm working with Meg Ryan. I've never done this before, but she's doing amazing work. You should audition her.' And I said, 'Audition Meg? Do you think she'd audition?' She said, 'Sure, she would.'"
Ryan would indeed audition, and for helping Campion get beyond her preconceptions, the grateful director likened Seacat to "a fairy godmother who takes the mists away." As it happens, Campion's preconceptions were not unlike those of the many reviewers who would find Ryan's performance a revelation, as well as the most interesting and accomplished element within a not so successful film. Speaking for public consumption, Seacat reiterated: "Meg has great courage and discipline and commitment. Her talent is large, and her potential is vast."
The following year, speaking with Newsday on the set of We Don't Live Here Anymore, exactly one week after the film's co-star, Laura Dern, had expanded upon her own 2001 tribute to Seacat, her longtime teacher returned the favor: "'Laura is a free spirit,' says Sandra Seacat, the celebrated acting coach and a longtime associate of Dern's. 'She's also a great student and a dedicated artist - and there aren't very many people I call artists. But the entire cast of this film [including also Mark Ruffalo, Naomi Watts, and Peter Krause], they're all true artists, dedicated to their own inner truth, and they have the courage to share that. You don't find that very often.'"
As the decade wore on, perhaps fueled by dream work's increasing popularity, Seacat's name began to be seen in print more frequently, some of the mentions dreamwork-related, others - like those by Dern, Marlo Thomas, or Mickey Rourke - simply satisfied customers reaffirming their indebtedness.
Speaking with Back Stage in 2010, acting teacher Alex Cole Taylor called Seacat "a beautiful woman and a beautiful artist'," as well as the primary model for Taylor's compassionate and nurturing stance towards his own students. Speaking with CNN in 2012, acting coach and dream work practitioner Elizabeth Kemp paired Seacat with Lee Strasberg as two of the teachers to whom she was most deeply indebted. Moreover, two of Seacat's students, actor/directors Jamie Wollrab and John Markland, have each been putting Seacat's teachings into practice, one play at a time - Wollrab, with his Triptych Theatre; Markland, with the Moth Theatre Company, itself composed largely, if not entirely, of fellow Seacat alumni (including Scoot McNairy, Pamela Guest, Dov Tiefenbach, Anna Rose Hopkins, and Kris Lemche), recently incorporating Wollrab as well. The latter's words -- quoted in Steve Julian's 2010 Moth Theatre profile -- echo those of his mentor, just one year before: "'More than anything,' Wollrab says, 'we're wounded healers. Each of us. I think that's why audiences keep taking to our work.' Work he describes as fragile and beautiful."
As it happens, Wollrab had hitherto collaborated with his teacher on just such work, when, in August 2007, more than four decades and a quarter of a century, respectively, after Seacat's previous notable forays into directing, she would oversee Wollrab's direction of Elizabeth Meriwether's play, "The Mistakes Madeline Made," staged at Boulder, Colorado's Dairy Center for the Arts.
As in her previous directorial assignments, Seacat was again supervising a number of current and/or former students, including, along with the director, her daughter Greta Seacat, Justin Chatwin, Shannon Woodward, and the late Johnny Lewis. The younger Ms. Seacat's performance garnered particularly favorable notices, dubbed "steady and grounded" by Mark Collins of the Boulder Daily Camera, and "a marvel" by Lisa Bornstein of the Rocky Mountain News: "Simplistic (she frequently shuts her laptop to avoid news of Iraq) and authoritarian, but awkwardly kind as well, Beth is annoying, but she knows it; in Seacat's hands, she's funny and real."
Regarding Seacat Sr., one happy addendum: roughly coinciding with the millennial media spike in Seacat sightings was a corresponding increase in the size and substance of her film roles. Seacat's screen resumé had long seemed little more than a collection of discreetly camouflaged acting coach credits, typically a small part contained in one or two scenes within a film which itself featured one or more of Seacat's coaching clients - well-acted, in and of itself, but, as conceived, simply too perfunctory and/or peripheral to the film's narrative to register strongly. (For a perfect case in point, witness Seacat's 5½-minute one-and-done appearance in The Golden Seal with Steve Railsback, starting at the '01:23:14 remaining' mark; IMDb provides free access to the film in its entirety.)
This began to change in 1999 with a series of three consecutive films, each one featuring Seacat as the protagonist's mother. In the first two, Crazy in Alabama and Daddy and Them (portraying, respectively, 'Crazy' Melanie Griffith's concerned mom, and 'Daddy' Andy Griffith's oft seen, but rarely heard wife), the upgrades were subtle, to be sure; nonetheless, Seacat was onscreen far more - and at more crucial points in the narrative - than in any of her previous films.
It was 2003, however, that brought the most dramatic change, not just from a subsidiary to a starring role, but from the almost mute matriarch of D&T's constantly bickering clan (blocking out the most intense or awkward moments with her trusty Macarena monkey) to the vigorously - and vocally - proactive 'normalizer' of the equally - if less loudly - dysfunctional family in A Little Crazy.
Co-starring Seacat students Jack Kerrigan, Kim Gillingham, and Kirk Baltz, "A Little Crazy" debuted at the 2003 Method Fest, earning Kerrigan a nomination for the festival's John Garfield Award, and, for the film itself, a rave review from Variety's Robert Koehler, praising, in particular, "the superb Seacat," as the "overreaching but never strident" matriarch of the film's "unhinged American family." Sadly, despite the review and subsequent awards from the Berkeley Video & Film Festival, the Hollywood MiniDV Festival, and the Los Angeles Silver Lake Film Festival, the independently produced film found neither a theatrical nor a DVD release (though it has, as of 2010, become available online via IndieFlix); as a result, what is almost certainly Seacat's most sizable and fleshed-out film performance to date has gone largely unseen.
Her next assignment, another independently made feature that would not see a theatrical release (again co-starring Kim Gillingham), In the Land of Milk and Money, features Seacat in a much smaller role, but again a pivotal one, in a film which, none too skillfully, harkens back to the cautionary sci-fi tales of the fifties, as well as the neo-zombie variations of the seventies and beyond, in its tale of genetically modified cow's milk generating an epidemic of mothers killing their offspring. As one of the affected mothers, Seacat, in a handful of scenes, with a minimum of screen time and dialogue, gives an acting clinic, shifting from unreadable rage to transparent delight, from grief-stricken, guilt-ridden parent to righteous avenger.
Seacat's next few post-millennial assignments included a number of independently made films that remain, for better or worse, even harder to get a hold of than the previous two. More recently, however, have come brief but high-impact performances in a pair of relatively high-profile projects, HBO's You Don't Know Jack, starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian, aka 'Dr. Death' (and featuring Seacat as his first 'patient,' the Alzheimers-afflicted Janet Adkins), as well as actor Mark Ruffalo's feature film directing debut, Sympathy for Delicious, wherein Seacat has an even smaller, but equally pivotal, role.
The former, in particular, caught the eye of Columbia University MFA candidate Jed Cowley in the fall of 2011, then casting his thesis film, a short subject set - and shot - in a shale pit in the filmmaker's home town of Medford, Oregon. As he would later recall, it took no more than one viewing of Seacat's brief but telling appearance in the Kevorkian biopic before Cowley and his producer "knew she should be Sheila," Shale's long-suffering but "newly empowered" protagonist, the "once dutiful wife" now confronting her intractable ex-spouse against the shale pit's stark backdrop.
With Seacat in attendance, "Shale" had its premiere on May 5, 2012, at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, as part of the Columbia University Film Festival, where the film would earn the IFC Audience Choice Award. The film is also an official selection at the 2013 Slamdance Festival in Park City, Utah, screening with the South-African-set feature, Fynbos, on Friday, January 18th, at 7 PM, and again on Tuesday the 22nd, at 12 noon.
As already mentioned, Seacat also appeared recently in the first two episodes of Laura Dern's HBO series "Enlightened," as well as the feature film, The Time Being, representing the directing and screenwriting debuts, respectively, of Nenad Cicin-Sain and producer Richard N. Gladstein.
In the meantime, Seacat has not neglected her educational mission; in fact, while remaining active on both coasts, she also recently made inroads into the heartland, when, on March 8, 2012, together with longtime friend and colleague, Robert Walden, and several others, she became a founding faculty member of the newly instituted Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Film Forum, a three-day, multi-disciplinary seminar to be hosted annually by the University of Arkansas.
A major creative force in entertainment industry for over thirty years, Daniel Flannery has conceived, designed and directed award-winning visual, aural, theatrical and media productions around the world. Celebrated as a scenographer for his visionary ability to translate words and music into compelling, iconic visual images, his involvement begins with a project's initial creative conceptualization and extends through its completion. A Daniel Flannery production exemplifies an authentic cohesive vision deeply integrated into concept, design, and direction, creating an immersive, emotional and transformational experience for the audience.
As the Director of Photography for the popular television series, 'Roseanne', Flannery revolutionized sitcom lighting design and was awarded four Emmy nominations.
Born and raised in New York, Flannery is a graduate of the designers program at Lester Polakov's Studio and Forum of Stage Design. He also studied directing at HB Studio and filmmaking at Columbia University.
In the 1970s Flannery designed the lighting for many productions on and off-Broadway, including original plays presented by the Chelsea Theatre Company. After relocating to Los Angeles the challenges Flannery faced were to transition from the cultural opportunities to more popular entertainment such as the 'Sonny and Cher Concert' tours and a special project for the king, 'Elvis Forever', a stage production show in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
For feature films, Flannery served as theatrical lighting designer to Bob Zemeckis and Peter Bogdanovich on several projects including 'Forrest Gump', 'Death Becomes Her' and 'Noises Off'.
In 1977, Flannery conceived, designed and directed the 'Original Star Wars Concert', a spectacular "Visual Symphony" at the Hollywood Bowl. This was the first event of its kind, creating a genre of entertainment that continues today. He conceived, directed and produced with Erich Kunzel 'Symphantasy I' and 'Symphantasy II', a nationally televised extravaganza with the Cincinnati Pops and a host of national celebrities, including George Clooney and Kelsey Grammer.
For Universal Studios Flannery served as conceptualist, scenographer and lighting designer on many attractions including 'E.T.', 'Back to the Future', 'King Kong' and 'Conan'. He was also the principal lighting designer for the entire architectural and site-scape of both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. And Flannery served as scenographic consultant to Disney's Imagineering for 'American Adventure' and 'Kitchen Kabaret' at E.P.C.O.T.
In event entertainment, Flannery worked directly with David Wolper to conceive and direct the 'Closing Ceremonies of the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics'. He was also the creative vision behind the 'Super Bowl XX' half-time show at the New Orleans Superdome, and 'Mardi Gras in the Superdome'.
A pioneer in the creation of water based attractions, Flannery created 'Water Fantasium' for the Dairinkai Pavilion at the Osaka 1990 World's Fair, which was voted the Fair's leading attraction. Flannery was a designer on 'Aquacade', the most popular attraction at the New Orleans World's Fair in 1984 where he also served as design consultant to the site architects.
For the 1993 World's Fair in Taejon, Korea, Flannery created and produced the popular 'Fantastic Odyssey', which became a permanent attraction and after 15 years continues to run daily at Lotte World in Seoul. In 1995, Daniel Flannery created a show for Geopolis at the Tokyo Dome, 'Cosmic Symphony' and which continued to run for 12 years. He also served as producer and designer to two-time Oscar Winner John Truscott, the Artistic Director of the Brisbane Austrailia 1988 World Expo. In 2005 he teamed up with another Oscar Winner, Production Designer Eugenio Zanetti to create 'Movistar Magica', an outdoor theatrical spectacle with a cast of over 500 and a stage larger than two football fields. This popular show toured Colombia South America and attracted enormous crowds to the parks and stadiums.
His production 'Illusions' is performed nightly at the Grand Theatre in Chang Zhou China. With a cast over 80, this show incorporates the largest installation of 3D LED screens creating virtual scengraphy created in CGI and integrated with grand opera scaled scenery. Another of Flannery's shows, 'Elements', ran for five years at the Huaxia Cultural Arts Theatre in Shenzhen China.
Presently Flannery and his partners at R&S Production Services and Micoy Entertainment are creating 3D stereoscopic films for dome theaters. Their first film, 'Living Waters', premieres at the new Qatar Awareness Centre in spring 2014.
Committed to the importance of education and professional mentor-ship, Flannery has lectured and taught classes at (USC) University of Southern California, (UCLA) University of California Los Angeles, Art Center College of Design and State University of New York. Today Mr. Flannery is a Professor in Theater & Dance at the (UCSB) University of California Santa Barbara. He has been a member of countless guilds, unions and trade organizations. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Motion Picture and Television Fund for the Golden Boot Awards, honoring those in entertainment who have made significant contributions to the genre of the Western.
David Gould's first feature film THE CURE has been released in over 47 countries and nominated for two New Zealand Film Awards and two Action on Film Awards. He also wrote and directed the award winning short films INSEPARABLE COIL, AWAKEN, THE SEED, and TOMORROW'S DREAM. His was a semi-finalist of the BlueCat Screenwriting Competition with his screenplay STOLEN SENSES. He has worked as senior visual effects artist on THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, KING KONG, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and TINTIN. He has also won the prestigious Maya Masters Award, written two acclaimed text books on Computer Graphics, and developed patented software.
As an avid movie fan, Dorothy got her chance to go to Hollywood when she won a Salt Lake City beauty contest sponsored by Universal Pictures. Signed by Universal after her successful screen test, Dorothy became one of the many contract actors working in small bit parts. She became well known due to her roles in series and serial movies from 'College Love (1929)' to 'The Last Frontier (1932)'. Dorothy appeared in a number of low budget Westerns such as 'In Old Cheyenne (1931)' and 'The Fighting Marshal (1932)'. Over the years that she appeared in Westerns, she worked with actors such as Jack Hoxie, Hoot Gibson, Wild Bill Elliott and John Wayne. By 1933, Dorothy found that her roles had become so small that in the film 'King Kong (1933)', she would be credited as "Girl". For the rest of the decade, she appeared in but a handful of films which were mostly 'B' movie Westerns. After that, she left films.
One of Japan's most distinctive character actors, Eisei Amamoto is one of their cinema's few personalities who is easily recognizable to Western movie buffs. Tall (six feet) and skeletal of build, bony-faced and wild-haired (when not ensconced in a vast silver wig), Amamoto's persona inspired Woody Allen to dub him with an imitation Peter Lorre voice in What's Up Tiger Lily? (1966). He was better served by Paul Frees' menacing tones in King Kong Escapes (Kingukongu no gyakushu, 1967). But neither voice matches Amamoto's own, surprisingly deep and resonant for his scrawny, sunken-chested frame. It might have served him well had he pursued his original career choice: politics. He barely managed to dodge the draft into Japan's Pacific War, through acceptance to Tokyo University, his nation's most prestigious school. He studied law, for he wished to become a diplomat, but he soon grew disillusioned in his studies, his world view darkened by the mire into which his country was plunging through its disastrous war. A sympathetic older sister rescued him from his self-confessed nihilism by introducing him to friends in the entertainment field who encouraged Amamoto to become an actor. Through these connections, Amamoto landed a place in the highly regarded Hayuza group of stage actors, where in an early bit of what would become typecasting, he portrayed a knife-wielding madman in the play "Dojinkai". There he was spotted by director Keisuke Kinoshita, who observed "THERE'S an interesting-looking guy", and promptly cast him in a small but pivotal role in his classic Twenty-Four Eyes (1954). Amamoto later joined Toho Studios, where he was at first nothing more than a background player in the likes of Nippon Tanjo (1959). His parts grew steadily larger and more showy in the likes of Denso ningen (The Secret of the Telegian, 1960) and Yojinbo (1961). By the late 1960s he was equally recognized for samurai films like Sword of Doom and science fiction/fantasy projects like Kingukongu no gyakushu (1967). Though he could hardly be less similar to Peter Lorre, he is at least as big a cult figure in present-day Japan, lending his name and presence to any number of films, TV shows and animated productions. As well, he has cultivated a reputation as an eccentric TV talkshow presence. Always fascinated by the country of Spain, he has also played flamenco guitar on the stage, sometimes in collaboration with his friend and fellow actor Yoshio Tsuchiya. He has written several books about Spain, and spends as much time living there as he can.
Salvatore Merenda has found himself floating between good and evil characters all his acting life. His credits include working alongside Chris Hemsworth in Thor Ragnarok, Samual L Jackson and John Goodman on King Kong as a US Navy Officer. With Johnny Depp as a ghost soldier on the international feature film Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Plus with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) on San Andreas as well as acting with Martin Sacks on Rise. Salvatore has portrayed bikers using his own Harley Davidson, prisoners, drug dealers, thugs, vagrants and mob bosses. At the other end of the scale he has played law-abiding teachers, firemen, priests, lawyers and also law enforcing police officers. He has also appeared in corporate videos, music videos as well as television series. He speaks fluent Italian and his ability to bring truthfulness to roles is amazing thanks to his commitment and continued study under Joss McWilliam.
Kumi Mizuno was born on New Years Day of 1937 as Maya Igarashi in Nigata, Japan. After she graduated from acting school in 1957, her screen debut was in the Minoru Shibuya film Crazy Society. By the time her second film Futari dake no hashi came out, she changed her name to "Kumi Mizuno." Her attractive looks and pleasant demeanor made her a favorite of director Ishirô Honda. Thus, she was cast in a host of drama, comedy and sci-fi films from Toho Studios. She became one of Japan's most popular actresses in their "Golden Age" of cinema, appearing with actor Nick Adams in Frankenstein Conquers the World and Invasion of Astro-Monster. They were claimed to be romantically linked during the filming of these two films, but they denied the claims as gossip. Kumi's role as Daiyo in Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster was one of her most memorable performances. This film was originally written to star King Kong, hence the love relationship between Godzilla and Kumi--a love relationship more associated with King Kong.
Even though she has few specific memories of her work on sci-fi films during the 1960s, she does reminisce those films fondly. Evidently, she became a Godzilla legend, as she returned to appear in two of the six Godzilla films from the "Millennium" series in 2002 and 2004.
This acting aficionado from New Jersey is a performing chameleon with a mastery of techniques in all aspects of TV, film, theatre and commercials.
Having grown up in front of audiences, it is no wonder Seth Donavan is a natural in front of the camera. After just one Soap Intensive with casting director Sheryl Baker-Fisher for ABC's "One Life To Live," Donavan wooed his superior, which landed him his recurring feature role as a student at Lanview High School in the acclaimed soap opera. He was also merited with an appearance in the distinguished 2005 motion picture "Red Doors," which won a Best Narrative Feature award at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Starting off on the 50-yard line with the Giants Stadium State Competition Best Marching Band Award, and taking home the Music in the Park's National Best Choir Award for his immaculate vocal talent, Donavan has made himself known on center stage and on television and is making his way to the big screen. Early in his career, Donavan stole the spotlight with leading roles in theatrical productions of "Two Gentleman of Verona," "Vic and Sade Radio Show," and "King Kong TV Show."
Once Donavan moved to Los Angeles, he wasted no time in getting on the hottest TV shows and film. In a short amount of time he has been out here, he has been featured on "House", "Medium", "90210", "The Cleaner", "Glee", "Son of Mourning" and a promo for ESPN working with Samuel L. Jackson.
Seth Donavan is attached to produce, write, and star in his first short film project shooting in the month of June. Though hard at work, he has also been attached to many upcoming projects including other feature films, and a comedy tour.
With nothing but true passion for acting, Seth Donavan continues to make his way in front of the camera and with hopes of one day making it to the big screen. We look forward to what is on the horizon for this exciting actor.
Eiji Tsuburaya ranks alongside Willis H. O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen as one of the great visionary SFX masters of twentieth century fantasy cinema. Best remembered as the amazing special effects genius behind the "Godzilla" series of monster films commencing in 1954, he also contributed effects to a host of other Japanase monster / fantasy / science fiction / drama / propaganda films for over four decades.
Eiji Tsuburaya had a keen interest in the cinema from a young age, and legend has it that he acquired a second hand movie projector when he was only ten years old, and pulled it apart and put it back together with relative ease. He began work as a cinematographer in Kyoto around 1919, and then enhanced his skills to include camera work throughout the 1920s, at which time his eye for detail was in high demand from many studio's. Around 1938, he became head of Special Visual Techniques at Toho Studios, and during the Second World War he was involved in the production of several Japanaese propaganda films. He went freelance after the war, and in 1954 he collaborated with director Ishirô Honda on the monster epic Godzilla (aka "Godzilla"). The film was an enormous hit in Japan, and additional scenes were filmed with US actor Raymond Burr and then inserted strategically to give the movie western appeal. "Godzilla, King Of The Monsters" was then released in the USA to strong box office takings, and Godzilla has since appeared in over two dozen films spanning over fifty years, becoming a key cult icon of Japanese culture!!
The incredibly talented Tsuburaya went on to be the SFX director behind dozens of Japanese monster & science fiction classics including _Sora no daikiju Radon (1956)_ (aka "Rodan") The H-Man (aka "The H-Man") Densô ningen (aka "The Telegian"), Mothra (aka "Mothra") King Kong vs. Godzilla (aka "King Kong versus Godzilla"), Varan the Unbelievable, Matango, _Furankenshutain tai chitei kaiju Baragon (1965)_ (aka "Frankenstein Conquers the World"), and _Kaiju soshingeki (1968)_ (aka "Destroy All Monsters" ). Tsuburaya had also established his own production company in 1963 (Tsuburaya Productions), creators of the highly popular "Ultraman" character, and subsequent TV shows and films.
On January 25, 1970, while vacationing in Shizuoka Prefecture, Tsuburaya suffered a sudden, fatal heart attack. His incredible film & SFX production company is still active today under the guidance of his grandson, Kazuo Tsuburaya.
Acclaimed illustrator Basil Gogos was born in Egypt to Greek parents. He moved with his family to America when he was sixteen years old. Gogos attended several New York area schools which include the National School of Design, the Phoenix School of Design, and the School of the Visual Arts. Moreover, Basil studied with noted illustrator Frank J. Reilly at the Art Students League of New York. After winning a competition sponsored by Pocket Books, Gogos began his professional career with his first cover painting for the Western paperback novel "Pursuit" in 1959. He provided cover illustrations for men's adventure magazines in the early 1960's. Basil achieved his greatest enduring popularity with his remarkable cover illustrations for nearly 50 issues of the beloved horror cinema magazine "Famous Monsters of Filmland" (the first cover he did was for the ninth issue in 1960). Gogos not only did drawings of such iconic horror thespians as Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Lon Chaney, and Peter Cushing, but also such classic horror characters as Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein's monster, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Godzilla, King Kong, the Wolf Man, and the Phantom of the Opera. Other publications Basil did cover art for are "Eerie," "Creepy," "Spaceman," "Wildest Westerns," and "The Spirit." In the late 1970's Gogos decided to focus more on fine art; he did personal art pieces in watercolor and other media. He also worked as a photo retoucher in the ad department for United Artists, did occasional illustrations for movie posters, and later moved into advertising where he produced presentation sketches and storyboards for a major ad agency. Basil returned to the horror genre in the mid-1990's; his work has appeared on trading cards, lithographs, and the covers of the magazine "Monsterscene." In addition, Gogos has painted CD covers for Rob Zombie, the Misfits, and Electric Frankenstein. The coffee table book "Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos" was published by Vanguard Productions in 2005. In 2006 Basil Gogos was the recipient of the Rondo Hutton Classic Horror Awards' Special Monster Kid Hall of Fame Award for his exceptional contributions to classic horror.
Oscar Navarro was born in the village of Novelda (Alicante, Spain), where he began studying music at an early age. He received the "Outstanding Award" after completing his preliminary music studies, and was awarded both an honorary mention and a distinction at the end of his bachelor degree in the "Conservatorio Superior Oscar Espla" in Alicante (Spain).
Oscar continued his studies of composition and conducting at the "Allegro International Music Academy" of Valencia, with his mentor and friend Ferrer Ferrán. Shortly after he was selected by the prestigious University of Southern California Thornton School of Music (Los Angeles, USA) to study Scoring for Motion Picture and TV. In Los Angeles he studied under the tutelage of renown composers such as Joel McNeely (Peter Pan 2, The Guardian), Pete Anthony (orchestrator for King Kong, Batman and Terminator amongst others), Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Star Trek) and Christopher Young (Spiderman 3, Nightmare in Elm Street, etc.). Navarro had the pleasure of collaborating with Christopher Young through working as an orchestrator, creating concert suites to his film music.
Navarro has recorded in some of the most notable studios of Los Angeles, including Capitol Records, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. After finishing his studies, he was awarded with the "Harry Warren Endowed Scholarship for Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV" prize, as the most advanced graduating student on his course.
Today Oscar Navarro holds many national and international composition awards and his music is performed in major performance venues across the world by some of the leading orchestral and wind ensembles. Some of them include The Cleveland Orchestra (Ohio, USA), Louisville Symphony (Kentucky, USA), Princeton Symphony (New Jersey, USA), The Hollywood Studio Orchestra, Caldas Symphony Orchestra (Colombia), Royal College of Music Film Orchestra (London, UK), Symphonic Orchestra of Paraguay, Orchestra Radio Kiev (Ukrania), Downey Symphony Orchestra (Los Angeles, USA), Symphony Orchestra of Principado of Asturias (Spain), Symphony Orchestra of Medellin (Colombia), Symphony Orchestra of Region of Murcia (Spain), Spanish Youth Symphony (JONDE), Youth Orchestra of the Generalitat Valenciana (JOGV), Royal Band of the Belgian Guides (Belgium), Univeristy of Minnesota Duluth Concert Band, North Texas Wind Ensemble, University of Boston Concert Band, Madrid Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Ensemble of Madrid, Symphonic Wind Ensemble of Valencia, Alicante, Bilbao and A , to name a few. His pieces have been performed in venues such as the Blossom Music Festival (Cleveland, USA), Tanglewood Music Festival (Massachussets, USA), Lincoln Center of New York and Spanish National Auditorium.
During his professional career, Navarro has been commissioned by the Army and Navy Wind Band, International Music Festival of Altea (Alicante, Spain), Valencian Institute of Music (Valencia, Spain), Valencia Youth Orchestra, City of Downey (Los Angeles, USA) and "José-Franch Ballester & Friends" (Nueva York) amongst others, and has conducted many orchestras and wind ensembles, including Alicante Wind Band, Band and Chorus of the "Medellín Unified School District" of Colombia (conducting his masterpiece The Seven Trumpets of Apocalypse with over 350 musicians on stage), Requena Philharmonic Orchestra (Valencia), Orchestra Radio Kiev, Macedonia Philharmonic Orchestra, Santa Cecilia Clasical Orchestra (Excelentia Foundation), the University of Minnesota Duluth Concert Band, European Royal Ensemble and Spanish Symphony Orchestra.
Within his busy schedule, Oscar Navarro is often asked to give master classes for both film and classical music, in European and North America Universities among others, including the 25th festival of Cinema "Jove" (Valencia, Spain), CIFICOM (Sci-Fi Film Festival of Madrid)), Chapman University (Orange County, California), II International Wind Ensembles Symposium (Medellin, Colombia), Symphony Orchestra of Mazinales (Colombia), University of Southern California and University of Minnesota Duluth.
Oscar was recently awarded the "HOLLYWOOD MUSIC IN MEDIA AWARD" (Los Angeles), in the classical music section. His film music has received many award nominations, including the "10th Cinemoatography Music Critics Awards", "Mundo BSO Awards", "XIII Goldspirit Awards" and "Hollywood Music in Media Awards". In February 2014 he received a GOYA nomination from the Spanish Film Academy for his soundtrack for the film "The Mule".
Elin Carlson has had a distinguished career in the United States and Europe, with engagements ranging from the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival to Grizabella in the famous Hamburg, Germany production of Cats. She has also been heard to critical acclaim in the roles of Violetta in La Traviata, Magda in La Rondine, Maria in Maria Padilla, Elvira in Ernani, Gilda in Rigoletto, Constanza in Yanked From the Harem (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Amalia in I Masnadieri, Musetta in La Boheme, and Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni . A versatile performer, she has appeared regularly in Southern California as a soloist with "Beethoven's Wig", the L.A. Master Chorale, I Cantori, the L.A. Mozart Orchestra, Zephyr, OperaWorks, and the L.A. Jazz Choir. She is a founding member of the a cappella jazz group, Sixth Wave, which won the 2001 National Harmony Sweepstakes Championship. Ms. Carlson spent the month of October 1996 in Japan as a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale.
As an oratorio soloist, Ms. Carlson's performances include Handel's Messiah, Bach's B Minor Mass, Vivaldi's Gloria, Mozart's Mass in C (K.427), and Rossini's Stabat Mater. She has extensive experience performing choral and oratorio literature, from the earliest composed works on the North American continent to works of current composers such as Morton Lauridsen, Ed Cansino, Paul Gibson, and John Biggs. On September 11, 2005, she sang the soprano solos for the US Premiere of John Debney's "Passion of the Christ Symphony."
Elin has sung on numerous film and TV scores, including The Simpsons Movie (solo), Mad Song (solo), X-Men 2 (solo), Superman Returns (solo), Spider-Man 3, Evan Almighty, Meet the Robinsons, Licensed to Wed, Charlotte's Web, King Kong, Ice Age 2, World Trade Center, Zathura, Robots, Van Helsing, Polar Express, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Men in Black, Men in Black II, Terminator 3, Matrix Reloaded, Daredevil, Life or Something Like It, Scorpion King, A.I., Jurassic Park III, 102 Dalmatians, Galaxy Quest, Dinosaur, Titan A.E., The Astronaut's Wife, Godzilla, Wild Wild West, Armageddon, Mulan, Pleasantville, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Blade, Twister, Independence Day, Quest for Camelot, Sixth Sense, Alien 4: Resurrection, Amistad, and Anastasia.
Ms. Carlson has regularly collaborated as a soloist with the composer Danny Elfman on such films as Mars Attacks! and Flubber, as well as for the main title of HBO's "Perversions of Science" and commercials for Lincoln-Mercury, CDW, and FEMA. She recorded a song with Sting. She is the soloist on the opening theme of the newly released and remastered original Star Trek series.
Ms. Carlson received her Bachelor of Music Degree in theory and composition at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and is a published composer. Her marimba concerto and her song cycle for voice and marimba have been performed in Arizona and New York, and her vocal arrangements have been performed by various groups in Los Angeles.
Stephen Howard began his professional acting career in the 1980's. Stranded jobless and desperate in Charlotte, North Carolina, he signed on with Charlotte talent agency JTA under, what might be considered, misleading circumstances. His community theatre experience provided just enough confidence to get him cast in commercials and Movies of the Week -- shooting in the Carolina's - such as "The Ryan White Story", "Unspeakable Acts" and "Terror on Highway 59". When Dino DeLaurentis opened his studio in Wrightsville Beach, NC., Steve landed roles in films such as "Weekend at Bernie's", King Kong Lives" and "Dracula's Widow". He worked his way back to Hollywood in 1990 and continued his career closer to the source; performing in TV, Film, Commercials and Theatre. He spent the year 2011 on stage at The Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica playing Greg to Tanna Frederick's "Sylvia"(with Tom Ayers in drag) and Cathy Arden. During the run, he performed as Doug Denby in Henry Jaglom's "The M Word" with Michael Imperioli, Francis Fisher, Gregory Harrison, Zack Norman and Tanna Frederick. 2013 was the Year of "The Rainmaker" for Steve, playing H.C. Curry the patriarch of the Curry Family, again at The Edgemar Center for the Arts. Henry Jaglom also shot a film based on the backstage shenanigans during this run with Steve playing his Rainmaker character. That movie, "Ovation", will have it's sneak preview at the Aero theatre in Santa Monica on April 28th. Steve can be seen in Episode 6 of "The Hand of God" on Amazon and as a bereaved father on "Castle"; both were shot last year during the run of an original play, "Train To Zakopane"; Steve created the role of Father Alexandrov in Henry Jaglom's ode to his Father, now a film in post production. Steve and Thomas Zoeschg are in the last stages of pre-production for their Environmental Action/Adventure film: The Pollution Machine - "LIKE" us on Facebook, we'd love to have you. A new Dramady, "EVERY NIGHT AND EVERY DAY", co-created by Stephen and Mr. Zoeschg is scheduled to begin principal photography the second week of January, 2017.
Tom Jemmott was born on Long Island New York and is known for his work on 3 Times A Charm (2011), Bloody Homecoming (2012) and Thirst (2010).
Tom started playing guitar at the age of 10 after hearing Elvis, Buddy Holly and the Beatles and played in rock bands throughout his teen years. He attended the University Of South Florida's elite jazz program and earned a music degree specializing in jazz guitar performance.
Tom started writing for film after being asked by a friend to score his short film Shalom, a holocaust drama in 2009. His score for the drama 'Thirst (2010)' was nominated for "Best Original Score" at the Pan Pacific Film Festival 2011 in Los Angeles. He also composed the intro music to the heavy rock band Shinedown's 2011 live show and it appears on their live CD/DVD, "Somewhere In The Stratosphere".
Composed music for FOX's American Idol, the ABC game show Downfall, various movie trailers and many TV/advertising spots including Honda, Disney, MLB and Delta Airlines. Tom also wrote the music for Texas A&M's Corp of Cadets Block Introduction and was played during half time at an Aggies football game to over 80,000 people.
Tom's love for film music started at a young age while watching movies like King Kong, The Buddy Holly Story and Star Wars. Considers Jerry Goldsmith's score to Forever Young (Mel Gibson), James Horner's score to Titanic and Pat Metheny's score to Map of the World as major influences.
|James F. Murray Jr.
James F. Murray Jr. started his love for film making, by being an extra on the re-make of King Kong (1976). Co-wrote and produced Mad Ron's Prevues from Hell (1987), then went on to co-write, co-produce and co-direct the sequel, Celluloid Bloodbath: More Prevues from Hell (2012). Dozens of films followed after that, acting in some, but in most, his niche is Set Photography, with films such as: The Fay (2013), Potent Media's Sugar Skull Girls (2015), The Grievance Group (2015), Where Is My Golden Arm? (2015), Countdown (2014), One Night At Dante's (2014), Death Follows (2013), Take 2: The Audition (2015), Jenna Remembers (2015), The Payback (2015), Brains (2015), The Invitation (2015), Cheat-hos: A Political Comedy (2015), The Arc (2015), Star Wars: Precious Cargo (2015), Herrings (2015) By The Dashboard Light (2016), Brains (2015), Caught On Tape (2015), Silent Service (2016), Breaking Balls (2016), Hurt: The Elegant Deception (2016), Beast: The Chronicles Of Parker (2016), SPiN: Zombie Girl (2016 music video), among others. The films Brains & Beast: The Chronicles Of Parker, used photos taken by James, for their respective advertising posters. Wrote the voice-over narration copy, for the trailer for Slaybells (2014). Supplied posters and still photos for various books on Hollywood actors/films and film trailers for some home video releases, on laserdisc and DVD. Was a Judge for the 2014 Zed Fest Film Festival in Hollywood, Ca.
Bruce Babcock is an Emmy-winning composer of music for television, film, and the concert stage. He has earned eight Emmy nominations for his work in television. A member of BMI, he has received eight BMI TV/Film Awards, and has conducted and orchestrated for such films as "King Kong," "Die Hard," "Lethal Weapon," and "Spider-Man 3."
Bruce holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in music composition from California State University, Northridge. While still a student, Bruce won a Young Musicians Foundation (Los Angeles) competition for his "Music for String Orchestra." He has spent most of his career writing music for television and film, learning his craft from such Hollywood luminaries as Hugo Friedhofer, Earle Hagen and Paul Glass.
Bruce was composer in residence at the 2005 Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival. His "Night Songs," was premiered by The Donald Brinegar Singers in January of 2006. The Debussy Trio 2010 album "Look Ahead" (Klavier Records) includes Bruce's "SpringScape," the winning piece in their 2006 Composition Competition. His "irrational exuberance" is the first track on the 2008 Douglas Masek CD "EclectSax" (Centaur Records). His string quartet "the present moment" was performed in October of 2009 as part of the 30th Anniversary Season of the Armadillo String Quartet. His compositions were performed at the Beverly Hills International Music Festival in 2006 and 2010.
He has been commissioned by Pacific Serenades, The Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival, The USC Thornton School of Music Horn Ensemble, The Los Angeles Trombone Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic member and UCLA professor saxophonist Douglas Masek and UCLA Professor of Voice and Opera Studies Juliana Gondek.
His latest work is a song cycle entitled "This Is What I Know," Four Poems of Dorothy Parker, for soprano, alto saxophone and piano.
Craig Newkirk is a native of Wrightsville Beach, NC and has been working in the Film and Print Industries for over 30 years. His first film opportunity was an extra in "King Kong Lives" in 1986 and he has been at it ever since. He has worked on shoots as small as local commercials or student films and as big as major motion pictures and TV dramas - "I just have a passion for film so I don't really care about the money as much as I just enjoy the process". Craig not only works in front of the camera but he has also worked as an Animal Wrangler on numerous films with his cousin and well known animal trainer Alicia Rudd. His exposure to theatre came from his mother, LaNelle (Newkirk) Clontz who was the President of the Thalian Association and award winning actress at Thalian Hall (the oldest running theatre in the nation) in Wilmington, NC during the 1960's and 70's and his father was world renowned Architect Haywood Newkirk.
Craig is a 3rd Degree Black Belt and certified instructor with a National Sparring Championship in Soo Bahk Do Karate in 2005 and he still competes in the Eastern Surfing Association and has numerous Surfing titles. He also Officiated, Coached and Played Ice Hockey for over 10 years as well as lettering in Golf, Basketball and Soccer in High School. Craig is the proud father of three Taylor, Samantha and Liam and is the grandfather of Hunter and Sadie.
|Lord Alfred Hayes
Beginning his wrestling career in 1950 in the United Kingdom as "Judo" Al Hayes, the man who later became known as "Lord Alfred Hayes" joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1982 and retired from active wrestling in 1983. Not one to leave the wrestling business, Hayes became a commentator for the World Wrestling Federation; most notably as Vince McMahon's co-host on "WWF Tuesday Night Titans" where he played Ed McMahon to Vince's Johnny Carson. He also commentated the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy main event at WrestleMania 2. Slowly phasing out from his roles in front of the camera, Hayes became the main voice for the World Wrestling Federation's home video releases. In 1990, Hayes was struck by a speeding car in Stamford, Connecticut resulting in a broken back, a broken hip and blood poisoning from all the dust and dirt than entered his wounds. As a result of the accident, Hayes required several vertebrae to be removed resulting in a loss of height. By 1993, Hayes' duties for the World Wrestling Federation remained mainly behind the camera and by 1995, he retired from the company. Alfred's health began to severly diminish; after contracting gangrene, his leg had to be amputated, and by 2001, he was confined to a wheelchair. Hayes suffered a series of strokes in July 2005 and eventually passed away at the age of 76. Hayes may be gone, but his memory lives on in wrestling fans and observers the world over.
|David Michael Katz
David Michael Katz is an American film and television writer/producer/director. Katz served as Head of Production and Development for several production companies and produced several Universal Studios Hollywood projects including Transformers the ride in 3D, Universal Studios Tour with Jimmy Fallon, and Grinchmas, King Kong the ride, Universal Studios Tour with Whoopi Goldberg.
Jordan Tate is a productive screenwriter with a strong interest in thrillers, tormented characters and stories based on actual events. Her work has been influenced by Alfred Hichcock, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan and Stanley Kubrick. She loves to put her audience and readers on the wrong track with characters who are never what they seem to be. She often quotes the legendary movie "King Kong"as being behind her vocation.
Her recent accomplishments include: assignments for producers in Europe and USA, as well as several screenplays optioned, books adaptations and original screenplays.
|Frans J. Afman
Frans J. Afman joined N.V. Slavenburg's Bank Rotterdam in 1967. In 1969 he received an education in International Banking at the First National Bank of Chicago in Chicago and New York. At that time First Chicago was a 20 % shareholder in N.V. Slavenburg's Bank.
In 1972 he became Manager of the International Banking Division of Slavenburg's Bank and as such he was also responsible for the Corporate Banking Division and the liaison with First National Bank of Chicago. At the same time he initiated and developed the Entertainment Business Division of Slavenburg's Bank.
In 1981 N.V. Slavenburg's Bank was taken over by Credit Lyonnais and in 1983 renamed: Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland N.V. Mr. Afman was Assistant General Manager and Head of the Entertainment Business Division of Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland N.V., headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, until July 1, 1988, when he entered into a non-exclusive consultancy agreement with the Board of the Bank, which expired July 1, 1991. On September 1, 1991, Mr. Afman joined International Creative Management in Los Angeles as Managing Director of the newly formed Financial Services Department. In April 1993 he became an independent financial consultant.
Mr. Afman has worked with well known film producers like Dino De Laurentiis and Alexander Salkind, as well as with major independent motion picture production companies such as The Cannon Group (until 1987), Hemdale Film Corporation, Carolco Pictures Inc., Castle Rock, Nelson Entertainment, Imagine Films, Gladden Entertainment Corporation, Transworld Entertainment (until 1988), Merchant Ivory Productions, Neue Constantin, Morgan Creek, Largo Entertainment, LIVE Entertainment and Cinergi Productions.
He has been instrumental in financing film projects such as "Three Days Of The Condor", "King Kong", "Superman II and III", "Terminator I and II", "Rambo II and III", "Platoon","Hoosiers", "The Name Of The Rose", "A Room With A View", "When Harry Met Sally", "The Fabulous Baker Boys", "Driving Miss Daisy", "Total Recall" and "Dances With Wolves".
Mr. Afman has been invited numerous times to speak on seminars and panels (Holland Promotion - Los Angeles November 1988, American Film Market - Los Angeles February 1990, Munich Film Festival - Munich June 1988, Screen Production Association of Australia Conference - New South Wales November 1990, American Film Market - Los Angeles February 1991, Media Business School - Copenhagen 1992). He was keynote speaker during the Cannes Film Festival 1986 (International Bar Association), Tokyo Film Festival (September 1987), Cinetex, Las Vegas (September 1989) and American Film Market 1992 Opening Speech.
He obtained a law degree from the University of Amsterdam and he was an active reserve major in the Cavalry of the Netherlands Army until December 31, 1988. In 1996 he was elected as Chairman of the Netherlands Film Festival. He has also been an advisor to the Media Business School in Madrid as well as the Maurits Binger Institute in Amsterdam. In September 2007 Frans Afman was Knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands.
Bret started writing film reviews for the L.A. Daily News at 23. He later produced training videos in American Sign Language to train interpreters for the deaf, perhaps the first to make programs using sign.
Bret went to AFI and eclectic film school Sherwood Oaks Experimental College. He worked his way through school, being mentored on the way by filmmakers such as Martin Scorcese, Jack Lemmon, Paul Newman, Malcom McDowell, DP Matt Leonetti and others.
His first real post production editing was cutting actors' demo tapes. There he edited actors Angus Scrim (Phantasm) Ned Romero (I Will Fight No More Forever) producer Al Ruddy (The Godfather). He later did second unit camera on Rocky III.
Bret managed two post production companies, Aberdeen Video and Midtown Video, owned by Mel Stuart (Willy Wonka), Jack Haley, Jr. and others. He preferred editing/shooting and spent two years cutting celebrity interviews with Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Donald Sutherland and others for Hollywood Stars on Showtime.
Later, he became Senior Video Editor at independent video distributor Image Entertainment. While there he helped in the first surround sound for home video, working closely with Dolby and Lucasfilm THX. He also edited special features (behind the scenes, making of and audio commentaries) for The Star Wars Trilogy, Toy Story, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and others.
Bret and son Shane had a fun visit to George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and both remember it as everything they'd heard about.
While at Image, Bret started restoring classic films of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Citizen Kane, King Kong and came to specialize in film restoration for Image, Criterion Collection, Flicker Alley, Film Preservation Associates and others.
In February, 2016 Moana of the South Seas (AKA Moana with Sound) played at the Laemmle Theatres in Los Angeles and film festivals worldwide. Bret had to match archival film to a prerecorded soundtrack, quite the opposite of normal editing.
Bret most recent project is an early Gary Cooper film, Children of Divorce and looking for the next diamond in the rough to bring back to life.
Marcel Delgado was born in 1902 in Mexico. After moving to California he took an interest in Art and ultimately met his future friend and mentor Willis O' Brien. His first work was on 'The Lost World', vastly improving the techniques formerly used to make models appear as life-like creatures. Football bladders were used to mimic breathing and chocolate served as blood. The models of the film were were exhibited in Los Angeles in the Museum of Arts and Sciences for many years until time caught up with them and rubber parts started to disintegrate. For a period they were accidentally sealed between walls, but were recovered later. During the production of The Lost World Delgado was treated with respect, but when a follow-up 'Atlantis' was stopped he was demoted to a regular laboring job and often shunned because of his Mexican nationality. After a switch to RKO he became a unknown genius with his work on 'King Kong', where most of the - relative - intricate mechanisms were his work. A number of unrealized projects followed until the relative sixes of 'Mighty Joe Young' where the technical standards of the various models really reached a peak. Subsequent work on later films was mostly uncredited. Delagado died in 1976 (failure to recover from an accident the same year).
New Zealand born Australian actor Todd Morgan graduated from NZ's Unitec Performing Arts school in 2005. Since graduating, Todd has appeared in NZ Soap "Shortland Street", Peter Jackson's King Kong, and the ABC drama "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries". Todd is also heavily involved in the theatre scene in Melbourne and Sydney.
The collective labors of Fuminori Ohashi are among the most widely recognized, yet mostly Anonymous artistic works of the century. A pioneer of special effects from the dawn of Japanese cinema, his first tasks included the development of a Japanese version of King Kong for the lost film Kingu Kongu Edo ni arawareta (1934) (meaning King Kong Appears in Edo). Much later he helped supervise the development of the suit for the original Gojira (1954), and created lighter-weight materials for the Gojira suit and those of other monsters as colleague Eiji Tsuburaya continued to work on monster movies. Ohashi also served as a technical advisor and designer for the attractions at the original Disneyland, and also worked (uncredited) on developing the makeup materials for Planet of the Apes (1968). Influential yet utterly Anonymous, Ohashi's name is obscure even in his country of origin, and even among historians of special effects cinema techniques.