Julian Morris began acting at the Anna Scher Theatre in London. After training under Scher, he went on to spend three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which he merits as being a major influence on his craft.
He has played popular characters in several of the most successful shows of the last decade: Agent Owen in '24', as Dr Andrew Wade in 'ER', as Prince Phillip in 'Once Upon A Time', and as part of the original cast in 'Pretty Little Liars'.
In film, he's appeared alongside Jon Voight in 'Beyond' and Tom Cruise in 'Valkyrie', starred in Universal's 'Cry Wolf', the British cult-hit 'Donkey Punch', and the BAFTA winning movie, 'Kelly + Victor' directed by Kieran Evans.
He recently played a popular guest-arc in 'New Girl' opposite Zooey Deschanel, and the lead in Universal's sequel to 'Dragonheart', produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis.
He's currently shooting the Amazon series 'Hand of God' directed by Marc Forster.
Christopher McQuarrie is an acclaimed producer, director and an Academy Award® winning writer. McQuarrie grew up in Princeton Junction, New Jersey and in lieu of college, he spent the first five years out of school traveling and working at a detective agency. He later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film.
In 1995, his screenplay for The Usual Suspects, directed by childhood pal, Bryan Singer, garnered him the Academy Award® and the BAFTA Award for "Best Original Screenplay". McQuarrie also went on to win the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Independent Spirit Award. The Usual Suspects has been named one of the greatest screenplays of all time by the Writer's Guild of America.
In the years following, McQuarrie directed The Way of the Gun, starring Ryan Phillippe, Benicio Del Toro and James Caan. In 2008, he collaborate with Singer once again to produce and co-write Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise. This film would lead to many more McQuarrie-Cruise collaborations. McQuarrie re-teamed with Cruise in 2012 for his sophomore directorial outing, Jack Reacher Within hours of completing the film, he was at work with Cruise again, this time re-writing the script for Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow. It was while working together on the sci-fi action film that Cruise suggested McQuarrie direct what would become Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The highly anticipated fifth installment of the Ethan Hunt saga, written also by McQuarrie, garnered the biggest opening in the history of the Mission: Impossible franchise, was the highest-grossing 2D Hollywood film ever at the Chinese box office, earning $124 million, and garnered over $680 million worldwide. McQuarrie is confirmed to write and direct the sixth chapter in the franchise, making him the first repeat director in the film's two-decade history.
Tall, leggy, buxom and statuesque 5'7" blonde beauty Sybil Danning reigns supreme as one of the sexiest, most dynamic and commanding actresses to achieve cult B-movie queen status. She was born Sybille Johanna Danninger on May 24, 1952, in Wels, Austria, the daughter of a US Army major father and an Austrian mother. She grew up on army bases in such places as New Jersey, Maryland and Sacramento, California. Sybil attended Etontown's Star of the Sea Catholic School. At age 14 she worked for her uncle as a dental assistant. Two years later she moved to Vienna, Austria, and worked for a dental supply company. She then relocated to Salzburg and worked as an assistant to a top oral surgeon. Danning then enrolled in the Buchner School of Cosmetology in Salzburg and received a diploma in facial treatment, decorative make-up, manicure and body massage. She soon began doing fashion shows and photo layouts. Danning made her film debut as Lorelei in Komm nur, mein liebstes Vögelein. She next portrayed Kriemhild in The Long Swift Sword of Siegfried. Sybil studied for three years with noted Munich drama coach Anne-Marie Hanschke. Sybil made memorable appearances in such mainstream features as Bluebeard, The Three Musketeers, Crossed Swords and The Concorde... Airport '79. She also continued to act in such enjoyably lowbrow exploitation items as Naughty Nymphs, Das Mädchen mit der heißen Masche and Cat in the Cage. Danning was especially excellent and impressive as the fierce Valkyrie warrior Saint-Exmin in the science-fiction cult classic Battle Beyond the Stars. Other notable roles are tough prison inmate Ericka in the babes-behind-bars classic Chained Heat, a formidable female swordfighter in I sette magnifici gladiatori, wicked werewolf queen Stirba in Howling II: ... Your Sister Is a Werewolf, a cunning femme fatale English professor in They're Playing with Fire, the Queen of the Moon in the hilarious Amazon Women on the Moon, the strict Warden Sutter in the amusing chicks-in-chains parody Reform School Girls, an alien queen in The Phantom Empire and a rugged lady bounty hunter in L.A. Bounty. Sybil has done guest spots on the television series Vega$, Simon & Simon, V, Masquerade, The Fall Guy, The Hitchhiker, Street Hawk and Superboy. She did a ten-page pictorial for the August 1983 issue of "Playboy". Outside of acting, Danning has also worked on several movies as a producer and wrote the story for "L.A. Bounty". After a regrettably lengthy absence from acting, Sybil Danning has made a welcome comeback by appearing as an evil Nazi villainess in the "Werewolf Women of the SS" mock trailer for Grindhouse and a nurse in Rob Zombie's remake Halloween.
German born actor Christian Oliver has successfully worked in the entertainment industry for the last 15 years. He has worked with the likes of Steven Soderbergh in The Good German opposite Cate Blanchett and George Clooney, Brian Singer and Tom Cruise in Valkyrie and the Wachowski Brothers in Speed Racer, just to name a few. He has also starred in Europe's Number One action series Alarm for Cobra 11 (RTL) for two years and had numerous other TV appearances in the US and Germany.
John Ottman holds dual distinctions as a leading film composer and an award winning film editor. Ottman has often completed both monumental tasks on the same films. Such remarkable double duties have included The Usual Suspects, X-Men 2, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, and Jack the Giant Killer. He has also held producer roles on several of these films, as well as directing, editing and scoring Urban Legends 2.
From an early age in San Jose, California, Ottman began writing and recording radio plays on cassette tapes. He'd perform many characters with his voice (and some sound effects), and called upon his neighborhood friends as extra cast members.
By the fourth grade, Ottman was playing the clarinet and continued doing so throughout high school. But his real concentration turned from audio productions to making films. He turned his parents' garage into a movie studio, where multiple sets were interchangeable to accommodate productions - invariably some sort of science fiction film. By high school, his films evolved to hour-long productions complete with large sets and lavish scores edited together from his favorite soundtracks.
Having been a veteran of numerous short films, Ottman excelled at USC film school, receiving accolades for his direction of actors and for how masterfully he edited their performances. It was in this directing course that a graduate filmmaker asked Ottman to re-edit his thesis film. John modified the story from raw footage and also designed the film's extensive sound. The film ended up winning the student Academy Award. On that film, Ottman met a production assistant named Bryan Singer.
Singer, only aware of Ottman's editing (Ottman stayed awake into the wee hours learning midi gear and composing music), asked him to edit a short film starring Ethan Hawke - a childhood friend of Singer's. Ottman ended up co-directing the film (Lion's Den) as well as editing and doing the sound design.
Ottman edited Singer's first feature, Public Access. His effective sequences and editorial montages became the highlight of the picture. In the eleventh hour, the film lost its composer. Singer asked Ottman to write the score, after much prodding from the editor. Public Access received the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, with the score and editing being lauded in reviews.
With The Usual Suspects and future Singer films, Ottman held to a promise that, despite his scoring dreams, he would commit to the months required to also serve as editor on Singer's films. The wary producers of The Usual Suspects gave the go-ahead for him to both edit the complicated picture and write the score, the demands of which no one had undergone. The film was edited in Ottman's living room on a Steinbeck flatbed and a splicer. The Usual Suspects and Ottman's work received widespread acclaim, earning Ottman the British Academy Awards for his editing, a Saturn Award for his score, and a nomination by the American Cinema Editors.
Since then, Ottman has scored numerous films with the intent of keeping thematic film scoring alive. Ottman also made a brief foray into television for which he received an Emmy nomination ("Fantasy Island.")
Paula Wagner has worked in the top ranks of the entertainment industry as a talent agent, film producer, and studio executive. She develops and produces film, theatre, and television projects through her production company Chestnut Ridge Productions (CRP).
Wagner began her career as an agent at Creative Artists Agency where she spent 15 years representing some of some of Hollywood's top actors, directors, and writers. In 1993 she began a new phase of her career as a producer when she launched Cruise/Wagner Productions with Tom Cruise, her former CAA client. For more than a decade, C/W produced critically acclaimed films with international appeal, including the Mission: Impossible franchise films I, II, and III, Without Limits, The Others, The Last Samurai, Vanilla Sky and Steven Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, which Wagner executive produced.
Wagner was co-owner and CEO of United Artists Entertainment from 2006 to 2008. During her tenure, UA released the Robert Redford political thriller Lions for Lambs and the World War II thriller Valkyrie.
Wagner's current film projects include Marshall (2016), starring Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad and directed by Reggie Hudlin, based on a crucial case in the early career of U.S Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Also in development under the CRP banner is Sylvia Robinson: The Story of the Mother of Hip-Hop, which is being set up at Warner Bros., as well as the China/US co-production Moon Flower of the Flying Tigers, an epic WWII romantic drama based on a true story.
Wagner's producing credits for Broadway include TONY Award-nominated The Heiress starring Jessica Chastain & David Strathairn, Grace starring Paul Rudd & Michael Shannon and Terrence McNally's TONY Award-nominated play Mothers and Sons.
Wagner is a member of the PGA, the AMPAS, and the Broadway League. She serves on the boards for Film Forum in NY, the American Cinematheque, and the National Film Preservation Foundation. She travels the world as a visiting guest artist, and has lectured at Universities around the country, including the Harvard Business School and UCLA's School of Theatre, Film and Television. She is an adjunct faculty member and Lifetime Trustee of Carnegie Mellon University, her alma mater.
Wagner is married to Rick Nicita, CEO of management and production company RP Media. They have two sons, Zachary and Jesse.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Joel Bryant graduated from Pepperdine University with a BA in Theatre and has lived in LA ever since. He's been lucky to work in many mediums including film ("The Heartbreak Kid," "Valkyrie," "Loaded," "Gone But Not Forgotten," among many others), TV (guest stars on "Monk," "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior," "The Defenders," "Las Vegas," etc., a number of pilots such as "Hillers" with Henry Winkler and Tom Arnold and "Angry Guys") and New Media (Streamy-nominated for "After Judgment," "Life From the Inside," "The Temp Life," "Elevator" and is co-producer/"Mac" in the award-winning "Suck and Moan"). Among his numerous theatre highlights, he's been tapped by Neil LaBute to be in "Fat Pig" at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway in 2012. As well, he's garnered glowing reviews all over L.A. (Knightsbridge Theatre, Hudson Theatre, and Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities) and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Texas Shakespeare Festival and a variety of regional theatres throughout the Southwest, including the world premiere of "Terminal Cafe" with Neil Patrick Harris. Some of his favorite pieces include: "ART," "Moonlight & Magnolias," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Woolgatherer," "Oleanna"). Trained in improv at The Groundlings, Joel is a co-founder and member of the award-winning comedy duo "Deven & Joel" with comedy partner/wife Deven Green, with whom he has entertained the troops overseas, performed at a series of maximum security prisons, played at colleges and clubs all over the U.S., and have headlined at many places including The Comedy Store, The Icehouse, the Venetian, the Riviera and Bally's in Las Vegas, Flappers in Burbank, all over L.A. and San Diego, a week of sold out shows at the San Francisco Fringe Festival and won the Best of the Fest at the International Hollywood Comedy Festival. Since starting stand-up comedy at the age of 16, he has performed in such places as The Comedy Store, The Icehouse, The Comedy Union, Laff's, The Queen Mary, and many clubs in between. Joel is also an accomplished dancer, writer and spoken word artist...and sometimes he even sleeps.
Richard Wagner was a German composer best known for his operas, primarily the monumental four-opera cycle "Der Ring des Nibelungen". He was born Wilhelm Richard Wagner on May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany. He was the ninth child in the family of Carl Wagner, a police clerk. Richard was only six months old when his father died, and he was brought up by his mother Johanna and stepfather Ludwig Geyer, an actor and playwright. Young Wagner studied piano from the age of 7 and soon developed ability to play by ear and improvise. At age 15 he wrote piano transcriptions of Ludwig van Beethoven's "9th Symphony" and orchestral overtures. He studied at the University of Leipzig, and also took composition and conducting lessons with the cantor of St. Thomas in Leipzig.
Wagner's early operas did not meet with success, leaving him in serious financial difficulties. From 1836-1839 he was a music director in Riga Opera, where his wife, Minna Planer, was a singer, and her extramarital escapades were the talk of the town. The Wagners amassed such significant debts that they had to escape from creditors and fled Riga. They spent 1840 and 1841 in London and Paris, where Richard worked as an arranger for other composers.
Giacomo Meyerbeer promoted Wagner's third opera, "Rienzi", to performance by the Dresden Court Theatre, where the opera was staged to considerable acclaim. In 1842 the Wagners moved to Dresden and lived there for six years. Eventually Richard was appointed the Royal Saxon Court Conductor. At that time he completed and staged "Der fliegende Hollander" (aka "The Flying Dutchman") and "Tannhauser".
Wagner was exposed to many conflicting political influences, ranging from Marxism and liberalism on the left to German nationalism on the right to the anarchism of Mikhail Bakunin. After the revolution of 1848-49, Wagner fled from Germany to Paris, then to Zurich, and found himself penniless, unemployed and depressed (he had also suffered from a severe skin infection for many years). At that time Wagner was unable to compose or perform music, and he expressed himself in writing essays: "The Art-Work of the Future", describing "Gesamtkunstwerk," or "total artwork" uniting opera, ballet, visual arts and stagecraft.
Wagner's four "Ring" operas gradually evolved, and he completed the libretto by 1852. Another year of suffering went by, until he began composing "Das Rheingold" (aka "The Rhine Gold") in November 1853, following it with "Die Walkure" (aka "The Valkyrie") in 1854. In 1856 he began work on "Siegfried", but put the unfinished opera aside and focused on his new idea: "Tristan und Isolde" (aka "Tristan and Isolde"), which was composed between 1857 and 1859. In 1861 Germany ended the political ban on Wagner, and in 1862 he ended his troubled marriage to Minna.
"Tristan and Isolde" was initially accepted for production in Vienna. The opera had over 70 rehearsals between 1861 and 1864, but remained unperformed and gained a reputation for being unplayable. The young Bavarian King Ludwig II, an admirer of Wagner's operas since his childhood, had settled the composer's debts and financed his opera productions. Finally "Tristan and Isolde" was produced in Munich, and premiered under the baton of Hans von Bulow in June 1865. It was the first Wagner premiere in 15 years.
Cosima von Bulow, the wife of the conductor, Hans von Bulow, had an indiscreet affair with Wagner, and their illegitimate daughter, Isolde, was born in 1865. The affair scandalized Munich, and Wagner fell into disfavor among members of the court who were jealous of his friendship with the king. Ludwig was pressured to ask Wagner to leave Munich. However, from 1866 to 1872 the king placed Wagner and his family at Tribshen villa on Lake Luzern, Switzerland. There Richard married Cosime in August 1870. Inspired composer created one of his most beloved works, the "Siegfried Idyll" for 15 players, written as a gift to Cosima, and premiered on Christmas day, 1870.
In 1872 Wagner moved to Bayreuth with a plan that his "Ring" cycle to be performed in a new, specially designed opera house. King Ludwig supported the composer with another large grant in 1874, and the Wagners bought Villa Wahnfried and made permanent home in Bayreuth. In August 1876 the new opera "Festspielhaus" opened with the premiere of "The Ring" and has been the site of the Bayreuth Festival ever since.
Richard Wagner died of a heart attack on February 13, 1883, while wintering in Venice. He was laid to rest in the garden of his Villa Wahnfried in Bayreuth. The Wagner Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland, is now a museum of period musical instruments and art collection of the Wagner family. One room is dedicated to the history of the Wagner Festivals in Lucerne. The Wagner Museum allows visitors to take photos of the documents about the Wagner family's help to the Jewish musicians and intellectuals who fled the Nazi regime in the 1930s.
Documents reveal that the Wagner family were assisting Jewish musicians and intellectuals who fled the Nazi regime in finding employment in Switzerland and other lands, such as the USA and Palestine. Documents, photographs and letters illustrate the bold activity of Arturo Toscanini with Vladimir Horowitz and the Wagner family members in getting funds from the government of Benito Mussolini and using those funds to accommodate Jewish musicians and intellectuals under the umbrella of the annual Wagner Festival in Lucerne. The Wagner Festival Symphony Orchestra employed many Jewish musicians who later joined the Israel Philarmonic Orchestra (then known as the "Palestine Orchestra").
|James Patrick Pitt
Pitt debuted in Avatar as an astronaut who attempted to destroy the Tree of Souls with the space shuttle he commanded, Valkyrie 16, by delivering a payload of high explosives.
Pitt also starred with Jim Hanks, brother of actor Tom Hanks, in There/Not There, a short film which was screened and well-received at Creative Artists Agency, in which he played a Marine who suffered a catastrophic brain injury by being shot in the head in the Battle of Fallujah.
Vaudeville actor Jewel Pitts was his great uncle, and he is a descendant of Colonel Robert Pitt and Gervase De La Puette.
Born on June 18, 1955 and raised in Schenectady, New York, Kevin Burns developed his love for television and films at an early age. He also displayed a unique and impressive talent for mimicry and drawing cartoons and caricature. It was this love for drawing that helped attract the attention of his childhood idol, Fred Gwynne (of "Munsters" TV fame). After viewing samples of Burns' early work, Gwynne began a correspondence that helped fuel the young boy's enthusiasm and confidence.
In 1972, Burns received a National Scholastic award for art and by his Senior year in high school, was already working as a free lance commercial artist. His client list included IBM, General Electric and Warren Publications.
After graduating from Niskayuna High School in 1973, Burns attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. There, he majored in both History and English Literature. Burns also served as president of one of the college's fraternities (Delta Phi).
Graduating from Hamilton with honors in 1977, Burns eagerly enrolled in the graduate film program at Boston University's College of Communication. In 1981, he earned a Masters Degree with the completion of his first film, I Remember Barbra, a humorous and slightly irreverent documentary short which profiled Barbra Streisand's native Brooklyn. The film was a critical hit, and earned numerous awards - including a Documentary Achievement Award for Student Filmmaking from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Armed with a "Student Oscar", Burns made the rounds at the Hollywood studios. Within a year he was signed by the William Morris Agency and had two projects optioned and in development. Nevertheless, the fledgling filmmaker opted to remain in Boston, where he taught courses in undergraduate and graduate film production at both Boston University and Emerson College.
In 1987, Burns was appointed Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Film Production at Boston University. He was also the Director of the Boston University Film Unit (which he had been heading since 1981), a student staffed production company that serviced non-profit and public service clients.
After the sudden death of his father in 1988, Burns decided the time had come to seek his fortune in Los Angeles. Within weeks of leaving Boston, he was offered a management position in the Creative Services department of 20th Century Fox Domestic Television (now, Twentieth Television). Moving to Beverly Hills, he spent the next four years writing, producing and directing hundreds of sales marketing videos and on-air promos for the studio.
In 1993, Burns co-founded Foxstar Productions, a TV Movie production unit at 20th Century Fox Television. As Senior Vice President of Production, Burns served as the co-executive producer on the first three of what became a highly successful series of five 'Alien Nation' MOWs (all directed by Kenneth Johnson).
Seeking to broaden Foxstar's client base and revenue potential, Burns formed Van Ness Films, Inc. in October, 1994. As Executive Producer for all Van Ness programs (as well as occasional writer and director), Burns' client list soon included A&E (Biography), AMC, The Sci-Fi Channel, Fox Family Channel and USA Network. Within three years, Van Ness became one of the premier producers of television for cable, contributing nearly 65 hours of programming per year.
In 1999, Burns retired from his executive position at Foxstar (then, a subsidiary of Fox Television Studios) in order to form Prometheus Entertainment. As President of Prometheus, Burns continued to work closely with Foxstar and broadened its production slate to include both reality and scripted programming.
Also in 1999, Burns formed Synthesis Entertainment with producer 'Jon Jashni' in an effort to administrate and develop television and film franchises based on the works of acclaimed film and television producer, 'Irwin Allen' (e.g., 'Lost in Space', 'The Land of the Giants', and 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea').
In 2002, Burns and Jashni executive produced a Fox Network pilot for a new The Time Tunnel series. The team also developed a two hour TV Movie/back door pilot for a new "Lost in Space" series, based on an original story by Burns. In 2006, Burns and Jashni served as Executive Producers, along with Sheila Allen (I), of 'Poseidon' (2006) directed by 'Wolfgang Petersen'.
In August of 2002, Burns received an Emmy Award as Executive Producer of A&E's Biography series. (He has, to date, personally supervised more than 150 episodes of the critically-acclaimed series.)
In recent years, Burns has continued to produce high-profile documentaries for television, including "Empire of Dreams: the Story of the Star Wars Trilogy" (2004), 'Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman' (2006), 'Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed'(2007) (which earned three Emmy nominations), 'The Valkyrie Legacy' (2008), and 'Ancient Aliens'(2009).
CEO and founder of United Pictures Group, Producer Michael Doven is a 25 year movie industry executive with Associate Producer credits on films which have grossed billions of dollars World Wide (box office Mojo). These include: The Last Samurai, Minority Report, Mission ImpossibleII, Collateral and Vanilla Sky.
He was the Production Associate on Mission Impossible, Eyes Wide Shut, Magnolia and worked assisting Mr. Cruise on Jerry Maquire, The Firm, A Few Good Men, Far And Away, Interview With A Vampire and worked (un-credited) on War of The Worlds, Mission Impossible III & Valkyrie.
Michael worked extensively on script development, preproduction, production, post production as well as international press tours for the marketing and distribution phases of these films where he gained invaluable relationships and insights into consistent, extremely successful and award-winning blockbuster and tent pole releases of the major studios.
In 2013, he produced The Squeeze (released April 2015) Executive Produced Durant's never Closes (2015) and now has several feature films in various stages of development and production under the United Pictures Group banner (Take 1, Take 2, The Out Of Town Wedding, Lucky Bastards, Ascension, Stand-Off, etc.).
Writer, Editor and Creator. Multi Award winning character creator with a wide range of experience in advertising, production, consulting, editorial, film writing, development and production, media presentation and video game development. Just a few of his clients include Nike, Nickelodeon, Universal pictures, Disney, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Lion's Gate, Vidmark, Starz, Fox Atomic, Alliance films, New Line, Spike TV, MTV, 2kgames, Midway, Radical games, Activision and THQ games.
Co founder of such companies as Event Comics, Black Bull Media, Marvel Knights, a division of marvel comics, and the current Paperfilms, where he is partners with Amanda Conner and Justin Gray. Together they have created and co created numerous universes, comics , TV series and characters including: The New West, Monolith, 21 Down, The Resistance, The Pro, Gatecrasher, Beautiful killer, Ash, Cloudburst, Trigger Girl 6, Thrill Seeker, Trailblazer, Ballerina, The Twilight Experiment and the TV series, Painkiller Jane.
Current work includes : Screenplay for a Painkiller Jane feature, Harley Quinn, All Star Western , Ame -Comi girls Unknown Soldier for D. C. Entertainment, Creator-Owned Heroes , Queen Crab and Retrovirus for Image comics, Injustice: Gods Among Us video game for warner brothers and Legend of the Valkyrie and Rolling Thunder for Shiftylook.
The Latino singer and actor Raul Roulien worked briefly in Hollywood in the waning days of the American movies' embrace of the "Latin Lover", a phenomenon which once encouraged the Austria-born Jewish-American actor Jacob Krantz to change his name to He began recording in 1928 and grew in reputation as a theater actor and composer as well.
He emigrated to the U.S. in 1931 and became an actor, signing with 20th Century-Fox and making his movie debut in a Spanish-language version of Charlie Chan Carries On, called Eran trece. (Before Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Douglas Shearer and other sound technicians at the Hollywood studios perfected dubbing, foreign language versions of films had to be shot for the export market.) He sang the Gershwin song "Delishious" for his second movie Delicious, but earned more attention appearing in the first Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers cinematic pairing Flying Down to Rio as part of a romantic triangle with Gene Raymond and Dolores del Rio and for his singing of "Orchids in the Moonlight".
He was married four times. Following his 1920s marriage/divorce to actress Abigail Maia, he married actress/dancer Tosca Izabel Querze (1909-1933), who died in a car accident on September 27, 1933 (it is rumored that John Huston, the future Oscar-winning director and screenwriter, had struck her down while driving drunk, and the tragedy hushed up by MGM's Louis B. Mayer as a favor to Huston's father, the great stage and film actor Walter Huston). Whatever the truth, after finishing John Ford's The World Moves On, he returned to Brazil where he continued to act throughout the 1930s. He married third wife actress Conchita Montenegro in 1935 but they later divorced.
When he ceased acting in 1938, he continued sporadically on television as a director from 1950 to 1970 and hosted TV programs as well as working for newspapers as a writer. He was married to his fourth wife, Valkyrie de Almeida, when he died of pneumonia in São Paulo, Brazil on September 8, 2000, a month before his 95th birthday.
Dynamic and forward thinking best describe Mark Shapiro and his leadership style in television, sports and entertainment. Currently a Partner and CEO of Dick Clark Productions as well as a network media consultant for the National Football League, Shapiro served as Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world's largest regional theme park company from 2006 - May, 2010. Shapiro brought extensive experience in consumer entertainment, brand building, marketing, television programming and digital media to a public company (NYSE:SIX) with over 30,000 employees, 14 North American locations, and over $1B in annual revenues.
Shapiro energized and re-invented the Six Flags brand - making it more family-friendly, while still maintaining its signature reputation for record-breaking thrill rides. The strategy struck a chord with consumers and the business community. Six Flags recorded all-time high guest satisfaction scores in each of his four years as the company broadened its product offerings through the introduction of rides and themed areas for younger children based on popular franchises like Thomas the Tank Engine and The Wiggles, considered the most popular children's entertainers in the world. Inspired by the 25 million guests who visit Six Flags' network of 19 parks, Shapiro developed a Corporate Alliance Division to attract premium consumer brands like Papa John's, Nintendo, Mars Snackfood, Johnny Rockets, Cadbury and Discover Cards. Such initiatives resulted in a 20% increase in revenue per guest (in-park spending, corporate sponsorship and licensing fees). Shapiro directed the launch of Six Flags Media Networks which provided advertisers with comprehensive, multi-platform media opportunities via a variety of media touch points that went beyond that of traditional advertising. The division included Six Flags Television Network, a collection of digital assets that delivers nearly 100 million annual impressions, with approximately 20 million per month during peak season.
Shapiro also spearheaded Six Flags' international development, having announced a historic agreement with Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holding, to develop Six Flags Dubailand, the first exclusive Six Flags theme park outside of North America.
The Six Flags Entertainment portfolio grew and diversified under Shapiro's leadership. In 2007, the company acquired Dick Clark Productions, a leading independent producer of perennial hit television franchises such as the Golden Globe Awards, the American Music Awards, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, the Academy of Country Music Awards and So You Think You Can Dance. Six Flags had management oversight of the company, exploring logical synergies within its stable of parks to create a fully integrated entertainment platform. DCP's annual EBITDA performance jumped 40% in two years with Shapiro at the helm.
After engineering an operational restructuring in just three years and leading Six Flags in 2008 to its best earnings performance (EBITDA and Free Cash Flow) in the company's 48 year history, Shapiro guided the company through a chapter 11 financial restructuring in 2009, shedding $1.7B in legacy debt. This 11-month process was successfully completed in April, 2010 and cut the company's leverage ratio from nearly 13x EBITDA to just 5x EBITDA. Upon emergence from chapter 11, Shapiro left the company.
Shapiro was a partner with Tom Cruise in the actor's production company and was an Executive Producer of United Artists' 2008 film, "Valkyrie." Before joining Six Flags in 2005, Shapiro spent 12 years at ESPN, where he bore significant responsibility for many of the sports and entertainment properties that built the television network into one of the world's strongest multi-media brands. During his tenure, he garnered 16 Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. Shapiro served as ESPN's Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, a position he assumed in September 2002. In this role, Shapiro was responsible for the development, acquisition, and scheduling of all programming for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Radio, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, and oversaw all remote and studio production for ESPN's domestic and international entities, including the company's engineering and technical operations. His production responsibilities included ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN Radio, and ESPN International's worldwide networks. In 2002, Shapiro initiated the company's expansion into original proprietary programming with the launch of ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE), which encompassed the X Games, ESPY Awards, Tele-pics, ESPN Outdoors, including BASS and the Great Outdoor Games. EOE also debuted the company's first dramatic series, Playmakers, which was awarded a 2003 American Film Institute Award for its contribution to America's cultural legacy. Shapiro was coordinating producer of ESPN's Emmy and Peabody Award-winning SportsCentury: 50 Greatest Athletes series from January 1997 to December 1999.
Prior to ESPN, Shapiro worked in various positions for NBC Sports from 1989-92. He began as an intern for the network's SportsWorld series (1989), before being promoted to production assistant for a variety of events and shows, including the NBA Finals, the Super Bowl, Wimbledon, NFL Live, and the Breeders' Cup (1990-91). In 1991 and 1992 he worked on NBC's coverage of Notre Dame football as an associate producer, a role he held for the network's coverage of gymnastics during the 1992 Olympics from Barcelona.
In 2003, Shapiro was named one of the "Rising" stars in Entertainment Weekly's annual "101 Most Powerful People in Show Business." In 2004, Shapiro was listed among the top 10 in the Sporting News' "Power 100," for the second consecutive year. In 2005, he was named to the Sports Business Daily's "Top 40 Under 40" for the third consecutive year.
Shapiro serves on the board of directors for the Tribune Company, Live Nation Entertainment, Frontier Communications, Papa John's International and Equity Residential.
A Chicago native, Shapiro graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Lisa Robertson was announced on May 9, 2011 as winner of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Production Grant award for her AFI Directing Workshop for Women 2011, short film, COMMERCE starring Joel Gretsch, Annabeth Gish and Noel Fisher.
Well known as an acting coach for television and film in Los Angeles, Lisa was selected from over 200 applicants in 2010 as one of eight women to participate in the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) fellowship program for her writing and directorial debut, COMMERCE.
After an early career in dance in her native Australia, a chance meeting with filmmaker, Jane Campion lead to some months auditioning for the role of Kay, in Ms Campion's first feature, SWEETIE which encouraged Lisa to train as an actor in both London and San Francisco, and with acclaimed coach Larry Moss in Los Angeles.
Lisa directed "A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in studio, garnering Larry's support, and launching her career as a coach/director. Lisa has coached lead and supporting roles both privately and on-set. Favorite credits include: Eddie Izzard's series lead in THE RICHES (F/X) on set; also OCEAN'S 13, VALKYRIE and RAGE (dir. Sally Potter); Russell Crowe feature film, TENDERNESS; Annabeth Gish, BROTHERHOOD; Noel Fisher THE PACIFIC, RED, THE RICHES; Nicki Micheaux LINCOLN HEIGHTS, RAIN as well as major roles in MUNICH; THE STONING OF SORAYA M (title role), POST GRAD; RENDITION; CITY OF YOUR FINAL DESTINATION; MAD MEN; THE OC; THE SHIELD; THE SOPRANOS. She has coached series regular and guest star roles on nearly every TV episodic and sit-com.
In theater, Lisa produced and directed AMERICAN TEN at the Coast Playhouse, West Hollywood. As Producer/Assoc. Director, Lisa mounted a critically acclaimed production of KING LEAR and was awarded a New Directors Observership by the New York Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, which she completed at the Ahmanson Theater, Los Angeles.
Lisa wrote and directed her AFI submission short, THE LETTER, in January 2010 - which tells an early part of the same family's story that is picked up in COMMERCE at a later and more desperate time.
Lisa is now focusing on the screenplay for the feature film of COMMERCE which the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Grant supports.
Ms. Emerick was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and holds a B.A. from Yale University.
She has extensive anime voiceover credits including The Little Busters, Agame Ga Kill, Infinite Stratos, Clannad, Hello Kitty, Gantz, Book of Bantorra, Gatchaman Crowds, Phi Brain: Puzzle of God, The Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, and many more.
She has appeared at theaters across the country. Off-Broadway credits include Lauren Gunderson's Parts They Call Deep, Lucy Alibar's Gorgeous Raptors, Julia Jarcho's Nurser, and Caroline McGraw's Trade in the Young Playwrights Festival, 2001 and 2002 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. She also starred opposite Jim Parsons in The Pitchfork Disney at Stages Repertory Theatre in Texas, opposite Danny Pino in Hamlet in Florida, and in the first U.S. production of Tom Stoppard's trilogy The Coast of Utopia outside of Lincoln Center produced at Main Street Theater, also in Texas.
Other New York credits include Target Margin Theater (Valkyrie), PS-NBC/78th Street Theatre Lab (Gemini, directed by David Kennedy), HERE (The Cherry Orchard), Kings County Shakespeare (Hamley), Expanded Arts (Oedipus Rex), American Globe Theatre (A Young Lady of Property), The Heritage Theatre (Ivanov), and more.
Additional regional theater credits include: Texas: --Main Street Theater: The Real Thing, Richard III with Prague Shakespeare Co., Arcadia (twice, once as Thomasina, once as Hannah), Design for Living, Wondergirl (World Premiere, by Rutherord Cravens), The Member of the Wedding, An Ideal Husband, The Miser and more; --Stages Repertory Theatre: The Mineola Twins (title roles) --Classical Theatre Company: Candida (title role) Maine: --The Public Theatre (Proof Moonshine) Tennessee: --Clarence Brown Theatre (Arcadia, directed by David Kennedy) Illinois: --Apollo Professional Theatre (The Glass Menagerie)
Ms. Emerick is represented by Pastorini-Bosby Talent in Houston, TX.
Leigh Phillips is an experienced theatre and film composer/orchestrator/conductor.
His previous clients have included the BAFTA Award--winning composer John Ottman (Superman Returns/ Valkyrie) and the legendary Grammy Award-winning television composer Joe Harnell, with whom he collaborated on an adaption of the composer's music from the TV series 'V', transforming the score into a lavish three-movement suite for orchestra & chorus. He has also enjoyed working relationships with several renowned orchestral ensembles such as The Halle Orchestra, The Golden State Pops Orchestra and the Santa Rosa Pops.
In July 2006, Leigh was presented with the Goldsmith Award for Best Achievement in European Audio Visual Music (free creation) at the International Film Music Conference in Ubeda, Spain, for his score from The Jungle Book. These were the first awards to be given in honour of the legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith.
Leigh continues to work in both film and the live dramatic arts; included in his list of stage projects are several collaborations with acclaimed theatre director Nick Evans (Billy Elliot: The Musical), providing original music for the plays Coriolanus, Our Country's Good and the previously mentioned Jungle Book.
In addition to these projects, Leigh is actively involved in the reconstruction of classic film scores - resurrecting lost film-music greats for concert performance. His credits in this field include Omen III: The Final Conflict, Damien: Omen II, Medicine Man, Hollowman, Gremlins (all Jerry Goldsmith), Raise the Titanic (John Barry), Santa Claus the Movie (Henry Mancini) and Exodus (Ernest Gold). Leigh's reconstructions have been heard on an international platform in venues such as Bridgewater Hall, The Wells Fargo Centre for the Arts and The Warner Grand Theatre.
In 2009, due to a dramatic increase in orchestration and arranging work, talented musician Rebecca Thomas joined Leigh in the capacity of copyist and co-composer. Since their collaboration began they have completed a significant number of projects for Silva Screen Records, including new arrangements of Alice in Wonderland, Star Trek XI, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and The Goonies, and complete score reconstructions of Lawrence of Arabia, Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer & Quo Vadis (2012) for Tadlow Music.
Freda Betti was born at 52 rue des Ponchettes in the district of "Vieux-Nice" in a modest family : her father Pierre Betti (1892-1971) was a house painter and her mother Madeleine Suaut (1889-1975) was a fishmonger. Her paternal family originates from the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy : her grandfather Ferruccio Betti (1862-1941) was born in Parma and he immigrated to Nice with his wife Clémence Fontana (1863-1917) and his children in the late 1890s.
She studied music and especially singing with Édouard Rouard (1876-1962) at the Conservatory of Nice where she obtained a "Premier Prix de Chant" in 1943. She made her debut at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo in 1947 singing the role of Siébel in "Faust" by Charles Gounod.
She appeared frequently with the "Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France" of the RTF in the early 1950s, before entering the troupe of the Opéra-Comique in the 1960s.
She sings on major national scenes (Bordeaux, Nantes, Nice, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulouse) and European (Monte Carlo, La Scala) and in many opera festivals (Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Bayreuth).
Among his repertoire include Fricka by Richard Wagner ("The Valkyrie"), Dulcinea by Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra ("Don Quichotte"), Suzuki by Giacomo Puccini ("Madama Butterfly"), Brangäne by Richard Wagner ("Tristan and Isolde") and especially Carmen by Georges Bizet, she performs over 150 times.
She also participated in the creation of the "Opéra d'Aran" by Gilbert Bécaud in 1962 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
She dedicated to the teaching of singing at the Conservatory of Monaco in the 1970s.
Freda Betti married with René Clermont (1919-1976) in 1949 in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine).
Marco Marenghi was sat on the sofa watching cartoons. The unemployed electronics engineer was forced into redundancy when the technology firms that dominated his area in Wales, UK moved on to cheaper labor in foreign countries. His wife, Joanne, noted that Marco wasn't much of a TV guy but when cartoons were on he was mesmerized - the animation seemed to captivate and hypnotize him. She suggested that he go back to college and learn a new trade in this field that he found so fascinating. Despite the fact that he was one of the most promising artists in high school, Marco had not picked up a pencil in 15 years so he found this suggestion as quite absurd. Joanne persevered as she saw in him something that he did not. In 1995, Joanne visited the Glamorgan College for Art and Design Technology (GCADT) and was very impressed by their new animation course. She pleaded with Marco to go check it out until he eventually caved in and agreed - anything for a peaceful life. During the visit, Marco met Pete Hodges and Chris Webster - who were both about to have a profound affect on his life, though he didn't know it yet. Like Joanne, the course content blew Marco's mind and he could now see what his wife was pushing toward. Alas he had no portfolio, no sketchbook, nothing he could show to the course leaders that proved he had the talent. What he did have, however was tenacity. Both Pete and Chris recognized this and sent him away with a mission: spend the weekend sketching and come back on Monday to show us what you did. So that weekend, while working on his parents ice-cream truck, Marco took out his pencils and drew for the first time in 15 years - for once thankful that it was raining and business was quiet. On the Monday he returned to GCADT and showed his work. Both Pete and Chris agreed that he'd be a fine candidate but there were currently no open positions so they agreed to put him on the wait list. Marco was feeling pretty low but as he left the office, the phone rang. Pete gestured for him to hold on.... someone was calling to cancel and there was now a position available. Did Marco want it? You betcha!
Marco's time at GCADT was a mixed bag of emotions. Here he was surrounded by younger artists with incredibly impressive portfolios while he clutched the little sketchbook he had started in the ice-cream truck. He quickly realized however that the younger students did not share his knowledge of life and what the big-wide world had in store for them. Marco's tireless work ethos meant he quickly progressed and his maturity (!) led to mentoring many students. At the start of the course, the students were given 2 months instruction for each of the animation genres: drawn, stop-motion and computer. Marco gained a creditable pass at drawing, a distinction in stop-motion but barely scraped through the computer section. But what the other disciplines had failed to do was challenge him so he decided to major in computer animation and bought his first P.C. Before the end of the animation course, Marco had been selected by Framestore in London to work on the groundbreaking "Walking with Dinosaurs" series. It was agreed that he would be released early and assessed on his development by Framestore's head of CG Mike Milne. He passed, of course, with flying colors and his new career was born. Under Mike's leadership, Marco quickly developed as an artist and was made a lead animator for the 4th episode of "Walking with Dinosaurs: A Cruel Sea". Upon release, Walking with Dinosaurs became a worldwide sensation, revolutionizing TV and raising the bar for VFX based shows. It was this exceptional realism of blending high-end VFX with live action backgrounds that Marco would specialize in for the rest of his career. With numerous awards - including the prestigious AoC Gold Award which he received in 2000 at the UK Senate - and 3 Emmy wins, the phones began to ring. In April 2000, Marco and his family relocated to the Bay Area in California. In his new job with PDI/Dreamworks CAFE (Creature and Feature Effects), Marco worked on the movies "Evolution" and directly with Steven Spielberg for "Minority Report", as well as several commercial spots. When Dreamworks closed it's CAFE division mid-2001, Marco was loaned to Electronic Arts where he worked on cinema tics for the games "Freakstyle", "Lord of the Rings" and James Bond "Nightfire". In 2003, Marco landed a job at Sony Pictures Imageworks to work on Robert Zemekis's "The Polar Express" and the family relocated to Los Angeles. During this transitional period, the BBC filmed "The Marco Marenghi Story" - a 30 minute documentary on his journey from humble unemployment in Wales to working in the cutting-edge Hollywood visual effects industry. Marco's hard work and "can-do" attitude meant that he quickly rose through the ranks and attained the position of Animation Supervisor for "Ghost Rider", "I am Legend", "Speed Racer", Tim Burtons "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Green Lantern". Other credits include "Bewitched", "The Watchmen", "Spiderman 3", "Valkyrie" and "2012". During his time at SPI, Marco was awarded "The Friz Frieling Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Animation" in 2008 and in 2009 he was bestowed an "Honorary Doctorate in Technology" by the Glamorgan University of Wales. In 2011 the "Walking with Dinosaurs 3D" movie was announced and immediately sparked Marco's interest. In June that same year, Marco started a 20 month dream assignment as Animation Director in Sydney, Australia at Animal Logic. While there, his creativity blossomed as he oversaw multiple departments for the show. Both the production and director had great faith in his creative decision making, allowing him to expand and experiment with tremendous results. After nearly 2 years away from home, 2013 saw his return to Los Angeles and the chance to take a bit of a hiatus and spend some much needed family time.
Reiko Matsuo was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan. She moved to Los Angeles to study at the prestigious USC School of Cinema and Television (now "USC School of Cinematic Arts") where she graduated with a degree in Film Production. After graduating, Reiko co-founded New Generation Pictures, Inc., in Beverly Hills, where she took on the role of President of the company. New Generation Pictures is a media production company that specializes in the localization and voice recording of Anime and Videogames. Among the many Anime and Video Game projects Reiko has worked on, she was the English language voice director on such anime titles as Ikki Tousen Season 1, Angel Tales, and Melody of Oblivion. Her producer credits are far more extensive, having worked on Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate, R.O.D the TV, Ergo Proxy, Texhnolyze, Haibane Renmei and many more anime titles. Reiko is also the English language producer on such video games as Street Fighter IV & V, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Romancing SaGa, Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers, and many other well-known video game projects.
Joel was born in Colchester to Angela and Steven. He then grew up in the country sides of Clacton-on-sea and Walton-on-the-Naze, both in Essex. At 14 he moved to Colchester where he stayed until he was 19 then making 2 attempts at moving to Bournemouth in the south. After his time there he moved to Berlin, Germany with his then fiancee, although they are no longer together. This is where he landed his first job in the movies working as a stand-in for most of the actors in Valkyrie. He was asked by the director Bryan Singer and also the casting director (on two separate occasions) to audition for a role. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful that time. But that hasn't stopped him. He has now returned to his home town of Walton, where he will continue looking for work in the film industry as well as training for the English F.A. Coaching Badges.
Anne Richardson is known for many things, but her role as Anne Ellis in Project: Valkyrie is generally not one of them. This was her first and only foray into acting to date. Prior to her role in Valkyrie in 2002, she performed with several rock bands as lead vocals and rhythm guitar, the most notable of which was Ethikon Blue (members including Dave Frye, Jim Spillar, and Tim Palko), based in Latrobe, PA. As of 2014, she lives in Denver, Colorado, but spends a good part of the year traveling. She's most recently known for being the author of "The Modern Nomad's Backpack: A Guide to Packing Light for Round the World Travel."