- SAHARA Movie Production Information-
BASED ON THE BEST SELLING BOOK, BY CLIVE CUSSLER
Paramount Pictures and Bristol Bay Productions present
In association with Baldwin Entertainment Group
A jk livin Production
A Kanzaman Production
A Clive Cussler
Dirk Pitt adventure
When master explorer Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) finds a
fabled coin linked to a historical legend, he takes on the adventure
of his life as he embarks on a treasure hunt through some of
the most dangerous regions of West Africa. As they search for
what locals call the "Ship of Death" - a long-lost
Civil War battleship that protects a secret cargo - Dirk and
his wisecracking sidekick, Al Giordino (Steve Zahn), meet Dr
Eva Rojas (Penélope Cruz), a beautiful and brilliant
doctor who believes that the hidden treasure may be connected
to a larger problem that threatens the world around them.
Hunting for a ship that no one else thinks exists,
Dirk, Al, and Eva must rely on their wits and their daring heroics
to outsmart dangerous warlords, survive the threatening terrain,
and get to the bottom of both mysteries.
Paramount Pictures and Bristol Bay Productions
present, in association with Baldwin Entertainment Group, a
jk livin production, a Kanzaman production, SAHARA. Breck Eisner
directs. The screenplay is by Thomas Dean Donnelly & Joshua
Oppenheimer and John C. Richards and James V Hart, based on
the novel by Clive Cussler. The action-adventure is produced
by Howard Baldwin, Karen Baldwin, Mace Neufeld and Stephanie
Austin. Matthew McConaughey, Gus Gustawes, William J Immerman,
and Vicki Dee Rock are the executive producers. Additional cast
includes Lambert Wilson, Glynn Turman, with Delroy Lindo and
William H Macy. The film is distributed in the United States
by Paramount Pictures.
Paramount Pictures is a part of the entertainment operations
of Viacom Inc, one of the world's largest entertainment and
media companies and a leader in the production, promotion, and
distribution of entertainment, news, sports, and music.
Bristol Bay Productions, a subsidiary of AFG (Anschutz
Film Group), develops, finances and produces feature films in
all genres - dramas, comedies, thrillers and action adventure
- that tell uplifting stories appropriate for audiences of all
ages. Bristol Bay's films come from a number of sources: popular
books, the lives of influential people, timeless heroes, themes
and events that inspire us all. Because of their broad appeal,
Bristol Bay's films are rated G, PG and PG-13.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
"Dirk Pitt is the ultimate Renaissance man,"
says Matthew McConaughey, who brings a new action hero to life
in Paramount Pictures' and Bristol Bay Productions' exciting
and hilarious new action-adventure, SAHARA. "Dirk's the
kind of guy who could be wrestling alligators on a Saturday
morning and then wear a tux to dance with the queen at a ball
on Saturday night. He's a senator's son, a scientist, a polished,
blue ribbon guy; at the same time, he's a treasure-hunting pirate,
a rascally rogue, a barroom-brawling, tequila-drinking scoundrel.
But he's always a gentleman."
A bold man who uses his clever mind as much as
his muscles, Dirk Pitt might be the only man who can go further
than his best pal, Al Giordino, played by Steve Zahn. Together,
they begin a journey that starts with the riddle of a missing
Civil War-era Ironclad battleship... and ends in the world's
"There's this mystery that's been going on
for 150 years - what happened to a missing Ironclad battleship
- and Dirk's determined to get to the bottom of it," says
director Breck Eisner, who makes his feature-film debut with
SAHARA. "That's where the story starts and it ends up thousands
of miles away, in the middle of the Sahara desert."
The adventurers soon find that their missing ship
is tied into a larger crisis being investigated by Dr Eva Rojas,
played by Penélope Cruz. "She's no damsel in distress,"
says Cruz. "She's very active - in fact, she rescues Dirk
on more than one occasion. And, of course, that's just the kind
of woman that Dirk would be interested in - they have great
"This is an action-adventure movie in the
spirit of the great serials and action films that came before
it," says Eisner. "I was captivated by the sense of
adventure, mystery, and humour in this project, and for everyone
involved, it was a primary goal to bring that sense to the screen."
"Nothing in this story should be taken overly
seriously," says McConaughey. "This is an adventure,
a fable. We take a certain amount of movie magic and turn it
into reality. Everything adds up in a satisfying way when that
magic kicks in."
Producer Howard Baldwin cites the appealing relationship
between Dirk and Al as the key ingredient that sets SAHARA apart.
"This movie, as the audience unravels it, becomes this
fantastic adventure, and I think these two great characters,
Dirk and Al, are what give that adventure its energy,"
"These are two guys who are best friends;
they've known each other forever," says Eisner. "So
often in a 'buddy movie,' you'll see the straight-laced guy
and the crazy guy who are forced together, have their differences,
and then love each other by the end of the movie. That can work,
of course, but it's been done over and over. What I love about
Dirk and Al is that these are guys who've known each other since
kindergarten. They have this incredible repartee, this shorthand."
"Plain and simple, Dirk couldn't survive
without Al," Zahn says. "Sure, Dirk looks good - he's
a smooth dude, a talker, a politician of sorts. But Al's the
one who knows where the lug nuts are kept, if you know what
I mean. They've got different talents, and that makes them an
unstoppable duo. Sure, whenever there's danger, Dirk's the one
who dives in first, but Al's right behind him - and right behind
Dirk isn't always the safest place to be."
When Dirk and Al meet Eva, she fits right in with
the treasure hunters. "These are really two wandering spirits,
two mavericks, who come together," says Breck Eisner. "Eva
is on her own, the only one who even believes there's a mystery
to solve; similarly, Dirk's tracking the mystery of a ship that
no one believes in. It's natural and organic when they come
"We really become a trio," says Cruz.
"Usually it's 'the couple and the friend,' or two guys,
two girls. In this case, they're all on equal footing."
Bringing together all the elements of action-adventure,
comedy, and romance is Breck Eisner, who had previously helmed
the Emmy Award-winning miniseries "Taken" for the
Sci-Fi Channel and executive producer Steven Spielberg. "You
might think it would be hard to have faith in a first-time feature-film
director for a big action picture like SAHARA, but with Breck,
it was easy," Baldwin says. "Our guts and our brains
told us he'd do an extraordinary job - and he did. He totally
gets action and he completely understood the landscape of the
movie. I can't tell you how impressed we are with Breck Eisner."
Eisner was attracted to the project by the chance
to bring to the screen an unusually strong character relationship
and a satisfying, intricate story. "I was very impressed
by these characters, Dirk and Al," Eisner notes, "as
well as by the complexity and design of the story."
"I told Breck, 'Not just anybody could direct
this movie,'" says Cruz. "I was so impressed with
his level of energy. He was the first one on-set in the morning,
and he was the last one to leave the meetings at 10:00 at night.
He did that every day for months. This movie needed him. It
needed his energy.
"The whole movie is invested with that energy,"
Cruz continues. "It's something that connects with everyone
- we all want to experience this kind of adventure."
Joining the team as producers are Mace Neufeld
and Stephanie Austin, both veterans of the genre. "We're
thrilled to be working with Stephanie and Mace," says Cary
Granat, the president of the Anschutz Film Group and Bristol
Bay Productions. "Their bios read like a list of some of
the best action movies ever made. Everybody involved with SAHARA
felt that they had the right experience and skills to bring
Dirk and Al's first adventure to the screen."
ABOUT THE CHARACTERS
Matthew McConaughey enthuses when describing Dirk
Pitt, a character equal parts adventurer, sophisticated Don
Juan, and man with a plan. "Sometimes he's a scientist,
sometimes he's an inventor, sometimes he's an adventurer,"
he says. "He's a guy who's got plans, but those plans are
always changing; he's ready for the unexpected. He's a great
adapter. He's been a Navy SEAL, but he's also part pirate. He's
definitely a lover before a fighter, but if he's got to fight,
he handles his own."
McConaughey believes that this mix of characteristics
make up the perfect action hero for our times. "Even though
Dirk comes from a privileged background - he's the son of a
senator - he's got his own idea about how to spend his life,
which is to chase his treasures," he says. "He chases
the unknown - he says we can know the unknown. You can call
him a dreamer, and I guess he is, but he's also got the history,
the training, and the scientific facts to back it up."
In the film, that means tracking down a Civil War Ironclad battleship
in the middle of the African desert.
"The fun of Dirk Pitt is that while he always
has a plan, he also plans on the plan never going as he planned
it," McConaughey laughs. "Dirk Pitt is the luckiest
"Dirk's an action hero, but in a way that
we haven't seen in a lot of movies," says Breck Eisner.
"Dirk's a regular guy. He's highly trained, of course,
but when he gets into a scrape, he loves to wing it. He's always
thinking eight steps ahead and sometimes can forget about what's
happening at the moment. He's been on every kind of adventure
you can imagine, and that ability to wing it is what gets him
Dirk's best buddy is Al Giordino, the smart-mouthed
grease monkey who's always by his side. Lifelong friends, the
characters have a way of expressing themselves that only comes
from having known each other for so long.
"In my opinion, Al's the voice of reason,"
says McConaughey. "Dirk comes up with some highly implausible
plans and Al's the one who calls him on it, but Al also knows
when he can count on Dirk's hunches to come through. That relationship
is a big part of what makes the story work."
"Al's much more of a cynic than Dirk is,"
says Steve Zahn, who plays Al. "Dirk gets his theories
and Al's not sure he believes everything that Dirk believes.
But when Dirk's trying to piece it all together, Al's right
there behind him. In the end, I think Al respects and trusts
him, and vice versa."
Zahn was cast, McConaughey says, when the filmmakers
realized that his take on this character was completely in tune
with their own. "It was clear early on that he knew that
the character wasn't about making wisecracks and corny jokes,"
says McConaughey. "Al is a funny guy who reacts to the
situations that Dirk puts him in. It's entirely character-based."
In fact, once Zahn was in the role, the filmmakers
all agreed: nobody else could have been Al. "Al's a complex
character, because he brings a comedic, dry, wry sense of humour
to the film, but he's also a very serious person when he's put
in life-and-death situations. It was very important that he
didn't come across as a goofball," says Eisner.
McConaughey agrees. "Al and Dirk are always
messin' with each other about something or other," he says,
"but they have each other's back the whole way. There's
constant ribbing, but when it's time to get serious, they're
professionals. They can handle everything they need to handle."
"Steve Zahn got that idea right away and
always played it pitch-perfect," Eisner continues. "It
turns out that he's ideal for the role, not only because of
what he can do as an actor, but because of the knowledge base
he brings: he's a huge history and war buff and has an enormous
collection of Civil War memorabilia. He knows everything about
Zahn and McConaughey were committed to making
the lifelong relationship between Dirk and Al believable on-screen.
"I don't care how good the action is, how fast the helicopters
are, how big the explosions are," Zahn says. "If you
didn't believe these two guys are buddies, the movie wouldn't
"When you see people familiar with each other,
you can understand that as much from the stuff in-between the
lines - the little movements and gestures and smiles - as from
anything that is said," adds McConaughey. "We knew
that we had to have that kind of relationship. So Steve and
I hung out a lot; we talked, made up stories about things Dirk
and Al did in the past, picked up certain nicknames for each
other. None of that may be in the film, but it gives us a looseness
in how we deal with each other."
But things weren't all fun-and-games. "We
had Navy SEAL training for about a month," McConaughey
Zahn adds, "It's going to sound cliché,
but you do get closer to a guy when you sweat your butt off
for twelve hours a day in the heat. You really get to know a
person on another level - there's no pretence when you're huffin'
Zahn says there's another reason why the training
was so important. "The story is a bit crazy," he admits,
"so we grounded it in reality with the training. Because
Matthew and I know what we're doing, the audience can believe
that these two guys could get into - and out of - these situations."
While tracking down their missing Ironclad, Dirk
and Al help out a doctor in Africa who's discovered a bigger
problem. Penélope Cruz plays Dr Eva Rojas, a World Health
Organization (WHO) doctor who's on the trail of a mysterious
Cruz was attracted to her role by the strength
of her character. "I've read many screenplays where the
male characters are much more interesting than the female characters,"
she says. "That's not the case here. Eva has so many layers
and colours; she's an integral part of the story. What she has
to say is important. What she discovers is important.
"I like her personality a lot," Cruz
continues. "She's up for just as much adventure as the
boys. She's a very, very fun character, completely different
from anything I've ever done before."
Cruz realized that the situation was true to life.
"It turns out that I'm the perfect age for this kind of
character," she says, "because the doctors that are
going into the most dangerous places are the youngest."
"Penélope came into the shoot in the
same way that Eva comes into the story," says Eisner. "We
had been shooting for about a week when Penélope got
to Morocco. We were a tight-knit group, Matthew and Steve and
I, when we brought in somebody from the outside world. That's
what Eva has to go through as well; here's these two guys who
have known each other since childhood, and she comes in and
has to deal with that."
Backing up this heroic trio is a group of noteworthy
actors, including William H Macy as Admiral Sandecker, Rainn
Wilson as Rudi Gunn, Lennie James as General Kazim, acclaimed
French actor Lambert Wilson as Massarde, and Delroy Lindo as
"I like the admiral's power. I'm getting
to an age in my career when all I've got left is my cold, steely
glare," jokes Macy, an Academy Award® nominee for his
role in "Fargo." "He's a powerful man, an intellectual
man, a guy who's been through it all and has now garnered the
power to command other men. After playing the callow youth for
45 years, it's a good change.
"Sandecker was a Navy man for many years,
then left the service under dubious circumstances," Macy
continues. "He's somewhat bitter about that and he's resolute
that he'll never work for the government again." Now, the
admiral runs NUMA - the National Underwater and Marine Agency
- a private marine salvage organization, the best in the world
at what they do.
"You definitely get the sense that Sandecker's
got a bit of a chequered past," says McConaughey.
"I love that I'm getting the chance to play the puppet
master," says Macy, "the fellow clever enough to play
one side against the other, go with the flow, to know when to
step in and put his foot down or let a guy run with the ball.
He's a great character."
"Bill was our first choice from the very
beginning," says Eisner. "He's a very detail-oriented
guy; he asked a lot of questions about the part before he committed.
He wanted to make sure that there was something he could sink
his teeth into as an actor.
"Not only is he a great actor; he's a very
funny one as well," Eisner continues. "He ad-libbed
many of his lines, including most of his reactions during the
'Panama' sequence. We stuck him on the phone and let the camera
roll... he gave us great, hilarious stuff."
INTO THE DESERT
"The word 'Sahara' actually means 'desert,'"
says Matthew McConaughey. "And that's what it is - all
that's there is the heat and the sandstorms. It's wide open
- you look around, 360°, any direction you want, and there's
nothing out there. It's wide open."
On location in Morocco, the company shot in several
locations, including a lake near Marrakech, but most of the
desert locations were filmed near Erfoud, a tiny town on the
edge of the Sahara, near the Algerian border.
"It's really amazing how the film industry
has sprung up there - a decade ago, nobody went to Morocco,
but now, they have a history of making big movies," notes
Breck Eisner. "They're open to film productions and are
very helpful in a way that other countries can't be; for example,
we were able to lease three tanks, 10 armoured personnel carriers,
and Huey helicopters - basically, an entire armoured division.
The crews were experienced and very, very hard workers. They
really know what they're doing now."
Marrakech is the centre of film activity in Morocco,
but the film's many desert sequences required locations far
from the bustling city. The filmmakers found their spot in the
small town of Erfoud, a tiny spot in the north-eastern part
of the country, near the border with Algeria. "Erfoud is
in the middle of the desert," says McConaughey. "You
sleep like a baby."
Rainn Wilson describes how one gets to such a
remote part of the world: "You fly Los Angeles to London,
London to Casablanca, Casablanca to Ouarzazate. You land there
at midnight after 24 hours of flight time. There are no lights.
You go to bed, and then you get up at 8:00 am and get in a car
for a 7-hour drive to Erfoud. This town was one of the last
stops before the Sahara - there's a French Legionnaire's fort
just outside the town.
"It's so beautiful out there," Wilson
continues. "There's something mesmerizing about the desert."
For veteran production designer Allan Cameron,
that nothingness made Morocco a natural choice for the look
of the film. "You can't make a movie called 'Sahara' without
eventually ending up in the desert," he says.
Cameron has designed enormous action films before
- two "Mummy" films and "Tomorrow Never Dies"
are on his resume - as well as productions filmed in Morocco
(most recently, "The Four Feathers"). Each film provides
something different for a design crew, and SAHARA is no exception.
In this case, the look of Morocco is very different from that
of Mali, where much of the film takes place, and Cameron was
creative in finding ways to make the location work.
"We took over a little town just outside
Erfoud, called Rissani, which we turned into a northern Malian
town," he says. "We changed shop fronts, selling the
produce that is sold in northern Mali but not in Morocco. We
got the right trucks and dressed them to look like Malian trucks.
We made sure the taxis were the right colours. Morocco isn't
as colourful as Mali; as you go south, there's more colour.
We introduced all those elements."
Cameron was also responsible for designing the
large solar power plant that covers a dark secret. "We
built some of the mirrors; others were computer-generated,"
"In the script, there's a Legionnaire's fort
that overlooks the plant," Cameron continues. "We
were able to use an old Legionnaire's fort just outside Erfoud.
We took it over and adapted it to the requirements of the film
- walls that explode, gates that explode, helicopter attacks
- fun stuff!"
"Our biggest challenge was the river,"
notes Eisner. "The story requires that we have a desert
river and a jungle river. We scoured the region and eventually
found the perfect locations that we pieced together - some in
Azzemmour, some in a reservoir near Marrakech, and some in southern
Spain. In the end, I think we found places that were just right
and tied together beautifully."
While in Spain, the crew shot several scenes in
Barcelona, which doubled for Lagos, Nigeria; the city's Natural
History Museum received a major dress to play the part of a
Nigerian museum. "We had 150 extras in native costume,"
says Cameron. "We dressed the entire room with Nigerian
and Tuareg artefacts. The amazing thing about this building
is that it doesn't feel Spanish at all; we felt it looked like
a Lagos building. It has that feel to it."
Another major scene involved an attack on the
remote village of Asselar. "It has to feel very, very isolated,"
says Cameron, "but we had to take a gigantic film crew
to it, so it couldn't, in real life, be too isolated - it had
to have roads to it. We had to get trucks into it and a helicopter
had to land."
"I wanted to have a viewpoint where our heroes
could look down onto the attack happening," adds Eisner.
"We built a house that could be placed exactly where the
camera could see the action; we believe it's their point-of-view."
Cameron also was charged with designing a cave
that tells the whole history of a Tuareg tribe in wall paintings.
"It goes from 1000 years ago up to the present day,"
But for Cameron, one of the most interesting challenges
involved designing the exotic location of Virginia, USA (or,
at the time, CSA). "The opening of the film is a Civil
War battle on the James River," he notes. "We designed
the Ironclad, of course, and it was interesting to create that
battle and then move the Ironclad to the middle of the desert.
"We had to get it into a sand dune, which
sounds fairly easy on the surface," Cameron continues,
"but when you start moving hundreds of tons of sand and
try to build into sand dunes, the sand shifts all the time.
It becomes quite a major construction job. Even just crossing
the desert was an enormous undertaking - a distance that might
normally be covered in 15, 20 minutes can take a couple of hours."
Though spring in the desert is particularly welcoming
- cold at night, pleasantly hot during the day, with a freshness
not evident in the rest of the year - still, during the 12 weeks
of production in Erfoud, the filmmakers faced the difficult
environmental conditions that go hand-in-hand with the harsh
A common problem for film crews shooting in the
desert is a sudden sandstorm, and SAHARA was no exception. "We
could have a beautiful morning at 8:00 am," says McConaughey,
"and by lunch, we'd be in the middle of a sandstorm. You
see it coming over the horizon, and it just hits. We would have
about 30 yards of vision and that's not even as bad as it gets.
When they get really bad, you have about three or four feet."
Cameron concurred. "We would be constructing
our sets and we'd be able to see clearly for miles and miles.
Ten minutes later, I wouldn't be able to see my hand in front
of my face. And it's hot. Standing on the dunes, it's 120°."
"I've always thought that Hollywood movies
exaggerated the effects of sandstorms," says Eisner, "but
I must say that a sandstorm coming up is an impressive and frightening
sight. You only get 30 seconds' warning before you have to find
cover. It can ruin an entire day's shoot."
The filmmakers were prepared for such challenges,
but the Sahara often finds ways to offer unexpected difficulties.
"Everyone always says, 'It never rains in the desert,'"
says producer Howard Baldwin. "'You'll never see rain.
We haven't had rain for 40 years.' Cut to a vicious rainstorm."
And if it wasn't the sandstorms, and it wasn't
the rain... it was the locusts. "We ran into the middle
of a bona fide plague," Eisner says. "It's difficult
to get them out of the shot when they're flying everywhere."
And then, there were the winds. "The wind just whips up
and blows all the sand around - it's so fine, like talcum powder,"
notes producer Mace Neufeld. "One day, it'll be beautiful,
and the next day, sand blowing everywhere. The shots wouldn't
match and we couldn't keep the sand out of the camera gate."
But despite the interruptions, Eisner was able to keep the mood
on set calm and light. At one point, the director kept score,
announcing, "It's Day 37, and it's SAHARA the movie, 30;
Sahara the desert, 7."
The actors kept things easygoing as well. For one sequence in
the desert, a lack of amenities (including hotels) required
the actors to camp in tents. "Everyone loved it, especially
Matthew," says Eisner. "We had campfires every night."
In keeping with this low-key, low-ego atmosphere,
the actors felt it was important, whenever they could, to perform
their own stunts. "I think audiences are smart enough that
if they see something happen on a wide shot, they think, 'Oh,
that's not really him,'" says McConaughey. "We tried
to film it in a way that we kept Dirk in the frame a little
longer so it's more believable that it's really me doing that.
This was, by far, the most physical role I've had."
"I think Matthew would have done every stunt
in the movie if the insurance company had let him," laughs
Eisner. "As a director, that's the best possible situation;
you can get right in there with the camera and see that it's
really the star. You can shoot it the way you'd like and not
worry about accidentally revealing the stuntman's face. It really
opens up the palette."
McConaughey was not alone in this commitment.
"I've never done as much prep for a movie, ever,"
says Zahn. "We spent a week at Shepperton Studios in London,
familiarizing ourselves with all the weapons we were going to
be using. Then, Matthew and I and Harry Humphries, our military
advisor, went to Erfoud about two weeks before the rest of the
cast and crew. We spent the time running around the desert,
adjusting to the environment, and getting all the dune workouts
that the military gets. You don't complain; it's like a sport.
You practice hard to be ready so that when the ball is thrown
to you, you catch it. Otherwise, you're going to be benched."
ANOTHER NUMA ADVENTURE
For most of us, the adventure in SAHARA would
be enough to last a lifetime, but for Dirk and Al, it's just
a day in the life. They are at the centre of NUMA, the National
Underwater and Marine Agency, headed by Admiral James Sandecker.
"This is a group of scientists, adventurers,
and treasure hunters," says Breck Eisner. "They're
prepared to go anywhere in the world at a moment's notice."
"NUMA is a private organization that circles
the globe, searching for lost and buried artefacts, mostly in
the oceans of the world," notes William H Macy. "Dirk
and Al are the two front men, the guys who do the heavy lifting.
They do the underwater research and salvage from the ship; they're
"Anywhere there's water, they say, 'I'm there,'"
adds Steve Zahn. "You want something done underwater? NUMA
has the equipment, the time, the patience, and the will to swim
and seek what you're looking for, whether it's lost treasure
or a watch your granddad lost in a pond. Dirk and Al love that;
they love that they get to go different places in the world
and meet different people and get entangled in the politics.
For them, it's true adventure."
"You really get the sense from SAHARA that
this adventure is how these guys live," Eisner continues.
"Their past journeys before this movie begins have shaped
the relationship between Dirk and Al. Past adventures become
part of their shared code-language, like when they refer to
the 'Panama.' You get the sense that they've been on a million
adventures before and they'll be on another million after this
ABOUT THE CAST
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY (Dirk Pitt, Executive Producer)
first attracted attention in Richard Linklater's coming of age
comedy, "Dazed and Confused." He was cast in a number
of roles in films, including "Boys on the Side" and
"Lone Star," landing the lead role in "A Time
to Kill," with Kevin Spacey, Samuel L Jackson, Sandra Bullock
and Donald Sutherland. Based on the John Grisham novel, the
film was directed by Joel Schumacher.
Steven Spielberg cast him in "Amistad"
with Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman and that led to Robert
Zemeckis casting him in "Contact" opposite Jodie Foster.
He teamed with Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman and Ellen DeGeneres
in Ron Howard's "Ed-TV." The controversial drama about
the wartime capture of the enigma codes, "U-571,"
with Bill Paxton was in marked contrast to the romantic comedy,
"The Wedding Planner" with Jennifer Lopez.
McConaughey's range of roles was well tested in
2002 with three diverse films. He played an attorney facing
a moral dilemma in "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,"
which was followed by a horror thriller, "Frailty,"
written and directed by Bill Paxton. He then showed off his
sci-fi action chops in "Reign of Fire" as he and co-star
Christian Bale try to save the world from fire breathing dragons.
The romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
with Kate Hudson was his most successful film to date, opening
at number one and securing a domestic box office of over $100
McConaughey's company, jk livin, is developing
projects with New Line, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures,
and Imagine Entertainment. They produced the documentary "Hands
on a Hardbody" and collaborated with Sandra Bullock's Fortis
Films, producing "Making Sandwiches," which debuted
at the Sundance Film Festival. McConaughey also wrote and directed
the short films "The Rebel" and "Chicano Chariots."
STEVE ZAHN (Al Giordino) was introduced to improvisational
theatre in high school. After completing his freshman year at
Gustavus-Adolphus College in Minnesota, he crashed the audition
of a local production of "Biloxi Blues" and was cast
in the leading role.
Following his debut, he trained for two years
with the prestigious American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, before moving to New York where he was cast in
Tommy Tune's National Tour of "Bye Bye Birdie."
He was cast opposite Ethan Hawke in "Sophistry"
at the Playwrights Horizon, where he caught the eye of director
Ben Stiller, who cast him in "Reality Bites," Zahn's
debut film. He worked with Ethan Hawke again in a modern-day
retelling of "Hamlet."
Zahn captivated critics and audiences alike in
Tom Hanks directorial debut film, "That Thing You Do."
He has since appeared in numerous films. Zahn was a scene-stealer
in his critically acclaimed performance in Steven Soderbergh's
"Out of Sight." He won the Independent Spirit Award
for Best Actor for his comic turn in "Happy, Texas."
Other films include "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks,
"Joy Ride" for director John Dahl, and "Riding
in Cars with Boys," for which Zahn received praise for
his performance as a drug-addicted father. More recently, Zahn
starred in "Shattered Glass" with Hayden Christensen
and Chloe Sevigny, in "Daddy Day Care" with Eddie
Murphy, and in "National Security" with Martin Lawrence.
He'll soon team up again with SAHARA star Penélope Cruz
Zahn has also had fun providing voice over characters
- Archie the Bear in "Dr Dolittle 2" and Monty the
Cat in "Stuart Little" and the sequel. Upcoming, he
provides the voice of Runt in "Chicken Little."
Zahn is married to actress Robyn Peterman. They reside on a
farm in Kentucky.
Born in Madrid, Spain, PENÉLOPE CRUZ (Dr
Eva Rojas) studied ballet at Spain's National Conservatory until
she was 15, when she attended a talent audition.
She made her film debut in 1991 in "Jamón,
Jamón" with Javier Bardem, followed by "Belle
Epoque." A collaboration with acclaimed director Pedro
Almodóvar led her towards an international career with
"Live Flesh" and "All About My Mother."
After the success of "All About My Mother,"
Cruz was in demand on both sides of the Atlantic. Billy Bob
Thornton cast her opposite Matt Damon in "All the Pretty
Horses," she worked with Johnny Depp in "Blow,"
and she joined Nicolas Cage and Christian Bale in John Madden's
"Captain Corelli's Mandolin."
Cruz starred with Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Jason Lee in
"Vanilla Sky," directed by Cameron Crowe.
Cruz' other credits include "Masked &
Anonymous," "Gothika," and "Head in the
Clouds," with Charlize Theron. Upcoming films for Cruz
include "Don't Move," for which she won the Italian
Academy Award; "Bandidas," opposite Salma Hayek; and
a new film with Pedro Almodóvar.
Since graduating from London's Drama Centre, multi-talented
French actor LAMBERT WILSON (Massarde) has worked extensively
in films and on stage on both sides of the Atlantic. He was
last seen in the Warner Bros film "Catwoman" alongside
Halle Berry as Georges Hedare, an evil cosmetics tycoon. Previously
he starred as Merovingian in both "Matrix" sequels
("Reloaded" and "Revolutions"); in the Richard
Donner-directed "Timeline," and the French musical
"Pas Sur la Bouche" with Audrey Tautou.
Wilson has been nominated five times for the French César
(equivalent of our Academy Awards®), most recently for Best
Supporting Actor for his performance in Fabian Onteniente's
comedy "Jetset." His first starring role was opposite
Sean Connery in "Five Days One Summer." He has also
worked with Jodie Foster in Claude Chabrol's "The Blood
of Others"; with Juliette Binoche in "Rendez-Vous";
in Andrezj Wajda's "The Possessed"; Peter Greenaway's
"The Belly of an Architect"; Carlos Saura's "El
Dorado"; James Ivory's acclaimed "Jefferson in Paris";
Vera Belmont for both "Red Kiss" and "Marquise";
John Duigan's "The Leading Man"; Alain Resnais' "Same
Old Song"; Jacques Doillon's "Trop(peu) d'amour";
Deborah Warner's "The Last September"; and Raul Ruiz'
"Combat d'amour en Songe," among others.
On stage, Wilson has performed in both French and English. He
starred in "A Little Night Music," directed by Sean
Matthias, with Judi Dench for the Royal National Theatre in
London, as well as in Harold Pinter's "Ashes to Ashes."
Other stage credits include "L'Amour de L'Amour,"
"La Machine Infernale," "La Celestine,"
"Eurydice," and "Ruy Blas." Wilson has also
directed himself in Musset's "Les Caprices de Marianne,"
which opened in Peter Brooks' Theatre des Bouffes du Nord in
Paris, and subsequently toured throughout France. In 2002, he
directed Kristen Scott Thomas and performed in Racine's "Berenice"
at the Avignon Festival and at the Chaillot National Theatre
As a singer, Wilson recorded an album of songs
from the Great American musicals, entitled "Musicals."
The album, released by EMI and produced by John McGlinn, formed
the basis of his concert series "Lambert Wilson chante"
at the Casino de Paris and on tour. In addition, he recorded
a collection of classic songs from the golden age of French
cinema entitled "Demon et Merveilles" on Virgin Classics
and opened the new Theatre des Abbesses in Paris with concert
performances based on these recordings. The show, also titled
"Demons et Merveilles," toured France and was presented
in Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan.
GLYNN TURMAN (Dr Hopper) currently stars as Mayor
Clarence V Royce on HBO's acclaimed series, "The Wire."
His feature film credits include "Fire & Ice,"
"Men of Honour," "The Visit," "Freedom
Song," "How Stella Got her Groove Back," "Buffalo
Soldiers," and "The Inkwell." His film "The
Seat Filler" is soon to be released, and he is currently
working on "Bam Bam & Celeste," which stars Margaret
Cho. Turman is also touring his one man show, entitled "Movin'
DELROY LINDO (Carl) will be seen in the upcoming
comedy "Domino," directed by Tony Scott. Prior to
that, he had recent memorable roles in David Mamet's "Heist,"
co-starring Gene Hackman and Danny Devito, and as Mr Rose in
"The Cider House Rules." Lindo garnered critical acclaim
for his role as Rodney in Spike Lee's drama "Clockers"
and also worked with Lee on "Crooklyn" and "Malcolm
X," the latter earning him an NAACP Image Award nomination.
Lindo's impressive filmography also includes such
feature films as "Wondrous Oblivion," "The Core,"
"The Last Castle," "The One," "Gone
in 60 Seconds," opposite Nicolas Cage and Robert Duvall,
"Ransom," for which he received an NAACP Image Award
nomination for his role opposite Mel Gibson, "A Life Less
Ordinary," with Cameron Diaz and Ewan McGregor, "Get
Shorty," again with Hackman and Devito, along with John
Travolta, "Broken Arrow," "Feeling Minnesota,"
"Romeo Must Die," "Mr Jones," "L'Exil
du Roi Behanzin," "The Devil's Advocate," "Bright
Angel" and "Mountains of the Moon."
On the small screen, Lindo was recently seen in
"Lackawanna Blues" (HBO) and in "The Exonerated"
for Court TV. He also portrayed Ricardo Thornton in the critically
acclaimed CBS drama "Profoundly Normal," starred as
Clarence Thomas in the Peabody Award winner, "Strange Justice,"
directed by Ernest Dickerson and co-starring Regina Taylor,
Louis Gossett Jr, Paul Winfield and Mandy Patinkin. He also
portrayed baseball legend Satchel Paige in the stirring sports
drama, "Soul of the Game." Lindo also played Arctic
explorer Matthew Henson in "Glory and Honour"(TNT)
and appeared in "First Time Felon"(HBO).
On Broadway, Lindo appeared in August Wilson's
"Joe Turner's Come and Gone," for which he received
Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations, "Master Harold and
the Boys" (Broadway & National Tour) and the Kennedy
Centre and Los Angeles productions of "A Raisin in the
Sun" (Helen Hayes Award Nomination and NAACP Image Award
Best Actor). Lindo has also worked Off-Broadway and extensively
in regional theatres throughout the United States and Canada.
Also for television, Lindo conceived, directed,
hosted, and produced "Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee,"
"Delroy Lindo in Conversations with Charles Burnett,"
and "Delroy Lindo and Joan Chen: A Conversation."
WILLIAM H MACY (Admiral Sandecker) is currently
in production on "Edmond," an adaptation of the David
Mamet play, directed by Stuart Gordon and produced by Muse Films.
He also recently joined the cast of "Thank You for Smoking,"
an independent film based on the novel by Christopher Buckley,
which also stars Aaron Eckhart, Robert Duvall, and Katie Holmes.
Jason Reitman will direct.
Most recently, Macy starred in TNT's "The
Wool Cap," a new take on the 1962 comedy "Gigot."
Macy co-wrote the updated film with his writing partner Steven
Schachter, who also directed the film. Macy was nominated for
a Golden Globe Award and a SAG Award for his performance, he
and Schachter were nominated for a Writers Guild Award, and
the film was nominated for a Critics' Choice Award.
Macy's many credits include "Stealing Sinatra,"
"Spartan," Woody Allen's "Radio Days," "The
Murder of Mary Phagan," "Searching for Bobby Fischer,"
"The Client," "Murder in the First," "Mr
Holland's Opus," "Ghosts of Mississippi," "Air
Force One," "Boogie Nights," "Wag the Dog,"
"Pleasantville," "Happy, Texas," "Magnolia,"
"State and Main," "Jurassic Park III," "Welcome
to Collinwood," "Cellular," and "The Cooler."
Macy was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Tick Tock
McLaughlin in "Seabiscuit," and the movie was nominated
for Best Picture. In 1997, he was nominated for the Academy
Award® for his performance in "Fargo." Last year,
after co-writing and starring in TNT's highly acclaimed movie
"Door to Door," Macy was honoured with two Emmy Awards
(one for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Television Movie and another
for Outstanding Writing of a Television Movie, with Steven Schachter)
for his work. The movie received 12 Emmy nominations and won
He is married to actress Felicity Huffman, who
stars on "Desperate Housewives." They live in Los
Angeles with their two daughters.
Beloved (and desired) by morticians all across
the globe, RAINN WILSON (Rudi) is best-known for playing the
role of Arthur Martin, the odd mortician intern on HBO's "Six
Feet Under." He will soon star in"The Office,"
premiering this March on NBC.
Wilson has appeared in such features as "Galaxy
Quest," "Almost Famous," "America's Sweethearts,"
and Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses." He most
recently played Bill Harris in "Baadasssss!" On television,
he has played guest and recurring roles on several shows and
playing wonderfully quirky lead parts on many failed pilots.
Wilson was born and raised in the Seattle area
and attended the graduate acting program at NYU. After spending
many years doing Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre
roles, he moved to Los Angeles with a comedy troupe called The
New Bozena. After transferring their hit Off-Broadway show "Winter
is the Coldest Season" to LA, the group developed their
off-bear brand of slack-vaudeville into a Fox pilot, which was
summarily dumped. He won Best Comedy Direction honours for the
show from the LA Weekly.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
After training at USC film school, BRECK EISNER
(Director) began directing commercials and was championed by
Steven Spielberg, who chose him to direct "Taken"
the mini-series Spielberg produced in 2002. Eisner has directed
television pilots, including "The Invisible Man" in
2000 and "Thoughtcrimes" in 2003.
THOMAS DEAN DONNELLY & JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER
(Screenwriters) met at USC Film School while in the Directing
and Producing programs respectively, so naturally they teamed
up as writers.
Together they've written projects for Fox, Miramax, Warner Brothers,
Paramount, Columbia, and Universal. They were the executive
producers and writers of the Studios USA movie "Thoughtcrimes"
and the upcoming Warner Brothers release "A Sound of Thunder."
They are currently finishing work on Sony Pictures' "Cowboys
and Aliens" and are slated to write "Airborn"
for director Stephen Sommers at Universal.
JOHN C RICHARDS (Screenwriter) won the Best Screenplay
award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for "Nurse Betty,"
for which he also received an Edgar nomination. In addition
to Sahara, he has adapted the Elmore Leonard novel "Tishomingo
Blues" for the screen, with Don Cheadle directing and Matthew
McConaughey starring. Production begins later this year. Richards
will make his directing debut next year with his original piece,
"The Round," starring Don Cheadle.
JAMES V HART (Screenwriter) has an impressive
list of writing credits, including "Tuck Everlasting,"
"Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story," "Contact,"
"Muppets Treasure Island," "Treasure Island:
The Adventure Begins," "Bram Stoker's Dracula,"
"Hook" and "Gimme an 'F.'" He most recently
received story credit for "Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life."
As a producer, Hart includes in his filmography "Jack and
the Beanstalk: The Real Story," "Frankenstein,"
"Dracula," "Hook," "Ransom" and
HOWARD BALDWIN (Producer) and Karen Baldwin formed
Baldwin Entertainment Group in February 2004. Mr Baldwin is
the President and CEO.
Baldwin was President of Crusader Entertainment and partner
of Philip Anschutz from 2000 through early 2004. At Crusader,
Baldwin developed and produced an impressive slate of films
scheduled for release in 2004-2005, which include: "Ray,"
an Academy Award® nominee for Best Picture (a Universal
Pictures release), directed by Taylor Hackford and starring
Jamie Foxx as the legendary music icon Ray Charles; "Swimming
Upstream," with Academy Award®-winner Geoffrey Rush
and Academy Award® nominee Judy Davis (MGM release); "Danny
Deckchair," the 2003 Toronto Film Festival Closing Night
Gala film, starring Rhys Ifans and Miranda Otto (Lion's Gate
Entertainment); "Sound of Thunder" (Warner Bros),
with Academy Award® winner Sir Ben Kingsley; and "The
Game of Their Lives" (IFC Films), starring Wes Bentley
and Gerard Butler and written and directed by the team of "Hoosiers"
and "Rudy" fame: David Anspaugh and Angelo Pizzo.
From 1984-2000, Baldwin formed and ran Baldwin/Cohen
Productions with partner Richard Cohen, producing a variety
of films, such as "Sudden Death," "Gideon,"
"Resurrection," and the Russell Crowe hockey drama
Prior to his career in film, Baldwin was integral
in the formation and ownership of numerous sports franchises.
In 1971, at the age of 28, he started the Hartford Whalers WHA
hockey franchise and later helped form Prism New England Sports
Channel. Baldwin also co-brokered the historic merger of the
WHA with the National Hockey League. In the early 90s, Baldwin
became Chairman of the Board and owner of the two-time NHL Stanley
Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Concurrently, Baldwin
was the first American sports entrepreneur to break through
the Iron Curtain, becoming 50% partner with the Russian government
in ownership of the famous CCCP Red Army team in Moscow.
Equally noted for his diverse charitable activities,
Baldwin was the driving force behind the Whalers' award-winning
community relations program that was second to none in professional
sports. He established the Whalers Foundation for Giving and
a Whalers Teaching Chair in Paediatric Oncology at the University
of Connecticut Health Centre - a $500,000 gift.
Presently, Howard Baldwin is partnered with Global
Spectrum on the $217 million Iowa Events Centre under construction
in downtown Des Moines that will house Baldwin's American Hockey
He recently became a member of the Producers Guild
KAREN BALDWIN (Producer), Senior Vice President
of Creative Affairs for Baldwin Entertainment Group, has been
involved in many different aspects of the entertainment business
over the years. Karen's diversity of experience in all aspects
of the entertainment business has helped to make her a well-rounded
executive with an awareness of each component of the industry.
Her wealth of personal experience "in the field" has
served her well in her executive capacity. Having attended Holy
Cross and Wellesley, Karen graduated Phi Beta Kappa and holds
a degree in Psychology.
Karen began her career in professional sports
as the Assistant All-Star coordinator for the 1986 NHL All-Star
Game hosted by the Hartford Whalers. She then went on to write
and co-host her own local sports-oriented talk show in Hartford,
called "Ahead of the Game."
A move to Los Angeles with her husband, Howard,
in the 90s provided Karen with the opportunity to pursue an
interest she had developed in high school and university - a
career in acting. As an actress Karen's credits include "Blue
Grass," "Spellbinder," "Sudden Death,"
and "Eyewitness to a Murder," plus several other films
and television guest appearances.
Having enjoyed a fair amount of success as an
actress, Karen then became interested in the writing aspect
of the business, which was to become her focus. Karen created
several concepts for films and had them produced. "Redline,"
"Hot," "Eyewitness to a Murder," "Seeing
Red," and "Sudden Death" are a few of her writing
Karen and Howard subsequently formed Baldwin/Cohen
Entertainment with Richard Cohen, where Karen became interested
in the development and producing end of the business and served
as Vice President of Creative Affairs. During her tenure at
Baldwin/Cohen, Karen helped develop and produce films such as
"Sudden Death," "Resurrection," "Gideon,"
and "Mystery, Alaska."
Due to the passing of their partner, the Baldwins
moved on to form a partnership with Philip Anschutz, and Crusader
Entertainment was created. As Executive Vice President of Creative
Affairs for Crusader Entertainment, Karen was involved with
the day-to-day running of the company and the development and
production of eight films in three years: "Ray," "Joshua,"
"Children on Their Birthdays," "A Sound of Thunder,"
"Game of Their Lives," "Danny Deckchair,"
and "Swimming Upstream."
In 2004 the Baldwins formed their own independent
development and production company, Baldwin Entertainment Group.
With numerous projects in various stages of development, Karen's
goal at Baldwin Entertainment Group is to work with talent (writers,
directors and actors) in a highly collaborative fashion to develop
quality scripts that will resonate with the public.
She recently became a member of the Producers
Guild of America.
With his films grossing over one billion dollars
worldwide, MACE NEUFELD (Producer) is one of the most prolific
and successful producers in Hollywood. His keen eye for talent
and ability to turn published works into box-office hits has
helped launch the careers of such stars as Kevin Costner and
Alec Baldwin and directors Richard Donner, Roger Donaldson,
Phillip Noyce and John McTiernan.
Neufeld recently wrapped principal photography on "Asylum"
for Paramount Classics, starring Natasha Richardson and Ian
McKellan, directed by David Mackenzie.
Upcoming projects for Neufeld include "Powers,"
based on the best-selling comic book, to be directed by Frank
Oz; the tentatively titled "Mazar E Sharif," a project
about a real-life USA takeover of an Afghanistan city; a remake
of the John Frankenheimer classic "Seconds," to be
directed by Jonathan Mostow; the Warner Bros sci-fi thriller
"Cosmonaut," based on the best-selling Australian
novel by Peter McAllister; and "Pathfinder" for Paramount
Neufeld's most recent film was the 4th instalment
of the Jack Ryan series of novels by Tom Clancy, Paramount's
"The Sum of All Fears." Neufeld served as producer
on the previous Jack Ryan movies: "The Hunt for Red October,"
"Patriot Games," and "Clear and Present Danger."
Among Neufeld's other film credits are the "The
General's Daughter," "No Way Out," "The
Saint," "Lost in Space," "Flight of the
Intruder," "Beverly Hills Cop III," "Necessary
Roughness," "The Omen," and many other films.
For television, he has produced the miniseries "East of
Eden" and such telefilms as "Gettysburg" and
"Blind Faith," as well as the pilot for "Cagney
and Lacey," which went on to become one of the most watched
television series in the 1980s. In 1993, Neufeld and his partner
at the time, Robert G Rehme, were voted ShoWest Producers of
the Year; the following year, the Publicists Guild chose them
as Showmen of the Year.
In his long career, Neufeld has also served as
a talent manager, an award-winning photographer, and songwriter.
Born and raised in New York City, Neufeld is a graduate of Yale
University. He has an outstanding collection of primitive art
and holds a multi-engine instrument rating pilot's license.
He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the American
Neufeld has been a supporter of PATH (People Assisting
the Homeless) for over a decade and was honoured with the 2000
PATHMakers Award at the Century Plaza Hotel. Neufeld is a passionate
supporter of Stop Cancer, an organization for which he has donated
much of his time and energy and has served on the Beverly Hills
Arts Commission. He currently resides in Beverly Hills and is
the proud father of three children and eight grandchildren (with
a ninth on the way).
Producer STEPHANIE AUSTIN produced the critical
and box-office successes "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
and "True Lies," both for writer-director James Cameron,
as well as the action-thrillers "The Long Kiss Goodnight,"
directed by Renny Harlin, and "Behind Enemy Lines,"
starring Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson. Her most recent credit
is "Shanghai Knights," starring Jackie Chan.
Austin began her career at New Line Cinema, before
leaving to pursue independent production. After working in various
production capacities on feature films, she joined Robert Papazian
Productions, Inc., where she was soon promoted to Vice President.
She served as associate producer on over 30 television movies
and miniseries, including the controversial telefilm "The
Day After" and the 12-hour miniseries "North and South
Book II" and later moved into producing television movies
under the Papazian banner.
Austin then formed the independent production company Stevie
Productions Inc, and produced, among other titles, "Out
On the Edge," for which she received the Women In Film
Lillian Gish Award for Best Producer. She produced her first
feature film, "Heartbreak Hotel," directed by Chris
Columbus, before moving on to Carolco Pictures, where she worked
with James Cameron on "T2." In 1989 she partnered
with husband Scott Thaler in the commercial production company
Treehouse Entertainment Group Inc. The company has evolved into
a multi-faceted venture that includes Roadhouse Films Inc, a
service that produces screen tests, pick-up shots, and second
units for both independent and major studios, while continuing
to produce television commercials and rock videos.
Austin has been a visiting professor in the Weigand
Visitor-in-Residence Program at the Claremont Colleges and is
on the Board of Trustees for the Women in Film Foundation, where
she chairs the Film Finishing Fund. She is also a member of
the Producers Guild of America.
Matthew McConaughey's business partner in jk livin
(as in "just keep living") for the past eight years,
GUS GUSTAWES (Executive Producer) met the actor when they were
both undergraduates at the University of Texas.
Born in Houston, and brought up in Austin, Gustawes
was intent on a business career, ideally one that combined business
and travel. When McConaughey's acting career began to take off
with "A Time to Kill," his breakthrough movie, he
invited his friend to join him in Hollywood.
Alongside McConaughey, Gustawes experienced the
film business from the actor's perspective: a steep learning
curve, but a limited one. He extended his terms of reference
by two years with Mike Ovitz' AMG agency.
McConaughey and Gustawes' company has several
development projects. They are gestating comfortably while McConaughey,
Gustawes and friends have the time of their lives bringing SAHARA
to the screen.
CEO of Crusader Entertainment, WILLIAM J IMMERMAN
(Executive Producer) began his career in the film industry at
American International Pictures as business affairs and production
executive. He joined 20th Century Fox wearing his business affairs
hat, and was promoted there to the feature film division. He
had an exclusive production agreement with Warner Bros prior
to forming Cinema Group as chairman of the board and president
of the company. He initiated start-up money from Wall Street
- the first company to do so. He served time as vice chairman
of Cannon Pictures.
Immerman practiced law as an entertainment attorney.
He has executive produced several movies.
VICKI DEE ROCK (executive producer) has executive-produced
Sony Pictures' "Whatever It Takes," starring James
Franco and Shane West and "Sizzling Kung Fu Mice,"
a test feature for Sony Pictures.
In addition, Dee Rock has served as Senior Vice President, Physical
Production for Bristol Bay/Walden Media. During her tenure she
has supervised the making of such films as "Ray,"
which was recently nominated for six Academy Awards®, as
well as David Anspaugh's soccer film "The Game of Their
Prior to joining Bristol Bay/Walden Media, Dee
Rock was the Head of Physical Production for USA Films (Focus
Features). She was the Executive in Charge of Production for
such films as Academy Award® nominees "Traffic,"
"Far From Heaven," and "Gosford Park"; the
Coen Brothers' "The Man Who Wasn't There", "Deliver
Us From Eva" and "Possession."
Dee Rock worked for nearly three years as co-head
(with Bill Brown) of physical production for Phoenix Pictures.
During that time, she supervised such projects as the "Urban
Legend" movies, Andrew Fleming's "Dick," Terrence
Malick's Academy Award® nominee, "The Thin Red Line,"
David Kelley's "Lake Placid," and Roger Spottiswoode's
"The Sixth Day."
Before her stint at Phoenix, Dee Rock worked as
a production executive at 20th Century Fox, where she was responsible
for feature estimates on movies including Jim Cameron's "True
Lies" and "Titanic," Baz Luhrmann's "William
Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet," "Anastasia," and
"Alien Resurrection." She previously worked as a production
accountant on such films as Jonathan Demme's Academy Award®-winning
film "The Silence of the Lambs," Jan De Bont's "Speed"
and Jodie Foster's "Little Man Tate."
Very much a rising star, SEAMUS McGARVEY BSC (Director
Of Photography) captured considerable attention for his work
on "The Hours," lighting three luminous leading ladies
- Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore. Recently,
he added a London Evening Standard award to the praise the movie
Born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, McGarvey began
his career as a still photographer. His credits as director
of photography include "Butterfly Kiss", "The
Winter Guest," "The War Zone," "I Could
Read the Sky," "The Actors," "A Map of the
World," "High Fidelity," "Enigma,"
Mike Nichols' "Wit" and the upcoming "Charlotte's
Following a successful career as a television
production designer where his work included "The Naked
Civil Servant" and "Edward and Mrs Simpson,"
ALLAN CAMERON (Production Designer) made his debut as a film
production designer with "The Honorary Consul," based
on the Graham Greene novel.
He rapidly made a name for himself with films as varied as "1984"
with Richard Burton and John Hurt, Trevor Nunn's "Lady
Jane," "Highlander" with Christopher Lambert
and Sean Connery, "The Fourth Protocol" with Michael
Caine and Pierce Brosnan, and "Willow" for director
No challenge is insurmountable for the resourceful
Cameron, working with his regular team of art department professionals.
From the most remote corners of Thailand ("Air America")
and India ("The Jungle Book") to the West Coast of
Ireland ("Far and Away") and four separate movies
in Morocco ("The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns,"
"The Four Feathers" and now SAHARA).
Cameron also knows all the best locations in the
Czech Republic ("Swing Kids," "The Adventures
of Pinocchio," "Shanghai Knights" and "Van
Helsing"). In addition, other credits include the James
Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" and Paul Verhoeven's
ANDREW MacRITCHIE's (Editor) first film as editor was "The
New Adventures of Pinocchio" in 1999, followed by "Die
Another Day" and "Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination
London." He co-edited "Tomb Raider: The Cradle of
MacRitchie also worked as a visual effects editor
on "Tomorrow Never Dies," "The World is Not Enough,"
and "The Mummy Returns".
As an assistant editor, his credits include "The Princess
Bride," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" "Indiana
Jones and the Last Crusade," "Hamlet," "Patriot
Games," "Elizabeth," and "The Mummy."
An established costume designer in her native
Poland where she worked as Anna Biedrzycka through the 70s and
80s, ANNA SHEPPARD (Costume Designer) moved to England in the
late 70s. After working with Anzieska Holland on "To Kill
a Priest" she became internationally recognized when Steven
Spielberg chose her to costume "Schindler's List."
This painful territory was revisited more recently
when she designed the costumes for Roman Polanski's "The
Since "Schindler's List," her career
has been largely in the West, achieving a range of credits including
"Washington Square," "The Wisdom of Crocodiles,"
Michael Mann's contemporary drama "The Insider" starring
Russell Crowe. She returned to the subject of World War II when
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks asked her to design the costumes
for their miniseries, "Band of Brothers." Her recent
credits include "Shanghai Knights" and "Around
the World in 80 Days," both with Jackie Chan.
CLINT MANSELL (Composer) has emerged to become
one of the most innovative film composers in the last five years.
Beginning with Darren Aronofsky's groundbreaking "Pi"
in 1998, and continuing non-stop ever since, Mansell has begun
to establish a unique musical vision and style that transcends
the boundaries of conventional film music, through such films
as "Requiem for a Dream," "Abandon" and
"Murder by Numbers."
As the lead vocalist and guitarist of the pioneering
British band Pop Will Eat Itself, Mansell quickly became known
as something of a musical renegade. Fusing pop, rock and rap,
the band began an underground revolution that was to influence
the international musical landscape, eventually gaining the
attention of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), who signed the
band to his own label in 1994. Shortly after the group disbanded
in 1996, Mansell moved to New York to begin the next phase of
his career. It was then that he met filmmaker Darren Aronofsky
("Pi," "Requiem for a Dream") and the two
began what would become a close creative collaboration. His
most recent film score was "Suspect Zero."
MARA BRYAN (Visual Effects Supervisor) began her
career in visual effects in London's Soho when the world of
digital images was still in its infancy, producing graphic sequences
and commercials for television stations around Europe. As technology
moved on she moved into the cutting edge of digital film techniques,
working at CFC and later Cinesite, Europe.
After cutting her movie teeth in the VFX department
on "Judge Dredd," Bryan joined the James Bond family
for "Goldeneye," and followed that with "Tomorrow
Never Dies," "The World Is Not Enough" and "Die
Another Day," the last two as Visual Effects Supervisor.
Between Bonds, Bryan worked on smaller movies
directing miniature shooting and becoming involved with a broad
range of visual effects techniques.