The Filmmakers and the Production
(Photo left) Poker legend DOYLE BRUNSON and L.C. Cheever (ROBERT DUVALL) wish each other luck at the WSOP in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ drama “Lucky You,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film also stars Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore. Photo by Merie W. Wallace, SMPSP
CURTIS HANSON (Director/Writer/Producer) previously directed, co-wrote and produced the crime drama “L.A. Confidential,” which was one of the most honored films of 1997. The film received nine Academy Award nominations, including three for Hanson in the categories of Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, the last of which he won. “L.A. Confidential” also brought Hanson a Directors Guild of America Award nomination; two Golden Globe nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay; the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; two BAFTA Award nominations for Best Film and Best Screenplay; and numerous critics groups’ awards for both Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Hanson recently directed and produced the comedy drama “In Her Shoes,” starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine. He also produced and directed “Wonder Boys,” starring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire, and the acclaimed drama “8 Mile,” starring Eminem. Both films won Oscars for Best Original Song, the first for Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed,” and the latter for Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”
Hanson includes among his other directing credits “The River Wild,” starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon; “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” starring Rebecca de Mornay; “Bad Influence,” starring Rob Lowe and James Spader; and “The Bedroom Window,” which he also wrote.
A noted champion of film preservation, Hanson has served as the Chairman of the UCLA Film and Television Archive since 1999. He was the first recipient of the Film Preservation Award bestowed by the Film Foundation and the Directors Guild of America in 2003.
DENISE DI NOVI (Producer) made her producing debut on the cult hit comedy “Heathers,” for which she won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. She then began a long association with groundbreaking filmmaker Tim Burton, during which time she produced such diverse hits as “Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman Returns,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Ed Wood” and “James and the Giant Peach.” Her early credits also include the 1994 remake of “Little Women,” as well as “Practical Magic” and “Message in a Bottle,” both of which took first place at the box office in their opening weekends. Her more recent film credits include “Original Sin,” “A Walk to Remember,” “What a Girl Wants,” “New York Minute,” “Catwoman” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”
In addition to her film credits, Di Novi has also ventured into television production. She served as an executive producer on the longform projects “Eloise at Christmastime,” “Eloise at the Plaza,” and “The ‘70s,” and on the critically acclaimed series “The District.”
Di Novi started out in journalism, rising from copy editor at the National Observer (a Dow Jones weekly) to staff writer for “Canada AM” in Toronto. Segueing to the film industry, she began her career as a unit publicist. In 1980, she became a principal in the Montreal-based production company Film Plan, acting in various production capacities on nine major studio releases, including “Scanner” and “Videodrome.” In 1983, Film Plan relocated to Los Angeles and merged with Arnold Kopelson’s Film Packages.
Di Novi then joined New World Pictures as Executive Vice President of Production, later shifting into an overall deal as an independent producer. From 1989 to 1992, she headed Tim Burton Productions, where she produced several of the director’s most successful films. In 1993, she set up her own production company, Di Novi Pictures, at Columbia Pictures.
Di Novi currently has a production deal at Warner Bros. Pictures, where she is in pre-production on the romantic drama “Nights in Rodanthe,” to star Richard Gere and Diane Lane under the direction of George Wolfe. She also has a number of projects in various stages of development, including “The Illustrated Man,” based on a collection of Ray Bradbury stories; the love story “Last Summer of You and Me,” based on the book by Ann Brashares; “The Jetsons,” being scripted by Adam Goldberg; and “Larklight,” based on a Philip Reeve novel.
CAROL FENELON (Producer) began her career as a record company executive at such labels as MCA, Warner Bros., RCA and Arista. During that time, she worked with Curtis Hanson as his music supervisor on “Bad Influence,” “The River Wild,” and “Wonder Boys,” for which Bob Dylan received both the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Following the completion of “Wonder Boys,” Fenelon joined Hanson as his producing partner at their production company, Deuce Three Productions. She then collaborated with Hanson as both executive producer and music supervisor on “8 Mile,” for which Eminem received the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and as both producer and music supervisor on “In Her Shoes.”
Her future producing projects include film adaptations of the non-fiction birdwatching saga The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession, by Mark Obmascik; the George Pelecanos novel Right as Rain; and the Michael Faber novel The Crimson Petal and the White.
ERIC ROTH (Screenwriter) won an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for his screenplay for the Oscar-winning Best Picture “Forrest Gump,” directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. He also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for his work on that film. Roth received his second Oscar, Golden Globe and WGA Award nominations (shared with Michael Mann) for the screenplay for “The Insider,” for which he won the WGA’s honorary Paul Selvin Award and a Humanitas Prize. He most recently garnered both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations (shared with Tony Kushner) for the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s controversial drama “Munich.”
Roth attended UC Santa Barbara, Columbia University and UCLA, where he won the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award. His first produced screenplay was Robert Mulligan’s “The Nickel Ride,” which premiered at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. His subsequent film credits have included “Suspect,” directed by Peter Yates and starring Cher and Dennis Quaid; Mike Figgis’ “Mr. Jones,” starring Richard Gere; “The Horse Whisperer,” directed by and starring Robert Redford; Michael Mann’s “Ali,” starring Will Smith in the title role; and “The Good Shepherd,” directed by Robert De Niro, who also starred with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie.
Roth’s upcoming films include “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, under the direction of David Fincher; and “Shantaram,” starring Johnny Depp and Emily Watson for director Mira Nair.
BRUCE BERMAN (Executive Producer) is Chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures. Village Roadshow will co-produce 60 theatrical features in a joint partnership with Warner Bros. through 2007, with all films distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.
The initial slate of films produced under the pact included such hits as “Practical Magic,” starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; “Analyze This,” teaming Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal; “The Matrix,” starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne; “Three Kings,” starring George Clooney; “Space Cowboys,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood; and “Miss Congeniality,” starring Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt.
Under the Village Roadshow Pictures banner, Berman has subsequently executive produced such wide-ranging successes as “Training Day,” for which Denzel Washington won an Academy Award; “Ocean’s Eleven,” starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts; “Two Weeks’ Notice,” pairing Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant; “Mystic River,” starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins in Oscar-winning performances; the second and third installments of “The Matrix” trilogy, “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”; Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Johnny Depp; “The Dukes of Hazzard”; “The Lake House,” reuniting Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves; the Oscar-winning animated comedy adventure “Happy Feet”; the romantic comedy “Music and Lyrics,” pairing Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore; and the supernatural thriller “The Reaping,” starring Hilary Swank.
Village Roadshow’s upcoming projects include the third installment of the “Ocean’s” franchise, “Ocean’s Thirteen,” starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ellen Barkin and Al Pacino; the romantic drama “No Reservations,” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart; “I Am Legend,” starring Will Smith; and “Get Smart,” starring Steve Carell.
Berman got his start in the motion picture business working with Jack Valenti at the MPAA while attending Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. After earning his law degree, he landed a job at Casablanca Films in 1978. Moving to Universal, he worked his way up to a production Vice President in 1982.
In 1984, Berman joined Warner Bros. as a production Vice President, and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Production four years later. He was appointed President of Theatrical Production in September 1989, and, in 1991, was named President of Worldwide Theatrical Production, where he served through May 1996. Under his aegis, Warner Bros. Pictures produced and distributed such films as “Presumed Innocent,” “GoodFellas,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” the Oscar-winning Best Picture “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Batman Forever,” “Under Siege,” “Malcolm X,” “The Bodyguard,” “JFK,” “The Fugitive,” “Dave,” “Disclosure,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Outbreak,” “The Client,” “A Time to Kill” and “Twister.”
In May of 1996, Berman started Plan B Entertainment, an independent motion picture company at Warner Bros. Pictures. He was named Chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures in February 1998.
MARI JO WINKLER-IOFFREDA (Co-Producer) previously co-produced the comedy drama “In Her Shoes,” starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine, which marked her first collaboration with director Curtis Hanson. Her first film as a co-producer was Peter Chelsom’s “Shall We Dance,” starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. Winkler-Ioffreda more recently served as a co-producer on Scott Hicks’ new romantic drama “No Reservations,” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin, which is due out this summer. She also executive produced the upcoming film “Dan in Real Life,” being directed by Peter Hedges and starring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche and Dane Cook.
Prior to becoming a producer, Winkler had a long and successful career as a unit production manager, collaborating with a number of award-winning directors. Her credits included Anthony Minghella’s “Cold Mountain,” Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Shipping News,” Peter Chelsom’s “Serendipity,” and two films for Nicholas Hytner, “The Object of My Affection” and “The Crucible.”
PETER DEMING (Director of Photography) served as the cinematographer on Rob Reiner’s comedy “Rumor Has It…,” David O. Russell’s “I Heart Huckabees” and Philip Kaufman’s “Twisted.” He more recently completed work on the crime drama “Married Life,” starring Pierce Brosnan, Rachel McAdams and Chris Cooper, set for release this fall.
Deming has collaborated multiple times with several directors. He won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography for his work on David Lynch’s “Mullholland Drive,” and also worked with Lynch on the film “Lost Highway” and the television series “Hotel Room.” He teamed with director Jay Roach on “Mystery, Alaska,” starring Russell Crowe, and the hit spy spoofs “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” both starring Mike Myers. Deming has also lensed the Wes Craven films “Music of the Heart,” “Scream 2,” and “Scream 3,” and he was an additional director of photography on the first “Scream.”
Deming’s other film credits include Daniel Algrant’s “People I Know,” starring Al Pacino; the Hughes brothers’ “From Hell,” starring Johnny Depp; “Loaded Weapon 1”; “My Cousin Vinny”; “Scorchers”; “Drop Dead Fred”; “Book of Love”; “House Party,” which won the Best Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival; Robert Townsend’s “Hollywood Shuffle”; and Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead II,” which marked Deming’s first feature film.
CLAY A. GRIFFITH (Production Designer) was the production designer on the recent comedy hit “Norbit,” starring Eddie Murphy, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Thandie Newton, under the direction of Brian Robbins. He is currently in production on the sci-fi comedy “Starship Dave,” which reunited him with Robbins and Murphy.
Griffith’s credits as a production designer also include the indie hit “Prozac Nation”; “Domestic Disturbance,” starring John Travolta and Vince Vaughn; “Sweet Home Alabama,” starring Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas and Patrick Dempsey; “Radio,” starring Ed Harris and Cuba Gooding, Jr.; and Cameron Crowe’s “Elizabethtown,” starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Griffith also collaborated with Cameron Crowe as an art director on “Almost Famous,” and as a set decorator on “Jerry Maguire” and “Singles.”
In addition, Griffith served as a set decorator on such film as “Stuart Little,” “As Good As It Gets,” “Seven,” “City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold,” “Grumpy Old Men,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Pacific Heights,” “Mystic Pizza” and “Dirty Dancing.”
CRAIG KITSON (Editor) counts “Lucky You” as his fifth collaboration with director Curtis Hanson. He previously served as an editor on Hanson’s comedy drama “In Her Shoes,” starring Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine, and on the acclaimed drama “8 Mile,” starring Eminem. Kitson first worked with Hanson as an assistant editor on the main title sequence for the director’s award-winning drama “L.A. Confidential.” He then served as an additional editor on Hanson’s “Wonder Boys.”
Born and raised in Stockton, California, Kitson attended the School of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA and began his career as a film researcher. While doing research for director William Friedkin, he met veteran film editor Bud Smith. This encounter led Kitson into editorial work. His credits as an assistant or additional editor include “Gross Anatomy,” “Mobsters,” “Open Season” and “The Sunchaser.”
WILLIAM KERR (Editor) has edited three comedies for director Peter Segal: “Tommy Boy,” starring Chris Farley and David Spade; “My Fellow Americans,” starring the legendary Jack Lemmon and James Garner; and the Eddie Murphy starrer “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.”
Kerr more recently edited “Along Came Polly,” pairing Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller, and “Undercover Brother,” starring Eddie Griffin and Chris Kattan. He is presently working on the comedy “Superbad,” for director Greg Mottola.
MICHAEL KAPLAN (Costume Designer) won a British Academy Award for his costume designs for Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking futuristic drama “Blade Runner.” He set off a fashion trend for an entire generation with his costume designs for his next film, Adrian Lyne’s “Flashdance.” Kaplan more recently designed the costumes for Doug Liman’s action comedy hit “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; Michael Mann’s actioner “Miami Vice,” starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx; and the upcoming science fiction drama “I Am Legend,” starring Will Smith, which is due out in December 2007.
Kaplan reunited with director Ridley Scott to design the costumes for “Matchstick Men.” In addition, he has been the costume designer of choice for director David Fincher on the films “Panic Room,” “Fight Club,” “The Game” and “Seven”; for Michael Bay on “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon”; and for Jeremiah Chechik on “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
Kaplan has also designed the costumes for such films as Edward Norton’s directorial debut “Keeping the Faith,” Harold Becker’s “Malice,” John Hughes’ “Curly Sue,” Joel Schumacher’s “Cousins,” James Bridges’ “Perfect” and Taylor Hackford’s “Against All Odds.”
CHRISTOPHER YOUNG (Composer) has composed the scores for a broad range of films, the latest including the hit “Ghost Rider,” starring Nicolas Cage, and the much-anticipated “Spider-Man 3,” starring Tobey Maguire under the direction of Sam Raimi. His recent film credits also include “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “Beauty Shop,” “The Grudge,” and its sequel, “The Grudge 2.”
Young previously collaborated with Curtis Hanson on “Wonder Boys.” He has also worked with director Jon Amiel on four films: “The Core,” “Entrapment,” “The Man Who Knew Too Little” and “Copycat.” In addition, Young has composed the music for such films as “Runaway Jury,” based on the John Grisham bestseller; Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Shipping News,” for which he received Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominations; Barry Levinson’s “Bandits”; “The Glass House”; Dominic Sena’s “Swordfish,” starring John Travolta and Halle Berry; “Sweet November,” starring Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves; Norman Jewison’s “The Hurricane,” starring Denzel Washington; and John Dahl’s poker-themed drama “Rounders,” starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton. His earlier film credits include “Hush,” “Hard Rain,” “Murder at 1600,” “Set It Off,” “Jennifer Eight,” “Bright Angel,” “The Fly II,” “Bat*21,” “Flowers in the Attic” and Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser.”
In addition, Young has created the scores for a number of longform television projects. He earned Emmy nominations for his music for the telefilms “Norma Jean & Marilyn” and “Last Flight Out,” and more recently scored the acclaimed HBO movie “Something the Lord Made.”