The Mechanic

Press Release < back to list
01.03.2011

THE MECHANIC PRESS NOTES

            Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a 'mechanic' - an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets.  It's a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business.  But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached.  His next assignment is self-imposed - he wants those responsible dead.

            His mission grows complicated when Harry's son Steve (Ben Foster) approaches him with the same vengeful goal and a determination to learn Bishop's trade.  Bishop has always acted alone but he can't turn his back on Harry's son.  A methodical hit man takes an impulsive student deep into his world and a deadly mentorship is born.  But while in pursuit of their ultimate mark, deceptions threaten to surface and those hired to fix problems become problems themselves.

            Jason Statham (The Expendables, The Italian Job) and Ben Foster (The Messenger, 3:10 to Yuma) star, alongside Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job) and Tony Goldwyn (The Last House on the Left), in The Mechanic for CBS Films in association with Millennium Films.  A Chartoff Winkler Production and Nu Image Production, Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Con Air) directs from a screenplay by Richard Wenk (16 Blocks) and Lewis John Carlino (1972's The Mechanic, story also by Lewis John Carlino).

            The film is produced by David Winkler, Bill Chartoff, and Rene Besson.  Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff are executive producers, alongside Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short and Boaz Davidson.

            This film has been rated R by the MPAA for "Strong brutal violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity."

www.TheMechanicMovie.com

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

  

A PROJECT OVER 15 YEARS, AND 2 FAMILIES, IN THE MAKING

Bringing a new version of the 1972 genre classic, and Charles Bronson-starrer, The Mechanic to a modern day audience has been an incredibly memorable experience for producers David Winkler and Bill Chartoff - this due in part to the fact that their fathers, the legendary producing team of Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, produced the original (and are serving as executive producers on the current version).  After spending a decade and a half developing the project, the sons' goal of bringing the property back to the big screen has finally come to fruition. 

The Mechanic isn't the first property they've worked on with ties to their fathers (they produced 2006's Rocky Balboa, the most recent installment of the iconic Rocky franchise their fathers launched in the ‘70s) but they have always held a special affinity for this project throughout the years.        

            "The 1972 Mechanic was essentially the first in what turned out to be an entire sub-genre - the hit man sub-genre," notes Bill Chartoff.  "It was a very interesting take on a thriller and subsequently led to many other hit man films.  David and I always thought screenwriter Lewis John Carlino, who also wrote The Great Santini and many other wonderful films, created a truly unique story, and a new kind of hero in main character Arthur Bishop."

            As Irwin Winkler recalls, the character of Arthur Bishop was one of the primary factors for taking on the original project nearly 40 years ago. "Carlino sent over his script and Bob and I responded to it immediately.  Bishop was a very original character, especially for the time - a lonely hit man who seeks human contact and companionship.  He takes on an apprentice but, ultimately, that need for a fuller, more humanistic life becomes his downfall."

            Though the original film was successful (particularly in the international marketplace), it didn't reach ‘genre classic' status until years later.  In the ‘70s, films didn't have the extended life after theatrical release that films have today.  It was only when Cable and DVD surfaced in the following decade that The Mechanic's exposure grew and an increased fan base emerged. 

            "People would come up to Bob and I to say they had just discovered The Mechanic and wondered if we ever thought about remaking it," remembers Irwin Winkler.  "We honestly were surprised by the interest because we had almost forgotten about the film in some respects."

But the response was undeniable and, fifteen to twenty years after filming the original, the men soon found themselves teaming up with their sons to develop what Irwin Winkler refers to as a "re-imagining" of the 1972 version.

            The first order of business was the script. 

            After a few early drafts took the story too far from its roots (it started to resemble more of a spy thriller), the producers re-directed the script's focus back to the foundation of the original - the relationship between Arthur Bishop and his apprentice Steve McKenna.

            In the story, Bishop's mentor and close friend Harry McKenna is killed and his death has a profound effect on the character.  In turn, he agrees to train Harry's estranged son Steve who, hungry for revenge on those responsible for his father's killing, wants to become an assassin.

            "It's a classic mentor/protégé relationship, and in some ways similar to that of a father and son - a relationship wrought with layers and complications but also with a mythological and Freudian nature," describes  Bill Chartoff. "This dynamic elevated the original film from other genre films of its time and to this day makes The Mechanic an engaging action thriller."

             Arthur Bishop and Steve McKenna's relationship would remain the core of the story but other elements would have to be updated for The Mechanic to be appreciated by audiences today who have different expectations for an action thriller than those of the ‘70s.

            "Films of the ‘70s relied more on mood and atmosphere, " notes Bill Chartoff.  "Audiences today expect a drama that is logical and motivated."

            Once the script started to take shape, the next step would be to find a director who could handle a character-based film loaded with action.  Enter Simon West.

            "I had never seen the original Mechanic.  What attracted me to the project was the premise itself," remarks West.  "There have been a lot of hit man movies over the years but this one is different because the assassin makes each killing look like an accident.  He doesn't just shoot people or blow them up in a simple, obvious way.  This level of intricacy makes for a far more ingenious and clever story.  Arthur Bishop is great at what he does, but he isn't ruthless, which I found very appealing."

            From the producers' perspective, West was a natural fit for the project.

His filmography, which includes Con Air, The General's Daughter and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, easily demonstrates he knows his way around an action sequence but is also great with character.            "This kind of film is really Simon's forte," notes Bill Chartoff. 

"The moment Simon came on board, he put a lot of time and effort into building the characters," continues Chartoff.  "It was very important to him that they be complex, not mere caricatures.  He wanted them to be relatable with motivations that lent credence to the plot and the story."

            West found Bishop particularly relatable for the stage Bishop is at in his career.  "Bishop is at a point in his life where he's at the top of his game but he's just not sure it works for him anymore.  I think that's something people can identify with."

            Bishop would have to be sympathetic but also have the presence of an elite, unparalleled assassin- a ‘mechanic.'  As Bill Chartoff notes, "there aren't many actors today who can fill Charles Bronson's shoes."  Finding the right actor to play the role would be crucial.

WHO SAYS A GOOD MECHANIC (CAST) IS HARD TO FIND?

            "Jason Statham was the only actor I could imagine for the role," enthuses Bill Chartoff.  "If Jason hadn't agreed to do it, I doubt the film would have been made.  He really is the perfect fit for Bishop."

            The filmmakers were familiar with Statham's extensive body of work from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels to Crank: High Voltage, and everything in between.

            "Jason has such a charismatic quality," says Irwin Winkler.  "He just generates excitement when he's on the screen."

As Irwin Winkler explains, Statham's magnetism added an interesting dimension to a role that lacks the very trait the actor possesses.  "Bishop has no charisma. He holds back emotions and is generally someone you don't care to be with.  That said, Jason in the role makes for an interesting combination.  He just brings you in and you can't help but become engaged in Bishop's life.  I can't think of another actor who could achieve that paradox."

            Director Simon West, who met Statham years before on another project, couldn't agree more.  "I've watched Jason over the years develop into this great brooding actor," says West.  "He conveys a range of emotions often with just a look which is important given the fact that a ‘mechanic' spends most of his time alone (though in the film that changes when Bishop agrees to mentor Steve)."

            "He's also a very physically adept performer," continues West.  "He's immensely skilled.  He can and wants to do most of his own stunts.  Not to mention, Jason looks like someone who could kill ten men in a room with his bare hands.  So he just fit the role in every aspect."

            Jason Statham's reps sent him the script.  He had seen the original film years earlier and is a huge Charles Bronson fan so he immediately responded to the material.  "The screenplay really appealed to me.  I thought it was very smart.  I'm always looking to make a grown up action movie and this script definitely fit that bill."

            Once the role of Bishop was cast, it was essential to find the right actor to play Steve McKenna (played by Jan Michael Vincent in the original film).

            The actor would have to be convincing as an up-and-coming hired assassin. He would also need huge acting chops to play the character's traumatic emotional arc.  West knew just the right actor for the role. 

            "The idea of Ben Foster as Steve McKenna came to me right away," says West.  "He's a supreme actor.  He has levels to his acting that are ‘Brandoesque' just ready to erupt. "

            The casting of Statham and Foster worked both on screen and off.  As Bill Chartoff notes, "when the two actors are on-screen together you just can't take your eyes off them." 

            West attributes their chemistry to their commonalities despite their personal differences - "They have very different personalities but they do overlap in a lot of ways.  They both have the same passion for realism; character realism and visual realism. I could have cast people who were similar but I think it would have been bland. They come from very different backgrounds, different countries and upbringings, but they work well together as actors.  Because they are opposites of sorts, there are great sparks between them."

            Statham was impressed by Foster's talent and work ethic.  "He's just a riveting actor with great energy.  He does his homework and he's full of great ideas.  He also really pushed himself beyond the call of duty for the role.  Some of the stunts we were doing were very scary at the best of times, even for someone like myself who does stunts for a living."

            When asked about Statham, Foster comments on how gifted he is, not just athletically, but given his range as an actor.  "Jason is very funny.  We had a lot of laughs.  I was a fan of his before we met - his performances in The Bank Job, Lock Stock, and the Crank films.  He's an extremely gifted guy and does some fine, subtle work in this film."

            The two leads are complimented by a small but very strong supporting cast led by legendary actor Donald Sutherland in the role of Bishop's friend and mentor, and Steve's father, Harry McKenna.  Though the character is only on screen a short time, Harry is a very important character to the story.

            "Harry is in a sense a linchpin of the drama," states Bill Chartoff.  "His death is significant in the motivations of the characters and plot." 

            The filmmakers were thrilled when Sutherland signed on to play the part.  "Donald is just so skillful," says Chartoff.  "On set, we were really watching a master at work.  He was a joy to have around.  He really took the role of Harry McKenna in a very warm and fascinating direction."

            For Sutherland, The Mechanic was a chance to work once again with a few old colleagues, and with a director whose work he admired.

            "I worked with Irwin and Bob over 40 years ago (on 1968's The Split and 1974's S*P*Y*S) and I did The Italian Job with Jason.  The opportunity to work with them again, and to work with Simon, attracted me to the project."

            "Donald is so good and very committed to his craft," says Irwin Winkler. "He's been acting for so long but it's like he's a kid just out of school - he's still so enthusiastic about it."

            Every great action thriller has a gripping villain and The Mechanic is no exception.  Dean Sanderson, played by veteran actor Tony Goldwyn, runs the organization that Bishop and Harry McKenna have loyally served for many years.  When Bishop finds his boss has been deceptive in his dealings and learns of his motivation for having Harry eliminated, Sanderson becomes target #1 for Bishop and Steve.

            "Tony has the ability to be very charming, warm and intelligent," explains West, "but he also has this great ability to turn very dark allowing an audience to believe that deep down he can be very evil.  That's the combination we needed for the character.

            Up until the point when Bishop takes on the role of mentor to Steve, he lives a pretty solitary life - consumed by his work yet longing for a different path.  His only relationship outside of his friendship with Harry is with a girl named Sara.  Sara is a window of sorts into Bishop's character.

            "It is important to know that Bishop is not a robot; he's appealing to women and he's attracted to women," explains West.  "He wants female company but can't let anybody fully into his life emotionally.  He has a strange ‘fantasy relationship' with Sara who we (the audience) at first think is his girlfriend but is actually an escort.  Sara wouldn't mind being his girlfriend, but Bishop just can't let her in."

             The filmmakers quickly landed on supermodel-turned-budding actress Mini Anden for the role.

            "Mini is just the sweetest, most beautiful girl," describes West.  "She has just the right amount of vulnerability.  You'd never suspect she isn't with Bishop because she's his girlfriend, but it's also totally believable when you find out she's really an escort.  That's a tribute to Mini and how well she played the role.  She's a wonderful actress and has a great career ahead of her."

THE MECHANICS OF A STUNT

            As with any film that has a lot of action, there are considerable stunts in The Mechanic.  But unlike many action films, The Mechanic's stars made it a point to do most of their own stunts.  Stunt Coordinator Noon Orsatti (whose father and uncle worked in stunts on the original Mechanic) was impressed by Jason Statham and Ben Foster's commitment.

            "Jason brings a lot to the table," says Orsatti.  "It helps that he's a world class athlete (among his athletic accomplishments, Statham spent years on the British high diving team - his diving skills came in handy in the film's opening pool scene where Bishop carries out an aquatic hit and again, a few moments later, when Bishop jumps off a massive bridge into a body of water)."

            As well as doing the actual stunts, Jason took part in various stages of the stunts' development.   "His input was invaluable," continues Orsatti.  "He was a part of the process every step of the way.  He loves to get in there and get his hands dirty."

            The process of putting a stunt together is quite extensive.  For The Mechanic's stunt team it included walking the location, typing out an entire ‘story line' for the stunt sequence, shooting renditions of the stunt on a high def camera and continually revising the stunt per Jason and the filmmakers' input every step of the way.  By the time each stunt sequence was shot, the stunt crew and filmmakers knew exactly what they are getting into.

            But as prepared as the stunt team was going into the actual shoot days, they were always flexible for creating and re-creating elements on set. 

            Action Designer and 2nd Unit Director David Leitch recalls a change that was made on the day of shooting a ‘battle scene' between Dean Anderson and Bishop and Steve on the streets of New Orleans. "We had developed a bunjee rig for one of the stunts using a tire and chain to make it look like Bishop was protecting himself from being harmed in a particular maneuver but Jason said ‘No, I want it more raw.  Bishop wouldn't have had those things.' So we swapped the rig out.  It actually created a much more violent, more action-y, cool look."

            For Ben Foster, diving into the stunts was something he was both excited about and frightened of at the same time.  "Doing a film like The Mechanic is really a boy's dream.  We've all played with sticks as guns in backyards as kids.  This film gave me permission to do those kinds of things as a grownup - it's boys with guns doings bad things to bad people."

            One stunt in particular turned out to be of particular challenge for Foster - propelling down 30 stories of a high-rise, 350 feet in the air. 

"Hanging from a single wire and dropping isn't that difficult," Foster explains.  "It's the four minute climb up that makes you question why you didn't let the stunt man do it.  It was almost a relief to fall.  After the second take, I didn't want to stop. "

            It helped that Statham was there to give Foster advice.  "He told me to find a point on the horizon line and focus on it," recalls Foster.  "Unfortunately, the wire started to spin so I couldn't find the point.  Just saying ‘f*ck it' gives you a lot of freedom."  The action scenes ended up being Foster's favorite part of filming.

  

THE MECHANIC SETS UP SHOP IN NEW ORLEANS

            A film's location ultimately ends up playing a character in the film.  For The Mechanic, that character is New Orleans.  As Bill Chartoff describes, "the mood and atmosphere of a location bleeds as if through osmosis into the feeling of a movie."

            The decision to shoot The Mechanic in New Orleans was made primarily based on the fact that the city has an international feel and could stand in for multiple geographic locations (the film's various settings include Chicago, D.C., and South America).

            Location Manager Batou Chandler scouted the city and surrounding areas for just the right locations.  She had seen the original film and used its tone and energy as inspiration - though the filmmakers would ultimately take a more modern approach to the look of the new version. 

            The locations were incredibly diverse.  Key locations used in the film include the New Orleans World Trade Center which, though just a shell from Katrina, stood in for a high-rise hotel; a house/wellness center with a mid-century modern feel in the bayou which served as Bishop's home (they scouted this location by boat as Bishop would seemingly live in an isolated dwelling only accessed by waterways); the french quarter for Bishop's sultry lover's apartment; and a house in the city that looked like a dwelling out of Palm Springs for the setting of a hit on an opposing assassin. 

            Many of the locations were virtual facades due to Katrina damage.  The filmmakers built out the interiors of some (such as ‘the Palm Springs house') and built interiors on a stage for others (such as the ‘hotel's' penthouse apartment, where another hit takes place).    

            Production Designer Richard Lassalle has been working with West for some time now on various projects so when Simon asked him to head to New Orleans, he was delighted to hop on a plane.  All of the sets had to be laid out in careful detail but none reflected character as extensively as Bishop's house. 

            "I designed Bishop's house to be modestly sophisticated," notes Lassalle.  "Bishop is a craftsman and his home had to reflect that." 

            They shot at the house location (which was built in the ‘50s as a Catholic retreat) at the start of the film's schedule but Bishop's ‘war room' was built separate from the house.  The production shot this room's interior scenes at the end of the film's schedule due to the large amount of research props (a reflection of the extensive research Bishop conducts on each of his assignments) that had to be gathered.

**

A MECHANIC'S LEGACY          

            For West, The Mechanic was a chance to direct a film "that operates on many levels and can appeal to different sections of the audience."  The Mechanic promises to offer up just that.  According to West, "You can go along and enjoy the ride, but if you want to dig a little deeper there's plenty there for you."

            Irwin Winkler agrees and adds a personal lament on the experience, on behalf of himself and Robert Chartoff: "It's wonderful to have a legacy to have your children involved in the making of a film that you originally made.  Here, it relates in a strange way to the film itself where there are significant father/son, passing down parallels in the story."

            Perhaps Jason Statham best sums up the assignment of bringing The Mechanic back to the big screen - "The story has great universal themes of revenge and redemption but the main intention was to make an action movie, an action thriller, that we could all be proud of.  There are die-hard fans of the original who will obviously want to see the film but now there's a whole new generation of people out there who will be introduced to this great story."

**

 

 

ABOUT THE CAST

Jason Statham (Arthur Bishop)

            Jason Statham was born in Sydenham, England, and initially made his mark as one of the top divers on the British diving team, eventually placing 12th in the world.  While he trained at the famed Crystal Palace National Sports Center in London, film crews and photographers pursued him as new talent and he eventually met the executive producer of the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Statham then had a meeting with the director Guy Ritchie, who gave him his first role as one the stars of the film

            Statham went on to work with Ritchie again in Snatch, in which he starred opposite Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro. In 1992, Statham was cast by French filmmaker Luc Besson in the title of role of Frank Martin in The Transporter. Following, he starred as Handsome Rob in the 2003 summer blockbuster The Italian Job, directed by F. Gary Gray, and as the adrenaline-compromised action hero of Crank. Statham went on to reprise his role of Frank Martin in Transporter 2, and re-teamed with Jet Li in War.

            In 2008, Statham starred in Roger Donaldson's The Bank Job, the critically acclaimed, true story of the 1971 Baker Street bank robbery in London. Statham also starred in the remake of Death Race, before returning for the third installment of The Transporter franchise and the second Crank film, Crank 2: High Voltage.

            Most recently, Statham had a starring role with an ensemble of action stars in this past summer's hit The Expendables, also starring and directed by Sylvester Stallone.  He also recently wrapped the action/thriller The Killer Elite, starring alongside Robert De Niro.

 

Ben Foster (Steve McKenna)

            Ben Foster continues to establish himself as one of the most versatile actors of his generation.  His television work includes the cult hit "Freaks and Geeks" as the mentally handicapped student Eli and "Six Feet Under" as Russle, the bi-sexual art school boyfriend of Claire Fischer.

            In 2007, Foster had a starring role in Nick Cassavetes' Alpha Dog as a crystal meth-addicted skinhead.  In 2008, he impressed audiences and critics alike with his inspired portrayal of outlaw "Charlie Prince" in James Mangold's 3:10 to Yuma.

            In 2009, he starred opposite Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton in Oren Moverman's critically acclaimed The Messenger.  A moving portrayal of one soldier's journey to re-assimilate into the civilian world after his turn in Iraq.

            In addition to The Mechanic, Foster has another January premiere performance in the film Here, for director Braden King; it's the first feature length, English language American film to be shot entirely in Armenia, and it's in competition at January's 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

            Ben Foster is currently shooting a role in Rampart, reuniting him with the team of writer/director Oren Moverman and actor Woody Harrelson, which also marks his debut as a film producer.  This February, he will star opposite Mark Wahlberg in Universal's Contraband.

 

Donald Sutherland (Harry McKenna)

            Donald Sutherland is a legendary actor known for his memorable performances in a wide diversity of roles in such classics as M*A*S*H, The Dirty Dozen, Klute, Ordinary People, Kelly's Heroes, Fellini's Casanova, The Eye of The Needle, 1900, The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Animal House and a hundred and fifty more films.

            Most recently he's starred opposite Jamie Bell and Channing Tatum in Kevin Macdonald's film, The Eagle, adapted from Rosemary Sutcliff's beloved classic children's novel, The Eagle of the Ninth, about a Roman Centurion in second century Britain. He appeared with Colin Firth in Horrible Bosses this September, and has just completed filming with Christian Slater in Sofia playing a role he survives for once.

            Born in New Brunswick, Canada, Sutherland grew up in Nova Scotia and left, at the age of 17, having never seen the inside of a theatre, to study at University of Toronto determined to become an actor.

            His success at the University's Hart House Theatre propelled him to London, more training, and work in the fortnightly repertory in Perth Scotland for a year and in plays in theatres all over the British Isles.

            He was performing in ‘The Spoon River Anthology' at the Royal Court Theater in London when Warren Kiefer came back and asked him to come to Rome and shoot Il Castello di Vivi Morti. It gave him his first film role and the name of his son.

            As a Canadian with a North Atlantic accent Sutherland was given the opportunity to be one of the bottom six in the classic war film, The Dirty Dozen (1967). The film starred Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes, Telly Savalas and Jim Brown, and when Clint Walker told director Robert Aldrich during a read through that he didn't feel that it was right that he, as a star in Hollywood playing a native American, should play a silly scene impersonating a General in front of Robert Ryan, Aldrich looked down the table and said: ‘You with the big ears - you do it.'  The big ears bracketed Sutherland's head and his performance in that scene changed his life.

            Ingo Preminger saw it and offered him a film he was going to produce from a novel he'd bought. There was no director. No script. No other actors. Sutherland said ‘yes.' The novel was by Richard Hooker. The title of the novel was M*A*S*H.

            He shot it on the Fox ranch with Elliott Gould, Bobbie Duvall, Sally Kellerman and Tom Skerritt, all under the guidance of Robert Altman. He was shooting Kelly's Heroes in Yugoslavia with Clint Eastwood when M*A*S*H sneaked in San Francisco. His life changed again.

            The film is now considered a classic and one of the best films of the 70s.

            Sutherland followed this with another classic, Alan Pakula's, Klute, in which he starred with his great and good friend Jane Fonda, in a suspense film about a New York prostitute whose friend is mysteriously murdered. Sutherland played a small town police detective who comes to New York to solve the case. Both actors received critical acclaim for their roles and Fonda won the Oscar for Best Actress.

            He then did Don't Look Now with Julie Christie in Venice. Nic Roeg directed it and Sutherland had the name of his second son and a role in a film that is truly, in every respect, regarded as exquisite.

            Sutherland took a supporting role in the early ‘70s that would become one of his most infamous and most critically acclaimed. The role was that of the murderous fascist leader in the Bernardo Bertolucci critically acclaimed Italian epic, 1900 (1976).

            He stayed in Italy for another year to work with the maestro, Federico Fellini, who had chosen Sutherland to be his ‘Casanova'. They shot for 14 months and Fellini called the result his favorite film.

            In another supporting role at that time, Sutherland was the marijuana-smoking university professor in the seminal classic comedy Animal House (1976), the breakthrough film for director John Landis that Sutherland shot over one weekend in Oregon while he was filming Phil Kaufman's pitch perfect remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

            He was the father in Robert Redford's critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning drama, Ordinary People (1980), the Nazi spy in The Eye of the Needle, based on the bestselling novel by Ken Follett, and the teacher struggling with South Africa's apartheid in The Dry White Season, in which he starred opposite Marlon Brando.

            In Oliver Stone's controversial JFK (1991) Sutherland played the chilling role of Mister X, based on the very real Fletcher Prouty, an anonymous source who gave crucial information about the politics surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy.

            He also appeared as the father to Nicole Kidman's character in Cold Mountain (2003) and Charlize Theron's character in The Italian Job (2003). Sutherland also gave memorable performances in Land of the Blind (2006) and Reign Over Me (2007).

            He says now the roles he plays almost always have a death involved in them. His. His death. He looks at these roles as if he's cramming for his finals. Life goes on.

  

Tony Goldwyn (Dean Sanderson)

            Actor, director, producer Tony Goldwyn definitely likes to mix things up.  He is currently on Broadway starring in the musical revival of "Promises, Promises," while he just saw released his latest feature directorial effort, Conviction, starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell. Released by Fox Searchlight, Conviction is the true story of Betty Anne Waters, a single mother who embarked on an 18 year struggle to overturn her brother's wrongful life sentence for murder.  Like the story of the film, it took much persistence for Goldwyn to get the movie made.  Nine years after he first heard the account of Kenny Waters from a piece on "Dateline," the movie had its premiere at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival.  Conviction was awarded Best Film at the Boston Film Festival and was bestowed the Freedom of Expression Award by the National Board of Review.

            Goldwyn made an auspicious directorial debut with A Walk on the Moon starring Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen.  The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive universal praise from critics.  Another journey of perseverance, Goldwyn first read Pamela Gray's script five years earlier and shepherded it through multiple drafts until Dustin Hoffman came on board as a producer and got the project financed.  Coincidentally when Gray originally wrote the screenplay as her Master's Thesis at UCLA Film School, she won the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award - an honor established by Goldwyn's paternal grandfather, the legendary film producer. 

            Additional feature directorial credits include The Last Kiss based on Gabriele Muccino's L'Ultimo Bacio and the romantic comedy Someone Like You.  On the small screen, Goldwyn has helmed such prestigious shows as "Justified," "Damages," "Dexter," "The L Word," "Law & Order," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice" and "Without A Trace."

     As an actor, Goldwyn first caught audiences' attention with his portrayal of the villain in the box office smash Ghost. He went on to appear in numerous other films including The Pelican Brief with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, Kiss The Girls, Oliver Stone's Nixon, The Substance of Fire, The Last Samurai opposite Tom Cruise and the recent remake of Wes Craven's classic The Last House on the Left.  He was also heard as the title voice in Disney's animated feature Tarzan.

     His television acting credits include "The Good Wife," "Dexter," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Without A Trace," "The L Word," the HBO Mini-Series "From The Earth To The Moon," "Frasier," "Murphy Brown" and "Designing Women," where he touchingly portrayed the first AIDS victim on a prime time series.

     Goldwyn began his acting career on the stage, spending seven seasons at the Williamstown Theater Festival.  His New York theater credits include "The Water's Edge" at the 2nd Stage Theater, "The Dying Gaul" at the Vineyard Theater, "Holiday" at The Circle in the Square opposite Laura Linney, "Spike Heels" with Kevin Bacon at 2nd Stage, "The Sum of Us" at the Cherry Lane Theater, for which he earned an Obie Award and "Digby" at the Manhattan Theater Club.

           

Mini Anden (Sarah)

            Mini Anden was born in Stockholm, Sweden.  She is one of the world's top fashion models, having appeared on the covers of Vogue, Elle, Arena and Cosmopolitan all before establishing herself as a sought after actress in film and television.

            Anden's most recent film credits include G-Force, My Best Friend's Girl, Tropic Thunder, Prime, and Ocean's Twelve.

            On television she has recurred on "Chuck," "CSI: Miami," "My Boys" and "Dirt."  She was a series regular on "Fashion House" and has appeared in episodes of many other series, including "Nip/Tuck," "Entourage," "Rules of Engagement," "Ugly Betty," "Shark," "Monk," and "Knight Rider."

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

Simon West (Director)

            Simon West, a British-born filmmaker, started at the BBC in London as an editor. He then moved on to direct many award-winning commercials. His feature films include Con Air, The General's Daughter, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and When a Stranger Calls (2006 remake), all of which either made over $100 million dollars domestically or opened at number one at the box office, or both.

            West also served as executive producer on the critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated Black Hawk Down.

            In addition, West's television company has produced acclaimed series such as Fox's "Keen Eddie, the CBS series "Close to Home" and Fox's "Human Target."

 

Richard Wenk (Screenwriter)

            Richard Wenk is best known for writing the Bruce Willis action film 16 Blocks, which was directed by Richard Donner.  Wenk also wrote and directed the United Artists romantic comedy Just the Ticket starring Andy Garcia and Andie MacDowell.  His feature directorial debut was New World Pictures' Vamp which he also wrote.   

            In addition to his writing and directing credits, which also include television, Wenk was co-producer of Twentieth Century Fox's The Girl Next Door starring Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert.

            Wenk has also written, and contributed to, numerous other studio features throughout his career.  He currently resides in Los Angeles.

           

Lewis John Carlino (Screenwriter, Story By)

            Lewis John Carlino wrote the original 1972 genre classic, The Mechanic, which starred Charles Bronson.

Carlino is best known as both a screenwriter and director of the critically acclaimed ‘70s films The Great Santini, which starred Robert Duvall, and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, which starred Kris Kristoferson and Sarah Miles. Carlino also directed Class in 1983.

            Carlino's first film credit as a screenwriter was Seconds (1966), directed by John Frankenheimer, and which starred Rock Hudson. His other notable motion picture screenwriting credits are the controversial The Fox, directed by Mark Rydell, The Brotherhood, which starred Kirk Douglas, Crazy Joe, the critically acclaimed I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Resurrection and Haunted Summer.

            Carlino has also written for television, beginning with episodes of the series "CBS Repotoire Workshop" and "Route 66."  His made for television films include the critically acclaimed "Honor Thy Father," "In Search of America," "A Reflection of Fear" and "Where Have All the People Gone."

 

David Winkler (Producer)

            David Winkler in 2006 produced Rocky Balboa, which starred and was directed by Sylvester Stallone. Winkler also has directed two television films for The Lifetime Channel: "The Obsession," a thriller set in the world of ballet, and "A Daughter's Conviction," a mystery about a young woman clearing her mother of murder charges. In addition, Winkler directed an episode of the hour-long drama "Blood Ties" for Lifetime.

            Winkler also served as executive producer on the Sci-Fi Channel's 2007 mini-series, "Chariots of the Gods," based on the successful documentary and books by Erik von Daniken.

            Winkler began his film career writing screenplays for Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and RKO Films. His feature directing debut was Finding Graceland, which starred Harvey Keitel and Bridget Fonda.

            In 2005, Winkler directed Devour, a supernatural horror feature, starring Jensen Eackles and Shannon Sossamon for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

            He also directed the thirty minute film, Judgement, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Ileanna Douglas, and has directed episodes of the Showtime hour-long science fiction series "Odyssey 5," and the Columbia/Tri-Star/USA Network series "The Net."

 

Bill Chartoff (Producer)

            Bill Chartoff has worked in the film industry since he was 15 years old.

            Most recently, he produced the critically acclaimed box office hit, Rocky Balboa, which starred and was directed by Sylvester Stallone.

Chartoff  holds a BFA from New York University Film School and an MFA in film directing from the American Film Institute, in Hollywood, California. While at NYU and the AFI, Chartoff wrote and directed several award-winning films, including Morris, Duet, You Bet Your Life and the multiple award-winning Colored Balloons.

            Chartoff  has held a variety of different production positions on such major motion pictures  as Martin Scorcese's Raging Bull, Costa Gavras' Music Box, Sylvester Stallone's Rocky IV, Walter Hill's Extreme Prejudice, Irwin Winkler's Guilty By Suspicion and John Boorman's In My Country (aka Country of My Skull). He has also worked on the Academy Award-winning editing staffs of Raging Bull and Phil Kaufman's The Right Stuff.

            Chartoff's screenwriting efforts include The Day They Stole the Mona Lisa, for Mike Medavoy's Phoenix Films and Columbia/Tri-Star, Killing the Second Dog, for KTG Productions and Chasing the Dragon for the Shanghai Film Studio.

 

Rene Besson (Producer)

            Rene Besson has worked extensively with Millennium Films over the last several years.  Most recently, Besson produced Trespass, starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, directed by Joel Schumacher;  as well as serving as Executive Producer on Stone, starring Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. Prior to his association with Millennium, he produced the film Imaginary Heroes, starring Sigourney Weaver.

  

  

            He is currently in post-production on the upcoming Drive Angry, starring Nicolas Cage, and in pre-production on Medallion directed by Simon West, as well as Playing The Field starring Gerard Butler, to be directed by Gabriele Muccino.

 

Irwin Winkler (Executive Producer)

            Irwin Winkler, in a career as celebrated as it is accomplished, commands a distinguished  reputation in the motion picture industry as one of its most progressive and honored filmmakers. His films have received 12 Academy Awards from 45 nominations, including four Best Picture nominations - a record that stands alone in contemporary Hollywood. Winkler received the Academy Award for Best Picture for his 1976 Sylvester Stallone starrer Rocky. Winkler's other Best Picture nominations were for Raging Bull, The Right Stuff and Goodfellas, while They Shoot Horses, Don't They? amassed nine Oscar nominations. Winkler is the only producer to have three of his films listed on the American Film Institute's list of the "top 100 films" of all time.

            In December of 2006, the sixth installment of the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa, hit theatres.  Winkler served as executive producer on the project with his sons Charles and David producing the final chapter of the franchise. The film received enthusiastic reviews and grossed in excess of $100 million worldwide.  Winkler's latest film was the provocative drama Home of the Brave, which starred Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson,  Jessica Biel and Brian Presley. Winkler directed and produced this look into the lives of four soldiers struggling to readjust to normal life after returning home from a lengthy tour of duty in Iraq. The film was shot on location in Morocco and Spokane, Washington, and was released by MGM in the spring of 2007.

            Winkler also directed DE-LOVELY, a musical drama based on the life of legendary composer Cole Porter, which featured Golden Globe nominated performances by Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, and included featured musical performances by some of today's top Pop and rock music talents, including Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Elvis Costello, Robbie Williams, Natalie Cole and Diana Krall, all performing Porter's classic songs. DE-LOVELY was selected as the closing night gala event of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and garnered widespread critical praise.

            Winkler's other films include the critically acclaimed Life as a House,  which he directed and produced, and which starred Oscar winner Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Mary Steenburgen, Hayden Christensen and Jena Malone; The Shipping News, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by E. Annie Proulx, and starred Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, and was directed by Lasse Hallstrom; and the thriller Enough, which starred Jennifer Lopez, Billy Campbell, Juliette Lewis and Noah Wylie, and was directed by Michael Apted.

            Winkler made his directorial debut in 1989 with Guilty By Suspicion, a drama he also wrote about a blacklisted Hollywood director in McCarthy-era Hollywood. The film, which starred Robert DeNiro, Annette Bening, Patricia Wettig and Martin Scorsese, had a profound impact in the United States and abroad, and was the official United States entry that year at the Cannes Film Festival.

            Winkler's second feature as a director, Night and the City, based on Jules Dassin's 1950s noir film, reunited Winkler with stars Robert DeNiro  (for their seventh time together) and Jessica Lange (who was nominated for her role in Winkler's 1989 film Music Box). The critically acclaimed film was the closing night attraction at the prestigious New York Film Festival in 1992.

            Winkler produced and directed the romantic drama At First Sight (1999), which starred Val Kilmer and Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, and the suspense thriller The Net, which starred Sandra Bullock. The Net was presented at both the Deauville and San Sebastian film festivals.

            Winkler started his producing career in 1967 with the legendary director Norman Taurog at MGM with the Elvis Presley starrer Double Trouble. Winkler and producing partner Robert Chartoff followed up their debut with the Lee Marvin thriller, Point Blank, a film which is now considered a cult classic and the one that introduced filmmaker John Boorman to the American film community. They then went on to produce the multi-nominated They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (for which Gig Young earned the Oscar as Best Supporting Actor), Leo the Last and The Strawberry Statement. Each of these films was honored at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival: Leo the Last won the Best Director prize for John Boorman, Strawberry Statement received the Jury Award, and Horses garnered the closing night honors.

            Highlights of Winkler's films of the ‘70s and ‘80s include the Robert DeNiro and Liza Minnelli starrer, New York, New York; Best Picture nominee Raging Bull, consider by many to be the classic American film of the last twenty-five years or so and highlighted by DeNiro's Oscar-winning performance; and Goodfellas, which was named 1990's Best Film by the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the British Academy, as well as receiving numerous other honors, including Winkler's fourth Best Picture nomination.

            Other outstanding films produced by Winker include Up the Sandbox, which starred Barbara Streisand, The Gambler, which starred James Caan, Comes a Horseman, which starred James Caan and Jane Fonda, True Confessions, which starred Robert DeNiro and Robert Duvall, and Round Midnight, directed by Bertrand Tavernier, which was Winkler's homage to the jazz era, and which earned Herbie Hancock an Oscar for his outstanding score.

            Winkler had been the recipient of numerous American and international honors for his outstanding achievements.

 

Robert Chartoff (Executive Producer)

            Robert Chartoff has had a lengthy and exemplary career as a motion picture producer whose films have been nominated for and won multiple Academy Awards, including a Best Picture Oscar. He has produced over thirty feature films, including the Oscar-winning Rocky, directed by John G. Avildsen,  and which starred Sylvester Stallone, in his breakthrough role, and Talia Shire; Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV and Rocky V; Best Picture nominee Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese, and which starred Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarity and Joe Pesci; Best Picture nominee The Right Stuff, directed by Philip Kaufman, and which starred Sam Shepard, Scott Glen, Ed Harris and Dennis Quaid; New York, New York, directed by Martin Scorsese, which starred Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro; They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, directed by Sydney Pollack, which starred Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York and Gig Young in his Oscar-winning role; and Point Blank, directed by John Boorman, and which starred Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson and Keenan Wynn.

            Recently, Chartoff produced In My Country, which starred Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche, and was directed by John Boorman; as well as Rocky Balboa, which starred Sylvester Stallone. He also produced the recently released The Tempest, which starred Helen Mirren and was directed by Julie Taymor.

            In 1990, Chartoff founded and built the Jennifer School in Bodh Gaya, India, which now services the needs of hundreds of children. He is actively involved in the day-to-day administration of this constantly evolving educational center.

            Chartoff is a graduate of Union College and Columbia Law School

 

Avi Lerner (Executive Producer)

            With over 250 films to his credit, Avi Lerner, co-chairman of Nu Image/Millennium Films, is one of the most experienced producers and distributors of independent film in the international motion picture industry.

Born and raised in Israel, Lerner's career in the film business began as the manager of Israel's first drive-in cinema. He acquired a chain of movie theaters while simultaneously producing several low-budget features.  He anticipated the explosion of home video rental in 1979 and pioneered the largest specialized video distribution company in Israel and became a partner in the largest theatrical distribution company in Israel.

            In 1984, he was executive producer in Zimbabwe of the remake of King Solomon's Mines and the sequel Alan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold. He sold his Israeli company and relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he founded the Nu Metro Entertainment Group. He went on to own and operate theaters, a video distribution division representing top studios and independent companies, and a production arm that made over 60 features in Zimbabwe and South Africa which were distributed worldwide by major studios.

            Lerner's next professional moves were to sell Nu Metro and to join MGM United Artists while still producing movies. A year later he moved to Los Angeles where he founded Nu Image with Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short and Danny Lerner. A string of successful films followed until Nu Image developed and maintained an enviable reputation as a producer and distributor of high quality, low budget action pictures for the international and domestic markets.

            In 1996 Nu Image formed Millennium Films to address the market's growing need for quality theatrical films and higher budget action features, while Nu Image continues to cater to the lucrative international home video market. Between the two divisions, over 230 films have been produced since 1992.

            Under the Millennium films label, Lerner has produced numerous titles which include Lonely Heart, starring John Travolta; Black Dahlia, with Hillary Swank; 16 Blocks, starring Bruce Willis; 88 Minutes, starring Al Pacino; The Contract, with Morgan Freeman;  John Rambo, directed by and starring Sylvester Stallone; and Righteous Kill, starring Al  Pacino and Robert De Niro.

            Lerner and Nu Image/Millennium Films currently develop finance, produce and distribute approximately 15 - 18 pictures a year with budgets ranging from three to 60 million dollars, shooting in locations all over the world.

 

Danny Dimbort (Executive Producer)

            Danny Dimbort began his entertainment career with the Israeli distribution company Golan-Globus Films and became managing director within two years. In 1980, he moved to Los Angeles to join Cannon Films as head of foreign sales, and then returned to Israel to produce several feature films prior to joining Cannon/Pathe back in Los Angeles, where he was in charge of distribution. He was president of international distribution at MGM until 1991, when he formed Nu Image with Avi Lerner; as partner in charge of sales and marketing.

 

Trevor Short (Executive Producer)

            Trevor Short was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. He studied Law at the University of Zimbabwe and obtained an MBA degree at the University of Cape town, where he was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit. After obtaining his law degree, Short entered the world of banking and commerce. He headed the Corporate Finance Division at Investec Bank in Johannesburg before joining Nu Metro Entertainment as Managing Director. Following the acquisition of Nu Metro by a retailing giant, Short became Managing Director of Nu World Services, a film production company based in Johannesburg. In this capacity, Short produced films both in South Africa and outside the country.

 

Boaz Davidson (Executive Producer)

            Boaz Davidson is a prolific filmmaker who has produced some 75 motion pictures, written over 30 and directed over 40 films.  His many credits include directing such movies as Lemon Popsicle, Looking for Lola, Outside the Law, Solar Force, Salsa, Going Bananas, Dutch Treat and The Last American Virgin.  Born in Tel Aviv, Davidson began his association with Nu Image/Millennium Films in 1995, and he currently serves as the company's head of production and creative affairs.

 

Eric Schmidt (Director of Photography)

            Eric Schmidt most recently worked on the feature films Henry Poole Is Here, My Sassy Girl and I Melt With You, which is premiering at The Sundance Film Festival in 2011.  He was nominated for an American Society of Cinematographer's Award for his work on the first season of "Cold Case" for Bruckheimer Television and CBS.  He has filmed the pilots for "Close To Home," "Back" and "An American Town."  As 2nd Unit Director of Photography, he worked on Arlington Road, The Minus Man, Going All the Way and Crime and Punishment in Suburbia.  Schmidt also worked as camera operator on the video films Pearl Jam:  Single Video Theory and R.E.M. Road Movie.  He has worked as a cinematographer on music videos for Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Foo Fighters, The Flaming Lips and Beck.  He began his career in New York City, working as gaffer on Little Odessa, Tom and Huck and Search and Destroy and as electrician on the movies Household Saints, Bad Lieutenant, and Johnny Suede.

 

Richard Lassalle (Production Designer)

            Richard Lassalle, who was born in Paris, France and grew up in England, started his art and design education at a very early age through his father's interior design business. Lassalle was exposed to the interior design of many classical homes throughout England and Europe, and gained a thorough understanding of period furniture and art.

            Lassalle pursued his passion for design, studying at Medway's renowned Art School, and then went on to Coventry University where he earned a BA in Industrial Transport Design. Following graduation, Lassalle designed many home interiors for people such as Roger Daltry and Geoff Beck. While on a stint in France he met Miles Copeland and painted classical murals throughout Copeland's entire 11th Century Castle.

            Subsequently, Copeland invited Lassalle to Los Angeles, where he went on to decorate homes for Daryl Hannah, Lou Adler and Stewart Copeland, and his work was soon published in World of Interiors and Country Life Magazine. It was also in Los Angeles that Lassalle became interested in working in the film industry and his knowledge of interior design, furniture, art and technical design propelled him to begin designing on his own.

            It was Lassalle's work on Eminem's first video "My Name is Slim Shady" that made the Hollywood community take note. The video went on to become one of MTV's all-time top videos. And Lassalle continues to design ground-breaking music videos for the world's top musical artists, including Madonna, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Ozzy Osborne, U2, Dr Dre, Mary J/ Bilge and The Stones.

            Lassalle has also designed commercials for the world's top brands including Nike, Levi's Smirnoff, L'Oreal, Adidas and BMW. In 2008, Lassalle designed the famed VW "Pimp Mien Auto" campaign, and recently in London, Madonna's H&M apparel launch.

            For his first feature film, Lassalle worked on Spun, directed by Jonas Akerlund. Lassalle considered film the perfect medium to continue his skills in creating spaces whether fantastical or very real. For Spun he did extensive research, learning all aspects of the fearful drug Crystal Meth, going so far as to sport an orange Mohawk for the entire length of the project. The sets and environments in the film are a 100% accurate recreation of the real meth life.

            Lassalle's second feature, Bella, directed by Alejandro Moneverde is a story of a Mexican Immigrant family in New York City. So Lassalle spent several weeks in Mexico exploring the food and culture and is proud of the resulting detail down to the type of vegetables served on the dining room table. The film went on to win the "People's Choice Award" at the Toronto Film Festival.

 

Todd E. Miller (Editor)

            Todd E. Miller has edited blockbuster films for over 10 years. 

Miller began editing with Jerry Bruckheimer on Armageddon and has since worked on several films with Michael Bay, including Transformers.

            Specializing in fast paced thriller and action films, Miller has an exciting style that leaps off the screen.  He has worked on films such as Joy Ride, Exorcist: The Beginning, Pathology, and blockbuster movies such as xXx: State of the Union, The General's Daughter and the romantic comedy, Under the Tuscan Sun.  Along the way Miller has ventured into Television, editing a season of "E-Ring" with Jerry Bruckheimer as well as various commercials.

 

T. G. Herrington (Editor)

            T.G. Herrington has worked on the short film, Mr. Okra which he also directed, wrote and executive produced.  The film screened at last year's Sundance Film Festival  and won the Audience Award at last year's Austin Film Festival.  His other editing credits include Poolside Ecstasy and The Traveling Poet.

            For television, Herrington edited two episodes of the series "Keen Eddie."  He also edited "Housewives: Making of the Cast Album."

 

Christopher Lawrence (Costume Designer)

            Christopher Lawrence started his design career in the early ‘80s putting together looks for he and his dance partner on the iconic "American Bandstand."  Lawrence also worked at the trendy boutique "Camp Beverly Hills" where he began cultivating a clientele of actors, directors and, most importantly, costume designers.  

            His first jobs included the television classics, "Moonlighting" and "Pee-Wee's Playhouse."  Lawrence was also a part of the teams for Bugsy's Best Costume Academy Award, Beaches and City Slickers.

            In 1999, Michael Mann recognized Lawrence's talent and promoted him to Associate Costume Designer on The Insider (Al Pacino, Russel Crowe). Lawrence hasn't stopped designing films since.  The Anniversary Party (Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Kline), Bubble Boy (Jake Gyllenhall) and Showtime (Robert DeNiro, Eddie Murphy) followed. 

            Last year, Lawrence served as Costume Designer on the Jennifer Aniston film, Management and designed from sketch to fabric all of Miley Cyrus' Hannah Montana costumes for Hannah Montana-The Movie, from which dolls, Halloween costumes and sportswear were created for the tween market. This is his third collaboration with Jason Statham (Cellular, Crank).  Lawrence is also a long time collaborator with film director Simon West, most notably on the Capitol One "What's in your wallet?" Viking campaign (Costume Designers Guild Award-Best Commercial Costume Design).

 

Mark Isham (Composer)

            From his days as one of the pioneering icons of electronic music to his current status as a world-renowned legendary film composer, Mark Isham has earned many awards including a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Clio, in addition to multiple Grammy, Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his material both as a composer and a recording artist.   Most recently, Mark was honored by ASCAP with the Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

            Isham states, "I create emotion through music...whether it's high or low, anger or passion, exhilaration or death, denial or lust, motion or solitude.  And when I can take a person on this journey through film or recordings, there's nothing more addicting, or satisfying."

            Isham's musical signature is evident in his memorable scores for such notable films as Crash, awarded the Oscar for Best Picture in 2005, Eight Below, The Cooler, A River Runs Through It, Blade, Nell, Men of Honor, and The Secret Life of Bees.  His list of collaborators in film is a veritable who's who of the entertainment industry - Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Brian De Palma, Chick Corea, Jodi Foster, Robert Altman, Sting, Wil.I.Am, Sydney Lumet, Mick Jagger and too many more to name. 

            His solo recordings span from electronica and classic jazz to hip-hop and ethnic world music, receiving worldwide critical acclaim including Grammy nominations for his albums Castalia and Tibet, and a win for his Virgin Records release, Mark Isham.  He recently teamed up with ARIA winning Australian vocalist Kate Ceberano for the hit album Bittersweet, a timeless collection of jazz standards that spent consecutive weeks at the top of the charts.  Mark has added his unique sound - melodic, moody, sexy and cool - to a wide variety of genres, recording and performing with such diverse artists as Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Ziggy Marley, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Chris Isaak, and Van Morrison. 

            No matter the genre, medium, or venue, Mark Isham displays a boundless ability to electrify the listener with his talent for crafting evocative new musical worlds.

  

Noon Orsatti (Stunt Coordinator)

            Noon Orsatti follows in his father and uncle's footsteps as part of the legendary Orsatti stunt family.  With over 25 years experience working in film,  Noon Orsatti has over 100 film credits to his name including True Romance, Alien Resurrection, American History X, Ninja Assassin, and The Expendables. He also just wrapped production on Conan The Barbarian.

 

David Leitch (Action Designer and 2nd Unit Director)

            David Leitch is a Second Unit Director and co-founder of the action design company 87Eleven.  His unique approach to action design and second unit directing begins with a close collaboration with a director to create an overall vision for the action in the film. Working with a handpicked stunt team, David choreographs the action, films and edits a pre-visualization of the sequences, then refines it with the director and producers. 87Eleven trains the actors, helps them embody the character physically, mentally and emotionally, and works with other department heads to achieve cutting-edge work. Once cameras roll, they oversee the action in both primary and second unit filming. In post, David works with the director and editors to ensure the most thrilling action moments possible.  His credits include: the upcoming Sherlock Holmes 2, Ninja Assassin, Tron Legacy, The Expendables, Conan, V For Vendetta, Rambo, and Wolverine. Dave will co-direct his first feature in 2011.