Sweet November - Production Notes
Advertising executive Nelson Moss is a self-absorbed and emotionally isolated man focused on his future, running from his past, and oblivious to the present. "He grew up poor, an only child whose parents are dead," says Keanu Reeves. "My take on him is that his father sold door-to-door and wasn’t very good at it. Subconsciously, Nelson is trying to become the successful version of his father. But in manifesting that, he has shut off the part of himself that allows him to feel."
Until the day he meets Sara, a charming, fearless woman whose lust for life disrupts Nelson’s safe, single-minded drive. "She is in touch and in tune with what’s going on around her," says Charlize Theron, who garnered critical praise for her role in the Academy Award-nominated drama "The Cider House Rules." "Sara really knows what she wants out of life and how to live it to the fullest, and she has made it a priority to share that knowledge with other people. She’s not scared to get close and intimate with strangers."
Director Pat O’Connor, internationally-acclaimed for such films as "Circle of Friends" and "Inventing the Abbotts," explains, "We all go around with our little games and our camouflage, but Sara is smart and sees through the walls people build around themselves. And she has a hunch about Nelson."
Sara senses the vulnerable and wounded aspects of Nelson’s character. "There’s still a part of Nelson that is alive and Sara recognizes that," says Reeves. "She tells him that he’s miserable. And Nelson says, ‘No, I’m not miserable. I’m successful.’ But once he slows down, he realizes that he is miserable."
"The fact that Sara sees something in Nelson is what makes her such a fabulous character," remarks producer Erwin Stoff. "She has an irresistible heart, and she knows that anyone as driven and motivated as Nelson isn’t simply running toward something; he’s also running from something."
Challenged by Nelson’s outward impenetrability and broken inner spirit, Sara leads him on a journey of self-discovery during the month of November, after which they plan to go their separate ways. "Part of her process is that she doesn’t spell everything out for Nelson," says Theron. "She wants to open the door and eventually let him continue the journey himself."
Sara gradually peels away the layers that Nelson uses to guard himself against intimacy. "She takes Nelson’s clothes and his watch and cell phone and says ‘Slow down and just be present and look around, look at life,’" Reeves says. "Being nurtured by her spirit wakes him up to what is important."
Nelson is also affected by an important force in Sara’s life, her upstairs neighbor and trusted confidant Chaz, played by Jason Isaacs, who starred as the villain opposite Mel Gibson in the epic Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot." "Chaz and Nelson work in the same business, but the big difference between them is that for Chaz, business is just what he does for a living," Isaacs says. "Like Sara, he knows how to live life and he knows how to laugh."
At first, Nelson feels threatened by Chaz and his close relationship with Sara. "Nelson’s fears are slightly allayed when they meet for the first time at Sarah’s apartment," Isaacs explains. "Ultimately, Chaz and Nelson develop a bond. They both love Sara, and they both have her best interests at heart."
As their relationship progresses, Sara gives Nelson a gift he never expected. "She gives him insight and the ability to use that insight to see the world as it really is, rather than being driven on a very narrow path toward a kind of an ill-defined future based on material gain," O’Connor says. "She teaches him to communicate with other people. And he ends up learning about himself and therefore seeing life in a broader way."
But not everyone in Nelson’s life is pleased with the impact Sara is having on Nelson, especially his parasitical colleague Vince, played by Greg Germann, who stars on TV’s "Ally McBeal" as Ally’s eccentric boss Richard Fish. "Vince is the quintessential bottom-feeder, the kind of guy who rides someone else’s coattails to whatever success he can find," says Germann. "Once Nelson decides to detach himself from Vince, and from his previous style of business conduct, Vince realizes he’ll have very little chance to rise to the top without him. Vince sees his future written on the wall and it says ‘Bus Boy.’"
As driven as Nelson is by his demons, Sara is motivated by another set of very personal circumstances. "She has reasons for why she lives such an unconventional life," Theron reveals. "She’s built this little world for herself with her own rules and she doesn’t share them with anyone. Everyone who comes into her world just has to make peace with that and live by those rules."
Although it is not part of her agenda, Sara finds herself falling for Nelson. "He is part of a plan she has in order to live her life the way she wants," says O’Connor. "But Nelson becomes involved with Sara in a true way, and she involves herself with him in a way that she didn’t expect."
Nelson is equally caught off guard by his feelings for Sara. "The love that grows between them opens up a whole new world for him," Reeves says. "He can smell the flowers. With love and appreciation of this other person, he becomes more human."
And in turn, Nelson changes Sara. "Sara realizes that everything she teaches him is not necessarily what she’s done with her own life," says Theron.
Producer Deborah Aal notes that Nelson comes away from the experience with a more fulfilled life than he would have had without knowing Sara. "One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given is to make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes," says Aal. "At the end of the film I think everyone will leave with what Sara has given Nelson. I hope that people will see the world through Sara’s eyes, as Nelson does."
Producer Steve Reuther concurs. "I am attracted to the moments in this story in which the characters are forced to find their better selves," Reuther says. "Love stories demand that kind of insight and courage. This is one of those movies."
"When the story begins, Nelson is a great fixer," observes Isaacs. "He throws money at a problem or hires someone to fix it. But by the end of the film, he realizes there are some things in life you can’t throw money at, and you simply have to accept and make the best of your circumstances. That’s what the film is about; seizing the moment and making the absolute most of every minute you’re alive on this planet."
After seeing the film, "I hope the audience is overwhelmed by the beauty of life and its possibilities and its hardships," says Reeves. "Through our understanding of life’s hardships, we’re better to ourselves and better to those around us."
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Producer Deborah Aal first saw the original "Sweet November" in 1969, and was so deeply affected by its emotional impact that the story stayed with her. "Long before I ever thought of the possibility of making movies, it was one of the films I most wanted to see remade," says Aal. "I knew there was a way of contemporizing the story without losing what was so wonderful about the original. The story is very much about the enduring and abiding strength of the human heart."
Aal screened the film for her husband, producer Erwin Stoff, who shared her vision for a remake. "Besides the emotional impact, there seemed to be a very timeless element to the story," remarks Stoff, who was concurrently looking for a love story for his client Keanu Reeves, whom he manages. "In addition to the challenge of working in a different genre, what also appealed to Keanu was the idea of doing a movie that had absolutely not one blue screen, not one car chase, not one fight sequence," Stoff explains. "This role is simply about relating to another character."
"I like what happens to Sara and Nelson in the piece and the nature of choice it presents," says Reeves. "It’s a great part in a good piece and I was glad to be involved."
The producers felt that Reeves embodied all the traits needed to depict Nelson’s emotional metamorphosis. "One of Keanu’s great qualities is that he is both enigmatic and incredibly vulnerable," Aal says. "And the role of Nelson gives Keanu an opportunity to show a different side of himself onscreen than we have seen before." She adds, laughing, "He plays a great jerk."
"Keanu has a great gift for self-mockery and humor," notes director Pat O’Connor. "There’s a real true emotion in him. He never lies when he’s on the screen."
With Reeves on board, the filmmakers approached his talented costar from "The Devil’s Advocate," actress Charlize Theron. "The role of Sara requires enormous range, and Charlize has that Carole Lombard quality," Aal says. "I knew she would be able to give us the lightness and the weight necessary to make the sadness in Sara’s life believable, to capture the dichotomy in Sara’s personality. And she’s not afraid to show the non-glamorous side of herself."
When Theron read the script she immediately related to the timeless and unconventional elements of the material. "The way these two characters come together really celebrates a lot of old love stories, while still being completely original and new," remarks Theron. "At the same time, the story focuses on the things we take for granted. It makes you think twice about what you’re doing with the certain amount of time you have on this earth. Are you using it the way you should? Enjoying it the way you should? Are you making the most of it? This film will make you think about what life is really all about."
"They’re perfect casting," notes costar Jason Isaacs. "Like Nelson and Sara, Keanu and Charlize are two opposites who like and respect each other, but on paper you wouldn’t think their relationship could work because they’re about as different as two people can get."
"This film is a classic love story," adds producer Steve Reuther. "The casting of Keanu and Charlize brings to it a spirit of timeless romance that can melt your heart."
After Reeves and Theron were cast, the producers sought a director who could give the film a European sensibility to capture the combination of intimacy and the mundane that makes up real life. "Silences in Pat O’Connor’s movies speak volumes," says Stoff of the accomplished Irish director. "Often the words in his movies belie the emotions of the characters. He understands sentiment and feeling as opposed to sentimentality. He finds the beauty in truth."
O’Connor read the "Sweet November" screenplay and shared the Stoffs’ passion for the project. "I was interested in the complexities underlying the story," O’Connor explains. "It has humor and it’s very brazen. There is a very satirical edge to it, especially in the early stages of the film, but it’s a love story. And the love affair develops in unusual circumstances."
In keeping with the unconventional elements of the story, the filmmakers sought the unexpected during the casting process. "We tried to make unpredictable and real choices for the movie," Stoff says. "Greg Germann brings a terrific flavor to the film as Nelson’s colleague Vince, and we were very fortunate to get Jason Isaacs, who is a tremendously talented actor, to play Chaz."
"I slaughtered and laid waste to most of the Carolinas in ‘The Patriot,’" jokes Isaacs. "I’m used to doing scenes where there are a hundred dead people behind me and horses blowing up, so this film was an unusual change of pace. Pat O’Connor creates a wonderful atmosphere of freedom where you can contribute ideas and improvise. I’ve not worked with him before, yet I feel like I’ve worked with him a dozen times."
Greg Germann echoes Isaacs’ sentiments. "Pat is outstanding to work with," Germann says. "Like Keanu, he’s very open. On a daily basis, he encouraged us to improvise and to come up with stuff on our own. He makes it really fun to come to work."
O’Connor sought to balance the original aspects of the story with timeless elements from classic romance films. "I had the idea that this movie should be like a Tracy-Hepburn film," the director reveals. "It should have that kind of dynamic to it, that kind of delight in the challenge of the unexpected. I tried to make this film bounce along with a certain kind of gusto and panache and style."
Aside from being one of the most stylish, photogenic and beautiful cities in the world, San Francisco was chosen as the central location for "Sweet November" because it naturally lends itself to the lifestyles of Nelson and Sara. "The City seemed like a place that Sara would escape to and a place where Nelson would choose to remain," explains Stoff. "The world of advertising and business, a real concrete and glass corporate culture, is very much a presence there. Yet San Francisco continues to draw very interesting and unconventional characters to it. It allows for real authenticity and eccentricity."
Stylistically, the filmmakers avoided predictable tourist landmarks and glamour spots. "We didn’t put the actors into every beautiful location we could pick and overly glamorize the scenes," O’Connor explains. "We wanted to see the living City, the reality of everyday people’s lives in San Francisco, rather than what tourists are looking for. The character of the City informs you about Nelson and Sara and the lives they lead."
The Potrero Hill district, speckled with well-preserved Victorian houses, quaint boutiques, coffee houses and local taverns, serves as the visual centerpiece of the movie.
Throughout the course of the ten-week shoot, the company filmed numerous days and nights in the funky hilltop community and in some of the nearby parks.
"Potrero Hill has that special quality that Pat and I wanted for Sara," remarks production designer Naomi Shohan. "Since we spend so much time in her neighborhood, you see the rest of the movie in contrast to her world. The two points of balance are Nelson’s environment and Sara’s environment."
"You can actually physically see Nelson’s world in downtown San Francisco from Sara’s house on Potrero Hill," adds Stoff.
To contrast Sara’s colorful, Victorian neighborhood, Nelson’s home was staged in a high-tech, slick, monochromatic loft in an Art Deco building in downtown San Francisco. The site for his office was a real working advertising agency located in the Financial District.
Production began April 6, 2000, with the company based in offices at the historic Presidio. Dozens of locations were used throughout the City, including the Mission District, the Financial District, Delores Park, the Sunset District and Hunters Point. Stages were constructed in one of the colossal airplane hangars on Treasure Island to create the interior of Sara’s apartment.
"What we’ve tried to do is give people a sense of how essentially a fairy tale love story like this can unfold in a very real and tangible world," says Stoff. "We’ve tried to give the San Francisco of the year 2001 a feeling of real texture. We hope the audience believes that these two people are woven into the fabric of this City and this community and this time."
Adding to the texture of the film is the soundtrack, which features a score by composer Chris Young and the song "Only Time" from internationally acclaimed recording artist Enya. The "Sweet November" soundtrack also includes previously unreleased tracks from singer-songwriters Stevie Nicks and Paula Cole, as well as a remix of the song "The Consequences of Falling" from k.d. lang’s latest album "Invincible Summer."
ABOUT THE CAST
KEANU REEVES (Nelson Moss) starred in two of the most popular, genre-redefining blockbuster films of the 1990s, "The Matrix" and "Speed." Most recently, he appeared in the thriller "The Gift" with Cate Blanchett and starred in the Warner Bros. Pictures action comedy "The Replacements" opposite Gene Hackman.
Reeves began his career in the theater, appearing in the Shakespeare & Company production of "The Tempest" in Lenox, Massachusetts. Raised in Toronto, Reeves performed in various theater productions and on television before relocating to Los Angeles. His first widely acclaimed role was in Tim Hunt’s drama "River’s Edge." He then starred in Marisa Silver’s "Permanent Record," and worked opposite Amy Madigan and Fred Ward in "The Prince of Pennsylvania." Reeves landed another high-profile role when he was cast as the innocent Danceny in Stephen Frears’ highly praised "Dangerous Liaisons," alongside Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. He displayed his comedic skills in the hit "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure" and its sequel, "Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey." Reeves went on to join the ensemble casts of Ron Howard’s comedy "Parenthood" and Lawrence Kasdan’s "I Love You To Death."
Reeves has also appeared as Prince Siddartha in Bernardo Bertolucci’s "Little Buddha," and in "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," directed by Gus Van Sant. He also co-starred with Denzel Washington, Emma Thompson, Michael Keaton and Kenneth Branagh in Branagh’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Much Ado About Nothing." His other memorable film roles include "Bram Stoker’s Dracula," directed by Francis Ford Coppola; "My Own Private Idaho," directed by Gus Van Sant; and Kathryn Bigelow’s surfing action-adventure "Point Break."
Reeves made his screen debut as the romantic lead opposite Barbara Hershey in Jon Amiel’s "Tune in Tomorrow." His additional credits include the sci-fi thriller "Johnny Mnemonic"; Alfonso Arau’s period drama "A Walk in the Clouds"; Andrew Davis’ action film "Chain Reaction"; the dark comedy "Feeling Minnesota"; and Taylor Hackford’s hit legal thriller "The Devil’s Advocate" for Warner Bros. Pictures, in which he starred opposite Al Pacino and Charlize Theron.
CHARLIZE THERON (Sara Deever) starred with Tobey Maguire and Academy Award-winner Michael Caine in 1999’s Oscar-winning drama "The Cider House Rules," based on the acclaimed novel by John Irving.
Theron made her feature film debut in 1997’s "2 Days in the Valley," starring opposite James Spader, Eric Stoltz and Jeff Daniels. She followed this with her turn in Jonathan Lynn’s comedy "Trial and Error," with Michael Richards and Jeff Daniels. She then starred opposite Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves in the Warner Bros. Pictures thriller "The Devil’s Advocate."
A native of South Africa, Theron studied classical ballet for 12 years, and danced in productions of "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker Suite." She then spent some time modeling in Milan and Paris before moving to the United States to pursue an acting career.
In 1998, Theron joined the ensemble cast of Woody Allen’s "Celebrity," along with Winona Ryder and Leonardo DiCaprio. Additionally, she has starred in "Mighty Joe Young," opposite Bill Paxton; "The Astronaut’s Wife," with Johnny Depp; "The Yards," with Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, James Caan and Faye Dunaway; and John Frankenheimer’s "Reindeer Games," starring with Ben Affleck. Tom Hanks cast Theron in his music-driven directorial debut, "That Thing You Do."
Theron’s other recent roles include "Men of Honor," with Robert DeNiro and Cuba Gooding, Jr.; "The Legend of Bagger Vance," directed by Robert Redford, with Will Smith and Matt Damon, and "Wakin’ up in Reno."
JASON ISAACS (Chaz) wowed critics and filmgoers alike when he starred as the villainous Colonel Tavington opposite Mel Gibson in Roland Emmerich’s Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot." The performance garnered Isaacs a nomination for a London Film Critics’ Circle Award.
Next up for Isaacs are roles in Stephen Norrington’s ("Blade") latest film "The Last Minute" and a guest appearance in John Woo’s "Windtalkers" opposite Nicolas Cage.
Prior to completing last year’s run on the London stage in "Force of Change" at the Royal Court Theatre, Isaacs played a man of the cloth in Neil Jordan’s acclaimed period drama "The End of the Affair." He also played "the smartest man on the planet" in the blockbuster asteroid action film "Armageddon."
After graduating from the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama in London, Isaacs starred for two seasons in "Capitol City," a British television series based on the world of high finance. He then starred as identical twins – one good, one evil – in the miniseries "Taggert," in the controversial BBC miniseries "Civvies" from "Prime Suspect" producer Lynda LaPlante and in many successful British TV movies. He played his second priest – this time from Long Island – in the CBS miniseries "The Last Don II."
Born in Liverpool, England, Isaacs attended Bristol University, where he studied law and directed and/or starred in over twenty theater productions. He created the role of Louis in the critically acclaimed Royal National Theatre production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angels in America - Parts 1 & 2."
Isaacs’ additional credits include three films with director Paul Anderson: the sci-fi thriller "Event Horizon" with Lawrence Fishburne, "Soldier" with Kurt Russell and the cult British film "Shopping." He co-starred with Dennis Quaid and David Thewlis in "Dragonheart" and again with Thewlis in the Northern Irish black comedy "Divorcing Jack." He made his feature film debut in "The Tall Guy," starring Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson.
GREG GERMANN (Vince) Not only has Greg Germann proven himself as a talented actor with great depth and range, he is also an accomplished writer and director.
On the big screen, Germann will star opposite Chris Rock in the Chris & Paul Weitz remake of "Heaven Can Wait" titled "Down To Earth" which is being released on February 16th. Germann recently had a cameo in the independent film "Jesus’ Son" starring Billy Crudup.
Germann has established his acting versatility in television as well. He has endeared viewers worldwide with his portrayal of the shark-like Richard Fish on the hit series "Ally McBeal." He has appeared with Kevin Spacey in the American Playhouse presentation of "Darrow" and as a bigoted newspaper reporter opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Showtime’s "Conduct Unbecoming."
A native of Houston raised on Lookout Mountain outside of Golden, Colorado, Germann was exposed to the performing arts at an early age, particularly through his father, an award-winning children’s playwright and theater professor. As a Theater major at the University of Northern Colorado, a constant stream of plays led him to the gradual realization that acting would be his professional future. Buckling down at UNC, he graduated in two years and moved to New York.
Germann became a member of Circle Repertory Company and Ensemble Studio Theatre, accumulating credits in such off-Broadway and Broadway plays as Steven Sondheim’s musical "Assassins," "The Person I Once Was" opposite Holly Hunter and David Mamet’s "War Games," among others.
Germann has distinguished himself on the big screen portraying roles in various films. He has appeared in "Once Around" as Laura San Giacomo’s lovesick neighbor, "Clear and Present Danger" with Harrison Ford and he starred in the short film "Culture," which won the Short Competition at the Chicago Film Festival and earned a 1999 Academy Award nomination, to name a few.
In addition to acting, Germann also devotes himself to writing. His short film, "Pete’s Garden" for which he also served as director and star, premiered in competition at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and went on to air on The Sundance Channel in January 1999. Germann also recently penned "The Observatory," a play performed at New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre, which The New York Times described as "full of fireworks."
Eleven-year-old LIAM AIKEN Abner) recently appeared in his sixth film role, "I Dreamed of Africa," starring Kim Basinger.
Aiken co-starred in "Stepmom," as Julia Roberts’ stepson. In 1998, he acted in "The Object of my Affection," starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, as the latter’s pupil, and he played Parker Posey’s son in "Henry Fool." He also appeared in two films unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival, "I Remember" and "Montana."
Born in New York City, the fifth grade student is a seasoned pro with a major Broadway credit: Aiken played Bobby Helmer in the multi-award-winning Broadway production of Ibsen’s "A Doll’s House." He made his television debut in an episode of "Law & Order."
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
PAT O’CONNOR (Director) was born in Ireland and began his career as a producer and director of documentaries with Ireland’s Radio Telefis Eirann (RTE). His 1994 coming of age romance, "Circle of Friends," starring Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver, was the highest grossing independent film in the U.S. that year.
O’Connor made his feature directing debut in 1984 with the critically acclaimed "Cal," an uncompromising political thriller set against the backdrop of violence in Northern Ireland. The film earned star Helen Mirren a Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
His subsequent films include "A Month in the Country" (1987), starring Colin Firth, Natasha Richardson and Kenneth Branagh, which debuted at the New York Film Festival and won Best Film at the Brussels Film Festival; "Stars and Bars" (1988), starring Daniel Day Lewis, Martha Plimpton, Joan Cusack and Harry Dean Stanton; "The January Man" (1989), written by John Patrick Shanley and starring Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Susan Sarandon and Harvey Keitel; "Fools of Fortune" (1990), starring Julie Christie, which won best picture at the Barcelona Film Festival; "Inventing the Abbotts" (1996), starring Liv Tyler, Joaquin Phoenix and Billy Crudup, and most recently, "Dancing at Lughnasa" (1997), starring Meryl Streep, Brid Brennan and Michael Gambon, which was recognized as one of the year’s top 10 films by the National Board of Review and for which O’Connor earned the Best Director award from the Irish Film Board.
Additionally, O’Connor was honored with a BAFTA, the British equivalent of the Oscar, for his 1982 TV drama "The Ballroom of Romance."
DEBORAH AAL (Producer) left a career as a teacher to become a television executive. She landed her first industry job in the television development division at Rollins and Joffe. She went on to work in development for Henry Winkler’s Fair Dinkum Productions.
As Vice President of Leonard Goldberg’s production company, Aal supervised the production of "Paper Dolls" and developed for television the Emmy Award-winning telefim "Something About Amelia." Transitioning to NBC as the first in-house executive producer of television movies, Aal oversaw the development and production of the acclaimed AIDS drama, "An Early Frost."
Aal returned to Leonard Goldberg’s organization as president of the company, for which she produced such movies as "Alex, The Life of a Child," which earned an Emmy nomination for screenwriting. She then segued into half-hour comedies with the series "The Cavanaughs." At Grant Tinker’s company, GTG, Aal executive produced "Raising Miranda" for CBS. She also served as president of Norman Lear’s Act III Television and was an executive producer of "A Different World" for the Carsey-Werner Company.
Aal retired from television and taught screenwriting at the USC Graduate School of Film before returning to show business to develop and produce "Sweet November."
ERWIN STOFF (Producer) executive produced the global blockbuster "The Matrix" as well as the recent Warner Bros. Pictures action comedy "The Replacements."
A principal partner in the management firm 3 Arts Entertainment, Stoff served as executive producer of the hit comedy "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and the legal thriller "The Devil’s Advocate," starring Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron.
Stoff’s additional producing credits include "Picture Perfect," starring Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Bacon, and "National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon," as well as "Feeling Minnesota" and "Chain Reaction," both of which starred his client, Keanu Reeves.
As President of New Regency Films, STEVEN REUTHER (Producer) produced "The Client," "Sommersby," "Under Siege" and "Boys on the Side." He also produced "Pretty Woman," the top-grossing hit of 1990, which starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. He served as executive producer on "Made in America," "Mambo Kings," "The Power of One" and "Guilty by Suspicion."
Reuther began his career as an agent for William Morris before joining Galactic Films as vice president of production, overseeing the feature "9-1/2 Weeks." He then moved to RKO Pictures as vice president of production.
Next, Reuther executive produced numerous features for Vestron Films, including the box office smash "Dirty Dancing," "The Promised Land," "Love Hurts" and "Backtrack." In 1992, Reuther formed Douglas/Reuther Productions in partnership with Michael Douglas, with whom he produced the thriller "Face/Off," starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. He also produced "The Rainmaker," directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Matt Damon.
Most recently, Reuther executive produced the Warner Bros. Pictures drama "Proof of Life," starring Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe, and produced "Pay It Forward," starring Haley Joel Osment and Academy Award winning actors Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt.
Reuther is currently the producer of the forthcoming music-driven comedy "Rock Star," starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. He is also the producer of the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger thriller "Collateral Damage."
ELLIOTT KASTNER (Producer) produced more than 30 motion pictures, several of which won or were nominated for Oscars and Golden Globe Awards. A former talent agent, Kastner began producing films in the mid-1960s.
His filmography includes the original "Sweet November" (1968), "Harper" (1966), "Where Eagles Dare" (1969), "The Long Goodbye" (1973), "Rancho Deluxe" (1975), "The Missouri Breaks" (1976), "A Little Night Music" (1977), "Equus" (1977), "The Big Sleep" (1978), "Garbo Talks" (1984), "Angel Heart" (1987), "Heat" (1987), "The Blob" (1988), "Frank and Jesse" (1994) and "Love Is All There Is" (1996).
WENDY WANDERMAN (Executive Producer) serves as co-head of 3 Arts Entertainment, which produces the successful TV shows "Chris Rock" and "King of the Hill." Additionally, Wanderman co-produced the feature film "Demon Knight" and associate produced the family comedy "Richie Rich."
KURT VOELKER (Screenwriter) was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He attended Harvard University as an American History and Literature major before moving to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at the USC School of Cinema.
Voelker wrote and directed his graduate thesis film, "Decade of Love," a 35-minute short. Set in the 1970s, the "romantic-disco-comedy" won awards at various film festivals around the world.
In 1997, Voelker penned the autobiographical dramedy "Divorce Mommy Sandwich," which he expects to direct in the near future. He rewrote the romantic comedy "Two Princes" for Fox 2,000, and is presently rewriting "Miss Fortune" for Beacon Pictures.
"Sweet November" is Voelker’s first produced screenplay.
ED LACHMAN, A.S.C. (Director of Photography) collaborated with director Steven Soderbergh on the hit film "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts, and with Sofia Coppola on her acclaimed directorial debut, "The Virgin Suicides."
Lachman began his career working with three of the world’s greatest cinematographers: Sven Nykvist, Vittorio Storaro and Robby Müller. He went on to earn international recognition for his work as director of photography on films crafted by such European masters as Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Jean-Luc Godard and Bernardo Bertolucci.
Lachman has photographed three films for director Gregory Nava ("Selena," "Mi Familia" and "Why do Fools Fall in Love?"); two films each for Paul Schrader ("Light Sleeper," for which he received an IFP nomination for cinematography, and "Touch") and Susan Seidelman ("Desperately Seeking Susan" and "Making Mr. Right.")
Lachman’s additional film credits include Soderbergh’s "The Limey," "Mississippi Masala," "Less Than Zero," "My New Gun," "London Kills Me," "Backtrack," "The Lords of Flatbush" and David Byrne’s "True Stories," for which he also received an IFP nomination for cinematography.
A veteran of many acclaimed documentaries, Lachman shot George Nierenberg’s "Say Amen, Somebody," Jerome Gray’s "Strippers" and Shirley Clarke’s "Ornette: Made in America." For Wim Wenders, he lensed the moving tribute to Nicholas Ray, "Lightning Over Water," as well as "Tokyo-Ga."
Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Lachman graduated from Harvard and Ohio University.
The recipient of five Academy Award nominations, ANNE COATES, A.C.E. (Editor) earned an Oscar for her work on David Lean’s masterpiece "Lawrence of Arabia." Naturally, she served as the supervising editor for the 1989 restoration of "Lawrence of Arabia."
Coates earned Academy Award nominations for "Out of Sight," for which she also earned an A.C.E. nomination from the American Cinema Editors Guild, "In the Line of Fire," "The Elephant Man" and "Becket." In December, she won the Channel Four Women in Film Lifetime Acheivment Award.
Born in Reigate, Surrey, England, Coates first came to the U.S., where she now lives, to edit the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring "Raw Deal." Her numerous awards include a "Career Achievement Award" from the American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.), BAFTA’s "Career Tribute" and the "Crystal Award" as International Woman of the Year from Women in Film.
Coates’ additional film credits include "Passion of Mind"; "Out to Sea"; "Striptease"; "Pontiac Moon"; "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes"; "The Horse’s Mouth"; "Tunes of Glory"; "The Eagle Has Landed"; "Congo"; "Chaplin"; "What About Bob?"; "I Love You To Death"; and shared editing credit on "Ragtime" and "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines." Coates also served as the producer/editor on "The Medusa Touch," with Richard Burton, Lino Ventura and Lee Remick, directed by Jack Gold.
Amongst Coates’ proudest achievements is being the mother of filmmakers Anthony and James Hickox, and editor Emma Hickox. Coates will next begin work on Adrian Lyne’s "Unfaithful," produced by Arnold Koppelson and starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane.
NAOMI SHOHAN (Production Designer) designed the Academy Award-winning Best Picture "American Beauty," starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.
Shohan also served as the production designer on the suspense thriller "Teaching Mrs. Tingle," starring Helen Mirren and Katie Holmes, which marked the directorial debut of Kevin Williamson; the action thriller "The Replacement Killers," starring Mira Sorvino; "Playing God," featuring David Duchovny; "Feeling Minnesota," starring Keanu Reeves; "White Man’s Burden," starring John Travolta; and "Zebrahead."
SHAY CUNLIFFE (Costume Designer) was born in Manchester, England and is the daughter of noted historian Marcus Cunliffe and sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe, who designed the BAFTA Award.
Her films include "The Story of Us," starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis; "Limbo"; "A Civil Action," starring John Travolta; "City of Angels," starring Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage; "Trial and Error"; "Multiplicity," starring Michael Keaton; "Lone Star"; "Dolores Claiborne," starring Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh; "Greedy"; "Bound by Honor"; "The Man Without a Face," directed by and starring Mel Gibson, and "Of Mice and Men."
Cunliffe’s television movies include the 1999 version of "Annie," (for which she won the Costume Designers Guild Award for TV in 1999), "Indictment: The McMartin Trial" and the series "Fallen Angels."
G. MARQ ROSWELL (Music Supervisor) has contributed to the musical landscape in a variety of films, adding songs from Country to Hip-Hop, and Pop to R&B. He has supervised such artists as Limp Bizkit and Eminem for the "End of Days" sountrack; The Roots, K-Ci & JoJo and Meshell Ndegeocello for "The Hurricane."
A graduate of UCLA Film School, Roswell has supervised hit singles like Chris Isaacs’ "Wicked Game" for "Wild at Heart"; the number one country song "Dreaming With My Eyes Open" from "That Thing Called Love"; and "Gonna Love You Right" from "Sugar Hill." Some of Roswell’s additional best-selling albums include the triple platinum soundtrack from "The Commitments," the gold-certified "Varsity Blues" soundtrack and the "End of Days" soundtrack.
CHRISTOPHER YOUNG (Composer) has scored an impressive number of films in a wide range of genres. His film credits include "Wonder Boys"; "Species"; "Murder in the First"; "Copycat"; "Set It Off"; and the true-life drama "The Hurricane."
Born in Red Bank, New Jersey, Young graduated from the Massachusetts Hampshire College and studied with film composer David Raskin ("Laura") while attending U.C.L.A. In addition to his busy film composing schedule, Young teaches film scoring at U.S.C., and serves on the board of The Film Music Society.