The Lake House - Production Notes
Feeling that it’s time for a change in her life, Dr. Kate Forster (SANDRA BULLOCK) leaves the suburban Illinois locale where she completed her residency and takes a job at a busy Chicago hospital. One thing she is reluctant to leave behind is the uniquely beautiful house she’s been renting – a spacious and artfully designed refuge with large windows that overlook a placid lake. It’s a place in which she felt her true self.
It is a winter morning in 2006.
On her way to the city, Kate leaves a note in the mailbox for house’s next tenant, asking him to forward her mail and noting that the inexplicable painted paw prints he might notice by the front door were there when she moved in.
But when the next tenant arrives, he sees a much different picture. Alex Wyler (KEANU REEVES), a talented but frustrated architect working at a nearby construction site, finds the lake house badly neglected: dusty, dirty and overgrown with weeds. And no sign of paw prints anywhere.
The house has special meaning for Alex. In a happier time it was built by his estranged father (CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER), a renowned architect who allowed his professional acclaim to grow at the expense of his family life. Alex feels a sense of peace here now and commits to restoring the property to its original beauty. He disregards Kate’s note until, days later, while painting the weather-beaten jetty he sees a stray dog run across the fresh paint and then towards the entrance of the house, leaving paw prints exactly where she said they’d be.
Baffled, Alex writes back, saying that the house had no occupant before him and wondering how she could have known about the dog; while Kate, who just left it a week ago, imagines he is playing some kind of joke on her and fires back a reply.
Just for argument’s sake, what day is it there?
April 14, 2004.
No, she says. It’s April 14, 2006.
The same day, two years apart.
Can this be happening?
As Kate and Alex continue to correspond through the lake house’s mailbox they confirm that they are, incredibly, impossibly, living two years apart, and each at a time in their lives when they are struggling with past disappointments and trying to make a new start. Sharing this unusual bond, they reveal more of themselves to one another with each passing week – their secrets, their doubts and dreams, until they find themselves falling in love.
Determined to bridge the distance between them at last and unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary connection, they tempt fate by arranging to meet. But, by trying to join their two separate worlds, they could risk losing each other forever.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Vertigo Entertainment production of an Alejandro Agresti film: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock in The Lake House, starring Dylan Walsh, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Christopher Plummer. Directed by Alejandro Agresti from a screenplay by David Auburn, The Lake House is produced by Doug Davison and Roy Lee, based on the motion picture “Il Mare” produced by Sidus. Executive producers are Mary McLaglen, Erwin Stoff, Dana Goldberg and Bruce Berman. The director of photography is Alar Kivilo, A.S.C., C.S.C.; and the production designer, Nathan Crowley. Edited by Lynzee Klingman, A.C.E., and Alejandro Brodersohn. Co-producer, Sonny Mallhi. Music by Rachel Portman. This film is rated PG by the MPAA for “some language and a disturbing image.” Soundtrack album on Lakeshore Records.
The Lake House will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.
A Love Story That Reaches Across Time
“The Lake House is an epic love story,” says Sandra Bullock, who stars as Kate Forster, an independent and rationally-minded doctor who finds herself drawn deeply into an elusive romance that seems to defy all rules of reason and exist in a realm all its own. “It’s about possibilities and impossibilities and the decisions we make on our way to finding the right person. It invites you to believe in the impossible and the power of certain connections to challenge any obstacle because you want so much for these two people to find a way.”
It was precisely the film’s unique structure and storyline that attracted Bullock, who refers to it as the allure of “something you know you haven’t seen before.”
Keanu Reeves, who shares the screen with Bullock for the first time since their memorably combustible pairing in Speed, plays Alex to her Kate, and was similarly taken by the story’s unusual premise. “The way they come together is so original and heartfelt,” he says, noting how The Lake House’s timeless idealism meshes completely with its contemporary setting and characters. “I’m not the hero here and she’s not the damsel in distress. It’s not about two people seeking someone or something to make themselves whole; it’s about two people who discover that together they can create something new.”
That they find each other at all is in itself a mystery beyond anything they could have imagined. Who could explain how she could place a letter into a mailbox in 2006 and he could pick it up on the same day two years earlier?
They are two people with separate lives talking to each other across an unfathomable twoyear divide and yet, in every other way they couldn’t be more perfectly in sync.
“The letters start with mundane subjects but it doesn’t take long to get to the underlying question of ‘who are you,’ and that becomes the theme. Who are you? From there, Alex finds someone with whom he can share all kinds of questions and reveal his innermost self, and she responds in kind,” says Reeves.
Both he and Bullock feel certain that E-mail or some other medium would not have served the story as well as letters do, with Reeves citing that, “The very act of letter-writing requires that you take the time to collect your thoughts. It allows you to be your best self, your most intimate and thoughtful. You have to wait for the other person to receive the letter and then respond so there’s a sense of longing and waiting that concentrates your intention.”
Through letters, says Bullock, Kate and Alex avoid “the superficial song and dance that always happens when people first meet and are trying to present their best side. Without that, they’re able to be themselves, completely and honestly, bad jokes and bad moods included – silly, angry, wistful, earnest. Because of the unusual nature of the connection there’s no embarrassment and no fear of sharing all of yourself because there’s a part of you still saying, ‘Well, this doesn’t really exist,’ or ‘Even if it does, I’ll never meet this person so what’s to worry about?’ What makes them fall in love so deeply is the utter fearlessness they have in revealing their vulnerabilities up front.”
Moreover, there’s the feeling of holding in your hands something that someone else has touched, especially when there is so little of the physical realm they are allowed to share.
As the correspondence between Kate and Alex flourishes, it brings not only romance and spontaneous laughter into their lives but gives them strength and inspiration for issues they’ve both been separately working on and, says Reeves, “I don’t know if they’re consciously preparing themselves for love but they’re changing course in their lives and becoming open to whatever is next.”
Kate has just begun a new job. She’s traded her country retreat for Chicago, a city whose innate beauty she has yet to recognize, and a small, sterile apartment that quickly closes in on her. Unwilling to compromise on love, she recently ended a relationship with a man who simply wasn’t “the one,” though she sometimes can’t help wondering if there really is a “one” and how long she is expected to wait for him.
Meanwhile Alex, a gifted architect, has been squandering his talent on a standard condo development rather than remain at the prestigious design studio run by his famous architect father Simon Wyler, played by internationally acclaimed screen icon Christopher Plummer.
“He’s trying to go beyond things that his father has predetermined for him, in life and in his profession,” offers The Lake House director Alejandro Agresti. Estranged since the elder Wyler’s increasing fame and arrogance drove away Alex’s beloved mother and damaged the family, father and son still find it difficult to occupy the same room. Alex has struck out on his own to see if he can make something of himself away from his father’s formidable shadow, even if it means putting his own design dreams on hold.
“They’re in a period of transition,” offers Reeves. “Kate in 2006 and Alex in 2004 are both in the same place in their lives where they’re waiting for something to happen but they haven’t yet figured out what that is.”
“They couldn’t have known until they started talking,” says Bullock, “that what they’ve been waiting for is each other.”
The Lake House is based on the original 2000 South Korean film Il Mare, which explores the intriguing concept of a communication across time. An audience favorite at the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea, it caught the attention and imagination of producing partners Doug Davison and Roy Lee, founders of Vertigo Entertainment, who subsequently sought to bring its message to a wider audience.
Says Davison, “It was a love story unlike anything we had ever seen before, unique and complex. Its theme about the power of love and how it can change a person’s life is what really affected us when we first saw it. In the three and a half years it took to see this project through to fruition I’ve never stopped being passionate about it.”
Adds Lee, “it was easy to imagine the whole movie remade with an American cast and set in the United States because the story is absolutely universal and there is nothing in it that makes it uniquely Korean or ties it to any specific culture.”
Davison and Lee selected David Auburn to write the new screenplay, based largely upon the emotional power of his stage play Proof, which won the Pulitzer Prize as well as a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award in its Broadway run and was subsequently adapted for the screen in 2005. Says Davison, “David’s writing is captivating and he was a wonderful fit for this non-linear, unusual love story. He delivered an amazing script.”
Likewise, they found in renowned Argentinean director Alejandro Agresti, “The ability to capture an emotional element that is missing from so many films in general.” Davison and Lee were particularly impressed by Valentin, a poignant and nostalgic coming-of-age tale about a young boy’s dreams of becoming an astronaut, which Agresti wrote and directed, and which received a plethora of international recognition including The Silver Condor from the Argentinean Film Critics Association for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Calf Award for Best Director at the Nederlands Film Festival.
Although centered upon an ongoing dialogue between two lovers separated by time, in Agresti’s hands The Lake House is significantly visual in its storytelling, allowing viewers, as Bullock explains, “the freedom to interpret and project your own feelings onto the story as it unfolds, more easily than you might if we were constantly telling you what to feel.”
“I like the way we see the stories unfold, how we learn about these two people,” says Agresti. “Also, I like how the story plays with time and how these two fall in love while existing in two different times and not being able to meet. At first they think it’s a game, leaving these letters for each other. But what seems illogical comes to have its own logic.”
“It captures that instinctive feeling you sometimes get of pieces falling into place,” says Bullock about one of the story’s recurring themes. “Someone or something might come into your life and just at that moment something seemingly unrelated that happened years ago just clicks and you see how one is connected to the other. Maybe one thing has to happen in order to bring something else about, but we don’t often see the whole picture.”
Ultimately, she suggests, “It’s not a matter of fate, but of choice. It’s a choice they make to believe in something worth waiting for, even though everything about it seems impossible.”
Life Imitates Art
In a style mirroring that of their characters, Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves play opposite each other in turns for The Lake House. Working within the unique structure of the piece, the two actors generate heat for their developing love story mostly with parallel rather than shared screen time and bring their correspondence alive as a thriving, intimate dialogue.
It doesn’t hurt that Bullock and Reeves enjoy a genuine camaraderie off-screen and have been friends since meeting 12 years ago on the set of the 1994 international blockbuster Speed, a film that marked Bullock’s first leading role and earned the pair a bouquet of MTV Movie Awards and nominations including Best On-Screen Duo and Best Kiss.
“I find her inspiring,” says Reeves, in reference not only to Bullock’s career, which has branched into producer and executive producer duties, but to her diverse life interests, including restoring houses. "We haven’t worked together since, but we’ve stayed in touch and really enjoy each other’s company. It was great to work with her again. She gives Kate a mix of vulnerability and strength, and that feeling of being present yet somehow very distant also, which is one of the intriguing aspects of the story. There’s so much she has to convey silently. Plus, she still has her light touch and sense of humor.”
“Keanu was my first film partner. Prior to that I had been in supporting roles but in Speed I was really part of a team. I have a great affection for him,” Bullock responds. “We’ve never lost track of each other. The minute we started rehearsals for The Lake House it was like coming home. It’s an understanding and trust you cannot explain,” she says, before jokingly adding, “You can tell because we argue all the time!”
With The Lake House, Bullock recalls, “We were working together, although mostly in passing. It was very much like the story itself, where you imagine that if Kate had turned here instead of there she might have seen Alex, or if she had not taken a particular path she would have been walking towards him rather than away,” she says, noting how this tantalizing element of near misses helps build the romantic suspense. “They’re kept apart for so long and things are so difficult for them it’s heartbreaking. You really long to see these two people get together almost as much as they do.”
Director Agresti’s attention to the myriad visual elements at play reinforces the links and reference points between the two lovers. As Bullock explains, “Every shot was set up a certain way for a reason and everything in the shot, be it furniture or art or a detail just in camera range, can connect directly to something else or be symbolic, so that Kate and Alex are always in touch, whether or not they’re aware of it. Even if they aren’t in the same room, an action on Kate’s part will affect Alex’s world and vice versa.”
On impulse one day as winter approaches, Kate leaves a warm red scarf in the lake house mailbox for Alex and he begins wearing it, adding another element to their communication. Later, in a touching sequence that takes place after the two have accepted not only the limits but the incredible possibilities of their situation, Alex brings much-needed beauty into Kate’s life by planting a sapling, in 2004, by the site where her future apartment building will stand – knowing that, by 2006, it will have grown into a tree she can enjoy.
“Cinematically, by juxtaposing Alex’s scenes with Kate’s, you see them essentially sharing the same space,” says Reeves. But he believes that, more than anything else, it’s the growing “intensity and intimacy of their dialogue” that draws audiences into the feeling that these two people who clearly belong together are, actually, together.
Still, the frustration of being so deeply connected yet two years out of step becomes increasingly difficult to bear and Kate begins to wonder if this extraordinary romance is just a futile fantasy.
At this crucial juncture, her former fiancé Morgan re-enters her life. Convinced that it was his unwillingness to follow Kate to Chicago for her new job that precipitated their break-up months ago, Morgan still loves her and is anxious for another chance. It’s not the first time he has tried to rekindle the flame, but it’s the first time Kate has been willing to meet him even halfway.
Dylan Walsh, currently enjoying a successful run as Dr. Sean McNamara in the Golden Globe Award-winning FX Network series Nip/Tuck, lends Morgan a deft touch as the man Kate once cared for and might possibly choose again. “Truth is,” Walsh says, “there’s really nothing wrong with Morgan, except that, in contrast to Alex, he’s fully earth-bound. He’s real. He may not have his rival’s soulful depth but he clearly loves Kate and he has a great advantage in tha the’s right there with her.”
Bullock concurs, conceding that the Morgan character “is really a great guy, the kind of guy your friends would be happy to see you with. He’s open and loving and he adores Kate. Truth is, she can’t deny he’s everything a woman should want.” Though, in the end, she says, “You have to realize that someone can be a perfect person, yet not be the perfect person for you.”
Meanwhile at work, Kate attends patients with her usual care but there’s a subtle change in her that catches the kind attention of her friend and colleague Dr. Anna Klyczynski, played by Iranian-born Shohreh Aghdashloo, a 2004 Oscar nominee for her performance in the acclaimed drama House of Sand and Fog.
“Anna realizes there’s something troubling Kate ,” says Aghdashloo. Sensing her dilemma though not aware of what the problem is, Anna draws upon her own life lessons to encourage Kate to do what’s best for her. “Anna has seen something of life herself, and gained some wisdom. When she sees this young woman possibly on the verge of making the same kinds of mistakes that she once made herself, she wants to warn her, as any true friend would; to hopefully direct Kate toward the right path.”
Choosing to give up something tangible for a seemingly impossible romantic dream, “is a huge risk,” Reeves acknowledges. “But so often that’s exactly what you have to do in order to grow, or change, or move toward what you really want.”
The Lake House
One of the things Kate and Alex share is their love for the lake house.
When Kate relocates to Chicago, she remembers the lake house as the place where she felt most like her true self. For Alex, the house has an even deeper meaning. It was built by his father in a happier time, before he became well-known and when they all lived together by the lake as a family. By restoring the long-neglected property to its original beauty, Alex seeks to reclaim a measure of the peace he once felt there. Says Reeves, “He’s trying to make this house a home again.”
No ordinary house, it’s an uncommonly beautiful refuge of light and glass suspended over the water, protected yet completely and organically in touch with the lake and the surrounding land. “It’s such an unusual design, undeniably beautiful but not the kind of design everyone would fall in love with. Only a certain kind of person could live in this house. It’s for very specific tastes,” says Bullock, believing this in itself is indicative of how much these two people are alike.
“For both Kate and Alex to feel so comfortable within these glass walls shows how much they have in common and is symbolic, really, of the greater understanding they offer each other.”
An admitted “architecture nut,” she finds the effect reminiscent of, “Paris Metro stations from the turn-of-the-century, clean and minimalist with lots of glass and steel. It’s a design that might sound cold but is actually quite warm when you see it,” she says, citing how sunlight is captured and reflected in the building’s many planes. “Like the Taj Mahal, it was a home built by a man who adored his wife and family and expressed his love through that structure.”
After weeks of scanning lakefront locations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana and virtually every mile of the vast Lake Michigan shoreline for something that embodied all the necessary elements, The Lake House production team rose to the challenge and built the iconic house themselves. Location manager James McAllister (Road to Perdition, Batman Begins) returned to Cook County, Illinois, where he had worked a decade previously on Evil Has a Face at a Forest Preserve location along the tranquil, 55-acre man-made Maple Lake. It proved to be the perfect setting: naturally serene and romantic, with the surrounding texture and terrain Agresti had in mind.
“The house was our most important set, the one key piece around which the story revolves, so it made sense for us to create exactly what we wanted,” says production designer Nathan Crowley, a 2005 BAFTA and Art Directors Guild Award nominee for Batman Begins and the third generation of men in his family to hold a degree in architecture.
“We wanted a mixture of modern and classical, something that Alex’s father might have designed. In some ways its roots lie in the kind of 1960s glass box style, but we also drew from the Regency Period, a style popular in England in the early to mid-1800s, to add romance and elegance to the overall look, and even integrated some elements of greenhouses.”
Considering how Kate and Alex, at this stage in their lives, spend so much time in solitude and introspection, Bullock finds it particularly interesting that the predominantly glass structure offers them “no place to hide. These are two people who are, in many ways, hiding from the world, and yet the house they both love is absolutely exposed,” as if the mere fact of their being there brings out their genuine nature. “It also puts them immediately in touch with the lake, the trees, the soil, everything around them. It’s almost like living outside.”
From a practical standpoint, the building’s transparency meant, “We didn’t have the opportunity to shoot an exterior separate from the interior, as you would traditionally do,” explains Crowley. “We had to shoot them together, which meant engineering and building it like a real house rather than a set.”
Collaborating with veteran Chicago construction coordinator Troy Osman, Crowley’s team had a mere seven weeks to create the house, which measured more than 2,000 square feet and sat atop steel beams ten feet above the waterline. The massive project used 35 tons of steel and employed a near-100 member crew of carpenters, welders and painters. “It wasn’t very big but the logistics were a real challenge, especially in the limited time we had to do it,” Crowley says. “We even had a heating system installed to keep our actors warm.”
Because the area’s geology would have necessitated pile-driving supports 30 feet deep into the lake bed, Crowley opted instead to “put them on concrete pads, but that meant going underwater.” Ultimately, a dam was built to hold the water back while workers excavated 20 feet down to plant steel foundations. “We ended up building it next to the lake,” he confesses. “With the great help of the Forest Preserve, we then brought the lake to the house. We essentially created a new inlet. Once the site was excavated and concrete bases set, we removed the dam and flooded the underside of the house.”
Bullock’s only regret was that the house was not fully functional and available for her to move in. “I loved it,” she admits. “I was so disappointed that I couldn’t keep it, move it, and at least use it as a guest house somewhere.”
In fact, the production team worked within strict guidelines from the EPA and numerous agencies including The Audubon Society and the Friends of the Forest Preserve, not to mention Cook County building and zoning regulations in the construction of their lake house – and in its ultimate dismantling. When filming wrapped, nothing was left behind.
Chicago Provides an Authentic, Architecturally Rich Backdrop
In addition to the Maple Lake site, production encompassed approximately 40 separate locations in and around Chicago, a city selected not only for its geographic features that fit the story so perfectly but for its equally appropriate and renowned architectural heritage.
Many world-famous architects played a role in rebuilding the metropolis following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871; among them Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan and Mies van der Rohe. As Crowley attests, “It’s truly one of the great architectural cities in the world. Anyone who was anyone in the field built something there, and it gives downtown Chicago a look unlike anywhere else.”
Among the practical locations used in The Lake House are such recognizable landmarks as Roosevelt University, designed in the late 1880s by Louis Sullivan, which lent Crowley its vast library reading room to turn into Alex’s father’s design studio; the Artist’s Café in the downtown Fine Arts Building, built in 1885 and one of the last surviving structures of architect Solon Beman; and the historic Old Colony Building, designed by Holabird & Roche in 1894 and bearing the distinction of being, says location manager McAllister, “one of the first true skyscrapers in the country”; as well as Wyler’s Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago Medical Complex in Hyde Park; and the Wrigleyville neighborhood adjacent to Wrigley Field.
Production also filmed at Daley Plaza, with its famous Picasso sculpture towering over one of the film’s most dramatic moments; as well as the city’s newly designed Millennium Park, home of the world-renowned steel sculpture “Cloud Gate,” by British artist Anich Kapoor, and the popular restaurant The Park Grill, which doubled here for the upscale restaurant Il Mare, where Kate and Alex hope to have their first meeting.
Moving outside the city, The Lake House production spent more than a week in the treelined suburb of Riverside, where a picturesque Metra Rail station stands in for an Amtrak stop where Alex gets his first fleeting glance at the woman he’s been writing to.
ABOUT THE CAST
KEANU REEVES (Alex Wyler) has enjoyed success across a wide array of film genres ranging from comedies (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Something’s Gotta Give) to dramas (My Own Private Idaho, The Devil’s Advocate) to sci-fi and fantasy (The Matrix trilogy, Bram Stoker’s Dracula). In just two decades, Reeves, admired as one of the industry’s most dedicated and craft-conscious talents, has collaborated with such acclaimed directors as Francis Coppola, Gus Van Sant, Taylor Hackford, Sam Raimi, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ron Howard and Lawrence Kasdan.
Most recently, Reeves rocked the silver screen with the supernatural thriller Constantine. He can also be seen this summer in the feature adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Novel, A Scanner Darkly, directed by Richard Linklater and starring opposite Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder.
Reeves first paired with Sandra Bullock in Jan de Bont's action tour de force Speed. In addition to playing the hero in the Wachowski Brothers’ revered trilogy The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, his long list of credits includes Hardball, The Gift, Sweet November, The Replacements, A Walk in the Clouds, The Devil's Advocate (opposite Al Pacino and Charlize Theron), Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha, Much Ado About Nothing (with Denzel Washington, Emma Thompson and Michael Keaton), Bram Stoker's Dracula, My Own Private Idaho, Kathryn Bigelow’s high-octane thriller Point Break, and the award-winning romantic comedy Something’s Gotta Give (with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton).
Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and raised in Toronto, where he landed his first movie role, the hockey drama Youngblood. He also performed in various local theatre productions and on television before relocating to Los Angeles, where one of his first roles was in Tim Hunter's critically acclaimed drama, River's Edge.
In 1988, he was cast in Stephen Frears' Oscar-nominated Dangerous Liaisons alongside Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. He then went on to star in the hugely popular comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, which spawned an equally successful sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. That same year, he was part of the ensemble cast in Ron Howard's comedy Parenthood and Lawrence Kasdan's I Love You to Death. Reeves’ additional credits include the sci-fi thriller Johnny Mnemonic, Andrew Davis' action film Chain Reaction (with Constantine costar Rachel Weisz), Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (his first project for director Gus Van Sant), Permanent Record, The Prince of Pennsylvania, and the dark comedy Feeling Minnesota which costarred Cameron Diaz.
SANDRA BULLOCK (Dr. Kate Forster), one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading ladies, most recently co-starred in Paul Haggis’ Oscar-winning drama Crash, for which the actress shared the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble.
Prior to her role in Haggis’ acclaimed film, Bullock was last seen in the hit sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, her sixth project on which the actress did double duty as producer and star, reprising her role of the tenacious, bumbling FBI agent, Gracie Hart. She can next be seen as Harper Lee in Infamous, which chronicles Truman Capote’s exploits with convicted murderers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, the subjects of his 1965 bestseller In Cold Blood. Additionally, Bullock recently wrapped production on the thriller Premonition.
Bullock’s other recent credits include starring roles in the smash hit comedy Miss Congeniality (which she also produced), and the psychological thriller Murder By Numbers (which she executive produced). Additionally, she shared the screen with an ensemble cast including Ellen Burstyn, James Garner and Ashley Judd in Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood for first time director and Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri.
Following acclaimed roles in several motion pictures, Bullock’s breakthrough came in the 1994 runaway hit, Speed, her first project with Keanu Reeves. Her next two features, the Golden Globe-nominated While You Were Sleeping and The Net were both critical and popular successes. Her subsequent starring roles include the recent box office smash Forces of Nature and Hope Floats, which marked her feature film producing debut; Practical Magic, which she also coproduced for her production company, Fortis Films; plus Gun Shy, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Two Weeks Notice (opposite Hugh Grant), A Time to Kill, In Love and War, Two If by Sea, The Vanishing, Demolition Man, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, The Thing Called Love, and the voice of Miriam in the animated film The Prince of Egypt.
Bullock made her debut as a writer / director with the short film Making Sandwiches which debuted at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. She has also ventured into the television arena by executive producing The George Lopez Show, currently in its fifth season on ABC.
The Virginia native has received numerous awards and nominations for her work, including two Blockbuster Entertainment Awards and two MTV Movie Awards for her role in Speed; a Golden Globe nomination, an American Comedy Award nomination, two People’s Choice Awards and two Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for her role in While You Were Sleeping; a People’s Choice Award and Blockbuster Entertainment Award for her role in A Time to Kill; and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the blockbuster hit Miss Congeniality. In 1996, Bullock was voted NATO / ShoWest “Female Star of the Year.” In 2005, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2006, received her third People’s Choice Award as “Favorite Female Movie Star.”
DYLAN WALSH (Morgan) currently stars as Dr. Sean McNamara in the popular series about the fabulously scandalous life of plastic surgeons in Nip/Tuck. Just prior to that, Walsh had a recurring role on the family series Everwood.
Walsh made his motion picture debut in John Boorman's Where the Heart Is, and counts among his big screen credits Clint Eastwood's thriller Blood Work; opposite Mel Gibson in Randall Wallace’s epic Vietnam war drama We Were Soldiers; alongside the Oscar-nominee Paul Newman in Robert Benton’s poignant character drama Nobody’s Fool; Frank Marshall’s jungle adventure Congo, based on Michael Crichton’s bestseller by the same title; and the film adaptation of David Mamet’s stage play, Edmond.
He has also starred in such films as Jet Boy, Deadly Little Secrets for director Fiona MacKenzie, Power Play, directed by Joseph Zito, the independent films Par 6 and Chapter Zero, the HBO film Final Voyage, and had a featured role in Alan Alda’s 1990 comedy Betsy’s Wedding.
On the small screen, Walsh starred in the one-hour drama L.A. Sheriff, the recent WB telefilm The Lone Ranger, had a multi-episode guest arc on the series Presidio Med, played the love interest in the Andie MacDowell pilot Jo for director Mike Newell, and was part of the ensemble cast of Steven Bochco's episodic cop drama, Brooklyn South. Earlier in his career, he had a recurring role on the popular sitcom Kate & Allie, and co-starred opposite James Earl Jones in the series Gabriel’s Fire.
Born in Los Angeles, Walsh spent the first ten years of his life in Africa, India and Indonesia, where his parents were commissioned for the Foreign Service. After his 10th birthday, he and his family settled in Annandale, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., where he made his professional acting debut (appearing with prestigious theatre companies at the Arena Stage and the Studio Theatre) while still in high school. He studied English literature at the University of Virginia while continuing his acting career during his summers, when he performed with the Heritage Repertory Company in such classics as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Curse of the Starving Class, Romeo and Juliet, Our Town and Death of a Salesman.
SHOHREH AGHDASHLOO (Dr. Anna Klyczynski) earned critical acclaim with an Academy Award nomination and Best Supporting Actress honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics, the New York Film Critics and the Online Film Critics associations as well as the Independent Spirit Award, for her role as the supportive and sympathetic wife of a proud Iranian immigrant (played by Ben Kingsley) in House of Sand and Fog.
Aghdashloo, a noted film and theatre actress in her native Iran, began her career on the stage with the Drama Workshop of Tehran at the age of nineteen. She debuted on the motion picture screen a few years later in the 1977 feature Gozaresh (“The Report”) for renowned director Abbass Kiarostami, which won the Critics Award at the Moscow Film Festival.
She followed this triumph with a role in Shatranje Bad (“Chess with the Wind”), also a film festival favorite. While her initial projects were banned in her home country, she scored a huge success with Sooteh-Delan (“Broken Hearts”), directed by the late Iranian filmmaker Ali Hatami, which established her as one of Iran’s leading actresses.
Just as her movie career began to crest, the Shah of Iran’s regime crumbled, forcing the Tehran-born talent to flee her home country during the 1978 Islamic Revolution. Aghdashloo settled in England, where she completed her education in International Relations at the International University Europe in Waterford while putting her acting career on hold. She resumed her career onstage in 1984 in a Farsi-language play that was also staged in several U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, where the actress married longtime acquaintance, Iranian playwright Houshang Touzie. She has since performed in several of his works while forming Drama Workshop ‘79, a theatre company created in memory of the Revolution and dedicated to producing plays in her native language.
In addition to her stage work, Aghdashloo has appeared in several independent films, including Guests of Hotel Astoria, Twenty Bucks, Surviving Paradise, Maryam, America So Beautiful, Possessed and Pulse (the latter two are part of socially passionate filmmaker Shirin Neshat’s trilogy). She co-starred in last fall’s box office hit, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and will next be seen in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Aghdashloo was also critically acclaimed for her role in season four of the Emmy-winning series 24, playing Dina Araz, a Muslim wife and mother involved in terrorist activities in Los Angeles.
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER (Simon Wyler), who has recently completed his Tony-nominated performance as King Lear in Sir Jonathan Miller’s much lauded production at Lincoln Center, has enjoyed 50 years as one of the English speaking theatre’s most distinguished actors and as a veteran of international renown in over 100 motion pictures.
It was in his hometown of Montreal that Plummer began his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English. After Eva Le Gallienne gave him his New York debut (1954) he went on to star in many celebrated, prize-winning productions on Broadway and London’s West End including Elia Kazan’s production of Archibald MacLeish’s Pulitzer winning play J.B., and the title role in Anthony Burgess’ musical Cyrano for which Plummer won his first Tony. Apart from King Lear, his most recent Broadway success was as Barrymore, for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award, The Edwin Booth Award, the Boston Critic’s Award, Chicago’s Jefferson Award, and Los Angeles’ Ovation Award as best actor 1997 -1998. He was also a leading member of Britain’s National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier, the Royal Shakespeare Company under Sir Peter Hall, and in its formative years, Canada’s Stratford Festival under Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Langham. He has played most of the great roles in the classic repertoire.
Plummer’s eclectic career on screen began when Sidney Lumet gave him his movie debut in Stage Struck. Since then he has appeared in a host of notable films which include the Academy Award winning The Sound of Music, The Man Who Would Be King, The Battle of Britain, Waterloo, The Silent Partner, Dragnet, Daisy Clover, Star Trek IV, Malcolm X, Dolores Claibourne, Wolf, Twelve Monkeys, Murder by Decree, Somewhere in Time, Douglas McGrath’s Nicholas Nickleby, and a host of others.
Plummer’s recent successes include Michael Mann’s Oscar-nominated The Insider, playing television journalist Mike Wallace, for which he won the Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas National Critics’ Awards; as well as Ron Howard’s Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind, and Etom Egoyan’s Ararat. Plummer’s latest films include Oliver Stone’s Alexander, National Treasure, Terrence Malick’s The New World, Inside Man, and the award-winning political thriller Syriana.
He is currently in production on Lord Richard Attenborough’s Closing the Ring.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
ALEJANDRO AGRESTI (Director) is best known in the U.S. for the poignant feature Valentin, the story of a young boy who dreams of becoming an astronaut while attempting to better the bewildering world around him. This internationally acclaimed feature earned Agresti the Silver Condor (Cóndor de Plata) by the Argentinean Film Critics Association for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, Best Film and Special Jury Award at the Mar del Plata Film Festival, the Golden Calf for Best Director at the Nederlands Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the Newport International Film Festival.
Agresti’s many other cinematic triumphs include El Viento se llevó lo qué (“Wind with the Gone”), Un mundo menos peor (“A Less Bad Word”), El acto en cuestion (“The Act in Question”) and Buenos Aires Vice Versa.
El Viento se llevó lo qué tells the story of a Buenos Aires cab driver who goes to an isolated village where the only contact with the outside world is through movies. The film garnered the Golden Seashell at the San Sebastián Film Festival, a Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival, two awards at the Havana Film Festival and a Golden Tulip at the Istanbul International Film Festival.
Agresti has also received several awards for his look at the urban makeup of his birthplace in Buenos Aires Vice Versa, including Best Screenplay and Best Editing from the Argentinean Film Critics Association, the Special Jury Prize at the Havana Film Festival, and three awards from Argentina’s Mar del Plata International Film Festival. His most recent release, Un mundo menos peor (“A Less Bad Word”) premiered at the 2004 Venice Film Festival and was awarded the “Award of the City of Rome” Best Film prize.
Born in 1961, Agresti made his directorial debut while still a teenager with 1978’s El Zoológico y el cementerio, a short film he shot on weekends while working as a TV director in Buenos Aires. Longing to broaden his horizons, he immigrated to the Netherlands, where he exhibited El Hombre que ganó la razón at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam in 1986.
After establishing himself in the Netherlands, he continued his burgeoning career with such projects as Love is a Fat Woman which won the Special Jury Prize at the 1988 Nederlands Film Festival and the Best New Director award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, and Boda Secreta (“Secret Wedding”) which won the Golden Calf for Best Film award at the Nederlands Film Festival, among other international awards.
Other popular Agresti films include La Cruz (“The Cross”), the story about a film critic whose job loss precipitates a family crisis; the popular comedy A Night With Sabrina Love, the tale of a teenager who unexpectedly wins an evening with a famous porn star in a television contest; City Life, Luba, Figaro Stories, Everybody Wants to Help Ernest, A Lonely Race, Modern Crimes, and El Acto en cuestión (“The Act in Question”), which won more than a dozen international film awards.
DAVID AUBURN (Screenplay) won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for his second full-length play, Proof, which ended its successful Broadway run at the Walter Kerr Theater in January, 2003. After 918 performances and 16 previews, it was the longest running Broadway play in nearly two decades.
Proof opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club on May 23, 2000 and premiered on Broadway on October 24, 2000. Proof also captured Best Play honors from the Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League organizations; the John Gassner Playwriting Award, the Joseph Kesserling Prize, and the Hull-Warriner Award from the Dramatist's Guild. In 2005, Oscar-winners Gwyneth Paltrow and Sir Anthony Hopkins starred in the screen adaptation of the play.
Auburn was born in Chicago in 1969 and raised in Ohio and Arkansas. He attended the University of Chicago and the Julliard School playwriting program, studying under noted playwrights Marsha Norman (‘night, Mother) and Christopher Durang (Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You).
His first full-length play, Skyscraper, was produced off-Broadway at the Greenwich House in 1997. His short play, What Do You Believe About the Future? appeared in Harper's Magazine. Other plays include Fifth Planet (premiered at the New York Stage and Film Festival) and Miss You (HBO Comedy Arts Festival). His most recent work is The Journals of Mihail Sebastian, produced off-Broadway in 2004.
A former Guggenheim fellow, Auburn serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America.
DOUG DAVISON (Producer) astonished Hollywood with the wildly successful haunted house thriller The Grudge, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was based on the 2000 Japanese thriller Ju-On, directed by Takashi Shimizu. The box office hit currently holds the record for the biggest horror opening weekend of all time following its October 2004 release. Davison is currently in production on The Grudge 2 in Japan, starring Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar, and directed by Takashi Shimizu.
Davison produced The Grudge with Roy Lee, his partner in Vertigo Entertainment, a motion picture development and production company the pair founded in 200 and based at Universal. Their first production, DreamWorks’ The Ring (adapted from Hideo Nakata’s popular 1998 Japanese fright film) opened a year later to resounding success worldwide, tallying a quarter billion dollars at the global box office. Hideo Nakata directed the sequel, The Ring Two (adapted from his Japanese sequel, “Ringu 2”), which won the U.S. box office sweepstakes in its opening weekend in March 2005. That year, Davison produced another Japanese horror adaptation, Dark Water (based on Koji Suzuki’s novel), directed by Walter Salles and starring Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly in a thriller depicting a haunted apartment building.
Currently, Vertigo is in post-production on The Departed (a police thriller starring Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio under the direction of Martin Scorsese) and The Visiting (a remake of the 1956 sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, under the direction of Oliver Hirschbiegel). Davison is also supervising development on a number of projects, including Addicted (a psychological thriller to star Sarah Michelle Gellar), The Strangers, Coach (a family comedy to star Diane Keaton), Old Boy, and Hideo Nakata's remake of the paranormal thriller The Entity.
Davison, a Washington, D.C. native, attended Hamilton College in upstate New York. After graduating with a degree in English literature, he relocated to New York City, where he pursued work in the film industry, first as a set production assistant on Die Hard: With A Vengeance, then as a script reader at New Line Cinema. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, Davison landed at Mad Chance Productions where, under the tutelage of Andrew Lazar, he worked as the company’s director of development before becoming President of Production, co-producing Death to Smoochy, written by Adam Resnick, directed by Danny DeVito, and starring Robin Williams and Edward Norton. While at Mad Chance, Davison also developed such projects as Space Cowboys, Cats & Dogs and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
ROY LEE (Producer) earned his first motion picture producing credit as Executive Producer on Gore Verbinski’s 2002 blockbuster The Ring, whose sequel, The Ring Two (also executive produced by Lee), earned over $35 million during its opening weekend in March 2005 and clinched the number one spot at the box office. He also produced the 2004 haunted house horror The Grudge, based on the 2000 Japanese film Ju-On, directed by Takashi Shimizu. The Grudge currently holds the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time for a horror film upon its October 2004 release. Lee is currently in production on The Grudge 2 in Japan, starring Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar, and directed by Takashi Shimizu.
A Korean-American born in Brooklyn and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, Lee earned a Bachelors degree from George Washington University and a law degree from American University. After a brief stint as a corporate attorney, he relocated from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles in 1996 to pursue a career in the film industry. He landed his first job with the production company Alphaville, where he worked on films such as The Mummy, The Jackal and Michael. With his experience tracking scripts at Alphaville, he later co-founded a website called ScriptShark.com, which allowed aspiring writers the opportunity to have their screenplays evaluated by industry professionals. This success led to an assignment with a talent management company where he tracked short films for distribution on personal computers.
As an independent producer and development executive, Lee (dubbed “The Remake Man” in a 2003 New Yorker profile) began importing films in 2001 from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia to be remade in the United States, selling the rights to American movie studios on behalf of their Asian distributors.
Together with partner Doug Davison, Lee founded Vertigo Entertainment in 2001, where the producing pair is in various stages of production and development on a multitude of projects including The Departed (a police thriller starring Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio under the direction of Martin Scorsese), The Visiting (a remake of the 1956 sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, under the direction of Oliver Hirschbiegel), The Strangers, Coach (a family comedy to star Diane Keaton), Old Boy, and Hideo Nakata's remake of the paranormal thriller The Entity.
MARY McLAGLEN (Executive Producer) reunites with star Sandra Bullock after having worked with the actress in the same capacity on five previous projects: Two Weeks Notice, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Practical Magic, Hope Floats and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous.
McLaglen, a third generation veteran of the movie business, is the granddaughter of Oscar-winning character actor Victor McLaglen (The Informer, The Quiet Man) and the daughter of director Andrew McLaglen (McLintock!, Shenandoah, The Rare Breed). Her brother Josh McLaglen (Titanic, What Lies Beneath, Constantine) is among the industry’s highly-esteemed assistant directors.
She began her career as a production assistant on her father's sets, moved up the ladder to the rank of production coordinator (Nomads, Runaway Train, Back to School) and unit production manager (Jack's Back, The Prince of Pennsylvania, My Cousin Vinnie) before producing her first film, Cold Feet, in 1988.
Since then, McLaglen has served as executive producer on Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Mimi Leder’s Pay It Forward and Barry Levinson’s comedy Envy, and as a co-producer on One Fine Day, Sgt. Bilko, Moonlight and Valentino, The Client and Sommersby.
In addition to her on-set experience, McLaglen is the co-author (along with Maureen Gosling, Judith L. Cohen and Paula Weinstein) of the 2003 children’s book You Can Be a Woman Movie Maker.
ERWIN STOFF (Executive Producer) brings years of experience to the project as one of Hollywood’s mos t distinguished producer / managers. In addition to being one of the industry’s highly successful producers (The Matrix, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Constantine), Stoff also operates as one of the entertainment business’ premier personal managers, representing clients such as Keanu Reeves (with whom he has collaborated on eleven projects), Ethan Hawke, Cuba Gooding and Debra Messing, among others. Stoff is a founding principal partner in 3 Arts Entertainment. In addition to his daily management duties, he has produced or executive produced such features as The Devil’s Advocate, Sweet November, Hardball, Feeling Minnesota, Biker Boyz, Picture Perfect and The Replacements.
His previous project with Keanu Reeves (first working with him on Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) was Constantine, and releasing this summer is Richard Linklater’s futuristic thriller A Scanner Darkly, also starring Reeves. Another of Stoff’s triumphs was Guess Who, a contemporary comedy based on Stanley Kramer’s 1967 Oscar-winning hit, starring Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, which earned $21 million during its opening weekend and top box office honors for its three-day gross. For television, Stoff executive produced Linklater’s HBO pilot, $5.15/Hr.
Stoff began his career as a stage director for the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts and the Old Globe in San Diego. In 1978, he relocated to Los Angeles to produce the award-winning stage production of The Tenth Man, starring Richard Dreyfuss. In 1991, Stoff co-founded 3 Arts Entertainment and began building one of Hollywood's largest and most successful management / production companies.
Since joining Village Roadshow Pictures seven years ago, DANA GOLDBERG (Executive Producer) has been involved with Village Roadshow Pictures’ entire slate including The Matrix trilogy, Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve, Training Day, Mystic River and Miss Congeniality, Rumor Has It, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the upcoming comedy adventure Happy Feet, a George Miller-directed CGI film releasing in the fall of 2006. She was also an executive producer on Taking Lives, starring Angelina Jolie, The Dukes of Hazzard, starring Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott, and Firewall starring Harrison Ford.
Goldberg, currently President of Production, joined Village Roadshow Pictures after spending three years with Barry Levinson and Paul Weinstein at Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures where she was Vice President of Production. She began her career in show business as an assistant at Hollywood Pictures.
BRUCE BERMAN (Executive Producer) graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA in 1975 with a major in history. He went on to graduate from Georgetown Law School 1978, and was admitted to the California Bar that same year.
Berman got his start in the motion picture business with Jack Valenti at the MPAA in Washington, D.C., working as his assistant while in law school. After graduating, he returned to Los Angeles and started working as Peter Guber’s assistant at Casablanca Filmworks in September of 1978. He went on to work as assistant to Sean Daniel and Joel Silver at Universal Pictures in July 1979, becoming a production Vice President at Universal in 1982.
In 1984, Berman came to Warner Bros. Pictures as a Production VP and was promoted to Senior VP of Production in 1988. He was appointed President of Theatrical Production in September 1989, and then President of Worldwide Theatrical Production in 1991, where he served through May, 1996. Under his aegis, Warner Bros. Pictures produced and distributed the following: Presumed Innocent, GoodFellas, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Driving Miss Daisy, Batman Forever, Under Siege, Malcolm X, The Bodyguard, JFK, The Fugitive, Dave, Disclosure, The Pelican Brief, Outbreak, The Client, A Time to Kill and Twister.
In May of 1996, Berman started Plan B Entertainment, an independent motion picture production company at Warner Bros. Pictures.
Berman was appointed Chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures in February, 1998. Village Roadshow Pictures will make 60 theatrical features as a joint venture partner with Warner Bros. Pictures through 2007. The initial slate of films included Practical Magic, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; Analyze This, starring Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal; The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne; Deep Blue Sea, starring Samuel L. Jackson; Three Kings, starring George Clooney; Space Cowboys, starring Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones; Miss Congeniality, starring Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt; and Cats & Dogs.
Subsequent releases included Training Day, starring Academy Award-winning Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke; Ocean’s Eleven, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts; Analyze That; Two Weeks Notice, starring Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant; The Matrix Reloaded; The Matrix Revolutions; Mystic River, starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins; Ocean’s Twelve; Constantine, starring Keanu Reeves; Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, House of Wax, Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp; The Dukes of Hazzard, starring Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott; and Rumor Has It, starring Jennifer Aniston. Up next is Curtis Hanson’s Lucky You, starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore; The Reaping starring Hilary Swank; Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore; and Happy Feet, a CGI animated comedy adventure from the creators of Babe.
ALAR KIVILO, A.S.C., C.S.C. (Director of Photography) was born in Montreal. In the early seventies he moved to Toronto, where an early interest in still photography prompted him to enroll in the York University film program. After one year in the program and five years as a camera assistant, he began his career as a cinematographer, shooting documentaries and short dramas including Boys and Girls, which won an Academy Award in 1984.
Kivilo then began shooting music videos which led to commercials and then the emergence of his own company, Propeller.
For ten years Kivilo directed and shot many Bessie, Clio and Cannes Award winning commercials.
In 1987, Kivilo filmed his first feature, Da, a dramatic father-son story set in Ireland. In the following years, he took time off from his duties at Propeller to focus on shooting feature narratives for both film and television.
Kivilo’s small screen work includes the miniseries The Invaders (for which he received an ASC Award nomination), the satirical HBO drama Weapons of Mass Distraction, HBO’s Gotti (for which he won a CableAce award and received nominations for the Emmy and the ASC Awards), Rebound, and the Emmy-nominated Normal, starring Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson.
Kivilo has won critical acclaim for his cinematography on the feature films A Simple Plan, Frequency, The Glass House and Hart’s War . Most recently he shot Aurora Borealis, starring Donald Sutherland and Louise Fletcher, and Harold Ramis’ The Ice Harvest, a dark comedy starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton and Oliver Platt. Currently, Kivilo is shooting Scott Frank’s crime-thriller The Lookout.
In 1997, Kivilo moved with his wife and two young daughters to the United States. They divide their time between Los Angeles and Tallinn, Estonia.
NATHAN CROWLEY (Production Designer) earned BAFTA and Art Directors Guild nominations for his production design on Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed prequel Batman Begins, which marked his second collaboration with Nolan after his 2002 hit thriller Insomnia. Additionally, Crowley recently completed production on Nolan’s action-drama The Prestige, which is scheduled for release this fall.
A native of London, Crowley earned his B.A. in architecture at Brighton Art School before beginning his career as a junior set designer on Steven Spielberg's Hook, and the popular television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He next designed the production Sweety Barrett for Beatle George Harrison’s Hand Made Films before working on several BBC projects, including the hit series The Ambassador, and the telefilm Falling For A Dancer.
Moving up from set designer to art directing, Crowley honed his craft working in that capacity on such box office hits as John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II, Alan J. Pakula’s The Devil's Own, and Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic Braveheart. His portfolio as art director and set designer also includes Richard Donner’s Assassins and Maverick and Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He also designed sets for Kinka Usher’s Mystery Men and John Carpenter’s futuristic sequel Escape from L.A.
Graduating to production designer, Crowley’s diverse credits include John Moore’s contemporary wartime drama Behind Enemy Lines, Barry Levinson’s Irish comedy An Everlasting Piece, and Joel Schumacher’s biographical drama Veronica Guerin.
LYNZEE KLINGMAN, A.C.E. (Editor) began her editing career with Emile de Antonio’s political documentary In the Year of the Pig, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary.
Shortly thereafter, Klingman earned another stripe in documentary cinema with Peter Davis’ Hearts and Minds, which won the Oscar in 1975 for the same category.
Klingman claimed her first narrative feature accolade (alongside Richard Chew and Sheldon Kahn) with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Since then, Klingman has delighted film audiences with a wide range of work from biopics such as Ali, starring Will Smith, Man on the Moon, starring Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman, and Hoffa, starring Jack Nicholson, to blockbusters such as Outbreak, starring Dustin Hoffman, and The War of the Roses, with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Klingman’s other noteworthy films include City of Angels, Matilda, Hair, Picture Bride, A River Runs Through It and Little Man Tate.
ALEJANDRO BRODERSOHN (Editor) studied film at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. From there, he shared his editorial vision on many critically acclaimed films such as Buenos Aires Vice Versa, which garnered Brodersohn his first Silver Condor (Cóndor de Plata) by the Argentinean Film Critics Association, La Cruz, El viento se llevo lo que, Un mundo menos peor and Valentin, for which he took home his second Silver Condor.
Brodersohn was also nominated three other times by the Argentinean Film Critics Association for his editing on El Abrazo Partido (“Lost Embrace”), Borges, los libros y la noche (“The Books and the Night”) and Moebius. He has also edited such Spanish-language films as Evita, la tumba sin paz, Mala época, Mientras tanto, Como Mariposas en la luz, Rio escondido, El nadador inmóvil, Ciudad de María, El Cielito, and the TV series Okupas. In addition to his talents in the cutting room, Brodersohn also wrote-and-directed the 1994 short film, Le molestaria si le hago una pregunta?
Brodersohn is currently in the running for his third Silver Condor for work on iluminados por el Fuego (“Enlightened by Fire”) .
SONNY MALLHI (Co-producer) A native of Chicago, Mallhi grew up in suburban Downers Grove and attended the University of Chicago. Mallhi joined friends Roy Lee and Doug Davison in their upstart venture, Vertigo Entertainment, founded in 2001, and currently serves as Vice-President of Development.
RACHEL PORTMAN (Composer) is the first female composer in history to win an Academy Award, for her score to Emma. Portman has also been nominated for Academy Awards for her scores to Lasse Hallstrom's The Ciderhouse Rules and Chocolat.
She has worked with such top filmmakers as Roman Polanski, Jonathan Demme, Robert Redford, Robert Benton, Gary Marshall, Alan Parker, Mike Leigh, Beeban Kidron and Wayne Wang.
Portman has received acclaim for her diverse scores to such films as last year’s Oliver Twist, The Manchurian Candidate, Because of Winn Dixie, Benny and Joon, The Joy Luck Club, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Hart's War , Beloved, Nicholas Nickleby, The Human Stain and Mona Lisa Smile.
Portman's first opera, The Little Prince, based on the classic children's book by Antoine de Saint-Exúpery, premiered at the Houston Grand Opera and is now available on DVD.