- Notes provided by Relativity Media -
One of the most beloved stories of all time comes to life in the spectacular motion picture event Mirror Mirror, starring Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow White and Oscar(R)-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen. A fresh and funny retelling of the classic fairy tale, the film also stars Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as the Prince, Sean Bean (``Game of Thrones) as the King, and Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) as the Queen's hapless and bungling servant, Brighton.
After a beloved King vanishes, his ruthless wife seizes control of the kingdom and keeps her beautiful 18-year-old stepdaughter, Snow White, hidden away in the palace. But when the princess attracts the attention of a charming and wealthy visiting prince, the jealous Queen banishes the girl to a nearby forest.
Taken in by a band of rebellious but kindhearted dwarfs, Snow White blossoms into a brave young woman determined to save her country from the Queen. With the support of her new friends, she roars into action to reclaim her birthright and win back her Prince in this magical adventure comedy that will capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences the world over.
Mirror Mirror stars Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich, Eat Pray Love), Lily Collins (The Blind Side, Priest), Armie Hammer (The Social Network), Nathan Lane (The Birdcage), Sean Bean (``Game of Thrones), Mare Winningham (Brothers) and Michael Lerner (Elf), with Mark Povinelli (Water for Elephants), Jordan Prentice (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), Danny Woodburn (Watchmen), Sebastian Saraceno (Bedtime Stories), Ronald Lee Clark (Epic Movie), Martin Klebba (Pirates of The Caribbean) and Joe Gnoffo (The Benchwarmers) as the Seven Dwarfs.
Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Cell) directs from a screenplay by Marc Klein (Serendipity) and Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher) from a screen story by Melisa Wallack (Meet Bill). The film's producers are Bernie Goldmann (300, Land of the Dead), Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter, Limitless), and Brett Ratner (Rush Hour franchise, 21). Director of photography is Brendan Galvin (Immortals, Behind Enemy Lines). Editors are Robert Duffy (Unstoppable, The Fall) and Nick Moore (Morning Glory, Leap Year). Production designer is Tom Foden (Immortals, The Cell). Costume designer is Oscar-winner Eiko Ishioka (Immortals, Dracula). Original music is by Oscar-winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin).
Executive producers are Tucker Tooley (Immortals, Limitless), Kevin Misher (Public Enemies, The Interpreter), Jeff Waxman (Immortals, Law Abiding Citizen), Robbie Brenner (Limitless, The Fighter), Jamie Marshall (Warrior, Twilight), Tommy Turtle (Immortals, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Josh Pate (The Take, ``Moonlight) and John Cheng (Horrible Bosses, Code Name: The Cleaner). Ajit Singh (The Fall) and Nico Soultanakis (Immortals, The Cell) are co-producers.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
An innocent young royal, a wicked stepmother, a charming prince and seven little men living in the woods-the elements of Tarsem Singh's latest epic may seem familiar, but audiences will be surprised and delighted by new twists the visionary director has brought to an age-old tale in Mirror Mirror.
According to producer Bernie Goldmann, who collaborated with producer Josh Pate and writer Melisa Wallack to develop the initial concept for Mirror Mirror, they were inspired by a photograph depicting a live model as the fairy-tale heroine. ``What we set out to do was to make a live action version of the classic fairy tale, Snow White, that had the feel, the size and the scope of an animated movie. We realized that it's a great story that had never been explored narratively in a live-action movie.
In looking for a director to turn the concept into reality, Goldmann says Tarsem Singh was the obvious choice. ``Tarsem was the perfect filmmaker to direct this film, says Goldmann. ``He knows how to enhance a story with color and light and is very comfortable with the kind of scope we wanted for this movie. There's no one else like him.
For Singh, who was finishing up work on the action epic Immortals for Relativity Media, this project was a chance to tackle something he had never done before: a family-friendly movie that combines action, comedy and intrigue with his signature visual splendor. ``This was one of the few projects I was interested in doing, says Singh. ``It's a totally different energy from my other films and I was deeply interested in updating a classic and eternal story.
With Singh on board, the script began to take shape as a stunning big-screen spectacle leavened with humor and romance. Singh and Goldmann decided that the best way to start the search for a unique take on the classic tale was by returning to the original story. They discovered a wealth of options. ``The story actually has existed for five or six hundred years throughout Europe, in many different countries and different versions, says Goldmann. ``We were able to incorporate what we learned from our research into the concept for our movie.
Singh explains: ``Going back and looking at the original story was a very important process. There are thousands of different variations that have developed since it was first written. These variations provided us with many inspired ideas that were later used in the film.
For example, in some of the early versions, the dwarfs earn their living as highway robbers. In the words of one of the film's characters, they ``steal from the rich-and keep it. ``We thought that was an interesting thing to go back to, says Goldmann. ``It gives whole other side to their characters. They've been marginalized by society and this is their revenge.
``In some of the stories, we also discovered a beast of sorts that lived in the woods and we decided to bring that into our story, Goldmann continues. ``Then we also expanded the role of the King and added a mystery surrounding him.
In addition to historical incarnations of the Snow White tale, Singh plumbed his own considerable imagination for inspiration. ``I knew right away that the bulk of this narrative was going to center on the relationship between the Queen, Snow White and the Prince, he says.
Goldmann is confident the film will resonate with audiences of all ages and would like to see it take its place beside other big screen adaptations of classic tales. ``Hopefully, this is a movie that will play for years as a perennial family favorite and redefine the story of Snow White.
FINDING THE FAIREST
As Singh and Goldmann refined the story of Mirror Mirror, a character that traditionally lurks in the background began to assert herself front and center as a villain with complex motivations. ``In the time-honored version of the story, the Queen's motivation is vanity, says Singh. ``In our film, it's more about power. She wants to control the kingdom and her beauty is the means to that end.
Crafty, vain and utterly amoral, the Queen could easily have become a stock villainess, but Singh had a more subtle idea, and made a casting choice that defied conventional wisdom. To play the epitome of evil, he wanted an actress who represents exactly the opposite to most moviegoers. ``I saw the Queen as someone who is wicked, dark and malicious but also irresistibly charming, says the director. ``Julia Roberts is so intensely charismatic that she was able to do that fairly easily.
Roberts puts her trademark magnetism to use as an unscrupulous enchantress with designs on a wealthy and handsome younger man and unbounded animosity toward her orphaned ward. ``She was our first and only choice for this role, says Goldmann. ``Her laugh and smile have made her an icon. Here, those same attributes become an aspect of her evil side. It's fun to see her image turned upside down.
Playing against type, Roberts brings a new dimension to the role. ``Who better to play the evil queen than America's Sweetheart? says producer Kevin Misher. ``To ask someone with a larger-than-life persona like Julia Roberts to personify one of the classic villainesses in fairy-tale history was a great opportunity for something fresh and innovative.
Already familiar with Singh's work, Roberts was instantly intrigued. ``His movies are so visual and original and interesting, she says. ``I always wondered, how does that work? His fearlessness brought an incredible sense of integrity to the film, which allowed all of the actors to fully realize these characters. The Grimm story is a few pages long and the Disney film, which has nothing to do with our movie, allows for only limited interpretations of the characters. Tarsem tells the story on a far larger level.
Roberts says the multidimensional aspect of her character was another incentive to take on the role. ``There's a dual personality component that was really intriguing, the Oscar-winning actress explains. We see the Queen as she appears in everyday life and then, of course, as the reflection of the Queen in the mirror. The Mirror Queen is calmer and more collected. She possesses the power and confidence that the Queen herself struggles to maintain.
But at its heart, the film remains a coming-of-age story of a young woman who faces many challenges. As Roberts puts it, ``The Queen is just the conflict. Lily Collins is impressive as Snow White. She looks exactly like you want Snow White to look. I was completely enchanted by her, because she's a very young girl and already a pro. She was such a good sport because my character was so awful and vicious to her and she was always very sweet to me.
Collins, who has already made an impression on film audiences with her work in The Blind Side and Abducted watched with awe as Roberts transformed herself. ``Julia has that smile that everyone loves so much, but here she uses it in such a sinister, creepy way. Snow, being young and innocent, doesn't realize the true evil nature of the Queen. At the beginning, she very much has the upper hand, but at the very end Snow uses her own words against her. It was very, very bizarre being mean to Julia Roberts.
The filmmakers mounted a major casting search for an actress who would embody Snow White's innocence and determination, spending a month auditioning roughly 300 young women before discovering Collins. ``The second she came in everybody knew Lily was our Snow White, says Misher. ``She was cast on April 1 and when her agent called her 24 hours after she had read, she thought it was an April Fool's joke. It's so hard to find a contemporary actress who embodies the grace of Audrey Hepburn and the class of Elizabeth Taylor and seems untouched by contemporary vices. Lily seemed to embody the classic goodness that the character of needed.
Goldmann concurs: ``Snow White is loved by nature and loves nature. As outwardly beautiful as she is, she is driven inner beauty. Young girls today are so sophisticated that at 21 they seem like they're 35. But Lily seems so young and innocent. She projects genuineness, not only on the screen, but in real life as well, and that's really what we were looking for.
This telling of the story updates the character, according to Collins. ``And I love the idea that we've modernized Snow White. She starts out as the familiar fairy-tale princess that everyone grew up knowing, wide eyed and naïve. She's been locked up in her tower, unaware of what's going on outside, but she goes on to become a girl who fights for what she believes in. Once she embraces everything she is, Snow is able to open herself up to the world and grow into a young woman.
Collins believes the character has universal appeal. ``I think every young girl and adult woman has a little bit of Snow in her, she says. ``We tried to do that with humor. It's a comedic adventure for the whole family.
Snow White's suitor, Prince Alcott, has also been taken out of the realm of stock fairy-tale character and transformed into a more contemporary hero. Played by Armie Hammer, the Prince is an essential figure in the conflict between Snow White, who asks him for help in regaining her throne, and her stepmother, who is plotting to marry the handsome young man by any means possible. ``There are very few actors who can comport themselves with a sense of dignity and royalty, as well as provide the fun that the movie requires, says Misher. ``Armie walks that line between gravitas and a lack of self-consciousness in a completely refreshing way. He's somebody who I think men will embrace as a guy they can relate to and women will fall in love with. That really is the definition of a classic movie star.
Hammer, who stands six-foot-five and is classically good-looking, was made for the role, says Goldmann. ``If there was a Prince of America, it would be Armie. He's a very handsome guy with a very stately quality, but in this movie we see a whole other side to him. He's so accessible and charming and funny. Everybody on set felt like he was their best friend.
Roberts agrees Hammer was perfectly cast. ``First, he is just a lovely young man, she says. ``But we had a lot of very long scenes together and he was very prepared, and really funny in this part. He brings a great humor and earnestness to it. You just want to see more and more of him.
The chance to work with Roberts was a huge attraction to the role for Hammer. ``She brings all of Julia to it, which is fantastic. It was so impressive to watch her work, because she is so in control of her instrument. Every movement, every gesture, was so precise. Audiences will see some of Julia that hasn't really been shown before.
Initially, Hammer admits to some skepticism about playing ``Prince Charming. ``It sounded so saccharine, he says. ``But I discussed my hesitations with Tarsem and he assured me that I would help create the character. He said he wanted to make a movie about finding courage, finding love, and finding your place in this world, infused with great humor and great acting. His enthusiasm for the project was infectious. He brings an unceasing effervescence to set, always putting a thousand percent into everything. You can't help but be pumped up when you're on set with him.
Hammer found a character who is searching for purpose in much the same way Snow White is. ``The Prince has all these tools, he says. ``Like any good prince, he's been trained to fight and trained to dance. He knows his history, sciences and mathematics. He understands the world-but only on paper. He doesn't know how it really works, so he sets out seeking adventure and finds a ton of it. He finds more than he can actually handle at first.
Departing from the original tale, the filmmakers added a crucial character to the Queen's court: Brighton, her faithful but bumbling servant. ``Brighton fills the role of the huntsman from the old stories, says Goldmann. ``It's a very complex part. He's the person who decides whether Snow lives or dies, but he is also the Queen's sidekick. As we looked at different actors against Julia, that started to really define what the movie would be.
Tony(R) and Emmy(R) Award-winning actor Nathan Lane plays Brighton, turning the role into a comedic tour de force. ``Nathan also helped influence so many of the other performances in the movie, says Goldmann. ``He's a wonderfully skilled comic actor and so generous. He was really present for the characters he interacts with.
As the Queen's long-suffering and much-abused servant, Brighton tries his best to please her, says Lane. ``But he's a constant disappointment to her. It's a bit like what I imagine being Faye Dunaway's assistant is like. But fortunately, comedy ensues.
Lane gives his reasons for accepting the role with characteristic brio. ``I said yes to the part because of the outfit, he says. ``It was the opportunity to look like the late Shirley Booth that compelled me to play Brighton.
Actually, he says, he jumped at the chance to work with Roberts. The pair met doing a benefit for Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp several years earlier. ``I just thought we would have fun together, says Lane. ``The character is kind of like the one she played in My Best Friend's Wedding, only much meaner. She's not a nice person, but villains are always the best parts. If you're going to play the evil Queen, part of the fun is playing someone who doesn't seem to have a conscience. And she looks fabulous in those stunning costumes.
The relationship between Lane and Roberts became one of the comedic centerpieces of the movie. ``Together they created a sense of playfulness within the evil they are plotting, says Misher. ``They are the villains for the adults, but also the comic foil for the kids. The part was originally conceived as a fairly small character, but with an actor of Nathan's talents, it became a star turn.
After being abandoned in the woods by Brighton, Snow White finds herself surrounded by a bickering band of outlaws, none of whom stands as high as her chin. Singh has reinvented the familiar roster of hi-ho-ing miners as a quarrelsome gang of bandits who have turned to crime after being forced to flee their comfortable lives in the village. ``The Queen, who's interested in outer beauty, has exiled them because they don't fit her physical ideal, says Goldmann. ``That detail adds to the narrative by contributing emotional depth to the characters and making them relatable.
For his reinterpretation of the iconic Dwarfs, Singh found seven extraordinary actors. ``We were incredibly lucky in casting this film and these actors are no exception, he notes. ``The level of energy and creativity they've brought to this story has been phenomenal.
Rather than rely on the familiar band of animated figures for inspiration, the filmmakers allowed each of the actors to define an original character. ``We hired the actors first and then developed the characters around their personalities, explains Goldmann. ``The actors all participated in a workshop process that helped define the characters. Each of them needed to contribute something special in terms of helping Snow White to grow into the woman she must become.
With that in mind, the characters of Butcher, Grimm, Half-Pint, Napoleon, Wolf, Chuckles, and Grub (Martin Klebba, Danny Woodburn, Mark Povinelli, Jordan Prentice, Sebastian Saraceno, Ronald Lee Clark and Joe Gnoffo respectively) began to take shape. As Klebba explains, ``I'm called Butcher because I was the main butcher in town. Half-Pint owned the local pub. Grimm was a teacher. Each of them comes from a different part of their former society. Their only connection is that they've all been cast out because of their height.
Clark adds, ``After being banished from the Kingdom, the seven of us become a family. We quarrel all the time but we're able to keep things together because we know how much we need each other.
Alone in the world, Snow White has to depend on the seven men to teach her how to make her way. As she gets acquainted with her unlikely mentors, the audience learns about their unique attributes. ``We each train her to do something different-how to fight with a sword, how to wrestle, how to fight dirty and how to think on her feet. Most importantly, we teach her to believe in herself, says Woodburn.
Collins worked closely with them all, developing a camaraderie not unlike the onscreen one between Snow and the Dwarfs. She says, ``Martin, Danny, Mark, Sebastian, Jordan, Ronald and Joe are phenomenal. They've created these memorable characters that fit so perfectly into a group despite being so different from one another.
Rounding out a distinguished cast are Oscar-nominee Mare Winningham as Baker Margaret, Snow's confidante at the palace, Oscar-nominee Michael Lerner as the Baron, whose clumsy romantic overtures send the Queen into paroxysms of rage, SAG Award-winner Sean Bean as the King, Snow's benevolent but ill-fated father, and up-and-coming young British actor Robert Emms as Charles Renbock, the Prince's faithful valet and reluctant traveling companion.
Singh was overjoyed with the efforts of the supporting actors that help populate the fantasy world he created, explaining, ``You always want great actors in your film. The hope is to make a movie that stands the test of time and a fabulous supporting cast is what makes that possible.
The quality of the cast is a testament to Singh's talent and imagination, according to Roberts. ``Everyone contributed an incredible interpretation of their characters, she says. ``I think it's because all of us were eager to be here for Tarsem and be part of the magical place he invented.
BUILDING A MAGICAL REALM
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen director Tarsem Singh's earlier work that Mirror Mirror is an extraordinary visual feast. Built on massive sound stages in Montreal, the settings include a haunting snowbound forest, a rustic and richly detailed cabin inside a hollow tree, a gloriously over-the top Great Hall for the Queen's elaborate and expensive fetes and a seemingly infinite palace bedroom in which to hatch her nefarious schemes. Complementing the fantastical locations are the film's sumptuous costumes, hair and makeup, which leapfrog from century to century, incorporating both authentic historical detail and complete fantasy.
As executive producer Kevin Misher says, ``Tarsem brings a blend of poetry, magic and visual flare to every film he works on. He incorporates a vast spectrum of influences from Eastern architecture to Western culture and everything in between.
Production design was at the core of the film from the very beginning of the creative process, according to Singh. ``When conceptualizing Mirror Mirror, I remembered a Russian film I'd seen called Ivan's Childhood. There's a romantic scene in that movie that takes place in a silver birch forest. I immediately thought that if I could have a similar set designed it could define the tone of this film.
Singh explains his passion for visual detail this way, ``Physically constructing an alternate reality is a beautiful experience. I want to create the world that the characters live in, so that the actors have a better understanding of how they should be portrayed. It was a real joy creating the world that these characters live in.
Production designer Tom Foden, cinematographer Brendan Galvin and costume designer Eiko Ishioka have all collaborated with Singh on three earlier films. This longstanding artistic partnership was a keystone in the success of the production design, says Goldmann. ``Tom and Tarsem have developed a way of working together to really define the look of the movie. Tom provided us with a great foundation for both the magic and the emotion we envisioned. He's an incredible designer who helped us build characters with his work.
``Watching the sets take shape over time blew me away, he continues. ``I was always aware that I might never see a set like that again. It was really old fashioned moviemaking and it felt like we were making a Warner Bros.' movie from the '30s or '40s. The level of detail and craftsmanship was unbelievable. It's over-the-top opulent.
Rather than depend on special effects to create the vast universe of Mirror Mirror, the filmmakers opted for practical sets whenever possible. ``We certainly use green screen and wonderful visual effects in the film, says Singh. ``However, I also wanted to make the actors' surroundings as visceral and real as possible. That's why the sets had to be oversized.
The production design was unlike any Roberts had seen before. ``The sets are sensational, she marvels. ``The Magical Cottage, where the Queen meets with her alter ego, is beautiful and the Great Hall, where we did a lot of the party scenes, is mind-blowing. When you see the space filled up with all these people dressed in wild outfits, it's really something. They don't make many movies like this anymore.
Hammer, too, says the sets were bigger and bolder than he could ever have imagined. ``The Queen's bedroom was bigger than most amphitheaters, he says. ``The whole atmosphere is so grand that you are able to suspend your disbelief. The scale is so enormous that it's almost difficult to comprehend. People are going to walk into this film and see something truly unique.
The equally sublime costumes, ranging from the Queen's outrageous golden and blood red gowns to Snow White's pastel court gowns and her spare and sculptural battle gear, were created by the late Eiko Ishioka in what was to be her last film. The Oscar-winning costume designer worked with Singh on four films before her death in January of 2012. ``She was born outside the box, says Singh of Ishioka. ``Every director is always trying to get people to think differently. You never had to tell her that. Everything about her was unconventional, even her research and how she did it-and how much of it she did. She had two speeds: full speed and stop. When you have a person like that, you just never let them go. ``
Ishioka, who earned an Oscar for the spectacular costumes in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, was also a respected visual artist whose work is the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. ``She was an incredible artist, says Singh. ``She didn't just design pieces of clothing, she created works of art.
Her elaborate and imaginative designs combine pageantry and personality, drawing on influences from the 16th to 19th centuries to create something entirely new. ``Eiko was all about spectacle, says Goldmann. ``But, like Tom Foden and Brendan Galvin, everything she did was also about building character. She was a genius at the visual, but she was also an amazing help in building Snow White's and the Prince's characters. The actors had an arc not only emotionally, but also physically.
Impressively, her sensational designs were not limited to the gowns and suits worn by the film's stars. Ishioka also designed the over 300 costumes that are worn by the film's extras. Almost all were handmade. Hammer says that all that effort is part of what makes the film so special. ``The costumes really set the tone for the entire movie. Eiko did a wonderful job creating something that seems so operatic and over the top, yet at the same time completely believable.
Executive producer Kevin Misher says the collaboration between Singh and Ishioka went beyond the aesthetic to the spiritual. ``The work they did together speaks to that connection, he says. ``I think her work on this film is a testament to her artistry in general and to their relationship in particular. It is a lovely gift she leaves for us to remember how special she was.
Makeup and hairstyles designed for the film by hair and make-up artist Felicity Bowring add to the hyperbolic opulence of the costumes. ``Everything stems from Eiko's designs, says Bowring. ``It was delicious to work with her vibrant colors. Imagine people wearing vivid red, yellow, orange, green, hot pink and silver all in the same scene. For a costume ball, we created about ten face-painted animal masks for the guests instead of having the usual masks that go onto people's faces. And the hair had to go with the proportions of the costumes. When a dress has a bustle that sits three feet out from the body, a wig has to offset that and be tall enough so that it too looks extraordinary.
A BATTLE ROYAL
Against the backdrop of this meticulously imagined world, a gleefully physical adventure unfolds as a sheltered princess learns to adapt to life outside the palace walls. From her woodland hosts, Snow White begins to learn to stand up for herself in stirring action sequences. As always, Singh was concerned with authenticity. ``I wanted actual physical fighting with real weapons and real aggression, says Singh. ``But more than anything, I wanted the actors to actually take part in the adventurous parts of this film.
The film's stars underwent months of intensive training for grueling action scenes involving swordplay, acrobatics, high-speed horseback riding and more. ``It was five days a week, almost six hours a day of sword fighting, says Hammer. ``And I had the blisters and the calluses to prove it. I learned how to do a back flip with a sword in my hand, and a front flip with a sword in my hand, and a side flip and a vortex flip-all things that I never knew how to do before. I was always excited to see what we were going to be doing next. My favorite thing was riding the horses right on the soundstage at a full gallop.
Collins adds, ``There was a lot of fight training in this film. We did sword fighting and fencing and wrestling and acrobatics and then physical training. We worked out in the gym, we ran, we lifted weights. It was really intense.
Fight coordinator Jean Frenette taught the actors the basics of combat, step by arduous step. ``There's a progression to it, he says. ``It's like boot camp in the beginning. The process of repetition helps the actors build up their confidence and skill level over time. We want them to treat it seriously but we don't want them to over-train and burn out. It's a lot like preparing an athlete for a competition.
Stunt coordinator Marc Desourdy adds, ``Lily and Armie were fantastic. They're so coordinated and so talented. They learn very quickly. Lily was very keen on doing all of her own stunts. We put her to work doing flips and acrobatics. And we did the same with Armie. When you see them close-up, sword fighting, it's all them.
In the end, the work paid off in action sequences that appear effortless, says Goldmann. ``Watching them on film, it's easy to forget all the work that went into it. Lily and Armie rehearsed and trained, and rehearsed and trained. They put in the time so that when we shot these sequences, they came out perfectly.
One of Singh's cunning innovations resulted in a series of action scenes that require complex preparation and physical daring. Since the Dwarfs had been thrown out of the village because of their size, he thought, they might likely become fixated on their height. Trying to compensate for their stature, Mirror Mirror's little men commit their robberies on stilts. Desourdy tracked down a group of daredevil stilt walkers in Toulouse, France, to train the actors to fight on stilts.
``They were amazing, he says. ``They taught our guys to walk, run and jump with stilts. The stunts that are performed on the stilts are absolutely sensational and unlike anything you've seen before. The audience is in for a treat.
The film's spectacular climax is a royal ball to celebrate the marriage of Snow White and her Prince. Singh wanted to heighten the festive atmosphere with a dazzling musical number done in classic Bollywood style. He selected Nina Hart's late '60s pop song ``Love. ``I had the song in mind from the beginning, but they kept telling me I wouldn't be able to get the rights, says the director. ``Finally, right before we started shooting, it worked out. When I heard that Lily could sing, I had her record a version of the song for us. She was fantastic. We knew we had to incorporate her vocals into a big dance sequence.
Choreographer Paul Becker came in during preproduction to design the number, which involves the entire cast as well as over 200 extras. ``It starts almost without warning, he says. ``Lily suddenly breaks into song and dance and everyone else seems to be wondering what she is up to. But then slowly the Dwarfs join in and then everyone starts to dance. It's just a big party.
Becker designed the dance to resemble one of Hollywood's unforgettable Busby Berkeley production numbers, with overhead shots capturing the swirling patterns of dancers below. According to Collins, ``It was a great time. It felt like a huge music video with hundreds of people dancing around me. We really let loose. I never in a million years thought I would be able to do a number like that. It was just amazing.
The film's music, which ranges fom haunting to exhilarating to poignant, was written by eight-time Academy Award(R) winner Alan Menken, composer of a host of unforgettable scores for movies including four classic Disney animated treasures: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Pocahontas.
The subject matter of the film has something in common with those earlier projects, but the treatment is very different, according to the composer. ``What's unique about this movie is the visual beauty and sophistication of Tarsem's directing, combined with the innocence of an oft-told tale, says Menken. ``It's a new kind of fairytale-elegant and edgy and fun.
Singh gave Menken two directives before setting him to work. ``He told me to make the score my own, says Menken. ``And he trusted me to own the process. That kind of artistic freedom made it a lot of fun for me.
The director also asked him to develop a ``thematic score, one in which the music would reflect and enhance the characters and the story. ``That's unusual these days, Menken says. ``He wanted big, broad themes and that's right in my wheelhouse.
For the innocent and gallant Snow White, the composer created purely emotional music, heartrending as Snow gets her first glimpse of the financially ruined townspeople or soaring as she fell in love with the Prince at first sight. ``We didn't walk any fine lines, he says. ``We went right for the primary colors in those themes.
``And I threaded the themes throughout, he goes on. ``The dwarfs are like the Marx Brothers at times, so their thematic material emphasizes the comedic. When we first meet the Queen in the court, we're playing a very formal, Mozartian theme. The Prince himself is introduced with classic hunting horns that signify nobility.
The net effect of Singh's brilliant leaps of imagination is to transport both the film's stars and the audience into a sparkling world of fantasy. As Collins says, ``Everyone loves a good fairy tale. They create a space where you can laugh, where you can be scared, and where you can simply be amazed. Ours is a multi-generational story and that's what a fairy tale is supposed to be, something that everyone can enjoy.
Roberts agrees, adding, ``I think the audience is going to get lost in this film. I would love for them to just sit back and be transported somewhere else for two hours.
Singh's greatest hope is that the audience will be the ones to reap the rewards of the cast and crew's meticulous efforts. ``My primary goal with this film is to create a family movie that people will have a lot of fun seeing, he says. ``It's been a great honor getting to creatively reinterpret this classic story, which has meant so much to so many generations. I really hope the audience enjoys what we've created.
ABOUT THE CAST
JULIA ROBERTS (The Queen) has worked with the industry's most esteemed directors and starred in films grossing more than $2.5 billion worldwide. An Academy Award winner for Erin Brockovich (Best Actress), Roberts first came to the attention of audiences with her critically acclaimed role in Mystic Pizza. She received her first Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Steel Magnolias. Her next film, Pretty Woman, was the top-grossing film of 1990 and brought Roberts her second Academy Award nomination. Memorable performances followed in such films as Flatliners, Sleeping with the Enemy, Dying Young, The Pelican Brief, Something to Talk About, Michael Collins, Stepmom, Mona Lisa Smile, America's Sweethearts and Everyone Says I Love You.
Most recently, Roberts starred in Larry Crowne opposite Tom Hanks, who wrote, directed, and produced the film. She also starred in Eat Pray Love, based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir and directed by Ryan Murphy. Additionally, Roberts starred opposite Clive Owen in Duplicity, directed by Tony Gilroy, and appeared in the ensemble comedy Valentine's Day, directed by Garry Marshall.
In 1997, she starred in the box-office smash My Best Friend's Wedding, directed by P.J. Hogan, and the Richard Donner-directed thriller Conspiracy Theory, co-starring Mel Gibson. In 1999, she starred in two box-office hits: Notting Hill, co-starring Hugh Grant and directed by Roger Michell, and Runaway Bride, in which Roberts reteamed with her Pretty Woman co-star and director, Richard Gere and Garry Marshall.
Roberts provided the voice of Charlotte in the animated film Charlotte's Web and made her Broadway debut in Richard Greenberg's ``Three Days of Rain.
LILY COLLINS (Snow White) has already become one of the most sought-after young actresses in the business. Since making her film debut in the 2010 Oscar winner The Blind Side, alongside Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock, Collins has been seen on the big screen in Priest, directed by Scott Stewart and starring Paul Bettany. Most recently, Collins starred opposite Taylor Lautner, Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina in the thriller Abduction. She has begun production on Mortal Instruments, the first in a possible franchise series of films based on the popular book series of the same name.
On the small screen, she was a guest star for the final two episodes of the first season of CW's new ``90210.
No stranger to the camera, Collins has considered the entertainment industry a big part of her life from the time she was born in West Sussex, England. She started acting when she was an infant, with a role on the British version of the television series ``Growing Pains. After moving to the States at age six, she took her love of acting and singing to the stage. She performed musical theater and drama at the Youth Academy for Dramatic Arts.
Collins' passion for journalism was discovered at age 15, when she began working for the popular fashion magazine ElleGirl U.K., where she designed a page informing readers on current Hollywood trends and Los Angeles hot spots. Later, she covered both the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions for Seventeen Magazine and the presidential inauguration for Nickelodeon. She was a contributing writer for CosmoGIRL! Magazine and a host for Nickelodeon's ``Hollywood Hang and ``Countdown to Kids' Choice! as well as ``Live from the Red Carpet at the Oscars for the E! Network.
Collins attended the 2008 Spanish Glamour Awards in Madrid, where she received the ``Best International Model Award. She was also presented with the ``One to Watch award at the 2008 Young Hollywood Awards. Collins was also the host of Hollywood Life Magazine's 5th Annual Hollywood Style Awards in Los Angeles.
When she is not working, Collins attends USC's Annenberg School for Communications. As the first college representative to sit on the board of The Maple Counseling Center, Collins is an advocate for ``teens helping teens programs through peer-support groups.
ARMIE HAMMER (Prince Alcott) received critical praise for his portrayal of both Winklevoss twins in David Fincher's award-winning drama The Social Network. Hammer's performance garnered him critical praise and positioned him as one of Hollywood's breakout young actors. He was nominated for Most Promising Performer by the Chicago Film Critics Circle and awarded Best Supporting Actor by the Toronto Film Critics Association. The film also received a SAG Award nomination for ``Best Ensemble and a Golden Globe Award(R) for Best Picture, Drama, among several other awards.
Hammer was recently seen starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood's biopic, J. Edgar. In the film written by Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk), Hammer plays a lawyer-turned-FBI-official and Hoover's lover, Clyde Tolson.
NATHAN LANE (Brighton) recently starred in Broadway's smash hit musical ``The Addams Family. His wildly acclaimed portrayal of Max Bialystock in ``The Producers on Broadway won Lane the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Tony awards for ``Best Actor in a Musical. In addition, Lane won the Olivier Award for his performance in ``The Producers in London.
The actor earned a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Mike Nichols' The Birdcage. Lane also earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the film adaptation of The Producers. Additionally, he received great acclaim as the voice of Timon the meerkat in the smash-hit family film The Lion King. Lane has also starred in successes such as Stuart Little and Mousehunt.
Additional film credits include Isn't She Great?, Trixie, Love's Labour's Lost, Addams Family Values, Life with Mikey, Frankie & Johnny, He Said, She Said, Ironweed, The Lemon Sisters, Jeffrey, Nicholas Nickelby and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton.
An accomplished stage actor, Lane won Tony, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards for his performance in ``A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He has appeared on Broadway in ``Butley, ``Waiting for Godot and David Mamet's hit comedy ``November. He also starred in the blockbuster Broadway production of Neil Simon's ``The Odd Couple. Lane wrote the book for and starred in Stephen Sondheim's adaptation of Aristophanes' ``The Frogs.
Other Broadway credits include Terrence McNally's ``Love! Valor! Compassion! (for which Lane won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Obie awards), Neil Simon's ``Laughter on the 23rd Floor, ``Guys and Dolls (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards, a Tony nomination), ``Present Laughter (Drama Desk nomination), ``On Borrowed Time, ``Merlin, ``The Wind in the Willows, ``Some Americans Abroad, ``The Man Who Came to Dinner and the national tour of Neil Simon's ``Broadway Bound.
Off Broadway credits include Terrence McNally's ``Lips Together, Teeth Apart, ``The Lisbon Traviata (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards), ``Bad Habits at the Film Society, ``In a Pig's Valise, ``The Common Pursuit, ``She Stoops to Conquer, ``Measure for Measure, ``Mizlansky/Zilinsky and ``Trumbo.
Lane has also been recognized with two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for his work in ``The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa and ``Teacher's Pet. Other television credits include Terrence McNally's ``The Last Mile, ``The Boys Next Door and ``Laughter on the 23rd Floor.
MARE WINNINGHAM (Baker Margaret) has appeared in more than 50 made-for-television films and miniseries. She most recently portrayed Ida in HBO's miniseries ``Mildred Pierce, opposite Kate Winslet. She received an Emmy Award as well as Golden Globe and SAG award nominations for her work in TNT's ``George Wallace. Winningham also received an Emmy Award for ``Amber Waves and Emmy nominations for Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations ``Love is Never Silent and ``The Boys Next Door. Additionally, she starred in such telefilms and miniseries as ``Off the Minnesota Strip, ``Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues, ``Everything that Rises, ``Eye on the Sparrow and ``The Thornbirds.
Winningham made her series debut on David E. Kelley's drama ``The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire, and has since played recurring roles on shows such as ``Grey's Anatomy and ``24. She received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her performance in Showtime's ``Maldonado Miracle and starred in ``The Magic of Ordinary Days for the Hallmark Channel.
For her performance in the feature film Georgia, Winningham garnered Academy Award and SAG Award nominations and won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other feature credits include Brothers, Swing Vote, Wyatt Earp, St. Elmo's Fire, Turner and Hooch, Made in Heaven, One Trick Pony, The War, Miracle Mile and Shy People.
Winningham's stage work has included the Atlantic Theater Co. musical ``10 Million Miles, for which she received a Drama Desk nomination and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, as well as the recent Off Broadway hit ``After the Revolution. Other stage credits include ``The Glass Menagerie, ``Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical and the West Coast premiere of ``Sideman.
An accomplished singer-songwriter, Winningham performs nationally and has released several CDs.
MICHAEL LERNER (The Baron) is best known for his memorable supporting turns in such films as Barton Fink (for which he received an Oscar nomination) Eight Men Out and Elf. He's been seen on the small screen in episodes of hit series including ``The Good Wife, ``Entourage and ``Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and ``Entourage. Most recently, Lerner guest starred on ``Suburgatory and played Wesley Mouch in the feature Atlas Shrugged: Part I.
Lerner graduated from Brooklyn College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He began his acting career in the late 1960s at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. At the age of 24, Lerner gave a bravura performance as Hieronymous the Miser in a KPFA radio production of Michel de Ghelderode's burlesque play ``Red Magic.
Lerner appeared as Pierre Salinger, press secretary to John F. Kennedy, in the classic teleplay ``The Missiles of October. His early guest appearances on television include ``The Brady Bunch, ``The Odd Couple and ``M*A*S*H.
The actor made his film debut in the Donald Sutherland picture Alex in Wonderland. He then went on to appear in supporting roles in various Hollywood movies such as Robert Redford's The Candidate, Charles Bronson's St. Ives and Jack Nicholson's The Postman Always Rings Twice. Lerner co-starred with Eddie Murphy in the comedy Harlem Nights. For his role as film producer Jack Lipnick in the Coen brothers' Barton Fink, Lerner received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
On stage, Lerner appeared in the West End production of ``Up for Grabs with Madonna. He also appeared on Radio Four in David Quantick's series, ``One.
ROBERT EMMS (Charles Renbock) was recently seen in Roland Emmerich's feature Anonymous. After seeing Emms' performance in the West End production of ``War Horse, Steven Spielberg offered the actor the role of David Lyon in his feature-film adaptation.
Emms trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He won the Evening News Best Newcomer Award for his first professional role, in ``The Glee Club. In 2009, Emms co-starred in Series 3 of Jimmy McGovern's multi-award-winning drama ``The Street.
SEAN BEAN (The King) has made a name for himself both on British television and in American films. He was recently seen starring in the highly successful HBO series ``Game of Thrones as well as the features Black Death and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Bean has just completed filming Cleanskin. Bean will reprise his role as Christopher Da Silva in the upcoming Silent Hill film sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. He was also cast in the forthcoming ABC drama ``Missing.
It was Bean's supporting role as Boromir in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring that turned him into a widely recognized figure. Since then, he has starred in the acclaimed Red Riding trilogy, Silent Hill, Flightplan and National Treasure. Other film credits include GoldenEye, Ronin, Equilibrium, Don't Say a Word, Essex Boys, Troy, The Island, North Country and The Hitcher.
Bean discovered his love of acting at Rotterham College of Arts and Technology, where he performed in ``Cabaret and ``The Owl and the Pussycat. He later enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Bean made his professional stage debut as Tybalt in a production of ``Romeo and Juliet at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.
Following his British television debut in ``Winter Flight, Bean spent a season on stage with the Young Writers Festival. He then joined the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, where he acted in repertory, playing Romeo to Niamh Cusack's Juliet.
Bean made his feature debut in Derek Jarman's Caravaggio. He reunited with the director on War Requiem but his first notable film role came in Stormy Monday, directed by Mike Figgis. Next, Bean shone as Oscar nominee Richard Harris' repressed son in Jim Sheridan's The Field.
The actor's British television credits include ``Lady Chatterley, ``Lorna Doone, ``Clarissa, ``Extremely Dangerous and ``Bravo Two Zero.
JORDAN PRENTICE (Napoleon) turned in a memorable supporting performance opposite Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in the comedic thriller In Bruges. A very versatile actor, Prentice has played every kind of character from a clueless small town sheriff tracking down Jason Mewes in telefilm ``Silent but Deadly to a surprisingly capable street person opposite Christopher Walken in The Power of Few.
Born in London, Ontario, in 1973, the Canadian actor moved to Toronto more than a decade ago. In between guest-starring roles on a variety of TV shows, Prentice has played a disgruntled roadie in The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico, a hot-headed fraternity leader and quarterback in two American Pie spinoffs and a security guard and medieval enthusiast in Allen Moyle's Weirdsville.
MARK POVINELLI (Half-Pint) has, over a 17-year acting career, appeared in more than 40 films and television shows, 25 theater productions and dozens of national commercials. Through this impressive body of work, he has proven capable of spanning the entire range of mediums, styles and genres. He is currently a series regular on NBC's newest comedy, ``Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, starring Chelsea Handler.
Povinelli was most recently seen starring opposite Robert Pattinson and Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz in Water For Elephants, playing the iconic role of Kinko. Other film credits include Epic Movie, Polar Express, Van Helsing and Beer For My Horses. Television appearances include ``Modern Family, ``Boardwalk Empire, ``Cold Case, ``'Til Death, ``It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, ``Pushing Daisies, ``Charmed, ``Frasier, ``Dharma & Greg and ``The Parkers.
For the past five years, Povinelli has been touring the world as Torvald Helmer in the OBIE award-winning production of Mabou Mines' ``A Doll's House, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic. Other theater credits include the lead role of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in the premiere of ``Belle Epoque at Lincoln Center. Povinelli has also worked regionally at the Shakespeare Theater, Children's Theater Company, Radio City Music Hall, Oklahoma Lyric Theater, the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum and UCLA Live.
When Povinelli is not working, he dedicates his time to Little People of America, an organization that promotes awareness, advocacy and medical assistance for individuals with forms of dwarfism.
Povinelli resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
JOE GNOFFO (Grub) has appeared on stage playing the role of Krogstad in ``A Doll's House. He was cast by Adam Sandler in the comedy The Benchwarmers and on the small screen, Gnoffo guest-starred during the seventh season of ``Desperate Housewives.
Gnoffo's loves are acting and music. He is the drummer in a professional rock band called Post Trauma. Gnoffo's father Vincent, mother Patricia and siblings Vincent and Gina are the greatest and hardest working people that he knows, and the reason for any success Gnoffo has enjoyed.
DANNY WOODBURN (Grimm) is a versatile performer equally comfortable working on stage, in film, television or the comedy club circuit. Most notably, Woodburn is known for playing Mickey Abbott, Kramer's volatile but lovable friend on the comedy classic ``Seinfeld. A fixture of American television, he is a veteran of more than 120 television series with regular and recurring roles on ``Tracy Takes On..., ``Murder, She Wrote, ``Becker, ``Charmed, ``Baywatch, ``Conan, ``Special Unit 2 and ``Passions.
Guest appearances include ``Party Down, ``Monk, ``Bones, ``Men in Trees, ``CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, ``One Tree Hill, ``8 Simple Rules, ``Hope and Faith, ``The New Adventures of Lois and Clark and ``Veronica's Closet. Recently, Woodburn completed his 20th film, Bad Ass, with Danny Trejo.
Woodburn is thankful for the opportunities he's had to speak on disability issues and raise awareness of the continued derogatory and dehumanizing treatment of little people in society and the media. He pursues this mission as a comedian on the club circuit, interview subject (``CBS Sunday Morning, MSNBC, A&E's ``Biography, ``Access Hollywood) and orator at awareness events. He has devoted his time and energy to fundraisers such as the Inclusion Network of Cincinnati, California RespectAbility Coalition and the Disability Rights Legal Center.
While serving on the Screen Actors Guild Performers with Disabilities committee, Woodburn helped negotiate to better terms for disabled actors in the most recent contract talks. In 2009, he received Congressional recognition through the DRLC Dream Award. In 2010, he received the Screen Actors Guild Harold Russell Award and in 2001 he received Temple University's ``Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. A longtime supporter of Little People's Research Fund, he forever thanks the late Dr. Steven Kopits for the surgical expertise and research that has allowed Woodburn to pursue his dream.
Woodburn has two very big brothers and his mom handles all his press in his hometown.
SEBASTIAN SARACENO (Wolf) is best known for multiple appearances on the hit shows ``Pit Boss and ``Last Comic Standing as well as the feature-film Bedtime Stories, with Adam Sandler. His commercial appearances include spots for Verizon Wireless, Del Taco and Dr. Pepper.
Saraceno is of Sicilian decent and proud to be a second-generation Italian American. He grew up in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and moved down to Clearwater, Florida, to pursue his acting career. He began by doing live performances with various radio stations around Florida including WXTB 98 Rock, WTKS Real Radio 104.1 and WSUN 97X. He gained stage experience with Tampa Bay's Salerno Theatre company, where he starred in such Broadway classics as ``Damn Yankees, ``A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and ``Jekyll and Hyde. From there, Saraceno went on to star in productions such as ``The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and ``Barney and Friends.
Saraceno's interests outside acting include history, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, biking and fishing. He hopes to one day pursue his dream of flying, a dream he has had on many nights.
MARTIN KLEBBA (Butcher) has reprised his role as Jack Sparrow's pirate crewman Marty in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. On television, Klebba is perhaps best known for his role as Randall Winston in multiple episodes of ``Scrubs. Recent film projects include the films Feast 2 and 3 and All's Faire in Love, with Bloodshot and Apollo Thorne forthcoming.
Klebba has compiled numerous credits in feature films and television as both actor and stunt player. His motion picture credits as an actor include Men in Black II, Cradle 2 the Grave, Death to Smoochy and Corky Romano. He was a stunt man in the films Epic Movie, Evan Almighty, Planet of the Apes, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, Van Helsing, Yours, Mine and Ours, SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2 and Zombieland.
On the small screen, Klebba was recently seen on NBC's ``The Cape and DisneyXD's ``Pair of Kings. Other credits include telefilms ``Snow White and ``The Santa Trap as well as the series ``Little People, Big World, ``Mad TV, ``Drake and Josh, ``ER, ``Charmed, ``Malcolm in the Middle and ``Just Shoot Me! Klebba starred in the title role as tough detective Hank Dingo in Comedy Central's ``Knee High P.I. He's also a frequent guest on Howard Stern's hugely popular satellite radio program.
Klebba also holds the title of ``The Fastest Little Person in the World and competes against other little people from around the world. He is a member of the L.A. Breakers, the three-time world games Gold medalists.
Klebba recently founded a charity called CoDA (Coalition for Dwarf Advocacy) with his friend Matt Roloff, raising money to facilitate the adoption of dwarf children.
Klebba is a native of Troy, Michigan. His favorite roles of all are being a father to his son Alec and a husband to his new wife, Michelle.
RONALD LEE CLARK (Chuckles) has been seen on television in the hit series ``Pit Boss, ``Weeds and ``90210 as well as the features Hercules Saves Christmas and Epic Movie.
Clark grew up in Choctaw, Oklahoma. He managed his high school baseball team and in his junior year became the team mascot. After high school, Clark was a cheerleader at Trinity Valley Community College and won a national championship with the squad.
Once he moved to Los Angeles, Clark began performing with Shortywood Productions. He is currently a booking agent with the company.
Clark is involved in pit bull rescue and attends dog rescue and awareness events. He also trains dogs in preparation for adoption. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and working out.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
TARSEM SINGH (Director) is known for his attention to detail, stunning art direction and highly developed visual storytelling abilities. He is one of the most highly acclaimed and sought-after directors within the worldwide advertising community. Singh's epic action film Immortals, starring Mickey Rourke, Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto and Stephen Dorff, grossed more than $215 million worldwide.
Singh was educated at a Himalayan boarding school in Shimla, India. He came to the United States when he was 24 years old and graduated from Pasadena's Art Center College of Design.
The director's major breakthrough was in REM's music video ``Losing My Religion, which won a Grammy Award(R) and eight MTV awards including Best Music Video. Over the years, Singh has garnered numerous other awards including two Press Grand Prix awards in Cannes as well as D&AD, DGA and BAFTA Britannia awards.
Singh's first feature film was The Cell, a beautiful, shocking and hallucinatory psychological thriller that starred Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn. In his second feature film, The Fall, Singh expanded his directorial role into that of producer and co-writer. Part heroic journey, part pure celebration of storytelling, The Fall shot in exotic locations spanning 25 countries and was hailed as one of the most original releases of 2006.
Currently, Singh splits his time between Los Angeles and London.
MARC KLEIN (Screenplay) made his first impression on audiences worldwide with the acclaimed Miramax release Serendipity. Directed by Peter Chelsom (Shall We Dance), the film stars John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in an enchanting tale of a long-distance love that stands the test of time and happenstance. Serendipity garnered positive notices for Klein's richly drawn romantic characterizations and a narrative economy which branded the film's time-lapsing effect.
Klein also adapted Peter Mayle's revered novel, A Good Year, for Fox 2000 and director Ridley Scott, which tells the story of an Englishman (played by Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe) who inherits a vineyard in Provence, only to arrive at his property to find an American woman (Abbie Cornish) who claims the land is hers.
Klein made his directorial debut with Suburban Girl (aka The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing), which he also adapted for the screen. Melissa Banks' international bestseller is the endearing tale of a Manhattan book editor (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who changes her take on the game of romance after she lures the attention of an influential older man (Alec Baldwin).
Klein is currently writing an original romantic comedy, Unreasonable Doubt, for Universal Studios and director Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure). He is also rewriting his original screenplay TMI, which he sold to Universal with co-writer Kirsten Smith.
Klein resides in Los Angeles.
JASON KELLER (Screenwriter) is an up-and-comer whose feature work has attracted Hollywood's most desired talent and established him as a go-to screenwriter of muscular, character-driven projects. His first produced feature was Marc Forster's emotional action-thriller Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen). The film tells the true story of a former drug-dealing gang member who single-handedly rescued hundreds of destitute children conscripted by warlords in Sudan's vicious civil war.
Keller's next project is a page-one rewrite for Summit Entertainment, the action-filled The Tomb. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone will star for Danish director Mikael Håfström (1408), with Mark Canton and Robbie Brenner producing.
Keller's screen adaptation of the A.J. Baime book Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, tentatively titled Go Like Hell, is in development at Fox for director Michael Mann. The story focuses on the exciting rivalry Ford instigated with Ferrari in 1966 to establish itself as the dominant player on the international race circuit.
Keller recently completed his adaptation of Justin Cronin's epic 2009 novel The Passage for Fox. Director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) has been developing the project and chose Keller as his collaborator. The Passage is the first installment of Cronin's planned trilogy set in the future, after a government experiment to lengthen human lifespans ends up turning people into vampires.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Keller was attending Ball State University when a professor recommended him for a yearlong theater and film studies program at Regents College in London. There, he wrote and directed his own plays. In 1998, he received a New Harmony Writing Fellowship for his play ``Paris Moon.
After the program, Keller dropped out of college and moved to L.A. to pursue a writing career. To pay rent on his austere Koreatown apartment and buy gas for his 12-year old beater of a car, he signed on for any production job he could find. While working as grip, gaffer, assistant and countless other jobs, Keller continued to teach himself the craft of screenwriting. He partnered with a friend to co-write a spec script that somehow found its way to Mel Gibson, without representation involved. After the writers completed an unpaid rewrite to address his notes, Gibson bought the script.
Keller got an agent and his first solo spec, Sugar's Sweet Science of Bruising, sparked a bidding war between some of Hollywood's top talent. In the end, it sold to New Line for $1.4 million. While the project was never made, it marked the end of Keller's hand-to mouth existence.
Today, Keller lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.
MELISA WALLACK (Screen Story) was named one of Variety's ``Top 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2005. Since then, she has written both features and television. Currently, she is writing Emily the Strange for Universal with Chloe Grace Moretz attached to star. She is also co-producing Dallas Buyers Club, which she co-wrote with Craig Borten. The film is scheduled to shoot this spring with Mathew McConaughey attached to star and Jean-Mark Vallee directing.
Wallack lives with her husband, producer Bernie Goldmann, and their three children.
BERNIE GOLDMANN (Producer) has been responsible for more than $2 billion at the box office, working in the film industry as both an executive and producer. As an executive at both Disney and Village Roadshow Pictures, Goldmann oversaw a string of hits such as Training Day, Ocean's Eleven, Three Kings, The Matrix, Space Cowboys, Practical Magic, Analyze This, Miss Congeniality, Deep Blue Sea and Cats and Dogs.
Goldmann produced 300, Zack Snyder's ferocious retelling of the ancient battle of Thermopylae and based on Frank Miller's graphic novel. Embraced by audiences and critics worldwide, the film broke box-office records. Among his many other producing credits are Land of the Dead and Looney Tunes Back in Action.
Goldmann is currently in pre-production on the much-anticipated sequel 300: Battle of Artemesia.
RYAN KAVANAUGH (Producer) is the CEO and founder of Relativity Media (Relativity), as well as a successful producer and highly regarded expert in film finance. In addition to executive producing David Fincher's Oscar-nominated drama The Social Network, his credits as producer include Neil Burger's Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro; and David O. Russell's The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. He is now in preproduction on Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven. Other film credits include Despicable Me, Mamma Mia!, Brothers, 3:10 to Yuma, Grown Ups and Dear John.
With Kavanaugh at the helm, Relativity is now an established media and entertainment company engaged in creating, financing and distributing first-class, studio-quality entertainment content and intellectual property across multiple platforms. Relativity has produced, distributed and/or structured financing for more than 200 motion pictures generating more than $16 billion in worldwide box office revenue and earning 60 Oscar nominations.
Kavanaugh received the 2009 Hollywood Producer of the Year Award at the 13th Annual Hollywood Awards gala. Daily Variety published a special issue honoring Kavanaugh as a billion-dollar producer. In 2010, The Hollywood Reporter bestowed its Leadership Award to Kavanaugh and devoted a special issue to his career. He has also been named Variety's Showman of the Year for 2011 and was honored at the most recent Cannes Film Festival. Kavanaugh was also named one of Fortune's ``40 Under 40: Most Influential People in Business and Forbes' ``Future 400: Ones to Watch.
Kavanaugh has created business and financial structures for a number of studios, production companies and producers, introducing more than $10 billion in capital to these structures. During Relativity's first year of operation, Kavanaugh executed a groundbreaking finance deal for Marvel Studios that led them to launch the successful Iron Man film franchise. He went on to structure business deals for companies as Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and many others.
Kavanaugh has acquired a wealth of strategic assets, including the marketing and distribution operations of Overture Films, the film unit of John Malone's Liberty Media/Starz. He reached a first-of-its-kind pay television deal with Netflix. In addition, Kavanaugh forged a marketing and production partnership with Richard Branson's Virgin brands, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Produced, in which Relativity owns a stake. Kavanaugh also brokered an innovative cross-platform marketing partnership with Clear Channel Radio, the leading media company in America with more reach in the U.S. than any radio or television outlet.
Kavanaugh was also instrumental in launching Relativity's historic partnership with China's Huaxia Film Distribution Co. Ltd. to become equal partners in SkyLand Entertainment and handle the production and distribution of films in China and the U.S. This joint venture is the first and only government-sanctioned pact of its kind.
BRETT RATNER (Producer) has established himself as one of Hollywood's most successful directors, with eight feature films grossing more than $1.5 billion worldwide in a short time. Ratner shattered several box-office records with the release of his third installment of the popular X-Men film series. X-Men: The Last Stand opened with a staggering $123 million in just four days, the biggest Memorial Day weekend in history. Its $45.1 million opening day marked the second-biggest single day box office ever and the film grossed more than $400 million worldwide.
Raised in Miami Beach, Ratner dreamed of being a filmmaker from the age of 8. After enrolling in New York University's Tisch School of the Arts at 16, Ratner became the department's youngest film major. His college short Whatever Happened to Mason Reese won awards and received funding from Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.
Ratner's big break came when he screened the short film for hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, launching a successful career in music videos. Ratner has directed more than 100 videos for a variety of artists including Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson, Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Wu-Tang Clan and many others. He won an MTV Video Music Award for Madonna's ``Beautiful Stranger.
At 26 years old, Ratner directed his first feature film, the surprise hit Money Talks, a comedy starring Charlie Sheen and Chris Tucker. Next, his action-comedy Rush Hour grossed $250 million worldwide. Starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, the film launched its own extremely popular trilogy.
The director's other film credits include romantic fantasy The Family Man, a critical and box-office success starring Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni; suspense thriller Red Dragon, a Silence of the Lambs prequel starring Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson; and action-comedy After the Sunset, starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson and Don Cheadle.
Ratner won the MTV Movie Award for Best Fight Sequence for Rush Hour 2 and a Tony Award for producing ``Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway.
In addition to his success in film and music, Ratner has segued into book publishing and photography. Through his Rat Press imprint, he published the controversial book Naked Pictures of My Ex-Girlfriends and authored Hilhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures, which was released in October 2003. His photographs have appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Interview and Heeb, gracing the covers of Vogue Homme, V-Life and Haute Living. Ratner has also shot advertising campaigns for fashion companies such as Baby Phat, Jimmy Choo and Jordache.
Ratner contributes his time and energy to philanthropic causes he is passionate about. He is currently on the boards of Best Buddies and Chrysalis, receiving the Spirit of Chrysalis Award for his dedication and leadership in helping economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals change their lives with new jobs.
Ratner is also on the Board of Governors for the We Are Family Foundation. He serves on the Dean's Council of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and most recently became the youngest member of the Board of Trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance.
Ratner currently resides in Los Angeles.
TUCKER TOOLEY (Executive Producer) is the co-president of Relativity Media and oversees day-to-day operations alongside president and CFO Steve Bertram. He also oversees Relativity's film slate. In September 2011, Tooley was promoted from his previous post as president of worldwide production.
Since joining the company in 2007, Tooley and Ryan Kavanaugh have built the single-picture films division into a full-fledged studio that develops, finances, produces, acquires and distributes eight to 10 films per year. In 2010, Tooley played an integral role in acquiring Overture Films to provide a distribution arm to Relativity. Most recently, he worked on the comedy 21 and Over and was an executive producer on Steven Soderbergh's actioner Haywire.
Other executive producer credits include Neil Burger's Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro; David O. Russell's The Fighter, with Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo; and Lasse Hallström's Dear John, starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried.
During Tooley's time at Relativity, the company's single-picture films division has earned recognition with multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nods for acclaimed films such as The Fighter, Brothers and Nine. In 2009, Tooley was honored with the Ischia Global Film Festival's Executive of the Year Award.
After receiving his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Tooley began his producing career as a creative executive at Interlight Pictures. In 1999, he established production shingle Newman/Tooley Films with then-producing partner Vincent Newman. Over the next seven years, the duo produced a successful slate of both independent and studio films, working with much of the top talent in Hollywood.
Prior to joining Relativity, Tooley served as CEO of Tooley Productions. There, he independently produced television shows and feature films for more than a decade. Tooley was able to consistently produce commercial films, package A-list talent, and deliver films both on budget and on schedule. His credits include Shadowboxer, starring Helen Mirren and directed by Lee Daniels, and the critically acclaimed Felon, directed by Ric Roman Waugh.
KEVIN MISHER (Executive Producer) Kevin Misher produces motion pictures via his Los Angeles-based production company, Misher Films.
In addition to Mirror Mirror, Misher Films in in post-production on Playing the Field, a comedy starring Gerard Butler as a down-on-his-luck former pro-soccer star who finds himself the center of attention for Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer when he moves to the suburbs to reconnect with his estranged son. It was directed by Gabriele Muccino (Pursuit of Happyness) and will be released by FilmDistrict on December 25th 2012. Misher Films has also recently produced The Europa Report, a contemporary thriller set in deep space starring Sharlto Copley (District 9) and directed by Sebastian Cordero.
Misher is starting production on the remake of Stephen King's classic horror novel, Carrie, to be directed by Kim Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) and released by MGM/Sony Screen Gems in 2013 and the action-thriller, No Blood No Guts No Glory, to be released by Focus Features, also next year.
Other upcoming projects include the epic saga The Last Duel, to be directed by Martin Scorsese, Shadow of the Colossus, the adaptation of the legendary video game to be directed by breakout director Josh Trank (Chronicle), the comedy Reply All, starring Zach Galifianakis, and the comedy Crazy U, starring Will Ferrell as an estranged dad who takes his son on a tour of prospective colleges.
Misher, born and raised in Queens, New York, earned a degree in economics from the Wharton School of Business. His first job in the entertainment industry was at HBO in New York, where he served as a financial analyst for then-CEO Michael Fuchs. He soon relocated to Los Angeles and landed at the international talent agency ICM, initially as a mail clerk then as an agent's assistant. His talent for identifying possible film projects, demonstrated even then, convinced legendary executive Mike Medavoy to hire Misher as a creative executive at Tri-Star Pictures.
Misher ascended the ranks quickly, and during his six years at the studio, oversaw numerous productions, including Donnie Brasco, directed by Mike Newell and starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp.
In 1996, Misher moved to Universal Pictures where he became President of Production, at the age of 33. During his tenure, while Universal enjoyed unprecedented success, Misher supervised production of some of the studio's most successful features, such as Out of Sight and Erin Brockovich, as well as four of their most profitable franchises: the series of films spawned by The Mummy, Meet the Parents, The Fast and the Furious, and The Bourne Identity.
Misher left Universal in 2001 to form Misher Films. His first project was the hit follow up to The Mummy franchise, The Scorpion King. His subsequent productions include The Rundown, starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Peter Berg, The Interpreter, directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, Public Enemies, directed by Michael Mann, starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard and Fighting starring Channing Tatum.
Misher lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Danielle, and their two sons, Griffin and Beckett.
JEFF G. WAXMAN (Executive Producer, Line Producer) has an enviable track record in the motion picture industry. He is a quintessential industry hyphenate, having worked as an executive producer, producer, co-producer, line producer, production supervisor and director on acclaimed motion pictures. He has worked with some of Hollywood's most revered talent, including actors Anthony Hopkins, Jamie Foxx, Christopher Walken, Marisa Tomei, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler, as well as directors such as Michael Mann, Sidney Lumet, David O. Russell, Tony Kaye, Taylor Hackford and F. Gary Gray.
He most recently executive produced and line produced Immortals, directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Henry Cavill. This came on the heels of completing another Relativity project, The Fighter, for which Waxman served as co-producer, and Law Abiding Citizen, the 2009 hit he co-produced for The Film Department.
Before Law Abiding Citizen, Waxman gained other freelance credits including associate producer on Reign Over Me (2007), starring Adam Sandler, and production supervisor on Michael Mann's Miami Vice (2006), starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.
Previously, Waxman worked with several production companies. As the head of production for Capitol Films, Waxman oversaw Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke; Five Dollars a Day, starring Christopher Walken; Black Water Transit, starring Laurence Fishburne; and Taylor Hackford's Love Ranch, starring Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci.
Born in Queens, New York, Waxman began his career supervising a number of films for Connecticut-based Cabin Fever Entertainment. Credits include The Hunter's Moon, starring Burt Reynolds, and a pair of Houston Film Festival Gold Award winners: 1995's Painted Hero, starring Dwight Yoakam and Bo Hopkins, and 1994's Sioux City, starring and directed by Lou Diamond Phillips.
In 1996, Waxman received his first directing credit on the concert film Freebird, which he also produced. The film chronicled the heyday of Southern-rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, including the events leading up to their tragic plane crash in 1977.
Next, Waxman was senior vice president of production for Los Angeles-based Cutting Edge Entertainment. He teamed with Tom Cruise to executive produce Joe Carnahan's highly acclaimed crime drama Narc (2002), starring Ray Liotta and Jason Patric. Waxman also produced The Devil and Daniel Webster (a.k.a. Shortcut to Happiness) for Cutting Edge, which starred Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anthony Hopkins. Additional credits with Cutting Edge include In the Shadows, starring James Caan and Cuba Gooding, Jr.; Cutaway, starring Tom Berenger and Ron Silver; and Fait Accompli, starring Rosanna Arquette and Michael Madsen.
Waxman resides in Long Island with his wife, Lauren, and their two children.
JAMIE MARSHALL (Executive Producer) has developed a reputation as a leader and partner capable of overcoming the many obstacles and challenges a Hollywood film set can present. Consequently, producers and directors alike have turned to Marshall to help them launch the Twilight film franchise and such notable projects as Gavin O'Connor's Warrior and Tarsem Singh's Immortals. On those and other films, Marshall has served as first assistant director and co-producer or associate producer.
Marshall grew up in the United Kingdom and was raised on the many film sets his father worked on. He grew up observing and learning from the ever-evolving world of filmmaking.
In 2006, while working on the Adam Sandler drama Reign Over Me, Marshall teamed up with producer Jeff Waxman. They have developed a great partnership that has brought them to Relativity Media and their busy film slate.
TOMMY TURTLE (Executive Producer) guides and collaborates with directors, creative talent and clients to develop and produce the next generation of entertainment for his company, radical.media. In collaboration with brands and agencies, Turtle works deftly across multiple forms of media and across all delivery platforms imaginable, constantly exploring and expanding the boundaries.
In his role as executive producer, Turtle's breadth of experience spans international television production, live entertainment, digital platforms, feature films and literally hundreds of award-winning TV commercials produced in over 70 countries. Throughout his 20-year career as producer and executive producer, Turtle has worked with directors such as Tarsem Singh, Terry Gilliam, Antony Hoffman, Lenny Dorfman and Chris Milk.
Included in his extensive list of award-winning commercials are spots for brands such as Pepsi, Nike, Orange, Mastercard, Gatorade, Coca Cola, Adidas, HSBC, Guinness, Sony, Toyota and GM, to name but a few. His experience means Turtle is often the first choice for projects that demand experience on the global stage, sometimes in extreme conditions. So far this has encompassed filming far and wide, in areas ranging from the deserts of Namibia and the Sahara to the Arctic Circle and even the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, for a recent TV special (Summit on the Summit).
As radical.media has continued to break new ground in the global arena, Turtle's international experience and expertise have seen him involved in the development of new business opportunities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including the opening of radical.media's London and Shanghai offices.
With his directing partner Tarsem Singh, Turtle has also produced the feature films The Cell and The Fall. He collaborated with David Fincher on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where Turtle produced the sequences that needed to be shot in distant locations such as India and Cambodia.
The producer considers it his ongoing challenge to further establish and develop opportunities in the entertainment arena from a truly global perspective.
JOSH PATE (Executive Producer) is a prolific writer, director and producer in both television and features. He and Jonas Pate recently sold ``Hammerdown to USA. Josh previously was a consulting producer on ``Moonlight. Prior to that, he co-created and executive produced the series ``Surface for NBC Universal and directed multiple episodes of ``Friday Night Lights and ``Battlestar Gallactica.
JOHN CHENG (Executive Producer) is the head of feature film development for Rat Entertainment, which is director and producer Brett Ratner's production company. Cheng has been instrumentally involved in the development of Ratner's films, including Rush Hour 1, 2, & 3, The Family Man, and Red Dragon. Cheng is currently in pre-production on Alcon Entertainment's Hong Kong Phooey starring Eddie Murphy and developing Horrible Bosses 2 for New Line Cinema.
In addition to developing these directing vehicles for Mr. Ratner, Cheng has spearheaded the drive for Rat Entertainment to produce films with other directors. Rat Entertainment's slate of projects reflects John's keen eye for identifying new talent and commercially viable concepts.
Cheng was a co-producer on New Line Cinema's comedy, Horrible Bosses, directed by Seth Gordon and starring Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Jason Bateman, which made over $200 million dollars worldwide and also a co-producer on New Line Cinema's, Code Name: The Cleaner starring Cedric the Entertainer and Lucy Liu.
Cheng is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
NICO SOULTANAKIS (Co-Producer) co-produced and co-wrote The Fall with Dan Gilroy and Tarsem Singh. He also directed two documentaries on the film, Wanderlust and Nostalgia. He recently served as associate producer on Singh's action-fantasy Immortals. Soultanakis also worked with the acclaimed director as a creative consultant on many of his commercials and in 2000 was the associate producer on Singh's first feature, The Cell.
Soultanakis is a graduate of the film school at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design. After working in the film business in a variety of positions including grip, writer and editor, he became a music video and commercial director at Palomar Pictures. There, he directed videos for artists such as the Cranberries, Dionne Farris and Rickie Lee Jones.
AJIT SINGH (Co-Producer) graduated from the University of Southern California School of Law in 1998. He is the managing director of Googly Films, a film production company. Prior to working on Mirror Mirror, Singh executive produced The Fall which was released in 2006.
BRENDAN GALVIN (Director of Photography) began his career shooting music videos and commercials, most notably collaborating with directors Tarsem Singh and John Moore. Galvin's first feature film assignment came in 2000 when he shot Steve Barron's dark comedy Rat. John Moore's directorial debut, Behind Enemy Lines, starring Gene Hackman and Owen Wilson, marked Galvin's breakthrough as director of photography.
Since then, Galvin has shot such films as John Moore's Flight of the Phoenix, Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin, Jonathan Frakes' Thunderbirds and most recently, Singh's Immortals.
ALAN MENKEN (Composer) is well-recognized for creating the great American song book for musical films and theater of the 20th and 21st century. Menken is the world-renowned composer for the songs and scores to Tangled, Enchanted, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Newsies, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules and Home on the Range, as well as the songs to the stage and film versions of ``Little Shop of Horrors, the Broadway productions of ``Beauty and the Beast which had a successful 13-year run, and ``The Little Mermaid - The Musical. Alan Menken's current Broadway productions include ``Leap of Faith, ``Newsies, and ``Sister Act - The Musical, making him one of four composers ever to have three Broadway shows at the same time.
In addition to winning eight Oscars-more than any living person-he has been nominated 19 times. Menken has also won seven Golden Globes and 11 Grammys, including for Tangled, as well as the London Evening Standard, Olivier, New York Drama Critics, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He received the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Maestro Award in October 2011. His other achievements include: Billboard's 1 album (``Pocahontas) and 1 single (``A Whole New World). Menken has collaborated with several renowned lyricists including Howard Ashman (1950-1991), Tim Rice, Stephen Schwartz and Glenn Slater.
Menken received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010. In 2008 he was inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame.
Last year, Menken displayed no signs of slowing down. His recent creations include: a 1940s musical-style song ``Star Spangled Man for the box-office hit Captain America and concurrently he created new stage musicals: ``Leap of Faith, ``Aladdin, and ``Newsies.
Alan Menken was born in New Rochelle, New York. He developed an interest in music at an early age, studying piano and violin. Menken attended New York University as a pre-med student, but later changed his focus to music. After college, he attended the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, through which he met Howard Ashman. He performed frequently in local clubs and worked as a composer of jingles and songs and as an accompanist.
In the late 1970s, Menken wrote several shows that were successfully showcased, but were not produced. Menken's first major professional work was with Ashman for the Off Broadway 1979 WPA Theatre production of the play ``God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, an adaptation of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. This was well received, but three years later, he achieved greater success with the 1982 Off Broadway musical ``Little Shop of Horrors, based on the Roger Corman B movie, again with Ashman, for which he earned a Drama Desk Award nomination. ``Little Shop was adapted for a successful motion picture musical directed by Frank Oz and later had a Broadway run.
TOM FODEN (Production Designer) has worked on a wide range of feature films, commercials and award-winning music videos for some of the world's biggest stars. His talent for creating a stunning, eye-catching aesthetic has led to collaborations with some of Hollywood's best directors on an array of visually stunning films. Foden's credits include M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men, Gus Van Sant's Psycho and Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo. Foden worked with director Tarsem Singh on The Cell, which was nominated for an ADG Award, and resumed his relationship with the director on 2011's Immortals. Teaming up with radical.media, the pair has also made commercials for Pepsi, Acura and Nokia.
Foden's other advertising credits include spots for ESPN Mobile, Nike, Motorola, Lexus and HBO. He's worked on commercials for directors Jake Scott, Roman Coppola, Robert Rodriguez, Stacy Wall and Mark Romanek.
The production designer is well known for his work on music videos, including one for Hanson that was directed by Gus Van Sant. Foden often works closely with Mark Romanek, designing videos for Nine Inch Nails, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Lenny Kravitz that were nominated for or won MTV Video Music Awards. Working with Jake Scott, Foden has lent his talents to videos for Soundgarden, Madonna, U2 and Radiohead.
EIKO ISHIOKA (Costume Designer) was a multidisciplinary designer whose internationally acclaimed work for stage, film, advertising and graphic design made her one of the premier visual artists in contemporary world culture. Her long list of accolades includes an Academy Award for costume design for Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, the Award for Artistic Contribution at the Cannes Film Festival for her production design on Mishima, Outer Critics Circle Awards and Tony nominations for the sets and costumes of the Broadway play ``M. Butterfly, and a Grammy Award for her artwork on the Miles Davis album ``Tutu.
Ishioka's creative vision made its indelible mark on everything from Hollywood to the Olympics. She designed the costumes for Tarsem Singh's The Cell, The Fall and Immortals, directed a music video for the singer Björk, designed the costumes for Pierre Audi's production of Wagner's ``Ring Cycle at De Nederlandse Opera, created racing wear for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, and designed the team identity and uniforms for the NBA's Houston Rockets. Ishioka was also the director of costume design for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
Ishioka's costume design for the Cirque du Soleil production ``Varekai earned her a Drama Desk Award nomination. Her costume design work is also being seen on Broadway in the musical smash ``Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, with music by Bono and The Edge.
Ishioka was a laureate of the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and her work is included in New York's Museum of Modern Art, among other cultural institutions. Ishioka published two retrospectives of her work, 1983's Eiko by Eiko and 2000's Eiko on Stage. Both were published by Callaway Editions in New York. In 2005, she published I Design, a behind-the-scenes account of her work on 12 international projects.
Ishioka was born in Tokyo and resided in New York City until her death in January of 2012.
PAUL BECKER (Choreographer) discovered dance at an early age and engrossed himself in virtually every style. From hip hop and capoeira to ballet and tap, Becker uses his vast knowledge of dance, multimedia and filmmaking to create elaborate spectacles. A protégé of Kenny Ortega, Becker has worked alongside the director on several occasions. Most recently, he choreographed Ortega's concert world tour for the Jonas Brothers.
As a lead choreographer, Becker's best-known credit may be the CW series ``Hellcats, starring Ashley Tisdale. His work for the show features fight choreography and a dynamic mix of dance styles that boost cheerleading routines to a spectacular new level. Director Zack Snyder hired Becker to choreograph the elaborate musical numbers featured in his hallucinatory film Sucker Punch, starring Vanessa Hudgens and Jon Hamm. Becker also did choreography for the family hit Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on the bestselling books, and Girl Walks into a Bar, the first feature made to be released on YouTube.
Other film credits include The Goods: The Don Ready Story, Hot Rod, Talk to Me, RV, Are We Done Yet, Are We There Yet?, Scooby Doo 3 and 4, Cabin in the Woods, Eragon, The Wicker Man and Totally Awesome.
Becker's choreography on Michael Bublé's music video for ``Just Haven't Met You Yet received rave reviews. He can be seen as a guest judge and choreographer on Canada's hit television series ``So You Think You Can Dance.
Other television credits include ``Letters to Santa: The Muppets Christmas Special, ``Case 39, ``Reaper, ``The L Word, ``Masters of Horror, ``Aliens in America and ``Caprica.