Air Force One: About The Filmmakers

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Director-producer WOLFGANG PETERSEN most recently produced and directed the box office hit Outbreak, starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo and Morgan Freeman. He also recently supervised the director's cut and re-release of his remarkable war drama Das Boot, for which he earned Oscar nominations as best director and best screenwriter.

In 1993, Petersen directed the critically praised and commercially successful suspense thriller In the Line of Fire, starring Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich and Rene Russo. It received three Academy Award nominations. The Academy's previous recognition of Petersen, in 1981 for Das Boot, had made him the first Best Director nominee ever to have been so honored for a German language film. That picture earned a total of six Academy Award nominations and was, until recently, the highest grossing foreign language film ever released in the United States.

Arguably one of the most commercially and artistically successful directors to have emerged from Europe in the last two decades, Petersen started his feature film career as winner of the German National Film Prize as best new director for One of Us Two in 1973. He first gained international notice with the controversial 1977 drama The Consequence.

After the success of Das Boot, he wrote and directed the lavish fantasy The Neverending Story. Then he directed the futuristic fantasy Enemy Mine starring Louis Gossett, Jr. and Dennis Quaid. After taking permanent residence in the United States, Petersen wrote and directed the thriller Shattered, starring Tom Berenger.

Petersen began directing stage productions at Hamburg's Ernst Deutch Theatre at age 21 while he was still an acting student. He abandoned acting to focus his efforts on directing when he entered the Berlin Film and Television Academy where he trained for four years. Among his professors there was esteemed cinematographer Michael Ballhaus.

In 1970, Petersen made his TV directorial debut with I Will Kill You, Wolf, followed by six two-hour telefeatures for the series Tatort. Among his other early successes were Smog, which aired throughout Europe and won the 1975 silver Prix Futura in Berlin, and Black and White, Like Day and Night, for which he earned the award as Best Director at the Paris Film Festival in 1978.

Petersen is currently serving as executive producer on several movies developed by his company, Radiant Productions, in partnership with producer Gail Katz. These include Red Corner starring Richard Gere, and Ishmael to be directed by Jon Turteltaub, starring Anthony Hopkins.

Petersen will next be directing and producing the true-life adventure Endurance for TriStar, set in Antarctica in years 1914 to 1916.

Producer ARMYAN BERNSTEIN is the chairman of Beacon Communications, one of the industry's most innovative and aggressive production companies. Bernstein formed Beacon in 1990 with Marc Abraham, the company's president. Beacon's upcoming films for '97 include: Playing God, starring David Duchovny and Timothy Hutton, and A Thousand Acres, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Beacon Communications is known for critically acclaimed, award winning films such as The Commitments, which won four BAFTA awards; Keith Gordon's critical triumph A Midnight Clear, starring Ethan Hawke; and David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre, which won a Cable ACE Award for Best Dramatic Special. Beacon also produced Sugar Hill, starring Wesley Snipes; Princess Caraboo, starring Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline; The Road to Wellville, directed by Alan Parker and starring Anthony Hopkins and The Baby-sitters Club, based on the best-selling series of books from Scholastic Magazine.

Bernstein comes from a filmmaking background. He wrote the '70s cult classic Thank God It's Friday, starring Debra Winger and Jeff Goldblum. He went on to write and coproduce Francis Ford Coppola's legendary Vegas romance, One From the Heart. Bernstein made his directing debut with Windy City, from his screenplay, which starred John Shea and Kate Capshaw. He wrote and directed Cross My Heart, starring Martin Short and Annette O'Toole for producer Lawrence Kasdan.

Bernstein also wrote and produced the Emmy Award-winning Earth Day Special for Warner Bros. and ABC. He began his career as a journalist working for PBS and ABC. Born and raised in Chicago, Bernstein graduated from the University of Wisconsin.

Producer GAIL KATZ previously produced Wolfgang Petersen's Outbreak, starring Dustin Hoffman and executive produced In the Line of Fire, starring Clint Eastwood. Katz also co-produced Shattered.

As president of Radiant Productions, Katz and Petersen are developing numerous feature film and television projects. She and Petersen are currently executive producing the theatrical features Red Corner, starring Richard Gere and directed by Jon Avnet, and Ishmael, to be directed by Jon Turtletaub and starring Anthony Hopkins. Katz is also the executive producer of Mighty Joe Young, starring Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron under the direction of Ron Underwood. She is also now in pre-production on Petersen's next feature, Endurance, which is scheduled to begin filming at the end of this year.

After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley and receiving a Master of Business Administration degree from Yale University, Katz worked in investment banking before entering the film industry in corporate finance and planning at Embassy Communications.

She moved to New World Pictures as vice president of finance and then became active in film financing before segueing to vice president of production. While at New World, she become associated with Petersen on Shattered. She and the filmmaker brought the film to MGM where it was ultimately made and their producing partnership was formed.

Producer JONATHAN SHESTACK is executive vice president of Beacon in charge of development and creative affairs. Beacon's Air Force One is the first project Shestack brought into the company, which developed it from a pitch. Shestack has continued his involvement as one of the film's producers.

A native of Philadelphia, Shestack was an independent producer before coming to Beacon and produced the art house hit The Last Seduction, directed by John Dahl and released by October Films. Before that, he was an executive at Sandollar Productions where he was the production executive on a diverse slate of films including Shining Through, Father of the Bride and Straight Talk.

Shestack is the father of three children, one of whom has autism. He is also the founder, with his wife Portia Iverson, of CAN, the Cure Autism Now foundation, a group of parents and scientists dedicated to funding biological research in autism. In one year, the organization has become the largest private funder of autism research in the country.

Executive producer DAVID LESTER previously worked with producer-director Wolfgang Petersen and producer Gail Katz on In the Line of Fire, serving as unit production manager.

Lester most recently produced the comedy hit Tin Cup for writer-director Ron Shelton. His long association with Shelton dates from working as executive producer and production manager on Bull Durham. He later served as executive producer and second unit director on Blaze and producer on both White Men Can't Jump and Cobb.

Lester was executive producer and production manager on The Shawshank Redemption. He also produced the comedy Sibling Rivalry and was co-producer of Lord of the Flies.

Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Lester graduated from Northwestern University's School of Speech and later did post-graduate study at the University of Southern California. He gained his first filmmaking experience working as a production consultant on The Wind and the Lion and unit manager (for the miniature pyrotechnic unit) on Star Wars. He also worked on the Canadian sequences of The Black Stallion, and headed the optical effects production on Star Trek - The Motion Picture.

Lester worked as a production manager on television before making the transition to feature films. Among his credits as motion picture production manager are Broadcast News and Gardens of Stone.

Executive producer MARC ABRAHAM is co-founder and president of Beacon Communications. Under his leadership, Beacon has produced the Golden Globe Award-winning The Commitments, the critically-acclaimed A Midnight Clear, Sugar Hill, Princess Caraboo and The Road to Wellville. Upcoming releases include Playing God starring David Duchovny and the adaptation of Jane Smiley's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Thousand Acres with Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Abraham began working as a copywriter for Young and Rubicam in New York after graduating the University of Virginia. He left the advertising world to concentrate on a writing career and worked as a freelance sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times and Golf Magazine, among others. He subsequently wrote two books on the International Olympic Games for Universal Press.

The young writer turned filmmaker for the documentary Playing to Win! which was an inside look at the Cuban athletic system. He began writing screenplays and episodic television, winning a 1990 Writers Guild Award for The Earth Day Show.

Abraham and partner Armyan Bernstein formed Beacon Communications in 1990. Most recently, Abraham served as executive producer on David Mamet's screen adaptation of A Life in the Theatre, starring Jack Lemmon and Matthew Broderick, which won a Cable ACE Award for Best Dramatic or Theatrical Special.

Executive producer THOMAS BLISS joined Beacon in 1990 and is the chief operating officer. At Beacon, Bliss has executive produced A Thousand Acres, Playing God, The Baby-Sitters Club and The Last Bachelor and produced A Life in the Theatre. In addition, Bliss produced Box of Moonlight, directed by Tom DiCillo, which will be released this summer.

Born in Hollywood, Bliss began making 8mm films in junior high school. After graduating UCLA Film School, Bliss served as Dean of Students at USC's Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, later returning to UCLA to earn his law degree.

Bliss next earned a coveted spot in the Directors Guild of America - Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Training Program. Bliss has produced dozens of hours of filmed, videotaped and live entertainment. As a producer, Bliss has received two CABLE-ACE Awards and a Peabody Award.

A devotee of new technology, Bliss pioneered the use of Betacam, High Definition Television, digital audio and non-linear editing while consulting to the American Film Institute.

Bliss serves on the Board of Trustees of the Directors Guild of America - Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Training Program, the Board of Directors of the Independent Producers Association and the Board of Governors of the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts.

Screenwriter ANDREW W. MARLOWE was awarded a 1992 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An action-thriller spec script entitled Apogee was recently purchased by Larry Gordon Productions. Air Force One is Marlowe's first produced screenplay.

Marlowe received his bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Columbia University in 1988 and earned an M.F.A. in screenwriting in 1992 from the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television.

Director of Photography MICHAEL BALLHAUS previously teamed with director Wolfgang Petersen on Outbreak. He is currently working with Mike Nichols on Primary Colors. Prior to Air Force One, he shot the films Sleepers and Quiz Show.

Ballhaus is a two-time Oscar nominee, having been so honored for The Fabulous Baker Boys and Broadcast News. The German-born cinematographer has earned awards for GoodFellas (L.A. Film Critics & B.F.A.), The Age of Innocence (B.F.A.) and Dracula (Chicago Film Critics), as well as the German Bundesfilmpreis for The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant and the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear for The Marriage of Maria Braun.

His additional credits include I'll Do Anything, The Mambo Kings, What About Bob?, Postcards from the Edge, Working Girl, Guilty by Suspicion, The House on Carroll Street, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Glass Menagerie.

A frequent collaborator with Martin Scorsese, Ballhaus has worked with the director on The Last Temptation of Christ, The Color of Money and After Hours, as well as the aforementioned GoodFellas.

Production designer WILLIAM SANDELL has designed such box office hits as The Flintstones, Total Recall, RoboCop and The Glimmer Man.

An artist who created kinetic sculptures, Sandell began his filmmaking career as assistant art director on Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets. He became art director on Jonathan Demme's Fighting Mad in 1975.

Among his early credits as production designer are I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, The Promise, Serial, Airplane II: The Sequel and St. Elmo's Fire. He later designed Big Business, Nothing But Trouble, Newsies and Hocus Pocus.

Editor RICHARD FRANCIS-BRUCE received Academy Award nominations for his work on The Shawshank Redemption and Seven. He also recently edited the hit action thriller The Rock and the comedy Speechless. For his work on the highly-acclaimed Dead Calm, Francis-Bruce received an Australian Film Award for Best Editing.

Francis-Bruce began his career in his native Sydney, Australia, as an assistant editor for the Australian Broadcasting Company in 1966. He became an editor on documentaries and numerous television series before cutting his first feature Goodbye Paradise for director Carl Schultz. He later reteamed with Schultz on the multiple award-winning Careful, He Might Hear You, for which he received an Australian Film Institute nomination for Best Editing.

He began a long association with director George Miller with the television mini-series The Dismissal. He subsequently worked with Miller on Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, The Witches of Eastwick and Lorenzo's Oil. His other film credits include Sliver, Blood of Heroes, Cadillac Man and The Mosquito Coast.

Costume designer ERICA PHILLIPS previously worked with director Wolfgang Petersen on Outbreak, In the Line of Fire and Shattered. She most recently served as designer on The Cable Guy.

Phillips has also designed costumes for A Perfect World, Major League, Calendar Girl, Little Big League, Talent for the Game, Alien Nation and Tough Guys. She won a Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy for her costumes on Total Recall and was nominated for a Saturn for her work on RoboCop.

JERRY GOLDSMITH (composer) has created the scores for more than 175 motion pictures and television programs, establishing himself as one the industry's most dominating composers.

For his feature film work during the last 30 years Goldsmith has earned 16 Academy Award nominations -- winning the Oscar for his work on The Omen -- and seven Golden Globe nominations. His memorable film credits include Seven Days in May, A Patch of Blue, The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon, Chinatown, Poltergeist, Under Fire, Hoosiers and Basic Instinct. For television, Goldsmith has received 5 Emmy Awards for his work on such projects as the Bell System Family Theatre's The Red Pony, the six-hour movie QB VII, Babe, Masada and the series Star Trek: Voyager.

In addition, recordings of his music (over 100 have been released) have garnered seven Grammy nominations.

Goldsmith appears frequently as a concert conductor with symphonies all over the country and teaches a graduate course in music composition for motion pictures at the University of Southern California School of Music.

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