As Good As It Gets: About The Filmmakers

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JAMES L. BROOKS (Director/Writer/Producer) is a three-time Academy Award®-winner and thirteen-time Emmy Award-winner who is responsible for some of film and television's most unique contributions to popular art. He began his television career as a writer who then became a writer/creator of television hits, including "Taxi" "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Rhoda,' "Lou Grant," "Room 222," "The Tracey Ullman Show" and "The Simpsons." He also wrote and produced the television movie "Thursday's Games."

Brooks began working in film in 1979 when he wrote the screenplay for "Starting Over," which he co-produced with Alan J. Pakula. In 1983, Brooks wrote, produced and directed "Terms of Endearment," for which he earned three Academy Awards. In 1987, he wrote, produced and directed "Broadcast News," which won the New York Film Critics Award for best picture, writer and director. It was also nominated for Academy Awards for both best picture and best screenplay. Through Gracie Films, Brooks produced "The War of the Roses," co-produced, with Robert Greenhut, "Big," and served as executive producer on "Bottle Rocket". He also executive produced director Cameron Crowe's debut "Say Anything" and, most recently, produced Crowe's highly successful romantic comedy, "Jerry Maguire."

In 1990, Brooks produced and directed his first play, "Brooklyn Laundry," a Los Angeles production starring Glenn Close, Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. He produced two new series for ABC ("The Critic," a prime time animated series starring Jon Lovitz, and "Phenom," starring Judith Light, William Devane and Angela Goethals) and wrote and directed, for Columbia Pictures, the feature "I'll Do Anything," starring Nick Nolte, Albert Brooks and Julie Kavner.

KRISTI ZEA (Producer) previously collaborated with James L. Brooks as an associate producer on "Broadcast News." She also associate produced TriStar's Academy Award®-winning drama "Philadelphia" and "Lucas." Zea is also a noted production designer with an impressive list of credits that includes the recent drama "Sleepers," as well as "The War," "Lorenzo's Oil" and "GoodFellas," among others. For director Jonathan Demme, she created the production design for the legal battlefield of "Philadelphia," the macabre world of "The Silence of the Lambs" and the whimsical Mafia excesses of "Married to the Mob."

BRIDGET JOHNSON (Producer) has most recently served as president, motion pictures, for James L. Brooks' Gracie Films. During her tenure at Gracie, Johnson worked on such films as "Bottle Rocket" and "Jerry Maguire." Before moving into film, Johnson edited the Journal of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, and then became the editor of publications for the then-fledgling Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Johnson joined TriStar Pictures in 1983 as a story analyst, eventually rising to the position of vice president of production. In 1989, she moved to Walt Disney Studios where she served as vice president and then senior vice president, production. During her tenures at TriStar and Disney, she was involved in the development and production of such films as "Blind Date," "The Seventh Sign," "Look Who's Talking," "Green Card," "Father of the Bride," "Mad Love," "When A Man Loves A Woman" and "Father of the Bride II."

LAURENCE MARK (Executive Producer) has traveled through the motion picture industry from publicity to marketing to production, and now runs his own company, Laurence Mark Productions, headquartered at Walt Disney Studios. After holding several key publicity and marketing posts in New York and Los Angeles at Paramount Pictures, Mark was appointed vice president of west coast marketing at that studio. He then made the transition into production and worked as a vice president of production at Paramount before joining Twentieth Century Fox as executive vice president of production. During this time, he was closely involved with the development and production of such films as "Terms of Endearment," "Trading Places," "Staying Alive," "Falling in Love," "The Fly" and "Broadcast News." As producer or executive producer, Mark's credits include "Working Girl," "Black Widow," "Sister Act 2," "True Colors," "Cookie," "The Adventures of Huck Finn" and "Tom and Huck," as well as "Oliver Twist", starring Richard Dreyfuss for ABC-TV. Last year, Mark produced "Jerry Maguire", which was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Most recently, he produced "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion", starring Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow and Janeane Garofalo. Upcoming films for Mark include "Deep Rising" (January `98), starring Treat Williams, "The Object of My Affection" (March `98), starring Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd and Nigel Hawthorne and directed by Nicholas Hytner, and "A Small Mirracle" (September `98), starring Ashley Judd and Joseph Mazzello. Mark made his debut as a stage producer in 1991 with the Los Angeles production "Brooklyn Laundry," starring Glenn Close, Laura Dern and Woody Harrelson and directed by James L. Brooks. More recently, Mark produced the Broadway musical version of "Big," which played the Shubert Theatre.

RICHARD SAKAI (Executive Producer) is the president of Gracie Films, where he has been involved in the production of feature films "Terms of Endearment," "Broadcast News," "Big," "The War of the Roses," "Say Anything," "I'll Do Anything" and "Bottle Rocket." He most recently produced the romantic comedy "Jerry Maguire." He has served as producer on many television programs, including "The Simpsons," "Taxi," "The Tracey Ullman Show," "The Critic" and "Phenom."

LAURA ZISKIN's (Executive Producer) producing credits include the critically-acclaimed "The Doctor," as well as "Hero," "What About Bob?," "Everybody's All American" and "No Way Out." Ziskin executive produced the blockbuster "Pretty Woman" and, most recently, the award-winning hit "To Die For." Ziskin is currently the head of Fox 2000, an independent studio based at Twentieth Century Fox.

MARK ANDRUS (Writer) previously wrote the 1991 Columbia hit "Late for Dinner," directed by W.D. Richter. Andrus currently has a "first-look" term deal with Fox 2000, an independent studio based at Twentieth Century Fox. He has several projects in development including "The M Word," for producer Jon Peters, "Olivier, Olivier," for producer Laura Ziskin and "She's Come Undone," the screen adaptation of Wally Lamb's best-selling novel.

JOHN BAILEY, A S C (Director of Photography) has photographed some of the most acclaimed films of the last twenty years - starting as a camera operator on Terence Malick's "Days of Heaven," and Robert Altman's "Three Women," and then as a cinematographer of Robert Redford's "Ordinary People" and Lawrence Kasdan's "The Big Chill." Most recently, Bailey was cinematographer on the TriStar release "Extreme Measures," directed by Michael Apted, and starring Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman. Bailey also served as director and cinematographer on the film adaptation of Lily Tomlin's Tony Award-winning Broadway play, "The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe." He also directed the 1994 feature "China Moon" and recently completed "Mariette in Ecstasy" from the acclaimed novel by Ron Hansen. Bailey has enjoyed ongoing film relationships with directors as different as Paul Schrader ("American Gigolo," "Light of Day," "Cat People," "Mishima") and Lawrence Kasdan ("The Big Chill," "The Accidental Tourist," "Silverado"), as well as such other directors as Wolfgang Peterson ("In the Line of Fire"), Harold Ramis ("Groundhog Day"), Jonathan Demme ("Swimming to Cambodia"), Stuart Rosenberg ("Pope of Greenwich Village"), Walter Hill ("Crossroads"), Herbert Ross ("My Blue Heaven") and John Schlesinger ("Honky Tonk Freeway").

RICHARD MARKS (Editor/Co-Producer) has a long and distinguished list of credits to his name, beginning with "Little Big Man" and "Serpico." He is a longtime collaborator of director James L. Brooks and received Academy Award® nominations for his work on "Terms of Endearment" and "Broadcast News." He also edited Brooks' "I'll Do Anything" and served as associate producer on the film. Marks earned his first Academy Award® nomination for "Apocalypse Now" and received nominations from the British Academy for "Dick Tracy" and "The Godfather, Part II." His other film credits include, "Father of the Bride," "One Good Cop," "Say Anything," "Pretty in Pink" "St. Elmo's Fire," "Buckaroo Banzai," "Pennies from Heaven," "The Last Tycoon," "Lies My Father Told Me" and "Bang the Drum Slowly." Most recently, Marks served as editor on "Assassins," "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" and the upcoming "Til There Was You."

BILL BRZESKI (Production Designer) most recently marked his debut as a feature film designer with "Matilda," directed by Danny DeVito. Previously, he worked with director James L. Brooks as the art director on "I'll Do Anything." With credits on over 800 episodes of television, Brzeski is highly regarded for his extensive accomplishments on such series as "Ellen," "The Nanny," "Life's Work," "Sister, Sister," "The Mommies," "Mad Man of the People," "Phenom," "Sibs," "Uncle Buck" and "Growing Pains." Most recently, Brzeski created sets for the pilot shows of four new series, "Pride & Joy," "The Palace," "Bless This House" and "Almost Perfect." Brzeski received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Ohio, and his master of fine arts in design from New York University's Tisch School for the Arts. Originally interested in designing for the ballet and opera, he began his career in theatre. He has also developed the look of such specials as "David Copperfield in China," "The Roseanne Barr Comedy Hour," "Liberty Weekend Opening Ceremony" and "The 29th Grammy Awards."

MOLLY MAGINNIS (Costume Designer) has previously created costumes for feature films including "Eddie," "It Takes Two," "Dr. Jekyl & Ms. Hyde," "The War," "Look Who's Talking Now," "Boiling Point." "Son-In-Law," "Sister Act," "Look Who's Talking II," "Delirious," "Come See the Paradise," "Look Who's Talking," "In a Shallow Grave," "Lucas, " and for director James L. Brooks, "Broadcast News." For television, she recently designed the wardrobe for two series' pilots, "Spin City" and "Life's Work." Maginnis has also designed for the stage, with credits including the Houston Grand Opera's productions of "Showboat," "M Butterfly," "La Boheme" and "Cenerotola," as well as productions of "A Little Night Music" and "Sherlock's Last Case," for which she received a DramaLogue Award for Best Costumes.

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