Deep Impact: About The Filmmakers

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MIMI LEDER (Director) debuted as a feature film director with DreamWorks' first theatrical release "The Peacemaker," starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. "Deep Impact" marks her second feature film.

In 1995, Leder was honored with an Emmy Award for directing the powerful and critically acclaimed "Love's Labor Lost" episode of "ER" for Warner Bros. television. Her work on "ER" earned Leder her second Emmy (as co-executive producer) and earned her three Directors Guild of America nominations for Best Direction of a Dramatic Series.

She began her directing career with an episode of "L.A. Law," and went on to direct several other Emmy Award-winning dramatic series, including "China Beach," where she also served as producer for two seasons, which earned her four more Emmy Award nominations.

Leder is also credited for having directed several television films and pilots. Prior to producing and directing television, Leder had been a script supervisor for six years on telefilms and the series "Hill Street Blues." She began her career as the first woman cinematographer accepted to study at the prestigious American Film Institute after attending the Los Angeles City College.

In a career as celebrated as it is accomplished, producer RICHARD D. ZANUCK commands a distinguished reputation in the motion picture industry as one of its most progressive and honored leaders. His long career as a studio executive and independent producer has seen him produce Oscar®-winning films ranging from "The Sound of Music" and "The French Connection" to "Driving Miss Daisy."

At the age of 28, Zanuck became the head of Twentieth Century Fox, making him then the youngest studio chief in history. During his time there, Fox won an unprecedented 159 Oscar ® nominations. With the formation of the Zanuck/Brown Co. in 1971, one of the motion picture industry's most distinguished and successful independent production entities was born ("Jaws," "The Sting," "Cocoon" and "The Verdict.").

Pre-eminent as an independent producer, Zanuck has earned numerous awards and citations for his achievements in his more than thirty years of filmmaking. Among them, perhaps the one that bears the greatest testament to his well-earned stature is the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, bestowed upon him and long-time associate David Brown in 1991. This illustrious accolade has been given only 29 times in the Academy's 62-year history. A precedent-setting win and personal milestone as well, this particular Thalberg Award makes Zanuck the only second-generation recipient ever, in company with his father, Darryl F. Zanuck. They are likewise the only father and son in history to both win the Oscar ® for Best Picture.

David Brown (Producer), in partnership with Richard D. Zanuck, produced some the more memorable films of recent times, including "Jaws," Academy Award ® winner "The Sting," "The Verdict" and "Cocoon." They launched Steven Spielberg on his maiden voyage in films, having produced "The Sugarland Express," and engaged him to direct "Jaws." Brown also served as Executive Producer for the Academy Award ® winning film "Driving Miss Daisy," which Richard D. Zanuck and Lili Fini Zanuck produced.

Brown also produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning Robert Altman film, "The Player," which was written by Michael Tolkin, as well as Rob Reiner's Academy Award ® nominated "A Few Good Men," starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Keifer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon. His most recent projects were Paramount's "The Saint," starring Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Shue and directed by Phillip Noyce, and Paramount's "Kiss the Girls," a thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, and produced with Joe Wizan.

Along with partner Zanuck, Brown was awarded the rare and prized Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1991.

In addition, Brown has had a long career as a journalist, author and magazine editor. His first book was the critically acclaimed Brown's Guide to Growing Gray, published by Delacorte in 1987. This was followed by his memoirs, Let Me Entertain You, published by William Morrow to excellent reviews. His next best-seller was The Rest of Your Life is the Best of Your Life, published by Barricade Books in 1991. He is also an occasional contributor to THE NEW YORKER.

Currently, Brown is working on the feature film adaptation of Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt and a Broadway musical, "The Sweet Smell of Success."

Mr. Brown is also a successful Broadway producer having produced TRU and A FEW GOOD MEN among others for the New York stage as well as VANILLA in London.

THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE called MICHAEL TOLKIN "an L.A. Antonioni with a sense of humor." In ARTFORUM, he was called, "The only American filmmaker working near the level of Pasolini and Kiezlowski." As a writer/director, his two films, "The Rapture" and "The New Age," were opening selections at the Telluride Film Festival. As writer/producer, he is best known for "The Player," for which he won the Writers Guild Award, The British Academy Award, The Chicago Film Critics' Award, the PEN Center USA West Literary Award, and the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best crime screenplay. He was also nominated for an Academy Award ®.

As one of the producers, he was awarded the Golden Globe, the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Independent Feature Project Spirit Award for best picture of the year. "The Rapture," 1991, starring Mimi Rogers and David Duchovny, was nominated for three Spirit Awards. He has also co-written three films; the HBO movie "The Burning Season," starring the late Raul Julia and directed by John Frankenheimer, for which he won the Humanitas Prize and an Emmy nomination; "Deep Cover," starring Laurence Fishburne and Jeff Goldblum. The film he plans to direct next is "Twenty Billion" for Paramount Pictures.

In 1995, Grove Press published "The Player, The Rapture, The New Age: Three Screenplays by Michael Tolkin." His two novels, "The Player" and "Among the Dead," have been translated around the world.

After winning an Academy Award ® for Best Original Screenplay for "Ghost," which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, BRUCE JOEL RUBIN (Screenplay) went on to write and direct "My Life," which starred Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman. Among his other screenplay credits are "Jacob's Ladder," directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Tim Robbins; and "Brainstorm," directed by Douglas Trumbul and starring Natalie Wood and Christopher Walken.

Rubin is a graduate of New York University where he majored in motion picture production and direction. He was an assistant film editor at NBC news in the mid-sixties and hitch-hiked around the world in 1966-67, an experience which he describes as "very formative." He was also curator of film at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York where he created a program called The New American Filmmakers Series, "an important launching pad for independent filmmakers in the early 70's."

Rubin's screenplay, "In Your Dreams," a romantic comedy, for Jerry Zucker (who directed "Ghost"), is currently in pre-production at Universal. Messrs. Rubin and Zucker are producing.

Steven Spielberg (Executive Producer) has directed, produced, or executive produced seven of the top twenty films of all time. This past summer, he had back-to-back blockbuster hits with "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," which he directed; and "Men in Black," which he executive produced.

In 1994, Spielberg won two Academy Awards ®, for Best Director and Best Picture, for the internationally lauded "Schindler's List," which received a total of seven Oscars ®, Best Picture honors from the major critics organizations, seven British Academy Awards and his second Director's Guild Award. His first DGA Award was for "The Color Purple," he previously earned nominations for "Empire of the Sun," "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" and in 1998, he earned his eighth nomination for "Amistad," tying him with Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnerman for the most DGA nominations in the feature film category.

Spielberg has also been recognized with Academy Award ® nominations for "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." He is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 1994, Spielberg announced the formation of the new studio DreamWorks SKG, in partnership with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. He most recently directed Dreamworks' "Saving Private Ryan," starring Tom Hanks, due out in July 1998.

Joan Bradshaw (Executive Producer) served as executive producer on the 1997 successful summer release "Contact," starring Jodie Foster, and "Nine Months," starring Hugh Grant. She was co-producer on "Terminal Velocity," starring Charlie Sheen, and on Robin Williams' outrageous comedy feature "Mrs. Doubtfire." Bradshaw was the unit production manager on "Back to the Future II" and "Back to the Future III."

Bradshaw's additional feature film credits include "Death Becomes Her," "Noises Off," "One Good Cop," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (American location). She also worked on Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" television series.

Walter Parkes (Executive Producer) heads DreamWorks Pictures, the motion picture arm of DreamWorks SKG, along with co-head Laurie McDonald. Parkes also produced the number one hit of 1997, "Men in Black," Teaming Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. He most recently produced DreamWorks' first feature film release, "The Peacemaker," starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, which topped the box office in its opening weekend. He also served as executive producer of Steven Spielberg's acclaimed drama "Amistad."

A three-time Academy Award ® nominee, Parkes earned his first Oscar ® nod as the director/producer of the 1978 documentary "California Reich," which exposed neo-Nazi activities in California. His second nomination came in 1983 for writing (with Lawrence Lasker) the original screenplay for "WarGames." He also garnered his third Academy Award ® nod as a producer of the Best Picture nominee "Awakenings."

More recently, Parkes served as an executive producer of the films "Twister," "How to Make An American Quilt" and "Trigger Effect." His other producing credits include "Sneakers," which he also co-wrote (with Phil Alden Robinson), "Volunteers," "Project X" and "True Believer." Parkes is also an executive producer on the upcoming films "The Mask of Zorro" and "Small Soldiers."

The late DIETRICH LOHMANN (Director of Photography) worked with director Mimi Leder on her first feature, DreamWorks' "The Peacemaker," which stars George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, and joined her again on the production of "Deep Impact." His other American feature film credits included "The Color of Night" for director Richard Rush, "The Innocent" for director John Schlesinger, and "Wedlock" for director Louis Teaque. Lohmann's American television credits included the extraordinary mini-series "War and Remembrance" (ASC Award and Emmy nomination and "Dark Shadows."

Lohmann was active as a cinematographer in German and French feature films and television since 1969. Following a battle with leukemia, Dietrich Lohmann passed away shortly after the completion of principal photography.

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