Fire Down Below: About The Filmmakers

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FELIX ENRIQUEZ ALCALA (Director) makes his motion picture debut behind the camera after two decades as a cinematographer and director in television, documentaries and commercial spots.

Born in Bakersfield, California, and raised in Christoval, Texas, Alcalá graduated from the film school of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He began working as a documentary filmmaker for the PBS affiliate KERA-TV while still a college student. Following graduation, he directed and produced segments for the station's acclaimed program, "News Room," hosted by Jim Lehrer.

Alcalá next collaborated with director Ken Harrison on the short film "Who Built This Place?," which won first prize at the Chicago International Film Festival. After two years at KERA, Alcalá joined the freelance-production ranks, working as a gaffer, grip and assistant director on commercial and feature shoots in the Dallas area.

Alcalá moved to Los Angeles in 1976 and began working as a cinematographer a year later. His first break came when he was hired by Sullivan & Associates to shoot a series of promos for ABC. That led to several commercial assignments with other production houses in Los Angeles, winning recognition for his work on the "Hot Steel" Ford Mustang spot, which was a Clio finalist.

Jumping into television production, Alcalá won an A.S.C. nomination for his cinematography on the Amblin/NBC pilot "Earth II." He also directed the photography for such series as "I'll Fly Away" and "Homefront" and the pilots for "South Beach" and "South of Sunset."

He gradually moved into directing episodic television, winning a Directors Guild nomination for his work on the Emmy-winning NBC drama "ER." He helmed multiple episodes of that program (including one following completion of "Fire Down Below"), as well as "The New Adventures of Lois and Clark," "Earth II," "South of Sunset," "Homefront" and "Space." He has also directed for such series as "NYPD Blue," "L.A. Firefighters," "The Adventures of Brisco County" and "I'll Fly Away" and pilots for the series "For the People," "High Wired" and Warner Bros.' new take on "77 Sunset Strip."

STEVEN SEAGAL (Producer) -- See "About the Cast" credits.

JULIUS R. NASSO (Producer) is partnered with Steven Seagal in Seagal/Nasso Productions, a joint venture for the development, production and marketing of motion picture and television projects. In 1979, Nasso worked for director Sergio Leone on the film "Once Upon A Time in America." From 1980 to 1985, he was involved with production for the Berlusconi Group's entertainment division in Italy, and with producer Alvaro Mancori for Pan Films.

Nasso and Seagal established their partnership in 1987. The following year, Nasso was involved with the international promotion and marketing of "Above the Law," which marked Seagal's motion picture debut. Nasso served as a production assistant on Seagal's next hit, "Hard to Kill," and became associate producer on "Marked for Death." He executive produced Seagal's "Out for Justice," co-produced "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" and produced "On Deadly Ground" and "The Glimmer Man."

Upon graduation from St. Johns University in 1976 with a degree in pharmacy, Nasso was recruited by and accepted a position with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the nation, Eli Lilly & Company. Nasso also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. He founded Universal Marine Medical Supply Company in 1977, which supplies pharmaceuticals, medicines and surgical equipment to the maritime industry worldwide. In addition, he also founded and owns a chain of drugstores.

JEB STUART (Screenwriter/Executive Producer) earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds Master of Communications diplomas from both U.N.C. and Stanford University, where he was an A.B. Nicholl screenwriting fellow.

The North Carolina native's screenwriting credits include the Oscar-nominated thriller "The Fugitive" (winning a Writers Guild nomination), the original "Die Hard," the popular sequel "Another 48 HRS," "Just Cause" and "Next of Kin," among others. He recently completed his directorial debut on the forthcoming thriller "Going West in America" from his original script.

PHILIP MORTON (Screenwriter) grew up in Manhattan and earned his B.S. degree from Ithaca College. While there, he wrote and produced a half-hour comedy show broadcast from the university's own TV station, and placed first in a national competition for best college radio-comedy.
Following college, Morton landed a production assistant job with NBC's enduring late-night program, "Saturday Night Live." He subsequently moved up to film researcher and wrote a couple of original comedy sketches for such cast members as Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal and Martin Short during his three seasons with the show.

While working at NBC, two of his original plays, "Who's Writing This?" and "In the Wings," were produced off-Broadway. He was also hired by Eddie Murphy Productions to write an original feature for Murphy. He also wrote several spec scripts optioned by various film studios. His teleplay for "12:01," which aired on Fox Night at the Movies, was nominated for an Edgar Award as Best Television Movie. Morton also served as head writer and creative consultant on ABC's "live" comedy pilot, "On the Air."

RONALD G. SMITH (Co-producer) has been working in the film industry for more than 20 years, starting as a production assistant on Steven Spielberg's "The Sugarland Express," then amassing production manager credits for "Smokey and the Bandit II," "Heartbeeps," "Losing Isiah," "Stand On It," "Mo' Money," "Virtuosity" and "The Glimmer Man," serving also as associate producer on "Ghost Story." Smith was also a producer on the hit television series "Scarecrow and Mrs. King." Smith was a Vice President of Production at Warner Bros. from 1987-90, during which he was involved with such films as "Batman," "Lethal Weapon II," "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "Presumed Innocent." He is currently at work on Warner Bros.' "Superman Lives."

WILLIAM S. GILMORE (Executive Producer) is a 40-year industry veteran who has produced or executive produced over two dozen feature films, including "A Few Good Men," "The Sandlot," "Curse of the Starving Class," "Midnight Run," "The Player," "The Man in the Moon," the 1986 version of "Little Shop of Horrors," "White Nights," "Against All Odds," "Deadly Blessing," "Defiance," "Tough Enough" and "The Last Remake of Beau Geste."

The son of Oscar-nominated film editor Stuart Gilmore ("The Alamo," "Airport," "The Andromeda Strain"), Gilmore grew up in Southern California and used his editing connection as his access into the business. Five years later, he moved into the production ranks, working as an assistant director and production manager on many films in the 1960s.

Before returning to the freelance production arena a decade later, Gilmore held several senior production posts, including head of European production for the Mirisch Company, head of production for director Ralph Nelson's company ("Soldier Blue," "Tick, Tick, Tick") and Executive in Charge of Production for the Zanuck-Brown Company ("Jaws," "The Sugarland Express"). His television credits include producer on "One In A Million: The Ron LeFlore Story," "Just Me and You," "S.O.S. Titanic" and "The Legend of Walks Far Woman."

NICK GLENNIE-SMITH (Music) has scored more than six motion pictures in the past four years, recently "Home Alone 3" and the action hit "The Rock." He also orchestrated the summer blockbuster "Con Air." Other feature composing credits include "Two If By Sea," "Drop Zone" and "Cool Runnings." Additional music credits include "Beyond Rangoon," "Nine Months," "Monkey Trouble" and "Point of No Return."

TOM HOUGHTON (Director of Photography) reunites with director Felix Enrique Alcala following their collaboration on the one-hour television pilot "High Wired."

"Fire Down Below" marks Houghton's first feature credit as a cinematographer after having served as a second-unit director of photography on such films as "I Love Trouble," "IQ," "Reckless," "Trial By Jury" and "Major League II." He has also worked on the cinematography for such projects as "The Empty Mirror" and "Highlander III".

For television, Houghton's credits include the acclaimed FOX-TV series "New York Undercover," the telefilms "My First Love" and "Side By Side" and the PBS presentation of "The Revolt of Mother." Series work includes the ABC pilot "Mariah," "Working Girl" and "King of the Building."

Houghton grew up in Redding, California, and gained his first professional experience shooting news footage for a local television station while still in high school. He graduated from Mackinac College in Michigan and earned his graduate degree from the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University before furthering his career in the documentary arena, where he guided the camera work on the feature "The Beat Generation: An American Dream." He was also co-cinematographer on the Academy Award-nominated short "Close Harmony." His professional resume also includes industrial films, commercials and music videos.

JOE ALVES (Production Designer) began his career in motion pictures as an animator for Walt Disney Studios, working as an apprentice on the unforgettable "Id" creature in the 1956 sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet." A native of the San Francisco Bay area, he joined the ranks of art directors in 1970, working on such features as "Winning" and "Change of Habit," before working for three seasons on the TV anthology "Rod Serling's Night Gallery."

While working on Serling's series, he met director Steven Spielberg, subsequently collaborating with the future Oscar winner by designing his big-screen debut, "The Sugarland Express," in 1974. He next created the design for the terrifying mechanical shark in Spielberg's unforgettable 1975 classic, "Jaws," then reunited with the filmmaker on "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," winning an Oscar nomination and the British Academy Award for his art direction.

Alves served as production designer, associate producer and second-unit director on the popular 1978 sequel "Jaws II," then made his directorial debut on the third installment, "Jaws 3-D."

His other credits as production designer include "The Shadow Conspiracy," "Drop Zone," Walter Hill's "Geronimo," "Freejack," "Everybody's All American" and John Carpenter's "Escape from New York."

ROBERT A. FERRETTI, A.C.E. (Film Editor) has worked with Steven Seagal on three of his previous features, "Out for Justice," "Under Siege" and "On Deadly Ground." One of the industry's most prominent action film editors, his other credits include "Tango & Cash," "Lock Up," "Die Hard 2: Die Harder," "Rocky V," "Showdown in Little Tokyo," "The Hunted" and the upcoming thriller "The Shadow Conspiracy." He also directed and edited the 1988 film "Fear."

Ferretti's work for NBC's documentary unit has garnered five Emmy nominations. He won the prestigious award for directing the PBS short "Survival Guide." He has also edited numerous series and specials, including "Hill Street Blues," and the pilots for "Peaceable Kingdom" and "Mr. & Mrs. Ryan."

Ferretti, a past recipient of the Young Filmmakers Award, has won grand prizes for his work at The Ohio International Film Festival and the Virgin Islands Film Festival. His career also encompasses work on commercials and music videos. He also designed the Goldfish machine, an economical editing device that allows filmmakers to see their scenes cut together immediately on the video playback systems.

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