The Frighteners: About The Filmmakers

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Director/Co-writer/Co-Producer, PETER JACKSON received widespread acclaim for his 1994 feature Heavenly Creatures, which was awarded a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. Written by Jackson and his collaborator Frances Walsh, the film is based on an infamous New Zealand murder of the 1950's, and the story of two intelligent and imaginative young girls whose obsessive friendship leads them to murder one of their mothers.

He previously directed and co-wrote Braindead, released in the U.S. as Dead Alive, which played at festivals around the world and won 16 international science fiction awards, including the Saturn.

Born in New Zealand on Halloween in 1961, Jackson began at an early age making movies with his parents' Super 8 camera. At 17 he left school, and failing to get a job in the New Zealand film industry as he hoped, started work as a photo-engraving apprentice. After purchasing a 16 mm camera, Jackson began shooting a science fiction comedy short, which, three years later, had grown to a 75-minute feature called Bad Taste, funded entirely from his own wages. The New Zealand Film Commission eventually gave Jackson money to complete the film, which has become a cult classic. His other films include Meet The Feebles, an adult puppet feature. Prior to starting The Frighteners, he co-directed the television documentary Forgotten Silver, which is currently screening at film festivals around the world, including the London, Toronto, and Venice festivals this year.

Executive producer ROBERT ZEMECKIS received a Best Director Academy Award, as well as Golden Globe and DGA awards, for the 1995 oscar-winning Best Picture Forest Gump. Zemeckis has directed such other hit films as the multiple oscar-winning Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Romancing The Stone, and the Back To The Future trilogy starring Michael J. Fox. He co-wrote with Bob Gale the screenplay for the first Back To The Future film.

Zemeckis made his directorial debut in 1978 with I Wanna Hold Your Hand from a screenplay he co-wrote with Gale. The two collaborated again on Used Cars and Trespass, which Zemeckis directed and produced, respectively.

He executive produced The Public Eye starring Joe Pesci, and directed and produced Death Becomes Her, which received a 1992 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Co-screenwriter/associate producer FRANCES WALSH co-wrote with Jackson the acclaimed feature film Heavenly Creatures, a 1995 Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay. The two teamed previously on Meet The Feebles and Braindead.

Walsh began writing as a young girl, and played in musical groups while studying English literature at Victoria University in Wellington. Her professional career began in 1983 writing narration for the telefilm A Woman Of Good Character, followed by scripts for the series Worzel Gummidge Down Under and Shark In The Park.

Producer and editor JAMIE SELKIRK has edited all of Peter Jackson's feature films and associate produced Braindead. Selkirk has edited many of New Zealand's notable features during his 30-year career and received the Best Editor award from the New Zealand Film and Television Awards for Heavenly Creatures.

DANNY ELFMAN (Score) was fronting the popular rock band Oingo Boingo (Dead Man 's Party) when he was approached by Tim Burton to write music for Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Thus began his venture into film scoring, which he followed with scores for such hit films as Batman, Batman Returns, Beetlejuice, Darkman, Dick Tracy, The Nightmare Before Christmas, (which he associate produced as well as providing the singing voice of Jack Skellington), Sommersby, Midnight Run, Dead Presidents, To Die For, Dolores Claiborne, and Mission Impossible. He is also developing two musicals, The World Of Jimmy Callicut and Little Demons.

Production designer, GRANT MAJOR has designed film and television productions for 20 years, his most noted feature credits being Heavenly Creatures and An Angel At My Table directed by Jane Campion.

Major completed graphic design studies at Auckland Technical Institute and then worked for three years at Television New Zealand in the design department. He left to serve as an assistant designer at the BBC London, returning to New Zealand in 1984, and was associate designer for the New Zealand pavilion for the World Expo in Seville.

Costume designer BARBARA DARRAGH coordinated wardrobes for the Academy Award-nominated Jane Campion film The Piano. Her numerous other films include Disney's The Rescue, Starlight Hotel, Never Say Die, Willow (standby wardrobe), and Shaker Run. She has worked on several television series, including the acclaimed Worzel Gummidge Down Under.
Darragh studied fashion and textile design at New Zealand's Wellington Polytechnic Institute and began her career as a wardrobe assistant with Television New Zealand, later becoming a designer. She traveled for three months with the BBC costume department before returning to TVNZ, where she worked for two more years before becoming an independent film costume designer.

Special effects supervisor WES TAKAHASHI has been the effects animation supervisor on such films as Ghostbusters II, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back To The Future trilogy, Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom, Meteor Man, Memoirs Of An Invisible Man, Hook, The Rocketeer, Cocoon, The Witches Of Eastwick, The Abyss and many others.

Takahashi served as computer graphic animator on The Mask, Star Trek Generations and Indian In The Cupboard. Educated at Hampshire College in Massachusetts and UCLA, he has worked with many of the industry's leading animation studios and effects facilities, including Hanna-Barbera, Colossal, USFX, Boss Films, Pixar, and ILM, and has contributed to a number of animated feature films, including Lord Of The Rings and American Pop.

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