G.I. Jane: About The Filmmakers

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RIDLEY SCOTT (Produced by/Directed by) was born in England in South Shields, Northumberland. Raised in London; Cumbria, Wales; and Germany, he returned to Northeast England to live in Stockton-on-Tees. He studied at the West Hartlepool College of Art, where he excelled at graphic design and painting. Scott also studied at the Royal Academy of Art, where his contemporaries included David Hockney. It was there that Scott joined the newly formed school and made his first short film.

Graduating with honors, Scott was awarded a traveling scholarship to the United States for a year. During that time, he was employed by Time-Life, Inc., where he worked with award-winning documentary filmmakers Richard Leacock and D.A. Pennebaker. Upon his return to the U.K., he joined the BBC as a production designer, and, within one year, he was promoted into the BBC directing team.

After three years, Scott left the BBC to form his own company, which soon became one of the most successful commercial production houses in Europe. Over the course of 10 years, he has directed more than 2,000 commercials, many of which have won awards at the Venice and Cannes film festivals and were honored by the New York Art Directors' Club. In addition to his film work, Scott remains the managing director of the RSA. With offices in London, New York, and Los Angeles, RSA represents some of the most acclaimed directors in the advertising industry.

Scott began his feature-film directing career in 1978 with "The Duellists," which brought him the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His second film was the breakthrough hit "Alien," which won an Academy Award® for its memorable special effects. This was followed by a film that is considered one of the landmark science-fiction films of all time, "Blade Runner," starring Harrison Ford. Some of Scott's other directing credits include "Legend," starring Tom Cruise; "Someone to Watch Over Me," starring Tom Berenger; and "Black Rain," starring Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia. His most recent feature was "White Squall," starring Jeff Bridges.

In 1987, Scott formed Percy Main Productions to develop and produce features, and he is chairman of the newly formed Scott Free. Percy Main Productions' first film was the Academy Award®-winning "Thelma & Louise," followed by "1492: Conquest of Paradise," both of which Scott directed. Scott also produced "The Browning Version," starring Albert Finney and Greta Scacchi.

ROGER BIRNBAUM (Producer) is the head of Caravan Pictures, an independent motion picture company based at The Walt Disney Studios and founded by Joe Roth in January 1993. Birnbaum is now solely responsible for overseeing all aspects of Caravan Pictures' numerous productions.

Birnbaum, along with Roth, produced "Angels in the Outfield" (Walt Disney Pictures), "I Love Trouble" (Touchstone Pictures), and "While You Were Sleeping" (Hollywood Pictures). Other credits for The Walt Disney Studios include "Grosse Pointe Blank," "The Three Musketeers," "A Low Down Dirty Shame," and "Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill." For the Studio, Birnbaum also produced the Hughes Brothers' "Dead Presidents," and "Powder," as well as such releases as "Before & After," starring Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson. His upcoming films include "6 Days/7 Nights," starring Harrison Ford; "Washington Square," starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Chaplin, Albert Finney, and Maggie Smith; and "Holy Man," starring Eddie Murphy.

Earlier in his career, Birnbaum produced the popular comedy "The Sure Thing," which was directed by Rob Reiner, and "Young Sherlock Holmes," which he presented in association with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. For television, he has been executive producer of the telefilms "Scandal Sheet," "Happily Ever After," "When Your Lover Leaves," and the Emmy Award-winning "All the Kids Do It."

Birnbaum has helmed several production companies, including serving as president of the Guber/Peters Company, where he developed such films as "Batman," "Rain Man," and "Gorillas in the Mist." His association with United Artists on "Rain Man" led to his appointment as president of worldwide production for that studio.

He later became president of worldwide production and executive vice president of Twentieth Century Fox, where he worked closely with Joe Roth, developing such films as "Edward Scissorhands," "Hot Shots!," "My Cousin Vinny," "Sleeping with the Enemy," "Home Alone," "The Last of the Mohicans," "Die Hard 2," "Rookie of the Year," and "Mrs. Doubtfire," among others.

Born in Teaneck, New Jersey, and educated at the University of Denver, Birnbaum built a successful career as a vice president of both A&M Records and Arista Records before entering the film business to produce motion pictures.

SUZANNE TODD (Producer) partnered with Demi Moore in 1993 to form the production company Moving Pictures, which produced "Now and Then" for New Line Cinema. They also produced "City Kids Speak: Celebration!," a variety special for ABC, hosted by Moore and starring Paula Abdul, Salt N Pepa, Michael Bolton and Sinbad, and featuring Ricki Lake, Cindy Crawford, Jimmy Smits, and Drew Barrymore. Todd also executive produced (with Moore) the critically acclaimed "If These Walls Could Talk," which was directed by Cher and became the highest-rated HBO film, winning numerous awards and nominations.

Todd's producing credits prior to "Now and Then" include the feature version of the hit television series "The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" for Twentieth Century Fox, and "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1" for New Line Cinema. She co-produced "Ricochet" for Warner Bros., starring Denzel Washington and John Lithgow, and served as associate producer on "Die Hard 2," "Predator 2," and "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" for Twentieth Century Fox; "Hudson Hawk" for Tri-Star; and "Tales from the Crypt," the award-winning HBO series.

Most recently, Todd produced the comedy hit "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery." Todd's next production, "Teacher, Teacher," with Stacey Title directing and Christina Ricci starring, will begin production in late fall.

DANIELLE ALEXANDRA (Screenplay by/Story by/Executive Producer) is a highly respected novelist and screenwriter. Given the moniker "the female Tom Clancy" in the literary/film world, for her mastery of the male-dominated action/political/thriller genre, Alexandra's novels include "White Blood" and "China Doll." An honors graduate from Harvard University, with a degree in government, Alexandra's interest in political theory and her political activism led her to Washington, D.C., where she first established her professional relationships with top military and congressional officials. Like Clancy, her connections inside Washington and the Pentagon have led to the extraordinary access from which much of her acclaimed fiction and screenplays have leaped, including "G.I. Jane." Alexandra wrote the character of Lt. Jordan O'Neil specifically for Demi Moore.

Her first novel, "China Doll," a female-driven CIA political thriller inspired by the code name for a real operation, was sold to Warner Books with an unprecedented seven-figure advance for a first-time novelist. The chairman of Time/Warner Books optioned her second novel, "White Blood," immediately after seeing the initial pages of "China Doll." "White Blood" is a military political thriller that plays out during the constitutionally allotted 16 hours prior to the swearing in of a black Vice Presidential candidate ascending to the Oval Office following the death of the President-elect. Universal Pictures recently won the rights to "White Blood" after an intense bidding war. Alexandra is writing the screenplay and will produce the project through her company, with Richard Gere, who has signed to star.

Breaking the traditional glass ceiling of fast-paced action drama, Danielle Alexandra has joined an exclusive list of top Hollywood writers. Emerging through the ranks, first as an executive at Twentieth Century Fox, then running her own company, The Boston Film Group, Alexandra paid her dues as a writer/producer of several critically acclaimed television movies, the last of which was ABC's highest-rated television movie of 1989, "Addicted to His Love." She also served as the creator/writer/producer of the four-year hit NBC series "My Two Dads," starring Paul Reiser (for which she was honored with a People's Choice Award and an American Comedy Award); and as the writer/producer of several prestigious television series, among them "Quantum Leap" and "Chicago Hope." She recently completed the original screenplay and will produce through her company the HBO drama "Soundbite," an exposé of network television news. Also, her highly anticipated action series pilot for CBS and Sony Television will be shot in late summer for midseason 1998.

In 1991, as a screenwriter, Alexandra first captured the ears of Stanley Jaffe and Sherry Lansing when they bought, and hired her to write, her first original feature pitch and screenplay, "In the Heart of the Lion," for Paramount. Since then, Alexandra's fresh, original material has made her one of the most in-demand and hardest working writers with projects she has scripted at Paramount, Warner Bros., Columbia, and Universal.

Upon completion of the "White Blood" screenplay, she begins the screenplay "Dead Sleep" for Mel Gibson and Icon Productions at Warner Bros. Her third novel, "Pride of a Nation", is a "Caine Mutiny"-like court-martial thriller set aboard an aircraft carrier. The screen version, for which she is adapting the screenplay, will star Sylvester Stallone.

Alexandra sits on the board of All Children Count (for children with AIDS) and works diligently for child wish-granting organizations, where she has received awards for her work. She divides her time between her home in Malibu, California, and monthly excursions to Washington, D.C.

DAVID TWOHY (Screenplay by), one of Hollywood's most successful writers, is probably best known for his work on "The Fugitive" (story and co-screenplay), starring Harrison Ford. Other writing credits include "Waterworld" and "Terminal Velocity." In addition, Twohy also wrote and directed last year's sci-fi thriller "The Arrival."

JULIE BERGMAN SENDER (Executive Producer) works with Caravan Pictures and recently served as producer on "The Rich Man's Wife," as well as "Gone Fishin'," starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover. She is currently working on "6 Days 7 Nights," starring Harrison Ford, and "Washington Square," starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Chaplin, Albert Finney, and Maggie Smith.

Bergman Sender began her career as executive assistant to the president of worldwide production at Warner Bros., where, after one year, she was promoted to director of creative affairs. She spent the next four years as vice president of production for Sydney Pollack and Mark Rosenberg's Mirage Productions, co-producing "King Ralph" and "Major League," and associate producing "The Fabulous Baker Boys" and "Bright Lights, Big City."

She has held posts at Spring Creek Productions as executive vice president and with Jodie Foster's Egg Pictures as co-head of production.

A native of Los Angeles, Bergman Sender still resides there with her husband. She graduated from UCLA, where she majored in literature.

As president of Scott Free, CHRIS ZARPAS (Executive Producer) is responsible for overseeing the motion picture and television production arm of the company, as well as looking after the interests of London's famed Shepperton Studios and The Mill, a state-of-the-art CGI studio in North America. He also serves as executive producer or producer on all Scott Free productions.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Zarpas received his undergraduate degree in American Literature at George Washington University. In 1983, he earned a law degree at Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn, New York.

Instead of pursuing a career in law, Zarpas, who had always been fascinated by films, became a $300-a-week assistant film buyer at the Circle Theatre chain in D.C. Eventually, he worked his way up to become the vice president and general sales manager for Circle Films, the distribution division of Circle Theatres. Among his notable achievements there was the acquisition and distribution of the Coen Brothers' first feature, "Blood Simple," a film that eventually achieved cult status.

After two years with Circle and a chance meeting with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Zarpas was persuaded to move to California and take up the reins of creative executive at The Walt Disney Company. He was soon promoted to vice president of production and worldwide acquisitions. At Disney, he developed and supervised in-house productions, which included the Bette Midler hit "Beaches." Zarpas left Disney to join Island Pictures as co-president in 1989. While at Island, Zarpas executive-produced "Toy Soldiers," "The Sandlot," and "Strictly Business."

NIGEL WOOLL (Co-Producer) brings a broad-based background in filmmaking to his work as co-producer. Born in Chester, England, he began his career as an assistant editor for the Rank Organization. Wooll then became a second assistant director on such films as "Far from the Madding Crowd," "Anne of the Thousand Days," "Mary Queen of Scots," Roman Polanski's "Macbeth," and "A Touch of Class."

After moving up to first assistant director on Stanley Donen's "Lucky Lady," Wooll served as production manager on "Force 10 from Navarone," "Crossed Swords," "Yanks," "Krull," and Warren Beatty's Academy Award® -winning "Reds." He was associate producer on "The Dresser," "Eleni," and "Ishtar."

Wooll then went on to produce "Shining Through," starring Michael Douglas and Melanie Grifffith, and he executive-produced Walt Disney Pictures' "Shipwrecked." He served as producer, with George Lucas, on Ron Howard's fantasy "Willow," Peter Yates's "Year of the Comet," and "The Run of the Country." Wooll also produced Blake Edwards's "Son of the Pink Panther" and co-produced Ridley Scott's "White Squall."

Wooll's latest film, "G.I. Jane," for Hollywood Pictures/Scott Free/Caravan Pictures and Moving Pictures, is his second collaboration with Ridley Scott.

Born in Ireland, HUGH JOHNSON (Director of Photography) visited London, on a college vacation and never left. In London he met director of photography Derek Van Lynt, who, at that time, headed a small studio, and went to work with him.

Through his association with Van Lynt, Johnson met Ridley and Tony Scott, who at the time were both shooting and directing commercials. During his three years at the studio, Johnson became associated with many well-known directors and formed a close relationship with the Scott brothers. Johnson became a freelance cameraman and worked as a camera assistant on Ridley's film "The Duellists" and Tony Scott's "The Hunger," and directed the second unit for Ridley Scott's "1492: Conquest of Paradise." He recently served as director of photography on Ridley Scott's "White Squall."

ARTHUR MAX (Production Designer) was production designer on the recent hit feature "Seven."

Max began his career as a stage lighting designer, working on the original Woodstock Festival and at the Fillmore East with the renowned concert promoter Bill Graham.

During the '70s, he was the creative mind behind concert festival stages in Europe, as well as stage lighting design and projection systems for rock groups such as Pink Floyd and Genesis. He also designed for the ballet in France and for traditional theater productions in England.

Educated at the University of London and the Royal College of Art, where he studied architecture, Max combined his theater background to convert several disused buildings in London into concert halls, including the Rainbow Theatre and the St. John's Smith Square Restoration.

He then went on to become an art director and production designer for films and commercials. His art direction credits include "Cal," directed by Patrick O'Connor, and "Insignificance," directed by Nicolas Roeg.

MARILYN VANCE (Costume Designer) received an Academy Award® nomination and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts nomination for her work on "The Untouchables." She was also BAFTA-nominated for "Pretty Woman." Her films include "Jade," "Sommersby," "The Rocketeer," "Die Hard (I and II)," "Predator," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Pretty in Pink," "The Breakfast Club," "Romancing the Stone," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," and "48 HRS."

Vance attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and owned her own fashion-design business before making her foray into film and television. As co-founder of The Ministry of Film, she has produced and designed the films "Embrace of the Vampire," "The Legend of Gater Face," and the current USA Network series "Pacific Blue."

PIETRO SCALIA (Edited by) won the Academy Award® for his work on Oliver Stone's "JFK." His collaboration with director Stone started with "Wall Street" and continued with "Born on the Fourth of July" and "The Doors." "JFK" also gained him a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award and an A.C.E. Award, from the American Cinema Editors. Most recently, Scalia edited "Stealing Beauty" for Bernardo Bertolucci, having earlier edited "Little Buddha" for the director. He has edited "The Quick and the Dead," as well as the pilot of the series "American Gothic," both for director Sam Raimi. He is currently editing Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting."

Born in Italy, Scalia earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA Film School.

TREVOR JONES (Music by) was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and emigrated to England with a piano scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. He graduated from that prestigious institution in 1970.

Upon earning his degree in conducting, orchestration, composition, and performance, Jones won the Review Week Prize, which led to his appointment as reviewer of classical music for BBC Radio and Television. He became naturalized as a British subject and went on to continue his studies at the University of York, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and a Master of Arts degree in film and media music. Jones then studied at the National Film School of Great Britain, where he scored 22 student films. In 1979, he came to the attention of director John Boorman, who asked Jones to create the music for the acclaimed fantasy film "Excalibur." His memorable score for that film led to assignments on such celebrated movies as "The Dark Crystal," "Runaway Train," "Angel Heart," "Dominick & Eugene," "Mississippi Burning," "Sea of Love," "True Colors," "Chains of Gold," "The Last of the Mohicans," "Freejack," "Arachnophobia," "In the Name of the Father," "Cliffhanger," "Richard III," and the recent "Brassed Off," among many others. He also scored the critically acclaimed highly rated television miniseries "Gullivers Travels."

Jones is the recipient of three BAFTA nominations for Best Score.

HARRY HUMPHRIES (Military Technical Advisor) is the technical advisor on the new Rysher Entertainment action series "Soldier of Fortune, Inc."

Humphries first became involved in the film industry when close personal friend and Navy SEAL colleague Dick Marcinko introduced him to Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, who had purchased the film rights to produce "Rogue Warrior," Marcinko's New York Times bestseller autobiography. Humphries signed on as tech advisor, which then led to Bruckheimer asking for Humphries's involvement in "The Rock," "Con Air," and "Soldier of Fortune, Inc.," and several other script development projects soon followed.

Although Humphries comes from the "Silent SEAL" mentality, his involvement in the industry with Bruckheimer has evolved naturally, as their common goal of reaching the viewing audience in an entertaining yet realistic manner is of paramount importance to both. Humphries views the film medium as a powerful recruiting instrument and, as such, endeavors to make the action sequences, dialogue, and military players look and act as realistically as possible.

Besides his work with Bruckheimer, Humphries's other assignments have included working side-by-side with screenwriter Michael Shiffer in the development of "The Peacemaker." He has also worked with several other studios in script development for projects with subject matter that relates to military, police SWAT, or counter-terrorism.

In conjunction with his involvement in the entertainment industry, Humphries owns and operates Global Studies Group, Inc., an international security and training company. By melding the two activities, he brings state-of-the-art weapons, martial arts, and tactics training to the screen. He works closely with the producers, writers, directors, and actors to assure that they comprehend why and how the deployment of military, police, or counter-terrorist tactics comes about in the real world. Pre-production training is tailored for each project, giving the actors the necessary weapons-handling and movement skills required to instinctively look correct on camera, thereby allowing them the mental freedom to concentrate on their acting skills.

With Bruckheimer's and Rysher's support, pre-production training for the "Soldier of Fortune, Inc." series included not only the principal actors but also several producers, writers, directors and studio executives. All left with a clearer more realistic perspective on how exciting and dynamic the "real thing" can and should be when translated to the screen.

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