The Horse Whisperer: About The Filmmakers

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ERIC ROTH (Screenplay by) won the Academy Award® for best screenplay adaptation for "Forrest Gump," and has crossed all film genres with his work. He most recently wrote the original screenplay for director Michael Mann's untitled project starring Al Pacino for Touchstone Pictures.

Roth's first produced screenplay, "The Nickel Ride," premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. His other credits include "Suspect," with Cher and Dennis Quaid, "Memories of Me" which he co-wrote with Billy Crystal, as well as the story and screenplay for "Mr. Jones" starring Richard Gere and Lena Olin. In addition, he wrote the feature adaptation of David Brin's sci-fi adventure The Postman, starring Kevin Costner.

For television he wrote the film "Jane's House" which starred James Woods and Anne Archer.

Born in New York City, Roth studied English at Columbia University and then continued with graduate studies at Columbia's film school. While studying at the University of California at Los Angeles, he was honored with the 1970 Samuel Goldwyn Screenwriting Award.


RICHARD LaGRAVENESE (Screenplay by) was nominated for an Academy Award® for his original screenplay of "The Fisher King." He has most recently made his feature directing debut from his own screenplay for the forthcoming "Living Out Loud," with Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito and Queen Latifah.

LaGravenese recently wrote the screenplay for "The Mirror Has Two Faces" starring Barbra Streisand and Lauren Bacall, and wrote the feature adaptation of the wildly successful novel The Bridges of Madison County, for director Clint Eastwood. He has also written the scripts for "The Little Princess," and for "Unstrung Heroes" on which Diane Keaton made her outstanding directorial debut. He also wrote and produced "The Ref."

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, LaGravenese studied theater at New York University's Experimental Theater Wing, and performed standup comedy for several years after graduating.


NICHOLAS EVANS' (Based upon the Novel by) first novel, The Horse Whisperer, was published by Delacorte Press in September, 1995, and quickly rose to number one status on best-seller lists around the world. The book has been published in 36 languages, and reached #1 status in the U.S. and in 16 other countries. The Horse Whisperer has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, approximately five million in the United States alone (over one million hardcover). The Dell mass market paperback edition was published in October, 1996. Evans' new novel The Loop will be published by Delacorte in September.

Before venturing into novel writing, Evans worked in the motion picture industry as a screenwriter and producer. In 1994, he wrote and produced "Just Like a Woman." He also worked as a writer/producer on the made-for-television movie "Murder by the Book," a comedy inspired by Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot books. Starring Peggy Ashcroft and Ian Holm, the film received a CableACE Award for Best International Movie. Other writing credits include the political thriller "Act of Betrayal" with Patrick Bergin and "Secret Weapon" starring Griffin Dunne and Karen Allen.

Born and raised in Bromsgrove on Worcestershire, Evans studied law at Oxford University, graduating with Honors. While there, Evans helped run the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company, an undergraduate theater group that brought the Bard to the U.S. each Christmas.

Evans trained as a news reporter for the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and later joined London Weekend Television as a researcher. During his nine year tenure with L.W.T., Evans was a reporter and producer on "Weekend World" and an editor of "The London Programme." Eventually, he was producing special programming for "The South Bank Show," winning several BAFTA and Emmy Awards for his films on Laurence Olivier, David Hockney and David Lean before leaving L.W.T. to form his own company.


PATRICK MARKEY (Producer) combines his academic and production background to become something of a rarity these days among producers: a creative filmmaker who can also master the challenges of day-to-day production. Armed with this diversified production experience, Markey is now focusing upon directing.

Markey also develops numerous projects through his Fostoria Film Company. He is adapting Out of the Woods, a character-driven mystery set in a remote Appalachian mountain community with acclaimed Kentucky novelist Chris Offut. Plans call for Markey to direct the feature next year. This fall, Markey will join Whoopi Goldberg to produce screenwriter Jim Hart's ("Hook") directorial debut, "The Enchanted Cottage."

Markey's recent producer credits include Touchstone Pictures' "The Associate," Warner Bros.' "Bogus," Hollywood Pictures' "The Tie That Binds," TriStar's "The Quick and The Dead," Hollywood Pictures' "The Joy Luck Club" and Columbia's "A River Runs Through It."

The eldest son in a family of fourteen children, Markey was born in West Virginia and raised in Ohio. He began acting in high school and received a degree in theatre arts from Ohio State University. After graduating, he was hired as a consultant to the Ohio Film Commission, where he met Robert Redford during production of "Brubaker." He continued his working relationship with Redford by serving as location manager on "Ordinary People." In 1984, Markey moved to Los Angeles, where he again teamed with Redford as a production executive on "The Natural."

For the next several years, Markey concentrated his producer skills on independent feature films, including "Thief," Michael Mann's first feature as director, "Death of an Angel," "Stacking," "Deepstar Six," "House" and "The Dark Wind," the latter with first time feature director and noted documentarian Errol Morris. In 1990, Markey was reunited with Redford, sharing producing duties on "A River Runs through It." Markey next produced "The Joy Luck Club" with Ron Bass, Amy Tan, Oliver Stone and Wayne Wang, who also directed the critically acclaimed drama based upon Tan's best-selling book.

Markey serves on the board of the Dactyl Foundation, a NYC-based arts organization that grants funds to emerging artists. He is also a panelist for the Masters Thesis Oral Examination at The Peter Stark Program of the USC School of Cinema-Television. In addition, Markey is an adjunct professor of film at Montana State University and owns a successful restaurant in Houston. In his spare time, he enjoys teaching his 2-year-old to fly fish at their home on the Yellowstone River.


From 1993 to 1997, RACHEL PFEFFER (Executive Producer) served as president of Robert Redford's Wildwood Enterprises. With Redford, she produced the upcoming Touchstone Pictures' drama "A Civil Action," starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall. They also produced the critically acclaimed HBO telefilm "Grand Avenue."

Earlier in her career, Pfeffer was vice president of production at Embassy Pictures, working with the creative team that produced such films as "The Princess Bride" and "Stand By Me." The same group reunited several years later as the nucleus of Castle Rock Entertainment. Pfeffer joined Castle Rock at its inception in August 1987 as vice president of production. She brought Aaron Sorkin's Broadway-bound play "A Few Good Men" to the company and later served as executive producer on the film, which received 5 Golden Globe and 4 Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture.

She left Castle Rock in 1992 to produce the Nicole Kidman and Alec Baldwin thriller "Malice" which she developed for that studio.

She began her industry career as director of development for Ron Howard's Paramount-based Major H Productions. She next joined Norman Jewison's Yorktown Productions in the same capacity, where she developed "A Soldier's Story" and "Agnes of God."

Raised on Long Island, New York, Pfeffer majored in English and Theater at the State University of New York at Buffalo, earning her bachelor of arts degree with Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude honors.

Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children, and is now a producer at The Walt Disney Studios.


ROBERT RICHARDSON, A.S.C. (Director of Photography) has worked extensively with Oliver Stone, winning an Academy Award® for "JFK" and earning two other Academy Award® nominations for "Born on the Fourth of July" and "Platoon." His other work with Stone has included "U-Turn," "Nixon," "Natural Born Killers," "Heaven and Earth," "The Doors," "Talk Radio," "Wall Street," and "Salvador."

Richardson's other recent credits include Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog," Martin Scorsese's "Casino," Rob Reiner's "A Few Good Men," and John Sayles' films "Eight Men Out" and "City of Hope." Most recently, Richardson served as director of photography for the forthcoming feature adaptation of Snow Falling on Cedars.


JON HUTMAN (Production Designer) began his association with Robert Redford on "A River Runs Through It" and continued with "Quiz Show."

Hutman has also recently designed for "Lolita," "French Kiss," "Flesh & Bone," "Trespass," and "Nell," reteaming with former Yale classmate Jodie Foster for whom he had designed for "Little Man Tate," Foster's directorial debut. His other feature designing credits include "Taking Care of Business," "Meet the Applegates," and "Heathers," his own designing debut.

As art director, his films include "I Love You To Death," "Worth Winning," "Shag," "Siesta," "Wanted: Dead or Alive," and, as visual consultant, "Boxing Helena."

After earning a degree in Architecture from Yale in 1984, Hutman had an opportunity to design sets, props and costumes at the Williamstown Theater Festival. He then moved back to his native Los Angeles and entered the film industry, working as an assistant in the art department on "To Live and Die in L.A." He became an assistant art director, working on several films including "Ruthless People," and then earned his first art director credit on "Surrender."


TOM ROLF, A.C.E. (Edited by) won the Academy Award® for Best Editing for his work on "The Right Stuff," and has also received the American Cinema Editors Eddy Award for "WarGames." In an extraordinary career spanning over five decades, Rolf recently edited "The Devil's Own," "Heat" and "Dangerous Minds."

His extensive editing credits also include "The Pelican Brief," "Mr. Jones," "Sneakers," "Jacob's Ladder," "Black Rain," "The Great Outdoors," "Stakeout," "Outrageous Fortune," "Nine 1/2 Weeks," "Quicksilver," "Thief of Hearts," "New York, New York," "French Connection 2," "The Prophecy," "Black Sunday," "The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing," and "Taxi Driver," for which he received a BAFTA nomination.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Rolf moved to Los Angeles in 1941. He began working as an apprentice editor on the television series "Leave it to Beaver" and "Wagon Train," and soon became an editor on "The Big Valley" in 1964.

His early features include his feature editing debut in 1965 on "The Glory Guys," as well as "Clambake," "Heaven's Gate," and Paul Schrader's directorial debut feature, "Blue Collar."


FREEMAN DAVIES, JR. (Edited by) and director Walter Hill have shared an enduring affiliation, spanning 17 years and comprising 14 films. They first worked together when Davies served as the second editor on "The Warriors" and "The Long Riders." Davies went on to edit all of Hill's subsequent feature directing endeavors, including "48 HRS.," "Streets of Fire," "Brewster's Millions," "Crossroads," "Extreme Prejudice," "Red Heat," "Johnny Handsome," "Another 48 HRS.," "Trespass," "Geronimo: An American Legend," and most recently "Wild Bill" and "Last Man Standing."

Davies was born in Santa Monica, California. He trained at MGM Studios, where his father was for many years in charge of the editorial department.

Some of his other credits include "The Dark Wind," "Brainstorm," "Logan's Run," "The Main Event" and "Southern Comfort."


HANK CORWIN (Edited by) previously edited (with Brian Berdan) Oliver Stone's "Nixon" and "Natural Born Killers." Corwin previously worked with Stone providing additional editing services on "JFK." More recently he edited "U-Turn."

Corwin also edited the Nine Inch Nails video "Burn." He also heads his own company, Lost Plant, based in New York and Los Angeles.


JUDY L. RUSKIN (Costume Designer) is currently designing for "Patch Adams" starring Robin Williams. Recently she designed for "Liar, Liar" starring Jim Carrey, and for Albert Brooks' "Mother."

She also designed for Alfonso Arau's "A Walk In The Clouds," Billy Crystal's "Forget Paris," previously working with Crystal on "City Slickers" and "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold," and also designed for Forest Whitaker's "Waiting To Exhale," Nora Ephron's "Sleepless in Seattle," and Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July."

Her other credits include "My Life," "Jennifer Eight," "Man Trouble" and "Young Guns II." For television, she has designed for "Kojak" and the pilot of "Equal Justice."

Born in Philadelphia, Ruskin attended the Tyler School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and in Rome, Italy. Her background in fine arts filtered into soft sculpture art, and she used that in the construction of fabric sculptures and soft sculpture costumes.

She eventually moved to New York where she entered the film industry working as an assistant on such films as "Radio Days," "Another Woman," "Wall Street," "Fatal Attraction" and "New York Stories." After making her design debut on "Born on the Fourth of July," Ruskin went on to design costumes for the film "Waiting for the Light," and then moved to Los Angeles to continue her work as a costume designer.


THOMAS NEWMAN (Music by) received Academy Award® nominations and Grammy Award nominations for his work on "Unstrung Heroes" and "The Shawshank Redemption." He received a third Academy Award® nomination for his work on Gillian Armstrong's 1994 feature "Little Women," and most recently reteamed with her to compose for her feature "Oscar and Lucinda." He has also recently composed scores for "Mad City," "Red Corner," "The People vs. Larry Flynt" and "Phenomenon."

His other composing credits for film include "Up Close & Personal," "American Buffalo," "How to Make an American Quilt," "The War," "Corrina, Corrina," "Threesome," "The Favor," "The War," "Flesh and Bone," "The Player," "Scent of a Woman," "Whispers in the Dark," "Fried Green Tomatoes," "The Rapture," "Deceived," "Men Don't Leave," "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael," "Cookie," "The Great Outdoors," "Less Than Zero," "The Lost Boys," and "Desperately Seeking Susan."

For television, he has composed the scores for HBO's award-winning telefilm "Citizen Cohn," as well as for "Those Secrets" and TNT's "Heat Wave," among others.

Born in Los Angeles, Newman studied composition and orchestration at USC with professors Frederick Lesemann and noted film composer David Raskin before going on to finish his academic work at Yale University.

He is a member of one of America's most renowned musical families. His father was the acclaimed film music composer Alfred Newman (a nine-time Academy Award® winner and forty-five time nominee), his uncles were Lionel and Emil Newman, and his cousin is songwriter/composer Randy Newman.


JOSEPH REIDY (Co-producer) previously worked with director/producer Robert Redford as first assistant director on "Quiz Show."

Reidy has been associate producer and first assistant director for Martin Scorsese's "Casino" and "The Age of Innocence," and has had a long-standing association with Scorsese as his first assistant director on "Cape Fear," "GoodFellas," "The Last Temptation of Christ," "The Color of Money," and "New York Stories" on which Reidy also worked with Francis Ford Coppola.

As associate producer and first assistant director, Reidy also worked on Robert De Niro's directorial debut feature, "A Bronx Tale," and on Oliver Stone's "JFK," "The Doors" and "Born on the Fourth of July."

In the position of first assistant director, Reidy's credits also include Mike Newell's "Donnie Brasco," Barry Levinson's "Sleepers," Irwin Winkler's "Night & The City," Adrian Lyne's "Jacob's Ladder," Oliver Stone's "Talk Radio," Ridley Scott's "Someone To Watch Over Me" and Peter Yates' "The House on Carroll Street."

Born and raised in northern Ohio, Reidy earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in Film from New York University. Staying in New York, he entered the film industry through the Director's Guild of America trainee program and worked for ten years on various productions such as "Four Friends" and "The Cotton Club," rising to the position of first assistant director on "Death of a Salesman" in 1985.


BUCK BRANNAMAN (Equine Technical Advisor), was the inspiration for Nicholas Evans' novel The Horse Whisperer and served as technical advisor for Touchstone Pictures' feature film adaptation.

Brannaman is a true Wyoming cowboy who bends a horse's spirit with a unique language of training&emdash;a language of speech and harmony. Where other trainers "bust" horses and force them into physical submission, Brannaman's remarkable relationship with horses is reliant on his understanding of their intelligence and sensitivity.

"A horse is a kind and gentle animal," Brannaman says. "They're honest, and so sensitive, they can feel a mosquito land on its back in a windstorm. You have to work with that sensitivity and nurture it. If you don't, you'll dull it and lose it."

Born in Wisconsin, but raised in Harrison, Montana, Brannaman was trick roping at age 3 and by age 6 was traveling the country performing at rodeos and county fairs. His rapport with horses was innate. Placed in a foster home at the age of 11, after the death of his mother, Brannaman found solace in horse training at a nearby ranch in Norris, Montana. Although he was shy and withdrawn with his peers, he found himself confident and comfortable out in the corrals.

By age 13, Brannaman established his own business, starting colts and working horses. This job continued through high school and upon graduation, he studied with legendary horse trainer Ray Hunt, holding clinics across the country. It wasn't long before Brannaman became a master in his field and was initiated into an elite circle of horse trainers, including Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt, who subscribe to the "whispering" school of thought.

Brannaman, with his wife Mary, conducts over 40 three-day horsemanship clinics a year across the country and is credited as being one of the best horse trainers in the United States. It is because of this unprecedented reputation in the equestrian community that Robert Redford brought him on board as consultant for Touchstone Pictures' "The Horse Whisperer."

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