Money Talks: About The Filmmakers

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BRETT RATNER (Director) attended NYU's prestigious Tisch School of The Arts, where, at 16-years-old, he was the department's youngest film major. Funded by a donation from Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, Ratner's senior thesis project, Whatever Happened to Mason Reese, won various student awards and so impressed Public Enemy frontman Chuck D that he hired Ratner to tour with the group and direct his first music video, "Louder Than A Bomb (RMX).

Ratner was nominated for a 1996 MTV Music Award for Best R&B video for D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" and for the NAACP's Award for Best Director, and received numerous honors for his short films, PSA's and commercials.

Ratner has directed more than 50 music videos, including memorable selections from multi-platinum recording artists such as D'Angelo, Heavy D, Mary J. Blige, Foxy Brown, Jodeci, Deborah Cox, Public Enemy and others. He also directed a national commercial for Coca Cola.

WALTER COBLENZ (Producer) established himself as a producer with The Candidate starring Robert Redford. Coblenz also produced All The President's Men, starring Redford, Dustin Hoffman and Jason Robards, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Among his other feature credits are The Onion Field starring James Woods and Ted Danson, Sister, Sister starring Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Judith Ivey and 18 Again starring George Burns. He also served as executive producer on The Babe starring John Goodman and Kelly McGillis.

Between features, Coblenz has produced many series and motion pictures for television, such as "The Blue Knight," starring William Holden and Lee Remick, for which he received an Emmy nomination. He produced the NBC Movie of the Week "House of Secrets" starring Melissa Gilbert, Bruce Boxleitner, and Cicely Tyson, "Jack Reed: Badge of Honor" starring Brian Dennehy and Susan Rattan and "Not Our Son" starring Neil Patrick Harris and Gerald McRaney.

Coblenz served as senior vice president of production at Tri Star Pictures during the company's start-up years, supervising features such as The Natural, Places In The Heart and Birdy. He was also senior vice president of production at Carolco Pictures, where he was associated with productions that included Terminator 2, The Doors and Rambling Rose. Recently, he was a consultant on The Crossing Guard starring Jack Nicholson and Angelica Huston.

TRACY KRAMER (Producer) is president of Toltec Artists, a multi-faceted talent and literary management and production company representing an eclectic client group including actors, authors, writers, designers and animation companies.

Along with Chris Tucker, Kramer also represents Klasky Csupo, the preeminent independent animation company in the business today. Their current series include "Rugrats," "Duckman" and "Real Monsters," as well as a feature-length animated Rugrats movie. Toltec recently brokered (with Klasky Csupo's lawyers Hansen, Jacobson, Teller & Hoberman) an important and precedent-setting deal for Klasky Csupo with Viacom.

Additional clients represented by Toltec Artists include illustrator/author Peter Hannan, whose new animated series "Catdog" is currently in development for Nickelodeon; as well as best-selling author Carlos Casteneda and his colleagues Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar.

Prior to forming Toltec Artists four years ago, Kramer worked at Triad Artists and the William Morris Agency, where his primary focus was television packaging.

JOEL COHEN, (Screenwriter) who has been writing professionally for more than 12 years, recently received an Oscar nomination for the box office success Toy Story (which he co-wrote with Alec Sokolow). Cohen first teamed with Sokolow in 1989, and the two have been writing partners ever since. Together, they have written several comedy scripts, including Family Man for Eddie Murphy Productions and Cuba Has Fleas. Their current project is a screenplay for the music group TLC. He and Sokolow recently wrote and directed an original musical.

Cohen received critical acclaim for his screenplay for Pass the Ammo, a black comedy satirizing television evangelism, and he also co-wrote (with director Bill Condon) Sister, Sister starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Eric Stoltz.

A native New Yorker, Cohen launched his career by writing two Off-Broadway plays, "Rat's Nest" and "Friends Too Numerous To Mention." Following a stint as associate producer on the Michael Laughlin film Strange Invader, he relocated to California in 1985 to devote his energies to writing motion pictures.

Cohen graduated from the State University of New York with a Master's degree in English.

ALEC SOKOLOW (Screenwriter) is a veteran writer with a variety of television and motion picture credits to his name. He recently won an Academy Award nomination for the mega-blockbuster Toy Story.

Sokolow began his writing career with contributions to National Lampoon Magazine. In 1987, he moved from New York to California and immediately found work writing comedy material for television variety and talk shows. Following a nine-month stint on "The Arsenio Hall Show" as a writer and segment producer, he segued into screenwriting as a full-time occupation. When television producer Peter Calabrese introduced him to writer Joel Cohen in 1989, an instant association was formed and the two began writing together.

Among the projects he has co-written with Cohen are Family Man for Eddie Murphy Productions, Cuba Has Fleas and an upcoming film project for the music group TLC. Sokolow and Cohen also wrote and directed the upcoming direct-to-video musical comedy Frankenstein Sings starring Bobby "Boris" Pickett.

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

RUSSELL CARPENTER (Director of Photography) has served as cinematographer on such films as True Lies, Hard Target, The Indian In The Cupboard, Attack Of The 50-Foot Woman, Pet Semetary II and Lawnmower Man. He is currently shooting Jim Cameron's Titanic.

ROBERT PRIMES (Director of Photography) worked with director John Badham on Bird On A Wire and The Hard Way. His other features include Aspen Extreme and Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, for which he handled second unit cinematography.

On television, Primes worked behind the lens on the premiere season of the hit series "thirtysomething." He has extensive experience in television films, documentaries, music videos and commercials, and was director of photography for A Great Wall, the first U.S. feature film shot in China. He has won several awards for his short films, including a China Golden Eagle and a first prize at the Atlanta Film Festival.

ROBB WILSON KING (Production Designer) lists more than 25 motion pictures to his credit, among them Moonlight and Valentino and Set It Off. He served as production designer on Low Down Dirty Shame, Rudy, Aces, Ladybugs, Marked for Death, Pump Up The Volume, Friday The 13th Part 3 and Losin' It.

King received an Emmy nomination for NBC's "Special Bulletin" directed by Ed Zwick. Other television credits include "Pretender," "The Monroes," "Treasure Island" and "Marked For Murder.

SHAREN DAVIS (Costume Designer) lent her skills to the feature Devil In a Blue Dress starring Denzel Washington. She has also served as costume designer for Midnight Run, State of Emergency and Alan Rudolf's Equinox.

MARK HELFRICH (Film Editor) has cut an impressive list of feature film credits including The Juror, Striking Distance, Showgirls, Nowhere To Run, The Last Boy Scout, Action Jackson, The Predator, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

His numerous television credits include "The Avenging Angel" for TNT, "Shake, Rattle & Rock!" for Showtime and HBO's "Tales From The Crypt.

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