Mortal Kombat: Annihilation: About The Filmmakers

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JOHN R. LEONETTI (Director), who makes his directing debut with Mortal Kombat Annihilation, previously served as director of photography on Mortal Kombat. As the son of Frank Leonetti and brother of Matthew Leonetti -- founders of The Leonetti Co., which manufactures lighting, grip and camera equipment -- he grew up surrounded by the art of cinematography.

He served as second unit director of photography and first unit operator on Another 48 HRS. and Johnny Handsome. Some of Leonetti's feature credits as director of photography include The Mask, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Spy Hard and Child's Play 3.

For television, he served as director of photography on two critically acclaimed HBO films for director John Frankenheimer: "Against the Wall," a docudrama about the Attica Prison rebellion, and the Golden Globe Award-winning "The Burning Season," starring the late Raul Julia as assassinated Brazilian union leader Chico Mendez.

Leonetti also worked on numerous segments of "Tales from the Crypt" with such respected directors as Walter Hill, Frankenheimer, Peter Medak and Tom Hanks.

LAWRENCE KASANOFF (Producer) is chairman and CEO of Threshold Entertainment, an Intellectual Property Management Company specializing in Digital Media. Along with producing the first Mortal Kombat film, the company is producing media based on "Mortal Kombat," the phenomenally successful video game, which has generated over $3 billion in revenues -- $2 billion in sales and more than $1 billion in quarters at the video arcades.

In addition to creating the widely popular Mortal Kombat Web site, Threshold also produced Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, a direct-to-video animated film that went to #1 on Billboard's children's video sales; the animated series "Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm;" and "Mortal Kombat Live on Stage," a theater show that premiered at Radio City Music Hall and is touring the world.

Previously, as president and co-founder of Lightstorm Entertainment, Kasanoff oversaw production, marketing, publicity and merchandising for the four-time Academy Award-winning hit Terminator 2: Judgment Day, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and written and directed by James Cameron. Kasanoff also served as executive producer on True Lies, also starring Schwarzenegger and written and directed by Cameron.

Prior to that, he executive produced more than 25 films and created pre-sale financing and acquisition deals for over 200 additional films, including the 1986 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Platoon.

In the music world, Kasanoff has packaged and produced video projects with several of the world's biggest talents, including Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones and Dick Clark. For Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he produced MTV's top video of 1991, Guns 'N Roses' "You Could Be Mine."

BRENT V. FRIEDMAN (Writer) lists among his credits such cult classics as Evil Altar, Syngenor, American Cyborg: Steel Warrior and Ticks. In addition, he wrote and served as second unit director on H. P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon. Other features he has written include Hellbound with Chuck Norris, Pet Shop, Magic Island and Exit.

Mortal Kombat Annihilation marks the first time Friedman has partnered with another writer for a feature film. With Bryce Zabel, he also co-created television's "Dark Skies."

BRYCE ZABEL (Writer) makes his feature screenplay debut with Mortal Kombat Annihilation. A respected television writer/producer, he co-created "Dark Skies," the much-heralded series about alien invaders, with his Mortal Kombat Annihilation writing partner Brent V. Friedman.

Prior to that, Zabel was supervising producer on the first season of the hit television series "Lois and Clark." He has also created the series "Kay O'Brien" and Lifetime's "E.N.G.," as well as the popular "M.A.N.T.I.S.," on which he served as co-executive producer.

In addition, he directed and produced segments of the popular `80s reality shows "Eye on LA," which won him an Emmy nomination for his work as host, "Two On The Town" and "Eye On Hollywood."

Zabel has also produced screenplays for television including NBC's movie-of-the-week "Victim of Love" and the Sci-Fi Channel's "Official Denial."

ALISON SAVITCH (Executive Producer/Visual Effects Supervisor) is one of Hollywood's top effects supervisors. She coordinated the visual effects on James Cameron's The Abyss and supervised the visual effects on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which both earned Academy Awards for their ground-breaking visual effects. Her other credits include Arachnophobia, Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Shadow and the phenomenally successful Mortal Kombat.

She began her career as a producer of electronic press kits for such films as Empire of the Sun and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and was an effects coordinator for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

As a result of her supervision of the extensive visual effects on Mortal Kombat, Larry Kasanoff made Savitch a partner in Threshold Entertainment. She currently serves as producer of "Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm," the new animated series on the USA Network, as well as being president of Threshold Digital Research Labs.

CHUCK COMISKY (Visual Effects Supervisor) brings almost two decades of experience in digital and optical effects to Mortal Kombat Annihilation. Most recently, he served as visual effects supervisor on Money Talks, directed by Brett Ratner.

Comisky has worked for such renowned directors as Arthur Hiller, Stephen Hopkins, Jim Cameron, John Badham and Michael Ritchie. His film credits include Terminator 2, Last Action Hero, The Addams Family, Drop Zone, L.A. Story and Nightmare on Elm Street 5.

KEVIN REIDY, (Co-Producer) who has supervised many productions filmed around the world, previously served as Thailand Production Manager on Mortal Kombat.

Before embarking full-time into the entertainment business, Reidy first worked in venture capital with Hambrecht and Quist Investment Bank in San Francisco. He then went on to become vice president of International Production at Concorde/New Horizons Pictures, where he oversaw the development and casting of numerous films, including Dune Warrior in the Philippines, Berlin Conspiracy in Germany and Bulgaria, and To Die Standing in Peru.

Later, as CEO and senior vice president of production for IRS Media, Reidy was responsible for development and production of such films as Me, Myself and I, Betsy Savocca's My New Gun and Carl Franklin's One False Move. His other film credits while at IRS include Rage and Honor II and December, starring Balthazar Getty.

Branching out on his own, Reidy now serves as production manager or line producer on numerous projects for both television and the large screen. His features include the award-winning Swimming with Sharks, Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon, Whole Wide World, Loved and Overnight Delivery.

He also produced the independent feature Roosters, starring Edward James Olmos. For television, Reidy has produced "Based on an Untrue Story" and "Dark Reflections."

MATTHEW F. LEONETTI, A.S.C. (Director of Photography) has earned a reputation as one of the best cinematographers in the business. Included among his credits are such films as the blockbuster Star Trek: First Contact, Angels in the Outfield, Demolition Man, Fled, Leap of Faith and A Low Down Dirty Shame.

In addition, he shot Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again, Tobe Hooper's classic Poltergeist, Action Jackson, Dragnet, Commando, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Weird Science, Jagged Edge, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Breaking Away, among many others. For director Walter Hill, Leonetti filmed Johnny Handsome, Extreme Prejudice, Another 48 HRS. and Red Heat. He made his feature cinematography debut with Bat People.

PAT JOHNSON (Stunt Coordinator/Second Unit Director) began his movie career with a role in the Bruce Lee classic Enter the Dragon, and has gone on to work on numerous films. He was stunt coordinator on four of the top grossing martial arts films of all times -- the first two Karate Kid films and the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films -- as well as Showdown in Little Tokyo with the late Brandon Lee and the classic actioner To Live and Die in L.A.

A ninth degree Black Belt, Johnson began his training in martial arts in 1963 and became the U.S. National Grand Champion in 1970. From 1968 to 1973, he was captain of the Chuck Norris Black Belt Team, which won 33 consecutive national and international titles. In 1990, he was inducted into the NASKA Black Belt Hall of Fame.

CHARLES WOOD (Production Designer) first became involved in designing sets for feature films through his work in visual effects. As an art director of visual effects, he worked with some of Hollywood's most creative young directors, including Andrew Davis on Under Siege and The Fugitive, Peter Weir on Fearless, Sam Raimi on Army of Darkness, as well as Wes Craven's New Nightmare.

As production designer, Wood created the sets for Terminal Force, Downdraft and D.N.A. He also designed the CD-ROM "Maximum Surge" for director William Mesa.

Wood graduated with honors in 1989 with a B.A. in restoration and conservation studies from City and Guilds of London.

JENNIFER L. PARSONS (Costume Designer) has designed costumes for a variety of feature films, such as Arachnophobia and Alive, both directed by Frank Marshall, and John Huston's The Dead. From her first feature experience with Mike Nichols' classic The Graduate, to designing the elaborate period costumes for Tobe Hooper's "Dark Skies" television pilot, Parsons has continued to create costumes that define characters.

Parsons, who began her career as an assistant, lent her talents to such feature projects as The Sterile Cuckoo, Coming Home, The Turning Point, Terms of Endearment, When Harry Met Sally, Always, 48 HRS., Silverado and Scrooged.

She also has numerous television programs to her credit, including the television miniseries "World War II: And the Lions Roared," starring Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins and John Lithgow, for which she was nominated for an Emmy award. Her other television credits include "Streets of San Francisco" and the television film "Strangers" starring Bette Davis.

GARY POLLARD (Prosthetic Make-Up Designer) has sculpted, crafted, made-up and designed for such memorable films as Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Flintstones, The Bear, Alien III, Little Shop of Horrors, Labyrinth, Warlock II and The Witches. Most recently, he served as a character designer on The Fifth Element, directed by Luc Besson.

For television, he has worked his magic for the "Jim Henson Hour," "Grim Tales," "The Storyteller," "Monstermaker" and more.

PECK PRIOR (Editor) has lent his skills to a number of well-known feature films, including Terminal Velocity, Plane, Trains & Automobiles, Flipper, Bad Boys and Weekend at Bernies. He also edited Roadflower and The Roommate.

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