My Best Friend's Wedding: About The Filmmakers

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Director P. J. Hogan made his motion picture directorial debut with the delightfully original Muriel's Wedding, which he also wrote. Of the international offers that resulted, he selected TriStar Pictures' My Best Friend's Wedding to be his follow-up motion picture.

Hogan has worked in the Australian television and movie industry as a writer and director of note for more than a decade.

He received attention in 1984 for Getting Wet, which he wrote, directed and edited. It won two Australian Film Institute awards, including Best Short Fiction.

In 1986, he directed and co-wrote The Humpty Dumpty Man, a film for television.

In 1991, he was second unit director and script editor on the acclaimed feature film, Proof, directed by his wife, Jocelyn Moorhouse. Ms. Moorhouse later directed How to Make an American Quilt. While Hogan was in Chicago making My Best Friend's Wedding, she was nearby in rural Illinois filming A Thousand Acres with Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The couple is part of a new vanguard of Australian filmmakers whose confident work helped revitalize that country's film community.

In 1993, Hogan directed the "Sloth" episode of Seven Deadly Sins for Australian Broadcasting Corporation Television.

When Muriel's Wedding premiered at the Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight in 1994, it received a 15-minute standing ovation. Similar receptions greeted the film at festivals around the world.

Muriel's Wedding was received with equal enthusiasm at the box-office and dominated the Australian Film Institute Awards with 11 nominations, including Best Achievement In Direction. It won AFI awards for Best Film, Best Actress and Best Achievement In Sound. A fourth win came for Best Supporting Actress, given to Rachel Griffiths, who also co-stars in My Best Friend's Wedding. It was the first Australian film to be chosen for a British Royal Premiere in more than 20 years.

Producer Jerry Zucker is a versatile filmmaker who has scored success as a producer, director and writer.

He directed the enormously popular Ghost in 1990, a gigantic box-office hit that has earned substantially over half-a-billion dollars. He directed and was a producer on First Knight, starring Sean Connery and Richard Gere. He was a producer on My Life, with Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman, and, more recently, produced (along with Gil Netter and David Zucker) A Walk In The Clouds with Keanu Reeves and Anthony Quinn.

He was part of the highly original and trend-setting ZAZ (David Zucker/Jim Abrahams/Jerry Zucker) team that collaborated on the hit Airplane!; co-wrote and produced The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad!; and directed Ruthless People. Also with ZAZ, Zucker created the Police Squad television series and co-wrote the innovative Kentucky Fried Movie.

Producer and screenwriter Ronald Bass was honored with the Academy Award® for co-writing, with Barry Morrow, the 1988 film Rain Man. He more recently co-wrote and co-executive produced Waiting To Exhale.

His additional writing credits include The Joy Luck Club, co-written with Amy Tan, as well as Sleeping With the Enemy, Black Widow, Gardens of Stone and Dangerous Minds. He also co-wrote and executive produced When A Man Loves A Woman.

Bass's television work includes writing and producing two new dramas, Dangerous Minds and Moloney.

Bass studied at Stanford and Yale, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He pursued a career in entertainment law before switching to writing. His novels, including The Perfect Thief, Lime's Crisis and The Emerald Illusion led to his successful screenwriting.

Executive producer Gil Netter has been president of the very successful Zucker Brothers Productions for the past ten years.

He was an executive producer on First Knight, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear and My Life.

He was a producer on A Walk In the Clouds and the recent comedy High School High.

Netter's career began as a talent/literary agent. He served as vice president of Chuck Fries Productions and then Imagine Entertainment before joins forces with Jerry Zucker and David Zucker.

Executive producer Patricia Whitcher co-produced the comedy High School High before commencing work on My Best Friend's Wedding. She previously co-produced How To Make An American Quilt for director Jocelyn Moorhouse and Amblin Entertainment's A Dangerous Woman.

Her extensive film background includes serving as either unit production manager or associate producer on a number of pictures, among them True Lies, Meteor Man, An Inner City Fairy Tale, The Lawnmower Man, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (sixth in the A Nightmare On Elm Street saga), Iron Maze, Book Of Love, Darkman, Boris and Natasha, Lost Angels, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, The In Crowd and Odd Jobs.

With My Best Friend's Wedding, director of photography Laszlo Kovacs, ASC, continues a long line of major films.

His American work began with such seminal motion pictures as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, That Cold Day In the Park and The Last Movie.

He was the cinematographer on What's Up, Doc?, The King of Marvin Gardens, Paper Moon, For Pete's Sake, Shampoo, Nickelodeon, New York, New York, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Frances, The Toy, Ghostbusters, Mask, Legal Eagles and Radio Flyer.

Recent among his nearly 40 feature films are Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Copycat and Multiplicity.

Kovacs escaped from his native Hungary during the 1956 Soviet invasion, smuggling out the first film of occupation seen in the Western world.

Production designer Richard Sylbert is a six-time Academy Award® nominee who has been honored with two of the coveted Oscars®. His first win was for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and his second was for Dick Tracy, for which he also received the British Academy Award.

His other four Oscar® nominations were for production design on Chinatown, Shampoo, Reds and The Cotton Club.

He has been involved in the production design of over 30 feature films, including Baby Doll, A Face In The Crowd, Splendor In The Grass, The Manchurian Candidate, Grand Prix, The Pawnbroker, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Graduate, Catch-22, Carnal Knowledge, The Fortune and Fat City.

Among his other films are Rosemary's Baby, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Carlito's Way, Tequila Sunrise, Frances and The Heartbreak Kid.

Before beginning work on My Best Friend's Wedding, Sylbert was production designer on Blood and Wine, starring Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Caine.

His stage work includes the Broadway productions of "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" and "The Egghead."

He served for two years as a vice president of production at Paramount Pictures.

Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland has devoted much of his career to designing for the stylish films of Woody Allen.

Prior to joining the creative team on My Best Friend's Wedding, he was involved in Allen's comedy Everyone Says I Love You. Other pictures with Allen include Mighty Aphrodite, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Husbands and Wives, Shadows and Fog, Alice, Crimes and Misdemeanors, New York Stories, Another Woman, September, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Broadway Danny Rose. Allen's Bullets Over Broadway brought Kurland an Academy Award® nomination and Radio Days earned him England's highest film honor, the BAFTA.

His other films include This Is My Life, Quick Change, Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise, Streets of Gold and the 1981 film The Fan.

Early in his career, film editor Garth Craven worked on five powerful pictures directed by Sam Peckinpah: Straw Dogs, Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Killer Elite and Convoy.

He also edited five films for director Roger Spottiswoode: The Best Of Times, Shoot To Kill and Turner & Hooch, plus Third Degree Burn and And The Band Played On for HBO.

Among Craven's other movies are I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, Avalanche Express, I, The Jury, Educating Rita, Little Treasure, Gaby - A True Story, Soapdish, Passed Away, Daybreak and When A Man Loves A Woman.

His film work prior to My Best Friend's Wedding includes Restoration and One Fine Day.

Additionally, he was second unit director on Leap of Faith, Air America, Turner & Hooch, Convoy and Carney.

Lisa Fruchtman (Editor) began her professional career in film as an editor at the National Film Board of Canada. After a move to San Francisco in 1974, she was hired by Francis Ford Coppola as an assistant editor on The Godfather, Part II. Over the next several years, among the films she went on to edit were Apocalypse Now, Heaven's Gate, The Right Stuff, Children of a Lesser God, The Godfather, Part III and The Doctor. For television, she has edited Shimmer for American Playhouse and Truman for HBO.

Apocalypse Now received both an Oscar® nomination and a British Academy Award nomination for Best Editing. In 1984, Fruchtman won an Oscar® for Best Editing on The Right Stuff. Children of a Lesser God, on which she was sole editor, was nominated for Best Picture. The Godfather, Part III was nominated for Best Editing as well. Truman won both the Emmy and Cable Ace awards for Best Picture and Fruchtman won the Cable Ace for Best Editing.

Fruchtman is now pursuing a directing career. She has directed a 20 minute dramatic short as part of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women, and two television spots. She was admitted as a director to the Sundance Institute Filmmakers Lab with Catford Street, a feature film she is developing.

A four-time Oscar® nominee, James Newton Howard (Composer) has written diverse and impressive scores for such films as Father's Day, One Fine Day, The Prince of Tides, Flatliners, The Fugitive, Junior, Primal Fear, An Eye for an Eye, Restoration, Outbreak, Dave, Grand Canyon, Wyatt Earp, Glengarry Glen Ross and Pretty Woman, among others. Howard also created the memorable theme for television's top-rated series ER, earning him an Emmy nomination.

Initially trained as a classical pianist, Howard became a session musician for pop and rock artists ranging from Elton John to Carly Simon in the 1970s. He went on to become a sought-after arranger, orchestrator and record producer, working with such artists as Bob Seger, Randy Newman, Rickie Lee Jones and Rod Stewart.

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