Ransom: About The Filmmakers

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RON HOWARD (Director) most recently directed "Apollo 13," starring Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Kathleen Quinlan, and Ed Harris. Howard was named the best director of the year by the Directors Guild of America for his work on "Apollo 13." To date it has grossed over $335 million worldwide and was nominated for nine Academy Awards®, winning two Oscars® for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. Additionally, "Apollo 13" was chosen Favorite Motion Picture by the Chicago Film Critics Awards and Best Cast and Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris) by the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Audiences first came to know Ron Howard for his work as an actor in film and on television. Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, Howard made his first screen appearance at age 4 in "The Journey," followed by a role in "The Music Man." He subsequently appeared as Opie in the long-running television series "The Andy Griffith Show." In the 1970s, he starred in the popular series "Happy Days." For film, Howard starred in "American Graffiti" and "The Shootist."

In 1978, when he was 23 years old, Howard directed his first feature film, "Grand Theft Auto." A string of popular hits followed, ranging from domestic comedy to science fiction/fantasy: "Night Shift," "Splash," "Cocoon," "Gung Ho," and "Willow."

In 1986, Howard joined forces with Brian Grazer as founders and co-chairmen of Imagine Films Entertainment, Inc., a public company that independently produced feature films. Under this new banner, Howard directed "Parenthood," the box office hit that grossed over $100 million and was nominated for two Academy Awards®; "Backdraft," which received four Academy Award® nominations and was one of the highest grossing films of 1991; and "Far and Away," the epic love story starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Since Imagine was formed, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have made films that have grossed over 2 and 1/2 billion dollars worldwide.

Howard then directed "The Paper" starring Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, and Marisa Tomei for Imagine. Among Imagine's recent projects are "Fear" directed by James Foley, "Sgt. Bilko" starring Steve Martin and directed by Jonathan Lynn, as well as "The Nutty Professor" starring Eddie Murphy, "The Chamber" starring Gene Hackman and Chris O'Donnell, and the upcoming "Liar Liar" starring Jim Carrey.

Among the other films produced by Imagine Films Entertainment are "Kindergarten Cop," "My Girl," "Housesitter" and "Boomerang."

SCOTT RUDIN (Producer). Film: "The First Wives Club," "Clueless," "Sabrina," "Nobody's Fool," "The Firm," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "Sister Act," "The Addams Family" and "Addams Family Values," "Little Man Tate," "Regarding Henry," "Pacific Heights," "Flatliners," "Jennifer Eight," "Mrs. Soffel" and the Academy Award® winning "He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing." Upcoming: "Marvin's Room," Albert Brooks' "Mother," Frank Oz's "In and Out," Peter Weir's "The Truman Show," and Robert Benton's "Magic Hour." Broadway: "Passion" (1994 Tony Award for Best Musical), "Indiscretions," "Hamlet," "Seven Guitars," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and "Skylight."

BRIAN GRAZER (Producer), partnered with Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment, produced last year's critically acclaimed box office success "Apollo 13," directed by Ron Howard. Grazer was this year's recipient of the Producers Guild of America Darryl F. Zanuck Theatrical Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award for his work on "Apollo 13." To date the film has grossed over $335 million worldwide, and was nominated for nine Academy Awards®, winning two for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. Also, "Apollo 13" was chosen Favorite Motion Picture and Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture by the People's Choice Awards, Best Picture by the Chicago Film Critics Awards, and Best Cast and Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris) by the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Additionally, Grazer recently produced "The Nutty Professor" starring Eddie Murphy, "Fear" directed by James Foley, and "Sgt. Bilko" starring Steve Martin and directed by Jonathan Lynn. Grazer is currently producing "The Chamber" starring Gene Hackman and Chris O'Donnell, and "Liar Liar" starring Jim Carrey.

Grazer began his career as a producer by developing television projects with Edgar J. Sherick and Daniel Blatt. During his two-year tenure, he produced the top-rated NBC Television features "Zuma Beach" and "Thou Shall Not Kill."

In 1980, Grazer signed a development/production deal with Paramount Pictures, an association that led to his segue into motion pictures. While creating and executive producing several television pilots for Paramount, Grazer met Ron Howard, who was just completing his seven year run on the hit series "Happy Days."

During his early days as a producer, Grazer hired Howard to first direct "Night Shift" and then to direct the romantic comedy "Splash," which starred Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, and John Candy. "Splash" garnered Grazer in Academy Award® nomination for Best Screenplay (for his story).

Grazer and Howard officially joined forces in 1986, as co-chairmen and founders of Imagine Films Entertainment, Inc., a public company that they eventually took private in 1993 as Imagine Entertainment. In 1989, the then-public company released its first film "The 'burbs," a wacky comedy about suburban living starring Tom Hanks. Since then, they have made films grossing over 2 and 1/2 billion dollars worldwide.

Imagine released two additional features in 1989: the successful comedy "The Dream Team" (Michael Keaton), and "Parenthood," starring Steve Martin, it was the Number One film in its first two weeks of release, went on to gross over $100 million, and was nominated for two Academy Awards®.

Grazer also produced "The Paper" directed by Ron Howard, "My Girl," "Kindergarten Cop," and "Backdraft" (directed by Ron Howard), which was nominated for four Academy Awards®. In addition, Grazer produced "Clean and Sober," "Spies Like Us," and "The Doors," directed by Oliver Stone.

In 1992, Grazer was honored as NATO/ShoWest Producer of the Year, a year in which three of his film were released: Ron Howard's "Far and Away," starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman; "Housesitter" and "Boomerang." In 1993, Grazer and Howard were honored with an Entertainment Industry Salute by the March of Dimes.

B. KIPLING HAGOPIAN (Producer) is president of Segue Productions. He was executive producer for Segue's first film, "Restoration," which starred Robert Downey, Jr., Meg Ryan, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, Polly Walker and David Thewlis.

Hagopian founded Segue Productions in 1991 after a 23 year career as founding partner of one of the largest and most successful venture capital investment companies in the U.S. Segue was formed to develop high quality feature films. To date, the company has developed eight screenplays (including "Restoration" and "Ransom"), all of which were developed with Segue funds, and without studio support. "Restoration" was produced by Segue Productions in association with Avenue Pictures and the Oxford Film Company, and was released by Miramax in 1995. It won Academy Awards® for Best Costumes and Best Art Direction.

Segue optioned the rights to make "Ransom" (a 1956 MGM film of the same name), creatively enhanced and updated the story, financed the development of the script and sold it to Touchstone Pictures.

RICHARD PRICE (Screenplay by) is one of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters. His produced credits include "The Color of Money," for which he received an Academy Award® nomination, and the "Life Lessons" segment of "New York Stories," both directed by Martin Scorsese; "Sea of Love"; "Mad Dog and Glory"; "Night and the City"; "Kiss of Death," directed by Barbet Schroeder; and "Clockers," for which Price adapted his acclaimed novel.

Price grew up in the Bronx. After graduation from Cornell University, he received a masters of fine arts degree in creative writing from Columbia University. He published his first novel, The Wanderers, in 1974, which received critical and popular acclaim. He subsequently published four additional novels, including Bloodbrothers. The author's fifth novel, Clockers, debuted in 1992 to rave reviews and earned a nomination for the National Book Critics Award.

Price has written articles for The New York Times, Esquire, The Village Voice, Playboy and Rolling Stone. He has taught fiction writing at Yale, New York University, and Columbia University, and has served as a member of PEN's executive committee.

ALEXANDER "SANDY" IGNON (e-nyon) (Screenplay by) began his industry career at age 15 as an actor, and subsequently appeared in numerous plays, television series, movies-of-the-week and in ten feature films. In addition, he has served behind the camera as a key-grip, electrician, art director and assistant cameraman. He is also an accomplished carpenter, inventor, yachtsman and pilot.

For two years, Ignon was vice president in charge of special projects for Carson Films (Johnny Carson's film company in association with Columbia Pictures). In the late 1980s, he began writing screenplays and continues to do so.

CYRIL HUME (Story by), who died in 1966, was a screenwriter, novelist and poet. His motion picture credits include "Tarzan Finds a Son," "The Great Gatsby" (1949), "20-Mule Team," "Ransom" (1956), "The Bugle Sounds," "Bride of Vengeance," "Forbidden Plant," and "Bigger Than Life." He also wrote several teleplays during the golden age of television.

Hume's novels include Wife of the Centaur, My Sister My Bride, Cruel Fellowship and The Golden Dancer.

RICHARD MAIBAUM (Story by) was born in New York City in 1909. After attending New York University, he went on to earn his bachelor's and master's degrees in drama from the University of Iowa. After a successful career writing such Broadway plays as "The Tree," "Birthright," and "Sweet Mystery of Life," he came to Hollywood and wrote a long list of screenplays including "20-Mule Team," "Ten Gentlemen From West Point," "The Great Gatsby," "Ransom," "OSS" and "Capt. Carey, U.S.A." He wrote or co-wrote twelve James Bond films: "Dr. No," "From Russian With Love," "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," "Goldfinger," "Thunderball," "Diamonds Are Forever," "The Man With the Golden Gun," "The Spy Who Loved Me," "For Your Eyes Only," "Octopussy," "The Living Daylights" and "License to Kill."

Maibaum died in 1991.

TODD HALLOWELL (Executive Producer) started his career as assistant art director (and photo double for Ron Howard) on Roger Corman's "Grand Theft Auto," Ron Howard's 1978 directorial debut.

He subsequently served as art director on "Back to the Future," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Fletch," "Cloak and Dagger," and the pilot for the television series "Miami Vice."

Hallowell was also production designer for "Tough Guys," "Burglar," "Adventures in Babysitting" "The Dream Team," "Vital Signs," "Parenthood," and "Class Action." He was second unit director on "Adventures in Babysitting," "Striking Distance," and "Money Train."

On "Backdraft," Hallowell served as second unit director and associate producer; on "Far and Away," he was the second unit director and executive producer; on "The Paper," he was executive producer, production designer, and second unit director. For "Apollo 13," Hallowell served as executive producer and second unit director and recently received, with Brian Grazer, the Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild.

PIOTR SOBOCINSKI (Director of Photography) received an Academy Award® nomination last year for his work as cinematographer on Krzystoff Kieslowski's acclaimed "Red." Since then, Sobocinski has photographed "Seventh Room" for director Martha Meszaros, and for which he received a Golden Frog Award, and "Marvin's Room," starring Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, directed by Jerry Zaks and produced by Scott Rudin.

Sobocinski's credits as cinematographer in his native Poland include "The Big Post Office Robbery," "Die Widnis," "Blinde Passagiere," and "Bal at the Koluszki Station," among many other feature films. Also for director Kieslowski, Sobocinski photographed "Decalogue 9" and "Decalogue 3" for Polish television. He served as director of photography for the documentary "Rat Catchers," which won the Golden Dragon Award (IFF Cracow), the Golden Dukat Award in Manheim, and a nomination for a European Academy Award.

MICHAEL CORENBLITH (Production Designer) continues his work with director Ron Howard, having designed Howard's box office hit "Apollo 13," for which Corenblith received an Academy Award® nomination and won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for his design.

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Corenblith studied design at UCLA, and entered the entertainment industry as a lighting designer for television before moving to art direction. He won the Emmy Award in 1983 for his work on the Academy Awards® show. He began working on feature films as key set designer for Paul Mazursky's "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," and worked as a set designer or art director on "Cat People," "Burglar," "Red Heat," and "Die Hard 2."

Corenblith became a production designer on the film "Prince Jack" and designed such features as "Down Periscope," "Cool World," "He Said, She Said," and "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag."

DAN HANLEY and MIKE HILL (Film Editors) have worked with director Ron Howard since 1982, and recently won Academy Awards® for Best Editing for their work on "Apollo 13."

They also served as editors on Ron Howard's "Night Shift," "Splash," "Cocoon," "Gung Ho," "Willow," "Parenthood," "Backdraft," "Far and Away," and "The Paper."

Other feature credits for the pair include "Armed and Dangerous," "Pet Sematary," and "Problem Child." Hanley also co-edited the movie "Cop and a Half"; Hill served as co-editor of "What's Love Got To Do With It."

RITA RYACK (Costume Designer) received Tony, Drama Desk, and Los Angeles Critics Award nominations for her costume design for the Broadway production of "My One and Only." She also designed costumes for the Broadway production of "The Human Comedy" as well as the off-Broadway productions "A Lie of the Mind," "The Foreigner," "The Vampires," "Anteroom," "Hunting Cockroaches," and "The Loman Family Picnic," among many others. Her talents were recognized with an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design in 1985.

She is currently designing "Father's Day," starring Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, directed by Ivan Reitman.

Her affiliation with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro includes "Casino," "Cape Fear," "After Hours," "A Bronx Tale," and "Mad Dog and Glory." Her other film credits comprise "Crossing Delancey," "Class Action, "The House on Carroll Street," "Suspect," "An Innocent Man," "Mr. Jones," and Tony Scott's "The Fan." She also designed Michael Jackson's rock video "Bad," directed by Martin Scorsese.

ADAM SCHROEDER (Co-Producer), President of Scott Rudin Productions, made his co-producing debut with last summer's hit comedy "Clueless." Mr. Schroeder is the executive producer on the recently released "The First Wives Club," which debuted to the biggest September opening in cinema history. He is also co-producing the upcoming films "Marvin's Room," directed by Jerry Zaks and starring Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, and "Mother," directed by and starring Albert Brooks, and co-starring Debbie Reynolds. Mr. Schroeder will be executive producing the upcoming production of "In and Out," directed by Frank Oz and starring Kevin Kline. He will also co-produce "The Truman Show," directed by Peter Weir and starring Jim Carrey.

Mr. Schroeder was previously the Vice President for Donner/Shuler-Donner Productions at Warner Bros.

SUSAN K. MERZBACH (Co-Producer) began her career in 1972 in the story department at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She became Story Editor in 1976 under then-Vice President of Production Sherry Lansing. Their association continued for more than a decade.

In 1978 Merzbach joined Columbia Pictures as Executive Story Editor. Among the many films developed during her tenure were "Kramer vs. Kramer," "...And Justice for All" and "The China Syndrome." She joined Twentieth Century Fox in 1980 as Vice President of Creative Affairs and was involved in the development of such films as "The Verdict," "Taps" and "Author! Author!"

In 1983 Merzbach was named Vice President of Jaffe-Lansing Productions where she developed such films as "Racing With the Moon," "The Accused" and "Fatal Attraction." She then became President of Sally Field's Fogwood Films in 1985, and developed "Punchline," in which Field starred with Tom Hanks. Subsequently she joined Tom Hanks' company, Clavius Base, Inc., as Executive Vice President, and developed several projects including "When a Man Loves a Woman," for which she served as Co-Producer.

Merzbach then served as Executive Vice President and Producer for Segue Productions, Inc., where she Co-Executive Produced the company's first film, "Restoration." In 1994 she formed Merzbach Productions, and is the company's President.

She has served on the faculty of the American Film Institute since 1980.

JAMES HORNER's (Music by) evocative music scores have enriched a long list of motion picture hits. One of the most creative talents in the industry, Horner received two Best Original Dramatic Score Academy Award® nominations last year for "Apollo 13" and "Braveheart." He was previously nominated for the Best Original Score Oscar® for "Field of Dreams" (1989), "Aliens" (1986), and "An American Tail" (1986). He won Grammy Awards for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture for "Glory," as well as Song of the Year, and Best Song for a Motion Picture for "Somewhere Out There," from "An American Tail." His other Grammy nominations are for the song "Whatever You Imagine," from "The Pagemaster"; and Best Album of Original Instrumental Background/Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Pictures for "Field of Dreams"; and Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture for "Aliens."

Among Horner's most prominent recent film credits are "To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday," "The Spitfire Grill," "Courage Under Fire," "Jumanji," "Casper," "Legends of the Fall," "Clear and Present Danger," "The Pelican Brief" and "Searching For Bobby Fischer," as well as the upcoming "The Devil's Own."

During Horner's long and prolific career as a film composer his other credits include "A Far Off Place," "Patriot Games," "Swing Kids," "The Rocketeer," "Another 48 HRS," "I Love You To Death," "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," "Cocoon," "Cocoon II," "The Land Before Time," "Willow," "The Name of the Rose," "Star Trek III," and "The Dresser," among many others.

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