Sphere: About The Filmmakers

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BARRY LEVINSON (Producer/Director) was awarded the 1988 Best Director Oscar for "Rain Man," starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. "Rain Man" also won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. In 1987, Levinson directed Robin Williams in the comedy "Good Morning Vietnam," which became one of the year's most acclaimed and popular movies. In 1991 "Bugsy," which Levinson directed and produced (with Warren Beatty), was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Levinson has used his home town as the setting for three widely-praised features: "Diner," the semi- autobiographical comedy-drama that marked his directorial debut; "Tin Men," starring Danny DeVito and Richard Dreyfuss as two warring aluminum-siding salesmen; and "Avalon," an evocative multi-generational story of an American family.

After attending American University in Washington, D.C., Levinson moved to Los Angeles, where he began acting as well as writing and performing comedy routines. He then went on to write several television variety shows, including "The Marty Feldman Comedy Show" (which originated in England), "The Tim Conway Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show," for which he won two Emmy Awards for writing. A meeting with Mel Brooks led Levinson to collaborate with the veteran comedian/filmmaker on the features "Silent Movie" and "High Anxiety."

As a screenwriter, Levinson has received three Academy Award nominations, for "...And Justice For All," "Diner" and "Avalon." Levinson's other directorial credits include "The Natural," starring Robert Redford, "Young Sherlock Holmes," "Toys" (co-written with Valerie Curtin) and "Jimmy Hollywood," which he also wrote and produced.

More recently, Levinson directed Warner Bros.' film version of Michael Crichton's novel Disclosure, starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore, and directed and wrote the screen version (also for Warner Bros.) of Lorenzo Carcaterra's controversial book Sleepers, with an ensemble of actors that included Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Brad Pitt.

Just previous to beginning work on "Sphere," Levinson directed the David Mamet-scripted political satire "Wag the Dog," starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, which earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy, a Best Screenplay nomination for Hilary Henkin and David Mamet,and a Best Actor, Musical or Comedy, nomination for Dustin Hoffman.

Levinson returned to Baltimore to film the television series "Homicide: Life on the Street." His work on the critically-acclaimed drama earned him an Emmy Award for Best Individual Director of a Dramatic Series, as well as two Peabody Awards.

Levinson produced the Robert Redford-directed feature "Quiz Show," which was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. Last year, he produced the critically lauded hard-hitting drama "Donnie Brasco," starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp.

MICHAEL CRICHTON (Producer/Author) embarked on a career as a writer and filmmaker after graduating from the Harvard Medical School. Called "the father of the techno-thriller," Crichton has written such novels as The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World and Airframe. He has also written four books of non-fiction, including Five Patients, Jasper Johns and his autobiography, Travels.

His novels have been translated into at least 20 languages. Eight have been made into films, including the phenomenally successful Jurassic Park and its smash-hit sequel, The Lost World. Jurassic Park was also published as an electronic book by Voyager in 1992. Films of his novels Airframe and Eaters of the Dead are currently planned.

Crichton has directed six films, among them "Westworld," "Coma" and "The Great Train Robbery." Always interested in computers, in 1982 he ran a software company, FilmTrack, that created a computer game called "Amazon." His 1973 film, "Westworld," has the distinction of being the first feature film to employ digitized images.

ANDREW WALD (Producer) was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science. His first job in the entertainment industry was for producer David L. Wolper on the television documentary "William Holden in Africa." He then became a noted still photographer in both Europe and the United States. Among Wald's assignments was a long stint traveling with writer Peter Viertel and photographer Gordon Parks, who were commissioned by Life magazine to cover a year in the life of legendary bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguin.

Upon his return to the U.S., Wald partnered in 1972 with Jerry Perenchio and spent five years developing On-TV, a pioneering over-the-air-television subscription service. After the partners sold the company in 1980, Wald joined 20th Century Fox as the president of their pay television group.

After a number of forays into different media pursuits, Wald joined forces in 1992 with writer/producer Michael Crichton, which led to his co-producing the hit Warner Bros. film version of the author's Disclosure, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore.

PETER GIULIANO (Executive Producer) has enjoyed a long working partnership with Barry Levinson. He was Levinson's first assistant director on "Avalon," "Bugsy," "Toys" and "Jimmy Hollywood." He was also co-producer of "Toys" and executive producer of "Jimmy Hollywood," "Disclosure" and "Sleepers."

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Giuliano entered the film industry following a stint with the U.S. Army in Panama. A chance introduction to a company filming Broadway plays for the library archives at Lincoln Center led to his being hired as an assistant by one of its cameramen. He spent the 1976-77 television season working on commercial parodies for "Saturday Night Live."

Following a brief hiatus during which he pursued other interests, Giuliano returned to "Saturday Night Live" as the production manager on three specials, including "Mr. Mike's Mondo Video." He then partnered with a director shooting commercials in the United States and Europe. When that association ended, Giuliano produced Jean Cocteau's play "The Human Voice," directed by Jose Quintero and starring Liv Ullmann, for PBS.

Giuliano has served as first assistant director on such films as "Fresh Horses," "Above the Law," "And God Created Woman," "Big Shots" and "Heaven Help Us"; "Ghostbusters," his first film for Ivan Reitman and the director's subsequent "Legal Eagles," "Twins," "Ghostbusters II," "Kindergarten Cop" and "Dave"; and Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula," among others.

"Sphere" is screenwriter KURT WIMMER's first produced project. A graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in biology, Wimmer met with Michael Crichton after Crichton read a spec script of Wimmer's called "Second Offense."

Since completing work on "Sphere," Wimmer has written an original script called "Exit Zero" which is in pre-production, and is working on a remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair."

After graduating from Wheaton College with a business degree in 1992, STEPHEN HAUSER (Screenwriter) began working as an intern for Baltimore Pictures; for the last three years, he served as Barry Levinson's assistant on the films "Jimmy Hollywood," "Disclosure" and "Sleepers."

"Sphere" is Hauser's first work as a screenwriter.

PAUL ATTANASIO (Screenwriter) most recently wrote Baltimore Pictures' critically acclaimed "Donnie Brasco," a story of friendship, duty and betrayal starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. Attanasio previously wrote the screenplay for "Quiz Show," for which he won the British Academy (BAFTA) Award. In the same year he wrote the screenplay for Barry Levinson's "Disclosure," and for both of these achievements he was named Screenwriter of the Year by both the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the London Film Critics (ALFS).

He is also a creator of Baltimore Pictures' lauded NBC series, "Homicide: Life on the Street," which has won two Peabody Awards. Attanasio was formerly the chief film critic of The Washington Post.

NORMAN REYNOLDS (Production Designer) is one of the most distinguished practitioners of his art. "Sphere" marks his third collaboration with Barry Levinson, following "Young Sherlock Holmes" and "Avalon."

A six-time Academy Award nominee, the British-born Reynolds twice won the Oscar, for his work on George Lucas' "Star Wars" and Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark." He received his other nominations for "The Incredible Sarah," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi" and Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun."

Reynolds' first credit as production designer was Stanley Donen's "The Little Prince." His other films have included "Mr. Quilp," "Return to Oz," "Mountains of the Moon," "Alien 3," "Alive," "Clean Slate" and "Mission: Impossible."

ADAM GREENBERG (Director of Photography) rejoins Barry Levinson on "Sphere," having previously worked with the filmmaker on "Toys." Greenberg, an Academy Award nominee for his work on James Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," has a number of other distinguished films to his credit. They include Samuel Fuller's "The Big Red One," Cameron's "The Terminator," "La Bamba," "Near Dark," "Three Men and a Baby," "Alien Nation," "Ghost," "Three Men and a Little Lady," "Sister Act," "Dave," "Renaissance Man," "Junior," "First Knight" and "Eraser."

Greenberg began his cinematography career in Israel on such films as "Diamonds," "Operation Thunderbolt," "The Passover Plot" and "Going Steady."

STU LINDER (Editor) is marking his 13th collaboration with Barry Levinson, an association that began on the director's 1981 debut film, "Diner." Nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Levinson's "Rain Man," Linder also edited "The Natural," "Young Sherlock Holmes," "Tin Men," "Good Morning, Vietnam," "Avalon," "Bugsy," "Toys," "Sleepers" and "Wag the Dog" for the director. He also edited the Levinson-produced "Quiz Show" for Robert Redford.

Linder was born in Geneva, Illinois, and raised in Southern California. He was encouraged to try film editing by his brother-in-law, Roy Livingston, also a film editor. His first major assignment was for John Frankenheimer, as one of four editors on the 1966 drama "Grand Prix." Their work earned an Academy Award.

He then joined director Mike Nichols and editor Sam O'Steen as an assistant editor on "Catch-22," and continued this association through several films, including "Carnal Knowledge," "The Day of the Dolphin" and "The Fortune."

Following a five-year retreat from the industry during which time he sailed around the world, Linder returned to Hollywood and edited Tony Bill's directorial debut, "My Bodyguard," as well as Bill's next film, "Six Weeks."

Composer ELLIOT GOLDENTHAL earned a Best Original Score Academy Award nomination last year for Neil Jordan's "Michael Collins," and his score for Jordan's "Interview With The Vampire" won him both a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score. He recently collaborated for the third time with director Joel Schumacher on "Batman & Robin," having previously scored both "Batman Forever" and "A Time to Kill," each of which earned him Grammy nominations. His most recent film score is for Neil Jordan's acclaimed satiric tragi-comedy, "The Butcher Boy."

Goldenthal also created an innovative score for Michael Mann's "Heat," which earned him another Grammy nomination and a Best Score nomination from the Chicago Film Critics. His other film-scoring credits include "Cobb," Gus Van Sant's "Drugstore Cowboy," and "Fool's Fire," directed by Julie Taymor for American Playhouse.

Goldenthal's symphony, Fire Water Paper, a commemorative tribute created for the 20th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, was released in April, 1996, and recently received its East Coast debut in critically acclaimed performances in Boston, at New York's Carnegie Hall and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

He collaborated in 1988 with stage director Julie Taymor on Juan Darien -- A Carnival Mass, for which they each received Obie Awards, as well as five Tony nominations for the new version of the production, which played at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in 1996.

Goldenthal also was commissioned to compose a work in celebration of Leonard Bernstein's 70th birthday. The piece, Shadow Play Scherzo, was performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra at New York's Town Hall. His other stage credits include the musical The Transposed Heads, The King Stag and Liberty's Taken. Goldenthal collaborated again with Julie Taymor on The Green Bird, which opened in New York to critical acclaim and reopened at the La Jolla Playhouse to equally strong reviews.

Goldenthal has created a trumpet concerto for Wynton Marsalis and was commissioned by the American Ballet Theater to write a full-length ballet of Othello, which was choreographed by Lar Lubovitch and opened at the Metropolitan Opera on May 23, 1997.

Goldenthal, a student of Aaron Copeland and John Corigliano, earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in musical composition at the Manhattan School of Music. He has written extensively for full orchestra as well as chamber and vocal compositions. He has received the Arturo Toscanini Award, the New Music for Young Ensembles composition prize, the Stephen Sondheim Award in Music Theater and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship.

JEFFREY A. OKUN (Digital & Visual Effects Supervisor) has previously worked on such films as "The Long Kiss Goodnight," "Stargate," "Lolita," "Cutthroat Island," "The Crow: City of Angels," "Die Hard 2: Die Harder," "Sleepwalkers," "The Last Starfighter," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III," "Suburban Commando," "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" and Wes Craven's "Shocker."

His credits also include music videos from such artists as Sting, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janet Jackson, Wayne Newton, Bryan Adams, Amy Grant, Dolly Parton, the artist formerly known as Prince, Michael Jackson, the Neville Brothers and Rod Stewart.

In addition, he has contributed his talents to commercials for such clients as Reebok and Miller Lite.

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