Varsity Blues: About The Filmmakers

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BRIAN ROBBINS (Director/Producer) directed the hit family comedy "Good Burger" for Paramount Pictures in 1997, having previously made his feature debut with "The Show," a real-life drama and concert film featuring hip-hop artists. In 1993, while producing the award-winning film "Hardwood Dreams," he partnered with its director, Mike Tollin, to form their production company, Tollin/Robbins Productions. Robbins is a co-creator and executive producer on Nickelodeon's hit shows "All That," "Kenan & Kel" and "Cousin Skeeter." He served as a co-writer and director on the DGA and CableACE Award-winning Nickelodeon show "Sports Theater With Shaquille O'Neal" and is also an executive producer of HBO's comedy "Arli$$."

Robbins also starred for five seasons on the hit ABC sitcom "Head of the Class."

TOVA LAITER (Producer) was recently president of production at Cinergi Entertainment where she supervised "Nixon," starring Anthony Hopkins; "Die Hard With a Vengeance," starring Bruce Willis;

"The Scarlet Letter," starring Demi Moore; and "Evita," starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. Prior to her post at Cinergi, she was president of production at Imagine Entertainment.

As an independent producer, Laiter executive produced the Emmy Award-winning TV film "Murder in Mississippi." She also has several feature film projects in development at various studios: "Run for Your Life," starring John Travolta; "Pre-Nup," directed by Lawrence Kasdan; and "Elvis Left the Building," starring Madonna.

MIKE TOLLIN (Producer) currently serves as an executive producer of the HBO comedy "Arli$$" and as executive producer and co-creator of Nickelodeon's hit shows "All That," "Kenan & Kel" and "Cousin Skeeter." Tollin has been honored with three Emmy Awardsª as a producer and director.

An Academy Award(tm) nominee and Peabody Award winner for his documentary "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream," he also directed the award-winning film "Hardwood Dreams," narrated by Wesley Snipes. He served as producer on "The Show" and "Good Burger," directed by his partner, Brian Robbins, for Paramount Pictures.

A founding board member of Children Now, Tollin has a well-established track record of working to positively influence young children's lives. It is no surprise that he and Brian Robbins have made youth-oriented programming a primary focus.

DAVID GALE (Executive Producer) is senior vice president of MTV Films, where he is responsible for overseeing the development and production of MTV's slate of movies. Gale's first feature under the MTV banner was the hugely successful animated movie "Beavis and Butthead Do America," which he executive produced. Gale has also served as executive producer on MTV Films' "Dead Man on Campus," starring Tom Everett Scott and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. In addition, he is producer on MTV's upcoming films "Election," starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon; "200 Cigarettes," a comedy starring Ben Affleck, Courtney Love, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci, Paul Rudd and many others in a large ensemble cast; and "The Wood," starring Omar Epps, Taye Diggs and Richard T. Jones.

Gale came to MTV from his position as president of Gale Anne Hurd's Pacific Western Productions. Prior to that he was senior vice president of Ridley Scott's Percy Main Productions. He also spent three years as vice president of business affairs at International Creative Management, and prior to that, he spent five years as an entertainment attorney in New York.

VAN TOFFLER (Executive Producer) is general manager, MTV: Music Television and president, MTV Productions. As general manager, Toffler is responsible for managing MTV's day-to-day operations. In his duties as president, MTV Productions he oversees the off-channel production arm of MTV.

During his tenure at MTV, he has taken "MTV Unplugged" platinum with a line of Unplugged albums; has brought MTV and VH-1 to the World Wide Web and has supervised the development and production of several projects for television and feature films including "Beavis and Butt-head Do America."

Previously, Toffler was executive vice president, MTV Productions, and prior to that senior vice president, Programming Enterprises & vice president, Business Management, MTV: Music Television. Before that Toffler was senior counsel, Law & Business Affairs, MTV: Music Television. Until late 1988, he acted as counsel for Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite. Prior to joining the company in 1987, Toffler was an associate with the law firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays and Handler.

ELYSA KOPLOVITZ (Associate Producer) is the vice president of MTV Films and has been with the company since it started in 1995. Previously she served as director of development at Cinema Line and began her career as the executive assistant to the Chairman of Columbia Tristar Pictures.

She received her bachelor of arts in art/semiotics from Brown University where she produced a nationally syndicated student soap opera.

MARK ISHAM (Composer) is a Grammy Award(tm) and Emmy Award(tm)-winner and Academy Award(tm)-nominee for his memorable scores and solo projects. Isham won a Grammy Award(tm) for his self-titled 1990 album and earned his Emmy Award(tm) for the main title theme to "EZ Streets." He has received an Academy Awardª Grammy Awardª Nominations for his score for "A River Runs Through It."Isham's other motion picture credits include "The Gingerbread Man," "Afterglow," "The Education of Little Tree," "Kiss the Girls," "Fly Away Home," "Home for the Holidays," "Losing Isaiah," "Nell" (for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination), "Quiz Show," "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle," "The Getaway," "Romeo Is Bleeding," "Short Cuts," "Of Mice and Men," "Little Man Tate," "Reversal of Fortune" and "The Moderns" for which he won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award(tm) for Best Score. Named one of the "Top Three Composers of the 80's" by the American Film Institute, Isham's feature films number over 50 with many having been made into soundtrack albums.

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