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Production notes, photos and promotional video © 2007 Walt Disney Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment.

Underdog (2007)
FREDERIK DU CHAU (Director)

ROGER BIRNBAUM (Producer)
GARY BARBER (Producer)

JONATHAN GLICKMAN (Producer)

JAY POLSTEIN (Producer)
JOE PISCATELLA (Writer)
ADAM RIFKIN (Writer)
BOONE NARR (Animal Coordinator)
TOM FINAN (Editor)
DAVID EGGBY, ACS (Director of Photography)
GARRETH STOVER (Production Designer)
GARY JONES (Costume Designer)
HOYT YEATMAN (Visual Effects Supervisor)
PAUL LOMBARDI (Special Effects Coordinator)

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

FREDERIK DU CHAU (Director) previously directed (and co-wrote) the family adventure “Racing Stripes,” the popular film about a young zebra who aspires to racing stardom, featuring the voices of such luminaries as Whoopi Goldberg, Dustin Hoffman and Joe Pantoliano.

Du Chau was born in Belgium, where studied film at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, while simultaneously traveling the world as a camera assistant for several major European news organizations. He then began his career as both an animator and a director for television and commercials in Europe. In 1989, his short story, “The Mystery of the Lamb,” was selected for the Los Angeles Animation Celebration film festival, which brought him to the United States At the Baer Animation Studio in Los Angeles, he worked as an animator on numerous commercials that combined animation with live action. He then co-directed the animation for the video hit “Land Before Time: Time of the Great Giving.”

After spending time working as a storyboard artist for animation legend Chuck Jones, he directed the feature film “Quest for Camelot,” which received a Vision Award for Best Picture in 1999.

He also directed a pilot presentation for Forest Whitaker’s Spirit Dance Entertainment entitled “Stripped,” for which he created a new look that transforms live action into animation in real time.

In 2000, Du Chau, along with Kirk DeMicco, wrote “Hong Kong Phooey,” a live action comedy about a Kung Fu fighting dog, based on the popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon. This project was sold to Alcon Entertainment.

When not directing movies, Frederik draws and writes on his own comic book called "Fish Out Of Water." He is also working on a children's book based on characters he developed called Menehunes.

ROGER BIRNBAUM (Producer) founded the production and finance company, Spyglass Entertainment, with partner Gary Barber, where they share the title of Co-Chairman and CEO. The company develops and finances all of its projects independently.
The company's box office successes range from “the Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis, which earned $661 million in worldwide box-office, to the smash hit “Bruce Almighty” starring Jim Carrey, which earned $485 million. Also included in the Spyglass library are Oscar®-nominated favorites such as “Seabiscuit” with Tobey Maguire, and “The Insider” with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino. In total, Spyglass has cumed over 26 Oscar® nominations, including three wins. Other company successes include “The Count of Monte Cristo” with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce, “Keeping the Faith” with Ben Stiller and Edward Norton, the dual hits “Shanghai Noon” and its sequel “Shanghai Knights” with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, “The Recruit” with Al Pacino and Colin Farrell, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” starring Sam Rockwell and Mos Def, and the smash family film, “The Pacifier” with Vin Diesel.

Spyglass also co-financed and executive produced “The Legend of Zorro,” the sequel to “the Mask of Zorro” with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Antonio Banderas, and director Martin Campbell, and “Memoirs of a Geisha”, the adaptation of the best-selling novel directed by Rob Marshall (“Chicago”). Both films were released internationally by Spyglass and have grossed over $150 million dollars each in worldwide box office to date. “Memoirs of a Geisha” drew numerous kudos and awards throughout the season, culminating in three Academy Awards®.

In 2006, Mr. Birnbaum co-financed and produced the action adventure “Eight Below,” based on the true survival story about a group of sled dogs’ in Antarctica. The film had strong legs at the box office, with earnings over $120 million worldwide. Spyglass also produced and financed the crime thriller “The Lookout,” helmed by acclaimed writer turned first time director Scott Frank.
First part of 2007 saw the releases of “The Invisible” and “Evan Almighty”. Next up for Spyglass are the productions of “27 Dresses” with Katherine Heigl and “The Ruins,” a horror/thriller in association with DreamWorks.

Prior to founding Spyglass Entertainment, Mr. Birnbaum, co-founded Caravan Pictures, where he was responsible for such box office hits as “Rush Hour,” “Six Days/Seven Nights,” “Inspector Gadget,” Gross Pointe Blank,” The Three Musketeers,” Angels in the Outfield” and While You Were Sleeping.”

Before joining Caravan, Mr. Birnbaum held the title of President of Worldwide Production and Executive Vice President of Twentieth Century Fox, where he developed such films as “Home Alone,” Sleeping with the Enemy,” Edward Scissorhands,” “Hot Shots,” “My Cousin Vinny,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Die Hard 2” and “Mrs. Doubtfire,” among others. Prior to that, Mr. Birnbaum was President of Production for United Artists where he developed the Oscar® winning film and all-time cinema favorite “Rain Man.”
Earlier in his career, he produced “The Sure Thing,” directed by Rob Reiner and “Young Sherlock Holmes,” which were presented in association with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. For television, he executive produced the telefilms “Scandal Sheet,” “Happily Ever After,” “When Your Lover Leaves” and the award winning “All The Kids Do It.”

Born in Teaneck, New Jersey and educated at the University of Denver, Mr. Birnbaum built a successful career as Vice President of A&M Records and Arista Records before entering the film business to produce motion pictures.
He is currently Co-Artistic Director of the AFI conservatory, and serves on the Advisory Board for UCSB at the Center for Film, Television, and New Media. He is also a mentor to the USC Peter Stark Producing Program, as well as the UCLA Graduate Film program.

GARY BARBER (Producer) founded the production, finance and distribution company, Spyglass Entertainment, with partner Roger Birnbaum where he serves as Co-Chairman and CEO.

The company's savvy production choices from the beginning led to the phenomenal box office success of "The Sixth Sense," starring Bruce Willis, which went on to gross over $661 million and garnered six Academy Award® nominations. Further successes include "The Count of Monte Cristo," with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce, "Keeping the Faith," with Ben Stiller and Edward Norton, "Shanghai Noon," with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, and its sequel "Shanghai Knights," as well as the dynamic teaming of Al Pacino and Colin Farrell in "The Recruit."

Mr. Barber executive produced and co-financed two milestone movies: "Bruce Almighty," starring Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston, which grossed over $485 million in worldwide box office and is considered one of the blockbuster comedies of all time, and "Seabiscuit," the tale of a legendary racehorse, starring Tobey Maguire, Chris Cooper, and Jeff Bridges, which received seven Oscar® nominations with its moving story of triumph over adversity.

Mr. Barber went on to produce “The Pacifier" and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." "The Pacifier," a family comedy starring Vin Diesel, earned approximately $200 million in worldwide box office, while "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," an adaptation to the Douglas Adams’s bestseller, crossed the $100 million mark globally.

Spyglass also co-financed and Mr. Barber executive-produced: "The Legend of Zorro," the sequel to the 1998 smash hit, with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Antonio Banderas, and director Martin Campbell, and "Memoirs of a Geisha," based on the best-selling novel, helmed by Rob Marshall ("Chicago") and starring Ziyi Zhang and Ken Watanabe. “Memoirs of a Geisha” earned Spyglass three Oscar® wins out of six nominations, bringing a total of twenty-six nominations.

2006’s successful Walt Disney Pictures' "Eight Below" was co-financed by Spyglass and executive produced by Mr. Barber. In the spring of 2007 Spyglass produced and financed the releases of “The Invisible” and "The Lookout," through Miramax Films and Touchstone Pictures respectively.

Spyglass is currently in production on two films: “27 Dresses,” starring Katherine Heigl and “The Ruins,” a horror/thriller in association with DreamWorks.

A seasoned veteran of the business, Barber has been directly responsible for operating companies in feature film production and distribution, foreign theatrical, video and TV distribution, exhibition and pre-recorded music and music publishing. He was responsible for building these companies from the ground up.

In managing these businesses, Barber was instrumental in making many landmark deals, identifying and breaking new talent and producing major worldwide hits. His international expertise is considered one of the best in the business with extensive relationships in worldwide theatrical, video and television. As an executive with unparalleled experience and financial savvy, Barber has also developed strong relationships in the commercial and investment banking community and earned the respect of this tightly knit group through constant and successful deal making.

Barber is the former Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Creek Productions. During his eight and a half years at the company, he was in charge of all day-to-day operations for each of Morgan Creek's business entities including feature film production, foreign distribution, music, exhibition and interactive.

Barber has produced or executive produced over 50 feature films and TV shows including the 1994 hit that rocketed Jim Carrey to stardom, "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," and its highly successful sequel, "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," and the 1991 blockbuster, "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," starring Kevin Costner.

JONATHAN GLICKMAN (Producer)
is responsible for the development and production of all Spyglass films. In 1993, Glickman joined Caravan Pictures as an intern and by 1997 he had worked his way up to President of the company. During this time he brought in such projects as "The Jerky Boys" and "While You Were Sleeping,” serving as associate producer on both films. Later, Glickman executive produced "Grosse Pointe Blank" and Walt Disney's "Inspector Gadget". In addition, he also produced the international smash hits "Rush Hour" and its sequel "Rush Hour II.”

In 1998, Glickman was named President of Production for Spyglass Entertainment and in 2003 was promoted to President of Spyglass Entertainment. While at Spyglass, Glickman has produced "Shanghai Noon,” "Count Of Monte Cristo,” "Connie & Carla,” "Mr. 3000,” "The Pacifier,” “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” and “The Invisible.” He recently served as executive producer of “Stay Alive,” “Stick It” and “The Lookout.” Glickman has also produced the forthcoming ping-pong comedy “Balls Of Fury” and “Rush Hour 3.”

Glickman, who is married to television writer Christy Callahan, graduated with honors in English from the University of Michigan and attended University of Southern California's Peter Stark program.

JAY POLSTEIN (Producer) is an independent producer in Los Angeles.  He also produced in association with Maverick Films the forthcoming “My Sassy Girl,” directed by Yann Samuel, a remake of the smash Korean romantic comedy about a guy who has the misfortune of falling for a girl soured by a broken heart; and he previously produced the Oscar®-winning “Frida,” an acclaimed biography of the painter Frida Kahlo starring Salma Hayek in the title role.  

Formerly Head of Production for the management/production company Handprint Entertainment, he supervised the development of numerous projects including “The Fighting Temptations,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Steve Harvey and Beyonce Knowles.
Prior to Handprint, Polstein was Vice President of Production at Trimark Pictures where he co-produced several films including the critically acclaimed “Eve’s Bayou,” directed by Kasi Lemmons.

Polstein began his career as an attorney specializing in entertainment law, before leaving to join ICM talent agency as a story editor. Following ICM, he joined Goldwyn Films, where he was the Director of Production. Polstein is a graduate of Georgetown University and UCLA School of Law.

A graduate of Georgetown University, JOE PISCATELLA (Writer) attended the Masters of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he met CRAIG A. WILLIAMS (Writer). After making their start in television on shows for NBC, Warner Brothers, and Nickelodeon, Joe and Craig made their foray into feature films, having written multiple projects for 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks, Spyglass and Starz Animation. They are currently writing a pilot for Touchstone Television and an animated feature for Sony. Before becoming a screenwriter, Joe was a food and travel writer who once had a tryout in the Canadian Football League as a punter. A graduate of the University of California, Irvine and native southern Californian, Craig’s adventures as a teenage rock star during Hollywood’s glam metal era are chronicled in his book, Mom, Have You Seen My Leather Pants?, which will be published by Crown on August 28, 2007.

ADAM RIFKIN (Writer) is a writer/director/producer whose eclectic career ranges from broad family comedies to cult classics to dark and gritty urban dramas. As a writer, he made his mark with films like “Mousehunt,” starring Nathan Lane and “Small Soldiers,” starring Tommy Lee Jones for Dreamworks. Recent credits also include Sony’s “Zoom,” starring Tim Allen.

In 1991, Rifkin earned cult status when his film “The Dark Backward,” which he wrote and directed, was named one of the top ten films of the year by The New York Post. He would go on to be immortalized as the director responsible for New Line Cinema’s “Detroit Rock City,” a cult classic that introduced a whole new generation of fans to the “hottest band in the world…Kiss!!!”
Rifkin gained recognition for his film “Night at the Golden Eagle,” a film which he not only wrote and directed, but also produced. The film was an official selection of the London Film Festival and opened to rave reviews.

On October 26th, 2007, Rifkin will unleash his latest film. Armed with the knowledge that Americans are captured on surveillance cameras at least 200 times a day, mostly without their knowledge, Rifkin wrote and directed “Look.” The film, which won the Grand Jury prize at the 2007 CineVegas Film Festival, tells its story exclusively through the eyes of the countless security cameras throughout the city, bringing to light the harsh realities of what it means to be watched 24/7.

Additionally, in 2007, Rifkin will add acting to his resume when he stars opposite Ali Larter as an idealistic caveman searching for love and life beyond the cave in National Lampoon’s “Homo Erectus.” Rifkin, who wrote and directed the film, was inspired by the early comedies of Woody Allen like “Sleepers,” “Bananas,” and “Love and Death.” The prehistoric comedy will also be responsible for helping re-launch the Lampoon brand.

BOONE NARR (Animal Coordinator) operates Boone's Animals For Hollywood, Inc., an internationally known and respected animal training facility. For the past three decades the company and its trainers have worked with every major studio on hundreds of films, TV shows, and commercials.

Their dogs, cats and other, sometimes more exotic animals have worked all over the United States and around the world. Time spent filming in Canada, Czech Republic, Australia, Mexico, Africa, Korea, India, New Zealand, Israel, New Guinea, Germany and Italy have provided a wide knowledge of acquiring permits and importing/exporting animals for film work.
Boone's Animals For Hollywood has extensive experience with difficult animal work, stunts, and cutting edge computer enhanced film making technology.

His extensive credits include: “Catwoman,” “Pirates Of The Caribbean 1, 2 & 3,” “Stuart Little 1 & 2, “ “Cats And Dogs,” “Troy,” “National Treasure,” “The Forgotten,” “Raising Helen,” “Peter Pan,” “Skipping Christmas,” “Around The Bend, “ “Open Range,” “Green Mile,” “Mouse Hunt,” “The Pacifier,” “Paulie,” “Batman And Robin,” “Father Of The Bride,” “Willard,” “Buddy,” “Haunted Mansion,” “Rat Race,” “Bingo,” “Looney Tunes: Back In Action,,” “America’s Sweethearts,” “The Ring,” “Kate And Leopold,” “What Women Want” and “Must Love Dogs.”

TOM FINAN (Editor) has worked on a host of notable films including “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” “The Emperor’s New Groove,” “Stuart Little,” “Hercules,” “The Lion King,” “Pet Cemetery II,” “Grand Isle,” “Problem Child,” “It Had to Be You,” “Wizard” and “Racing Stripes,” his second collaboration with director Frederik Du Chau. His television credits include “They’ve Taken Our Children: The Chowchilla Kidnapping,” “Writer’s Block,” “Tales From the Crypt” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

As an associate editor, Finan worked on Oliver Stone’s “Platoon,” which won Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing, and Stone’s “Salvador.” Among his assistant editor credits are “Gremlins” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

DAVID EGGBY, ACS (Director of Photography) began his career in stills. Then served as a Naval Airman Photographer with the Royal Australian Navy for 6 years. He then worked on several police TV dramas, commercial, mini series and made-for-television movies. His first feature film was George Miller’s groundbreaking futuristic adventure “Mad Max” in 1977. Since then, he has established himself and is well known in the U.S. and overseas for his visually innovative style.

His talent for visual effects and action movies garnered him repeat collaborations with several directors including Rob Cohen (“Daylight,” “Dragonheart,” “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story”), Simon Wincer (“Harley Davidson & The Marlboro Man,” “Quigley Down Under,” “Lightning Jack”) and now Frederik Du Chau, with whom he first worked on “Racing Stripes.”
Eggby’s film credits also include “Scooby Doo,” “Pitch Black,” “Horseplay,” “Blue Streak,” “Virus,” “Fortress,” “Warlock,” “The Blood of Heroes,” “The Naked Country,” “Buddies,” “Kansas,” “Euro Trip,” "Crossfire Trail," "Monte Walsh and " The Marine."

GARRETH STOVER’S (Production Designer) extensive and varied credits as production designer include “Christmas with the Kranks” and “America’s Sweethearts” (directed by Joe Roth), “Big Trouble” (Barry Sonnenfeld), “Daddy Day Care” (Steve Carr), “The Kid,” “Instinct,” “Phenomenon” and “While You Were Sleeping” (Jon Turtletaub), “Lost Souls” (Janusz Kaminski) and “Unstrung Heroes” (Diane Keaton). Beyond the United States, his work has taken him to Jamaica, Curacao, Russia, France, Portugal and Iceland.

Academy Award®-nominee GARY JONES (Costume Designer) has designed for a wide range of feature films including “Spiderman 2,” “Raising Helen,” “Two Weeks Notice,” “The Princess Diaries 1 & 2,” “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “Secondhand Lions,” “Vanya on 42nd Street,” “The Mosquito Coast” and “The Trip to Bountiful.” Gary has also enjoyed a long creative collaboration with Designer Ann Roth, and together they shared an Academy Award® nomination for the “Talented Mr. Ripley.” Other films they collaborated on were “The English Patient,” “Primary Colors,” “Sabrina,” “The Mambo Kings” and “Dressed to Kill.” Most recently, Jones designed costumes for Garry Marshall’s “Georgia Rule” starring Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan and Felicity Huffman. His upcoming films include “Definitely Maybe” starring Ryan Reynolds, Rachel Weisz and Abigail Breslin; as well as “All About Steve” starring Sandra Bullock.

HOYT YEATMAN (Visual Effects Supervisor) has contributed to the conception, design, supervision and production of visual effects for more than 100 motion picture, television, and commercial projects. He was also one of the original founders of Dream Quest Images, an Academy Award®-winning visual effects company. He has always been drawn to the visually artistic and the technically complex, and the challenge in blending these two worlds seamlessly.

Yeatman’s dramatic use of miniature and underwater bluescreen photography in the 1989 film “The Abyss” won an Oscar® for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. Currently Yeatman is developing a hybrid CG/live action film called “G-Force” and was responsible for the visual effects and the photo-realistic 3D character animation for the Jerry Bruckheimer production “Kangaroo Jack.” He was also visual effects supervisor on the 1998 Academy Award®-nominated “Mighty Joe Young,” as well as “The Rock,” “Crimson Tide” and “Armageddon.”

In March 2000, Yeatman and the Eastman Kodak Company were honored with a Scientific and Technical Achievement Certificate from the Academy for their joint development of a new visual effects film stock, SFX 200T. Additionally, he has directed special attraction films for Warner Bros. Recreation, Sony Wonder, Imax Corp. and Samsung.

Yeatman was a co-founder of Dream Quest Images that was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 1996 and became The Secret Lab, the digital production studio of Walt Disney Feature Animation, in 1999. Currently Hoyt is directing a feature hybrid live action / animated film entitled G-FORCE for Jerry Bruckheimer and Walt Disney Studios.

PAUL LOMBARDI (Special Effects Coordinator)
was raised in the special effects business—his family’s credits go back to 1947, when his father started at Desilu. Paul’s credits include “The Last Samurai,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Courage Under Fire,” “Con Air,” “Bad Santa” and the television series “X-Files” and “Superstition.”


 
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• talk about it • video review • visual reviewnews • trailers teaser • clips 
• 62 hi-res photos (gallery)26 main lo-res photoscreditscastfilmmakers
• notes, interviews & articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, • 

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