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THE DESCENDANTS (2011)
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Release Date: November 16, 2011
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Alexander Payne
Screenwriter: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley
Genre: Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: R

****

CREW INFO


Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, ALEXANDER PAYNE (Directed by, Screenplay by, and Produced by) earned his MFA in Film at UCLA and now makes comedies. He debuted with CITIZEN RUTH (1996) and followed up with ELECTION(1999), which won Best Screenplay awards from the Writers' Guild of America and the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. ABOUT SCHMIDT (2002), premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and opened the New York Film Festival. SIDEWAYS (2004) won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for four others, including Best Picture and Best Director.

NAT FAXON (Screenplay by) hails from Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Hamilton College in upstate New York with a degree in Theater, he made his way to Los Angeles to pursue acting.

Faxon has appeared in numerous films including the upcoming feature films FREELOADERS and ZOOKEEPER. He was seen in the Columbia Pictures feature film WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY starring John C. Reilly and produced by Judd Apatow. Faxon co-starred in the feature film LOWER LEARNING alongside Eva Longoria, Jason Biggs, Rob Corddry and Will Sasso. He has also appeared in such films as BEERFEST, THE TV SET, ORANGE COUNTY, CLUB DREAD, and SLACKERS.

Faxon has also made his mark in the world of television. In 2009, he shot the CBS pilot "Big D." He was a series regular on Fox's sitcom "Happy Hour" as well as the WB's "Grosse Pointe" and he appeared in the WB pilot "In My Opinion." He starred opposite Katherine Heigl and Alexandra Breckenridge in ABC's "Romy and Michelle's: Behind the Velvet Rope." Faxon's other television credits include "Mad Men," "Party Down," "NCIS," "Reba," "The West Wing," "A Minute with Stan Hooper,"

"Significant Others," and recurring roles on "Joey" and "Reno 911." He is currently working on Fox's new animated series "Allen Gregory".

Faxon is also a member of the Groundlings Theater, where he has written and performed for over six years, and he is currently shooting Jay Chandrasekhar's upcoming comedy THE BABY MAKER.

JIM RASH (Screenplay by) was a series regular on NBC's "The Naked Truth," CBS's "Thanks," and ABC's "Help Me, Help You." He is recurring as Dean Pelton on NBC's "Community." His other television credits include "Will & Grace," "Friends," "Eli Stone," "CSI: Crime Scene

Investigation," and recurring roles on "Reno 911!" and "That 70's Show." He can be seen in the films SKY HIGH, SLACKERS, SIMONNE, ONE HOUR PHOTO, BALLS OF FURY, and THE SLAMMIN' SALMON. Rash and his fellow Groundling Nat Faxon created and co-executive produced the pilot "Adopted" for ABC. They are currently developing a television project with UP IN THE AIR director Jason Reitman, in which they are set to star.

KAUI HART HEMMINGS (Based on the Novel by) is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, House of Thieves. Her work has been published in publications including Zoetrope, Best American New Voices, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. Hemmings grew up in Hawaii and currently lives there with her husband and two children.

JIM BURKE (Produced by) recently served as a producer on Fox Searchlight's CEDAR RAPIDS directed by Miguel Arteta and as an executive producer on Tamara Jenkins' Academy Award nominated film, THE SAVAGES.

Burke along with Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor formed a production company in 2004 entitled Ad Hominem Enterprises.

Prior to Ad Hominem, Burke was a founding member of an independent film and television company called Rysher Entertainment. At Rysher Entertainment, Burke spearheaded the company's foray in to feature films and oversaw the development, production and release of the company's motion pictures. Rysher's diverse slate included Sundance audience award winner BIG NIGHT, as well as PRIMAL FEAR, KISS THE GIRLS, PRIVATE PARTS, and THE SAINT. Burke also co-produced 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY directed by John Herzfeld, KINGPIN directed by the Farrelly Brothers and ELECTION directed by Alexander Payne.

Prior to Rysher, Burke was Vice-President of Warner Bros. Television Domestic Distribution. He hails from Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota.

Born and raised in Seattle, JIM TAYLOR (Produced by) received a bachelor's degree from Pomona College in 1984 and an MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 1995.

Jim is the long-time collaborator of writer/director Alexander Payne. Among the screenplays they have co-authored are ELECTION, ABOUT SCHMIDT and SIDEWAYS. For their work on these scripts they have been honored with two Golden Globes, two Writers Guild Awards and one Academy Award.

In 2005 Taylor and Payne partnered with producer Jim Burke to form Ad Hominem Enterprises. Jim currently lives in New York with his wife, the filmmaker Tamara Jenkins, and their daughter.

PHEDON PAPAMICHAEL, ASC (Director of Photography), an award winning director and cinematographer, was born in Athens, Greece and moved with his family to Germany, where in 1982 he completed his education in Fine Arts, in Munich. Working as a photojournalist brought Papamichael to NYC in 1983, where he started crossing over into cinematography.

His first feature film, the 35mm black & white SPUD, earned him the Award for Best Cinematography at the Cork Film Festival in Ireland. Following a call from John Cassavetes, his cousin and later collaborator, Phedon moved to Los Angeles. While continuing to work on short and experimental films, he began his feature career as a director of photography for Roger Corman, for whom he photographed seven films within two years.

Phedon now counts forty-four feature films to his credit as director of photography, including the early block-busters AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS, starring Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones, MOUSE HUNT, PATCH ADAMS, starring Robin Williams, and PHENOMENON, starring John Travolta and directed by Jon Turteltaub, for whom he also shot WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING and COOL RUNNINGS.

His credits include many critically acclaimed films, such as UNSTRUNG HEROES (Un Certain Regard, Cannes 1995), directed by Diane Keaton, UNHOOK THE STARS, starring Gena Rowlands and directed by Nick Cassavetes, and THE LOCUSTS (Mezzogiorno, Venice Film Festival 1997).

THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL, directed by Wim Wenders and starring Mel Gibson, was chosen as the Opening Film of the 2000 Berlin Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize, the Silver Bear, as well as the Golden Camera. The European co-production, 27 MISSING KISSES, directed by Oscar nominated filmmaker Nana Djordjadze, premiered at Directors Fortnight in Cannes 2000. It garnered the Grand Prix Award at the 2000 New York/Avignon Film Festival, the Audience Award at the 2000 Montpellier Film Festival, as well as the Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography. In 2000 both films received a Cameraimage nomination, for Best Cinematography.

In 2001 Phedon shot MOONLIGHT MILE (Berlinale, 2003), directed by Brad Silberling, starring Academy Award winners Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon and Holly Hunter. It was followed by IDENTITY, directed by James Mangold, and the Oscar-nominated SIDEWAYS (Academy Award Winner: Best Screenplay, Nominee: Best Picture) directed by Alexander Payne.

The list continues with the Gore Verbinski collaboration THE WEATHERMAN, starring Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine and WALK THE LINE, again directed by Mangold and starring Joaquin Phoenix, who was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award and Reese Witherspoon, who won an Academy Award for her performance. It also won the Golden Frog at Cameraimage (President's Award 2005), for Best Cinematography.

More recently, Phedon shot the critically acclaimed Western 3:10 TO YUMA, starring Russell Crow and Christian Bale, 10 ITEMS OR LESS, directed by Brad Silberling, starring Morgan Freeman, and the block-buster PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, for which Will Smith received an Academy Award nomination and in 2008 he completed photography on Oliver Stone's W.

In 2010 he returned to longtime collaborators James Mangold with KNIGHT & DAY and George Clooney's THE IDES OF MARCH in the spring of 2011. He is currently in production on Judd Apatow's new film THIS IS 40.

JANE ANN STEWART (Production Designer) is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Production Design division, and she has worked with such notable directors as Tamara Jenkins and Alexander Payne.

Her film credits as a production designer include films such as MY BEST FRIENDS GIRL, THE SAVAGES, SIDEWAYS, THE FAMILY STONE, BICKFORD SHMECKLER'S COOL IDEAS, ABOUT SCHMIDT, THE AMATI GIRLS, ELECTION, THE SOULER OPPOSITE, BREAST MEN, THE MAKER, and CITIZEN RUTH.

KEVIN TENT, A.C.E. (Film Editor) has teamed with director Alexander Payne for over twelve years. Their first collaboration was on CITIZEN RUTH, staring Laura Dern. That was followed by ELECTION, which earned Kevin his first A.C.E. Eddie nomination, and by ABOUT SCHMIDT, which earned him his second. Their most recent collaboration was on SIDEWAYS, for which he was again nominated for an A.C.E. Eddie Award.

Tent began his career at Roger Corman's New Horizons Studio, located in Venice, CA where he cut countless classics such as NOT OF THIS EARTH and HOLLYWOOD BLVD. II.

Some of his early credits include HOMAGE, a 1996 Sundance Festival premiere, the independent and underground hit GUNCRAZY directed by Tamara Davis, and SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE directed by David Schwimmer.

Other editing credits include Pieter Jan Brugge's psychological kidnapping drama THE CLEARING starring Robert Redford, Helen Mirren and Willem Dafoe, the late Ted Demme's drug epic BLOW, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, James Mangold's GIRL INTERRUPTED starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, and Barry Sonenfeld's RV starring Robin Williams. He was also an additional editor on FACTORY GIRL starring Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce and MONSTER IN LAW starring Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez and Wanda Sykes.

WENDY CHUCK (Costume Designer) has worked in film, theatre and ballet in the U.S. and her native Australia and has amassed an impressive list of credits including TWILIGHT, SIDEWAYS, and ABOUT SCHMIDT. She has worked with writer/director Jane Campion on her features PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG LADY, THE PIANO and TWO FRIENDS. She has also worked with writer/director Alexander Payne on ELECTION, SIDEWAYS, and the pilot for HBO's "Hung."

More recently, Wendy designed the costumes for the thriller DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. She is currently working on STRUCK BY LIGHTNING directed by Brian Dannelly.

Her achievements include a nomination for the Australian Film Institute's Best Achievement in Costume Design for COUNTRY LIFE and winning the Costume Designers Award for Excellence in Costume Design-Contemporary for Alexander Payne's ABOUT SCHMIDT starring Jack Nicholson.

Before working in film, Wendy was a costume cutter/fitter/tailor for ABC Television. She later worked in London for seven years for the Museum of the Moving Image, as well as for private and corporate clients and on music videos.

An accomplished Assistant Director and Producer, GEORGE PARRA (Co-Producer) has worked on over 40 feature films covering all genres from big action films such as TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, THE ROCK, and XXX as well as working on studio classics such as GHOST, THE MASK OF ZORRO, and ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. But, his success came from smaller, more independent films, which have always been more appealing to him, such as ELECTION and SIDEWAYS.

Parra collaborated both as an assistant director and now as a producer, with directors such as Alexander Payne, Peter Yates, Oliver Stone, James Cameron, Michael Bay, Rob Cohen, Martin Cambell, and David Ellis to name a few.

After Graduating from San Diego State University, with a degree in Film and Theatre, he began his career working with directors such as James Cameron and Francis Ford Coppola on their films THE TERMINATOR and PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. Shortly afterwards, Parra became a member of the Directors Guild of America and worked his way into the studio system.

His collaboration with his directors expanded when asked to produce his first feature film, SIDEWAYS with his long standing associate Alexander Payne. SIDEWAYS went on to receive five Academy Award nominations, one win, seven Golden Globe Nominations, two wins, as well as ninety one other nominations worldwide.

Now a member of the Producers Guild of America, Parra has been steadily producing a number of films for various companies as well as developing his own projects. He is currently producing POINT BREAK INDO, being directed by Jan DeBont and filming in Bali and Australia.

Mr. Parra brings 25 years film production experience along with an impeccable reputation. His experience covers all areas of physical production, dealing with budgets ranging from 1 million to 45 million dollars. His many years in the feature film business has given him connections with a vast catalog of accomplished directors and technicians, as well as a strong relationship with all of the major bond companies, unions, and major production vendors.

Along with experience working in most major cities in America, Parra has also worked in Eastern and Western Europe, the South Pacific, and Mexico. He is fluent in Spanish and resides in Malibu, California and in Deer Valley, Utah.

Having first cut his teeth as Music Coordinator on Barry Sonnenfeld's GET SHORTY over a decade ago, DONDI BASTONE (Music Supervisor) has since supervised music for more than thirty film and television projects, including SIDEWAYS and ELECTION for Director Alexander Payne, Ed Harris' decade-long labor of love and directorial debut, POLLOCK, writer-director-star Matt Dillon's CITY OF GHOSTS and THE HUMAN STAIN for legendary Oscar winning writer/director Robert Benton. Other credits include the films HOME FRIES, THE BIG EMPTY, THE CREW, NO VACANCY, SAINT JOHN OF LAS VEGAS and BEAUTIFUL OHIO. In the last few years Bastone has also had the opportunity to be a part of some fine documentary projects including, most recently, Kirby Dicks' THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, FUCK for director Steve Anderson, HBO's "Addiction" as well as the Emmy winning documentary series "American High" and its follow-up "Freshman Diaries" for RJ Cutler and WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? for producer Morgan Spurlock.

RICHARD FORD (Executive Music Producer) is an Emmy Award winning music editor who has worked with such notable directors as Alexander Payne, Nick Cassavettes, Antoine Fuqua, Scott Hicks, Ted Demme, and Catherine Hardwicke.

Ford's music editor credits include films such as SIDEWAYS, ABOUT SCHMIDT, ELECTION, TRAINING DAY, AMERICAN HISTORY X, THE CELL, BLOW, RED, THE PROPOSAL, MUST LOVE DOGS, BLUE CRUSH, JOHN Q, THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE, GOING THE DISTANCE, THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED, THE NATIVITY STORY, SEMI-PRO, and the HBO film "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers."

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