The world of the Middle Ages was populated with heroes whose feats and derring-do have captivated multitudes through the centuries. Legends with names like Lancelot, Galahad, Gawain and … Jamal Walker!?
Jamal toils, unhappily, at Medieval World, a theme park that looks like it has not been renovated, or had customers, since the Dark Ages. After falling into the park's fetid moat, Jamal crawls out into fourteenth century England, a world of knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, not to mention questionable hygiene and really lousy plumbing.
Now a stranger in a very strange land, Jamal falls in with a dissolute knight, a beautiful woman with some very modern ideas, and a rebellion against an evil king. The Middle Ages will never be the same, as Jamal uses twenty-first century street smarts and moves to help his new friends. In return, Jamal gets a lot more than just a history lesson.
Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises present a New Regency / Runteldat Entertainment / The Firm production, starring Martin Lawrence in BLACK KNIGHT. The film is directed by Gil Junger, produced by Arnon Milchan, Darryl J. Quarles, Michael Green and Paul Schiff, and written by Darryl J. Quarles and Peter Gaulke & Gerry Swallow.
The worlds of literature and film have long been fascinated with time travel and the comedic results of a man or woman being thrust out of their modern time frame and into the distant past. One of the most notable examples is Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, in which a young man in a nineteenth century New England arms factory is struck on the head and awakens to find himself in sixth century Camelot.
The Middle Ages continues to inspire artists, writers and filmmakers. Screenwriter Darryl J. Quarles credits his grade school lessons on the Arthurian legend as early inspiration for BLACK KNIGHT. "Ever since my third grade teacher read us stories about King Arthur, I've been fascinated with medieval times and the way people lived all those centuries ago," he notes. "I thought it would be a lot of fun to write a screenplay about a modern-day African-American man who finds himself in the middle of a rebellion in 14th century England. And to watch him handle the situation, using his contemporary knowledge. "
Quarles was no stranger to putting a character in some off-the-wall situations, having come up with the notion of a male detective disguising himself as a rotund Southern granny in the hit comedy "Big Momma's House. " For BLACK KNIGHT, he long pondered the method by which he would transport his protagonist back in time. Again, he turned to his early fascination with the period. "Castles and moats have always been magical and mystical to me, so I decided that I could use that as the door to take my character to this new/old world," Quarles states.
Quarles' mix of contemporary humor with a medieval setting drew the attention of Martin Lawrence, who earlier had donned a fat suit to bring Quarles' "Big Momma" character to life. "The BLACK KNIGHT script really made me laugh," Lawrence remembers. "I loved its fish-out-of-water theme, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to play Jamal. I mean, what's a bigger fish out of water than a brother from modern day going back into medieval England?"
According to director Gil Junger, who honed his skills on over 600 hours of television comedies, the BLACK KNIGHT scenario and the character of Jamal Walker were perfect fits for Lawrence's style and humor. "What I loved about the script was that it provided great opportunities for Martin, who's a brilliant comedian, to develop and enrich the situations," says Junger. "Martin's unique style and talents really brought out the story's theme of Jamal's impact on these fourteenth century people and their influence on him. "
Central to this theme is Jamal's relationship with Sir Knolte, a once legendary knight who has fallen on hard times. Having just arrived in this strange land, Jamal is oblivious to the fact that he's way out of his element, and that Knolte could be anything but a Los Angeles street person. "When he meets Knolte, Jamal's first thoughts are, 'How do I get this guy sober?' and 'Where's the closest AA meeting?'" Lawrence laughs. "But for all of Jamal's scheming and scamming, he's a compassionate guy who sees Knolte's in need of help. And Jamal wants to know how he can help him. "
Out of this ultimate odd couple pairing that spans over 500 years, comes what Junger describes as a "love story/buddy comedy. "
"Knolte and Jamal inspire each other to be the best they can be, out of respect and honor," he elaborates. "In that way, it is a kind of love story. "
Junger cast Tom Wilkinson, one of Britian's most distinguished actors, as Knolte. The contrasting methods of the classically-trained Wilkinson and Lawrence's razor-sharp comic timing and improvisational style enhanced the dynamic between their respective characters. Says producer Paul Schiff: "One of the pleasures of working on this movie was watching Tom and Martin come to their characters from such completely different perspectives. Tom comes from a tradition of the British stage, steeped in a certain kind of discipline, which was a wonderful contrast with Martin's process and comic timing. And, in essence, that's what their characters and the movie are about. "
Wilkinson confirms that his and Lawrence's differing styles added to the chemistry between the actors. "When you have someone who's as accomplished and inventive as Martin, the give-and-take comes naturally," he says. "Martin's generosity in front of the camera also was instrumental in showing how the two characters transform one another: Jamal teaches Knolte self-respect, and Knolte teaches him honor. "
Jamal also learns much from Victoria, a strong, willful and beautiful young woman with whom he embarks on a cross-epochal romance. Once a serial womanizer, expert at scamming and scheming, Jamal more than meets his match in this medieval feminist. "Victoria was born at the wrong time," notes Gil Junger. "If she lived in the 1960s and 70s, she'd be Gloria Steinem. Jamal has never met a strong woman like Victoria. He falls in love with her strength and devotion to others. "
Victoria has never met anyone quite like Jamal, and she eventually comes to find him irresistible. "Victoria's mind is blown when she meets Jamal," says British actress Marsha Thomason, who takes on the role of the feisty heroine. "He impresses Victoria when he tells her how women are treated in his time. That really appeals to her because she feels muted in the fourteenth century. "
As Jamal bonds with Victoria and Knolte, he antagonizes Percival, a villainous knight who is suspicious of Jamal's swagger and bizarre manner. Percival also wants to quash the rebellion brewing against an illegitimate monarchy and the knight's iron rule.
In bringing the character to life, director Gil Junger and actor Vincent Regan were intent on keeping him as real as possible within the film's comedy framework. In other words, no mustache-twirling allowed. "We saw Percival as being believable - the type of villain that never needs to yell," Junger asserts. "He just has to look at you to scare you. " Adds Regan, a renowned dramatic stage actor: "I don't get the opportunity to appear in many comedies, so I relished every evil drop of my character. But even with all the bizarre goings-on that come with Jamal's arrival to the castle, I worked hard to keep the performance authentic. That makes Percival much more of a threat to Jamal. "
The realism and authenticity also extended to the film's production design, especially the film's principal set: a castle that looks like it might have been built in the 14th century but was the handiwork of production designer Leslie Dilley. Situated in the middle of what had been a parking lot at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina, the castle was a marvel of imagination, careful research and lots of hard work.
When director Gil Junger came aboard the project, he decided that the castle should be historically accurate in scope and scale. "When Martin Lawrence travels back in time to medieval England, I wanted audiences to feel like we were really there," Junger notes. "It was essential that the castle be impressive and 100 percent real. "
After interviewing several prospective designers, Junger gave the assignment to Leslie Dilley. The British native, whose credits stretch from "Star Wars" to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to the recent "Men of Honor," was eager to tackle BLACK KNIGHT's myriad design challenges. Upon arriving on location in Wilmington, Dilley and his staff put to paper ideas he had when he first read the script, built models of the village and castle, and began to clear the land on the Wilmington backlot. "BLACK KNIGHT was a golden opportunity for me, especially being from England," Dilley offers. "How often do you get to recreate medieval England?"
Instead of using his homeland's surroundings, Dilley recreated medieval England in Wilmington. "Finding a castle with room for cast and crew, a courtyard and moat, surrounded by grass and trees would have been nearly impossible," Dilley explains. "The set had to be right for the director, the camera operators and the actors. "
Nevertheless, there is more than a little touch of England in Dilley's North Carolina castle. He made fiberglass molds of actual stone work of castles from the English countryside. The plaster shop at the studio then made hundreds of plaster casts that were then nailed or stapled into place, then plastered and sealed. Each stone was individually painted to make the castle walls look just the right age. These plaster stones also line all of the sets built on sound stages at the studio, including Jamal's bedroom, the grand hall, and the dungeon, all of which were then finished with antique wooden doors, torches and period fabrics.
The castle construction was an enormous undertaking. It took Dilley and his crew of 100 craftsmen and construction workers over three months to build the castle and neighboring village. The front of the castle, complete with drawbridge and moat, looked out over a grassy field, which was seeded with a winter-growing rye. The courtyard, measuring 300 feet across, was lined with pens holding goats and Jacob's sheep (a four-horned breed that dates to that period), carts of straw, and booths for peasant extras to buy and sell meats, vegetables and other necessities. Dilley, ever mindful that he was working on a comedy, lightened the imposing set with bright banners and tapestries.
For Gil Junger, the castle set was one of the film's many high points, as well as a daunting challenge. "I was nervous twice during this entire period of planning and filming BLACK KNIGHT," says Junger. "The first time was when I actually got the nod to direct, and the second was when I walked onto the set. When I saw the actual castle, I thought, 'I'd better be really good, because this set is incredible. ' It gave me tremendous opportunities for shooting. And it was an incredible playground for me. "
Jamal walks though this incredible world clad not in shining armor or any other medieval gear. His electric-green football jersey provides a sharp and comedic contrast to the chain mail, peasant garb and royal velvet surrounding him. Jamal eventually dons some period garb when he begins preparing his new friends to rebel against their evil king. But it is his own interpretation of what costume designer Marie France calls "hip-hop/medieval": suede and leather accoutrements adorning his trademark football jersey.
Jamal teaches his new "army," comprised of Knolte and several hundred peasants, some football and wrestling techniques, to get the upper hand on Percival and his knights. It was not exactly Sword Fighting 101, even though several cast members and extras attended a special swordsmanship boot camp. Martin Lawrence, for one, was pleased to incorporate the more accessible modern moves into the centuries-old dueling techniques. "When they gave me a sword I was rolling," Lawrence admits. "Because I was thinking, 'What am I going to do with this?'" As Lawrence's on-screen counterpart proves, a wrestling hammerlock is mightier than the medieval sword.
Jamal also brings some twenty-first century moves to a lavish banquet thrown by the king in the castle's Great Hall. The sovereign, thinking Jamal to be a Norman, orders him to demonstrate a dance from his far-away land. Forced to improvise, Jamal ends up teaching the partygoers to let loose for the first time.
The filmmakers brought on famed recording artist/choreographer Paula Abdul to put Lawrence and the cast through their paces for this show-stopping number. Abdul worked closely with Lawrence, incorporating his signature moves (which poke fun at '80s and '90s dancing) into the scene. It was an "historic" occasion, of sorts, for Abdul. "BLACK KNIGHT was my first medieval piece," she jokes. "But I really enjoyed choreographing the dance. I loved celebrating that awkwardness of learning to dance for the first time. "
Dancing, fencing, riding a horse, making people laugh. For Martin Lawrence it was all in a day's work on the BLACK KNIGHT set. Having for a few months been immersed in the medieval era, Lawrence decided it was a nice place to visit, but he wouldn't want to live there. As he discovered, it truly was the dark ages for toilet facilities, which were nothing more than stone benches encrusted with filth (with pieces of straw subbing for the Charmin). "The bathrooms back then were certainly different," Lawrence laughs. "I don't think I could go back to Medieval times. I wouldn't want to live that way. "
ABOUT THE CAST
MARTIN LAWRENCE (Jamal Walker/Executive Producer) is a popular actor/comedian who has made his mark in film and television with a unique style and clever physical shtick. He most recently starred in and co-produced the box office hit "Big Momma's House," starred opposite Danny DeVito in "What's the Worst That Can Happen?" and toplines the forthcoming comedy "National Security. " Prior to that he starred in the comedies "Blue Streak" and "Life," opposite Eddie Murphy. The film marked a re-teaming for Lawrence and Murphy, who worked together on the hit comedy "Boomerang. "
Previously, Lawrence starred opposite Tim Robbins in "Nothing to Lose," a role which garnered him critical acclaim. Lawrence has starred in a string of hit films, including the blockbuster action comedy "Bad Boys," opposite Will Smith, which grossed over $150 million worldwide, and "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," which he co-wrote and made his directorial debut. Other film credits include "House Party," "House Party 2" and "Do the Right Thing. "
In 1997, Lawrence wrapped a successful five-season stint as star and executive producer of the television series "Martin. " Lawrence garnered three NAACP Image Awards for the popular Fox comedy. Lawrence began his television career as the host of "Russell Simmons: Def Comedy Jam" for two seasons and co-starred on "What's Happening Now!"
The Maryland native's release of "You So Crazy," one of the top three highest grossing concert films of all time, established him as a comedian to watch. He followed that with the Billboard Top 10 concert album "Talkin' Shit" and the Grammy®-nominated "Funk It. " This fall, Lawrence returned to the world of stand-up comedy, with a national tour.
British actress MARSHA THOMASON (Victoria) made her U. S. film debut as Lucy in the thriller "Long Time Dead. " Prior to that, her films included "The Priest" and "Safe" for BBC.
On British television, Thomason appeared in "Love in the 21st Century," "Where the Heart Is" (Part I & II), "Playing The Field," BBC's Skinny Marink," "Pie in the Sky," Granada TV's "Prime Suspect" and again for BBC in "Brazen Hussies. " She appeared on the stage in the Royal Court Theatre production of "Breath Boom. "
TOM WILKINSON (Knolte) is one of the busiest actors in both Britain and the United States. He was awarded the Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for his performance opposite Sissy Spacek in "In the Bedroom. " Prior to that he was seen opposite Mel Gibson in "The Patriot," in John Madden's Academy Award®-winning "Shakespeare in Love," for which he received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and in the smash hit "Rush Hour. " Wilkinson received a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Gerald in Peter Cattaneo's Academy Award-winning "The Full Monty. "
Wilkinson's other film credits include Sandra Goldbacher's "The Governess," Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" and "Ride with the Devil," Brian Gilbert's "Wilde," Gillian Armstrong's "Oscar & Lucinda," Bille August's "Smilla's Sense of Snow," Antonia Bird's "Priest," Jim Sheridan's "In the Name of the Father" and David Hare's "Wetherby. "
A renowned stage actor in his native England, Wilkinson has performed with such prestigious companies as the Royal Court, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. His stage work includes the title portrayals in "Peer Gynt," "Brand," "Henry V" and "Hamlet. " He has also performed in productions of "Three Sisters," "Uncle Vanya," "Julius Caesar," "Merchant of Venice," "The Crucible" and "As You Like It. " Recently, he starred in the world premiere of David Hare's play "My Zinc Bed" at the Royal Court Theatre.
VINCENT REGAN (Percival) has an impressive career that spans film, television and the stage. He recently completed filming "Point Men" for director John Glen. Prior to that, he was seen in director Luc Besson's "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" opposite Milla Jovovich and Dustin Hoffman, "Ordinary Decent Criminal" with Kevin Spacey and in "B. Monkey. " Other film credits include "Hard Men" and "Black Beauty. "
Regan's television credits include the mini series "Rebel Heart" and "Eureka Street" for BBC Television, "Jeremiah" opposite Klaus Maria Brandauer and Oliver Reed, "Invasion Earth," a mini series for BBC and The Sci-Fi Channel, and "Call Red," a series for Thames TV.
A renowned stage actor, Regan has performed with prestigious companies like The Royal Shakespeare Company, where he appeared in "Richard II," "Two Shakesperian Actors," "King Lear," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Romeo and Juliet," "Cymbeline" and "Dr. Faustus. " He also appeared in "Macbeth" for the St. George Theatre and in the title role in "Hamlet" at the Rose Theatre Club.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
GIL JUNGER (Director) is a veteran television director, producer and editor. Over the past twenty-five years, he has worked on over 600 episodes of television.
Junger was nominated for an Emmy® and a Directors' Guild Award for directing the "coming out" episode of "Ellen. " He won a Humanities Award in 1995 for "The John Larroquette Show. " Among other successful series Junger has been associated with are "Soap," "Benson," "The Golden Girls," "Empty Nest," "Dharma and Greg," and "According to Jim. "
In 1998, Junger made his mark as a feature film director with a hit teen comedy, "10 Things I Hate About You. "
Junger came to directing through a career that began as a gofer just two weeks out of the Radio/TV/Film School at the University of Texas in Austin. He graduated with honors, yet admits that, with the exception of a bit of editing technique, he learned his trade while on the job.
MICHAEL GREEN (Producer) built his successful management company, The Firm, by shaping the careers of some of Hollywood's most successful personalities. Known for his "thinking outside the box" philosophy, Green has worked diligently at putting his clients at the top of their industry. His client roster has included Martin Lawrence, The Backstreet Boys, Ice Cube, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Enrique Iglesias, Lacey Chabert, Robert Townsend and Michael Jackson, among others, speaks for itself.
After graduating from the University of Buffalo with a degree in business, Green began his management career at Irvin Arthur Associates, where he became a principal and partner. He was then recruited by Gallin-Morey & Associates, where he managed and developed projects for a number of well-known talents whom he continues to work with today.
Green co-founded The Firm with Jeffrey Kwatinetz in January, 1998. Building their business to one of the top management companies in the industry, The Firm's management team represents talent in all facets of entertainment.
DARRYL J. QUARLES (Co-Writer / Producer) recently co-wrote and was a producer on the hit comedy "Big Momma's House," starring Martin Lawrence.
Quarles attended UCLA and Yale Law School. After several years working as an attorney, Quarles returned to Los Angeles. At the suggestion of a friend, he entered a writing contest. After checking out a copy of the "Gone With the Wind" screenplay from the UCLA library, Quarles sat down to write his first script, eventually winning the contest.
Quarles first writing success came in television. Early credits include "Amen," "Family Ties," "Growing Pains," "Cleghorne," "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and "The Parent 'Hood. " Eager to tackle new challenges, Quarles moved into feature films. His credits include "Soldier Boy" starring Michael Dudikoff.
PAUL SCHIFF (Producer) began his career as a documentary cameraman in New York City. He segued to directing for MTV, where he was on staff for four years during the groundbreaking early days of the cable channel. Schiff moved to feature films as an associate producer of "Streets of Gold," beginning his longstanding collaboration with its director, now Revolution Studios chairman, Joe Roth.
Between his tenure at MTV and his new position at Propaganda Films, Schiff had a successful seven years based at Twentieth Century Fox, where he produced such films as "My Cousin Vinny" starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei, "The Vanishing" starring Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland, "PCU" and "Ghost in the Machine. " Prior to his tenure at Fox, Schiff produced "Coupe De Ville" directed by Joe Roth, "Renegades," "Young Guns" and its sequel "Young Guns II" at Morgan Creek Productions.
Schiff's most recent release is the critically acclaimed "Rushmore" starring Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. Schiff is currently head of production at Propaganda Films.
PETER GAULKE & GERRY SWALLOW (Co-Writers), who both began their entertainment careers as stand-up comics, saw their first screenplay, the comedy "Say It Isn't So," hit theaters earlier this year.
Swallow grew up in Washington State. Two weeks prior to graduation from Washington State University, the campus disc jockey traveled to Spokane to audition as a comic on open mike night. Shortly thereafter, his career blossomed, taking him to some of America's hottest comedy clubs and stints on national television, including "The Tonight Show. "
Swallow met fellow comedian Gaulke at a Spokane comedy club. The Venice, California, native briefly attended UCLA before launching his stand-up career on a whim by auditioning at the renowned Comedy Store on L. A. 's Sunset Strip. He has also performed in the country's top clubs, and appeared on NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien. " In addition to his performing talents, he also spent a season (1996) as a staff writer for NBC's enduring "Saturday Night Live. "
Putting their day (or night) jobs on hold, the pair began collaborating as screenwriters in 1997, a full decade after they initially met. Following the sale of "Say It Isn't So" to the Farrelly Bros. ' Conundrum Entertainment, they also started writing the script for the siblings' animated feature "Frisco Pigeon Mambo. "
ARNON MILCHAN (Producer) is widely renowned as one of the most prolific and successful independent film producers of the past 20 years, with over sixty feature films to his credit. Born in Israel, Milchan was educated at the London School of Economics and the University of Geneva. His first business venture was to transform his father's modest business into one of his country's largest agro-chemical companies. This early achievement was a harbinger of Milchan's now legendary reputation in the international marketplace as a keen businessman.
Soon, Milchan began to underwrite projects in an area that had always held a special interest for him - film, television and theater. Early projects include Roman Polanski's theater production of "Amadeus," "Dizengoff 99," "La Menace," "The Medusa Touch" and the mini-series "Masada. " By the end of the eighties, Milchan had produced such films as Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy," Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time In America" and Terry Gilliam's "Brazil. "
After the huge success of "Pretty Woman" and "The War of the Roses," Milchan founded New Regency Productions and went on to produce a string of successful films, including "J. F. K. ," "Sommersby," "A Time to Kill," "Free Willy," "The Client," "Tin Cup," "Under Siege," "L. A. Confidential," "The Devil's Advocate," "The Negotiator," "City of Angels," "Entrapment," "Pushing Tin," "Fight Club," "Don't Say A Word" and the box-office hit "Big Momma's House. "
Upcoming projects include "High Crimes," starring Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Jim Caviezel and Amanda Peet; "Joe Somebody," a comedy starring Tim Allen; and "Life Or Something Like It," a romantic comedy toplining Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns.
Along the way, Milchan brought on board some powerful investors and partners who shared his vision: Australian businessman Kerry Packer's Nine Network, Leo Kirch's Kirch Media Group, Samsung Electronics, and most recently Twentieth Century Fox. Fox distributes Regency movies in all media worldwide (excluding output arrangements Regency has in Germany, Italy and Korea with its other strategic partners), except U. S. pay television and international pay and free television.
Milchan also successfully diversified his company's activities within the sphere of entertainment, most specifically in the realm of television through Regency Television ("Malcolm in the Middle" and "Roswell"), music through the acquisition of Restless Records (Warren G), and sports through an alliance and significant equity investment in PUMA, the worldwide athletic apparel and shoe conglomerate based in Germany.
JEFFREY KWATINETZ's (Executive Producer) success comes from merging all elements of entertainment and creating new opportunities for his clients. Kwatinetz has handled some of today's most successful artists including Michael Jackson, Korn, Backstreet Boys, Enrique Iglesias, Limp Bizkit, Orgy; Ice Cube; Lacey Chabert, Robert Townsend and Martin Lawrence, among others.
After earning his law degree from Harvard University, Kwatinetz founded Q management, where he represented and brokered deals for a number of up and coming bands. He then joined the Los Angeles based management company Gallin-Morey & Associates, where he honed his skills as a manager by heading up their contemporary music department.
In January, 1998, Kwatinetz co-founded The Firm with Michael Green. One of the industry's top management companies, The Firm's management team represents talent in all facets of entertainment.
PEACHES DAVIS (Executive Producer) is a New York City native who studied international relations at Tufts University. After moving to Los Angeles and working on several independent films, she took a job at the management company that represented Martin Lawrence. Lawrence appreciated her talents, and in 1993 hired her to set up his development company at Twentieth Century Fox.
Davis has helped develop both film and television projects for Lawrence to star in and produce. She worked closely with Lawrence during the filming of 'Bad Boys," "Nothing to Lose" and "Life," served as associate producer on "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," co-producer on "Blue Streak," "Big Momma's House" and "What's the Worst That Can Happen?" and co-executive producer on the upcoming comedy "National Security. " Davis is currently the director of development for Lawrence's film production company, Runteldat Productions.
JACK BRODSKY (Executive Producer) has a motion picture career that has spanned more than 25 years including working as producer, co-producer or executive producer.
Among Brodsky's films are his first, Jules Feiffer's "Little Murders," directed by Alan Arkin, "Summer Wishes Winter Dreams," for which actress Joanne Woodward won the New York Film Critics' prize as well as an Academy Award nomination; Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex. .. .But Were Afraid to Ask," "Romancing the Stone," and its sequel "Jewel of the Nile," "Dancers" starring Mikhail Barishnikov and directed by Herbert Ross, "King Ralph" starring John Goodman and "Rookie of the Year. "
Brodsky's motion picture career has also taken him into the marketing arena, where he served as marketing president for independent producer Ray Stark during the production and distribution of "Funny Girl" and as marketing heads of both Columbia Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.
Prior to his entry into the motion picture industry, Brodsky served as a staff writer for the New York Times. He is also a past president of the Screen Publicist's Guild and is the co-author of "The Cleopatra Papers," which detailed his experiences as publicist during the production of that famous Roman movie. "Mr. Headmistress" is Brodsky's first foray into the world of television.
LESLIE DILLEY's (Production Designer) designs were most recently seen in Twentieth Century Fox's "Men of Honor" and in "Pay It Forward. " "Inspector Gadget" (shared credit), "Deep Impact," "The Peacemaker," "How To Make An American Quilt," "Casper," "Honey, I Blew Up the Baby," "What About Bob?," "Guilty By Suspicion," and "The Abyss," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. As art director, he received Oscars® for his contributions to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Star Wars," and he was nominated for "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Alien. "
UELI STEIGER, ASC (Director of Photography) has worked on numerous films, including Dennis Hopper's "The Hot Spot" and "Chasers," and Michael Hoffman's "Some Girls" and "Soapdish. " Other films are Frank Oz's "Bowfinger," Jay Roach's "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and Roland Emmerich's "Godzilla. "
Steiger also did additional photography on Emmerich's alien-invasion epic "Independence Day" and second unit work on the large-scale finale of "Con Air. " His most recent films are Jean-Marie Poire's "Just Visiting" and Stephen Herek's "Rock Star. " Steiger studied at the University of Zurich and the London International Film School.
MICHAEL R. MILLER, A. C. E. (Editor) worked with Joel and Ethan Coen on their first three films: as sound editor of "Blood Simple" and as film editor of "Raising Arizona" and "Miller's Crossing. " Among his many other editing credits are Keenan Ivory Wayans' "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," Herbert Ross' "Boys on the Side" and Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "Orgazmo. " More recently, Miller edited Rupert Wainwright's "Stigmata" and Scott Kalvert's gang drama "Deuces Wild. " He was an additional editor on Michael Bay's blockbuster "Armageddon. "
Miller is one of the few film editors with Broadway stage work to his credit, having cut the film sequences for Twyla Tharp's production of "Singin' in the Rain. " He also worked in television, editing the first season of "The Equalizer," and he received an Emmy nomination for the special "It's No Crush, I'm in Love" starring Cynthia Nixon.
Miller began his career as an assistant editor on Woody Allen's "Manhattan" and "Stardust Memories. " He also assisted on Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull," which won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing.
MARIE FRANCE (Costume Designer), a graduate of fine arts and literature from the School of Beaux Arts and the Sorbonne in Paris, has been designing costumes for feature films for 18 years. She began her career collaborating with musician-composer Prince, designing costumes for his features "Purple Rain" and "Under the Cherry Moon," and for his music videos. She also designed music videos for Natalie Cole, Don Henley, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and George Clinton, to name a few.
France subsequently designed costumes for the feature films "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys," "A Texas Funeral," "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit," and "The Borrowers," the latter directed by Peter Hewett with whom she also did "Tom and Huck" and "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. " Other features include "Gridlock'd," "Coneheads," "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer," "Encino Man," "That Darn Cat" and the pilot for the hit series "Beverly Hills 90210. "
RANDY EDELMAN's (Music) extensive feature film scoring credits include "Osmosis Jones," "Shanghai Noon," "The Skulls," "The Whole Nine Yards," "Passion of Mind," "EdTV," "6 Days/7 Nights," "Anaconda," "For Richer or Poorer," "Daylight," "Dragonheart," "Diabolique," "The Quest," "Angels in the Outfield," "The Mask," "The Indian in the Cupboard," "While You Were Sleeping," "Beethoven's 2nd," "Gettysburg," "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story," "Last of the Mohicans," "The Distinguished Gentleman," "Twins," "Kindergarten Cop," "Ghostbusters II," "Citizen X," "Beethoven" and "My Cousin Vinny. "
Also a first-class songwriter, Edelman has written numerous classics for The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, The Fifth Dimension, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and other musical greats. As a solo artist, he has performed in such renowned venues as the London Palladium and the Royal Festival Hall and appeared on television internationally.
The New Jersey native developed an early love for music, playing piano and writing original songs at age 14. After forging a reputation as an arranger for local bands he was hired by James Brown to orchestrate for King Records and then by then-executive Tony Orlando as a CBS staff writer. Meanwhile, he continued his musical career as a keyboardist in the Broadway production of "The Boyfriend" and as an arranger and conductor on other projects before ultimately recording his own music.
In 1972 Edelman opened for The Carpenters, who recorded two of his songs, and appeared with Frank Zappa. Concurrent with his growing popularity in England amidst concerts and television appearances, his music was recorded in the U. S. by such stars as Patti La Belle, Olivia Newton John, Bing Crosby, Nancy Wilson and Barry Manilow, who had a hit with Edelman's "Weekend in New England. " Also active in television, Edelman scored such series as "Ryan's Four," "Maximum Security," "Mr. Sunshine" and "MacGyver," as well as a number of telefilms including "Bloodsport," "Walk, Don't Run" and the recent ABC project "Losing a Sister. " His music for "Gettysburg" and his NFL Sports Theme were featured in opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics and he was honored with an Emmy Award for his contribution to NBC's coverage of the Games.