Orange County : Production Notes

Orange County, as one of the region's websites exclaims, "… is a fantastic slice of the California way of life … It has long been famous for its family-oriented theme parks, charming seaside communities, and the citrus groves that gave the area its name. The natural surroundings may not be as inspiring as other parts of the state, but the specially created attractions are enchanting. Aside from cutting inland to visit the theme parks, the best way to enjoy Orange County is by sticking to its coast. The beaches of Orange County perfectly exemplify the California attitude of fun in the sun!"

That has always been good enough for Shaun Brumder. An affable teenager with a serious love of surfing, Shaun's aspirations are only as high as the perfect wave. He has good buddies and a sweet girlfriend, and while his family has its eccentricities, overall his life is pretty good.

That idyllic existence changes irrevocably one day. A friend's freak surfing accident causes Shaun to reassess things, and as he ponders, he discovers a treasure. Buried in the familiar sand, almost as if it is waiting for Shaun, is a copy of Marcus Skinner's novel Straight Jacket. He reads it … and re-reads it, obsessively. Epiphany strikes. His destiny is not on a surfboard. He has a new passion. Shaun Brumder wants to be a writer.

He swiftly composes a story and sends it to his new idol, Marcus Skinner, who teaches at Stanford University. Shaun hopes to study there under Skinner and, amazingly, he has a good shot. He trades surfing for classes. His extracurricular activities become more college-friendly. His grades improve. His high school transcript is impeccable and his SAT scores are terrific. The letter from Stanford finally comes. Stanford University has rejected Shaun Brumder.

Shaun is devastated. How could this happen? A little investigation leads to a big mistake, courtesy of his high school guidance counselor. Undeterred, Shaun will find a way to fix this, even though he only has 24 hours to do it. He simply has to get into Stanford, especially now that he sees the horror that is his life in Orange County: an over-emotional, co-dependent mother who is constantly unhinged by the thought of his leaving home, a distant, critical father who thinks his son's dream of becoming a writer is ridiculous, an impulsive brother, Lance, whose chemically enhanced and often unbalanced existence is just, well, infuriating. Is he even related to these people?

Yes, he is. In their own dysfunctional, alarming way, they all try to help him on his quest to get to Stanford. While his family's unusual assistance may unnerve him, in the end, Shawn Brumder learns some important lessons that can't be taught at any school.

Paramount Pictures presents "Orange County," an MTV Films/Scott Rudin Production, starring Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Catherine O'Hara, Schuyler Fisk, John Lithgow with Lily Tomlin. The film is directed by Jake Kasdan and produced by Scott Rudin, Van Toffler, David Gale and Scott Aversano. The film is written by Mike White and executive produced by Herbert W. Gains and Adam Schroeder. Paramount Pictures and MTV Films are part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc. , one of the world's largest entertainment and media companies and a leader in the production, promotion and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and music. This film is not yet rated.

"Orange County" began with screenwriter Mike White, who wrote for the TV series "Freaks & Geeks" and also wrote and starred in the acclaimed independent feature "Chuck & Buck. " In both cases, White evinced affection for and understanding of offbeat characters and situations, a sensibility he also lends to "Orange County. "

"To me, there's been a trend in the last couple of years towards these outrageous, lowbrow comedies. We're trying to do something a little bit different. We have lots of sight gags and crazy antic stuff, but there is also a little bit more heart to the piece. The characters have dimension; Shaun's journey is outrageous, but it's also something everyone can hopefully relate to. I mean, at some point, we all think our families are crazy and we think, 'I've got to get out of this town, this high-school, this family!' And then we realize that we miss the place. "

If the characters and their circumstances ring true, it may be because the plot is "semi-autobiographical. "

"Well, I never tried to get into Stanford, but I grew up in Southern California and I had relatives in Orange County. I did always want to be a writer, in a world where that wasn't something people just went off and did," White says. "So, I think Shaun's idea that he could only be a writer by getting out of Orange County is something I identify with. "

Director Jake Kasdan collaborated with White previously on "Freaks & Geeks," directing the pilot as well as several episodes. Although Kasdan is young, this is not his first feature film - he wrote and directed the film "Zero Effect. "

"Jake was great," says White. "He is young, but he so understood the film's sensibility and had an old soul's approach to getting everything done. He had this incredible cast, a parade of people I always dreamed of working with, great comedy directors like Garry Marshall and Harold Ramis. That must have been intimidating, but he held his own and was impressive all the way through. "

Kasdan returns the compliment. "Mike has a gift for high comedy about very small, human things. The characters that populate this story are exactly the types I'm most interested in - good people with real flaws. Mike writes about people with serious problems in a way that's funny but never cynical. To the contrary, his voice is very loving. "

In addition to the veteran talents that White mentioned, the "Orange County" cast features such established actors as John Lithgow, Catherine O'Hara, Chevy Chase and Lily Tomlin along with relative newcomers that include Schuyler Fisk and Jack Black. The cast's cornerstone, of course, comes in the form of Colin Hanks, who plays Shaun Brumder.

"We read hundreds of guys," Kasdan says. "Before Colin, there was no Shaun. There was no runner-up. It was that clear. Colin is a very self-assured young actor. He has this ease about him, this quiet confidence that allows him to be incredibly loose and funny and genuine. Real leading man stuff. He was playing opposite some daunting company and, I'm telling you, if he ever felt the heat, it never showed. "

Hanks says that White's script immediately appealed to him. "I laughed out loud many, many, many times. It was really a great comedy with sharply drawn characters and it was unlike any script I'd ever read. It was almost like a play, a farce in which all these different characters interact but in a really fresh way. As I read it, I really wanted to find out what happened to all of them, not just to my character. I was interested in the whole story. That was very refreshing. Plus, regardless of how messed up the characters were, I liked them a lot. "

Hanks adds that the experience making the film lived up to his expectations, and he was especially appreciative of his famous co-stars. "Shooting the film was seriously one of the most amazing things ever, the biggest joy and a little bit surreal," Hanks says. "Working with people like Garry Marshall, Harold Ramis, John Lithgow, Catherine O'Hara, Chevy Chase and Lily Tomlin - it was unbelievable. I learned from every single one of them, and I was in such a lucky position because I had scenes with almost every veteran actor in the movie. There's not a class I could have taken to get the knowledge I learned from them just by being in this movie. "

Hanks adds that he relied a great deal on director Jake Kasdan. "Jake Kasdan is, first and foremost, a friend. And that was extremely important when making a movie like this because I needed a director I could trust," Hanks says. "I knew he would never let me do anything too cheesy or stupid. And Jake is very good at not losing the joke but also doing what's best for the scene, in terms of the arc of the story. He is an extremely talented guy who knows exactly what he is doing and how to get it, in the kindest and gentlest way. From Day One, he said, 'You're my guy and you know what to do. I'm just going to help you do it. ' And he did. We pretty much saw eye to eye on everything. It truly was one of the most pleasurable working experiences. "

Kasdan cast Jack Black as Shaun's unstable but well-intentioned older brother Lance. Black, a comedic force of nature, recalls pursuing the part with maniacal determination.

"Come hell or high water, I was going to play this part," says Black. "'Orange County' was one of the best scripts in town. I read it and freaked out, thinking, 'I have to do this. ' It was really funny, well-written, and it gets the prize for the best cast. Heavy hitters, all the way. Everywhere you looked, another tasty actor, kicking out the jams. "

Black adds that he includes Colin Hanks in that list of formidable talents. "Colin Hanks is tremendous," says Black. "He carries the whole thing on his shoulder blades. "

Black describes his character as "Shaun's older brother Lance, a drug dealer and kind of screw-up who starts out as this burnout, good for nothing, going nowhere fast type dude. But he tries to redeem himself. He tries to do something good for his little brother. Basically, I'm the genius who saves the day in the end, when I get the brilliant idea to take a road trip to Stanford. We're just going to tell the dude in charge of admissions, 'Take this guy in, put him on the list. ' That's not a very good plan now that I say it out loud, but I drive him up there. I'm kind of wasted at the time, so it's a dangerous, treacherous drive. Kind of a Swervin' Mervin. "

Black, known for his cutting-edge performances in films like "High Fidelity" and the current hit "Shallow Hal," is also half of the uniquely twisted rock band "Tenacious D" and brings his idiosyncratic lunacy to Lance. Somehow, despite the fact that Lance is in a perpetual haze and reacts impulsively - possibly to stimuli that the rest of the population can't fathom - he is as weirdly charming as he is occasionally disgusting. To channel Lance, Black had to tap into what he calls the character's inherent "dizziness. "
"I had to slow it down two notches and then just let it happen naturally," he says.

Fortunately, Black adds, he also had the steady hand of Jake Kasdan to help guide his performance. "Jake has laser-eye precision. He would come on to the scene, scope it and say, 'I think it would be slightly more kick-ass if this happened. ' I'd say, 'Oh my God, why didn't I think of that?'"

Schuyler Fisk plays Ashley, Shaun's supportive girlfriend and the only character who gives him hope and sound advice throughout his ordeal. Fisk sees an endearing mixture of foibles in the story's characters.

"I think that anyone watching the movie will identify with at least one, if not all of these people," says Fisk. "There's so much reality in each of them. The characters are so believable, so vulnerable and so flawed that you love them even more for it. It's a wonderful, sweet story and so funny. "

Fisk considers herself "unbelievably lucky" to have worked on "Orange County" and especially enjoyed her scenes with Catherine O'Hara, who plays Cindy, Shaun's stressed-out, histrionic mother.

"It was such a privilege and so much fun to work with her every day," Fisk says. "She was really a pleasure and just super talented and hilarious. "

"Catherine is just marvelous," adds Mike White. "It is so much fun watching her, perpetually on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She definitely went full throttle with this part. "

Of course, many of Fisk's scenes were with Black and Hanks, which brought hilarity to a new level.
"Sometimes their scenes were so funny that it was hard not to laugh during a take," Fisk recalls. "I think that was the most challenging part of the film for me. "
Fisk credits Kasdan with keeping the atmosphere on set "light and fun," adding "It was like coming to work with my friends. "

Kasdan notes that "Schuyler is one of those amazing faces that shows every thought or feeling she has. Very beautiful and very soulful. She's a total natural. It was a blast every day with her. "
If Fisk's face is familiar and Kasdan and Hanks's surnames are recognizable, it's because they are the children of actress Sissy Spacek, filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan and actor/director Tom Hanks, respectively. However, actor/writer/director Garry Marshall, who plays Stanford's Chairman of the Board of Trustees, points out that all three young actors have gifts and strengths of their own.

"Everybody's kid is in this picture," Marshall says with an affectionate chuckle. "What was so much fun about it was that, best of all, they were great. "
John Lithgow, who plays Shaun's self-absorbed father, adds that while Kasdan may have a Hollywood pedigree, he was uniquely suited to direct "Orange County" for other reasons.

"Because he was born into show business, he knew movies inside and out already," says Lithgow. "But I think, more importantly, because he was only 26-years-old when he directed the film, he still had one foot in his teenage years and understood that world. He knows the culture. He knows these kids because he has only recently graduated from that era in his life. He seemed unflappable on set and created a wonderfully comfortable atmosphere. He encouraged us to feel creative, to try things and was eager to hear our ideas. He also had a terrific partnership with Mike White because of their work on 'Freaks & Geeks,' one of the wonderful and underestimated pieces of television. They just have a great sensibility. "

Lithgow adds that it was White's script that attracted him to the project. He also read it at a particularly serendipitous moment in his life. "I read much of the script on a plane when I was taking my 17-year-old son up to Northern California to visit colleges, including Stanford," recalls Lithgow. "I thought that was amazingly ironic. Plus, it was a wildly funny script. I think there's a horrendous dearth of good comedy writing for features nowadays. And this is a great one. It's certainly the best comedy writing I've seen on a feature script that I've read in years. For six years, I worked on the long-running, Emmy-winning series 'Third Rock From the Sun' with wonderful comedy writers, and I typically read scripts and think, 'Why would I want to do this? The stuff on 'Third Rock' was ten times better. ' Not this time, this was incredibly good. "

Harold Ramis, who plays Stanford's Dean of Admissions, began his career by co-writing the seminal script on the college experience, "Animal House. " Like Lithgow, Ramis was drawn to the film because of Kasdan and White.
"This script made me laugh and I really trusted Jake. I talked about it with him and he really conveyed that there was an honesty to it as well as a broad comedic quality. Also, I'd seen Mike White's movie, 'Chuck & Buck', and I was totally fascinated and amazed at the turns that movie took, and how brave it was. "

In general, Ramis adds, he was happy to be part of such a youthful endeavor and feels, in a way, that he is passing the torch.

"We were young once," says Ramis. "But I still feel like I'm 24. I felt a great connection to these actors. I feel like I've been in the place they are now. I know they will someday be in the place I am. We have this communion based on the fact that they grew up on the stuff I was doing when I was their age. And now I appreciate what they are doing in much the same way we did. Jake had done an excellent first feature film and they had worked on this wonderful TV show and I wanted to connect with that energy. I'd seen Jack Black in 'High Fidelity' and thought he was terrific. Jack is as funny as can be. I had the pleasure of working with John Belushi when he was first starting out and he reminds me of him. And Jack has everything that John Belushi had. He's devilish, he's anarchistic, he's mercurial. Yet he's got a real incisive intelligence. And he's just funny, and every move he makes has the potential to be funny. I wasn't familiar with Colin's work, but I found that he had this wonderful quality, almost like a young Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda. He's got a real honesty and a real decency. And he's light and funny, so working with him was a pleasure. "

"Orange County" was filmed in a variety of Southern California locations, including Malibu and several idyllic spots to its north. Pasadena's Cal Tech and the Braun Industrial Complex doubled for Stanford University, while a USC fraternity served as its Stanford counterpart.

CATHERINE O'HARA (Cindy Beugler) first began making audiences laugh in 1976 on the groundbreaking comedy series "Second City TV," which earned her an Emmy Award for writing. From there she went on to a distinguished acting career, starring in such films as "Home Alone," "Heartburn," "Beetlejuice," "Dick Tracy," "Best in Show," for which she won an American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, and most recently, "Speaking of Sex. " In addition, O'Hara provided the voices of Sally and Shock in the hugely successful animated feature "The Nightmare Before Christmas. "

O'Hara made her television directorial debut with an episode of "Dream On," entitled "And Your Little Dog, Too," and she also wrote, co-starred and co-directed "P. M. S," a short film for "Late Night with David Letterman. " Her other television credits include "Committed," "Hope," "Really Weird Tales" and "The Last Polka. " She has also starred in and directed an episode of "The Outer Limits. "

SCHUYLER FISK (Ashley) made her feature film debut in Columbia Pictures' "The Baby-Sitters Club. " She went on to star in "My Friend Joe," a European film which has garnered numerous film festival awards, and for which Schuyler was chosen Best Actor by the Children's Jury at the Film Festival of Poland in 1998. She next starred in Paramount's "Snow Day" and recently completed a co-starring role in Artisan's "Skeletons in the Closet" opposite Treat Williams, Linda Hamilton and Jonathan Jackson.

The daughter of actress Sissy Spacek and production designer Jack Fisk, Schuyler grew up on an east coast farm but spent much of her youth on film sets. Schuyler is also an accomplished songwriter and musician. One of her songs, "It's Not Her," is featured in "Snow Day. "

Schuyler has also started her own line of handbags called "Applesky" (with business partner and friend, Leslie Appleyard).

JOHN LITHGOW (Bud Brumder) first came to national attention with his 1982 Academy Awardâ-nominated portrayal of Roberta Muldoon in "The World According to Garp. " He has since appeared in an impressive list of films, co-starring in the critically acclaimed "A Civil Action" with John Travolta, "Cliffhanger" with Sylvester Stallone, and "The Pelican Brief" opposite Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts.

Lithgow received his second Academy Awardâ nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Debra Winger's lover in the Oscarâ winning "Terms of Endearment," a 1983 Paramount release. He also starred in "Memphis Belle," "Footloose," "The Adventures of Buckeroo Bonzai" "Raising Cain," "All That Jazz," "Obsession," "Rich Kids," "2010," "Homegrown," "Santa Claus," "The Manhattan Project," "Harry and the Hendersons," "Distant Thunder" and "At Play in the Fields of the Lord. " Lithgow was recently heard as the voice of Lord Farquaad in the Dreamworks comedy, "Shrek. "

Lithgow has won enormous critical acclaim, as well as four Emmy Awards, one Golden Globe Award, an American Comedy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for his starring role in NBC's hit comedy series "3rd Rock from the Sun. " He was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his work in the TNT special, "Don Quixote. "

Lithgow earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in the 1983 television movie "The Day After," and won the Emmy in 1987 for his work in "Amazing Stories. "

A Harvard graduate, Lithgow studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art before pursuing a New York stage career. He appeared in numerous Broadway plays, winning both Tony and Drama Desk Awards. He is scheduled to star in the musical "Sweet Smell of Success" on Broadway in March 2002.

Lithgow has published two New York Times bestselling children's books: "The Remarkable Farkle McBride" and "Marsupial Sue. " Lithgow resides in Los Angeles.
HAROLD RAMIS (Don Durkett) is celebrated for his unique talents in writing, directing, producing and acting, having lent his expertise to many of the most successful screen comedies ever made.

Born in Chicago, Ramis received a bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and he returned there in 1993 to receive an honorary doctorate in arts. He got his start in comedy in 1969 at Chicago's famed Second City improvisational theater troupe while still employed as associate editor at Playboy Magazine. In 1974, he moved to New York to co-write and perform in "The National Lampoon Show" with fellow Second City graduates John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. By 1976, Ramis was the head writer and a regular performer on "S. C. T. V," Second City's much acclaimed television series.

Ramis's Hollywood breakthrough came in 1978 when he co-wrote (with Doug Kenny and Chris Miller) the blockbuster comedy "National Lampoon's Animal House. " Ramis went on to write a string of hits. He and Ivan Reitman teamed up again to work as writer and producer/director on such box-office successes as "Meatballs," "Stripes," "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II. " Ramis also co-starred in "Stripes" and the "Ghostbusters" films.
Ramis co-wrote and made his directorial debut with "Caddyshack," starring Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. He also directed and co-wrote "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This. "

Ramis has also appeared in "Baby Boom" and "As Good as it Gets. " His other writing and directing credits include "National Lampoon's Vacation," "Club Paradise," "Stuart Saves His Family," "Multiplicity" and "Bedazzled. "

LILY TOMLIN is one of America's foremost comediennes, continuing to successfully venture across an ever-widening range of media. Currently she is starring in the revival of Jane Wagner's "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," now playing in San Francisco.

Tomlin is always extending her extraordinary entertainment career and most recently, she co-starred in Disney's "The Kid" opposite Bruce Willis and in the Franco Zeffirelli film "Tea With Mussolini," with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Cher. She also guest starred on the popular series, "The X-Files" and her voice lives on as the science teacher Ms. Frizzle on the popular children's animated series, "The Magic School Bus," for which she won an Emmy.

Tomlin made her television debut on "The Garry Moore Show" in 1966 and later rose to national prominence on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" with her characterizations of Ernestine, the sassy telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish five-and-a-half-year-old. More recently, Tomlin served two seasons as the boss of FYI on the hit CBS series, "Murphy Brown. " She also received an Emmy nomination for her critically acclaimed appearance on the NBC drama "Homicide: Life on the Street. "

On stage, Tomlin received a Special Tony for her one-woman Broadway show, "Appearing Nightly," as well as a Tony for Best Actress, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics' Circle Award for her solo performance in "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. "
On the musical front, Tomlin's comedy recording debut, "This is a Recording," won her a Grammy, and her subsequent albums "Modern Scream," "And That's the Truth" and "On Stage" were all nominated for Grammys.

In 1975, Tomlin made her film debut in Robert Altman's "Nashville," and her memorable performance garnered her an Academy Awardâ nomination as well as the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. An ever-popular screen presence, Tomlin's extensive film credits include "The Late Show," "Moment By Moment," "9 to 5," "The Incredible Shrinking Woman," "All of Me," "Big Business," "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life In the Universe," "Shadows and Fog," "Short Cuts," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Flirting with Disaster," "Getting Away with Murder," "Krippendorf's Tribe," "The Kid" and "Tea with Mussolini. "

CHEVY CHASE (Principal Harbert) first came to national prominence as a writer and performer with the original cast of NBC's "Saturday Night Live," for which he won two Emmy Awards.

Chevy most recently starred in the hit Paramount/Nicklodeon film "Snow Day". He also starred in Warner Brothers' "Vegas Vacation," the latest in the series of popular "Vacation" movies. The film reunited Chevy with his "Vacation" co-stars Beverly D'Angleo and Randy Quaid, as the Griswold family took Las Vegas by storm and was a huge commercial success.
Chevy's first starring role in a feature film was in the comedy-thriller "Foul Play" with Goldie Hawn. Other films he has starred in include "National Lampoon's European Vacation," and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," as well as "Fletch," "Fletch Lives," "Caddyshack," "Seems Like Old Times," "Funny Farm," "Spies Lie Us," " The Three Amigos" and "Memoirs of an Invisible Man. ' In 1992, Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest undergraduate dramatic group, named Chevy its "Man of the Year. "
Chevy began his career in comedy as a writer and performer for "
Channel One," a local New York underground revue that satirized television. "Channel One" later became the basis for the film "The Groove Tube. " He has written for Lily Tomlin and the Smothers Brothers, and earned a Writers Guild of America Award for writing "Alan King's Energy Crisis, Rising Prices and Assorted Vices" TV special. In addition, he won an Emmy Award for co-writing "The Paul Simon Special. "
Chevy resides in New York with his wife, Jayni, and their three daughters.

JAKE KASDAN (Director) made his feature debut as both writer and director of "Zero Effect," starring Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller. Subsequent to its theatrical release, the film was featured at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. In 1999, Kasdan directed the pilot episode of the acclaimed television series "Freaks and Geeks. " He served as a consulting producer through the run of the series and directed several episodes, collaborating for the first time with writer Mike White. Kasdan also directed the pilot episode of the new comedy series "Undeclared," from "Freaks and Geeks" executive producer Judd Apatow.
Kasdan lives and works in Los Angeles.

SCOTT RUDIN (Producer) Film: "Zoolander," "Shaft," "Sleepy Hollow," "Angela's Ashes," "Rules of Engagement," "Wonder Boys," "Bringing Out the Dead," "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," "The Truman Show," "A Civil Action," "In & Out," "Ransom," "Mother," "Marvin's Room," "The First Wives Club," "Twilight," "Clueless," "Sabrina," "Nobody's Fool," "The Firm," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "Sister Act," "The Addams Family," "Addams Family Values," "Little Man Tate," "Regarding Henry," "Pacific Heights," "Flatliners," "Jennifer Eight," "Mrs. Soffel" and the Academy-Award® winning "He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing. " Upcoming: "Changing Lanes," "The Hours," "Iris," "Marci X" and "The Royal Tenenbaums. " Theatre: "Passion," "Indiscretions," "Hamlet," "Seven Guitars," "Skylight," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "On the Town" (with the New York Shakespeare Festival), "The Chairs," "The Judas Kiss," "Stupid Kids," "The Blue Room," "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told," "Closer" (London and New York), "Amy's View," "The Wild Party" (with the New York Shakespeare Festival), "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan," "Copenhagen" and "The Designated Mourner. "

VAN TOFFLER (Producer) is President of MTV: Music Television, MTV2 and MTV Productions, and he provides leadership for all business functions at MTV and MTV2. In addition, Toffler is responsible for the overall strategic and creative direction for the MTV networks, and he oversees MTV Productions, which develops and produces feature films as well as projects for broadcast, cable, domestic and international syndication.

As head of MTV Productions, Toffler has been responsible for MTV's movie business, which has produced a diverse slate of feature films including "Save The Last Dance," "The Original Kings of Comedy," the critically-acclaimed and Academy Award®-nominated "Election," "Beavis & Butt-Head Do America" and "Varsity Blues. " Currently, Toffler is serving as executive producer on "Crossroads," which stars singing sensation Britney Spears.

On the small screen, Toffler's strong business acumen and creative thinking have helped propel MTV into the number one rated cable television destination for 12 to 24 year-olds for eighteen consecutive quarters. In early 2001, he guided the re-launch of MTV2, taking the network into 36 million homes.

DAVID GALE (Producer) is the senior vice president of MTV Films, overseeing the activities of the feature film division of MTV, which last year released the critically-acclaimed "Save The Last Dance. " Gale has served as executive producer or producer on the MTV feature films "Beavis and Butt-head Do America," "Varsity Blues," "200 Cigarettes," "The Wood," "The Original Kings of Comedy" and the Academy Award®-nominated "Election. "

Currently, Gale is serving as executive producer of "Crossroads," which stars singing sensation Britney Spears.

SCOTT AVERSANO (Producer) previously worked as director of development at Paramount Pictures, serving as a production executive for such films as "Wonder Boys," "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," "Runaway Bride" and "Double Jeopardy," among others. He is currently President of Scott Rudin Productions.
Prior to entering the film business, Aversano taught English literature at the University of Michigan while working on his doctorate.

MIKE WHITE (Writer) has had an exceptional year, grabbing an Independent Spirit Award for "Best Feature Under $500,000" for last summer's highly acclaimed film, "Chuck & Buck" (Artisan), which he starred in and wrote. White played Buck, an emotionally retarded adult, who rediscovers his childhood friend "Chuck" at his mother's funeral. He then tries to rekindle the prepubescent crush that the two had on one another. The film was directed by Miguel Arteta, whom White met when he had a small part in Arteta's first film, "Star Maps" (Fox Searchlight). The film debuted to critical acclaim at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

White will soon appear in "The Good Girl" (Myriad Pictures), which he also wrote. It is directed by Arteta and stars Jennifer Aniston as a young married woman who falls in love with a discount-store stock boy. The film will be released in 2002.

Mike also serves as writer and executive producer of the new television drama "Pasadena. "

After graduating from Wesleyan University, White returned to his hometown of Los Angeles, where he joined writing forces with Zak Penn ("PCU", "Last Action Hero"), also a Wesleyan graduate. After two years he went out on his own, writing the comedy "Dead Man on Campus. "

This past year, White wrote and was one of the producers on the critically acclaimed series "Freaks and Geeks. "

White currently resides in Los Angeles.
HERBERT W. GAINS (Executive Producer) began his film career as an assistant director, working repeatedly with such highly acclaimed directors as Oliver Stone and Michael Mann. Among his long list of film credits are the box-office and critical sensations "Natural Born Killers," "Heaven & Earth," "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story," "Point Break," "Pacific Heights," "Sea of Love," "Dirty Dancing" and "Manhunter. "
As a unit production manager, Gains worked on such films as "The Negotiator" and "Mouse Hunt. " He served as associate producer on "Varsity Blues" as well as "Dragonheart," directed by Rob Cohen. Finally, he co-produced "Daylight," starring Sylvester Stallone, and he was executive producer on "Summer Catch" and "Hardball. "

GREG GARDINER (Director of Photography) is currently working with director Barry Sonnenfeld on "Men in Black 2" starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. His previous film credits include "Big Trouble," also with Sonnenfeld, "To End All Wars," "Homegrown," and "Suture," the 1994 Sundance Film Festival Best Cinematography winner. Greg's television credits include the pilot for "The Tick" for FOX and television movies "Resurrection" for ABC, "Patron Saint of Liars" and "Miracle in the Woods" for CBS, and "The Right to Remain Silent" for Showtime.

GARY FRUTKOFF (Production Designer) has served as production designer on such films as "Gigli" directed by Mary Brest; "The Limey," "Out of Sight" and "King of the Hill," directed by Steven Soderbergh; "Zero Effect," "Devil in a Blue Dress" directed by Carl Franklin; "Chain of Fools"; "Grumpier Old Men"; "Four Rooms"; "D2: The Mighty Ducks"; "Best of the Best II: By the Sword"; as well as working on the cable TV anthology "Fallen Angels" with directors that included Tom Hanks and Steven Soderbergh.

Gary started his film career as an illustrator on films that include "Return to Oz," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," "Pacific Heights," "Darkman," and "K-9. " His eclectic background includes cartooning, book illustration and design, glass etching, residential construction and portrait painting.

TARA TIMPONE (Editor) has an extensive lists of feature film credits which include the "Mambo Café," "Zero Effect," "Mr. Holland Opus," "Witch Hunt," "Rising Sun" and the upcoming "Slackers. " She also edited the pilot episode and series "Freaks & Geeks" directed by Jake Kasdan.

MICHAEL ANDREWS (Composer) scored Jake Kasdan's directorial debut "Zero Effect" starring Ben Stiller. He then went on to score numerous critically acclaimed projects including "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared. " Emerging as one of the most sought-after composers in Hollywood, Andrews recently scored "Donnie Darko," produced by Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen, and the upcoming comedy "Out Cold. "

Author : © Paramount Pictures