Catch Me If You Can : About The Filmmakers


STEVEN SPIELBERG (Director/Producer) has directed, produced, or executive produced eight of the thirty top-grossing films of all time, including "Jurassic Park" and "E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial. " Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner, earning two Oscars® for Best Director and Best Picture for "Schindler's List," and a third Oscar® for Best Director for "Saving Private Ryan. " He has also received Academy Awardâ nominations for Best Director for "E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind. "
Spielberg's critically acclaimed World War II drama "Saving Private Ryan," starring Tom Hanks, was the highest-grossing release (domestically) of 1998. The film also won five Oscars®, including the one for Spielberg as Best Director, as well as two Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director. In addition, Spielberg was recognized by his peers with a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award, and shared with the film's other producers in the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award. That year, the PGA also presented Spielberg with the prestigious Milestone Award for his historic contribution to the motion picture industry.
"Saving Private Ryan" also won Best Picture honors from the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, British and Broadcast Film Critics Associations, with the Los Angeles, Toronto and Broadcast Film Critics also naming Spielberg Best Director.

On the heels of "Saving Private Ryan," Spielberg and Hanks executive produced the miniseries "Band of Brothers" for HBO and DreamWorks Television. Based on the book of the same name by the late Stephen Ambrose, the fact-based World War II project recently won both Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries.
In 1994, Spielberg's internationally lauded "Schindler's List" was the year's most honored film, receiving a total of seven Oscarsâ, including the aforementioned nods for Best Picture and Best Director. The film also collected Best Picture honors from many of the major critics organizations, in addition to seven BAFTA Awards, including two for Spielberg. He also won the Golden Globe Award and received his second DGA Award.

Spielberg won his first DGA Award for his work on "The Color Purple" and earned DGA Award nominations for "E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Empire of the Sun," "Jaws" and "Amistad. " With nine in all, Spielberg has received more DGA Award nominations than any director in history, and, in 2000, he received the DGA's Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Spielberg was raised in the suburbs of Haddonfield, New Jersey and Scottsdale, Arizona. He started making amateur films while still in his teens, later studying film at California State University, Long Beach. In 1969, his 22-minute short "Amblin" was shown at the Atlanta Film Festival, which led to a deal with Universal, making him the youngest director ever to be signed to a long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio.

Four years later, he directed the suspenseful telefilm "Duel," which garnered both critical and audience attention. He made his feature film directorial debut on "The Sugarland Express" from a screenplay he co-wrote. His other earlier film credits as director include "Always," "Hook," and the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" sequels "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. "
Spielberg's more recent films include the futuristic thriller "Minority Report," starring Tom Cruise, and he also wrote, directed and produced "A. I. Artificial Intelligence," which was realized from the vision of the late Stanley Kubrick. In 2000, Spielberg won the Stanley Kubrick Brittania Award for Excellence in Film, presented by BAFTA - Los Angeles.

In 1984, Spielberg formed his own production company, Amblin Entertainment. Under the Amblin banner, he has served as producer or executive producer on more than a dozen films, including such successes as "Gremlins," "The Goonies," "Back to the Future I, II, and III," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "An American Tail," "The Land Before Time," "The Flintstones," "Casper," "Twister," "The Mask of Zorro," "Men in Black" and "Men in Black II. " Amblin Entertainment also produces the hit series "ER" with Warner Bros. TV.

In October 1994, Spielberg partnered with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen to form the new studio DreamWorks SKG. Since then, the studio's successes have included three consecutive Best Picture Oscars® for "American Beauty," "Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind," the latter two in partnership with Universal.

Spielberg has also devoted his time and resources to many philanthropic causes. The impact of his experience making "Schindler's List" led him to establish the Righteous Persons Foundation using all his profits from the film. He also founded Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which has recorded more than 50,000 Holocaust survivor testimonies. In addition, Spielberg executive produced "The Last Days," the Shoah Foundation's third documentary, which won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. He is also the chairman of the Starbright Foundation, which combines the efforts of pediatric health care, technology and entertainment to empower seriously ill children.

WALTER F. PARKES (Producer), in addition to being the co-head of DreamWorks Pictures, is one of the most active producers in Hollywood today. He most recently produced the thriller "The Ring," starring Naomi Watts, which has grossed more than $100 million at the box office. He also produced the summer 2002 releases: "Minority Report," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise; and, with his partner and wife Laurie MacDonald, the sequel "Men in Black II," which re-teamed Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld. Parkes and MacDonald had earlier produced the 1997 blockbuster "Men in Black," for which they were named ShoWest Producers of the Year.

Parkes was also an executive producer on the acclaimed drama "Road to Perdition," starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, under the direction of Sam Mendes. Previously, Parkes served as an executive producer on Ridley Scott's "Gladiator," which won five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, as well as Best Picture honors from the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Broadcast Film Critics Awards, among others.

His additional credits as an executive producer or producer include the Jackie Chan starrer "The Tuxedo," the recent remake of "The Time Machine," "The Mask of Zorro," "Deep Impact," "Amistad," "The Peacemaker," "Sneakers," which he also co-wrote, "Volunteers," "Project X" and "True Believer. "
A three-time Academy Awardâ nominee, Parkes earned his first nomination as the director/producer of the 1978 documentary "California Reich," which exposed neo-Nazi activities in California. He garnered his second Oscarâ nomination for writing (with Lawrence Lasker) the original screenplay for "WarGames," and his third nod for his work as a producer on the Best Picture nominee "Awakenings. "

As co-head of DreamWorks Pictures, together with Laurie MacDonald, Parkes has overseen such successes as the Oscar® and Golden Globe-winning Best Picture "American Beauty," and the Academy Awardâ and Golden Globe-winning drama "Saving Private Ryan," which was the top-grossing film domestically of 1998.

JEFF NATHANSON (Screenwriter) has worked on a variety of film and television projects over the last ten years. He wrote the screenplay for the hit action comedy "Rush Hour 2," having earlier worked on the first "Rush Hour. " His other film work includes "Speed 2: Cruise Control" and "Twister. " He more recently wrote "Providence," a black comedy that he will also direct, and he just completed a rewrite for the upcoming DreamWorks project "Terminal," to star Tom Hanks.

Nathanson graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles, before entering the American Film Institute's screenwriting program in 1989.

FRANK W. ABAGNALE (Author/Consultant) is today one of the world's most respected authorities on the subjects of forgery, embezzlements and secure documents. However, more than 35 years ago, he was better known as one of the world's most infamous confidence men. Between the ages of 16 and 21, he successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician. During that five-year period, he cashed $2. 5 million in fraudulent checks across the United States and in 26 foreign countries.

Apprehended by the French police when he was 21 years old, he served time in prisons in France, Sweden and the United States. After five years, he was released on the condition that he would use his expertise to help the federal government by teaching and assisting its law enforcement agencies. Over the past 25 years, Abagnale has more than met that condition.

Believing that punishment for fraud and recovery of stolen funds are extremely rare, Abagnale teaches prevention as the only viable course of action. He has developed new procedures and created manuals and educational programs utilized by over 14,000 financial institutions, law enforcement agencies and corporations. He lectures and instructs extensively at the FBI Academy and field offices, and conducts more than 140 domestic and international seminars each year with the single objective of instructing attendees how to reduce their exposure to fraud, forgery and embezzlement.

In the private sector, Abagnale designed the IPS Official Check used by thousands of financial institutions in place of cashiers' checks. He also designed and developed the SAFEChecks™ and Check Plus™ programs that provide small and medium businesses with an inexpensive secure check. His expertise is relied upon by three major secure document printers and credit card manufacturers. In addition, he is a consultant to the nation's largest accounts payable auditing firm.

Frank Abagnale's consulting business includes document reviews and design as well as specialized training and seminars. In his continuing efforts to provide companies, law enforcement and institutions with up-to-date information on today's high-tech crimes, Abagnale publishes The Client Service Bulletin, a document devoted exclusively to the education in and prevention of forgery and embezzlement. He also publishes The Abagnale Document Verification and Currency Transaction Manual and the quarterly Abagnale Advisor Newsletter. In 1998, he was selected as a distinguished member of the "Pinnacle 400" by CNN Financial News.

Since authoring the bestselling 1980 memoir Catch Me If You Can, Abagnale has more recently written The Art of the Steal. The book chronicles the remarkable story of how he parlayed his knowledge of cons and scams into a successful career as a consultant on preventing financial foul play, while also showing the reader how to identify and outsmart perpetrators of fraud.

BARRY KEMP (Executive Producer) optioned Frank Abagnale's book Catch Me If You Can from Michel Shane and Tony Romano in 1997, and first developed the screenplay with Jeff Nathanson. A well-known writer and producer for both television and film, Kemp previously executive produced the hit comedy "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," starring Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow, and produced the Robin Williams hit "Patch Adams. " For television, he has created and/or produced 12 television series, including the two back-to-back hits "Newhart," starring Bob Newhart, which ran on CBS for eight years, and "Coach," starring Craig T. Nelson and Jerry Van Dyke, which ran on ABC for nine years.

Kemp began his career 25 years ago as a staff writer for the acclaimed television series "Taxi. " Over the course of his three seasons with the show, he wrote 14 episodes, earning an Emmy nomination and two Writers Guild nominations. In 1981, Kemp was recruited by MTM to create a new series for Bob Newhart, resulting in the CBS hit "Newhart. " Kemp was an executive producer on the series for the first two seasons, receiving two more Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe nomination and a People's Choice Award nomination, all for Best Comedy series. In 1986, he co-wrote and executive produced the five-part CBS comedy miniseries "Fresno," starring Carol Burnett, Charles Grodin and Teri Garr.

The following year, Kemp moved to Universal Television, where he created the series "Coach," which premiered on ABC in 1989 and ran for 200 episodes. During his ten years at Universal, Kemp's other projects included "Coming of Age," "Princesses," "Delta," "Blue Skies" and "A Whole New Ballgame. "

Kemp now heads two separate producing entities. Bungalow 78 Productions has an overall deal with Paramount Television to develop and produce new series, their most recent project being the prequel to "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," which is being developed as an ABC two-hour movie and back-door pilot. The film division, The Kemp Company, is developing various film projects, including "Without Warning," based on the 1997 flood in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and "Seeing Red," loosely based on the true story of a young American marketing whiz assigned the task of converting the fabled Russian Red Army hockey team into a successful capitalist enterprise.

LAURIE MACDONALD (Executive Producer), the co-head of DreamWorks Pictures, has also produced or executive produced a number of films. She and her husband, Walter F. Parkes, most recently teamed to produce the hit thriller "The Ring," starring Naomi Watts. MacDonald and Parkes also produced this past summer's sequel "Men in Black II," which reunited stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and director Barry Sonnenfeld. The duo had earlier produced the 1997 sci-fi comedy smash "Men in Black," which brought them Producers of the Year honors at ShoWest.
MacDonald was an executive producer on the Oscar®-winning Best Picture "Gladiator," which was one of the most honored and successful films of 2000. Her credits as an executive producer also include the Jackie Chan starrer "The Tuxedo," the recent remake of "The Time Machine," "The Mask of Zorro," "The Peacemaker," "Amistad," "How to Make an American Quilt," "The Trigger Effect" and "Twister. "
As co-head of DreamWorks Pictures, alongside Walter Parkes, MacDonald has overseen such feature hits as "American Beauty," which won numerous honors, including the Academy Awardâ for Best Picture; and Steven Spielberg's Oscarâ-winning drama "Saving Private Ryan," which was 1998's highest-grossing release domestically.

MacDonald began her producing career as a documentary and news producer at KRON, the NBC affiliate in San Francisco. She later joined Columbia Pictures, where she served as a Vice President of Production. After four years, she started a production company with Walter Parkes. Immediately prior to joining DreamWorks, MacDonald oversaw development and production at Amblin Entertainment.

MICHEL SHANE and TONY ROMANO (Executive Producers), principals in Romano Shane Productions, most recently executive produced the dramatic fea