Cleveland Heep (PAUL GIAMATTI) has been quietly trying to disappear among the burned-out light bulbs and broken appliances of the Cove apartment complex. But on the night that irrevocably changes his life, Cleveland finds someone else hiding in the mundane routine of the modest building – a mysterious young woman named Story (BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD), who has been living in the passageways beneath the building’s swimming pool. Cleveland discovers that Story is actually a “Narf” – a nymph-like character from an epic bedtime story who is being stalked by vicious creatures determined to prevent her from making the treacherous journey from our world back to hers. Story’s unique powers of perception reveal the fates of Cleveland’s fellow tenants, whose destinies are tied directly to her own, and they must work together to decipher a series of codes that will unlock the pathway to her freedom. But the window of opportunity for Story to return home is closing rapidly, and the tenants are putting their own lives at great risk to help her. Cleveland will have to face the demons that have followed him to the Cove – and the other tenants must seize the special powers that Story has brought out in them – if they hope to succeed in their daring and dangerous quest to save her world…and ours.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a Blinding Edge Pictures production, an M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN film: PAUL GIAMATTI, BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD in Lady in the Water, starring BOB BALABAN, JEFFREY WRIGHT, SARITA CHOUDHURY, FREDDY RODRIGUEZ, BILL IRWIN andJARED HARRIS. Lady in the Water is written, produced and directed by M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN. The producer is SAM MERCER; the director of photography is CHRISTOPHER DOYLE, H.K.S.C.; the production designer is MARTIN CHILDS; the editor is BARBARA TULLIVER, A.C.E.; the music is by JAMES NEWTON HOWARD; and the costume designer is BETSY HEIMANN. Soundtrack album on Decca.
This film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for “some frightening sequences.”
Lady in the Water will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
THE STORY & THE STORYTELLER
A master storyteller can craft a single image or a line of dialogue that resonates with audiences for a lifetime. Years after seeing a film, the mere suggestion of it instantly recalls the emotional impact of the story and our experience of watching that cinematic moment unfold for the first time.
In 1999, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan captivated audiences with his internationally acclaimed thriller The Sixth Sense, a multi-layered ghost story powered by equal parts suspense and emotion. The movie became a worldwide cultural phenomenon and added a new dimension to the character-driven blockbuster. His succession of hit films that followed, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village, has established Shyamalan as a prolific storyteller with vision and purpose.
In an era when reality programming has saturated the airwaves and cinematic imagination often seems stalled, Shyamalan consistently brings original, inspired stories to the big screen, captivating audiences with deft storytelling that bears his signature blend of suspense, drama, humor and heartfelt emotion.
His uncommonly assured visual style – characterized by thoughtful framing, scenes that unfold in long takes and little to no “coverage” – is as provocative as the stories he tells and underscores his passion for storytelling.
“My movies are an expression of who I am and where I am emotionally,” Shyamalan says. “Each film has its questions that I’m wrestling with at that time. I believe in being honest with the audience, so I try to talk honestly about the things I’m dealing with in the context of a fictional story that everyone can enjoy.”
The $2 billion that Shyamalan’s films have earned in box office and DVD sales suggest that his movies are as universal as they are personal, resonating with audiences not only for their originality and honesty, but also for their intelligence. Whether he’s delving into the extraordinary or the painfully intimate, Shyamalan asks us to consider not only the most personal aspects of the human condition, but our relationship with the universe as well.
And he doesn’t rely on violence or heavy visual effects to make his point. “Night is not afraid of anything in his work, and I think that’s why people are so drawn to his films,” says Bryce Dallas Howard, who received international acclaim for her performance in The Village, her first starring role in a feature film. “Audiences know that they’re going to see something that is inherently fearless.”
Perhaps his most original and daring film yet, Lady in the Water began as an impromptu bedtime story Shyamalan invented for his two young daughters. “The way I tell stories to my kids is very freeform – whatever pops into my head and comes out of my mouth,” he says of their nightly ritual.
“Do you know that someone lives under our pool?” is what popped out of Shyamalan’s head on that particular night, sparking a story that played out for days and weeks on end. “It developed into this kind of odyssey,” he recalls. “There was something at the heart of this story that made me want to tell it every night, and to keep it going. After the story finally ended, my daughters and I kept talking about it and what happened to the characters. It resonated with us in an unusual fashion.”
Lady in the Water tells the legend of Story, a mesmerizing nymph-like young woman, and Cleveland, the broken-spirited building superintendent who discovers that she is actually a Narf – a character from an ancient and epic bedtime story – who has journeyed to the human world to fulfill a vital and sacred purpose. Temporarily trapped between realms, her mission and maybe even her fragile existence in jeopardy, she has taken refuge in Cleveland’s building, living in the cool dark passageways beneath the swimming pool.
Story’s quest to return to her world is fraught with danger, inhibited by ferocious creatures whose attempts to stop her carry catastrophic consequences for the human realm. As Cleveland and his fellow tenants work together to unravel the mystery of her destiny, they discover that they too are fated to be characters in this extraordinary story unfolding in the real world around them.
Like Cleveland and the other tenants, Shyamalan came to believe the story himself. “I had to absolutely one hundred percent believe in this story for it to come to life as a film,” he says. “My hope is, if I tell you the honest truth – that I do believe in these kinds of possibilities – that you’ll be open to receiving that message.”
Shyamalan’s decision to share the story with a wider audience was largely a matter of timing. “I got the ideas for The Village and Lady in the Water at the same time, but I was in a darker place, and The Village is an expression of the questions I was grappling with. How far would I go to protect my family? Would I run away from society? Would I make questionable choices? Iwasn’t ready to make such an optimistic statement yet. What I feel now is inspired and hopeful, and Lady in the Water is a reflection of that.”
With Lady in the Water, Shyamalan has created a brand new mythology in the tradition of The Princess Bride, E.T. and The Wizard of Oz that encourages us to have faith in something greater than ourselves; to believe in a world of possibilities beyond those we can see or fully comprehend. “The problem with us when we grow up is that we forget that anything is possible,” Shyamalan believes. “So the things that used to be possible had to become stories. And then we became so cynical that these stories had to become children’s stories. So things that were once true are now disguised as children’s stories.
“In Lady in the Water there is a whole ecosystem of creatures who exist right outside this apartment building,” he continues, “but the tenants have to go back centuries in their thinking to become like children again and believe anything is possible so that they can connect with this other world that coexists with theirs.”
“I think the reason we tell bedtime stories is to remind us that we’re a part of a story ourselves,” Howard muses. “We’re part of something that is grander, and even though at times it can be chaotic, there is an ultimate plan.”
While the film furthers Shyamalan’s exploration of faith – a key theme in each of his movies, most notably Signs – Lady in the Water also examines the significance of finding one’s purpose in life. “Whenever I veer off the course of doing what I’m supposed to be doing, I’m really unhappy,” Shyamalan admits. “When I see people who are not glowing, who do not have that glowing feeling you recognize in people who inspire you, it’s because they are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They haven’t found their purpose.”
Lady in the Water represents the latest chapter in Shyamalan’s journey as a storyteller, his seventh film in a canon of distinctive stories united by a common purpose: to inspire and entertain. “When people come out of this movie,” he says, “I hope they feel a sense of hope for themselves and for others; hope that everybody finds their purpose and we’ll all be able to do what we’re supposed to do on this planet.”
Running from his past and miles from his purpose, Cleveland Heep “has suffered undeniable loss,” says writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. The former doctor has taken refuge as the superintendent of The Cove, a run-of-the-mill apartment complex in the Philadelphia suburbs, where he buries himself in the busy routine of quick fixes and all but anonymous interactions with the world around him. But Cleveland’s attempts to suppress his tremendous pain and sadness have manifested into a stutter, leaving the other tenants to regard him, as Paul Giamatti describes, as “a bit of a sad figure – a guy with a cloud over him.
“Cleveland is trying to turn his back on the past,” Giamatti elaborates. “He’s taken this simple job and sort of shut himself off. He’s hiding in his little house at The Cove.”
Shyamalan began writing the character for Giamatti, an Academy Award nominee for his performance in Cinderella Man, after seeing the actor’s hilariously heartbreaking performance in the indie hit Sideways. “I was blown away by his humor, his humanity and his ability to be a leading man. I felt for him in a way that very few actors make me feel,”Shyamalan says.
A screening of American Splendor and a subsequent meeting with Giamatti convinced Shyamalan that he had found his guy. “Paul and I felt a common bond right away. We have a similar sense of humor and share the same point of view on a lot of things. Like all of us, Paul grapples with stuff, but he’s a light.”
Giamatti was intrigued by Shyamalan’s vision for Lady in the Water and the audacity of his storytelling. “It’s a huge idea, and he’s telling it in a really bold way,” Giamatti observes.
“Paul Giamatti is my Richard Dreyfuss,” says Shyamalan, who cites Jaws and Close Encounters as two of the films that inspired him to become a filmmaker. “He can make you laugh and yet feel the depths of his character’s confusion, and then emerge with a hopefulness for mankind.”
“Paul Giamatti is such an intelligent man and such a good actor. I’ve never seen someone so technically proficient,” marvels Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays Story, the young goddess who changes Cleveland’s life. “Paul isn’t one of those actors who needs to go off into a corner and get into a certain state. He’s very focused and he can go anywhere. At one point in the film, my character reads Cleveland’s journal. Paul wrote some entries in the actual journal we filmed with, which I read. They were incredibly helpful. He had tapped into complete and utter darkness.”
When Cleveland finds Story hiding in the shadows of The Cove, he is jolted from his disconnected reverie and compelled to help this powerful and alluring creature make thet reacherous journey back to her fabled home, The Blue World. “Cleveland needs to father someone. He needs to give of himself and nurture somebody, but he’s not aware of this until he meets Story,” Shyamalan says.
At the same time, Story connects to something in Cleveland beyond his kindness. “She makes him think about things he had wanted to put aside,” says Giamatti. “He was trying to sleepwalk through life, and her presence won’t allow that.”
“Story recognizes that Cleveland is a very sad and lost man,” Howard adds. “She can see that he hasn’t found his voice. It’s a beautiful relationship that they have because she helps him find his way and he helps her find her way.”
Howard sees her highly intuitive character as “an angel who shows people what they are capable of, because she believes in them.” Yet Story has great difficulty believing that she is destined to have a lasting impact on humankind.
“She’s the most important figure in this story when it comes to the future of the earth, but that’s strange to her because she thinks she’s not even good at her job as a Narf,” Howard muses. “I think it’s really poignant that even somebody who is an embodiment of God can’t see that they’re extraordinary and exceptional. It’s beautiful that Story has to find her voice just as Cleveland does.”
Howard became involved in the project early in Shyamalan’s process of translating Lady in the Water from the bedtime story he created for his children to his multi-layered screenplay. On the last day of filming on The Village, he shared the story of Lady in the Water with Howard. Months later, after screening The Village for the actress and her parents at his farm, Shyamalan told her that he wanted her to play Story. “I sat down on the floor and started crying,” Howard recalls. “I know that’s sounds really dramatic, but I feel very close with Night and it was a big deal to be invited to be in this film.”
“It was a big moment,” Shyamalan agrees. “It was an act of faith. I hadn’t written the script yet, but I knew I wanted her to do it.”
“Bryce is really talented and she works her ass off,” Giamatti says of his costar. “I hope someday to be as good a film actor as she is, because she’s amazingly assured… which hopefully will rub off on me in some way.”
It took approximately three hours a day of full-body, waterproof makeup application to transform Howard into the nearly translucent Narf. “Story is not a creature who is used to being in the sunlight,” Howard notes. “She lives primarily in water, so the texture of her skin is different in order to cope with that.”
Story is searching more consciously – and more urgently – than the other tenants at The Cove for the next step in the path toward her destiny. She must unravel an intricate riddle to find a series of people who will come together to enable her journey back to The Blue World. But Story is forbidden from talking about her quest with anyone who is not meant to be part of it, and the inexperienced Narf’s missteps have left her in great peril. Meanwhile, she is growing weak from a poisonous attack by the Scrunt, a fierce hyena-like creature determined to prevent her from returning home.
Time is of the essence, and Cleveland reaches out to an eclectic group of residents at The Cove to help him decipher the mystery of Story’s fate before it’s too late.
One of the first tenants Cleveland approaches for help is Mr. Farber, a discontented film and book critic who has recently moved to Philadelphia from the West Coast. “Farber is a curmudgeon,” says prolific actor and director Bob Balaban, known for his roles in the mockumentaries Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, as well as his recent turn in the Oscar-winning drama Capote. “He’s unfriendly and very private. He doesn’t want anyone to knock on his door. And he would never invite anyone into his apartment.”
Farber humors Cleveland, but his advice is tinged with the cynicism that permeates his attitude toward the world at large. “Farber tells Cleveland ‘There’s no originality left in the world, and there are no new stories. They’re just the same old stories being retold again and again,’” Balaban relates.
Accomplished stage and television actress Cindy Cheung plays Young-Soon Choi, a college student living her version of the American dream under the watchful and disapproving eye of her traditional Korean mother. “Young-Soon is out to conquer the world,” Cheung says. “She’s bold and unafraid to experiment with her look all the time. Right now, she’s inspired to dress like Britney Spears, but her muse could change to AliciaKeys next week.”
Cleveland turns to Young-Soon for details about the time-honored bedtime story that her mother keeps closely guarded. “Young-Soon is still trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life and what brings her meaning. Within the bedtime story, there is a core theme of discovering one’s best self that really speaks to her. The more pieces of the story she puts together with Cleveland, the more she wants to know,” says Cheung.
Mr. Dury, a devoted father with an affinity for words and crossword puzzles, is played by Jeffrey Wright. “Cleveland is looking for a problem solver, and Mr. Dury offers to help him in his quest for understanding,” says Wright, a star of the acclaimed political thriller Syriana and a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner for his role in Mike Nichols’ searing miniseries Angels in America.
Wright felt a strong connection with screenplay’s storyline involving Mr. Dury and his young son Joey. “This father-son story is an expression of the larger idea behind the movie,” he points out. “There is an innocence and a kinship with the heavenly that lives in children. As we grow older, we need to rediscover and constantly remind ourselves of it as part of our quest to find our best humanity.”
Brother and sister Vick and Anna Ran share an apartment at The Cove. “Anna hasn’t really found her mission in life,” says Sarita Choudhury (She Hate Me) of her character,who cares for the ailing Story as Cleveland desperately searches for a means to save her. “Anna is excited by the changes Story brings about and the chance to bond with someone who needs help.”
An aspiring writer, Vick has long struggled to finish writing his book, a fact that mildly annoys his sister. “Anna believes in Vick,” Choudhury says, “but she’s at the point where she doesn’t want to hear about it anymore. She’s like, Just do it.”
Vick finds unexpected inspiration in Story, who foretells his remarkable future. “Vick is a very ordinary, regular guy who finds out that if he finishes what he’s writing, it’s going to inspire something extraordinary and resonate through time – but he’s going to have to give his life for it,” says Shyamalan of Vick, the filmmaker’s biggest acting role since starring in his 1992 writing-directing debut Praying with Anger. “I liked the idea of playing an average guy who is given that option.”
Like Vick and the other tenants, Reggie is looking for meaning in his life. His search has led him to focus on a unique bodybuilding goal that has rendered the right half of his body four and a half inches bigger than his left side. “Reggie’s a guy who’s experimenting on himself,” says Freddy Rodriguez, who recently appeared in Wolfgang Petersen’s Poseidon and is widely known for his role as a consummate mortician on the Emmy award-winning seriesSix Feet Under. “He’s kind of a loner. He’s friendly, but the other tenants don’t really take him seriously.”
It required approximately three hours a day to apply prosthetics and makeup to Rodriguez, who was outfitted with a sleeve-like wrist-to-shoulder piece on his arm, and a prosthetic leg and thigh. Multiple appliances were created from the actor’s body casts, as the single-use prosthetics had to literally be cut off of Rodriguez at the end of each shooting day.
Mary Beth Hurt, the versatile actress whose recent film credits include The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Family Man, plays Mrs. Bell, whose affinity for animals makes her more attuned to the non-human world around her. “Mrs. Bell is a woman who has a great lifeforce,” Hurt observes. “She knows that Cleveland is hurting and feels a connection withhim. Maureen Stapleton, as an actress, always struck me as an open wound, and I think there’s some of that to Cleveland. If you’re as attuned to people as Mrs. Bell is, you empathize with their pain and want to help.”
Despite his indifference to the world beyond his television and his skepticism about Story, Mr. Leeds sees through Cleveland’s stoop-shouldered diligence. “They’re kindred souls,” says Bill Irwin, who has appeared in films such as The Manchurian Candidate and Igby Goes Down. “Like Cleveland, Mr. Leeds has suffered some terrible loss, but his reaction is to watch television, encase himself in books and never leave his place. I think he’s a little jealous of Cleveland, because even though Cleveland is wounded, even though he stutters and keeps his eyes down, Cleveland is out in the world. Mr. Leeds recognizes the bravery in that.”
The Lady in the Water ensemble also features Jared Harris as the Goateed Smoker; June Kyoko Lu as Young-Soon’s mother, Mrs. Choi; Noah Gray-Cabey as Joey Dury; Tovah Feldshuh as Mrs. Bubchik; and Tom Mardirosian as Mr. Bubchik.
THE WORLDS OF THE COVE
Lady in the Water was shot entirely on location in Leavittown, Pennsylvania, approximately 20 miles outside of Philadelphia, at the site of a former 3M tape manufacturing plant. The 81 acre property provided an area large enough to construct the film’s principal set, an expansive apartment building called The Cove, as well as warehouse space for interior sets, workshop and office space, and a massive water tank (previously used by 3M as a fire tank) for the underwater sequences.
The close proximity of the various facets of production on the compound made it possible for Shyamalan to shoot Lady in the Water in sequence. From the moment Cleveland introduces himself to Mr. Farber, the film was shot scene-for-scene as the story unfolds in the script (with the exception of the underwater sequences, which were filmed at the end of the production schedule).
The Cove – a U-shaped, 5 story, 57-unit apartment complex complete with a centercourtyard, swimming pool and a detached bungalow bordering on a sprawling woodedmeadow – was built from the ground up under the supervision of production designerMartin Childs.
Childs, an Oscar winner for his set designs for Shakespeare in Love, had never been to Philadelphia and drove around the city’s suburbs to absorb the architecture as he was researching and developing ideas for the look of The Cove, which Shyamalan envisioned as a “transitory” building housing tenants whose lives are in state of flux. “I tried to imagine thesort of social feel that a building like The Cove might have, with its residents from different ethnic backgrounds, of different ages and social classes,” Childs recalls.
Rather than create a stylized structure with inherent architectural ambience (like the foreboding atmosphere exuded by a Gothic building, for example), Childs and Shyamalan purposely chose a nondescript design for The Cove – one that would give no hint of the diverse worlds cohabiting within or portend the events to come. “We decided to create acompletely ‘blank’ building that would be given character by the characters inside it,” Childs explains. “In a sense it was a blank page upon which the story could be written.”
A scale model was made of Childs’ design for the complex, which he and his team strategically placed on the 3M property where the massive set was to be built. Then they calculated how sunlight would fall onto the building from various angles. Using computer diagrams to chart the trajectory of the sun and how it changed the light flow onto the building, Childs determined how to best position and construct the horseshoe-shaped structure, with its “open end” facing what would become a wooded area.
The art department and construction team built and dressed the complex in seven weeks. Nine of the units were “built out” and fully dressed as the residences of the film’s principal characters. “The complex had everything but plumbing and heating,” confirms producer Sam Mercer. In fact, The Cove was so realistic, during production a memo was distributed to the cast and crew reminding them: Please do not use the sinks and/or bathrooms in the apartment sets. They may look real, but they’re NOT!”
As in the story, each tenant’s apartment is a microcosm unto itself, reflecting not only the character of the inhabitant, but how he or she relates to the outside world – from the warmth and tradition of Mrs. Choi’s home to the learned and solitary feel of Mr. Leeds’ bookish abode, to Mrs. Bell’s nurturing, animal-friendly environment or the lethargic, unstructured vibe of the Smokers’ apartment.
Childs and his art department so thoroughly outfitted the tenants’ living spaces, many members of the cast remarked that they became more deeply acquainted with and connected to their characters upon entering their apartments. Some reactions were morev isceral than others; as Shyamalan recalls, “When I walked in the Smokers’ apartment for the first time it looked like somebody had vomited on the walls.”
The interior of Cleveland’s bungalow was built on stage as well as practically, with anonymity as a guide. “In Cleveland’s bungalow we wanted an absence of past because he keeps his past stuffed away and never talks about it,” says Childs of the caretaker’s modest surroundings. “There are some older items in there but those could easily be left by previous caretakers, like the filing cabinets. There’s nothing there to learn about Cleveland – unless you’re nosy, like Story.”
Vick and Anna’s apartment was also created as an interior set, along with The Cove’s mailroom, laundry room and basement hallways. These sets were built in life-size dimensions, without removable “fly walls” typical of most interior sets, in keeping with Shyamalan’s desire for authenticity. For a key scene that takes place in the mailroom, 20 cast members crowded into the tiny set along with key crew and equipment.
In designing Story’s secret alcove beneath the swimming pool, a set that was built and then submerged in the production’s massive water tank for filming, Childs found insight in a comment Story makes to Cleveland the first time she comes to his bungalow. “Story tells Cleveland that he has a beautiful sofa, but it’s actually quite ordinary,” the designer notes. “I got the idea that Story thinks The Cove is a pretty special place, so she decided to recreate something that looks a bit like it in the home she’s made for herself.”
Story’s niche is a treasure trove of shiny objects that she has collected during her stay. “She’s drawn to shiny objects but she doesn’t know their value,” Childs says, “so among the diamonds there are some scrunched up soda cans and a piece of tinfoil from Mrs.Choi’s orchid display.”
The swimming pool is not only Story’s conduit to and from the human realm, but it also serves as the nucleus between the rigid grid of the apartment complex, the organic world that is beginning to encroach upon it, and the mysteries of Story’s mythological home. “The pool is the point at which all the worlds collide,” Childs observes. “On one side you have the man-made building. On the other side you have nature in the shape of the forest. Underneath you have Story’s world. So the pool is literally the heart of the building where all of these worlds meet.”
After construction, the pool was painted with gradations of color to add to its mystery – beginning with light blue at the top edges and deepening to a black-blue at the bottom. Shyamalan and Childs’ penchant for detail extended to the pool’s grill, which is based on the design of a sewer grate in a pivotal sequence from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Strangers on a Train, in which a character inadvertently drops an incriminating piece of evidence down the drain.
It is through this grate at the bottom of the pool that Cleveland discovers Story’s secret world beneath The Cove. Paul Giamatti and the dive team, led by stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad, filmed these underwater scenes on two sets submerged in a 350,000 gallon water tank. Dubbed “Big Bertha” by the crew, the tank housed a 20-foot tunnel that Giamatti had to navigate in the dark with no breathing apparatus, as well as the set forStory’s alcove, which Cleveland discovers at the end of this long passageway.
“The first day we got in the pool to practice, he was completely natural,” says Habberstad of Giamatti, who impressed the stunt team with his ease in the water and his ability to hold his breath for long periods. “He even seemed to prefer to stay underwater between takes while we were preparing for the next shot.”
Habberstad developed Cleveland’s improvised breathing method – by which he breathes air from underneath Story’s collection of glassware with a straw-like tool – in his own swimming pool before teaching it to Giamatti. (The actor performed this stunt himself without a breathing apparatus or the benefit of special effects.)
“We were able to do things that we would not have been able to do with any other actor,” Shyamalan attests. “It was dangerous. Not only did Paul have to hold his breath as he was swimming and acting, but he couldn’t see very well because it was very dark in the tank and the water was filled with particles so that it would feel muddier and more organic. And I do long takes.”
THE GUARDIANS OF THE BLUE WORLD
Like the legend of the The Blue World, the creatures who serve as guardians between it and the human world are inventions of M. Night Shyamalan’s imagination. “It was fun to create something entirely new, that doesn’t have its roots in anything else,” he says. “I had to figure out how these creatures could exist without us noticing or knowing about them. So the trees and the grass became elemental places for me to start.”
Shyamalan brought creature designer and illustrator Mark “Crash” McCreery (The Village, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Van Helsing) aboard as he was writing the second draft of the screenplay. “Crash is an incredibly brilliant guy and I trust him implicitly,” Shyamalan says. “A lot of what he drew really inspired me – as I was working on the script and throughout the making of the movie. We had his pictures up in the editing room to remind us of the beauty and the scariness and the feel that we were trying to create.”
Unbeknownst to the tenants, living in the untamed meadow at the edge of The Cove is the Scrunt, a fierce and formidable beast on a mission to stop Narfs like Story from moving safely around the human world – and to prevent them from ever returning home. Spiky blades of grass protrude from its back and help the Scrunt camouflage itself in the lawn. A mere scratch from a Scrunt infects its prey with deadly poison called Kii(pronounced “key”) that slowly saps the life from its victim.
“I loved Night’s idea that this creature could drop down into the grass and seemingly disappear,” McCreery says. “There is a feral wildness to the Scrunt, but it was also important for us to portray the creature as having a kind of concentrated intelligence. It’s not just a beast blindly smashing through doors. It’s very cunning and stealthy.”
The only entity that the Scrunt fears is the Tartutic, three simian-like creatures who form an invincible force that maintains law and order in The Blue World. “These three beings are so evil, they killed their parents on the night they were born,” says Shyamalan of the fearsome threesome, whose bark-and-branch-like exterior enables them to conceal themselves in trees. “Fear of the Tartutic has upheld the laws in The Blue World for centuries. No living creature has ever seen the Tartutic, because if you see them, that means you’ve broken the law and are going to be killed.”
The Great Eatlon serves the greater good of The Blue World – and ours. With its 40-foot wingspan, this majestic creature is the last of an otherwise extinct race of giant eagles who transport Narfs from the human realm to The Blue World. If Story is to return homeand assume her destiny to save the world as a Madam Narf, Cleveland and the tenants must help her take flight with the Great Eatlon.
All of these unique creatures were brought to life for the film through a combination of practical special effects and CGI. Cinematic creature effects specialists Spectral Motion Inc. devised 3D animatronic versions of the Scrunt and the Tartutic that were used during physical production. An aluminum casing housed the mechanized creatures’ electronic interiors, which had to be waterproofed for the film’s numerous rain sequences before being sheathed in foam latex skin.
The fully functional Scrunts were capable of walking, running and conveying a wide range of facial expressions – produced through the collective performance of four to sixS pectral Motion puppeteers operating a computer console and remote controls. The number of puppeteers operating the Scrunt depended upon the complexity of the shot and the action called for in Shyamalan’s script. One puppeteer each was dedicated to the ears, mouth and eyes, with another operator controlling the overall body movement via the computer.
The Tartutic was played by three actors, each outfitted in a bodysuit, feet, hands anda mechanical head controlled by two puppeteers. The bodysuits were cast from foam latex,with their branch-like outer skin hand-formed from heated plastic tubing.
Spectral Motion also designed and created the prosthetic appliances that transformed Freddy Rodriguez into Reggie, the lopsided bodybuilder whose right arm and leg are four and a half inches larger than his left side.The ethereal and profoundly elegant Great Eatlon was designed by Crash McCreery and brought to life in post-production by visual effects innovators ILM, which also provided CGI enhancements to sequences involving the Scrunt and the Tartutic. “It’s such a joy for me to work with ILM,” Shyamalan says. “I saw Star Wars when I was seven years old and was amazed by what ILM created. To be actually working with them on Lady in the Water feels like I’ve come full circle, which is really cool.”
ABOUT THE CAST
PAUL GIAMATTI (Cleveland Heep). With a diverse roster of finely etched, award-winning and critically acclaimed performances, Paul Giamatti has established himself as one of the most versatile actors of his generation. His recent performance in Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man earned Academy and Golden Globe Award nominations as well as a SAG Award and Broadcast Film Critics’ Award for Best Supporting Actor. Giamatti also earned accolades for his performance in Alexander Payne’s Sideways, including Best Actor from the Independent Spirit Awards, New York Film Critics Circle and a Golden Globe nomination.
This summer, Giamatti lends his vocal talent to the John A. Davis animated family adventure The Ant Bully, alongside Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep, and also stars opposite Edward Norton and Jessica Biel in The Illusionist, directed by Neil Burger. He is currently in production on the Weinstein Company’s The Nanny Diaries, an adaptation of the best-selling novel directed by the team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.
Later this year, Giamatti begins the David Dobkin holiday film Fred Claus with Vince Vaughn and Kevin Spacey. Most recently, he wrapped production on the action film Shoot’Em Up, written and directed by Michael Davis, with co-stars Clive Owen and Monica Belluci, and in 2007 he will headline the voice cast of Rob Zombie Presents the Haunted World of El Superbeasto as the villain, Dr. Satan. The 2-D animated comedy, based on the Spookshow
International comic book “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto” created by Zombie, follows the exploits of a washed-up Mexican wrestler in the mythic world of Monsterland.
Giamatti first captured recognition in Betty Thomas’ hit comedy Private Parts. His extensive list of film credits includes Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon; Julian Goldberger’s The Hawk is Dying, Tim Robbins’ The Cradle Will Rock; F. Gary Gray’s The Negotiator; Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan; Peter Weir’s The Truman Show; Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco; Todd Solondz’ Storytelling; Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes; Duets, opposite Gwyneth Paltrow; the animated film Robots; and Big Momma’s House, co-starring Martin Lawrence. He alsoappeared in James Foley’s Confidence; and John Woo’s Paycheck.
In 2004, Giamatti garnered outstanding reviews and commendations (Independent Spirit Award nomination, National Board of Review Breakthrough performance of the Year) for his portrayal of Harvey in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s American Splendor.
Also an accomplished stage actor, Giamatti received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Supporting Actor as Jimmy Tomorrow in Kevin Spacey’s Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh. His other Broadway credits include The Three Sisters, directed by Scott Elliot; Racing Demon directed by Richard Eyre; and Arcadia, directed by Trevor Nunn. Off-Broadway he appeared in the ensemble cast of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui with Al Pacino.
For television, Giamatti appeared in The Pentagon Papers with James Spader, HBO’s Winchell, opposite Stanley Tucci and Jane Anderson’s If These Walls Could Talk II.
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD (Story) made her feature debut starring in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, opposite Adrien Brody, Joaquin Phoenix and Sigourney Weaver.
Howard recently starred in Lars von Trier’s Manderlay, the filmmaker’s follow-up to Dogville. The film also stars Lauren Bacall, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Glover and Jeremy Davies, and premiered at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Howard will next star opposite Kevin Kline in Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of the Shakespeare classic As You Like It.
After leaving the Tisch School of the Arts program at New York University, Howard immediately began working on the New York stage, including playing the role of Marianne in the Roundabout’s Broadway production of Tartuffe, Rosalind in the Public Theatre’s As You Like It, Sally Platt in the Manhattan Theater Club’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s House/Garden and as Emily in the Bay Street Theater Festival production of Our Town.
Howard is currently in production on Spider-Man 3 with director Sam Raimi, opposite Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Thomas Haden Church.
BOB BALABAN (Harry Farber) is an acclaimed actor, writer and producer. Most notably, he conceived the original idea of Robert Altman’s Gosford Park and went on to produce and act in the film, which garnered seven Academy Award nominations.
After small roles in Midnight Cowboy and Catch-22, Balaban became more widely recognized for his role as the interpreter/cartographer in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (he later penned the memoir Spielberg, Truffaut & Me: An Actor’s Diary, a humorous recount of the filmmaking experience). Balaban has also been a memorable presence in the Christopher Guest comedies Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind.
Additional film appearances include Altered States, Prince of the City, Absence of Malice, 2010, Alice, City Slickers II, Deconstructing Harry, Jakob the Liar, Ghost World and Marie and Bruce. On television, he is probably best known for his recurring role as the head of NBC on Seinfeld.
Balaban made his directorial debut with Parents (1989), and followed up with My Boyfriend’s Back and The Last Good Time. He recently completed directing and producing Bernard and Doris, starring Ralph Fiennes and Susan Sarandon, about Doris Duke and her butler. For TV, his directing credits include episodes of Oz; SUBWAY Stories: Tales from the Underground Gary, Indiana; Strangers With Candy; The Twilight Zone and the made-for-TV film The Exonerated, based on the hit play of the same name which Balaban produced and directed originally in New York.
He is also author of McGrowl, a best-selling series of children’s books for Scholastic.
JEFFREY WRIGHT (Mr. Dury) is recognized as one of the most talented andv ersatile actors of his generation. He won Emmy, Golden Globe and Black Reel Awards for his supporting role in the acclaimed HBO miniseries Angels in America. He also won a Tony Award for his performance in the stage version of Angels in America: Perestroika.
Wright previously starred as Martin Luther King in the HBO production Boycott, for which he won the AFI Actor of the Year Award for Male Actor in a Movie or Miniseries. Most recently, he co-starred in Stephen Gaghan’s Oscar-nominated Syriana, Jim Jarmusch’sBroken Flowers and Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate, and played photographer Howard Bingham in Michael Mann’s Ali. He recently completed filming The Visiting, with director Oliver Hirschbiegel.
The Washington, D.C. native made his screen debut in the title role of Basquiat, the true story of the graffiti artist who became one of America’s most successful and influential painters of the 1980s. He followed this with a starring role in Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil and subsequently starred as Peoples Hernandez in the 2000 remake of the classic Shaft.
On stage, Wright recently earned another Tony nomination in the critically lauded Top Dog, Underdog. He often performs at the New York Shakespeare Festival where he earned high praise for his portrayal of Marc Antony in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar and also completed a long, successful run on Broadway in the award-winning celebration of African American rhythms and history Bring in da Noise, Bring inda Funk. On television, he starred in the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries Lackawanna Blues.
Wright graduated Amherst College in Massachusetts with a B.A. in political science and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater in 2004. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with actress Carmen Ejogo and their two children.
SARITA CHOUDHURY (Anna) made her film debut as the love interest to Denzel Washington’s character in Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala. Choudhury’s performanceas the Queen in Mira Nair’s controversial film Kama Sutra captured the attention of many critics who took notice of her exotic beauty and depth of emotion.
Choudhury recently garnered raves on stage for playwright Vijay Tendulkar’s Sakharam Binder and The New Group’s acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Roar with Annabella Sciorra. She was last seen in the 2006 Independent Spirit Award nominee, The War Within. Other film credits include Spike Lee’s She Hate Me, Rhythm Of The Saints, Lee Davis’ 3 A.M., Fisher Stevens’ Still A Kiss, David Atwood’s Wild West, Lisa Cholodenko’s High Art, Bille August’s The House of the Spirits, Sidney Lumet’s Gloria and Andy Davis’ A Perfect Murder.
On television, Choudhury has had recurring roles on Deadline, 100 Center Street, and Homicide. She has also starred in Law & Order, SUBWAYStories: Tales from the Underground, and Down Came a Black Bird.
FREDDY RODRIGUEZ (Reggie) has quickly emerged as one of Hollywood’s most versatile young actors, garnering an Emmy nomination, two Alma Awards, a Nosotros Award and two SAG Awards for his role on Six Feet Under as the artful and ambitious mortician, Federico Diaz.
Currently, Rodriguez is working on the Robert Rodriguez / Quentin Tarantino project Grind House, and has just wrapped Bobby, a feature film written and directed by Emilio Estevez. Other notable film credits include Poseidon, Harsh Times, Dreamer, Havoc, A Walk in the Clouds, Dead Presidents, The Pest, Chasing Papi, Payback, and For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story.
Born and raised in Chicago, Rodriguez began acting in his teens. He received a two year scholarship to the summer arts program at Chicago Center for the Gifted and went onto star in more than 20 theater productions in his home town. Between acting projects he enjoys helping a variety of organizations dedicated to keeping the arts in public schools.
BILL IRWIN (Mr. Leeds) recently starred on Broadway as George in the revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? opposite Kathleen Turner, for which he won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Actor. Irwin also starred opposite Sally Field in another Albee play, the 2002 Tony Award-winning The Goat or Who is Sylvia.
In 2003/2004, The Signature Theatre dedicated their season entirely to Irwin’s original work for which he acted as writer, director and star. Irwin was an original member of Kraken, a theatre company directed by Herbert Blau, and an original member of the Pickle Family Circus of San Francisco, where he worked with Larry Pisoni and Geoff Hoyle. He appeared as a guest with the ODC Dance Company of San Francisco, which first produced his original work. His own pieces, often developed with Doug Skinner and Michael O’Conner, include Not Quite/New York, The Courtroom and Regard of Flight (also seen on PBS’ Great Performances).
On Broadway, Irwin’s original work Largely New York received five Tony Award nominations and won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Dance and Performance Awards. Irwin along with David Shiner, starred and choreographed the hit Fool Moon. Irwin also appeared with Steve Martin, Robin Williams and F. Murray Abraham in Waiting For Godot at Lincoln Center; Texts For Nothing, directed by Joe Chaikin at the Public Theatre, and in George Wolfe’s park production of The Tempest. Other Broadway productions include Accidental Death of an Anarchist and 5-6-7-8 Dance!
Irwin has appeared on numerous television shows including The Closing Ceremony Of The Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta in which he starred as well as directed and choreographed; Northern Exposure, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, The Cosby Show, HBO’s Bette Midler: Mondo Beyondo, PBS’ Great Performances 20th Anniversary Special, Sesame Street and Mary Chapin Carpenter’s video Let Me Into Your Heart.
In 1983, Irwin was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship, and in 1984 was named a Guggenheim fellow and was awarded a five-year MacArthur Fellowship. In 1997, he directed and starred in his adaptation of the play Scapin at the Roundabout Theatre, and in 1998 directed A Flea in Her Ear, also at the Roundabout. In fall 2000, Irwin directed and performed his own adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s prose work Texts For Nothing at the Classic Stage Company, for which he received a nomination for outstanding solo performance by the Outer Critics Circle.
Irwin’s feature film credits include: Love Conquers All!, Igby Goes Down, The Laramie Project for HBO, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey, John Turturro’s Illuminata, Scalpers, with Andy Garcia, and Michael Hoffman’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Klein and Rupert Everett., as well as My Blue Heaven, Scenes From A Mall, Popeye, A New Life, Eight Men Out, Stepping Out, Hot Shots, and Silent Tongue. PBS recently aired the special Bill Irwin, Clown Prince as part of their Great Performances series.
A performer whose on-screen intensity is rivaled only by his off-screen charisma, JARED HARRIS (Goatee Smoker) is one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation.
Harris recently starred in a wide range of films including Mary Harron’s The Notorious Betty Page; Adam Goldberg’s I Love Your Work, Sylvia, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and Dummy, opposite Adrien Brody and Milla Jovovich. In 1996, he won critical recognition for his riveting portrayal of Andy Warhol in the acclaimed I Shot Andy Warhol.
His reputation for playing varied and unique characters includes roles as an intellectually challenged street cleaner in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster’s Smoke and Blue in the Face, a truculent fur trapper in Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, Tom Cruise’s boozing, n’er-do-well brother in Far and Away, and a sleazy Russian cab driver in Todd Solondz’s Happiness, forwhich he shared the 1999 National Board of Review Acting Ensemble Award. Other notable screen credits include Jonathan Nossiter’s Sunday, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best film and screenplay at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, Burr Steers’ Igby Goes Down, and Michael Radford’s B.Monkey.
Harris’ first screen appearance, 1989’s The Rachel Papers, was the directorial debut of his brother Damian. He went on to receive rave reviews for his portrayals of Henry VIII in the improvised production of The Other Boleyn Girl for BBC2, and John Lennon (opposite Aidan Quinn’s Paul McCartney) in Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s Two of Us. Additionally, Harris starred in the triple feature To the End of the Earth, also for BBC.
The son of famed Irish actor Richard Harris, Jared was born in London and educated at Duke University where he majored in drama and literature. After graduation, he became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has performed in some of New York’s most renowned theater companies, including the New York Shakespeare company,the New Group, New Jersey Shakespeare Company, the Vineyard Theater and the Manhattan Theater Club. Earlier this year, Harris earned accolades for his role in a revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Period of Adjustment at London’s famous Almeida Theatre.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN (Director /Writer / Producer) directs his seventh feature film with Lady in the Water, following Praying with Anger, Wide Awake, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village.
The astronomical success of his chilling psychological thriller The Sixth Sense catapulted Shyamalan into the stratosphere of being one of the most sought-after young filmmakers in Hollywood. The Sixth Sense has become one of the highest grossing films of all time and continues to break records in home entertainment, receiving a total of six Academy Award nominations including one for Best Picture and two for Shyamalan, for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Additionally, the film was awarded three People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture, Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture and Best Actor for the film’s star, Bruce Willis. Shyamalan re-teamed with Willis for Unbreakable, which also starred Samuel Jackson.
Following Unbreakable, Shyamalan had tremendous worldwide success with the supernatural thriller Signs, starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. Shyamalan’s last feature, The Village, also starred Phoenix and Lady in the Water’s Bryce Dallas Howard, as well as an ensemble cast including Adrien Brody, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver.
Shyamalan began making films at age 10 in his hometown of Philadelphia. At 16, he had completed his 45th short film. At 17, he stood before his parents, both doctors, surrounded by pictures of the 12 other doctors in the family, and informed them that although he had graduated cum laude and received academic scholarships to several prestigious medical programs he had instead decided to attend the New York University Tisch School of the Arts to study filmmaking.
During his final year at NYU he wrote an emotional screenplay made up of personal moments, entitled Praying with Anger, about a young exchange student from the U.S. who goes back to India and finds himself a stranger in his own homeland. In 1992, with the funding to make his first low-budget feature, Shyamalan shot the story on location in India and served as the film’s writer, director, producer and star. The film was selected to be screened by the New York Foundation of the Arts’ prestigious First Look Series, and in July 1993 was named Debut Film of the Year by the American Film Institute of Los Angeles.
The following year, Shyamalan wrote another spiritual screenplay, Labor of Love, which he sold to 20th Century Fox. In June 1995, he was asked by Columbia Pictures to write the fantasy screen adaptation of Stuart Little, based on E.B. White’s beloved children’s classic of the same name.
His second film, Wide Awake, starred Rosie O’Donnell, Denis Leary, Dana Delaney and Robert Loggia and was released in 1997. Shot entirely on location in Philadelphia, it tells the story of the close relationship between a boy in Catholic school and his grandfather.
Shyamalan formed his own production company, Blinding Edge Pictures, based in a suburb outside of Philadelphia where he also resides with his wife and two daughters.
Lady in the Water is SAM MERCER’s (Producer) fifth collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan, having previously worked with him on The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village. The Sixth Sense earned six Oscar nominations, two Golden Globe nods and three People’s Choice Awards. Mercer most recently served as executive producer on the Gulfwar drama Jarhead, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx; and the fantasy-adventure Van Helsing, starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale.
Mercer began his independent producing career in 1993, after seven years as aproduction executive at the Walt Disney Company. His first film as an independent producer was the box office hit Congo, directed by Frank Marshall and produced by Mercer and Kathleen Kennedy. Following Congo, Mercer produced Peter Hyams’ The Relic, with producer Gale Anne Hurd, and in 2000, Mercer executive produced Mission to Mars, the space adventure directed by Brian De Palma.
Mercer joined the Walt Disney Company in 1986 as a production executive supervising such films as Good Morning, Vietnam; Three Fugitives and Dead Poets Society. He was promoted to vice president of motion picture production in 1989 for Hollywood Pictures, where he was responsible for such releases as Quiz Show, The Joy Luck Club, Born Yesterday, Swing Kids, The Hand that Rockes the Cradle and Arachnophobia.
Prior to joining the Disney Company, Mercer was a freelance location manager and unit production manager working on such films as The Witches of Eastwick, Peggy Sue GotM arried, Stripes, Swing Shift and The Escape Artist. He also served as associate producer/unitmanager for KCET-TV in Los Angeles where he received a Daytime Emmy Award for the live presentation of the San Francisco Opera’s production of La Gioconda.
A graduate of The Groton School and Occidental College, Mercer currently resides in Venice, California.
Starting with Edward Yang’s groundbreaking film That Day On The Beach CHRISTOPHER DOYLE, H.K.S.C. (Director of Photography) has worked with manytop Asian filmmakers including Wong Kar-Wai, Stanley Kwan, Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. In 1998, he was invited to Hollywood by Gus Van Sant to work on the remake ofHitchcock’s Psycho, quickly followed by Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights. In the same year, Doyle completed his directorial debut, Away With Words.
Doyle’s work on Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love garnered a handful of awards including the Technical Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2000. In 2001, he worked on Phillip Noyce’s Rabbit-Proof Fence, followed by Noyce’s The Quiet American. That same year, Doyle also worked on Zhang Yimou’s Hero.
Doyles’ other credits include Peter Chan’s Three: Going Home, Chang Yuen’s Green Tea, Penek Ratanaruang’s Last Life in the Universe, Wong Kar-Wai’s 2046, Wong Kar-Wai’s segment in Eros, and Fruit Chan’s segment in Three…Extremes. Doyle also recently shot the 13th episode for Paris, je t’aime, Penek Ratanaruang’s Invisible Waves and James Ivory’s The White Countess.
Doyle has also directed, shot and edited various film and video projects for the Cloud Gate Dance Ensemble, Dries Van Noten, Yoji Yamamoto; along with music videos for Texas, Faye Wong, Theater Brook, Air Supply, Cui Jian, Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung. His photography, collage work and writing have been propagated through almost 20 books and numerous exhibitions on most continents.
From Shakespeare’s London to Jack the Ripper’s, from present-day New York to Napoleon’s Paris, the designs of MARTIN CHILDS (Production Designer) have gathered both awards and critical acclaim.
His production design of John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love earned him an Academy Award. He received a second Oscar nomination for Philip Kaufman’s Quills. Both films were also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Production Design. His work on From Hell, starring Johnny Depp and directed by the Hughes brothers, brought him additional international acclaim.
Childs received his first BAFTA nomination for John Madden’s Mrs. Brown, his feature film debut as a production designer. The Broadcast Film Critics Association, the International Press Academy and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Art Directors have also honored his work with nominations.
In addition, Childs’ film credits as production designer include Calendar Girls, with Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, The Misadventures of Margaret and, more recently, Chasing Liberty, a romantic comedy for which the Oval Office, the White House and the streets of Washington D.C. were all recreated in and around London. He also served as supervising art director for Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of King George, Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady, and Kenneth Branagh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. As an art director, his credits include Branagh’s Henry V, Peter’s Friends and Much Ado About Nothing.
Martin Childs trained as an architect at the Leicester School of Architecture. Heworked for the BBC for a decade as a design assistant and art director. In 2002 he was awarded an MBE for services to the British film industry.
BARBARA TULLIVER, A.C.E. (Editor) is proud of her long collaboration with David Mamet and her work with distinguished directors M. Night Shyamalan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Gregory Mosher and James Lapine. Since 1990, Tulliver has edited all of Mamet’s films including Homicide, which opened the New York and Cannes Film festivals; Oleanna, The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy, State and Main, Heist, and Spartan. She also edited the television adaptation of Mamet’s acclaimed theatre production Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants, and an installment of the Samuel Beckett series featuring Sir John Gielgud’s last performance in the short Catastrophe.
Tulliver’s additional credits include M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, Paul Thomas Anderson’s debut film Hard Eight, James Lapine’s Earthly Possessions, and A Life in Theatre directed by Gregory Mosher and starring Jack Lemmon.
With more than 85 films to his credit, JAMES NEWTON HOWARD (Composer) is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and prolific composers. He has received six Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and one Grammy nomination. In addition, he has won 21 ASCAP Awards for film and television shows scored from 1994 to 2002. His credits include films as diverse as The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Fugitive, Pretty Woman, Prince of Tides, Grand Canyon, Dave, Primal Fear, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Devil’s Advocate, Collateral and The Village, for which James received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score in 2005.
Howard attended the Santa Barbara Musical Academy of the West, the School of Music at University of Southern California, and completed his formal education with orchestration study under legendary arranger Marty Paich. Though his training was classical, he nurtured an interest in rock and pop. It was his early work in the pop arena that really honed his talents as songwriter, musician, arranger, producer and composer.
He spent two years doing session work for performers such as Carly Simon, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Leo Sayer, Harry Nilsson and Melissa Manchester, along with recording two solo albums. In 1975, he joined Elton John’s band on the road and in studio, doing orchestrations and string arrangements. While working with the London Symphony as part of his arrangements for Elton John’s Blue Moves album, Howard was first introduced to a big orchestra and rhythm section, a combination he has continued to explore in many of his film scores.
Having become one of the most sought-after musicians in the industry as a songwriter, record producer, conductor, keyboardist and film composer, he racked up a string of collaborations in the studio with some of pop’s biggest names, including producing tracks for Randy Newman, Rickie Lee Jones, Chaka Khan and Glen Frey; arranging for Barbra Streisand; orchestrating for Toto and Olivia Newton-John as well as co-producing (with Elton John) one of her songs; co-writing with Earth Wind and Fire and session work with Bob Seger and Rod Stewart.
Howard’s most recent film projects include Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins, Joe Roth’s Freedomland, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, and Barry Sonnenfeld’s RV. His current and upcoming projects include Scott Frank’s The Lookout and Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton.
BETSY HEIMANN (Costume Designer) has worked on some of the most acclaimed films of the past decade including Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky. The Chicago native is also a favorite of Brett Ratner, having collaborated with him on Red Dragon and The Family Man. Heimann also designed the wardrobe for Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez; as well as the television series Karen Sisco, produced by Danny De Vito and starring Carla Gugino.
More recently, Heimann designed the wardrobe for Terry Zwigoff’s Art School Confidential, staring John Malkovich, and Uma Thurman’s costumes in Be Cool. She is currently working on Rush Hour 3.