The Big Lebowski: About The Filmmakers

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JOEL COEN (Director/Screenwriter) was honored as Best Director of 1996 for Fargo by the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review. The screenplay for the film, which he co-wrote with his brother Ethan won an Academy Award and a Writer's Guild Award as Best Original Screenplay of 1996. Frances McDormand won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the film.

In 1991, Joel was named Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Barton Fink. The film also garnered the Palme D Or Award for Best Picture and a Best Actor Award for John Turturro. Barton Fink was also honored with two New York Film Critics Circle Awards (Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography), three Academy Award nominations (Best Supporting Actor, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design), and one Golden Globe nomination (Best Supporting Actor).

Joel attended New York University Film School, and shortly thereafter began his career as an assistant editor, working on several low-budget horror films, including Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. It was during this period that he and brother Ethan wrote their first feature film, the stylish crime drama Blood Simple, which Joel subsequently directed and Ethan produced.

The film appeared on several top ten lists of 1985, including Time, The Washington Post and USA Today. Blood Simple was also honored as one of the Best Films of the Year by the National Board of Review.

Joel's subsequent feature film directorial and co-writing credits include Raising Arizona (1987), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) and Fargo.

Princeton University graduate ETHAN COEN (Producer/ Screenwriter) produced and co-wrote with his brother Joel Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy (co-written with director/writer Sam Raimi) and Fargo.

Ethan's first producing credit was Blood Simple, the brothers stylish crime thriller, which appeared on several prestigious ten-best lists for 1985. Next was Raising Arizona, a blend of screwball comedy and action melodrama, which introduced a broader audience to the brothers unique filmmaking style; Miller's Crossing, a 1930s-style gangster film, which opened the 1990 New York Film Festival; Barton Fink, which won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, as well as two New York Film Critics Awards, three Oscar nominations and one Golden Globe nomination; The Hudsucker Proxy, which played at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival; and Fargo, one of 1996's most honored films, winning Academy Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actress.

Producers TIM BEVAN and ERIC FELLNER have a portfolio of more than 35 films to their credit. Bevan is one of the founders of Working Title Films, which recently won two Oscars for the Gramercy release Fargo, as well as making the recent world-wide blockbuster Bean . Fellner was formerly owner of Initial Films and Television. Their partnership as co-chairmen of Working Title Films began in 1992 with the backing of entertainment industry colossus PolyGram.

Bevan and Fellner both have their roots in low budget British Features. In 1985, Bevan produced My Beautiful Laundrette, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Daniel Day Lewis. He has subsequently produced over 20 features, including A World Apart, The Tall Guy, Drop Dead Fred, Map of the Human Heart and Tim Robbins Bob Roberts. Fellner's first film as a producer was Alex Cox's controversial Sid and Nancy, starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, in 1985. He went on to produce nearly a dozen more features, including Pascali's Island and Hidden Agenda, before joining forces with Bevan.

Working Title has produced the Oscar winners Fargo and Dead Man Walking, as well as the Best Picture nominee Four Weddings and a Funeral which has grossed over $240 million worldwide. Among its other productions are the Coen Brothers The Hudsucker Proxy, French Kiss, Panther, Loch Ness, Moonlight & Valentino and Posse.

JOHN CAMERON (Co-Producer) has been associated with Joel and Ethan Coen for many years having first met the brothers during his early career with writer/director Sam Raimi. Prior to serving as Line Producer on Fargo, Cameron was first assistant director for the Coens The Hudsucker Proxy, which Raimi co-wrote with the brothers.

Cameron, an original member of the Detroit Group of filmmakers started making 8mm films with Raimi and actor/producer Bruce Campbell in 1973, when the trio were sophomores in high school. After attending NYU film school, Cameron rejoined Raimi and Campbell for Raimi's The Evil Dead. Since then Cameron has produced Moontrap, which starred Bruce Campbell and Lunatics: A Love Story, which Campbell produced and Raimi executive produced. Additionally, Cameron served as first assistant director on many of Sam Raimi's films including The Quick and the Dead, Army of Darkness, Darkman and Crimewave.

Cameron's recent feature film credits as first assistant director include Barry Sonnenfeld's summer blockbuster Men In Black, Wesley Strick's The Tie That Binds and Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused.

Cameron recently directed an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, guest starring Bruce Campbell and executive produced by Sam Raimi, and will be returning to direct additional episodes in the near future.

Cameron is currently producing Rushmore, starring Bill Murray, for Touchstone Pictures.

The Big Lebowski marks the fourth film collaboration between ROGER DEAKINS and the Coen brothers, following Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy and Barton Fink.

Deakins was nominated for Academy Award for work on Fargo. He won Best Cinematography awards for Barton Fink from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Shawshank Redemption. He most recently photographed Martin Scorcese's Kundun on location in Morocco.

Roger Deakins worked as a still photographer before enrolling in Britain's National Film School in 1972 where he cultivated a relationship with fellow student Michael Radford, subsequently working as director of photography on three Radford films, White Mischief, 1984" and Another Time, Another Place.

Deakins other motion picture credits include The Secret Garden, Passion Fish, Thunderheart, Homicide, The Long Walk Home, Air America, Mountains of the Moon, Stormy Monday, Pascali's Island, The Kitchen Toto, Shadey, Defense of the Realm, Sid & Nancy, The Innocent and Dead Man Walking.

Deakins credits for British television include The House, Return to Waterloo and Walcott. He also photographed several feature documentaries, When the World Changed, Welcome to Britain, Zimbabwe, Around the World with Ridgeway and Eritrea: Behind the Lines.

Music is also a special interest for Deakins. Among his music documentaries are Blue Suede Shoes and Van Morrison in Ireland. His Herbie Hancock video Rock It won the award for Best Video at the 1985 Cannes Music Festival. He has also shot videos for Eric Clapton, Marvin Gaye, Tracey Ullman, Madness, Level 42 and Meat Loaf, among others.

Producer Designer RICK HEINRICHS career runs the gap from sculpting, animation and visual effects to set design and art direction. He was instrumental in the development and use of alternative forms of animation, including 3-D stop motion animation, which was developed through his association with director Tim Burton on the award-winning short subject Vincent and Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas for which Heinrichs served as visual consultant.

Heinrichs served as production designer on Joel and Ethan Coens Fargo and on Showtime's Fallen Angels, which consisted of individual directorial contributions from Peter Bogdanovich, Agnieszka Holland, Steven Soderbergh and John Dahl, among others.

Heinrich's credits as art director include Tall Tale, The Last Action Hero and Batman Returns. He served as assistant art director on Soapdish and as set designer on The Fisher King, Edward Scissorhands, Joe Versus the Volcano and Ghostbusters II.

Additional film credits include work as a visual effect consultant on Beetlejuice, models and miniatures supervisor on Nutcracker: the Motion Picture, and stop motion animator on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.

Born in San Rafael, California, Heinrichs attended Boston University's School of Fine Arts where he majored in sculpture and graduated with a B.F.A. He also studied at New York's School of Visual Arts and at the Disney-funded California Institute of the Arts.

In 1979, he joined Disney's WED Enterprises, working on sculpting audio-animatronic figures for themes parks, moving later to the company's animation department.

MARY ZOPHRES (Costume Designer) created the costumes for Fargo. Among her other credits are Paulie, starring Tony Shaloub and Gena Rowlands, Playing God, starring David Duchovney, Tim Hutton's directorial debut Digging To China, starring Kevin Bacon, Kingpin starring Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray, Last of the High Kings, starring Gabriel Byrne and Catherine O Hara, and Dumb and Dumber, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. PCU, with David Spade marked her first outing as a feature film costume designer.

A graduate of Vassar with a B.A. in art history and studio art, Zophres began her career working in the fashion industry for designers Norma Kamali and Esprit. She next served as extras wardrobe supervisor on Born on the Fourth of July, and subsequently served as assistant costume designer for a string of films, including Young Guns II, City Slickers, Radio Flyer, Jennifer 8, This Boy's Life, Dave, Joel and Ethan Coens The Hudsucker Proxy and Natural Born Killers.

CARTER BURWELL (Composer) has written the music for all of the Coen brothers films: Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona and Blood Simple.

Burwell's other film scores include Conspiracy Theory, The Jackal, The Locusts, The Celluloid Closet and Fear.

Burwell's work in the theater includes the chamber opera The Celestial Alphabet Event, Ariel Dorfman's play Widows, and Mabou Mines 1994 production Mother.

As a vocalist, accordionist and synthesist, Burwell has performed with the Harmonic Choir, Big Joe and the Litwinski Ensemble in New York City as well as in France, Italy, Germany and Australia.

Recordings of Burwell's work as available on Virgin, MCA Records, Varese Sarabande Records, Factory Records and Les Disques du Crepescule.

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