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HOTEL FOR DOGS.doc Powered By Docstoc
					                                   “We had to protect the dogs. We did exactly what
                                   we were supposed to do. If we had to do it over
                                   again, I’d do the exact same thing.”
                                                            - Bruce (Jake T Austin)

       In the family comedy-adventure “Hotel for Dogs,” Andi (Emma Roberts)
and her younger brother, Bruce (Jake T Austin) live in a strictly no-pets
household and are fast running out of ways to keep their perpetually hungry dog,
Friday, under wraps. When they accidentally stumble on an abandoned hotel that
is already home to a couple of resourceful strays, Andi has an idea. She taps
Bruce’s mechanical genius for turning everyday objects into mechanical marvels,
and, with the help of their friends in the neighborhood, transform the down-and-
out hotel into a magical dog paradise - not only for Friday, but for every stray they
can find.
       But when the barking dogs make the neighbors and the suddenly out-of-
work local dog catchers suspicious, Andi and Bruce have to use every invention
at their disposal to prevent them from finding out “who let the dogs in.”
       Besides Roberts and Austin, “Hotel for Dogs” features a comedy
ensemble that includes Kyla Pratt, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle in

this smart, funny family adventure that demonstrates just how far love and
imagination can take you.
       Dreamworks Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies Present In Association with
Cold Spring Pictures A Donners’ Company/Montecito Picture Company
Production “Hotel For Dogs” starring Emma Roberts, Jake T Austin, Kyla Pratt,
with Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle. The film is directed by Thor
Freudenthal from a screenplay by Jeff Lowell and Bob Schooley & Mark
McCorkle. Based on the book by Lois Duncan. The film is produced by Lauren
Shuler Donner, Jonathan Gordon, Ewan Leslie and Jason Clark. The executive
producers are Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock and Jeffrey Clifford. The director of
photography is Michael Grady. The production designer is William Sandell. The
film is edited by Sheldon KahnACE+ The costumes are designed by Beth
Pasternak, CD.G. The music is by John Debney. This film has been rated PG for
brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor.


       Andi (Emma Roberts) and her younger brother Bruce (Jake T Austin) have
a secret - a furry, adorable and always hungry Jack Russell Terrier named
Friday. When they can no longer keep their beloved pet in their small apartment,
with a strict no-dogs allowed policy, the siblings will do whatever it takes to make
a new home for him.
       That’s the premise of “Hotel for Dogs,” an inventive urban fairy tale based
on Lois Duncan’s beloved children’s book. Passionate dog-lover, activist and film
producer Lauren Shuler Donner felt the book’s strong message about the
importance of family - however unconventional it may be - made the novel an
ideal property to bring to the big screen.
       What stood out for her was the fact that the story presented ample
opportunities for humor and adventure. “‘Hotel for Dogs’ is as much an adventure
as it is a comedy. Andi and Bruce have to ingeniously find a way to hide their
own dog, Friday, and eventually, every stray dog they come across,” says Shuler

Donner. “The more dogs they rescue, the more dangerous it becomes for them.
So Bruce has to keep coming up with new inventions to keep the dogs happy
and quiet.”
       The comedy, she continues, “comes from the dogs’ personalities and
interactions - like one who likes to chew everything and the dog who howls if he
can’t look out the window, which all become running jokes that get funnier and
funnier. I sensed that working with the dogs would give rise to some happy
accidents on the set - and I was right. And then, of course, there were the fun
machines Bruce puts together from stuff the rest of us would regard as junk.
They’re all so clever, you just have to laugh in appreciation.”
       “As you can tell,” laughs Shuler Donner,” I’m a big dog lover. My husband
and I rescue dogs. We have three now. So, right away, that part of the story
spoke to me.
       “And I love kids as well,” she continues. “These kids cause a bit of havoc
because they are willing to do anything to stick together. Until these dogs come
into their lives, they are afraid to connect to anyone else. When they set out to
fight the system and rescue the dogs, they ultimately end up being saved
       “There’s a key scene in the film in which Andi tells her brother that they
really should find Friday a real family, and he insists that they are a real family,”
she says. “Eventually they adopt all these dogs and they do become the real
family he’s talking about. So family is where you find it, family is the gathering of
those closest to you.”
       Making his feature-film directorial debut, filmmaker Thor Freudenthal was
drawn to the way the film’s themes spoke to the importance of a sense of
belonging. “It draws an interesting parallel between the kids and the dogs,” says
Freudenthal. “Although I was aware that it was a risk to jump into directing my
first feature working with both kids and animals, I recognized the importance and
relevance of the story and thought it was worth it.”
       Producer Jason Clark had worked with Freudenthal on both “Stuart Little”
movies, for which Freudenthal served as lead storyboard artist. His ability to

produce CGI characters with lifelike personalities and emotion told Clark that
Freudenthal’s acute attention to visual detail made him a perfect candidate to
direct “Hotel for Dogs.”
       “I was fascinated by Thor’s creativity and his ability to create characters
and moments that rely on visuals rather than dialogue,” explains Clark. “I knew
he would be able to imbue the dog characters with qualities we would all fall in
love with.”
       Shuler Donner was determined that “Hotel for Dogs” stand out from other
family movies visually and believes that Freudenthal’s experience in animation
gave him a unique edge. “We viewed a short film he directed and, within three
minutes, we knew he was the guy,” she says. “It was the way he framed shots,
the way he moved the camera, the use of color, the use of light. He’s very
visually savvy and very specific.
       “And we wanted to make sure we had somebody who got along well with
kids, who wasn’t too intimidating or gruff,” the producer continues. “He’s a real
sweetheart and the kids took to him right away.”
       Executive producer Ivan Reitman observes that Freudenthal’s work has a
special feeling that will set the film apart from more run-of-the-mill family fare.
“‘Hotel for Dogs’ is a great story and very funny,” he says. “It’s a terrific idea and
we wanted someone who could tell the story in a way that would appeal to an
entire family - to parents, adults and teenagers, as well as to kids.”
       Shuler Donner adds: “Our mandate was that this had to be a film that
parents like just as much as the kids. You laugh a lot and maybe you do cry a
few times, but it never crosses over to the gooey side. The kids and animals are
on a wild adventure and having fun. The dogs are so cute, the kids are so
engaging and the inventions are so clever, that the parents will enjoy it.”
       Adds producer Ewan Leslie, “One of the things we loved about Thor was
his whimsical approach to the movie. As an artist, he wanted to create a world
that was grounded but still visually captivating to parents and kids. He was very
interested in creating mood and character using color and texture, and he
focused on the tiniest details that the rest of us might have missed. There were

several ideas that Thor really fought for that the rest of the team didn’t think were
as important. Thor was often right, and that attention to detail elevated the movie
way beyond your average family fare.”
       The secret ingredient in “Hotel for Dogs,” according to Reitman, is that in
addition to being very funny, it has a deep emotional core. “These days it’s kind
of refreshing to see a story like this told in live action, rather than in animated
form,” he says. “It’s a bit of a throwback to the great family movies of the ‘60s and
‘70s, like “The Nutty Professor” and “The Shaggy Dog.” There’s something
special and magical going on.”
       Clark concurs: “I’m sure it will make audiences laugh, but it will also
engage them emotionally. I see the heart of this movie as the real connection
between these two lonely kids and the animals. Ultimately, there is something
very real at stake here and that’s a strong reason to root for these kids to
succeed. The movie is funny, exciting and has real heart, so I think it will work
with audiences of all ages.”


       For the central role of Andi, the fast-talking, protective older sister, the
filmmakers chose rising young star Emma Roberts. “We basically needed to find
someone who could carry a whole movie,” says Freudenthal. “To find someone
who can do that at such a young age is extremely difficult. Emma came in and
was amazingly professional. She understands the language of filmmaking and it
was impressive to witness her level of professionalism and preparedness. She
makes it look so easy on film.”
       “Finding the right actress to play Andi was very important because the
character has to be tough and protective of her brother but also vulnerable and
very sympathetic,” says producer Leslie. “Emma is one of those young actors
whose face just lights up the screen and she has the ability to play a wide range
of emotions without any dialogue. The camera just loves her.”

       “Emma is fabulous,” says Shuler Donner. “When it came to the dramatic
scenes, she nailed them. What I didn’t expect was her sweetness, the way she
cares for Jake Austin, her co-star, and in the movie, the way she cares for her
brother, Bruce. Her heart grounds the movie.”
       “Emma has star dust,” says Clark. “She is an incredible and charismatic
actress who can play the range of this part because Andi is someone who is
always hiding her pain in an upbeat, optimistic and glib way. Emma can act the
con man, but she also allows you to see underneath to the real pathos of a kid
looking for a real home.”
      Roberts was excited by the role, especially the character’s emotional
growth during the course of the film. “Andi is definitely a bit of a tomboy but is
cautious and very protective of her little brother, Bruce. Through this adventure,
the dogs and the new friends they make, they get something they’ve never had
      “Both Andi and her brother have great strength of character because
they’ve had to take care of themselves and figure out how to navigate life on their
own,” notes Freudenthal. “While she really wants to be a conventional teenager,
what Andi ultimately learns is to be proud of who she is.”
      To play Bruce, Andi’s little brother and the movie’s master inventor, the
filmmakers conducted a nationwide search for an actor who was fun and could
emphasize the whimsical side of this boy genius. They found their Bruce in Jake
T Austin.
      Producer Clark remembers meeting Jake and recognizing qualities in him
that perfectly suited Bruce. “Jake came in really late in the casting process after
we had seen close to 80 boys and he was amazing on every level. He played the
emotional beats very well, felt the role and also understood timing. When there
was a joke or comedic line, he always understood when to give or to hold back.”
      Austin had just the right combination of innocence and wisdom we were
looking for, according to Shuler Donner. “We needed someone who was a little
lost and looking to his sister for guidance and yet super-smart, so that you

believe he can concoct all these inventions. Jake is right on the cusp of
something. He has a sort of savvy without being precocious.”
       Although Bruce is a mechanical genius, director Freudenthal adds, he still
had to have a particular level of whimsy. “Jake has a glint in his eye and a way of
looking at something in front of him and instantly understanding it. He is
someone who lives in his head, wants to learn constantly and thinks in ways
other kids his age might not.”
       For his part, Austin says he enjoyed inhabiting the character. “I really had
to visualize and imagine what it was like to be Bruce and be a bit shy and nerdy.
He was different from any other character I’ve played so far.”
       Joining Roberts and Austin are three other young actors, who help them
transform the abandoned hotel into a home for four-legged creatures. The
characters of Dave and Heather, two local pet store employees, are played by
Johnny Simmons (“Evan Almighty”) and Kyla Pratt (“Fat Albert”). Mark, a
comically awkward teenager who works at a nearby market and befriends Andi
and Bruce, is portrayed by Troy Gentile, who previously appeared in such
comedies as “Nacho Libre” and “Drillbit Taylor.”
       In the film, Andi and Bruce’s social worker, Bernie, is their most
dependable adult lifeline. “Bernie bridges the gap to the adult world,” explains
Freudenthal. “He is their anchor. He’s a disciplinarian, someone they take very
seriously but also have a rapport with.”
       Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle was intrigued by the dynamic
between Bernie and the kids. “When I read the script, I appreciated the way my
character talked to the kids, because that’s how I talk to my kids, pretty straight-
up and honest.”
       The relationship between Cheadle and his younger co-stars mirrored that
of their characters, according to Emma Roberts. “Bernie and Don are a lot alike
because Don is very sweet and, when he talks to you, he doesn’t talk down
because you’re a kid. He talks and laughs with you the same way that Bernie
does with Andi and Bruce.”

       Cheadle was at the top of the producer’s wish list for the role, says Shuler
Donner. “It turned out his daughter is a big fan of Emma Roberts,” she says. “And
he had done enough serious movies recently that he felt comfortable putting
some lighter fare into the mix. We were very lucky. I mean, you could literally
hand Don the phone book and he would give it intent and make it believable. He
was just amazing. And the kids rose to the occasion. He made them even better.”
       For Reitman, Cheadle’s presence brought what he calls “the weight of
credibility and intelligence to this very frothy tale. He’s a very serious presence
and it was wonderful just to watch him work. What happens because of his acting
skills, everyone around him, even the dogs, become better. There’s a truth and
reality that takes over as soon as he steps on to the set.”
       Cheadle, who has two young daughters himself, also appreciated the fact
that “Hotel for Dogs” was a family film that both parents and kids could enjoy.
“You don’t want to make a movie that parents are going to sleep through -
although those can be nice too because you get that ‘day nap’ in.”
       The heads of Andi and Bruce’s household, Lois (Lisa Kudrow) and Carl
Scudder (Kevin Dillon), are aging musicians desperately holding on to the dream
of becoming rock stars. Unfortunately, they fail to recognize their complete
ineptitude for creating music, with hilarious results.
       “In his mind, Carl is the total package of a rock star,” says Freudenthal.
“He’s completely delusional. Lois, who is a bit deluded herself, probably met Carl
when he was a roadie and believed they could someday make it. They’re holding
onto that dream for dear life.”
       Lisa Kudrow agreed to come on board after reading the script and
discussing the project with Freudenthal. “I loved it and thought there was
something different about this project,” explains Kudrow. “I got really excited after
meeting Thor and hearing his take on how the film would look visually. When I
came to the set and watched how it was being shot, I appreciated and
understood what kind of beautiful and magical storybook movie this was going to
       Lois and Carl’s musical skills can best be summed up as nonexistent,

says the actress. “We can only be described as a ‘band’ because Carl plays the
guitar and I have a Casio that can play many instruments at the same time. They
are not very good. In fact, their level of talent goes beyond bad to pathetic. It was
fun to be that bad because there’s pressure when you’re supposed to be good,
but it’s all fun when you’re that bad.”
       Kevin Dillon jumped at the chance to fill the shoes of the narcissistic rock
god wannabe Carl Scudder. Scudder, he says, is a character he could really
have fun with, someone who is sincerely convinced he’s destined for greatness.
“I think the reason Carl hasn’t made it is mostly because all the songs he writes
are about himself,” say the actor. “Even if he attempts to do an issue song, it
ends up revolving around him in some way.”
       The comedic chemistry between Kudrow and Dillon came as no surprise
to the filmmakers. The duo truly enjoyed playing off each other. “When I heard
that Kevin was playing my husband, I knew it was going to be good. He is
absolutely hilarious; every time he opens his mouth I have to fight to not laugh,”
says Kudrow.
       “I’ve loved working with Lisa,” says Dillon, returning the compliment. “We
bounced off each other very well and came up with some really interesting
moments that weren’t on the page. She’s a lot of fun and her character is a real
crack up.”
       While the Scudders are by no means great guardians, Kudrow and Dillon
bring a playfulness to their characters that draws audience sympathy, notes
producer Jonathan Gordon. “The way Kevin and Lisa play the Scudders, you
have to love them. You never feel the kids are in real jeopardy and, in reality,
they’re giving the kids a way of staying together.”


       Andi and Bruce’s beloved Friday is tough for them to keep under wraps.
Friday’s inability to resist any kind of food makes him conspicuous at extremely
inconvenient moments. “Friday always wants to eat and has a very strong will. If

you tell him no, he goes for what he wants anyway,” says Freudenthal. “This
constantly gets the kids in trouble, but ultimately, he’s the harbinger of good
       “I love all the dogs in “Hotel for Dogs” and there are lots of them,” says
Reitman. “But Friday is probably my favorite. He has this wonderful intelligence in
his eyes.”
       The canine actor playing Friday is actually a rescue dog named Cosmo.
“We tried to use as many rescues as possible and then find homes for them,”
says Shuler Donner. “We wanted dogs that would connect. We were looking for
dogs with the most personality, the most interesting quirks, not the most
       Those “quirks” helped to create characters with their own distinct
personalities. Since the filmmakers had decided against using any special
effects, the challenge was finding different ways to distinguish the dogs from
each other. “The question we asked ourselves was, how can we take the
audience on a journey where we meet distinct characters who don’t speak
throughout the movie?” recalls producer Clark. “Recognition and believability
were important to us. We wanted the dogs to show who they really are, real
animals with strong characters.”
       To prepare the canines for their complicated roles and stunts, Mark
Forbes of Birds and Animals Unlimited, one of Hollywood’s premier trainers, was
brought on board. Forbes appreciated the story’s acknowledgment of the strong
connection between people and animals. But he was also aware of the
challenges the film would present.
       “When I read the script for the first time, my initial reaction was both sheer
terror and excitement, because I knew it would be a really fun project to work on,”
says Forbes. “It is a great story about making a place for yourself and your loved
ones in the world.”
       In addition to Friday, several other dogs become permanent “guests” at
the hotel. The filmmakers selected nine “hero” dogs to play these key roles.
       Lenny and Georgia are the original inhabitants of the hotel. Lenny, a 160-

pound Bull Mastiff, is a gentle giant who watches over Georgia, a feisty Boston
Terrier who is small in size but large in personality. The dogs’ personal quirks
inspire Andi and Bruce to come up with novel ways to entertain them.
          “Lenny’s biggest concern is that he get a view of the outside world, so he
always wants the windows open,” explains Forbes. “If Lenny doesn’t have a view
or an open window, he starts howling, which jeopardizes the secrecy of the
whole operation.”
          Georgia, Lenny’s partner-in-crime, is a compulsive fetcher. “Georgia must
always be chasing after something, picking it up and bringing it back to
somebody so they can throw it again,” says the trainer. “Bruce ends up inventing
a fetching machine for her so she can play all day long.”
          “Georgia seems to be the kids’ favorites because she’s cute and little and
she’ll fetch anything,” says Shuler Donner. “She’s got a really sweet face and a
personality to go with it.”
          Cooper, Shep and Romeo, the three dogs from the pet store that Dave
begs Andi to adopt, each have their own peculiar habits that have prevented
them from finding homes. Cooper, an English Bulldog with loads of personality,
compulsively chews up anything in sight. “Cooper will chew drywall, license
plates, shoes, you name it,” explains Forbes. “He’ll chew his way out of his
          Reitman describes Cooper as the natural comedian of the pack. “There’s
just such a scale to him - his weight and the jowliness of his face make me laugh
every time I see him.”
          Cooper seems destined to win a lot of hearts in this movie, says Shuler
Donner, who recalls his first experience with one of the movie’s signature
gadgets: “We set up treadmills and we hung bones on the treadmills to keep the
dogs walking forward. The other dogs were trying to get the proper gait, but when
Cooper saw the bone at the end of his treadmill, he was way over the end of it,
going after that bone. It wasn’t planned, but it’s in the movie and it is so funny. He
just has a little mind of his own. So I liked him a lot.”
          Shep, an energetic Border Collie, has no control over his herding instincts.

“Shep loves to shepherd and order people around by circling them,” says director
Freudenthal. “In the end, he helps gather all the various dogs and steers them in
the right direction when they lost.”
       The inappropriately named Romeo is a Chinese Crested, a breed that is
hairless except for a tousled topknot. “What can you say about Romeo?” asks
Forbes. “He doesn’t possess the most beautiful face you’ve ever seen, but he
doesn’t know that. He falls in love with the beautiful Juliet, and that makes for
quite an interesting match.”
       Juliet is an ungroomed Poodle the kids rescue from the grips of the dog
catchers who are about to haul her off to the pound. “Once the kids take Juliet
back to the hotel and groom her, she comes out looking like the Bo Derek of the
dog world, and Romeo chases her all the way through the hotel up to the rooftop,
where they fall in love,” says Forbes.
       “Romeo starts out a timid pooch given to hiding under tables and is not
particularly confident,” says Freudenthal. “He becomes emboldened when he
meets Juliet and his romantic instincts really kick into gear. His is a classic case
of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ because he possesses a romantic nature that
you don’t see at first glance.”
       Last, but not least is Henry, an intimidating Beauceron(a French breed
that looks like a cross between a Doberman and a Rotweiler) with the gentle soul
of a pacifist. As Forbes, the animal trainer explains, “In the story, Henry had an
owner who wanted him to be a guard dog, which really didn’t suit his personality.
The kids rescue him and bring him to the hotel. He starts gaining confidence and
ends up helping the kids through a really sticky situation.”
       The first step in bringing these distinctive dog “actors” to the screen was
casting them. “As far as putting personality into a dog on screen, you can do it
somewhat with behavior and the other types of activities they perform on screen,”
explains Forbes. “But it’s hard to make a dog act differently than he or she really
is. In the end, the animal’s real personality will emerge. It’s not as if you can ask
them to read the script and give their comments to the filmmakers; so finding the
right dog for each particular role was our primary responsibility.”

       With Forbes’ help, the filmmakers went through a catalog of breeds to
determine the identity of each of the hero dogs. “We wanted to make all the dogs
look different in size, as well as color and facial structure, so that their look
suggested their personality,” says Freudenthal. “After all, you can’t talk to the dog
about his motivation, so the face has to read easily and express who each dog
       “I automatically gravitated toward either the smaller ones or the really big
ones to create contrast,” continues Freudenthal. “In both the Romeo and Juliet
relationship, as well as the one between Lenny and Georgia, I think we ended up
with a really good matchup.”
       To fill out the extensive cast of dogs - about 70 in total, the filmmakers
selected a variety of breeds, mostly mixed, plus several pure-breeds. “Each of
them has his own story,” says producer Leslie. “Within a couple of months, we
trained them all to do everything that was needed for the movie. It’s pretty
       In a classic example of life imitating art, roughly two-thirds of the dogs
used in the film were rescues. The lead dog, Cosmo, and his two doubles, who
all brilliantly play Friday, were rescued within six months prior to shooting.
       Producer Leslie, a devoted animal activist, works with Karma Rescue, an
organization that finds adoptive homes for abandoned and homeless dogs. With
the help of a donation from DreamWorks Pictures, he was able to rescue and
find homes for 14 dogs throughout pre-production and filming. Several crew
members adopted dogs or helped find some of them new homes.
       “We saved quite a few dogs, and are hoping it will inspire others to adopt
a dog,” he says. “One of the most amazing things about rescued dogs is they’re
just so grateful that you’ve come along and saved them. When they find a loving
home, they’re so grateful to have somebody that they are truly the best dogs in
the world.”


       To prepare for the extensive on-camera action required of his canine
charges, Forbes and his team of trainers began working with the “hero” dogs 16
weeks prior to the start of production. For the “green” hero dogs - rescues with no
prior training - the process was broken down into four-week phases. In the first
phase, the dogs were taught basic commands such as “sit” and “lie down,” as
well as how to hit a mark with front feet on a big block. The second phase
focused on more sophisticated commands like retrieving, waving and finding
ways to pull behavioral traits out of the individual dogs to create a performance.
       “The way a dog rolled on his back with his paws in the air might suggest
laughter,” says Clark. “Or a dog might have body language that expresses
sadness, like tucking its tail between its legs with his shoulders and ears down.
The second level of training was finding these behaviors and defining how they
establish the character.”
       The last phase was to take the dogs into various public places to train and
review the commands. “At this stage in the training, the dogs were taken to
shopping malls, parks and other public arenas, because there was no other way
to recreate the atmosphere of a movie set.” notes Forbes. “You want the dogs to
sense that everything is fine and they’ll still get their treat regardless of the
location. The set becomes just another place for them to go.”
       When basic training was complete, Forbes’ team focused on the specific
actions required of each dog. “It takes quite a bit of organization just to figure out
how to get each dog to do what he’s supposed to do,” he explains. “We have to
take the script and turn it into dog language. Then we can slowly train the dogs
so they understand what they’re supposed to do. Each scene becomes all about
how many shots it will take to create it and each dog is reminded of what it has to
do right before the shot, because they can’t possibly remember it the next day.”
       Another important part of the training included working with the actors to
familiarize them with how the dogs behave and create a comfort level between
the human and the dog actors. “A lot of times, the training with the actors is
more for the actors than for the dogs, because it teaches them to relate to
whoever they’re working with in the scene,” Forbes explains.

        “Working with the actors before the shoot also helps familiarize them with
what goes into training and working an animal on set,” Forbes continues. “The
actor may have to give the dog a treat a few times, or there may be a trainer right
off his or her eye line who’s jumping up and down and waving to the dog, so it
can be a little distracting.”
        “We wanted to give the actors and dogs an opportunity to develop a
relationship and it’s been wonderful to see,” says producer Clark. “These dogs
have become these kids’ dogs and when the camera cuts, you can see that
they’re deeply in love with these animals. They became a family and you’ll be
able to see that close relationship in the film.”
        The experience was an eye-opener for Roberts, who had never shared
the screen with a four-legged co-star. “Working with all the dogs definitely takes a
lot more patience than you’d think, because even if we do it right, if the dog
wasn’t right, then the take was bad. Sometimes the dog will do the scene
perfectly and other times they’ll just start wandering around. You forget
sometimes and have to remind yourself that they’re dogs and can’t do exactly
what you ask them to do every time.”
        “On a normal set, there is a lot of quiet when actors are working, but when
there are dogs present, the trainers are doing everything including shouting,
jumping up and down or whistling, and that is distracting for any actor,” says
Clark. “Emma and Jake and all our actors did an amazing job at acclimating
themselves to that process and diving right in like the terrific performers they
        To prepare the dogs for using the various gadgets in the film, the special
effects department gave the trainers early mock-ups of the machines for the
trainers to work with. “Michael Lantieri and his effects team were great because
even if they didn’t have the machines ready,” observes Clark, “they got
something to us so we could get the dogs used to the machine months ahead of


       In “Hotel for Dogs,” the clever 11-year-old Bruce, ingeniously puts together
gadgets he assembles from discarded items he finds in the abandoned hotel to
keep the dogs happy, safe and fully entertained. “Up until this point, no one has
truly understood and appreciated Bruce’s talents, but in the hotel he finally gets
the attention and appreciation of all these kids around him,” notes Freudenthal.
       Academy Award-nominated special effects co-ordinator Michael Lantieri
was brought on board to build the ingenious contraptions Bruce devises to keep
the dogs engaged, healthy and hopefully quiet. “The two things that attracted me
to this particular project were the opportunity to build all these amazing gizmos
and my personal love of dogs,” recalls Lantieri. “One of the things I look for in a
project is whether or not whatever I’m building is a central part of the story and
with this film that was very much the case.”
       For Georgia, the Boston Terrier who loves to fetch and run, Bruce creates
the ultimate fetching machine, which Georgia can operate and enjoy all by
herself. The creation of this gizmo went through two model phases. The first was
a simple spring-loaded device that throws a ball and spoon down hallways, while
the second device was a bit more sophisticated. “This fetching machine uses a
bicycle and a hand from a mannequin. It is timed so that the wheels turn, and the
ball is magnetic so it sticks in the hand, which comes round and launches the
object so the dog can chase it,” explains Lantieri. “Things can seem simple when
you read them, but making it work on screen has to do with timing, the weight of
the ball and how the ball stays in the hand until you want it to move.
       In addition to making the complex inventions work, Lantieri and his team
faced the additional challenge of making them look as if they sprung from the
mind of a gifted 11-year-old boy. “Every gadget had to look as though Bruce was
capable of putting it together and, fortunately, over the years, I’ve been able to
assemble the best experts to match up with the intellect of a real 11-year-old,”
deadpans Lantieri.
       As if that weren’t enough, the inventions also needed to be created from

objects that might be found in an abandoned hotel. “We had many meetings over
what would be left behind in a hotel - in the laundry rooms, the kitchens and in
storage,” Lantieri says. “We tried to pick things that couldn’t be recognized as
new or store-bought but something that would be found up in the attic next to all
the old Christmas decorations, hotel supplies and other equipment.”
       For Shep, the Border Collie with an uncontrollable urge to herd, Bruce
creates a specially designed room. The herding room is a paradise for Shep. He
chases remote controlled sheep made out of fishing wire, oven mitts, cotton balls
and foam mounted on top of disassembled remote controlled cars. Lantieri and
his team particularly enjoyed this creation. “Initially, when I read the script, I
thought the sheep would be on wires, but once we got to actually radio-control
them, we raced them in the shop to test them. It became a sort of kindergarten
for adults.”
       “Michael Lantieri has been nominated for many Oscars,” notes producer
Gordon. “You can see him going to the ceremony in his tux and returning to his
workshop where he and his team are essentially building the ultimate dream
toys. It’s good to know that, in the process of destroying their parents’ homes for
the first 18 years of their lives, he and his crew finally found a creative outlet in
the movie business. They are the most brilliant kids you’ll ever meet.”
       For the door-knocking room, Lantieri gathered doors in specific colors and
architectural styles. The knockers were driven by air, springs and elastic bands,
which caused a boot to repeatedly knock on the door. “That is one of the funniest
rooms in the movie,” says Lantieri. “Having my own dog and knowing how crazy
and excited dogs can get when the doorbell rings or when someone knocks at
the door, it was hilarious to watch a pack of dogs reacting to multiple knocking
doors. It was total chaos and a lot of fun to watch.”
       Bruce creates another special room to satisfy one of the most common
canine habits. “We all know that dogs like to stick their heads out the window
while driving; it’s part of the fun of being a dog,” says Shuler Donner. “Bruce goes
into the basement and commandeers whatever he finds that’s useful, and with
old car doors, a projector and some strategically placed fans, the dogs get to

enjoy their ride.”
       For Cooper, the English Bulldog who chews anything he can get his teeth
on, a vending machine is transformed into a fantasy gadget. Filled with shoes
and various other chew toys, Bruce rigs the machine so that Cooper can step on
a lever and the machine drops a new toy on demand.
       To keep Friday and the other dogs fed when the kids are not around,
Bruce creates a feeding machine that is on a timed-release system that drops
food in the bowls through six hatches. Friday, with his insatiable hunger and
sharp intellect, soon figures out how to operate the machine and is able to eat
whenever he feels like it.
       When the hotel becomes populated with more “guests” as the kids begin
to rescue scores of strays off the city streets, Bruce builds a massive feeder that
can accommodate all the new arrivals. His pièce de résistance, the second
feeding machine is comprised of two long belts with bowls that are pulled down a
grand dining table by a toy train, with food dropping into each bowl. Lantieri had
to build a machine that was timed perfectly. “We worked on designs for the big
feeder for weeks to sort out all the details like the colors, the number of dishes
we could use, the table to slide it on and making certain that the train was
powerful enough to pull all the bowls out. Everything was done in steps and what
audiences will see is very simple and elegant, just like an 11-year-old had
created it.”
       Each bowl had to be filled with the exact right amount of food, no easy feat
since all the food is transferred from a giant bottle above, through chambers,
down a worm drive, through flaps, into each can and dumped into every bowl.
When the machine was complete, the dogs rehearsed with the machine to make
sure they were comfortable with the contraption. “We had to spend time with the
dogs getting them used to the noises the machine makes and its process,” notes
Lantieri. “The first dog at the table had to learn to watch all 50 filled-bowls pass
by without diving in. When we accomplished that, we thought it was a big
       A second unit was brought in to capture the extensive dog action

sequences and gadgetry. This team had the unique experience of working with
up to 60 dogs on any given day, recalls Clark. “They were asked to capture some
crazy action. They had a real ball, but on some days things got a bit deafening.
They were at the mercy of not only the dogs, but also their 60 trainers. It was a
very loud unit as you can imagine.”


       “I think part of the appeal of our movie is the wish-fulfillment aspect for
kids,” concludes producer Leslie. “After all, the hotel in our movie is the ultimate
‘fort’ or ‘tree-house.’ And what kid wouldn’t like to create a secret world where no
parents are allowed and go on top-secret missions with their friends? When I was
young, I really loved movies in which kids became empowered, and what’s more
empowering than a group of friends making their own hotel, saving dogs and
ultimately creating their own family?”
       From the beginning, “Hotel for Dogs” was never just a movie about dogs,
adds executive producer Reitman, but really a story about family. “For me, it was
really about how the kids take care of the dogs - lots and lots of dogs. People
have this experience with their pets that runs very, very deep. We have serious
relationships with our animals, particularly with dogs, because dogs have a way
of speaking to us and being part of our family that touches us. ‘Hotel for Dogs’
tries to capture the sense of what it means to have these wonderful animals as
part of our family.
       “I hope the people who come to see ‘Hotel for Dogs’ are totally knocked
out,” he continues. “It’s one of those films that resonates. I think it’s because of
how likeable the main characters are - particularly the dog characters. It’s so
much fun to watch them over and over again and it’s a great, moving, emotional


      EMMA ROBERTS (ANDI) starred as “Nancy Drew” in the big screen
adaptation of the classic teenage detective stories for Warner Bros. The film was
directed by Andrew Fleming and produced by Jerry Weintraub. Her performance
was applauded by critics and featured prominently in numerous magazines,
newspapers and television news programs across the world.
      In February 2009, Roberts will be seen in the Universal and Working Title
Films’ feature “Wild Child.” In the film, she plays a 16-year-old spoiled Malibu
princess who is sent to a strict, all-girls English boarding school by her father.
While there, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The film is directed by
Nick Moore.
      Roberts recently completed production in New York on the independent
film “The Winning Season” opposite Sam Rockwell. She portrays a member of a
local high school girls’ basketball team coached by a “has been” (Rockwell) who
is seeking redemption. The comedy is directed by James C Strouse.
      Additionally, Roberts received critical praise in the Toronto Film Festival
selection “Lymelife,” a “coming-of-age” drama honored with the International
Critics’ Award (Fipresci Prize) at the Festival. Directed by Derick Martini,
“Lymelife” also stars Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton, and Keiran and Rory Culkin.
      From 2004-2007, Roberts starred as Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon hit
comedy series “Unfabulous” created by Sue Rose. It was one of the highest
rated “tween” series on television. The show tells the story of a teenage girl who
must deal with the trials of growing up, fitting in and being popular. Addie relays
her teen angst through writing music and singing songs.
      Roberts has begun to make her mark in a short period of time. After her
very first audition, she booked the role of Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz’s
daughter in “Blow,” which was directed by the late Ted Demme for New Line
Cinema. Soon after, she starred in the Sundance short film “Big Love” directed
by Leif Tilden and starring Sam Rockwell. Roberts went on to play one of the
lead roles in the independent feature film “Grand Champion” opposite Joey

Lauren Adams and directed by Barry Tubb.
      After the successful premiere of “Unfabulous,” she starred in the Fox 2000
film “Aquamarine.” Based on the Alice Hoffman novel of the same name, it is the
story of two teen girls who discover a mermaid after their coastal town is ravaged
by a hurricane. The film was directed by Elizabeth Allan and produced by Susan
      Roberts has appeared on the covers of Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Elle Girl,
Teen Magazine, YM, Sweet Sixteen and Girl’s Life. She has been profiled in
Time, People and The New York Times, among others. Roberts was the face of
legendary handbag maker Dooney & Bourke. Her campaign ran exclusively in
Teen Vogue magazine.
      When not acting, Roberts enjoys singing, swimming, volleyball, or reading
and playing with her friends. She is originally from Rhinebeck, New York, and
now lives in Los Angeles with her family.

      JAKE T AUSTIN (BRUCE) stars as the youngest sibling, Max, who, along
with his brother and sister, inherits magical powers on the sitcom "Wizards of
Waverly Place." He also had a lead role in the Disney Channel Original Movie
"Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board."
      Austin will next be seen in "The Perfect Game," based on a true story
about a group of boys from Monterrey, Mexico, who become the first non-U.S.
team to win the Little League World Series.
      A voice-over actor, he can be heard in several TV series and films
including the lead in Nickelodeon's "Go, Diego, Go!," the feature animated films
"Everyone's Hero" and "The Ant Bully," as well as the musical CDs "Diego, Dora
& Friends Animal Jamboree Album" and "Dora's Fiesta Album."
      Born December 12, 1994 in New York, Austin currently lives in Los
Angeles with his family.

     After 14 years in the entertainment business, 22-year-old KYLA PRATT
(HEATHER) has already built an impressive resume with over 40 television

appearances, as well as a number of feature film credits to her name.
     Pratt had a major role in both “Dr Dolittle 4” and “Dr Dolittle 5,” reprising the
character of Maya, an 18-year-old who has acquired her father’s powers to speak
to animals.
     Prior to the “Dr Dolittle” sequels 1, 2 and 3, Pratt was seen as the female
lead in 20th Century Fox’s feature film hit, “Fat Albert.” The film was co-written by
creator Bill Cosby and co-starred SNL’s Kenan Thompson as Fat Albert, and was
directed by Joel Zwick. The movie was released on Christmas Day 2004.
       Pratt also starred in the lead role of Brianna in UPN’s top-rated “One-on-
One,” which completed its fifth and final season and is now in syndication.
       Pratt has received five NAACP Image Award nominations for her role as
“Penny Proud” on the Disney Channel’s highest-rated animated series “Proud
Family.” In the show, she stars opposite Tommy Davidson and Jo Marie Patton.
The “Proud Family” movie-of-the-week aired on the Disney Channel in early
2005. The show was voted most popular animated series in America and is also
a top favorite among kids on ABC’s Saturday morning line-up.
       Pratt began her career in 1995 after being cast in “The Babysitters Club,”
and has been on a roll ever since. In 1999, she was voted “Favorite Rising Star”
at the “Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.” The term “rising” was correct, by the
age of 12, Pratt had appeared in almost 20 supporting, guest-starring and
recurring roles on television shows such as “Friends,” “Touched by an Angel,”
“Smart Guy,” “Moesha” and “Veronica Mars,” to name just a few. Television
viewers may also recognize Kyla as the bold young girl from the Nike
commercials who gave advice to the WNBC players.
       She also has a very impressive list of motion picture credits and has
worked with some of the finest directors and actors in Hollywood. Her feature film
credits include “Barneys Great Adventure” directed by Steve Gomer; “Jackies
Back” directed by Robert Townsend; “Mad City” starring Dustin Hoffman and
John Travolta; “Love & Basketball” produced by Spike Lee; “Dr Dolittle” and “Dr
Dolittle 2” opposite Eddie Murphy. Her roles in both of the “Dr Dolittle” movies
earned her several NAACP Image Award nominations. Kyla also received a

nomination for Best Comedic Actress in an animated movie for “The Proud
Family” at the NAACP Image Awards 2006.
      When Pratt isn’t working, she enjoys dancing, singing, shopping, bowling
and hanging out with her friends. She also participates in many charitable events
including Challengers Boys & Girls Club fundraisers. She received an award for
Best Comedic Performance at the 2003 NAMIC Vision Awards and in the same
year she was honored with the Bethel Smith Positive Youth Image Award.
      Pratt resides in Los Angeles and is enrolled in several college courses.

      LISA KUDROW (LOIS SCUDDER) is an Emmy Award-winning actress
who continues to bring her original sense of comedic timing and delivery to every
role she takes on.
      Most recently, audiences saw her star in the independent film “Kabluey,”
which premiered at the Los Angeles and Hamptons Film Festivals, and in “P.S. I
Love You” with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler.
      Her upcoming films include the recently completed “Powder Blue” with
Forrest Whitaker and Ray Liotta, “Bandslam” for writer and director Todd Graff
and “Paper Man” with Jeff Daniels.
      In addition to her Emmy Award, Kudrow has received recognition for her
work in film. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award from the New York Film
Critics, an Independent Spirit Award nomination and a Chicago Film Critics
Award nomination for her role in the Don Roos scripted and directed film “The
Opposite of Sex” (1998). She won a Blockbuster Award and received a
nomination for an American Comedy Award for her starring role opposite Billy
Crystal and Robert De Niro in the Warner Bros. box office hit “Analyze This”
(1999) for director Harold Ramis.
      Kudrow’s additional film credits include starring roles in “Happy Endings”
(2005) for writer/director Roos, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival;
“Wonderland” (2004) with Val Kilmer, in which she portrayed Sharon Holmes,
wife of porn star John Holmes, in the film based on the infamous Wonderland
Avenue murders; the Warner Bros. film “Analyze That” (2002); Columbia

Pictures’ “Hanging Up,” (2000) opposite Meg Ryan and Diane Keaton;
Paramount’s “Lucky Numbers” (2000) with John Travolta; the critically acclaimed
hit comedy “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion” (1997) with Mira Sorvino;
“Clockwatchers,” (1997) opposite Toni Collette and Parker Posey; and Albert
Brooks’ comedy “Mother” (1996).
      Having successfully moved beyond the role of Phoebe Buffay, the
character she brilliantly portrayed on the NBC hit comedy series “Friends” for 10
seasons, Kudrow formed the production company, Is or Isn't Entertainment, in
the fall of 2003 with writer/producer Dan Bucatinsky. The company, which is
based at NBC/Universal, has already garnered great success. In addition to
having four pilots ordered since its inception, Is or Isn't Entertainment’s first
television series, the critically acclaimed HBO series “The Comeback,” garnered
three Emmy Award nominations, including one for Kudrow for Outstanding Lead
Actress in a Comedy Series.
      Is or Isn’t Entertainment is currently in production on a documentary series
for NBC called “Who Do You Think You Are,” which traces the genealogy of a
well-known person in each episode. They have also produced a webseries for called “Web Therapy,” in which Kudrow stars.
      While on “Friends,” Kudrow was nominated for an Emmy five times and
won once for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She has also
received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female
Actor in a Comedy Series, an American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting
Female Performer in a Television Series and a Golden Globe Award nomination.

      KEVIN DILLON (CARL SCUDDER) is a New York native who first
garnered attention for his role in Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” and “The Doors.” He
also starred in the cult classic “The Blob” and the poignant “Immediate Family”
opposite James Woods and Glenn Close.
      Dillon landed a series regular role on “That’s Life” for CBS and recurring
roles on the critically acclaimed series “NYPD Blue” and “24.”

      He starred opposite Kurt Russell and Gene Hackman in the Wolfgang
Peterson-directed “Poseidon” for Warner Bros. He has also received numerous
nominations for his portrayal of Johnny Drama on the hit HBO comedy series
      Dillon resides in Los Angeles with his wife Jane and child Ava, and visits
New York whenever possible.

      DON CHEADLE (BERNIE) has, since being named Best Supporting Actor
by the Los Angeles Film Critics for his breakout performance opposite Denzel
Washington in “Devil in a Blue Dress,” consistently turned in powerful
performances on the stage and screen.
      Cheadle most recently starred in “Traitor,” an international thriller set in the
world of covert counter-terrorism operations, opposite Guy Pearce.
      Additional film credits include the following: “Talk to Me” directed by Kasi
Lemmons and co-starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, about the Washington DC. radio
personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show
host and community activist in the 1960s; the 2006 Oscar-winning Best Picture,
“Crash,” which Cheadle also produced; “Hotel Rwanda,” for which he was
nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Broadcast Film
Critics Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor; “Ocean’s Eleven,”
“Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen,” all directed by Steven Soderbergh and
starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney; Mike Binder’s “Reign Over Me” with
Adam Sandler; Brett Ratner’s “After the Sunset” with Pierce Brosnan and Salma
Hayek; “The Assassination of Richard Nixon” with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn;
the Academy Award-winning “Traffic,” and the George Clooney/Jennifer Lopez-
starrer “Out of Sight,” both also directed by Soderbergh; Paul Thomas
Anderson’s critically acclaimed “Boogie Nights” with Julianne Moore and Mark
Wahlberg; “Volcano” with Tommy Lee Jones; “Bulworth,” directed by and starring
Warren Beatty; “Swordfish,” co-starring John Travolta and Halle Berry; “Mission
to Mars” with Tim Robbins and Gary Sinise; John Singleton’s “Rosewood”;
“Family Man,” also directed by Ratner and starring Nicolas Cage; and the

independent features “Manic,” “The United States of Leland” and Allison Anders’
“Things Behind the Sun.” Cheadle was recently honored at ShoWest as Male
Star of the Year.
      Cheadle is also well-recognized for his television work. He received a
Golden Globe Award for his remarkable portrayal of Sammy Davis Jr. in HBO’s
“The Rat Pack,” a performance for which he was also nominated for a Best
Supporting Actor Emmy. That same year, he received an Emmy nomination for
his starring role in HBO’s adaptation of the critically-acclaimed best seller A
Lesson before Dying by Ernest J Gaines, in which Cheadle starred opposite
Cicely Tyson and Mekhi Phifer. He also starred for HBO in “Rebound: The
Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault,” directed by Eriq La Salle.
       Well known for his two-year stint in the role of District Attorney John
Littleton on David E Kelley’s critically-acclaimed series “Picket Fences,”
Cheadle’s other series credits include a guest starring role on “ER” (a
performance that earned him yet another Emmy nomination), a series regular
role on “The Golden Palace” and a recurring role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-
Air.” Cheadle was also part of the stellar cast of the thrilling live CBS television
broadcast of “Fail Safe,” in which he starred opposite George Clooney, James
Cromwell, Brain Dennehy, Richard Dreyfuss and Harvey Keitel.
       An accomplished stage actor, Cheadle originated the role of Booth in
Suzan-Lori Parks’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Top Dog/Underdog” at New York’s
Public Theatre under the direction of George C Wolfe. His other stage credits
include “Leon, Lena and Lenz” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; “The
Grapes of Wrath” and “Liquid Skin” at the Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis;
“Cymbeline” at The New York Shakespeare Festival; “‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore”
at Chicago’s Goodman Theater; and Athol Fugard’s South African play “Blood
Knot” at The Complex Theater in Hollywood.
       Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Cheadle later relocated to Lincoln,
Nebraska, and Denver, Colorado, before he finally settled in Los Angeles. He
attended the prestigious California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California,
where he received his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. With the encouragement of

his college friends, Cheadle auditioned for a variety of film and television roles
while attending school and landed a recurring role on the hit series “Fame.” This
led to feature film roles in “Colors,” directed by Dennis Hopper; the John Irvin-
directed “Hamburger Hill,” opposite Dylan McDermott; and “Meteor Man,”
directed by Robert Townsend.
       A talented musician who plays saxophone, writes music and sings,
Cheadle is also an accomplished director with the stage productions of
“Cincinnati Man” at the Attic Theater, the critically-acclaimed “The Trip” at the
Friends and Artists Theater in Hollywood, and “Three, True, One” at the Electric
Lodge in Venice, California.
       In addition to his many acting honors, Cheadle was nominated for a
Grammy     Award     in   2004    for   Best   Spoken    Word      Album   for   his
narration/dramatization of the Walter Mosley novel Fear Itself.
       Cheadle resides in Los Angeles.

       JOHNNY SIMMONS (DAVE) is set to become one of the most sought-
after young actors in Hollywood. Hailing from Texas, it did not take long for
Simmons to get his first role opposite Steve Carrell in the Universal feature film,
“Evan Almighty.” Soon thereafter, Simmons booked the Lion’s Gate feature film,
“The Spirit,” based on the graphic novel of the same name. Simmons worked
opposite Samuel L Jackson, Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson in the role of
the Young Spirit in this visionary film, which opened Christmas Day in 2008.
       Simmons can also be seen later this year playing the lead role of Chip in
“Jennifer’s Body,” Academy Award winner Diablo Cody’s follow up to “Juno.”
Produced by Academy Award nominee Jason Reitman and directed by Karyn
Kusama, the film also stars Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried. This dark comedy
tells the perilous tale of teenage life in a small town where a zombie disguised as
the most popular girl in school eats and kills the student body.
       Simmons recently wrapped production on the independent character
drama “The Greatest” opposite Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan.
       He currently resides in Los Angeles.

           TROY GENTILE was born in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 27, 1993,
and broke into acting shortly after he moved to Los Angeles. Clearly, fate and
Hollywood had plans for Gentile. He booked his first job on his first audition on
his second day of representation by landing the role of wheelchair-bound
Matthew Hooper in Paramount Pictures' remake of “The Bad News Bears” with
Billy Bob Thornton. Since his first big break in 2005, Gentile has demonstrated
an innate comedic brilliance, perfectly capturing a young Jack Black twice: first in
Paramount's “Nacho Libre,” then in the recent New Line release, “Tenacious D in
The Pick of Destiny.” Showcasing his uncanny ability to imagine and enliven the
young spirit of well-known personalities, Gentile embodied a young Craig
Ferguson with hilarious precision on “The Late Late Show.” Gentile has also
guest starred on TV shows including the Disney Channel hit “The Suite Life of
Zach & Cody” and, more recently, on HBO’s tour de force, “Entourage.”
Following a celestial career trajectory at breakneck speed, he was also seen in
Lionsgate's “Good Luck Chuck” with Dane Cook, MGM's “I Could Never Be Your
Woman” with Michelle Pfeiffer and in Paramount's “Drillbit Taylor” as a lead
opposite Owen Wilson.


           THOR FREUDENTHAL (DIRECTOR) was born and raised in Berlin,
Germany. His knack for visual storytelling showed early. While still in high school,
he wrote and illustrated a series of comics for German publisher Carlsen, the
publisher of the Tintin series.
           As a student at the Berlin Academy of Arts, Freudenthal discovered his
passion for film. His self-produced short films, “mind the gap!” and “Monkey
Business,” quickly garnered awards and accolades on the European film festival

        His work landed him a scholarship at the California Institute of the Arts.
His first American short film “The Tenor,” about a zoo ostrich who dreams of a
career in opera, went on to win the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences First
Prize Student Emmy. It also toured the world with “Spike and Mike’s Festival of
Sick & Twisted Animation.”
        He then joined Sony Pictures’ Imageworks and the creative team on the
films “Stuart Little” and “Stuart Little 2.” Working closely with director Rob Minkoff,
he shaped the digital characters for the films and took on the complex task of
pre-visualizing the scripts and supervising the team of storyboard artists. “Stuart
Little” subsequently earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual
        Freudenthal next made the leap into commercial directing and has worked
for a wide roster of clients both in the American and European markets, including
Nike,   Reebok,    Nabisco,    Burger    King,   Florida’s   Natural,   Popsicle   and
Philadelphia. In his spot advertising work, he combines his expertise in visual
effects with a flair for offbeat humor and whimsical storytelling.
        Freudenthal applied his comprehensive knowledge to the world of feature
filmmaking as second unit director on Disney’s “The Haunted Mansion” starring
Eddie Murphy.

        JEFF LOWELL (SCREENPLAY) began his career as an extremely
disloyal television writer, moving from “The George Carlin Show” to “Drew Carey”
to “Cybill” to “Spin City” to “Sports Night” to “Just Shoot Me.”
        On the feature side, he wrote “John Tucker Must Die” and wrote and
directed “Over Her Dead Body.” Lowell fled Los Angeles a few years ago and
lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, two kids and three dogs.

executive producers of the Nickelodeon/Dreamworks series "The Penguins of
Madagascar," a TV spin-off from the hit DreamWorks features. They also
recently adapted their Simon and Schuster young adult novel, Liar of Kudzu, for

Disney Channel.
       Previously, the team dove into the life of a high school cheerleader to
create their first original series, "Disney's Kim Possible." The hit Disney Channel
show has garnered Primetime and Daytime Emmy nominations. The pair also
worked as producers and story editors on the acclaimed "Disney's Hercules,"
which was hailed as one of TV Guide's "10 Best New Series" of 1998 and, in
2000, as one of the magazine's top-ranked shows for adults to watch with their
   Schooley and McCorkle also earned story editor credit on the "Aladdin"
television series and writer/story editor credits on Disney's first-ever video
premiere, "The Return of Jafar," which stands as one of the top five best-selling
direct-to-video animated films ever released. They also wrote the subsequent
video release, "Aladdin and the King of Thieves," which received a 1997 Annie
Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Home Video Production.
   The pair penned and story edited the two-time Emmy-nominated "Great
Minds Think for Themselves," one of the original interstitial segments of "Disney's
One Saturday Morning" in 1997. They re-teamed with the "Great Minds" creative
crew in 2000 to produce the "Find Out Why" interstitial series in conjunction with
the National Science Foundation and Discover Magazine, and also wrote the
heralded "Toy Story Treats," a series of interstitials for ABC's Saturday morning
line-up and Disney Channel.
       The Temple University graduates initially met while working as
entertainment managers at Sesame Place, a "Sesame Street"-themed play park
in Langhorne, PA. They made their foray into Hollywood through the mailroom of
DIC Entertainment, where they quickly advanced to staff writing positions.

       LAUREN SHULER DONNER (PRODUCER) has, in the past two
decades, established herself as one of the most successful and versatile
producers in Hollywood. Her producing skill has enabled her to partner with top
directorial talents including Nora Ephron, Oliver Stone, Bryan Singer, Richard

Donner, Joel Schumacher, Ivan Reitman and John Hughes. To date, her films
have grossed more than $2.5 billion worldwide.
       In October 2008, both Shuler Donner and her husband Richard Donner
were each awarded stars right next to each other on the Hollywood Boulevard
Walk of Fame. They were also awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Ojai
Film Festival in November of 2008. In 2001, Shuler Donner was recognized for
her body of work by Premiere magazine with the Producer Icon Award, and was
recognized by Daily Variety with a Billion Dollar Producer special issue. In June
2006, she received the prestigious Crystal Award from Women in Film along with
other honorees Jennifer Lopez, Dianne Warren and Geena Davis. Also, she and
her husband Richard were honored by The American Cancer Society in June of
2006, and by Lupus LA. in 2008.
       In 2008, Shuler Donner enjoyed a particularly prolific year with four highly-
anticipated films in production, including “X Men Origins: Wolverine” starring
Hugh Jackman, which is the next chapter in the successful “X Men” film
franchise. The film, directed by Gavin Hood, was shot in New Zealand and
Australia. 20th Century Fox will release the film in May 2009. Also upcoming is
“Cirque du Freak,” a Universal film written by Paul Weitz, who also directed the
adaptation of the bestselling young adult's book series by Darren Shan.
       Her most recent release was the hit drama “The Secret Life of Bees” for
Fox Searchlight. It was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and
starred Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie
Okonedo and Paul Bettany.
       In 2000, Shuler Donner began a new franchise with “X Men” and followed
up in 2003 with "X2." The second film broke box office records with an opening
weekend total of $86 million dollars nationwide. Not only did the film gross $406
million dollars internationally, it is also the only sequel of 2003 to receive critical
acclaim as well. “X Men: The Last Stand” was released in May, 2006 and a
month later it was on its way to the half billion dollar mark worldwide.
       Shuler Donner was bound for success from the beginning, as the first
feature film she produced was the smash hit comedy “Mr Mom,” one of the top

ten grossing films of the year. She then went on to produce “Ladyhawke” starring
Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer and “St Elmo’s Fire” and
“Pretty in Pink,” both of which garnered platinum records for their soundtracks.
      In the early ‘90s, Shuler Donner produced the box office smash hits
“Dave” and “Free Willy,” two of the top ten films of 1993. The critically acclaimed
“Dave” was nominated for both an Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay)
and a Golden Globe (Best Picture-Comedy). She went on to produce “You’ve
Got Mail,” “Any Given Sunday,” “Radio Flyer,” “3 Fugitives” and a sequel to “Free
Willy.” As head of The Donners’ Company, she has executive-produced
“Volcano,” "Bulworth,” “Just Married” and “Semi-Pro.”      Shuler Donner’s other
recent productions include “Timeline” with Paul Walker and Gerard Butler,
“Constantine” with Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz, “She’s The Man” with
Amanda Bynes and “Unaccompanied Minors” with Lewis Black and Tyler James
      Shuler Donner is a dedicated philanthropist who thrives on giving back to
the community. She was on the board of directors for Hollygrove Children’s
Home until it merged with EMQ in 2006. She has been on the advisory board of
Women in Film, the advisory boards of TreePeople and Planned Parenthood and
the executive committee of the Producer’s Branch of the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences. She is currently serving on the advisory board of the
Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the advisory board of the Natural
Resources Defense Council and the board of directors for the Producers Guild of

      JONATHAN GORDON (PRODUCER) is an independent producer who,
through his Jon Gordon Productions is also producing (with Peter Guber's
Mandalay Pictures and Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes) a remake of Alfred
Hitchcock's "The Birds" under his first-look deal with Universal Pictures. Prior to
setting up Jon Gordon Productions, Gordon was president of production at
Universal Pictures, where he oversaw the development and production of "The
Kingdom" starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner and "The Bourne Ultimatum,"

starring Matt Damon. He moved to Universal after a 16-year career at Miramax
Films, where he began as assistant to Harvey Weinstein and ultimately served as
co-president of production. During his tenure at Miramax, Gordon oversaw the
development and production of over 50 films. He served as executive producer
on more than a dozen Miramax movies, including multiple Oscar winner "Good
Will Hunting," "Flirting With Disaster" (directed by David O Russell and starring
Ben Stiller), "Derailed" (directed by Oscar nominee Mikael Hafstrom and starring
Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston), "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (George
Clooney's directorial debut, starring Sam Rockwell, Julia Roberts and Drew
Barrymore) and "The Yards" (Official Competition, Cannes Film Festival 2000,
starring Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix and Charlize Theron), as well as
several films by writer/director Kevin Smith, including "Chasing Amy" and
      Some of Gordon’s current projects in development are "Side Effects," a
thriller written and to be directed by Scott Burns ("Ocean's 12", "The Bourne
Ultimatum") and produced with Lorenzo di Bonaventura ("Transformers") at
Miramax; an untitled comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, who will also co-produce;
"Killing Ground" (a "Deliverance"-style thriller to be directed by Hafstrom and
produced with Nick Wechsler; "Turbulence" and "Columbian Gold" (both in
collaboration with Mirage Productions); "The State Within" (a film adaptation of
the Golden Globe-nominated BBC mini-series); "The Brigade," based on Howard
Blum's best-selling non-fiction book; and "Exoneration" (a drama in the vein of
"Erin Brockovich" based on the true story of a woman who spent 8 years trying to
overturn her husband's life sentence for the murder of her mother).
      Gordon is a graduate of Northwestern University, and sits on the National
Advisory Council for Northwestern's School of Communications. He is also the
founder of the Kenny Gordon Foundation, a charity that raises money for the
prevention of sudden cardiac arrhythmias, as well as for full four-year
scholarships   to   Skidmore   College   for   economically   and     educationally
disadvantaged young men and women who desire to attend college and to
provide inner-city children the opportunity to attend summer camp.

      EWAN LESLIE (Writer/Producer) has been president of production for
The Donners’ Company since 2003. In addition to “Hotel for Dogs,” he recently
produced “Cirque du Freak” for Universal Pictures, written by Brian Helgeland
and Paul Weitz (based on the best-selling series of books), directed by Weitz and
starring John C Reilly, Salma Hayek, Ken Watanabe and Josh Hutcherson; and
co-produced “The Secret Life of Bees” for Fox Searchlight Pictures, based on the
best-selling book, and written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and
starring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keyes. He
also wrote and produced “She’s the Man” for Dreamworks Pictures (2006)
starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum and directed by Andy Fickman.
Other projects in development include a western TV series based on the Pony
Express at AMC starring Robert Duvall and written by Eric Jendresen; and an
adaptation of the comic book “Metal Men” for Warner Bros.
      Leslie graduated from Pepperdine Law School before beginning his career
in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. He moved up to an executive
position at the 20th Century Fox-based Fox 2000, where he worked on such films
as “Never Been Kissed” starring Drew Barrymore; “Soul Food” starring Vanessa
L Williams and Vivica A Fox; and “Best Laid Plans” starring Reese Witherspoon.
      Leslie then held the post of vice president of production for John Wells
Productions. Returning to Fox 2000, he bought/developed such film projects as
“Fever Pitch,” “DragonBall Z,” “Roll Bounce,” “Flicka,” “Aquamarine” and “The A-
      Leslie, the owner of two rescued Pit Bulls, is very active in Dog Rescue in
Los Angeles as a board-member of Karma Rescue. Incidentally, Karma is the
group that rescued “Chelsea,” the three-legged dog featured in “Hotel for Dogs.”
While in New Orleans filming “Cirque du Freak,” he also volunteered with ARNO,
the Animal Rescue of New Orleans.

      JASON CLARK (PRODUCER) is recognized as a hands-on creative
producer and industry innovator in the world of live-action/CGI features. He
currently heads the task force assigned to the mission of incorporating state-of-

the art 3-D at Dreamworks Animation. By 2009, DreamWorks Animation is slated
to produce and release all animated features in 3-D.
       Clark is also currently producing a feature length animated version of Jay
Ward's classic “Mr Peabody and Sherman” for DWA. He executive-produced
Academy Award-nominated “Monster House,” working with Robert Zemeckis and
Steven Spielberg for the Columbia Pictures release. “Monster House,” a live
action/CGI hybrid motion picture utilizing groundbreaking 'Performance Capture'
technology, was simultaneously released in 3-D in July 2006. Clark also
executive-produced the box office hits “Stuart Little” and “Stuart Little 2.”
       Independently, Clark produced and financed the critically acclaimed film
“Killer Diller,” released in early 2006. Clark partnered with director Rob Minkoff
(“The Lion King,” “Stuart Little,” “Stuart Little 2”) to create Sprocketdyne
Entertainment, based at Columbia Pictures. Previously, Clark executive-
produced “Happy Texas,” an award-winning 1999 Sundance Film Festival official
entry, which was acquired by Miramax for distribution for a record-breaking
amount. Clark's other production credits include: the cult classic “Homegrown”
(Tri-Star); film festival winner “Sink Or Swim” (Lionsgate); Columbia Picture's
“Maximum Risk”; Universal's “Sudden Death” and “The Quest.” Clark has
extensive experience in physical production and has filmed in a multitude of
diverse locations worldwide. Clark got his start working for director Walter Hill. He
is a member of the Director's Guild of America and received his degree in
economics from UCLA.

       Director/Producer IVAN REITMAN (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) has been
the creative force behind films beloved by audiences around the world. From
raucous comedies like “Animal House,” “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters,” to more
sophisticated delights like “Dave,” “6 Days/7 Nights” and “Twins.”
       The career that has brought about so many laughs began in Canada,
where his family emigrated from Czechoslovakia when he was four years old.
Reitman studied music at McMaster University, but soon turned his talents to film
and theater.

       Shortly after graduation, Reitman delved into film production - first with the
extremely low-budget horror comedy “Cannibal Girls” starring Canada’s Eugene
Levy and Andrea Martin, followed by the live television show “Greed” with Dan
Aykroyd as its announcer. Reitman then headed to New York City and produced
the Broadway hit “The Magic Show” starring McMaster friend Doug Henning. He
continued producing for the stage with the Off-Broadway hit “The National
Lampoon Show,” where he brought together for the first time the then-unknown
John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Joe Flaherty.
Reitman returned to Broadway to produce and direct the musical “Merlin,”
earning him Tony nominations for directing and producing. While in New York,
Reitman reapplied his talents to filmmaking when he joined forces with National
Lampoon and brought us the groundbreaking sensation “Animal House.”
Following the success of that film, Reitman returned home to Canada to direct
“Meatballs,” still considered one the most successful films ever made in Canada.
       The string of hits continued with “Stripes” and the “Ghostbusters” series,
which teamed Bill Murray with Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis; “Dave” starring
Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver; “Legal Eagles” starring Robert Redford and
Debra Winger; “6 Days/ 7 Nights” with Harrison Ford and Anne Heche;
“Evolution” starring David Duchovny and Julianne Moore; and a series of films
that   revealed   an   untapped     comic    persona    for   action   hero   Arnold
Schwarzenegger: “Twins,” “Junior” (both co-starring Danny DeVito) and
“Kindergarten Cop.”
       Reitman’s list of producing credits is equally extensive. He produced the
family features “Beethoven” and “Beethoven’s 2nd,” as well as the HBO telefilm
“The Late Shift,” which received seven Emmy nominations. Other producing
endeavors include “Heavy Metal,” Howard Stern’s “Private Parts,” the
animation/live action film “Space Jam,” which teamed Michael Jordan with the
Looney Toons characters; and the teen comedy hits “Road Trip,” “Eurotrip” and
“Old School” starring Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson.
       In 1984, Reitman was honored as Director of the Year by the National
Association of Theater Owners and the next year received a Special

Achievement Award at the Canadian Genie awards. In 1979, and again in 1989,
for the films “Animal House” and “Twins,” Reitman was honored with the People’s
Choice Award. In November of 1994, Reitman became the third director honored
by Variety with a special “Billion Dollar Director” issue. At the end of 2000,
Reitman’s films “Animal House” and “Ghostbusters” were honored as two of this
past century’s funniest movies by the American Film Institute. He currently heads
The Montecito Picture Company, a film and television production company with
partner Tom Pollock, in association with DreamWorks, SKG.
      Reitman also directed “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” and is the executive
producer of the smash Canadian comedy “The Big Dirty” starring the comedy
troupe Trailer Park Boys. He was also the executive producer on the
DreamWork’s thriller “Disturbia,” which opened nationwide in April 2007.
      Reitman has been married to former Quebec film actress Genevieve
Robert for over 30 years. Together, they have three children and live in Santa
Barbara, California.

      During the tenure of TOM POLLOCK (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) as
chairman of the Motion Picture Group, Universal released over 200 films that
grossed in excess of $10 billion worldwide, including “Jurassic Park,”
“Parenthood,” “Cape Fear,” “Twins,” “The Flintstones,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Back
to the Future” 2 and 3, “Casper,” “Waterworld,” “Backdraft,” “Beethoven,”
“Beethoven’s 2nd,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Sneakers” and
“Lorenzo’s Oil.” Also during his tenure, Universal received seven Academy
Award Best Picture nominations, including one for “Schindler’s List,” which won
the top honor in 1993. Other Best Picture nominees include “Field of Dreams,”
“Born on the Fourth of July,” “Scent of a Woman,” “In the Name of the Father,”
“Apollo 13” and “Babe.” Further, Pollock was responsible for bringing numerous
creative talents to the studio, including Ivan Reitman, Ron Howard and Brian
Grazer of Imagine Entertainment, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, George Miller,
Jon Avnet, Martin Brest, Rob Cohen, Phil Alden Robinson, Jim Sheridan, James
Cameron and Larry Gordon. He was also the executive producer on recently

released films including “The Uninvited” and ”I Love You, Man” for Dreamworks,
as well as the upcoming “Post Grad” for Fox Atomic.
    Pollock played a key role in the creation of United Cinemas International
(UCI), a joint venture with Paramount Pictures, which has become the largest
exhibitor outside North America, with nearly 700 multiplex screens. He also
formed Gramercy Pictures with Polygram in 1992.
    During his tenure as vice chairman of MCA, Pollock forged its alliance with
DreamWorks SKG, and the interactive arcade venture Gameworks among Sega,
DreamWorks and MCA.
    In 1998, Pollock and director/producer Ivan Reitman formed The Montecito
Picture Company. Montecito produced “Road Trip,” “Evolution,” “Old School,”
“Eurotrip” and “Disturbia.” In 2006, Pollock and Reitman then set up Cold Spring
Pictures with Merrill Lynch and other financial partners, which will co-finance
pictures produced by Montecito.
    Tom Pollock has a BA from Stanford University (1964) and received a JD
from Columbia University (1967). He is a member of the California Bar
Association, the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Film
Institute, a trustee of the American Museum of the Moving Image, Adjunct
Professor of Film at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a former
trustee of the Los Angeles Music Center. He was also a member of the Board of
Directors of MCA INC. and Cineplex-Odeon Corporation. Pollock was a founding
partner in the law firm of Pollock, Bloom and Dekom.

The Montecito Picture Company - the partnership between Ivan Reitman and
Tom Pollock. Clifford is producing “Post Grad” for Fox Atomic and is currently
serving as executive producer on both “Hotel for Dogs” and “I Love You, Man”
starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segal.
      Prior to working at Montecito, Clifford served as vice president of
production at Warner Bros., where he oversaw “Firewall” with Harrison Ford and

“The Fountain” directed by Darren Aronofsky. Before that he was the vice
president of production at Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures for six years. While
there he oversaw “The Royal Tennenbaums” directed by Wes Anderson, “The
25th Hour” directed by Spike Lee, “Unbreakable” directed by M Night Shyamalan,
“The Last Shot” directed by Jeff Nathanson and “Ladykillers” directed by The
Coen brothers, among others.
      Clifford started his career as an independent producer in New York, where
he produced “Safe Men” directed by John Hamburg.

includes 2003’s “Wonderland” directed by James Cox, with Val Kilmer, Lisa
Kudrow, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Dylan McDermott, and Eric Bogosian and
released by Lionsgate. He shot Warner Independent’s “Around the Bend”
directed by Jordan Roberts, starring Christopher Walken, Josh Lucas and
Michael Caine. “Around the Bend” was released in 2004 and won the Special
Grand Jury Prize and Best Actor at the Montreal World Film Festival, as well as
best feature at the San Diego Film Festival and The Sao Paulo International Film
Festival. Grady also shot “Neverwas” starring Aaron Eckhart, Brittany Murphy,
Ian McKellen, William Hurt, Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange.
      Released by Lionsgate in 2007, “Bug” directed by William Friedkin and
starring Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon and Harry Connick Jr. was his next
project. “Bug” won the Director’s Fortnight Critics Award in the 2006 Cannes Film
Festival. Following that was “Factory Girl,” which was released in February 2007
by the Weinstein Company. “Factory Girl” stars Sienna Miller, Guy Pierce and
Hayden Christensen. Also released in February 2007 was “The Dead Girl” with
Toni Collette, Marcia Gay Harden, Brittany Murphy, Josh Brolin, James Franco,
Rose Byrne, Mary Beth Hurt, Kerry Washington and Giovanni Ribisi. “The Dead
Girl” won the Special Grand Prize at the 2007 Deauville Film Festival and was
nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature, Best
Director and Best Supporting Female. Grady’s most recent movie is Fox
Searchlight’s “Notorious,” a biography of The Notorious BI.G. starring Derek

Luke, Anthony Mackie, Angela Bassett and Jamal Woolard. “Notorious” was
directed by George Tillman. Commercials and music videos also are a current
         Grady’s early film work and background included graduating from the
American Film Institute in 1995 and subsequently shooting many short films,
music videos and numerous independent features that enjoyed success at film
festivals worldwide including Sundance, Cannes, South by Southwest, Avignon
and Chicago Underground. Grady’s documentary feature work includes the
Academy Award finalist and DGA nominee, “Beyond the Mat” from Imagine.
“Beyond The Mat” was released in 2000 and won Best Documentary Feature at
SXSW and the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award. Further, between 1999
and 2002, Grady was director of photography on over 60 hours of narrative
television series and pilots for Warner Bros, CBS, Fox, USA/Sci-Fi, Universal and

         WILLIAM SANDELL (PRODUCTION DESIGNER) first received critical
acclaim for his contributions to the sci-fi hit “Robo-cop,” directed by Paul
Verhoeven. In 1989, he re-teamed with Verhoeven on the blockbuster sci-fi
thriller “Total Recall” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Originally an artist who
created kinetic sculptures, Sandell was encouraged by his friends to transfer his
talents to the film business. His first credit was an art department assistant on
Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets.” He assisted the art department in various
capacities on a number of Roger Corman-produced films before becoming art
director on Jonathan Demme’s “Fighting Mad.”
         Since then, as a production designer, he has contributed to the look of
Anthony Page’s “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,” Gilbert Cates’ “The
Promise,” Bill Persky’s “Serial,” Jeffrey Blon’s “Blood Beach,” Ken Finklemans’
“Airplane II: The Sequel,” Art Linson’s “The Wild Life” and Joel Schumacher’s “St
Elmo’s Fire.”
         In 1988, Sandell teamed up with “Airplane’s” Jim Abrahams for
Touchstone Pictures’ “Big Business” starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. He

then worked on the Warner Bros. comedy “Nothing But Trouble” starring Dan
Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Demi Moore and John Candy.
      Sandell teamed with director/choreographer Kenny Ortega for Disney’s
turn of the century musical “Newsies.” In 1992, he re-teamed with Kenny Ortega
for the highly stylized sets of “Hocus Pocus” starring Bette Midler and, a year
later, served as production designer on Universal’s blockbuster “The Flintstones.”
      In 1994, Sandell completed work on director Wolfgang Petersen’s
biological action thriller “Outbreak” starring Dustin Hoffman and Morgan
Freeman, then designed the sets for the Steven Segal action film “The Glimmer
Man,” Petersen’s “Air Force One” and “The Perfect Storm,” the Renny Harlin hit
summer film “Deep Blue Sea,” “Dr Dolittle 2” and “The First $20 Million is Always
the Hardest,” based on the best-selling book.
      Sandell’s design work for Peter Weir’s “Master and Commander” earned
him an Academy Award nomination and won him the BAFTA Award for
production design. Sandell subsequently designed the John Woo film “Paycheck”
starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman. Then, back with Wolfgang Petersen for
“The Poseidon Adventure,” filling Warner Bros.’ soundstages with some of the
largest stage sets ever built for a film. Sandell also designed the sci-fi thriller
“Next” starring Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore.

      SHELDON KAHNACE+ (EDITOR) won the BAFTA Award and received
an Academy Award nomination for co-editing “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s
Nest,” and earned a second Oscar nomination for co-editing “Out of Africa.” He
was associate producer of Ivan Reitman’s “Legal Eagles,” “Ghostbusters II,”
“Twins,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Junior,” “Beethoven’s 2nd” and “Six Days, Seven
Nights.” He was also co-producer of “Casual Sex.”
      Kahn’s many feature editing credits also include “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,”
“Be Cool,” “Evolution,” “Father’s Day,” “Dave,” “The Electric Horseman,”
“Absence of Malice,” “Private Benjamin,” “Same Time Next Year” and “La

       BETH PASTERNAK’s, CD.G. (COSTUME DESIGNER) credits include
“Killshot,” “Where the Truth Lies,” “A Home at the End of the World” and
“Knockaround Guys.” She received the Genie Award for Best Achievement in
Costume Design for her work on the film, “Ararat.”
       Her other credits include “Committed,” “St Jude,” “The New Jersey
Turnpikes,” “Dirty Work,” “Curtis Charm,” Dance Me Outside” and “The Top of
His Head.” She was nominated for a Genie Award for her work on the film “The
Sweet Hereafter.”

       JOHN DEBNEY (MUSIC) has built a solid reputation scoring films in all
genres. His nearly 100 film credits include “The Passion of the Christ,” for which
he received an Oscar nomination; “Idlewild,” a Prohibition-era musical starring
Outkast and featuring famed trumpeter Arturo Sandoval; the animated films
“Barnyard” and “Chicken Little,” the comic-book inspired “Sin City,” and the
comedies “Elf” and “Liar, Liar.”
       In addition to an Academy Award nomination, Debney has received
numerous Emmy nominations, a Dove Award and Gold Record for “The Passion
of the Christ” and a CUE award for the videogame score for “Lair.” He is the
youngest recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Henry Mancini Award for Career
Achievement. Other film music awards include the Ubeda Spain International
Film Music Conference, Turks & Caicos International Film Festival and the Ischia
Italy Film Festival. As a conductor, Debney has performed concerts of his music
with leading orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. His Passion
Symphony in Rome was attended by dignitaries of the Vatican.
       John Debney’s ability to deliver the perfect score has allowed him repeat
performances with many directors. For Garry Marshall, Debney scored the black
comedy “Georgia Rule,” as well as “Princess Diaries 1 & 2” and “Raising Helen;”
for Tom Shadyac, he scored “Evan Almighty” and “Bruce Almighty.” Upcoming,
Debney returns to work with Robert Rodriguez - for whom he scored “Spy Kids 1
& 2,” “The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl” and “Sin City” - to score “Sin
City 2 & 3.” His recent score to Lionsgate’s “My Best Friend’s Girl” marks his third

collaboration with Howard Deutsch, for whom he scored “The Whole Ten Yards”
and “The Replacements.”
      In addition to repeated performances with major directors, Debney
continues to expand his repertoire, which is apparent on the Rob Cohen-directed
“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.”

      MARK FORBES (ANIMAL CO-ORDINATOR) grew up in Southern
Oregon. He moved to Los Angeles in 1984 to attend the Exotic Animal Training
and Management Program at Moorpark College. After graduating, he worked in
the Dolphin & Sea Lion show at Knott’s Berry Farm for a year and a half. In 1987,
Forbes started working for Birds & Animals Unlimited as an animal trainer in the
Universal Studios Animal Actors Show, which he later managed for four years.
      Forbes quickly began television and film work. He trained and worked
Dreyfuss, the long-running character on the television show “Empty Nest.” His
first major character in a feature film was Pongo in “101 Dalmatians.”
      Forbes has displayed his skills as head trainer on films such as “Dr
Dolittle,” “102 Dalmatians,” “Homeward Bound II” and “Wonder Boys.” He has
also been the animal co-ordinator, overseeing all of the animal work, on “Dr
Dolittle 2,” “Hidalgo,” “Because of Winn Dixie,” “The Shaggy Dog,” “Evan
Almighty,” “Prince Caspian” and the upcoming “Marley & Me.”
      Forbes is currently the General Manager of Birds & Animals Unlimited and
lives in the San Fernando Valley.


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