About the Filmmakers

Back to the Future Part III

It was in 1980 that director ROBERT ZEMECKIS and his writing partner Bob Gale first conceived the idea for the story that would turn into one of the most popular film trilogies of all time. He began production on "Back to the Future" in 1985, and five years later, returns to complete the McFly family saga.

Born and raised in the southside of Chicago, Zemeckis began making films with an 8mm camera while in high school. He attended Northern Illinois University before transferring to the University of Southern California School of Cinema. Winning an Academy Award for his student film "Field of Honor," Zemeckis showed the film to directors Steven Spielberg and John Milius, who later made it possible for Zemeckis and his USC writing partner Bob Gale to get a development deal for an original screenplay. Spielberg would later choose to direct the project--"1941."

Zemeckis made his directorial debut in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," the story of a group of teenagers who try to meet the Beatles on the eve of their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Zemeckis also co-wrote the screenplay with Bob Gale. He directed another Zemeckis-Gale screenplay, "Used Cars," starring Kurt Russell, but it was his third film that proved to be the turning point in Zemeckis's career, as he directed the team of Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito in "Romancing the Stone." He followed by reteaming with Bob Gale in directing the duo's screenplay, "Back to the Future."

The film earned over 350 million dollars worldwide and emerged as the top grossing film of 1985. Zemeckis topped himself with his next feature, spending two years to perfect the process of directing live actors opposite animated "Toons" in the box-office smash "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," the top grossing film of 1988, also passing the $350 million mark. During the filming of "Back to the Future Part III" in northern California, Zemeckis commuted over 350 miles each day to Los Angeles to oversee the editing of Part II. In its opening weekend, "Back to the Future Part II" took in a staggering 47 million dollars, and went on to a worldwide gross of well over $300 million.

Zemeckis has also directed several projects for the small screen, including an episode of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" and the HBO series, "Tales From the Crypt," on which he also serves as producer. From its inception, the "Back to the Future" trilogy has been a true collaboration between Bob Zemeckis and writer/producer BOB GALE. The duo co-wrote the first film, and Gale has written the screenplays for "Part II" and "III."

Gale was born and raised in a suburb of St. Louis, and attended Tulane University as an engineering major, before opting for the film program at USC.

Upon their graduation in 1973, Gale and Robert Zemeckis collaborated on several scripts which met with favorable response but no sales. However, one of the scripts did get them a job: writing the screenplay for "1941," for which Gale also wrote the novelization. In addition to sharing screenplay credit, Gale served as the associate producer of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and produced the feature "Used Cars," as well as writing and producing a television pilot based on the film. Having concluded the "Back to the Future" trilogy, Gale, like everyone else associated with the project, plans to take some time off. "Then I'd like to try my hand at directing. There are two screenplays I've written that I'd like to get off the ground."

Producer NEIL CANTON was born and raised in New York City, and graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. His first job in the motion picture industry was that of assistant to director Peter Bogdanovich, an association that continued over the course of four films, including "What's Up Doc?," "Paper Moon" and "Nickelodeon." He spent two years on Orson Welles' long-awaited "The Other Side of the Wind" and worked with Walter Hill on "The Warriors." Prior to "Back to the Future," Canton produced the cult favorite "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai." He has since produced the hit comedy "The Witches of Eastwick," starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon.

Executive Producers STEVEN SPIELBERG, FRANK MARSHALL and KATHLEEN KENNEDY have collaborated on some of the most popular films in cinema history. As the founding partners of Amblin Entertainment, they have created an exceptional string of motion picture successes.

Having formed Amblin in 1984, the three have acted as executive producers together on such films as "Gremlins," "The Goonies," "Back to the Future (I and II)," "Young Sherlock Holmes," "The Money Pit," "An American Tail," "Innerspace," "Batteries Not Included," "The Land Before Time," "Dad" and "Joe Versus the Volcano." They also produced (with Quincy Jones) "The Color Purple," "Empire of the Sun" and "Always" and were also associated with the network television anthology series "Amazing Stories." Marshall was the co-producer and Spielberg and Kennedy executive producers of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

They also serve as the executive producers of the upcoming "Gremlins II," directed by Joe Dante, as well as the animated feature "An American Tail II."

In addition, Steven Spielberg has directed such films as "The Sugarland Express," "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "1941," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," ""E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," one segment of "Twilight Zone--The Movie," which he co-produced, "The Color Purple," "Empire of the Sun," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Always." He also co-wrote and co-produced "Poltergeist."

Frank Marshall's list of critical and box-office successes have earned him a reputation as one of the Ark" and was executive producer with George Lucas on industry's top filmmakers. He produced "Raiders of the Lost "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," served as production supervisor on "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," co-produced "Poltergeist," and has directed second units for such films as "Back to the Future," "Empire of the Sun," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

Marshall makes his directorial debut with "Arachnophobia."

Kathleen Kennedy, president of Amblin Entertainment, has a record of achievement that has placed her among the most successful producers and executives in the industry.

With Spielberg, she produced "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," the biggest grossing film of all time. In addition to the Amblin list of hits, her other credits include associate producer on "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and co-producer of "Poltergeist."

Director of Photography DEAN CUNDEY began working with Robert Zemeckis on "Romancing the Stone" and continued with the director on "Back to the Future," "Back to the Future Part II," an HBO "Tales From the Crypt" episode and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," for which Cundey was nominated for an Academy Award.

A native Californian and graduate of UCLA film school, Cundey has also served as director of photography on "Rock and Roll High School," "D.C. Cab," "Halloween (I, II and III)," "The Fog," "Escape From New York," "The Thing," "Psycho II," "Big Trouble in Little China," "Project X" and "Road House."

Production Designer RICK CARTER received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz. As an art director, he worked on "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai" and "The Loonies." As a production designer, Carter worked on several segments of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories," the 1988 feature "Three Fugitives" and "Back to the Future Part II."

Composer ALAN SILVESTRI attended the Berklee College of Music and played guitar for the Wayne Cochran Band in Las Vegas. After moving to Los Angeles, Silvestri was asked by a friend if he had any knowledge of motion picture scoring. Needing a job, Silvestri said he had. He then proceeded to do an immense amount of reading on the subject and was hired for his first feature, "The Doberman Gang." This led to several other low-budget features, followed by five years on the television series "CHIPS."

Since then, Silvestri has become one of Hollywood's most prolific composers, having worked with Robert Zemeckis on "Romancing the Stone," "Back to the Future" (I and II), and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," as well as providing the scores for "Cat's Eye," "American Anthem," "Flight of the Navigator," "The Delta Force," "Clan of the Cave Bear," "Critical Condition," "No Mercy," "Predator," "Overboard," "My Stepmother is an Alien," "Outrageous Fortune" and "The Abyss," among others.

Film editor ARTHUR SCHMIDT received an Academy Award for his editing of 1988's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" The son of a film editor, Schmidt's feature film credits include "Marathon Man," "Jaws II," "The Idolmaker," "Firstborn," "Ruthless People," and "Coal Miner's Daughter," for which he received his first Oscar nomination, as well as "Back to the Future" and "Back to the Future Part II." He co-edited the feature film "Beaches" and was also awarded an Emmy for his editing of the highly acclaimed movie for television, "The Jericho Mile."

Film editor HARRY KERAMIDAS came to the film business via the Peace Corps. An interest in anthropology and human cultures led Keramidas to UCLA's Ethnographic Film Division. This was followed by a joint project with the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Canadian Film Board, where in the course of one year, Keramidas worked in various capacities on a total of 70 films. Spending the next several years editing various documentaries and educational films, Keramidas found work in low budget features, and then on television, editing movies for television as well as "The Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew Mysteries." In addition to his work on "Back to the Future (I, II and III)" Keramidas' credits include "Children of the Corn," "Bustin' Loose," "Scared Straight: Another Story," "About Last Night," "The Squeeze," "Big Business" and "Chances Are."

Formally trained in dress design and tailoring, Costume Designer JOANNA JOHNSTON began her career in the entertainment industry with international costumers Bermans and Nathan. She served as assistant to costume designer Tom Rand on "The French Lieutenant's Woman," "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Shooting Party," and to Anthony Powell on "Death on the Nile," "Tess" (both won Academy Awards for Best Costume Design), "Evil Under the Sun," and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." A noted expert on African and period dress, Johnston was the second unit costume designer on "The Color Purple" and co-designer on "Out of Africa." She began her association with Robert Zemeckis as the costume designer on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." Johnston designed the costumes for Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," as well as the clothing of the future and past in "Back to the Future Part II."

KEN RALSTON supervised the ILM crew who developed the time travel effects for "Back to the Future." Ralston has also served as visual effects supervisor for "Star Trek II," "III" and "IV," and received Oscars for his work on "Return of the Jedi," "Cocoon" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on "Back to the Future Part II."

 

as of April 24, 1990

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