After seeing the movie Citizen Kane as a boy, Friedkin became fascinated with movies. He began working for WGN-TV immediately after high school. He eventually started his directorial career doing live television shows and documentaries, including The People vs. Paul Crump which won several awards and contributed to the commutation of Crump's death sentence. As mentioned in Friedkin's voice-over commentary on the DVD re-release of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Friedkin also directed one of the last episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965, called Off-Season.
Two years later he released his first feature film, Good Times starring Sonny and Cher. This was followed by The Birthday Party written by Nobel Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Harold Pinter with whom Friedkin formed a strong artistic bond after spending a year working with the playwright in London in 1967. Several other films followed including the gay-themed movie The Boys in the Band.
In 1971, The French Connection was released to wide audience and critical acclaim. Shot in a gritty style more suited for documentaries than Hollywood features, the film won five Academy Awards, including an Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director.
Friedkin followed up with 1973's The Exorcist, based on William Peter Blatty's best-selling novel, which revolutionized the horror genre and is considered by some critics to be the greatest horror movie of all time. The Exorcist was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won the Best Screenplay and Best Sound Awards.
Following these acclaimed pictures, Friedkin was deemed as one of the premier directors of New Hollywood. Next was Sorcerer (1977), an American version of the French classic Wages of Fear, starring Roy Scheider. Friedkin considers it his finest film.
Sorcerer was followed by the crime-comedy The Brink's Job (1978), based on the real-life Brink's robbery in Boston, Massachusetts and the highly controversial crime thriller Cruising (1980), starring Al Pacino, which remains the subject of heated debate to this day.
Other notable Friedkin films of the 1980s and 1990s include Deal of the Century (1983), starring Chevy Chase, Gregory Hines and Sigourney Weaver, sometimes regarded as a latter-day Dr. Strangelove, his successful action/crime movie To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), starring William Petersen and Willem Dafoe, the courtroom-drama/thriller Rampage (1987), Jade (1995), starring Linda Fiorentino.
In 2000, The Exorcist was re-released in theaters with extra footage and grossed $40 million in the U.S. alone. That same year Friedkin's action thriller Rules of Engagement (2000), starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, was a box office success. Friedkin worked again with Tommy Lee Jones in 2003 on The Hunted that co-starred Benicio Del Toro. In 2007, he directed Bug starring Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon. Bug was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Letts who also wrote Killer Joe.
Later, Friedkin directed an episode of the hit TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation entitled Cockroaches, which re-teamed him with To Live and Die In L.A. star William Petersen. He would go on to direct again for CSI's 200th episode, Mascara.
Friedkin started directing operas in 1998 with a widely-acclaimed production of Berg's Wozzeck at Maggio Musicale in Florence. He followed that in 2002 with a double bill of Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi at Los Angeles Opera. In 2004 at the Los Angeles Opera, he directed R. Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos.
Other operas include: 2005, Saint-Saëns' Samson and Delilah at the New Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv, and Verdi's Aida at the Teatro Regio Torino in Torino, Italy, 2006/07, Duke Bluebeard's Castle/Gianni Schicchi - Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center, and Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Germany, new productions of Strauss' Salome and the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's Das Gehege; 2008, a double bill of Suor Angelica/Il Tabarro at the Los Angeles Opera. Friedkin returned to Maggio Musicale, Florence in October 2011 with Leos Janácek's The Makropulos Case and in 2012 is directing Offenbach's The Tales Of Hoffmann at Theater An der Wien, Vienna, Austria.
Friedkin was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Rae (née Green) and Louis Friedkin. He has two sons: Jack and Cedric. He is married to Sherry Lansing, Chairman, University of California Board of Regents and one of the founders of STAND UP TO CANCER.
Letts is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and his appearances there include: Homebody/Kabul, The Dazzle, Glengarry Glen Ross, Three Days of Rain, and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Film appearances include: Guinevere, U.S. Marshalls and Chicago Cab. TV appearances include: The District, Profiler, The Drew Carey Show, Home Improvement and Seinfeld. Letts made his directing debut at the Lookingglass Theatre with Glen Berger's play Great Men of Science, No's 21 & 22.
Letts wrote the screenplay for Bug, which was made into a feature film directed by William Friedkin and starring Ashley Judd. Friedkin also directed the feature film adaptation - also written by Letts - of Killer Joe starring Matthew McConaughey. Letts was the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his play August: Osage County. He is currently adapting that play for the big-screen for The Weinstein Company.
Lett's most recent play Superior Donuts opened on Broadway in October of 2009.
In 2005, he founded Voltage Pictures, an International financing, sales and production operation. He has handled over 150 movies in the past six years. "The Hurt Locker" was Voltage Pictures first in-house production and claimed six Oscars in 2009, including Best Picture. Killer Joe is its second in-house film and was directed by William Friedkin and starring Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch. Killer Joe had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September 2011. His next film The Company You Keep is currently in postproduction and is directed by Robert Redford and starring Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Richard Jenkins, Julie Christie, and Brit Marling. Voltage has also co-financed or sold international rights for George's Romero's Diary of the Dead, The Whistleblower, Fire with Fire, Peace Love and Misunderstanding and Summer at Dog Dave's.
Prior to forming Voltage, Chartier was VP of sales and acquisitions at Myriad Pictures. Here, Chartier was involved in the sales of a diverse range of films such as The Good Girl and Van Wilder. As the president of Vortex Pictures, he sold such titles as Joel Zwick's My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Nicolas Cage's Sonny. As head of sales and acquisitions at Arclight Films, Chartier acquired Dean Devlin's The Librarian, 2006 Academy Award winner Crash and The Matador starring Pierce Brosnan. During his time at Arclight, Chartier also sold Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage and The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino.
At Leomax, Einbinder produced: the psychological-thriller Walled In starring Mischa Barton based on the best-selling French novel; Grace, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, won the Special Jury Prize at France's prestigious Gerardmer Film Festival and played in over 30 festivals throughout the world; and The Shortcut, co-produced with Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions. Einbinder oversaw development, financing, business affairs, distribution, and production activities on the three films.
Previous to forming Leomax, Einbinder was a partner at Los Angeles-based Sandstorm Films. The company had a first look deal at the Screen Gems division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. At Sandstorm, Einbinder executive produced 14 motion pictures including The Covenant starring Taylor Kitsch and Chase Crawford. The film was number one at the box office in its opening weekend in 2006. Einbinder was responsible for forging a unique marketing deal between Screen Gems and Top Cow Comics, the third-largest comic book publisher in the world, in which Top Cow created, produced and distributed a comic book based upon The Covenant screenplay.
Other Screen Gems theatrical releases Einbinder produced include The Forsaken and Outside Ozona starring Academy Award nominees Robert Forster and David Paymer. Einbinder also executive produced 8MM 2 starring Jonathan Schaech, Alien Hunter starring James Spader, The Marksman starring Wesley Snipes, Vampires: The Turning and True Blue starring Tom Berenger, and both Sniper 2 and 3 both also starring Berenger.
While at Sandstorm, Einbinder oversaw development, production, financing, distribution, and business affairs of its movies shot in Thailand, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Canada, and the United States. At Sandstorm, Einbinder produced Exit in Red starring Mickey Rourke, Black Day Blue Night starring JT Walsh and Gil Bellows, and Shadowhunter starring Benjamin Bratt and Scott Glenn.
Prior to Sandstorm, Einbinder worked as a literary agent, then a manager and development executive, at Waterman Entertainment, where he worked on projects set up at Universal Pictures, NBC, HBO and The Family Channel. Einbinder began his career as a publicist and marketing executive at New World Pictures and Empire Entertainment, where he worked in both the domestic and international distribution arena, executing campaigns for the company's theatrical and home entertainment releases.
In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Einbinder is involved in a number of charitable and philanthropic organizations. He is Chair of the Southern California Regional Council, and a member of the National Board of Progressive Jewish Alliance - Jewish Funds for Justice, which educates and advocates on issues of social and economic justice, civil liberties, peace and dialogue. He is a graduate of the Anti-Defamation League's Salvin Leadership Institute and was a member of the ADL's Entertainment Industry Committee.
Einbinder attended California State University Long Beach where he earned a BA degree in Film and Television and minored in Public Relations and Journalism. He also studied in the Department of Cinema at University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle.
He first impressed moviegoers with his photography for The Black Stallion and Being There, both of which were released in 1979. He went on to receive consecutive Academy Award nominations in 1983 and 1984 for The Right Stuff and The Natural. In 1982, he made his directorial debut with The Escape Artist starring Raul Julia, Griffin O'Neal and Joan Hackett for American Zoetrope. He also directed Crusoe starring Aidan Quinn. He's directed multiple episodes of the television series Twin Peaks and episodes of Law and Order.
Deschanel photographed Fly Away Home in 1996, garnering his third Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography and a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography by the American Society of Cinematographers. He shot Forrest Whitaker's Hope Floats, Luis Mandoki's Message in a Bottle, and won accolades for his lush camerawork on two epic productions: Anna and the King and Roland Emmerich's The Patriot, (for which he received another Academy Award nomination and won the ASC Award). He was again nominated for an Academy Award for the Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ. He went on to photograph National Treasure and The Spiderwick Chronicles. He also collaborated with director and writer Robert Towne on Ask the Dust and Nick Cassevetes' My Sister's Keeper. He was honored with the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
He transitioned to film during the independent film boom of the mid-1990s, after graduating from the AFI film program with a Masters of Fine Art degree in production design for film and television. Carbone is also a previous graduate of the Parsons School of Design and the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Some of Carbone's notable film credits include Lionsgate's release of Hostel produced by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Eli Roth, Wonderland starring Val Kilmer, Down in the Valley starring Edward Norton, and William Friedkin's Bug starring Ashley Judd.
Last summer's The Expendables was Carbone's third film collaboration with actor/director Sylvester Stallone. He first teamed up with Stallone on Rocky Balboa then set off for the jungles of Thailand for Rambo.
Recently, Carbone wrapped production for the action comedy One for the Money starring Katherine Heigl, and The Last Stand starring Arnold Schwarzenegger for Lionsgate Films.
ABates is creating some of the most distinctive music today ~ whether as one of the most sought-after composers scoring hit films Watchmen, 300, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Rob Zombie's Halloween and Halloween 2, scoring Showtime's hit comedy Californication, or writing music for videogames such as Army of Two: The 40th Day, Activision's Transformers and the 300 and Watchmen games. His latest projects include Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, Emilio Estevez's The Way, James Gunn's Super, and Genndy Tartakovsky's animated series for Cartoon Network Sym-Bionic Titan.
Bates' music possesses a timbre of its own, attracting visionary filmmakers who aim to make extraordinary films with commercial appeal. His work on Zack Snyder's battle epic, 300, embodies expansive orchestral and choral themes that express a sweeping range of color and emotion with a rock n' roll attitude. Snyder responded to Bates' score concept for Dawn of the Dead, and hired him to create the music for his zombie epic, which became an instant classic in the horror movie genre. Both Rob Zombie and Dawn script-writer James Gunn recognized the effect of Bates' music for Dawn, and recruited him to score their films, The Devil's Rejects, Halloween 1 and 2 and Slither, respectively, which have joined the pantheon of cult classic films and earned Bates' the moniker "The Devil's DJ" by his directors!
The film that cemented Bates' career in scoring movies was director Stephen Kay's art house Be-Bop film, The Last Time I Committed Suicide, starring Keanu Reeves, Adrien Brody, and Thomas Jane. This film, whose critically acclaimed soundtrack was released on Blue Note Records, led to their collaboration on several films, including Get Carter; the catalyst to Bates' stylistic emergence as a film composer. Bates followed up with Matt Dillon's directorial debut, City Of Ghosts, and Mario Van Peebles' acclaimed BAADASSSSS!
Early in his career, while composing a string of low-budget films, Bates, along with singer-songwriter Lisa Papineau, formed the band, Pet. The duo created a stir in Los Angeles that led to their major label debut on Atlantic Records, recorded at Amos' hillside castle in rural Ireland in 1996. Pet soon had a platinum record to their credit for the song Lil' Boots, from The Crow: City Of Angels soundtrack album, and began touring stints with Blink 182, Limp Bizkit, and Social Distortion. By late 1997, Bates' desire to write and record music on a daily basis prompted him to leave the group and focus his energy solely on scoring films.
Tyler Bates spent his formative years in Chicago, developing his keen obsession with music. An avid enthusiast, his mother introduced him to a wide range of recording artists; from Zappa to Coltrane, Simon and Garfunkel to Sly Stone. The soundtrack albums for the Broadway musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar left an indelible impression upon him, both compositionally and emotionally.
At age ten, his hard-partying teenage cousins introduced him to Led Zeppelin and Kiss, which was all it took for Bates to drop his alto saxophone for an electric guitar. He then found the early records of U2, Gang of Four, and King Crimson, which influenced the principles apparent in his music today. The limitations of his home studio equipment became an integral part of his creative process; sparking an experimental approach in effort to complete his compositional ideas.
His foray into music production began by daisy-chaining cassette recorders to produce multi-track recordings. An Echoplex and other sound mutation devices became the gateway to his atmospheric explorations and counter-rhythmic sensibilities, as he studied the effects of varying tape speeds on live and pre-recorded sound sources.
By 19, Bates managed a trading firm in Chicago while enjoying the beginnings of great success in bands, but he could not ignore the calling to expand his career in music. In 1993, fueled by an offer to score a movie that paid less than a month's rent, Bates returned to his native Los Angeles with little experience in making music for films.
In 2011, with more than 40 films and 17 years of experience scoring movies, Bates is at the forefront of innovation in film music, steadfastly finding new ways to connect the emotional with the abstract and the organic with electronic.