Dreams: Fear and Loathing Production Notes
In a film-making career encompassing work as a writer, screenwriter, performer, animator and production designer, TERRY GILLIAM (Director) has created some of the most unforgettable visuals ever portrayed on the motion picture screen. The Minneapolis, Minnesota native graduated from Los Angeles' Occidental College before embarking on a career in magazine illustration. His first professional job was as the assistant editor of Help!, a humour magazine from the creator of Mad Magazine. He branched out as a freelance cartoonist for an unusual, unique new TV program in England entitled Monty Python's Flying Circus. His work on the show earned him a British Academy Award for graphics in 1969.
Gilliam made his film debut in the comedy troupe's first feature, And Now For Something Completely Different, in which he contributed to the project's script as well as acting and directing the animation. On the group's next venture, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Gilliam co-directed the production with colleague Terry Jones. He made his solo directing debut two years later with Jabberwocky, his comically grisly medieval interpretation of the Lewis Carroll poem.
He scored a popular success with his delightful time-travel fantasy, Time Bandits, a magical, family-oriented adventure of a boy and a band of dwarves who journey through time to plunder some of history's most prized artifacts. He followed this effort with what the film critics hail as his greatest achievement, Brazil, a visually and dramatically stunning portrait of an Orwellian society that garnered Oscar nominations for Best Screenplay and Art Direction and earned Gilliam the Best Picture, Director and Screenplay honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Gilliam's sumptuous extravaganza, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, won four Academy Award nominations upon its release in 1989, and was followed two years later with another critically-acclaimed feature, The Fisher King, starring Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges. The movie garnered five Oscar nominations, with co-star Mercedes Ruehl winning a Best Supporting Actress award. Gilliam was cited with a Golden Globe nomination as Best Director. His most recent directorial effort, 1995's thought-provoking science fiction drama 12 Monkeys, was also a critical and box office hit. The film starred Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
In addition to his work behind the camera, Gilliam has also appeared in the films Spies Like Us, Pleasure at Her Majesty's, Monty Python's Life of Brian, Monty Python: Live at the Hollywood Bowl and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. He has also recorded several albums with the Pythons as well as compiled numerous books on his work with the comedy troupe. Gilliam received the British Academy of Film and Television's (BAFTA) Michael Balcon Award in 1987 for Outstanding Contributions for the Cinema.
LAILA NABULSI (Producer) brings years of experience working in all aspects of media to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Nabulsi's long association with Hunter S. Thompson has included her working with the writer and illustrator Ralph Steadman on their book The Curse of Lono, and more recently, producing an innovative spoken word CD version of Fear and Loathing for Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville label and a stage version in Chicago with the New Criminals theatre group, directed by John Cusack.
Nabulsi was born of a Palestinian father and all-American mother (who, along with her daughter, are members of the Daughters of the American Revolution) in Washington, D.C. After attending the United Nations School in New York, Nabulsi embarked on a career which ultimately brought her to the original Saturday Night Live as a producer of short films, among them Schiller's Reel, the award-winning Java Junkie and Bob Roberts, the prototype of what would eventually become a feature film. She also served as associate producer of the feature film Nothing Lasts Forever, directed by Tom Schiller and featuring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in the cast. With her roots in comedy, Nabulsi was also involved with the Saturday Night Live book, as well as Titters, a highly popular collection of women's humor.
Nabulsi was appointed President of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's Blues Brothers, spearheading their double platinum first album and hugely successful tour. She then moved to Colorado, where she worked with Hunter Thompson on The Curse of Lono and other projects, before returning to New York and Saturday Night Live in 1985-86 as associate producer for Lorne Michaels, helping to revitalize the show by discovering and casting such fresh talents as Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Damon Wayans, Robert Downey, Jr., Joan Cusack, Sam Kinison and the Kids in the Hall. Since then, Nabulsi has been involved in a number of wide-ranging endeavors, from working with her self-described "mentor" -- the late producer John Foreman -- on John Huston's Prizzi's Honor, starring Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston. Nabulsi continued her collaboration with Huston on such films as Francis Coppola's Gardens of Stone, Nicolas Roeg's The Witches and Paul Mazursky's Enemies, A Love Story.
PATRICK CASSAVETTI (Producer) is one of Great Britain's most notable producers, and previously collaborated with Terry Gilliam as co-producer of Brazil. Cassavetti was born in Nottingham, England, was trained in printing management and fine art printing, and then studied film and photography in London. Working his way through the ranks, he worked as a freelance assistant director, location manager and production manager on an assortment of documentaries, television commercials, television films and features, including such efforts as Warren Beatty's Reds, Stephen Frears' Bloody Kids, Kenneth Loach's Looks & Smiles, Ferdinand Fairfax's TV series Churchill - The Wilderness Years and Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits.
Cassavetti spent three years as a producer for Picture Palace, one of England's top commercial production companies. He then segued into the position of associate producer/line producer of a number of projects, including Stephen Frears' television movies Walter and Walter & June, and produced four independent television films written by David Leland, Birth of a Nation, Both Sides of the Hedge, Made in Britain and Rhino, with directors that include Alan Clarke and Mike Newell.
Having previously worked with Terry Gilliam on Time Bandits, Cassavetti was appointed co-producer (line producer) on the now-classic Brazil. He then produced several distinguished films from leading directors, including Neil Jordan's Mona Lisa, David Hare's Paris By Night, Tristram Powell's American Friends, Stephen Gyllenhaal's Waterland, Nick Hamm's Talk of Angels and Douglas McGrath's acclaimed Emma, which starred Gwyneth Paltrow and executive produced Claude Miller's L'Accompagnatrice. He has also been involved as a partner in a number of European co-productions. Cassavetti is a co-director of Greenpoint Films and a company director of Millennium Films. He lives in London and in the Southwest of France.
STEPHEN NEMETH (Producer) is a multi-talented producer whose executive producing credits include the upcoming Digging to China, Timothy Hutton's directorial debut, starring Kevin Bacon and Mary Stuart Masterson and Denise Calls Up, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1995 Deauville Film Festival and Special Mention for the Camera d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. Additionally, Nemeth produced the 1997 drama Bad Manners, starring David Strathairn and Bonnie Bedelia, directed by Jonathan Kaufer.
NICOLA PECORINI (Director of Photography), although a relative newcomer to the director of photography ranks, has more than 15 years of experience behind him as camera operator and second unit director on more than 60 international films. Pecorini, born in Milan, Italy, has worked with some of film's greatest cinematographers, among them Vittorio Storaro on Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, The Sheltering Sky, Little Buddha and most recently, Stealing Beauty, also serving as second unit director on the latter two. Pecorini's other credits as second unit director include Dario Argento's Opera and Two Evil Eyes, Norman Jewison's Only You, Renny Harlin's Cliffhanger and Roman Polanski's Death and the Maiden.
Pecorini's first feature credit as director of photography was on Michael Hausmann's independent film Rhinoceros Hunting in Budapest. He was also cinematographer for 10 episodes of HBO's popular Tracey Takes On... series, directing Tracey Takes On...Health himself, and served as director of photography for the television pilot Push. He also did additional photography for The Brave, directed by and starring Johnny Depp.
ALEX McDOWELL (Production Designer) won considerable attention and acclaim for his beautifully detailed and atmospheric sets for both The Crow and The Crow: City of Angels. He first came to note as a much sought-after designer of rock videos and television commercials, working in both fields with such directors as Steve Barron, Marco Brambilla, Jesse Dylan, David Fincher, Spike Lee, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Tim Pope, John Singleton, Tarsem, Frank Oz and many others. His initial entry into the world of feature films was Brett Leonard's hit horror film The Lawnmower Man. In addition to the two Crow films, McDowell has also served as production designer for James Foley's Fear and has pre-designed The Matrix (Wachowski Brothers) and Into The Woods (Rob Minkoff).
McDowell was born in Borneo, and lived in Indonesia for seven years, where his father worked as an engineer for Shell Oil. He attended a Quaker boarding school in England, and later studied Fine Art at the Central School of Art in London. He worked as a graphic designer for the music industry and then made the leap to designing music videos, which led to his work in feature films.
LESLEY WALKER (Film Editor) has a number of distinguished films to her credit on both sides of the Atlantic, having worked with a number of fine British and U.S. filmmakers, including Terry Gilliam on The Fisher King. Walker was the recipient of the Golden Scissors Award for Neil Jordan's Mona Lisa, and was nominated for Shirley Valentine and Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom. She has also received British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award nominations for Churchill - The Wilderness Years, Mona Lisa and Cry Freedom. Walker's numerous editing credits have included Derek Jarman's The Tempest, Mike Leigh's Meantime, Letter to Brezhnev, Buster, Waterland, Born Yesterday, Jack and Sarah, Mary Reilly, Attenborough's Shadowlands and In Love and War and Douglas McGrath's Emma.
ELLIOT LEWIS ROSENBLATT (Co-Producer) was born in New York City and attended film school at Hunter College in New York. Beginning his career as a production assistant in New York City, he moved to San Francisco, gaining further experience as a production manager.
Edging southward to Los Angeles, Rosenblatt worked on 10 films as assistant director, among them Stand and Deliver and I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. He also served a tenure as head of production for the visual effects house Introvision, working on such films as Inside the Third Reich, Rambo III and Outland. Rosenblatt then moved into the producing ranks, co-producing Meet Wally Sparks and The Chase, line producing Grace of My Heart, Convicts and Keys to Tulsa and producing Don't Look Back for HBO.
JULIE WEISS (Costume Designer) has built a distinguished career encompassing work on Broadway, regional theatre, television and motion pictures. She received a 1995 Academy Award nomination for her work on Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys. Weiss' film work includes designs for such features as The Edge, Touch, Marvin's Room, Searching for Bobby Fischer, It Could Happen To You, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Freshman, Steel Magnolias, Tequila Sunrise, F/X, Testament and Bette Davis' costumes for The Whales of August. She also designed the soon-to-be-released Graceland. Her first design job, for Morris Carnovsky's stage production of Henry IV, Part I, led to several assignments in regional theatre for such companies as The Hudson Guild, Center Stage, Folger Shakespeare and Artists in Prison, a program in conjunction with inmates at Terminal Island in New York.
Her 18-year affiliation with Los Angeles' prestigious Mark Taper Forum, where she worked with colleagues Gordon Davidson, Christopher Hampton, Richard Nelson and Michael Cristofer, includes designs for such productions as Ashes, Cross Country, Says I, Says He, Gethsemane Springs, Where She Stops Nobody Knows and 50/60s Repertory, for which she won a Dramalogue Award. Most recently, Weiss worked on Luis Valdez's Bandido in conjunction with Teatro Campesino. On the New York stage, Weiss won a Tony Award nomination for The Elephant Man. Her other Broadway and off-Broadway credits have included Sarah & Abraham, The Winter's Tale, Piaf, Later, One Crack Out, Big and Little, City Sugar and Seconds Out.
Weiss won an Emmy Award for her work on the Jane Fonda TV movie, The Dollmaker, and garnered four additional nominations for the TV adaptation of The Elephant Man, Little Gloria, Happy at Last, Evergreen and Liza Minnelli Live at Radio City Music Hall. Other TV credits include A Woman of Independent Means, Do You Remember Love?, The Gangster Chronicles and The Cheever Trilogy for PBS. Weiss, a California native, graduated Phi Betta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Brandeis University before teaching design as a faculty member of Stanford University's drama department.
HUNTER S. THOMPSON (Creative Consultant) was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. His books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, The Curse of Lono, Songs of the Doomed and Better Than Sex. He is a regular contributor to various national and international publications. Volume one of "The Fear and Loathing Letters," The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967, was published by Villard Books in June, 1997. He lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colorado.
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