About the filmmakers
Ocean’s Twelve is STEVEN SODERBERGH’s (Director) fourteenth film following Solaris, Full Frontal, Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic, Erin Brockovich, The Limey, Out of Sight, Gray’s Anatomy, Schizopolis, The Underneath, King of the Hill, Kafka and sex, lies, and videotape. In 2000, his films Erin Brockovich and Traffic were both nominated for Best Picture and Best Director Academy Awards. He received the Best Director Academy Award for Traffic.
Most recently, Soderbergh wrote, directed, photographed and edited Equilibrium, starring Alan Arkin, Robert Downey Jr. and Ele Keats. One of a trio of short eroticismthemed films being released as Eros, Michelangelo Antonioni and Wong Kar-wai direct the other two segments. The film had its premiere at the 2004 Venice Film Festival.
In addition to his credits as director, Soderbergh functioned as producer on Greg Mottola’s The Daytrippers (1997) and on Gary Ross’ Pleasantville (1998). As well, he served as the executive producer on David Siegel and Scott McGehee’s Suture (1994), Godfrey Reggio’s Naqoyqatsi, the final installment of the non-narrative films that make up the Qatsi Trilogy, beginning with Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, and Lodge Kerrigan’s Keane, which recently played the Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals.
In 2000, Soderbergh and George Clooney formed Section Eight, a film production company based at Warner Bros. After their inauguaral production, Ocean’s Eleven, they executive produced Far From Heaven, written and directed by Todd Haynes. The critically acclaimed homage to 1950s melodrama starred Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid. In 2002, Section eight released three films: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by and starring George Clooney with an ensemble cast including Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts; Insomnia, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank; and Welcome to Collinwood, written and directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo. The ensemble comedy’s cast includes William H. Macy, Isaiah Washington, Luis Guzman, Jennifer Esposito, Sam Rockwell and Clooney.
More recently, they produced Criminal, starring John C. Reilly, Diego Luna and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Gregory Jacobs, who had collaborated with Soderbergh on ten prior films, made his directorial debut on the film, which was recently shown at the Venice and Deauville Film Festivals.
Section Eight is currently in production on Syriana, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Amanda Peet. Written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, the thriller is based on the book See No Evil: The True Story of a Foot Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terror by Robert Baer. They are also in post-production on The Jacket, starring Adrian Brody, Keira Knightley and Jennifer Jason Leigh under the direction of John Maybury, and Rumor Has It… directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Mark Ruffalo and Shirley MacLaine. Last year, Section Eight and HBO produced the television docudrama/political reality program K Street, starring real-life political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin. Costarring were a mix of actors including John Slattery and Mary McCormack, as well as real-life politicians. In January, Section Eight and HBO will premiere another new series, Unscripted, which details the lives of a small group of aspiring actors.
JERRY WEINTRAUB’s (Producer) more than 40-year career in entertainment has spanned all genres of music, film, Broadway theatre, concerts and television. He began his filmmaking career in 1973 when he was offered a challenge by maverick director Robert Altman to come up with the financing for a script he had called Nashville. Two days later, Weintraub had set up the financing on the movie, which was released to critical acclaim and is today considered one of the most important films of modern cinema Weintraub went on to produce Barry Levinson’s Diner, which helped launch such young talents as Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke, Tim Daly, Ellen Barkin and Steve Guttenberg; the smash comedy, Oh, God, directed by Carl Reiner and starring George Burns and folk singer John Denver and the highly successful Karate Kid series of four films. Through his Jerry Weintraub Productions, based at the Warner Bros. Studios, he produced Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, The Specialist, starring Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone and Pure Country, starring country singer George Strait.
One of the first independent movie producers to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Weintraub also produced a remake of the stylist television spy series, The Avengers, starring Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes and the science-fiction thriller, Soldier, starring Kurt Russell.
For television, he has produced myriad projects including An Olympic Gala, ABC’s telecast of the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games. The older of two sons, Weintraub was born in the Bronx, New York and enlisted in the United States Air Force following high school. After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to New York and immediately secured a job at NBC-TV as a page for the Steve Allen Show. During the day, he studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse under famed acting coach Sandy Meisner.
Realizing that his talent for acting was not as acute as his talent for business, Weintraub got a job in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency while keeping his position as a page at NBC at night. Three weeks into his position at William Morris, he heard about an opening for an agent at the MCA talent agency. He applied and got the job. Still in his early twenties, he went from mailroom to agent in three weeks.
After several years at MCA, he left and formed his own personal management company. Among the acts that Weintraub managed at this time were Joey Bishop, The Four Tops, and nationally known pop singer Jane Morgan. Inevitably, his relationship with Morgan went from professional to personal and the two were married.
In 1964, Weintraub formed another artist management company, Management III. They managed acts such as Jack Paar, the Muppets, Norm Crosby and Jane Morgan. He also produced over 100 television shows and purchased from Jimmy Nederlander several Broadway theaters for which he produced such shows as Canterbury Tales, Wait A Minium, and later, Frank Sinatra-Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald On Broadway.
One night Weintraub awoke from a deep sleep with a vision. He then made a call that would become the first of several career-affecting moments, to Elvis Presley’s legendary manager Colonel Tom Parker. After a year of calling Parker every day, a deal was made for Weintraub to produce the Elvis tour – if he could come up with a $1 million cash guarantee in 24 hours. The next day, Weintraub delivered the cash and began organizing Elvis’ first national appearance tour.
With Elvis’ tour successfully underway, Weintraub founded Concerts West. He soon was promoting concerts for some of the biggest names in the recording industry, including Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, John Denver and Frank Sinatra, whom he presented at Madison Square Garden in the famed “first around the world by satellite concert” called The Main Event. He also owned several independent record labels and music publishing companies.
Weintraub was soon invited by entertainment industry mogul Kirk Kerkorian, to become Chairman and CEO of his film company, United Artist. He subsequently formed his own film and television production company, Weintraub Entertainment Group. Three years later, he formed Jerry Weintraub Productions at the Warner Bros. Studios. where he enjoyed a life-long relationship with Chairman of the Board Steve Ross, Bob Daly and Terry Semel.
In 1988, his friend of more than 30 years, George Bush, became the 41st President of The United States of America. In 1991, President Bush appointed Weintraub to the Board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a position he would hold through the end of the decade. His wife, Jane, was appointed to the President’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities, where she served throughout the tenure or President Bush’s term in office.
As he solidified his position as an entertainment industry mogul, Weintraub’s interest in politics and various philanthropic endeavors flourished. His humanitarian efforts are as impressive as his professional career. He has contributed to, received awards from and sits on the board of directors of more than 30 charitable organizations including the Hebrew Home for the Aged, The Urban League, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation, the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Department of Orthopedics, the American Heart Association, the George Bush Presidential Library Center, the Los Angeles Music Center, the Variety Club, the B’nai B’rith, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, the Rose and Sam Weintraub Elementary School, Brown University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Library of the Vista Del Mar School, among others.
In 1997, Weintraub funded UCLA’s Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Bio-Technology, the first medical center in the world to blend a variety of intellectual approaches and scientific fields including tissue engineering, gene therapy, oncology and wound healing.
The Weintraubs have four children and maintain homes in Malibu, Beverly Hills, Palm Desert and Kennebunkport, Maine where he and his wife enjoy visiting with the Bushes and the many political and diplomatic friends he has made from all over the world. Weintraub was the 2001 recipient of the Kodak Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Filmmaking at the ShowEast Awards.
GEORGE NOLFI (Screenwriter) is currently writing the feature film version of the television series Hawaii Five-O for Warner Bros. He is writer of the forthcoming New Line Cinema film The Sentinel, starring Michael Douglas.
Nolfi majored in public affairs at Princeton and did graduate work in philosophy at Oxford. He was pursuing his Ph.D. in Political Science at UCLA when he sold his first screenplay. He grew up in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
Ocean’s Twelve marks JOHN HARDY’s (Executive Producer) ninth collaboration with Steven Soderbergh, a relationship which began in 1989 when he produced sex, lies, and videotape. The film went on to win the 1989 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The two subsequently have teamed on seven additional films: Ocean’s Eleven, Erin Brockovich, The Limey, Out of Sight, Schizopolis, Gray’s Anatomy, The Underneath and King of the Hill.
Hardy was raised in Honolulu, Washington, D.C. and London where he graduated from the Bushy Hall American School. He received a B.A. in history from Louisiana State University before entering the London Film School.
His first producing credit was on The Wooden Gun, filmed in Israel in 1979. Written and directed by Ilan Moshenson, the film was shown at festivals in Berlin, Toronto, Locarno and Cannes.
In addition, Hardy produced two films with Morgan Mason: No Secrets and Twenty-One, which was presented at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival.
Hardy also served as executive producer for Martin Brest’s Gigli.
SUSAN EKINS (Executive Producer) has worked with Jerry Weintraub for the past twenty years and is Vice President of Production for Jerry Weintraub Productions. She was associate producer of the company’s films Pure Country and The Specialist and executive producer of Ocean’s Eleven, The Avengers, Soldier and Vegas Vacation. Ekins began her association with Weintraub when she was hired to work on the first of the four Karate Kid films.
A native of Los Angeles, Ekins’ first job in production was with Steve McQueen on Tom Horn. She subsequently worked on such films as The Idolmaker, The Hunter, Cannonball Run 2 and the television series The Renegades.
BRUCE BERMAN (Executive Producer) joined the production division of Warner Bros. Pictures in 1984 and rose through the executive ranks to become President of Worldwide Theatrical Production in 1989. Under his aegis, the studio produced and distributed such titles as the Oscar-winning Driving Miss Daisy, as well as GoodFellas, Presumed Innocent, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Batman Forever, Malcolm X, The Bodyguard, JFK, The Fugitive, Dave, A Time to Kill and Twister.
In 1996 Berman started Plan B Entertainment, the Warner Bros. Pictures-based independent production company that was later acquired by Village Roadshow Pictures. Village Roadshow Pictures, where Berman now holds the post of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, currently has 20 projects in various stages of development at Warner Bros. Pictures. Most recently, Berman executive produced the immensely successful The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, Ocean’s Eleven, Training Day, Two Weeks Notice, Cats & Dogs, Three Kings, The Matrix and Analyze This through Village Roadshow’s partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures, as well as the hit comedy Miss Congeniality, produced jointly with Warner Bros. Pictures and Castle Rock Entertainment.
One of Berman’s most recent projects includes the critically acclaimed Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Academy Award™ winners Sean Penn and Tim Robbins. Up next for Berman in 2004-2005 are the high-profile sequels Ocean’s Twelve and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp; a remake of the horror classic House of Wax, starring Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray and Paris Hilton; Rumor Has It, directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner and Shirley MacLaine; Dukes of Hazzard, based on the famous TV-series and starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and Jessica Simpson; The Wrong Element, starring Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany; and the CGI-animated musical Happy Feet from the director of Babe, featuring the voices of Robin Williams, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood and Brittany Murphy.
FREDERIC W. BROST’s (Co-producer/Unit Production Manager) association with Steven Soderbergh dates to 1998, when he served as the production manager on Out of Sight. He has continued to work with the director on the films The Limey, Erin Brockovich, Traffic and Ocean’s Eleven.
A graduate of the DGA’s Assistant Director Trainee program, Brost worked as an assistant director or production manager on numerous feature and television projects with some of the industry’s most respected directors, including Robert Altman, Arthur Hiller, George Stevens, Mark Rydell, Mike Nichols, Richard Fleischer, Irving Kirshner and Daniel Petrie.
Leaving physical production, Brost was Vice-President and Executive Production Manager for Universal Pictures, supervising all aspects of feature film production on more than 100 motion pictures. Among the films he supervised were John Waters’ Cry Baby, Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, Phil Robinson’s Field of Dreams, Ron Howard’s Parenthood, Harold Becker’s Sea of Love and Paul Mazursky’s Moon Over Parador.
In 1990, Brost returned to feature production, serving as line producer-production manager on such films as Gigli, Zeus & Roxanne, Getting Away with Murder, Gordy, The Sandlot, Encino Man and Sweet Poison.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Brost first became interested in film while studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and did post-graduate work in Cinema at the University of Southern California.
GREGORY JACOBS (Co-Producer) most recently produced Equilibrium, Steven Soderbergh’s segment of a trio of short films being released together as Eros. Michaelangelo Antonioni and Wong Kar-wai directed the other two segments.
Jacobs previously executive produced Solaris and produced Full Frontal for Soderbergh. They began their association in 1992 when Jacobs was first assistant director on King of the Hill. He has collaborated with the director on six additional films, including Ocean’s Eleven, the Academy Award-winning Traffic, Erin Brockovich (nominated for an Academy Award), The Limey, Out of Sight and The Underneath.
In 2003, Jacobs made his directorial debut on Criminal, starring John C. Reilly, Diego Luna and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The film was released in September and was shown at the 2004 Venice, Deauville and London Film Festivals.
A native of New Jersey, Jacobs attended New York University Film School. While still a student, he worked as a production assistant on independent filmmaker John Sayles’ movie Matewan. He subsequently served as Sayles’ 2nd assistant director on the films Eight Men Out and City of Hope.
As a first assistant director, he has worked frequently with such notable directors as John Schlesinger, Roland Joffe, Hal Hartley and Richard Linklater. Among his other credits are Miller’s Crossing and Little Man Tate.
PHILIP MESSINA (Production Designer) is reunited with Steven Soderbergh following his collaboration with the director on the films Eros, Solaris, Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic and Erin Brockovich. He first worked with Soderbergh on Out of Sight, for which Messina served as art director. Messina’s work on Ocean’s Eleven was honored with a nomination from the Art Directors Guild in the contemporary film category.
Most recently, Messina designed Gregory Jacobs’ Criminal and 8 Mile for director Curtis Hanson.
Born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Messina graduated from Cornell University with a degree in architecture. His initial foray into the entertainment business was as a set designer on the films Mermaids, School Ties and Housesitter, which were filmed in the Boston area.
Following a move to Los Angeles, Messina served as the art director on such films as Hard Target, The Neon Bible, Reckless, The Associate, Trial & Error and The Sixth Sense. Messina designed the sets for the popular television series Freaks and Geeks, which reteamed him with director Jake Kasdan, for whom he had served as the art director on Kasdan’s directorial debut, Zero Effect.
Messina is married to set decorator Kristen Toscano Messina, with whom he frequently collaborates.
STEPHEN MIRRIONE A.C.E. (Editor) received an Academy Award for Traffic, his first collaboration with Steven Soderbergh, for whom he also edited Ocean’s Eleven. He has since edited director Gregory Jacobs’ Criminal, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s English language drama 21 Grams, and George Clooney’s directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
Mirrione’s additional credits include three films for director Doug Liman, beginning with Liman’s first feature, the comedy thriller Getting In. Mirrione went on to edit his critically acclaimed films Swingers and Go.
Other editing credits include two films directed by Jill Sprecher, the award-winning Clockwatchers, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997 and more recently, 13 Conversations About One Thing, which was shown at the 2001 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.
MILENA CANONERO (Costume Designer) first worked with Steven Soderbergh when she designed the costumes for his films Eros and Solaris. Canonero has won two Academy Awards for her costumes for Chariots of Fire (1982) and Barry Lyndon (1975), the latter shared with Ulla-Britt Söderlund. She has received five additional Academy Award nominations for The Affair of the Necklace, Titus, Dick Tracy, Tucker: The Man and his Dream and Out of Africa.
Canonero also won two British Academy Awards (BAFTAs) for her work on The Cotton Club and Chariots of Fire. She has been nominated three additional times for Dick Tracy, Out of Africa and Barry Lyndon.
In 2001, the Costume Designers Guild honored Canonero with its Career Achievement Award.
Her numerous film credits include Bulworth, Death and the Maiden, Only You, Love Affair, Damage, Single White Female (also production designer), The Godfather Part III, Reversal of Fortune (as a consultant), Barfly, The Hunger, The Shining, Midnight Express and A Clockwork Orange. A native of Turin, Italy, Canonero studied costume design and art history in Paris and London. She has also designed costumes for operas at the Vienna Opera House, the Espoleto Festival and the Metropolitan Opera House, and has worked in theater for the Teatro di Roma.
In 2001, Canonero returned to Italy to design the costumes and sets for Roman Polanski’s theatrical production of Amadeus. In addition, she served as the production designer on the upcoming motion picture Love is Blind, filmed in Belgrade. Most recently, Canonero designed the costumes for Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic, filmed in Rome. Following Ocean’s Twelve, she returned to Europe to design the costumes for Sofia Coppola’s period drama Marie-Antoinette.
DAVID HOLMES (Composer) first collaborated with Steven Soderbergh on Out of Sight. He also composed the score for the director’s Ocean’s Eleven. Holmes cut his teeth on TV soundtrack work, which caught the ear of filmmaker Mark Evans, who invited him to score Resurrection Man, a story loosely based on a particularly dark period in Belfast’s history. He received critical acclaim for his score as well as offers from Hollywood, which subsequently led him to Soderbergh’s film Out of Sight. His other motion picture credits include Buffalo Soldiers; director Michael Winterbottom’s Code 46, starring Tim Robbins and Samantha Morto,n and Stander, directed by Bronwyn Hughes.
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Holmes began his music career as a DJ in a Belfast club at the age of 15. He has been absorbed in diverse musical genres since youth, growing up through punk, modism and acid house.
In 1995, his first U.K. album, This Film’s Crap Let’s Slash the Seats for Go Beat!/UK, received critical acclaim.
Two years later, Holmes went to New York to explore the city’s unique melting pot of personalities and cultures. His American album debut, Let’s Get Killed, which landed in the Top 20 on the College Music Journal (CMJ) and placed number one on CMJ’s DJ/Electronic charts was inspired by this trip.
As the Let’s Get Killed concept was a leap forward from This Film’s Crap Let’s Slash the Seats, Holmes decided to go a bit further into the unknown with his next venture. With Bow Down to the Exit Sign, his third album for 1500 Records/Go! Beat Records, Holmes again stakes his claim to unexplored and intriguing new ground. The album was developed alongside a feature film script entitled Living Room, a unique integration of music, image and story.
Holmes’ eclectic approach has lent itself to a string of other projects, including his own Essential Mix album for London Records and as an accomplished producer for Primal Scream, John Spencer Blues Explosion and Martina Topley Bird.
The composer recently partnered with Steve Hilton to form Free Association, an entity
dedicated to giving him more creative freedom and room for experimentation both in film and
with his recordings. Their first album, Daivd Holmes Presents, was recently released.
Holmes received an award for one of his mixes on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio One show,
as well as Best Irish Album 1997 for Let’s Get Killed at the Irish Rock Awards.
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