The Big Empty - About the Filmmakers

Last Update: 13 November 2003
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STEVE ANDERSON (Director and Screenwriter)
Steve Anderson makes his feature film writing and directing debut with
The Big Empty. A Peabody Award winning cameraman, Steve Anderson has
shot seven national documentaries for PBS and thousands of hours of
broadcast television. He's been charged by lions on the Serenghetti
Plain, caught fire in the Malibu fires and been rattled homeless by an
earthquake. He's been blessed by Mother Theresa; seen John Wayne
Bobbit's penis and even once danced with Angelyne. Anderson has gotten
drunk with Captain Kangaroo, been trained as a Hollywood stunt driver
and flown upside-down with the Ray-Ban Gold Aerial Acrobatic Team. He's
been shot at in the L.A. riots, chased O.J. up the freeway and
witnessed both breast and ass implants. Anderson has lounged in the
grotto at the Playboy Mansion, walked the red carpet at the Oscars and
met celebrities, politicians and movie stars from the Flying Elvises to
Bozo the Clown to President Bush.
In 1997 Doug Mankoff started Echo Lake Productions by raising a private
equity fund to finance and produce independent films. In addition to
producing The Big Empty, Doug Mankoff executive produced David Riker's
La Ciudad, winner of awards at numerous film festivals including Havana
(best foreign film), South-By-Southwest (best narrative film), Santa
Barbara (best narrative film), and Taos (best feature); produced
Allison Anders' Things Behind the Sun, which won a Peabody Award for
its "searing exploration" of the consequences of rape; and executive
produced Jill Sprecher's Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, which
became Sony Pictures Classics' highest grossing film of 2002. Most
recently, Mankoff executive produced Ed Solomon's Levity, which was
chosen as the opening night film of the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
GREGG L. DANIEL (Producer)
Gregg L. Daniel is the co-founder of Rainstorm Entertainment, an L.A.-
based feature film production company. A graduate of the American Film
Institute's producing fellowship program, Daniel began his career
assisting director Paul Aaron on the Glenn Close film Maxie. He has
held posts at The Walt Disney Company, where he coordinated visual
effects for George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola on Captain Eo; served
as a studio liaison on numerous Touchstone Film productions; and worked
in the production departments of Jim Abrahams Big Business, Garry
Marshall's Beaches, and Steven Spielberg's Always. He was the producer
of Terror Tract, which premiered on the USA Network and won the "Silver
Raven" and "Prize of the Audience" awards at the Brussels International
Festival of Fantasy Films, as well as "Best Feature" at the Rhode
Island Horror Film Festival and "Shriekfest" in Los Angeles.
Andrew Spaulding's credits include executive producing Jill Sprecher's
critically acclaimed Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, starring
Matthew McConaughey, John Turturro, and Alan Arkin; and Ed Solomon's
Levity starring Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan Freeman, and Holly Hunter.
Spaulding joined independent production and financing company Echo Lake
Productions in 2001 and serves as the company's Executive Vice-
President. Before joining Echo Lake Productions, he served as vice-
president of the independent production company founded by veteran
producer A. Kitman Ho (Ali, Platoon), where he worked on the production
of Kathryn Bigelow's The Weight of Water and Jonathan Kaplan's
Brokedown Palace.
Keith Resnick is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley
and the American Film Institute. He has held executive positions at
Arlington Television Network, Golden West Television Productions, and
InterStar Films Releasing Company and has been responsible for hundreds
of hours of television programming. He was a partner at Giant Leap
Entertainment, which produced Terror Tract. He is currently Executive
Director of the Lili Claire Foundation, which provides outreach
programs to children and their families that are affected by
neurogenetic birth defects.
STEVE BICKEL (Executive Producer)
Steve Bickel has broad experience in the international production and
distribution arena. He started his entertainment career as an associate
producer on the feature Somewhere in Time. Soon after, he assumed the
role of vice president of independent sales for Warner Bros.
International, building an extensive international sales network. He
then moved to the Virgin Group as President of Virgin Vision, where he
established the U.S. entertainment company and was a consultant to
Banque Paribas' Entertainment Division. Bickel was then appointed
President of Samuel Goldwyn International, where he oversaw all film
and television foreign rights' distribution and marketing for a broad
range of award-winning films, including The Madness of King George,
Much Ado About Nothing and I Shot Andy Warhol.
Most recently Bickel was President of Shooting Gallery International,
where he was responsible for the sales and marketing of all Shooting
Gallery pictures, including You Can Count on Me, winner of the Sundance
Grand Jury Prize. In September of 2001 Steve Bickel was named as
President and Partner of Aura Entertainment; a film and television
production, marketing and distribution partnership with Lou and Kelly
Gonda's Lexington Entertainment Group. Since Aura's inception he has
headed up international sales on the East of Doheny production A Time
For Dancing. Bickel will produce Aura's next feature Love Comes to the
JEFFREY KRAMER (Executive Producer)
Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning producer Jeffrey Kramer is one of
the few top movie and TV executives in Hollywood who also plays a key
role in new media. He recently served as President of Lexington
Entertainment Group and its subsidiaries, including East of Doheny
Productions, Lexington Road Productions and Lexington Films Capital.
Kramer was previously President of David E. Kelley Productions, where
he produced such shows as "Ally McBeal," "The Practice" and "Chicago
Hope," winning numerous awards. During his career, Kramer has also been
a successful actor in movies like Jaws; an independent producer and an
executive at Twentieth Century Fox Television, where he oversaw the
development of hits like "In Living Color," "The X-Files" and "The
Simpsons" before leaving to join Kelley.
STEVEN G. KAPLAN (Executive Producer)
Steven G. Kaplan founded Rainstorm Entertainment in 2002, having had a
successful run as an original founder of Giant Leap Entertainment, the
production company behind Terror Tract, the comedic horror flick
starring the late John Ritter. Kaplan is producing the upcoming
Rainstorm Entertainment features All American Dad, Juggernaut and Night
Calls the Green Falcon. As Executive Producer on Terror Tract and The
Big Empty, Kaplan was responsible for packaging and providing financing
for Rainstorm Entertainment and Giant Leap Entertainment projects.
A law professional with well-respected business insight, Kaplan also
serves as a managing shareholder of the business law firm of Levinson,
Kaplan, Arshonsky & Kurtz. Kaplan represents independent filmmakers,
writers and directors. After receiving his Bachelor's of Arts from
U.C.L.A. in 1985, Kaplan attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles,
earning his J.D. in 1988.
PETER WETHERELL (Executive Producer)
After eleven years as an international film sales and distribution
executive, Peter Wetherell created his own company in 1996, Magus
Entertainment, in order to both provide senior consulting services to
the film production and distribution community and to Executive Produce
feature films. He has since represented a variety of production
companies, private investors, financing institutions and foreign
distributors. Clients have included Echo Lake Productions (L.A.),
Halcyon Entertainment (L.A.), Four Boys Films (L.A.), Cinecitta Studios
(Italy), The Quebec Film and TV Office (Canada) and Columbia Tristar
International Television (L.A.).
In addition to Wetherell's executive producing credits with Echo Lake
on Thirteen Conversations About One Thing and Things Behind the Sun,
his other credits include Deepwater, starring Lucas Black, Mia Maestro
and Peter Coyote; Tangled, starring Rachael Leigh Cook and Jonathan
Rhys-Meyers and Gunshy starring Diane Lane and William Petersen.
Wetherell was previously a Board member of AFMA for six years and is a
current member of the AFEA council (American Film Export Association)
and the AFMA Producer's committee.
JORY WEITZ (Casting Director)
Jory Weitz began his career in the New York theatre world casting
Broadway and off-Broadway shows. He then transitioned into casting
feature films working with an elite corps of directors such as Tim
Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Shelton, Stephen Frears, and Kevin
Costner. Most recently, Jory executive produced and cast the indie film
Napoleon Dynamite. His next project will be co-producing the Henry
Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas; Monkeybone) film Sleepless Beauty.
SCOT SCALISE (Film Editor)
Scot Scalise began his editing career apprenticing on two Steve Martin
comedies, All of Me and The Man With Two Brains. During his career, he
has worked on such well-known films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The
Little Mermaid and Always. His recent work in independent films
includes such diverse projects as Eight Lanes in Hamilton, Terror
Tract, Limp, Rhinos and the short film Nougat.

His extensive career in television includes movies such as Don King:
Only in America, Fever, The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson and
AARON OSBORNE (Production Designer)
Aaron Osborne has worked as a production designer for over ten years on
numerous studio and independent films, including I Am Sam, Trippin',
Another Day in Paradise, Don't Be a Menace to South Central While
Drinking Your Juice in the 'Hood and the upcoming Employee of the
He recently won the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction for a
Single-Camera Series for the television series "Without a Trace," which
he shares with set decorator Jeannie Gunn.
CHRIS MANLEY (Director of Photography)
Chris Manley earned his MFA in cinematography from the American Film
Institute, where he was awarded the Eastman-Kodak Scholarship Award.
His AFI thesis, My Mother Dreams the Satan's Disciples in New York, won
the Oscar for best live action short film in 1999. Since AFI, Manley
has photographed such indie features as To Protect and Serve, Dahmer,
and his latest, Neo Ned. He has also shot several TV movies, including
The Phantom Eye, an original show for AMC that earned him an Emmy.
BRIAN TYLER (Music Composer)
Brian Tyler most recently scored Paramount Pictures Timeline for
director Richard Donner and The Hunted, starring Tommy Lee Jones and
Benicio del Toro for Academy Award® winning director William Friedkin.
He also scored the music for the upcoming Godsend
starring Robert De Niro as well as the #1 box office hit Darkness
Falls. Other films include Lions Gate Films suspense thriller Frailty,
which garnered him a 2002 World Soundtrack Award nomination; and Last
Call, starring Jeremy Irons and Sissy Spacek, for which Tyler received
an Emmy nomination. Tyler received a Master's Degree from Harvard
University and a Bachelor's Degree from UCLA.
DONDI BASTONE (Music Supervisor)
Dondi Bastone's recent projects include The Human Stain by Lakeshore;
the Miramax and Showtime documentary series "Freshman Diaries" and the
upcoming HBO feature Pornucopia. Bastone will be soon starting work on
Alexander Payne's upcoming feature, Sideways. He also served as a music
supervisor for the indie hits Pollock and Election in addition to the
commercial feature Home Fries. He started his music career as a music
coordinator on Get Shorty.
KRISTIN M. BURKE (Costume Designer)
Kristin Burke has designed costumes for over thirty-five feature films,
two television series and countless commercials and promos. Her film
credits Include Star Maps, The Slaughter Rule and The Cooler. A
California native, she learned to sew in 4H, and later attended
Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she earned a
degree in Film and a degree in French. She is also the co-author of the
upcoming book Costuming for Film: the Art and the Craft, due out later
this year from Silman James Press, and is currently writing a second
book. Ms. Burke would like to express her gratitude for the help and
support of The Big Empty team, and the people of Baker, California.

Press Notes Main Page
Soundtrack Info 
About the Production
Locking in the Actors
Let's Put Baker on the Map!
Subliminally Speaking
About the Cast
- Jon Favreau
- Rachael Leigh Cook
- Kelsey Grammer
- Sean Bean
- Daryl Hannah
- Adam Beach
- Joey Lauren Adams
- Melora Walters
- Jon Gries
- Bud Cort
- Gary Farmer
- Brent Briscoe
 About the Filmmakers
- Steve Anderson (Director)
- Doug Mankoff (Producer)
- Gregg L. Daniel (Producer)
- Andrew Spaulding (Producer)
- Keith Resnick (Producer)
- Steve Bickel (Executive Producer)
- Jeffrey Kramer (Executive Producer)
- Steven G. Kaplan (Executive Producer)
- Peter Wetherell (Executive Producer)
- Jory Weitz (Casting Director)
- Scott Scalise (Film Editor)
- Aaron Osborne (Production Designer)
- Chris Manley (Director of Photography)
- Brian Tyler (Music Composer)
- Dondi Bastone (Music Supervisor)
- Kristin M. Burke (Costume Designer)


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