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PUSS IN BOOTS (2011)

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Director: Chris Miller
Screenwriter: Tom Wheeler
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG
****

CREW INFO

CHRIS MILLER (Director) made his feature film directing debut with the third installment of the most successful animated franchise ever, “Shrek the Third,” for DreamWorks Animation. Miller joined DreamWorks Animation in 1998 as a story artist on the studio’s first animated comedy, “Antz.” He subsequently went on to work as a story artist on the Academy Award®-winning hit film, “Shrek,” while also writing additional dialogue and providing the voice of the hilarious Magic Mirror, as well as Gepetto. He followed that by serving as head of story on the blockbuster “Shrek 2.” In addition to providing various voices for the Shrek films, he also voiced Kowalski the Penguin in “Madagascar.”

A graduate of the California Institute of the Arts’ animation/film department, Miller is also a longtime collaborator with the Helios Dance Theater, for which he has created sets, films and projections on numerous occasions. Miller has worked on a wide array of features, commercials, videos and internet projects, including a short for Steven Spielberg, entitled “Steven’s Dream.” His commercial work includes spots for Coca-Cola, Canon, The Comedy Channel and FILA, for which he won a Clio Award for best animated commercial. Miller has also produced several independent animated projects, which have been featured on MTV and in festivals throughout North America and Europe.

Emmy award-winning producer JOE M. AGUILAR (Producer) has served as a senior executive and key producer at DreamWorks Animation since the company’s inception.

Aguilar began his career with the studio as Head of Production for DreamWorks Television, where he oversaw the production of such shows as the Judd Apatow comedy “Undeclared,” the Steven Spielberg drama “The Others,” the popular sitcom “Freaks & Geeks,” the Peter Mehlman comedy series, “It’s Like, You Know” and the hit sitcom “Spin City.” Joe served as co-executive producer on the Emmy award-winning Sci-Fi Channel mini-series, “Steven Spielberg Presents Taken,” the computer-animated comedy “Father of the Pride,” as well as the holiday television special “Merry Madagascar.”

Prior to joining DreamWorks Television, Joe served as a production executive at 20th Century Fox, where he oversaw such feature films as “Courage Under Fire,” “The Great White Hype,” “Girl 6” and “A Walk in the Clouds.”

Multifaceted LATIFA OUAOU (Producer) first came to DreamWorks in 1996 to work on the movie “Antz.”  Since then, she has been involved in the development or production of the studio’s most successful films (and the industry’s highest-grossing animated film trilogy), “Shrek,” “Shrek 2” and “Shrek the Third.” Not only did she work on the production side of the films, she also provided the voices of Guinevere and a cheerleader in “Shrek the Third,” and Jill and a doll in “Shrek 2.”

More recently, Ouaou served as co-producer on the international hit “Monsters vs. Aliens,” the studio’s first InTru 3D movie, wholly conceived, developed and authored in 3D. She also produced the Halloween television special “Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space.”

Prior to co-producing “Monsters vs. Aliens,” Ouaou’s industry credits include serving as art department coordinator on the comedy “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and the new holiday live-action classic “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Since winning the Critic’s Prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival and nine Mexican Academy Awards for his first feature “Cronos,” GUILLERMO DEL TORO (Executive Producer) has established himself among the most critically and commercially successful international writer-directors.

Del Toro has built his career by moving between independent, Spanish-language films and increasingly big budget studio productions. His films include “Mimic,” “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Blade 2,” “Hellboy” and its sequel, “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.”

His 2006 film “Pan’s Labyrinth” received six Academy Award® nominations (including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay for Del Toro) and won three Oscars®. It was also the recipient of three BAFTA Awards, seven Goya Awards, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and was selected by the National Society of Film Critics as the best film of the year. It is the highest-grossing Spanish language film of all time in the U.S. and the fifth highest-grossing foreign language film in U.S. box office history, with $37.6 million in box office receipts.

In 2007, Del Toro produced the Spanish supernatural thriller “The Orphanage,” which is currently the highest-grossing local language film in Spain’s history, with over $80 million in worldwide box office. His other producing credits include “Rudo y Cursi,” directed by Carlos Cuaron and starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, and Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu's “Biutiful,” which was featured in competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and received Academy Award® nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor.

In 2010, Del Toro named DreamWorks Animation his home for animated feature film projects. In addition to his work on “Puss in Boots,” DreamWorks Animation has acquired from Del Toro “Trollhunters” (working title), an original project from which the Company plans to produce a 3D animated feature film, which will be written and directed by Del Toro himself. The exciting new story of “Trollhunters” is being kept entirely under wraps at the studio.

Apart from his film work, Del Toro is co-authoring the horror trilogy The Strain with acclaimed novelist Chuck Hogan. The first book in the series was published by William Morrow in 2009. The second volume, The Fall, debuted at #8 on The New York Times Bestseller List in October 2010.

Prior to “Puss in Boots,” ERIC DAPKEWICZ (Editor) edited DreamWorks Animation’s first stereoscopic feature film, “Monsters vs. Aliens,” and the adventure comedy, “Flushed Away,” starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet.

Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Dapkewicz worked on such projects as Walt Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch” and “Mulan,” as well as the short animated film, “John Henry.”

Dapkewicz is from Tustin, California, and is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton. An accomplished live-action filmmaker, Dapkewicz served as editor and composer of the short film “Pandemic,” and as a multiple hat-wearer (editor, director, screenplay writer, composer and lead actor) on the short film, “The Black Rabbit.” He also wrote, directed and edited the shorts “The Last Piece Standing” and “The Kiss.”

GUILLAUME ARETOS’ (Production Designer) working relationship with Puss in Boots goes back to the character’s screen debut—as Aretos played an instrumental role in each of the first three Shrek films.

Aretos has been with DreamWorks Animation for 15 years and his career in entertainment spans three decades, including both writing and acting for television. In France during the late 1980s, Aretos was well-known as the equivalent the American character Jack Tripper from “Three’s Company” for his work as an actor on the television show “L’homme a Tout Faire.”

Outside of the movie business, Aretos is also a painter and an illustrator. His paintings and drawings have been widely exhibited in France, at such galleries as the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Musée d'Art Moderne Albert Chanot. Aretos’ illustrated books, including Le Livre Secret des Fourmis (The Secret Lives of Ants), have been published in France and Korea. He has contributed to the magazines Ciel et Espace, Science et Nature and Metal Hurlant.

Prior to his work on DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots,” GIL ZIMMERMAN (Head of Layout) served in the same capacity on the critically acclaimed and box-office hit “How to Train Your Dragon.” Zimmerman joined DreamWorks Animation in 2002 and has worked on a number of the studio’s films, including “Over the Hedge” and the Oscar®-nominated “Shark Tale.” Zimmerman’s previous production credits also include a list of titles, among them the Oscar®-nominated “Bolt,” “Demonslayer,” “Treasure Planet” and “Tarzan.”

Prior to his role as on DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots,” KEN BIELENBERG (Visual Effects Supervisor) served in the same capacity on “Monsters vs. Aliens.” With DreamWorks since 1990, Bielenberg served as the visual effects supervisor on “Shrek,” “Shrek 2” and “Shrek the Third,” which comprise the most successful animated franchise of all time. Prior to his work on “Shrek,” Bielenberg served as the effects supervisor on the “Antz” animation team that was responsible for creating the extensive and innovative water simulation, dust and dirt effects in the film.

Bielenberg is also an accomplished documentary filmmaker, having directed the documentaries “Kinsey Sicks: Almost Infamous” and “I Wanna Be a Republican” (which he also edited), and produced “Equality U.” He also wrote and directed the short film “Just Ryan.”

His additional credits at PDI/DreamWorks also include lead technical director on the 3D animated segment of “The Simpsons’ 1995 Halloween Special,” the feature film “Angels in the Outfield” and countless commercials, including spots for Matchlight, Lego and the Clio Award-winning Halls Penguins spot. He also had a hand in the effects work for the feature films “Eraser” and “Hearts and Souls.”

Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Bielenberg combined the study of film and animation to compliment his B.S. in computer science.

HENRY JACKMAN (Composer) has had a successful and eclectic musical career. He studied classical music in the U.K. at St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School, Eton College and Oxford University, then switched gears, producing chart-topping dance remixes, electronica and club music.

Jackman most recently scored the blockbuster “X-Men: First Class,” directed by Matthew Vaughn, and the animated film “Winnie the Pooh.” Jackman's other film scores include “Gulliver's Travels,” “Kick-Ass,” “Monsters vs. Aliens” DreamWorks Animation), and Henry IV.

Prior to his film music career, Jackman spent several years in the record industry, collaborating with producer Trevor Horn on the Art of Noise album “The Seduction of Claude Debussy.” Jackman also worked with Seal, co-writing and producing “This Could Be Heaven” for the motion picture “The Family

Man.” This gained the attention of prominent film composers Hans Zimmer and John Powell, and Jackman received additional music credits on their scores to: “The Dark Knight,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End,” “Hancock,” “It's Complicated,” “The Holiday” and “The Simpsons Movie.”

Jackman's ability to approach such a wide range of film genres with a fresh point of view is due to his unique advantage of coming from both the classical and recording industry worlds.

KEN MUSETH (Research & Development) is the principle engineer and supervisor of research and development in simulations of visual effects at DreamWorks Animation. Prior to joining DreamWorks in 2009 he was a senior software engineer at the VFX studio Digital Domain. As such he has worked on the life-action movies “Tron: Legacy,” “2012,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” “The Golden Compass,” and the animated features “Puss in Boots,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Megamind,” “Shrek Forever After” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Additionally, Museth is an adjunct professor in computer graphics at both Linkoping University, Sweden, and Aarhus University, Denmark, both the result of a former career as a full professor. Ken received a M.Sc. in physical chemistry in 1994 and Ph.D. in physical quantum dynamics in 1997, both from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He served as a visiting faculty member and research scientist at California Institute of Technology from 1998 to 2003. During this period he also worked on mission design and visualization at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory—these techniques where used for NASA's “Genesis” space mission, which lead to a NOVA award in 2000.

Prior to leaving academia in 2008 he was a fully tenured professor (faculty chair) in computer graphics at Linkoping University, Sweden, since 2003. He is currently on the Editorial Board of Journal of Graphics Tools and on the program committees of SGP 2011 and CGI 2011.

LAURA GORENSTEIN MILLER (Choreographer) is the founder, choreographer and artistic director of Helios Dance Theater, a Los Angeles-based contemporary dance company. Miller has premiered her work at venues that include University of California Los Angeles’ Royce Hall and Schoenberg Hall; REDCAT at Disney Hall; the Getty Center; California Institute of the Arts; University of Southern California's Bovard auditorium; the Joyce Theater and Lincoln Center in New York; the Royal Opera House in London; the Mid Ocean Amphitheatre in Southampton, Bermuda (hosted by Catherine Zeta-Jones); and Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, to name a few.

Miller received her B.F.A. in choreography from the California Institute of the Arts, during which time she was selected to attend the Laban Center in London for intensive study in choreographic theory.

Helios Dance Theater was the only local company to be presented in the UCLA's 1998-1999 Center for the Performing Arts season. Other artists included in that season were Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Miller was selected to create an original work for the Milwaukee Ballet Company that premiered March 2002. She was also the only choreographer from the United States chosen to participate in Genesis, the Milwaukee Ballet's international choreographic competition.

Kevin McKenzie, the Director of the American Ballet Theater (ABT) saw Miller's work with the Milwaukee Ballet and invited her to create a piece with ABT Studio. The result, “Milk Pool,” is still in their repertoire and they have performed it everywhere, from the Joyce and Lincoln Center in New York to the Lindbury at the Royal Opera House. In February 2007, ABT performed Miller's work at their Annual Fundraising Dinner in New York, along with works by Twyla Tharp and Jiri Kylian.

Miller (and Helios Dance Theater) has received numerous dance awards, including two Lester Horton Awards and the Grand Prize in 2004 at the McCallum Theatre's Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival.

She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Chris, and sons, Maxim and Hugo.
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Studio photos, notes and videos © 2011 DreamWorks Animation