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SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD (2012)
Release Date: June 22, 2012
Studio: Focus Features
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Screenwriter: Lorene Scafaria
Starring: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley
MPAA Rating: R
Lorene Scafaria (Writer/Director)
Lorene Scafaria survived New Jersey, where she dabbled in improv comedy and community college.
She began as a playwright, putting up Max Fischer-esque shows, and later did extras work for the glory. After two years of being broke in New York, she packed her car and drove to Los Angeles. She got dogs.
Three years later, she set up her first spec, The Mighty Flynn, at Warner Bros. Since then, Ms. Scafaria has worked on comedy, drama, and musical screenplays for Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures. She adapted Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s young adult novel into the screenplay Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist for Mandate Pictures and Sony, which was directed by Peter Sollett and released in 2008. The movie starred Michael Cera opposite Kat Dennings.
She is producing a movie written and to be directed by Christopher Storer; Relanxious will star Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis, Brie Larson, and Fred Armisen.
Ms. Scafaria is also a singer/songwriter. Her song “28” was featured in Drew Barrymore’s Whip It!; “We Can’t Be Friends” and “Girls Aren’t Supposed To” were part of the soundtrack of Galt Niederhoffer’s The Romantics. Her album This Time Last Year is a collaboration with others and was released MUCH too soon.
Steve Golin (Producer)
Steve Golin is the founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, the development, production, and management company. Over the past 20 years Mr. Golin has developed a reputation for cultivating artistic freedom while maintaining commercial viability, with creative efforts encompassing feature films, television, commercials, music videos, and new media.
He was an Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner as producer of Babel, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, who was named Best Director at the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival.
At the heart of Anonymous’ success is an exemplary eye for strong, commercial material. The film division’s recent productions include Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone, nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence); Jodie Foster’s The Beaver; and Ken Kwapis’ Big Miracle, staring Drew Barrymore. Movies in post-production include Josh Schwartz’s Fun Size, starring Victoria Justice; Erik Van Looy’s Loft, the filmmaker’s U.S.-set remake of the 2008 Belgian thriller of the same name, starring Karl Urban and Emmy Award winner Eric Stonestreet; and Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s Imogene, starring Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening. Upcoming productions include Michael Engler’s A Little Something for Your Birthday, starring Malin Akerman and James Marsden; and Joe Lynch’s Everly, starring Kate Hudson.
Previous productions for Mr. Golin and Anonymous include Peter Segal’s 50 First Dates, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, which earned over $180 million worldwide; the hit television series The L Word; and, also for Focus Features, Michel Gondry’s Academy Award-winning Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.
He co-founded his first company, Propaganda Films, in 1986. It became the largest music video and commercial production company in the world, earning more MTV Video Music Awards and Palme d’Or (Golden Palm, at Cannes) awards than any other company. Mr. Golin helped launch the careers of directors David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Michael Bay, Antoine Fuqua, Gore Verbinski, Alex Proyas, David Kellogg, and Simon West, among many others. Propaganda’s groundbreaking television series productions included Beverly Hills 90210 and Twin Peaks.
His producing credits at Propaganda include David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, which won Best Picture at the 1990 Cannes International Film Festival and costarred Academy Award nominee Diane Ladd; Madonna: Truth or Dare, directed by Alek Keshishian and Mark Miceli; Jane Campion’s The Portrait of a Lady, which was nominated for 2 Academy Awards; David Fincher’s The Game, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn; Neil LaBute’s Your Friends & Neighbors and Nurse Betty, starring Golden Globe Award winner Renée Zellweger; and Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich, which was nominated for 3 Academy Awards including Best Director.
Mr. Golin attended New York University and the American Film Institute.
Joy Gorman Wettels (Producer)
Joy Gorman Wettels is a producer and literary manager at the development, production, and management company Anonymous Content.
Prior to joining Anonymous in 2005, Ms. Gorman Wettels was head of development for producer Tom Lassally; was vice president of creative affairs at the Robert Simonds Company; and worked in development, production, and post-production at Miramax Films in New York. In 2007, she was named as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation.
She is currently producing Scott Coffey’s Adult World, starring Emma Roberts, John Cusack, and Cloris Leachman, which is in post-production.
Ms. Gorman Wettels is currently developing a number of projects in film, television, and theater including two musical features with Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt.
In addition to Mr. Yorkey, her clients at Anonymous include screenwriter Dana Fox, and screenwriters Pamela Falk & Michael Ellis.
Ms. Gorman Wettels grew up in Yonkers, New York and attended Barnard College at Columbia University, where she produced and performed in the acclaimed Columbia Varsity Show.
Steven Rales (Producer)
Steven Rales founded the Santa Monica-based production company Indian Paintbrush in 2006. The company’s films include Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox;Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy;and Jason Reitman’s Young Adult.
Mark Roybal (Producer)
Mark Roybal is the President of Production at Indian Paintbrush, overseeing all creative aspects of film development, production, and acquisitions.
Indian Paintbrush is currently in post-production on Drake Doremus’ untitled new film, starring Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, and Felicity Jones; David Chase’s Not Fade Away; Park Chan-wook’s Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, and Jacki Weaver; and Danny Boyle’s Trance, starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel.
Opening in the first half of 2012 are Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Jason Schwartzman (also in partnership with Focus Features); and Jeff, Who Lives At Home, written and directed by Jay and Mark Duplass, starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms.
Prior to joining Indian Paintbrush in 2010, Mr. Roybal was the President of Scott Rudin Productions, where he worked with the Academy Award-winning producer from 1996 to 2010. He was an executive producer on Joel & Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men, which won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem). He also produced Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss and John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, which received five Academy Award nominations.
Nathan Kahane (Executive Producer)
Nathan Kahane is a partner in, and one of the original founders of, Mandate Pictures. As president of Mandate, Mr. Kahane manages the financing, development, and production of the company’s growing feature slate, nurturing relationships with high-level talent and filmmakers.
Mandate has a distinguished reputation as well as a proven track record of success and profitability. Acquired by Lionsgate in 2007, Mandate continues to operate as an independent brand delivering acclaimed commercial and independent films worldwide. Mandate has carved out a unique position in the film industry, having the creative autonomy and capital to finance, develop, package, and produce such movies as the Academy Award-nominated Juno, directed by Academy Award-nominated Jason Reitman from the Academy Award-winning original screenplay by Diablo Cody. The company recently reteamed with the latter filmmakers on Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron.
Among Mandate’s franchises are the Harold & Kumar and The Grudge movies. The company’s other features have included the multi-Golden Globe Award-nominated 50/50, directed by Jonathan Levine and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen; Marc Forster’s Stranger than Fiction, staring Golden Globe Award nominee Will Ferrell; Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman; Bryan Bertino’s sleeper hit The Strangers; Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut Whip It!; and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, directed by Peter Sollett from Lorene Scafaria’s screenplay.
Mandate’s 2012 slate includes Great Hope Springs, a comedy directed by David Frankel and starring Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones opposite Steve Carell; and LOL, from writer/director Lisa Azuelos, starring Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore.
Mr. Kahane previously headed development and acquisition of feature films for L.A.-based Senator International. Prior to joining Senator International, he co-headed the development and production slate for Mark Canton’s production company, The Canton Company, housed at Warner Bros., where he was executive vice president.
He began his film industry career at International Creative Management, in their agent-training program, after graduating from the Hass School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Nicole Brown (Executive Producer)
Nicole Brown is executive vice president of Production for Mandate Pictures, overseeing development of the company’s slate of films and its creative infrastructure. She seeks out compelling material and closely collaborates with writers and directors.
Ms. Brown is currently shepherding a number of features for Mandate, including an untitled new movie which Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody will write and direct; the film’s cast will include Julianne Hough, Holly Hunter, Russell Brand, and Octavia Spencer. For the genre label Ghost House Pictures, in which Mandate is partnered with the producing team of Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, Ms. Brown is also readying the much-anticipated remake of Mr. Raimi’s classic The Evil Dead, to be directed by Fede Alvarez; and is supervising completion of The Possession, directed by Ole Bornedal and starring Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Kyra Sedgwick.
For Mandate, she was most recently executive producer of Todd Strauss-Schulson’s A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas; and co-producer of Jonathan Levine’s 50/50, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. Her previous Mandate projects include co-producing Drew Barrymore’s Whip It! and Peter Sollett’s Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which marked the company’s first teaming with Lorene Scafaria.
Before joining Mandate, she was a development executive at Marc Platt Productions where she was associate producer on Bille Woodruff’s Honey, starring Jessica Alba.
A Columbia University graduate and Phi Beta Kappa, Ms. Brown began her career as an intern at Miramax Films in New York City.
Tim Orr (Director of Photography)
Tim Orr is a North Carolina native who studied cinematography at the North Carolina School of the Arts’ School of Filmmaking. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his first feature as cinematographer, George Washington, which was directed by his classmate David Gordon Green.
He subsequently shot Peter Sollett’s award-winning Raising Victor Vargas, starring Victor Rasuk, Judy Marte, and Melonie Diaz, before reuniting with Mr. Gordon Green to film All the Real Girls, which starred Zooey Deschanel and Paul Schneider and which won two Special Jury Prizes at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. He was soon again an Independent Spirit Award nominee, for his cinematography of Mark Milgard’s Dandelion, starring Vincent Kartheiser and Taryn Manning. Mr. Orr then spent several years in New York working on movies and commercials, before relocating to Los Angeles in the spring of 2006.
Among his other features as director of photography are Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett’s Little Manhattan, starring Josh Hutcherson and Charlie Ray; Joey Lauren Adams’ Come Early Morning, starring Ashley Judd; Mike White’s Year of the Dog, starring Molly Shannon; Clark Gregg’s Choke, starring Sam Rockwell; Bart Freundlich’s Trust the Man; Dan Harris’ Imaginary Heroes; Shane Dax Taylor’s Bloodworth; George Ratliff’s Salvation Boulevard; and Douglas McGrath’s documentary His Way, starring Jerry Weintraub.
He has encored as the cinematographer on all of David Gordon Green’s movies, including Undertow, Snow Angels, Pineapple Express, Your Highness, and The Sitter. For Jody Hill, another classmate from North Carolina, he shot the feature Observe and Report. The three of them collaborated with their classmates Ben Best and Danny McBride on the cult television series Eastbound & Down; Mr. Orr was director of photography on the first of the show’s three seasons.
Chris Spellman (Production Designer)
Chris Spellman’s most recent feature work was on Jay and Mark Duplass’ Jeff, Who Lives at Home, also for Indian Paintbrush, starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms.
Mr. Spellman’s other films as production designer include Jody Hill’s Observe and Report, David Gordon Green’s Pineapple Express, and Greg Mottola’s Superbad, each of which starred Seth Rogen. He was also production designer on the live-action portion of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, directed by Stephen Hillenburg and Mark Osborne, starring Tom Kenny as SpongeBob et al.
Born in New Orleans, he moved to Los Angeles after college. There, he met production designer Dennis Gassner and set decorator Nancy Haigh who served as mentors for the journeyman. He became set decorator on works from such filmmakers as Joel and Ethan Coen, on The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn’t There; Robert Altman, on Dr. T and the Women; Paul Thomas Anderson, on Magnolia; Michael Mann, on The Insider; Judd Apatow, on Knocked Up as well as episodes of Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared; and Peggy Rajski, on the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor.
Mr. Spellman’s feature credits as set decorator also include Albert Brooks’ Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World;Peter Segal’s Anger Management; Jake Kasdan’s Orange County; Rob Cohen’s xXx; George Armitage’s Grosse Point Blank; Joe Johnston’s October Sky; and Frank Oz’s The Indian in the Cupboard.
Zene Baker (Editor)
Zene Baker’s most recent feature as film editor was 50/50, directed by Jonathan Levine, also for Mandate Pictures. The movie was written by Will Reiser, who won the National Board of Review award for his screenplay and was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award.
Mr. Baker also recently edited the short film Mia, which aired as part of the telefilm Five. The short, directed by Jennifer Aniston and written by Wendy West, starred Patricia Clarkson in the title role.
He first came to industry attention for editing several features directed by David Gordon Green: the award-winning George Washington, All the Real Girls, and Undertow.
Mr. Baker’s subsequent movies as editor included Jody Hill’s The Foot Fist Way and Observe and Report; Jason Matzner’s Dreamland, starring Agnes Bruckner and Kelli Garner; David Ross’ The Babysitters, starring Katherine Waterston; and John Krasinski’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
Kristin M. Burke (Costume Designer)
Kristin M. Burke has designed costumes for over 40 feature films, including James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s Insidious, the sleeper hit of 2011.
She has also designed costumes for music videos, commercials, and television series. In addition, Ms. Burke is an internationally exhibited artist, specializing in collage and mail art; she had her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in September 2001.
She has written two books; the first, co-authored with Holly Cole of Ohio University, was Costuming for Film: the Art and the Craft, published in August 2005 by Silman James Press. It is a college-level textbook on designing costumes for films. The second book, Going Hollywood: How to Get Started, Keep Going, and Not Turn into a Sleaze, was published in September 2004; it is in use at film schools and universities in 7 countries. She is also the creator of the website www.frocktalk.com, a blog about film costumes that incorporates interviews.
In 2005, Ms. Burke was named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of its “Next Gen Ones to Watch;” and was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to participate in “50 Designers: 50 Costumes,” a tribute to Hollywood film costuming. The latter exhibit toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
At Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, she majored in both Radio/Television/Film and French Studies; and was trained in the art of costume design by Virgil C. Johnson, an acclaimed designer for opera and theater. While at Northwestern, Ms. Burke garnered awards from the Seattle Short Film Festival, France’s Nîmes Festival, and the Dallas Film Festival for her experimental short films.
Her many feature credits as costume designer include Tod Williams’ Paranormal Activity 2; Wayne Kramer’s Running Scared, Crossing Over, and The Cooler, starring Academy Award nominee Alec Baldwin; James Wan’s Death Sentence; Miguel Arteta’s Star Maps; Larry Blamire’s Trail of the Screaming Forehead; and Alex and Andrew J. Smith’s The Slaughter Rule and upcoming Winter in the Blood.
Rob Simonsen (Music)
Rob Simonsen has diverse credits as composer, from movies to television shows to advertising campaigns, and as such has written music that has been performed by both small ensembles and 85-piece orchestras with choir.
Born into a musical family, he began playing the piano by ear at a young age. His early musical experiments were inspired by film scores, modern orchestral works, electronic music, and jazz. He would go on to pursue piano and composition while studying at Southern Oregon University, the University of Oregon, and Portland State University.
Mr. Simonsen first began working on film music with the 2003 independent feature Westender, directed by Brock Morse. At the movie’s Seattle International Film Festival premiere, he met acclaimed film composer Mychael Danna. Mr. Danna encouraged him to relocate to Los Angeles, where he worked as the composer’s assistant and learned the craft of scoring music to picture. He was later able to collaborate with Mr. Danna on the scores to Stephen Belber’s Management, starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn; and Marc Webb’s 500 Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel.
Mr. Simonsen has since composed the scores for Andrew Jarecki’s All Good Things, starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst; Lisa Azuelos’ upcoming LOL, also for Mandate Pictures, starring Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore; and Jill Andresevic’s documentary Love Etc. He has also provided additional music for such films as Bennett Miller’s Moneyball.
Television viewers know his work from the series Dollhouse and Blue Bloods, including the main theme for the latter. In 2009, Mr. Simonsen opened his own studio in Hollywood, out of which he composes and produces for music for film and other mediums.
Jonathan Sadoff (Music)
Jonathan Sadoff was born and raised in Highland Park, Illinois. He began studying guitar at the age of 5. In his teens, he became increasingly interested in composition as well as record production.
In 2002, Mr. Sadoff moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music Studio/Jazz Guitar program. He soon widened his studies to embrace composition, orchestration, piano, conducting, voice, and film studies. While in school, he began scoring student films, working in recording studios, producing records, and playing in bands in and around Los Angeles.
After graduating from USC, he scored James Franco’s feature directorial debut Good Time Max; and wrote music for Michael Keaton’s feature directorial debut The Merry Gentleman, starring Mr. Keaton opposite Kelly Macdonald. More recently, he composed the score for Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck’s A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, starring Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, Leslie Bibb, and Lake Bell.
In late 2009, Mr. Sadoff was featured on the cover of Keyboard Player Magazine; and named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of “15 Composers Primed to Take Their Place on the A-List.”
In addition to scoring films, he has produced for and collaborated with a number of recording artists and bands. In 2008, he joined Dhani Harrison’s band Thenewno2 as keyboardist, guitarist and backing vocalist. Thenewno2 toured North America with Wolfmother and will in the spring of 2012 release a new album which features contributions from Regina Spektor, The RZA, Ben Harper, and Alain Johannes. Most recently, Mr. Sadoff produced The Shortcoats’ EP This Time Last Year, and played guitar/bass, for the band with Seeking a Friend for the End of the World writer/director Lorene Scafaria and actor Adam Brody.
Studio photos, notes and videos © 2012 Focus Features