Amy (Jennifer Morrison), Travis (Matthew Davis) and Graham (Joseph Lawrence) are student filmmakers who would love to make it big in Hollywood. But first they’ve got to survive their last semester at Alpine University, a renowned film school where the competition is killer-and someone is killing the competition.
At Alpine, one senior student will be awarded the prestigious Hitchcock Award for best thesis film, virtually guaranteeing the winner a film career in Hollywood. Down-to-earth documentary film student Amy Mayfield wants to take a crack at the Hitchcock. During a chance meeting with Reese (Loretta Devine), the new campus security guard, Amy is inspired by the story of an urban legend at Pendleton University, Reese’s former place of employment.
Taking a break from documentaries, Amy decides her thesis film will be a fictional, psychological thriller about those contemporary tall tales known as urban legends. After writing the script, storyboarding the shots and casting her actors, Amy and her crew of fellow students prepare to roll camera-even though Vanessa (Eva Mendes), Amy’s boom operator, is more interested in girls than rolling sound; Simon (Marco Hofschneider), her cameraman, is a womanizing, chain-smoking European; and Stan (Anthony Anderson) and Dirk (Michael Bacall), her two special-effects geeks, live for latex and pray to Lucas (George, that is).
The competition is fierce. Toby (Anson Mount), an aggressive, neurotic student filmmaker, is shooting a horror film that takes place on an airplane. His lead actress, Sandra (Jessica Cauffiel), gives new meaning to the term ‘over the top.’ Meanwhile, the handsome, artistic Travis (Matthew Davis) is putting the final touches on his film, “The Gods of Men,” and Graham (Joseph Lawrence), the son of a Hollywood mogul, has deals of his own brewing.
When Amy’s film crew starts falling prey to fatal ‘accidents,’ she questions where fiction ends and truth begins. When all the dots start to connect back to her, she realizes she must unmask the killer before she, too, becomes an urban legend.
The horror thriller Urban Legends: Final Cut stars Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Joseph Lawrence, Loretta Devine and Hart Bochner. Rounding out the cast are Anson Mount, Eva Mendes, Jessica Cauffiel, Anthony Anderson, Michael Bacall and Marco Hofschneider.
Urban Legends: Final Cut is a Phoenix Pictures presentation distributed by Columbia Pictures. It is directed by John Ottman from an original screenplay by Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson. Neal H. Moritz, Gina Matthews and Richard Luke Rothschild produce. Michael McDonnell is co-producer; Brad Luff and Nicholas Osborne are executive producers.
Rounding out the production team is cinematographer Brian Pearson, production designer Mark Zuelzke, editor Rob Kobrin and costume designers Marie-Sylvie Deveau and Trysha Bakker.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
There’s no denying that the makers of Urban Legends: Final Cut had a challenge on their hands. Urban Legend proved to be a big moneymaker for Phoenix Pictures as well as one of Sony Pictures’ top five releases for 1998. A sequel was definitely in order, but Phoenix Pictures was determined not to create just a "more of" Urban Legends. As executive producer Brad Luff notes, "We used a lot of the great urban legends in the first picture. How could we top that?" Producer Gina Matthews was also considering the same question. “How can we make a movie that is unique in its own right-a film that will not only attract the audience from the first movie but lure a new audience because this new version is special, different and not a rehash?”
It was Mike Medavoy, chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures, who thought that this sequel to Urban Legend should be set in a film school. The producers were ecstatic; they felt a film school setting would give ample opportunity for a capable screenwriter to twist the plot together with the illusion of moviemaking.
After producers Matthews and Luff heard numerous pitches, it was the concept of writing team of Scott Derrickson & Paul Harris Boardman that stuck. "I had probably heard close to 30 different takes from writers," says Luff. "Then these guys came in, and that was it. They had come up with a great take that was highly original.”
Both writers had attended the film school program at the University of Southern California, which allowed them to draw on personal experiences to build the characters and create plenty of humorous situations.
“It has a feeling of being a movie within a movie,” explains Gina Matthews. “There is a fun trick in the beginning when you wonder, is this a set or the actual movie? There’s fun to be had here with the jokes, the pranks, the fake deaths and the fake scares. It’s going to keep kids guessing through the whole film,” she adds.
Luff explains it a step further. “We wanted everything to be happening around Amy, our heroine-but like in a paranoid thriller, no one believes her. Slowly but surely the question emerges-is she imagining these things? Is she overreacting?” “Audiences in general who come to see these movies are conditioned to try to figure out who the killer is,” adds Matthews. “A smart thriller will send you down roads where you are absolutely sure who the killer is, but then you are taken for a ride. The trick for the filmmakers is to keep that ride going.”
Having previously worked with Phoenix Pictures as a composer on Lake Placid and as a composer, editor and producer on Apt Pupil, it made sense that John Ottman would make his directorial debut with Phoenix. For producer Michael McDonnell, he was an obvious choice. McDonnell had hired Ottman to be the composer and editor on the Academy Award-winning film The Usual Suspects.
Explains McDonnell, “As an editor, you look at every single frame of film and piece those frames together like a puzzle. You’re stringing together all these different narrative threads. As an editor, John takes the tiniest little pieces and builds this enormous mosaic that becomes the film. As a composer, one looks at a finished piece of film-a story that has already been told-from entirely the opposite view. You look at a piece of film and go, ‘this has no soul.’ So what the music has to provide is soul. “John works the craft of filmmaking from two opposite poles,” continues McDonnell, “and he’s equally adept at both.”
This combination of skills is unusual in the film industry and now, with adding the credit of director to his resume, Ottman joins the ranks of one-Mr. Charlie Chaplin. “John Ottman is completely unique as a filmmaker. He’s an editor, he’s a director, and he’s a composer. He’s like a triathlete,” laughs McDonnell. “He cuts, he shoots, he scores!”
With his unique background, producer Richard Luke Rothschild also believes that Ottman has what it takes to give this old genre a new twist. “I think that John really brings something to this film that is very different from the original.”
For Ottman’s part, it was the high level of suspense and humor that sold him on Urban Legends: Final Cut. "What attracted me to it was that it was original. This is obviously a film for a certain target audience, but it’s one that won’t pander to it.
“This film has a lot of humor,” adds Ottman. “People are either going to completely embrace that, or they’re going to be shocked by it.”
Though Ottman won’t give away any secrets, he does admit to loving the challenge of weaving together humor with horror. “We’re telling people, look, we’re not taking ourselves too seriously. But at the same time, just when you are having a laugh, we’re going to scare you and make you realize that this film is actually going somewhere where you might be pretty horrified.”
Having an original story, Ottman also wanted to have a non-traditional setting for Alpine University. With production designer Mark Zuelzke, Ottman “searched for a campus that did not have the typical gothic style that we’re so used to in these movies,” he says. Zuelzke understood Ottman’s concerns.
“It was apparent to me that to have a clear distinction between the first film and the second, we needed a fresh environment,” states Zuelzke. “Alpine University is a contemporary film school, which to me speaks contemporary style.
Gothic architecture speaks of more traditional education-law, medicine, etcetera,” adds Zuelzke. It was Trent University, located in Ontario, Canada, which was cast to play Alpine University. Built in the early ’60s, the University was created by Ron Thom, who was a devotee of Frank Lloyd Wright. With its distinct texture, stark design and modern ’60s style, it was perfect for creating an eerie, ominous atmosphere.
Distinct is also a word that could be used to describe the unique characters in the script for Urban Legends: Final Cut. The right cast was crucial, because the film “doesn’t have the ‘cookie cutter’ characters that you often see in this type of genre,” says Matthews. “The majority of our characters are a little off-center and different, and the cast that brings these characters to life is so unique and interesting that they will completely capture the audience.”
Rothschild could not agree more. “I think the great thing about this group is that they’re very cohesive, and they bring a unique freshness to the movie because they are all newcomers,” he says. “They are all completely perfect for their roles," adds Ottman.
Casting Amy Mayfield, the down-to-earth documentary film student whose change in her thesis film’s genre causes crew members to croak, was one of the filmmakers’ most challenging jobs. “We wanted our lead heroine to be somebody whom our audience could identify with right away-a character very much in the everyman or, in this case, everywoman mode of traditional Hitchcockian movies,” states Luff. “The right actor to play Amy was very hard to find,” says John Ottman. “I knew it had to be someone who was going to have to support the entire film as well as have an endearing quality to her. Hands down, Jennifer Morrison had the best look, feel and talent for Amy."
Jennifer Morrison had previously played a ghost in “Stir of Echoes” and liked the idea of playing a character on the other end of the scream. She was also attracted to the layering and intertwining of reality and illusion in the script. “It’s an incredible script in terms of how it escalates the terror,” says Morrison. “When people are dying or disappearing it is always around Amy and based on, or involved with, the urban legend that she’s filming. It’s a bizarre urban legend inside of an urban legend, inside of an urban legend while you’re filming an urban legend,” she laughs. The screenplay also offered a believable motive for the murders-in this case, Alpine University’s prestigious Hitchcock Award. “I think the premise is very realistic,” says Morrison. “You see people in competitive situations in life, and it makes you realize that it can bring out some scary sides of people.” Ottman agrees, drawing on his film school experience. “There is a camaraderie in film school, but I think it’s part of human nature to want a rival not to succeed… at least not as well as you have. That sentiment is behind a lot of what’s going on in this film.”
Morrison felt fortunate as a young actress to be cast as a character which is so realistic and even-keeled. “It’s really an incredible part for a woman to play,” comments Morrison. “Amy is so together, grounded and smart but at the same time very kind, gentle and caring.”
Another challenge was casting the difficult role of the twin brothers: Travis, the intense, artistic film student who takes his own life, and Trevor, the outsider that secretly arrives at Alpine to investigate his brother’s death. The part required an actor who could embody both qualities attractive to Amy and the marks of a killer. “We needed an actor that was able to be vulnerable, likable and believable, but he also had to be threatening,” says Matthews. “Trevor’s motives and morals are questionable. He is a suspect.”
After auditioning numerous actors, it was newcomer Matthew Davis that caught Ottman’s and the producers’ eye and convinced them that, even with no film or television experience, he could be both Travis and Trevor Stark. John Ottman was amazed at Davis’ ability and on-screen charisma. “I saw Matt as an actor who could play the guy-next-door you embrace and find comfort in-and then in one look from his eyes, you think he may be the killer,” he says.
Davis was not only thrilled by the opportunity but also impressed by how realistic the story was. “The reason I really enjoyed this script is that it’s not in the realm of the unbelievable. There’s something about the film and the characters that carries enough reality to make you really wonder if it could happen,” comments Davis.
Like Morrison, Davis was also struck with how the script twisted reality. “You don’t know when something is real. You don’t know who the killer is, and there are so many suspects and so many motives you don’t know what’s really happening. I think that builds the suspense and, for the audience, they don’t know how long they’re going to have solid footing before the carpet is ripped out from underneath them,” explains Davis.
Well known for his roles on the hit television shows “Blossom” and “Gimme A Break,” Joseph Lawrence stars as Graham Manning, the son of a Hollywood mogul, who has much bigger plans then attending film school. “I think people are going to be really surprised by Joseph’s portrayal of Graham,” says Matthews. “Graham has his designer clothes; he’s on the cell phone all the time, and he’s hilarious, completely vindictive and evil.” For Ottman, Lawrence is a director’s dream. "Everything just rolls off his tongue. There’s never any second takes, never any screw-ups. Everything’s right on the money."
Lawrence liked the original story idea and the fact that the characters were not similar to the characters in Urban Legend. “I read a bunch of scripts in this genre, and the thing that most attracted me to Urban Legends: Final Cut was that it was set at a film school, with 20-year-olds making their thesis films,” says Lawrence. “When I was reading it for the first time, I didn’t even know whether it was the movie, or whether it was a movie within the movie. It’ll keep audiences on the edge of their seat,” he adds.
Playing Graham was also quite a character change for Lawrence. “He’s a very intense, dark character who is in a totally different place than everybody else in the movie. He doesn’t like to be turned down. Very quickly he can turn from very calm to very on edge and uneasy. This causes people to be uneasy around him, and there are times throughout the movie when the audience is going to think that he’s the one who did it… and who knows, maybe he did,” says Lawrence.
After 20 years in television, Lawrence has recently been focusing his talents on feature films. “I think film is more rewarding creatively. Because I’ve worked in television for so many years, it became a little stagnant for me,” he says.
In Urban Legend, Loretta Devine knocked the audience’s socks off as Reese, the strong, sassy head of Pendleton campus security who is also a Foxy Brown fanatic. “Everybody loved her,” comments Luff. “We thought the best way to have a link from the first film to this one was to bring Reese back.“ For Devine, re-igniting the role of Reese was a delight. “What’s interesting about Reese is that she existed before John Ottman came to the project,” says Devine. “Because I was in the first film, my character was established. But because of what has happened to her, John wanted her to have a little more bite than in the first one. I like what he’s done,” she says. Having performed in such Broadway musicals as “Dreamgirls,” Devine enjoyed the fact that Ottman comes from a music background. “Because he is the ‘music man,’ I expect great things with the score to this movie,” she says. “The score is a lot of what makes a thriller a thriller.”
A prime example of some of the other unusual characters that inhabit Urban Legends: Final Cut are sound guys Stan and Dirk. These sophomore film students live in a world of their own filled with special effects and practical jokes. “Dirk and Stan are probably the most geeky, weird, hilarious pairing on the planet,” laughs Matthews. “They definitely demanded creative casting.”
Ottman and the producers were convinced that only Anthony Anderson and Michael Bacall could pull Stan and Dirk off. “They both came in and read, and we just fell in love with them,” remembers Luff. “They nailed their readings, and their chemistry onscreen was great. We couldn’t have asked for a better pairing.”
Anderson and Bacall enjoyed the opportunity to play characters that supply a hefty dose of comic relief. “Stan and Dirk are special effects geeks. I think that is their official title,” comments Bacall. “These are guys who subscribe to Fangoria and Cinefantastique and all the horror magazines. They do all the slasher effects for the student films-mix up all the blood, create all the severed heads-so it’s been a real fun part to play.”
Being sophomores, Stan and Dirk are not caught up in the seniors’ frenzy of competing for the Hitchcock Award. They remain oblivious to what’s going on around them until it’s too late. “Their world revolves around special effects. If it doesn’t have anything to do with that, they don’t even acknowledge it,” comments Anderson. “They basically live in their own little special effects bubble.”
Rounding out this stellar cast is Anson Mount, Jessica Cauffiel, Eva Mendes, Marco Hofscheinder and Hart Bochner. For John Ottman, working with these immensely talented and enthusiastic actors was a joy. “I couldn’t be blessed with a better group of people for my cast. They’re so smart and have so much insight,” says Ottman.
For producer Michael McDonnell, “there are three basic tenets of a successful contemporary horror movie. You have to really scare them; you want to make them laugh; and you want to keep them guessing all the time.”
Urban Legends: Final Cut has all of the above. With its multi-talented director and its hip, horror-loving cast, Urban Legends: Final Cut serves up a sublime mixture of suspense, humor and horror that will have the audience clutching their seats, their sides and, likely, their dates.
ABOUT THE CAST
JENNIFER MORRISON (Amy) has added the lead role in Urban Legends: Final Cut to a growing list of impressive credits. Morrison recently appeared as the ghostly Samantha in Stir of Echoes, with Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Erbe. Her other feature film credits include Intersection, in which she played Meaghan, daughter of Richard Gere and Sharon Stone. She also appeared in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street with Sir Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott. Morrison has performed in many Chicago stage productions, including “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “Beyond the Horizon,” “Blood Wedding,” “Marvin’s Room,” “Crimes of the Heart” and “The Miss Firecracker Contest.” She has also appeared in such Prospect Theater productions as “My Fair Lady,” “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” “Terra Nova” and “The Beaux’ Stratagem.” Morrison recently graduated from Loyola University in Chicago where she studied theatre. She spent the summer studying with Chicago’s legendary Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
MATT DAVIS (Travis/Trevor) is quickly establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s most sought after young actors. Urban Legends: Final Cut marks Davis’ feature film debut. He will next star as the lead in Joel Schumacher’s highly anticipated war drama Tigerland for 20th Century Fox. Davis became interested in acting while attending the University of Utah. He then spent a summer in New York, where he performed in such plays as “You Can’t Take It With You,” “Antigone” and “Romeo and Juliet.” He eventually headed for Los Angeles and within three months landed lead roles in two major films. Davis recently finished production opposite Ben Affleck and Cuba Gooding Jr. in Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor. Davis resides in Los Angeles.
JOSEPH LAWRENCE (Graham) has established himself at a young age as one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars. With his classic good looks and broad range of talents, he segues effortlessly into leading man status on film. Lawrence was most recently seen in the independent dark comedic thriller Tequila Body Shots and Bill Fishman’s Desperate But Not Serious with Christine Taylor and Claudia Schiffer. His other film credits include George Lucas’ 1996 art film Radioland Murders, in which he has a cameo as a crooner in the late 1940s, Chains of Gold with John Travolta and Marilu Henner and the comedy Summer Rental, starring the late John Candy, directed by Carl Reiner. Lawrence began his career on the small screen. He has starred in numerous hit series including “Brotherly Love,” which he directed, produced and starred in with his brothers. He was also seen in the highly successful comedy “Blossom” and “Gimme Me A Break,” in which he co-starred with Nell Carter for six years. His other credits include such television movies as “Horse Sense” and “Brother of the Frontier,” both of which he starred in and produced.
ANSON MOUNT (Toby) made his feature film debut earlier this year in the independent film What Happened to Tully. Directed by Hilary Birmingham and co-starring Julianne Nicholson, Mount stars as Tully Coates. Television credits for Mount include guest appearances on such critically acclaimed series as HBO’s “Sex and the City,” with Sarah Jessica Parker, and the popular “Ally McBeal.” Mount’s stage credits include the starring role of Joshua in Terrence McNally’s “Corpus Christi” at the Manhattan Theatre Club, which drew critical acclaim as well as public protest. For his performance, Mount received a 1998 Drama League Award. He also performed in the Public Theater’s production of “Cymbeline” and “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” at La Mama/ETC, both directed by Andrei Serban. Mount recently completed directing his first film, a silent short entitled Nose in which he stars opposite Alan Cumming, Lea DeLaria and Patrick Breen. Mount holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting degree from Columbia University and currently lives in New York City. It was just two years ago that EVA MENDES (Vanessa) took an interest in acting, and already she has starred opposite Judge Reinhold in Erik Fleming’s comedy My Brother The Pig and Peter Markle’s comedy A Night at the Roxbury, based on the popular “Saturday Night Live” characters created by stars Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell. Mendes has also made guest appearances on such popular television series as “ER,” among others. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
JESSICA CAUFFIEL (Sandra) was most recently seen with Tom Green and Amy Smart in the DreamWorks comedy Road Trip. She was also featured as Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin’s daughter in Sam Weisman’s remake of The Out of Towners. Cauffiel has also starred in two independent film productions: Moon Over Madison and Masterblast. Cauffiel recently wrapped production on the upcoming Warner Brothers feature Valentine. She co-stars as “Lily” opposite Denise Richards and David Boreanaz. Valentine is set for release February 2001. Cauffiel made her television debut on the soap opera “Guiding Light” and went on to guest star on the hit comedy “Frasier” and the critically acclaimed drama “Law & Order.” A veteran of regional and off-Broadway theatre, she has performed in such productions as Adam Copeland’s “1001 Nights,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “City Of Angels,” “Baby” and “Grand Hotel.” She attended the University of Michigan where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and performed in such productions as “The Music Man,” “Cabaret” and “Born Guilty.” Cauffiel currently resides in Los Angeles.
Known for his sharp tongue and comedic talents, ANTHONY ANDERSON (Stan) was most recently seen this summer in the Farrelly Brothers’ hit comedy Me, Myself & Irene, in which he played Jim Carrey’s son, and Big Momma’s House, opposite Martin Lawrence, Paul Giametti and Nia Long. Anderson’s other screen credits include Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights, with Joe Mantegna and Bebe Neuwirth; the action/thriller Romeo Must Die, with Jet Li and singer/actress Aaliyah; G’s Tripping, 3 Strikes and Ted Demme’s Life, starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. Anderson became well known to television viewers for his role as the lovable, husky basketball player Theodore ‘Teddy Bear’ Brodis on NBC’s Saturday morning hit show “Hangtime.” Anderson has also made guest appearances on such shows as ”Ally McBeal,” “Malcolm & Eddie,” “NYPD Blue,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Married… With Children,” “The Wayans Brothers” and “JAG.” Anderson received a theatrical scholarship to Howard University where he studied with Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Al Freeman Jr. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
MICHAEL BACALL (Dirk) has been acting since the age of four. Starting out on television shows such as “The A-Team,” “The Wonder Years” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” Bacall landed his first feature, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, in which he starred opposite Joe Mantegna and Faye Dunaway. Roles in such movies as Shout, opposite John Travolta and Heather Graham, and Simon Winder’s Free Willy, opposite Lori Petty and Michael Madsen, soon followed. Bacall was then cast in Michael Caton-Jones’ This Boy’s Life, featuring Robert DeNiro, Ellen Barkin and Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on the life of renowned American author Tobias Wolff, the film went on to receive critical acclaim. Bacall took time off from acting to attend U.C.L.A. After graduating with honors in English and Communications, Bacall went back into acting and was immediately cast (as a recurring character) in the critically acclaimed ABC drama “Relativity.” Bacall was then cast as a series regular in the short-lived Fox comedy “Living in Captivity,” that was created by Diane English (“Murphy Brown”). Most recently, Michael guest-starred on ABC’s hit comedy “The Norm Show,” starring Norm MacDonald. Bacall recently began to write feature screenplays. His first script, Manic, was co-written with friend and fellow thespian Blayne Weaver and is currently in pre-production. Manic, co-financed by the Independent Film Channel’s feature division, Next Wave Films, stars Bacall, Don Cheadle (Boogie Nights, Out of Sight) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“3rd Rock from the Sun”). Manic centers around two troubled teens who are institutionalized in a juvenile mental hospital. Bacall’s second screenplay, which was his first solo effort, was recently sold to Intermedia. Bookies is slated for a fall 2000 start with Mark Illsley (Happy, Texas) directing. When not acting, Bacall enjoys snowboarding and playing guitar. A Los Angeles resident, he is currently writing a script for director Joe Dante (Innerspace, Gremlins).
MARCO HOFSCHNEIDER (Simon) made his feature film debut as the young Salomon Perel in the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning film Europa Europa, directed by Agnieszka Holland. He also starred as M’Ling in John Frankenheimer’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, with Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando, and as Karl van Beethoven in Bernard Rose’s Immortal Beloved, with Gary Oldman and Isabella Rossellini. His other film credits include Foreign Student with Robin Givens and Le Mirage. Though he currently lives in Los Angeles, Hofschneider is a native of Germany. He has starred in numerous German films and television shows including “Hurenglück” and “Die Cleveren.” He recently wrapped “008-Agent wider Willen” (“The Accidental Agent”) for RTL-Television.
Urban Legends: Final Cut marks the return of LORETTA DEVINE to the role of campus security guard ‘Reese,’ who became an audience favorite in Urban Legend. Her impressive list of film credits includes such films as Maya Angelou’s Down in the Delta, with Alfre Woodard and Wesley Snipes; Bill Duke’s Hoodlum, with Lawrence Fishburne; Martin Ritt’s Stanley & Iris, with Robert DeNiro; and Richard Benjamin’s Little Nikita, opposite Sidney Poitier, to name a few. Devine received her first NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her performance in Forest Whitaker’s Waiting to Exhale. She also starred in Penny Marshall’s The Preacher’s Wife, with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, which garnered her a second NAACP Image Award. Her television career was launched when she was cast as Stevie Rallen, dorm director on “A Different World.” She then went on to star in her own show, “Sugar and Spice,” in 1991 for NBC. Devine went on to star in numerous television movies and miniseries including Eriq La Salle’s “Rebound,” “Clover,” “Don King: Only In America” and “Jackie’s Back.” She starred as Ruby Dandridge in the critically acclaimed HBO movie “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” with Halle Berry, as well as in E! Channel’s first movie “Best Actress” and TNT’s “Freedom Song,” opposite Danny Glover. Presently, she is the voice of Muriel in Eddie Murphy’s animated cartoon “The PJ’s.” A native of Houston, Texas, Devine received her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston and her Master of Fine Arts/Theatre from Brandeis University in Massachusetts. On the New York stage, she originated the roles of ‘Lorell’ in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” and ‘Lillian’ in Bob Fosse’s “Big Deal.” Devine currently resides in Los Angeles.
HART BOCHNER (Professor Solomon) has starred in numerous films and television miniseries over the years. Most recently, he played ‘Josh Spritzer’ in Wayne Wang’s latest dramatic feature Anywhere But Here, opposite Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman. Previously, he could be seen in such films as Paul Marcus’ Breakup, opposite Bridget Fonda and Keifer Sutherland; John Schlesinger’s The Innocent, with Anthony Hopkins and Isabella Rossellini, based on the novel by Ian McEwan; James Orr’s Mr. Destiny, with James Belushi and Linda Hamilton; Susan Seidelman’s Making Mr. Right with John Malkovich; John McTiernan’s Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis; Cameron Crowe’s The Wild Life; Martin Donovan’s cult classic Apartment Zero, opposite Colin Firth; and Breaking Away. On the small screen, Bochner has starred in such television miniseries as David Greene’s “Children of the Dust,” with Sidney Poitier and Farrah Fawcett; “And the Sea Will Tell,” opposite Rachel Ward; and the WWII war crime epic, “War and Remembrance,” with Robert Mitchum and Jane Seymour. The credit of director can also be added to Bochner’s resume. His directing credits include the feature films High School High, starring Jon Lovitz, and the satiric college-based comedy PCU, starring David Spade. Bochner is a native of Toronto, Canada and currently resides in Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
JOHN OTTMAN (Director/Composer) is well regarded not only for his compositional and editing talents, but he also holds the distinction of being the only film editor/film composer in Hollywood. For director Bryan Singer, he has written the scores for and edited such films as the Academy Award-winning The Usual Suspects, starring Kevin Spacey, and Apt Pupil, starring Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro. Ottman’s editing on The Usual Suspects won him a British Academy Award and a nomination from the A.C.E. Ottman and Singer first teamed up, after Ottman graduated from U.S.C.’s prestigious film school, on Public Access, which won the Grand Jury Prize in 1993 at the Sundance Film Festival. Ottman composed the music for such films as Roland Joffe’s Goodbye Lover; Snow White, with Sigourney Weaver; John Badham’s Incognito; Ben Stiller’s The Cable Guy and Steve Miner’s Lake Placid and Halloween: H2O. Ottman’s score to Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1998 “Fantasy Island” pilot earned him an Emmy nomination. Ottman makes his directorial debut with Urban Legends: Final Cut.
PAUL HARRIS BOARDMAN & SCOTT DERRICKSON (Writers) recently completed production of their script Hellraiser Inferno, the first of a three-picture deal at Dimension Films. Derrickson also directed the film. Boardman & Derrickson met at USC film school and both graduated with master’s degrees in film production. Their first script, Darkness Falling, was recently bought by Columbia Pictures, with Derrickson attached to direct. Boardman & Derrickson both live in Los Angeles.
NEAL H. MORITZ (Producer) is co-owner of Original Film, an established feature film, commercial and music video production company. Moritz has a degree in economics from UCLA and a graduate degree from the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California. Among Moritz’s production credits are Juice, one of the most lucrative independent films ever made and the fifth most profitable movie of 1992; The Stoned Age, a hilarious story of one night in the life of two high school boys set in 1979; and two movies for HBO, “Blind Justice,” a western starring Armand Assante and Elizabeth Shue, and “Framed,” starring Jeff Goldblum and Kristin Scott Thomas. More recently, Moritz produced Fox’s $100 million dollar disaster movie Volcano, starring Tommy Lee Jones, as well as the biggest hit of fall 1997, I Know What You Did Last Summer, written by Kevin Williamson (Scream) and starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr. He also produced Urban Legend for Phoenix Pictures, starring Alicia Witt, Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart and Joshua Jackson. The 1999 boxoffice smash Cruel Intentions was Original Film’s first self-financed feature released by Columbia Pictures, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer brought back cast members Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. and added pop sensation Brandy. Moritz’s production of “The Rat Pack” for HBO was nominated for 11 Emmys, including Best Picture, and was written by Kario Salem, directed by Rob Cohen, and starred Ray Liotta and Don Cheadle. He also released Blue Streak, starring Martin Lawrence and directed by Les Mayfield for Columbia Pictures, and Skulls, another self-financed feature released by Universal Pictures, written by John Pogue, directed by Rob Cohen and starring Joshua Jackson, Paul Walker and Craig T. Nelson. Production has just been completed on Soul Survivors and is continuing on The Glass House, starring Leelee Sobieski. Moritz has also successfully started his first season on network TV with the show “Shasta” and USA Networks’ “Cabin by the Lake.” In the two years since opening her production company, Roundtable Ink, GINA MATTHEWS (Producer) continues to combine her producing talents with her entrepreneurial spirit to create unique and high-profile projects for film and television. Matthews’ producing success centers around her passion and talent for working with writers to craft, develop and produce original in-house material. Matthews made her producing debut with the box office success Urban Legend, starring Jared Leto, Alicia Witt and Rebecca Gayheart. This project was developed internally at her company with writer Silvio Horta. Her upcoming projects include another film developed internally by Matthews, Paramount’s romantic comedy What Women Want, directed by Nancy Meyers. Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt star along with Marisa Tomei, Alan Alda, Bette Midler and Lauren Holly. Matthews’ current producing projects include 1,000 Kisses (Warner Brothers), which is currently out to directors; The Furies (Village Roadshow/Punch Productions), which she will produce with Dustin Hoffman; the thriller Phobic (Intermedia Films); Keeper Of The Flame (Working Title Films/Universal Pictures); Vidocq (Touchstone); Hard Knox (Universal) and the comedy Girls for Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios. Matthews’ producing talents also extend to series television. She is a co-creator and executive producer on the WB hit series “Popular,” which is entering its second season. For NBC, Matthews will also serve as executive producer on the one-hour sci-fi comedy series “News From the Edge,” written by Urban Legend scribe Silvio Horta. Matthews has also ventured into cable television, where she developed and produced two films for writer Grant Scharbo for Showtime Networks. “Summer’s End,” starring James Earl Jones, received two Emmy Awards. Matthews took home an Emmy for Best Picture/Children’s Special, and James Earl Jones won for Best Actor/Children’s Special. “The Wishing Tree,” starring Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard and Blair Underwood and directed by Ivan Passer, premiered in February and opened to rave reviews. Prior to creating her own production company, Matthews served as the head of the Feature-Literary Department at Tavel Entertainment. Previously, she worked as vice president of production at David Rotman Productions. Matthews began her executive career as a story editor with Laurence Mark Productions. She is originally from Eugene, Oregon and is a graduate of the University of Oregon where she majored in Telecommunications & Film with a minor in photography.
MICHAEL MCDONNELL’s (Co-Producer) list of impressive feature film producing credits includes Urban Legend, directed by Jamie Blanks and starring Jared Leto, Alicia Witt and Rebecca Gayheart; The Replacement Killers, directed by Antoine Fuqua, starring Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino; and Fools Rush In, directed by Andy Tennant, starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek. McDonnell also produced Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects, which won Academy Awards for Kevin Spacey as Supporting Actor and Christopher McQuarrie for his Original Screenplay. He earned his first producing credit on Five Corners, directed by Tony Bill and starring Jodie Foster, John Turturro and Tim Robbins. McDonnell also works as a second unit director and is currently writing a screenplay that he will direct. He lives in Malibu with his wife and four children. BRAD LUFF (Executive Producer) is the executive vice president of production at Original Film. With Neal H. Moritz, Luff is attached to produce the Sony Pictures comedies Strange Love, House Movers, Rock Op and Monster Truck Madness. Luff is currently executive producing Saving Silverman, starring Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn and Jack Black, which is being co-financed with Village Roadshow. Also at Village Roadshow, Luff and Moritz are developing the Marvel Comic property Damage Control. At MGM, Moritz and Luff are producing Witch Hunt, Spring Break and May the Best Man Win. Produced credits for Luff include Implicated, Urban Legend and the television movie “Monster” for UPN. Prior to joining Original Film, Luff worked for Fox Broadcasting Company at “Fox Night at the Movies” and was the vice president of Production at Harpster and Associates, a production company with a first-look deal at New Line Cinema. Before entering the entertainment industry, he worked for Mitsui Bank and Wells Fargo Bank as a financial analyst. Luff is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in Political Science and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Having made the leap from intern to producer, NICHOLAS OSBORNE (Executive Producer) has now co-founded his own production company, O/Z Films, with Jeffrey Zarnow. The company has a first-look deal at Phoenix Pictures. Before O/Z, Osborne started his career as an intern at Phoenix Pictures and quickly moved up to VP of Production, where he brought in and shepherded Urban Legend, starring Jared Leto, Alicia Witt and Rebecca Gayheart. At Phoenix Pictures, he also worked on The Thin Red Line, directed by Terrence Malick, starring George Clooney and John Cusack; Apt Pupil, directed by Bryan Singer, starring Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro; and U-Turn, directed by Oliver Stone, starring Sean Penn. For Shooting Gallery Films, he is currently producing the dramatic feature Bear Lake Run, to be directed by newcomer Jason Ruscio, whose recent film Eclipse won the Student Academy Award. Osborne is a native of Forfar, Scotland. He is a graduate of the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California and has a B.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University.
RICHARD LUKE ROTHSCHILD (Producer) most recently co-produced the box office smash Double Jeopardy, directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd. Previously, he co-produced Peter Weir’s critically acclaimed film The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, as well as the popular comedy Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, starring Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow. Rothschild also was the executive producer on Last Dance, starring Sharon Stone. Previously, Rothschild served as an executive at Disney Studios. During his three-year tenure there, he was involved in the making of Luis Mandoki’s Born Yesterday, starring Melanie Griffith and John Goodman; Les Mayfield’s Encino Man, starring Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser; and Straight Talk, starring Dolly Parton and James Woods. For the small screen, Rothschild produced Disney’s telefilm “Student Exchange” in addition to several films for the USA Cable Network. Rothschild also worked as a production manager and first assistant director. His credits include Bruce Beresford’s Tender Mercies and Crimes of the Heart.
At the age of 32, BRIAN PEARSON (Director of Photography) is getting noticed with an impressive roster of films to his credit. In 1999, Pearson worked on four independent feature films: the mysterious After Alice, starring Keifer Sutherland, directed by Paul Marcus; Sweethearts of the World, starring Molly Parker and Joel Bissonette, directed by Matt Bissonette; Drawing Flies, which was executive produced by Kevin Smith; and the recently released Tail Lights Fade, an edgy road movie starring Denise Richards, Jake Busey, and Elizabeth Berkley, directed by Malcolm Ingram. Pearson’s work on the small screen includes such telefilms as “Our Guys,” starring Ally Sheedy and Eric Stoltz, and “High Stakes,” starring Cynthia Gibb. He has also worked with esteemed visual artist Mark Lewis on a number of his film installation projects, which are displayed in museums in Glasgow, London, Los Angeles, Montreal and other cities around the world. Pearson is a film graduate of the University of British Columbia. He began his career in commercials and music videos.
Urban Legends: Final Cut marks MARK ZUELZKE’s (Production Designer) first feature film credit as production designer. He has had an extensive career as an art director, having worked on such films as Message In A Bottle, starring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn; Walt Disney’s adaptation of George of the Jungle, starring Brendan Fraser; 187, directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Samuel L. Jackson; Daylight, starring Sylvester Stallone; Roland Emmerich’s StarGate, starring Kurt Russell and James Spader; Curtis Hanson’s The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, starring Rebecca De Mornay and Annabella Sciorra; Andrew Davis’ Steal Big, Steal Little, starring Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin; and Species 2, to name a few. In 1993, Zuelzke received an Emmy Award nomination for Art Direction for his work on the ABC television series “Wild Palms,” produced by Oliver Stone and starring James Belushi and Dana Delaney. His other small screen credits include such television movies as “Psycho IV,” “Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture” and “Curiosity Kills.” Zuelzke graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in architecture and worked as an architect and builder prior to breaking into the film industry. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
MARIE-SYLVIE DEVEAU’s (Costume Designer) feature film credits include Rob Cohen’s Skulls, starring Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker; Mike Newell’s Pushing Tin, starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton; Peter Chelsom’s The Mighty, starring Sharon Stone; Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic, starring Mira Sorvino; Carroll Ballard’s Fly Away Home, starring Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin; Tamra Davis’ Billy Madison, starring Adam Sandler; and Robert Wuhl’s Open Season. Deveau has designed costumes for such television movies as Bruce Pittman’s “Harrison Bergeron,” with Christopher Plummer; Nancy Savoca’s “Dark Eyes,” with Kelly McKelms; and Michael Dinner’s “Thicker Than Blood.” Her television series credits include “Matrix,” “Top Cops” and “Friday The 13th.” Television pilots include “Gangsters” and “Moments of Truth.” While in theatre school, Deveau attended theatre workshops in Brussels and Paris during the summers. In 1987, she graduated from The National Theatre School of Canada. She continued in theatre, designing the sets and costumes for the productions of “Le Placard” and “Mon Ete 42” for the Conservatoire de Montreal. She was the assistant to designer Michael Levine for Robert LePage’s production of “Tectonic Plates” for The DuMaurier World Stage and for Robert Catson’s production of “Mario and The Magician” for the Canadian Opera Company.
TRYSHA BAKKER’s (Costume Designer) numerous made-for-TV movie credits include “Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story,” starring Judd Nelson and Paula Abdul; “Half a Dozen Babies,” starring Judith Ivey and Teri Garr; “Mind Prey,” starring “ER”’s Eriq La Salle; “Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms,” starring Gary Busey; “The Arrow,” starring Dan Aykroyd and “Sodbusters” starring Kris Kristofferson. Bakker’s feature film work includes Dead Ringers (wardrobe assistant), starring Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, and The Fly (wardrobe mistress), starring Oscar winner Geena Davis.
ROB KOBRIN (Editor) is considered a pioneer of electronic film editing. Today he is recognized as one of the film industry’s leaders in the development of digital media creation technology. His editing credits include Tim McCanlies’ Dancer, Texas Pop. 81, for TriStar; Brett Leonard’s Virtuosity, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, for Paramount; and two films with director Fraser Clarke Heston: Needful Things, starring Ed Harris and Amanda Plummer, and Alaska, starring Vincent Kartheiser and Thora Birch, both for Castle Rock. Kobrin is also a consultant for the development of technology for the motion picture industry. Since 1992, he has been Avid Technology, Inc.’s leading expert on integrated digital media creation processes. Kobrin resides in Venice, California with his wife and two children.