Director/producer ROBERT ZEMECKIS earned the Best Director Oscar for "Forrest Gump," which also was named Best Picture and earned Tom Hanks the Best Actor Oscar, and Zemeckis secured himself a position as one of the preeminent filmmakers in the industry. Zemeckis' list of other films include the groundbreaking box-
office smash "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," which became the top- grossing film of 1988. In 1985, he directed and co- wrote "Back to the Future," which also topped the annual box- office chart. He went on to direct the film's two sequels, completing one of the most popular film trilogies ever. His other films include "Romancing the Stone," "Death Becomes Her" and "Used Cars."
A native of Chicago, Zemeckis began making films with an 8mm camera in high school. While attending the University of Southern California School of Cinema, he received a Student Academy Award for his film, "Field of Honor." After viewing the film, Steven Spielberg helped Zemeckis and his USC writing partner, Bob Gale, obtain a deal to develop the original screenplay "1941," which Spielberg directed. Zemeckis made his directorial debut in 1978 with a screenplay he co-wrote with Gale, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."
In addition to his directing and writing credits, Zemeckis has executive produced "The Frighteners," "The Public Eye" and "Trespass," which he co-
wrote with Bob Gale. Zemeckis has also directed several projects for the small screen, including an episode of Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" and three episodes of HBO's "Tales from the Crypt," on which he serves as executive producer; he also produced the pilot of CBS's critically- acclaimed sophisticated comedy "Johnny Bago."
Zemeckis' films have achieved worldwide grosses in excess of two billion dollars.
Producer STEVE STARKEY earned an Academy Award as one of the producers of the Best Picture Oscar-
winner "Forrest Gump," directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starkey's professional relationship with Zemeckis began in 1986 when Starkey associate produced "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and continued with the second and third films in the "Back to the Future" trilogy, on which he served again as associate producer. The collaboration continued as Starkey and Zemeckis produced Zemeckis' "Death Becomes Her" and then "Forrest Gump." Starkey also co- produced the comedy farce "Noises Off."
Early in his entertainment career, Starkey worked with George Lucas at Lucasfilm Ltd., where he was an assistant film editor on "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." He later edited documentary films for Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and was associate producer of Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" television anthology series and executive producer of the "Johnny Bago" television series.
Screenwriter JAMES V. HART grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas. After graduating from Southern Methodist University during the 1970s, he began producing films, the first being the critically acclaimed "Summer Run."
During the 1980s, Hart began writing for the screen. His credits include "Hook," directed by Steven Spielberg; "Bram Stoker's Dracula," directed by Francis Ford Coppola; and "The Muppet Treasure Island," directed by Brian Henson. Hart also produced "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" with Coppola.
Screenwriter MICHAEL GOLDENBERG wrote and directed "Bed of Roses," starring Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson. An accomplished playwright with a degree from Carnegie-
Mellon University, he wrote the play, "Down the Stream," which was originally developed by the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and was later produced in New York with a grant from the American Academy/Institute of Arts & Letters.
The late CARL SAGAN (co-
producer, author and story contributor) served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of Laboratory for the Planetary Studies at Cornell University and played a leading role in the American space program from its inception. He was a consultant and adviser to NASA beginning in the 1950s. During his lifetime, he received 22 honorary degrees from American colleges and universities.
Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize and authored many best-
selling books, notably Cosmos, which became the best- selling science book ever published in the English language, and The Demon- Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. The Emmy and Peabody award- winning television series "Cosmos," hosted by Sagan, has been seen by 500 million people in 60 countries. Most recently, a collection of his essays called Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium was published to critical and popular acclaim.
Carl Sagan passed away in 1996.
Co-producer and story contributor ANN DRUYAN was co-
writer of the Emmy and Peabody Award- winning series "Cosmos" and served as creative director of the NASA Voyager Interstellar Record Project. There, she designed a complex message consisting of music, images and ideas for possible alien civilizations that was placed aboard the Voyager spacecraft.
Druyan is the author or co-author of several books, including Comet and Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and is a frequent contributor to many magazines. She continues to be a noted lecturer and authority on a broad range of issues.
Executive producer JOAN BRADSHAW previously worked with Robert Zemeckis on the second and third installments in the "Back to the Future" series and as co-producer/unit production manager on "Death Becomes Her." She was executive producer/unit production manager of "Nine Months" and co-producer/unit production manager on the box-office smash "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Terminal Velocity." Bradshaw's additional film credits include "Noises Off," "One Good Cop," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Alien Nation." She also worked on Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" television series.
Executive producer LYNDA OBST recently produced the romantic comedy "One Fine Day," starring Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. She previously produced "The Fisher King," "This is My Life" and "Adventures in Babysitting" and executive produced "Sleepless in Seattle." A former New York Times editor and author, Obst moved to film in 1979 and developed "Flashdance" and "Clue" while working with Peter Guber. In 1993, she signed an extensive multi- picture deal with Twentieth-Century Fox, where she has many projects currently in development, and she recently authored a non-fiction book, Hello, He Lied.
Director of Photography DON BURGESS, A.S.C., received an Academy Award nomination for his work on Robert Zemeckis' "Forrest Gump." His other films include "Evening Star," "Forget Paris," "Richie Rich," "Blind Fury," "Under the Boardwalk," "Mo' Money" and "Josh and S.A.M." Also for Zemeckis, he previously shot second unit photography on the second and third films in the "Back to the Future" trilogy and for "Batman" and "Backdraft."
For television, Burgess and Zemeckis collaborated on the Zemeckis- directed episode of HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" entitled "Yellow," which brought Burgess an ACE Award nomination. His other television credits include "Breaking Point," for which he earned an ACE Award, and "The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson," which earned him an A.S.C. Award nomination.
"Contact" marks ED VERREAUX's debut as production designer, having worked as an art director or assistant art director on numerous films including "How to Make An American Quilt," "Casper," "Blue Chips," "The Distinguished Gentleman," "Honey I Blew Up the Kid," and the second and third "Back to the Future" films.
Prior to becoming an art director, Verreaux served as a production illustrator on Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," "Empire of the Sun," "The Color Purple," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
His work has also included visual effects and conceptual design for such films as "Jurassic Park," "Twins" and "Coneheads."
Editor ARTHUR SCHMIDT has been honored with two Academy Awards, the most recent for his masterful blending of the past and present in Zemeckis' "Forrest Gump." He earned his first Oscar for another Zemeckis hit, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". In addition, Schmidt has worked with Zemeckis on all three "Back to the Future" films, as well as "Death Becomes Her." His other credits include "The Birdcage," "Addams Family Values," "The Last of the Mohicans," "Ruthless People," "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "Marathon Man."
For television, Schmidt earned an Emmy Award as well as an Eddie Award for his work on the telefilm "The Jericho Mile."
Composer ALAN SILVESTRI scored Robert Zemeckis' "Forrest Gump," which earned nominations from the Academy and the Golden Globes for Best Score. In addition to "Forrest Gump," he has scored six other motion pictures for director Zemeckis before "Contact": "Romancing the Stone," all three "Back to the Future" films, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and "Death Becomes Her."
Silvestri's other recent credits include "Eraser," "Sgt. Bilko," "Grumpier Old Men," "Father of the Bride Part II," "Judge Dredd," "The Perez Family," "The Quick and the Dead," "Richie Rich," "Blown Away," "The Bodyguard" and the first "Grumpy Old Men." His additional film music credits include "Judgment Night," "Super Mario Brothers," "FernGully: The Last Rainforest," "Father of the Bride," "Shattered," "Ricochet," "Soapdish," "Predator 2," "Young Guns II," "The Abyss," "Overboard," "Predator," "Outrageous Fortune," "Flight of the Navigator," "Clan of the Cave Bear," "American Anthem" and "Fandango."
Costume designer JOANNA JOHNSTON is collaborating with Zemeckis for the sixth time after previous outings on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," with Johnston designing costumes for both live-action and animated characters, and on both the second and third films of the "Back to the Future" trilogy, with Johnston establishing the look for both futuristic and old-fashioned clothing. She continued her relationship with Zemeckis on "Death Becomes Her" and most recently designed for "Forrest Gump," which featured costumes reflecting styles spanning 25 years of American history. Her other films include "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Far and Away."
A noted expert on period dress, Johnston was the second unit costume designer for "The Color Purple" and co-designer for "Out of Africa."
Visual effects supervisor KEN RALSTON, a five-time Academy Award winner, worked with Robert Zemeckis on "Forrest Gump," "Death Becomes Her," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and the "Back to the Future" trilogy and won Academy Awards for his efforts on "Forrest Gump," "Death Becomes Her," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," "Cocoon," and "Return of the Jedi."
In December of 1995, Ralston joined Sony Imageworks as its president, closing a chapter of nearly two decades of work as a visual effects supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic. While there, Ralston placed his aesthetic and technical stamp on many of that company's landmark film innovations. In addition to the films noted above, he also designed and executed the visual effects for such top-grossing motion pictures as "Out of Africa," "Star Trek V: The Voyage Home," "Sabrina," and "Jumanji."