made in atlantis - filmmakers biographies
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Over the course of her career, GALE ANNE HURD (producer) has produced more than two dozen feature films that have generated billions of dollars in revenue and earned Oscar® nominations and scores of awards. She has further distinguished herself by championing paradigm-shifting technological innovations and carving out a pre-eminent position within the previously all-male ranks of epic-scaled film production.
As the chairman of her own production entity, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Hurd continually develops exciting projects. In 2004, Hurd's film “The Punisher,” based on the classic Marvel comic property, was one of the top-grossing independent films of its year. The film starred Tom Jane and John Travolta and was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh. A sequel is planned for production in 2006.
In 2002, Hurd filmed “The Hulk,” the epic fantasy-adventure based on the Marvel Comic character The Incredible Hulk. The film, which starred Eric Bana and was directed by Ang Lee, broke box office records in its summer 2003 release. The same year, Hurd produced “Clockstoppers,” a Paramount release. In addition, Hurd served as Executive Producer of “Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines,” the third in her “Terminator” trilogy. Directed by Jonathan Mostow, the characters in the film were based on those created by Hurd and James Cameron in the 1984 classic, “The Terminator.”
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University, Hurd began her entertainment career as an executive assistant to filmmaker Roger Corman, at whose legendary New World Pictures she learned all aspects of the business. Rising to become New World's head of marketing and later one of its producers, Hurd displayed the creative talent and business skills that continue to define her career.
In 1984, Hurd earned a place in film history with the first of many event-films she would produce: “The Terminator,” which she also co-wrote, directed by James Cameron. That worldwide success was followed in 1986 by “Aliens,” the blockbuster sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi thriller “Alien.” Uncharacteristic of Hollywood films at the time, both featured women in the role of action heroines. “Aliens” went on to be nominated for seven Academy Awards®, winning two.
Hurd continued in the action-adventure genre with 1989's “The Abyss,” a groundbreaking film in its own right which won the Oscar® for best visual effects and garnered three additional nominations.
During the 1990s, Hurd consolidated her reputation as one of the most successful producers in filmmaking. 1991 saw the release of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” that year's top grossing film and a technological tour de force which received an Oscar® for visual effects.
Soon thereafter, Hurd took a brief hiatus from action-adventure production, forming No Frills Films in order to pursue the development and production of low-budget, high-quality feature films. The results were the critically acclaimed and award-winning films “Tremors,” “Safe Passage” and the Spirit Award and Sundance Audience Award winning indie, “The Waterdance,” all of which demonstrated the breadth of her professional and creative abilities.
In 1996, Hurd returned to event filmmaking with the Academy Award-winning “The Ghost and the Darkness,” followed in 1997 by “Dante's Peak,” “The Relic” and the mega-hit, “Armageddon,” which was the number one film at the box office in 1998. 1999 witnessed the release of the sci-fi thriller, “Virus,” and the political comedy, “Dick.”
Hurd has also produced a number of distinguished TV films, including HBO's Emmy Nominated “Sugartime,” starring John Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker, and the Emmy-winning “Cast A Deadly Spell,” which featured Julianne Moore in her first starring role.
Hurd, well known for her service to the entertainment community, serves as a Board member of the Producers Guild of America and The Ocean Conservancy, and as an Advisory Board Member for Heal The Bay, Global Green USA and Reef Check. For the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Hurd serves on the Executive Committee of the Producers Branch and has chaired the Festival Grants Committee and the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship Committee.
Hurd has received honors and awards for both her producing and charitable work. In 2003, she was honored as Producer of the Year at the Taurus World Stunt Awards. That same year, The National Board of Review honored her with a Special Achievement in Producing Award. In 2004, Hurd received the Award for Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership from former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev's Global Green USA. She was presented with the Dr. Donald Reed Award at The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films' annual Saturn Awards.
In 1998, Hurd received the prestigious Crystal Award from Women in Film. In 2001, she was presented the WIF Founders Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the Independent Vision Award at the Temecula Film Festival.