ROBERT ZEMECKIS (Director/Producer) won an Academy Award, a
Golden Globe and a Director's Guild of American Award for Best Director for the
hugely successful Forrest Gump. The film's numerous honors also included Oscars
for Best Actor (Tom Hanks) and Best Picture. Zemeckis re-teamed with Hanks on
the contemporary drama Cast Away, the filming of which was split into two
sections, book-ending production on What Lies Beneath. Zemeckis and Hanks served
as producers on Cast Away, along with Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke.
Earlier in his career, Zemeckis co-wrote (with Bob Gale) and directed Back to
the Future, which was the top-grossing release of 1985, and for which Zemeckis
shared Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Screen play. He
then went on to helm Back to the Future, Part II and Part III, completing one of
the most successful film franchises ever.
In addition, he directed and produced Contact, starring Jodie Foster, based on
the best-selling novel by Carl Sagan; and the macabre comedy hit Death Becomes
Her, starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. He also wrote and
directed the box office smash Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, cleverly blending live
action and animation; directed the romantic adventure hit Romancing the Stone,
pairing Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner; and co-wrote (with Bob Gale) and
directed the comedies Used Cars and I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
Zemeckis also produced House on Haunted Hill, and executive produced such films
as The Frighteners, The Public Eye and Trespass, which he also co-wrote with Bob
Gale. He and Gale previously wrote 1941, which began Zemeckis' association with
For the small screen, Zemeckis has directed several projects, including the
Showtime feature-length documentary The Pursuit of Happiness, which explored the
effect of drugs and alcohol on 20th century society. His additional television
credits include episodes of Spielberg's Amazing Stories and HBO's Tales From the
In 1998, Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke partnered to form the film and
television production company ImageMovers. What Lies Beneath was the first film
to be released under the ImageMovers banner, followed by Cast Away, which opened
to critical and audience acclaim in the Fall of 2000, and Matchstick Men.
In March 2001, the USC School of Cinema-Television celebrated the opening of the
Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts. This state-of-the-art center is the
country's first and only fully digital training center and houses the latest in
non-linear production and post-production equipment as well as stages, a 50-seat
screening room and USC student-run television station, Trojan Vision.
In 2004, Zemeckis produced and directed the motion capture film The Polar
Express, starring Tom Hanks. Most recently, he brought the true life story of
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson
to the big screen. In addition, he served as executive producer on both Monster
House and the Queen Latifah comedy Last Holiday.
Zemeckis produced and directed his second motion capture film, Beowulf, which
was also produced by Rapke and Starkey. The feature, which stars Anthony
Hopkins, Angelina Jolie and Ray Winstone is based on one of the oldest surviving
pieces of Anglo-Saxon literature, written sometime before the 10th Century A.D.
In November of 2009, Zemeckis released his most advanced motion-capture film to
date: A Christmas Carol, based on the celebrated and beloved classic story by
Charles Dickens. Rapke and Starkey also produced the film which was released by
The Disney Studios.
Zemeckis returned to live action direction with the critically-acclaimed
dramatic feature film Flight, for Paramount Pictures, starring Denzel
Washington. Under the direction of Zemeckis, Washington received an Academy
Award nomination for the role.
Most recently Zemeckis directed Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kinglsey in The
Walk, the story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's attempt to cross the
Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.
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