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THE WEATHER MAN

Predicting A Great Production
When producer Todd Black ("A Knight's Tale,” "Antwone Fisher”) read "The Weather Man” by screenwriter Steven Conrad ("Wrestling Ernest Hemingway”) he immediately recognized brilliant writing. "Steve's screenplay was one of the funniest, most unique, touching scripts I've read in my career as a producer,” says Black. "It's a very telling story about a man's life with his family, his career and his inner, very personal, thoughts that we all can relate to. It's very honest and in your face, which is to say that it doesn't sugarcoat or shy away from anything, and I think audiences will appreciate that.”

Screenwriter Steven Conrad says his vision for the film is being fully realized and he couldn't think of any director, stars or producers more suited to bringing "The Weather Man” to its greatest potential. "Everyone involved with this project has been terrific and has brought something different to making what was on the page into what I believe is a very human, very engaging film. It's just a fun look at the serious things we all have in our lives.”

Proving that even though life can be a struggle, it doesn't hurt to laugh at it, "The Weather Man” attracted not only critically acclaimed actors but also real-life personalities who appeared in key cameo roles. For example, well-known morning show co-host Bryant Gumbel and renowned Californian Cuisine chef Wolfgang Puck appeared to add the authenticity to the fictionalized morning program, "Hello America.” In addition, Tom Skilling, chief meteorologist for a Chicago television station and the Chicago Tribune, had a small part in the film and served as the movie's technical advisor.

"I was very impressed by the attention to detail by the director, the stars and the entire production crew,” says Skilling, who taught Nicolas Cage how to read the chroma key and how to perform in front of the green screen. "Computer graphics are superimposed in front of this crazy screen that looks completely different to the audience, and I taught Nic how to interact with it. Truthfully, I was amazed at how quickly he took to working with the screen because it can be tricky, but he seemed so natural it was as though he'd been doing it for years!”

Just as the script called for, filmmakers chose to set the film in Chicago for one big reason — weather. "There's some serious weather going on in Chicago for most of the year, and people really do plug into the forecasts to find out what they have to face that day,” says screenwriter Steven Conrad. "In Chicago, people often know their weather people by name since they check in to learn about the latest conditions throughout the day. In fact, the weather people establish this kind of ‘we're-all-in-this-together' vibe,” which gives them the kind of celebrity that David Spritz has.”

Nicolas Cage agrees: "Chicago weathermen are very important because everyone in the city relies on them so much. If they get it wrong, it really can ruin their day because the weather here is so intense. It can be thirty degrees one day and eighty degrees another day. A Chicago weatherman is a whole different animal than a Los Angeles weatherman,” Cage jokingly points out. "A Los Angeles weatherman doesn't really have any seasons to forecast. There are earthquakes and fires, but weather? Not really.”

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