The Third Black Stallion Movie
(February 16, 2005) In its first dramatic feature made specifically for the giant screen, Walt Disney Pictures is proud to present the continuation of a family favorite and a story that has enthralled generations of readers.
THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION, a prequel to the 1979 classic, presents the horse’s adventures with a young girl named Neera, who has been separated from her father in Arabia by WWII. Left alone in the desert, she befriends the wild colt, who she names Shetan. Once reunited with her father, however, Neera remains haunted by images of the “lost horse of the desert” — one of a few stallions of legend, rumoured to be “born of the sands, sired by the night sky, drinkers of the wind.”
The original writer and producer of THE BLACK STALLION have returned for this production, which will bring giant-screen audiences the wonder, excitement, and magic of Walter Farley’s equine hero as they have never seen it before.
Young Black Stallion DVD December 2004
(August 23, 2004) BURBANK, Calif., August 23, 2004 – Walt Disney Home Entertainment presents THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION, on Disney DVD and VHS in November 2004. In the Disney tradition of bringing beloved family classics to vivid life, THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION is a prequel to the now-famous motion picture “The Black Stallion” that captured the hearts of millions. From the creators of the award-winning children’s classic movie “Black Stallion,” this spectacular family adventure is filled with heartwarming messages of friendship and loyalty. On both Disney DVD and video, the movie experience has been extended through the edition of 20 minutes of all-new exclusive programming. Discover for the first time ever the backstory of what happened before THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION, created exclusively for this holiday release. It’s an all-new adventure of how the mother and the father of THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION met. On Disney DVD the bonus features take viewers even further into the world of this entertaining and heartfelt film. Viewers will discover the making-of featurettes “Taming The Stallions,” a look at the famous horses of Arabia; Big Black Horse Read-Along; Finding Biana Featurette; “Shooting In Namibia;” and “Building The Casbah.”
Feature running time: Approximately 51 minutes
Exclusive all-new prequel: Approximately 20 minutes
Bonus material unrated and subject to change.
DVD aspect ratio: 1.33:1 formatted 4×3 and 1.78:1, formatted 16×9 on one disc
Sound: Dolby® Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DVD languages: English, French, Spanish audio
DVD subtitles: French
Release date: December 25, 2003
Run Time: 49 minutes
Format: 1570, 870
Director: Simon Wincer
Producer: Frank Marshall; Kathleen Kennedy
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
(February 16, 2005) A team of top filmmakers (including the screenwriter and producer of the original “Black Stallion” feature) join forces for this exciting new installment of a family favorite that has captured the imaginations of millions of readers and moviegoers. A prequel to the 1979 motion picture “The Black Stallion,” the film is Disney’s first dramatic adventure made expressly for the giant screen and follows in the Studio’s tradition of live-action adventure films for the whole family. Set in Northern Africa at the conclusion of World War II, this extraordinary film follows the adventures of a young girl named Neera, who becomes separated from her family and finds herself alone in the desert. When a wild stallion (whom Neera names Shetan) comes to her aid, the two form a special bond and the horse helps Neera to return home to her grandfather. As their friendship and trust grows, the girl devises a daring plan to race the wild Shetan (whose name means “the devil”) in the annual horse race and help restore her grandfather’s reputation. Staking everything on the race, Neera’s iron will and courage combined with Shetan’s untamed power and determination culminates in some of the most breathtaking and triumphant scenes ever visualized on the giant screen.
Walt Disney Pictures presents “The Young Black Stallion,” starring Richard Romanus and Biana Tamimi. The film is directed by Simon Wincer and produced by Fred Roos and Frank Marshall. Executive Producers are Kathleen Kennedy and Jeanne Rosenberg. The screen story and screenplay is by Jeanne Rosenberg, based on the novel by Walter Farley and Steven Farley.The film is presented in IMAX® Theatres nationwide. Buena Vista Pictures distributes.
“I’ve wanted to make another ‘Black Stallion’ movie for a long time,” says Fred Roos, who produced the 1979 family classic and now serves as producer of Walt Disney Pictures’ prequel for IMAX Theatres,”The Young Black Stallion.” “I was very proud of the work we did on the first film, and I think it holds up extremely well. I’ve also been interested in making a dramatic movie for IMAX Theatres, and then figured, well, why not make this film a dramatic ‘Black Stallion’ movie that the entire family can enjoy?”
“I discussed the story with Jeanne Rosenberg, who wrote the original ‘Black Stallion’ film,” Roos continues. “We talked about various books that could be adaptable, but the one that really stood out was this one The Young Black Stallion which focuses on the horse’s days in Arabia as a colt. It was Walter Farley’s last book before he died in fact, he didn’t get to finish it, leaving the job to his son, Stephen, who saw it through.”
“After ‘Olympic Glory,’ I know that you could find an emotional story that connects with the audience in the same way a 35mm movie can and combine it with the incredible vistas, sound, and color of large format, you could create an exciting, new moviegoing experience,” says veteran producer Frank Marshall.
“Fred and Jeannie came up with just the right story that would show the beginning of the Black Stallion, which builds on the adventures we already know,” adds Marshall.
To direct the film, the producers turned to Simon Wincer, no stranger to films with horses (“Phar Lap”) or children (“Free Willy”).”I’m an animal lover,” he says simply. “Also, I’m just used to working this way. The thing is, you get moments of magic in these movies, with children and animals, that you don’t find on other movie sets. Somehow, the animal responds to something the child does, or vice-versa.That’s very rewarding.”
“Simon is the perfect director for this project,” says Roos. “He’s been all over the world shooting films, in tough, tough locations, with kids, with animals.We’re extremely lucky to have him.”
Horse riding is second nature to Biana Tamimi who took to the saddle at age four and a half. In fact, Biana got the part when her friend, who saw the casting call on the internet, made a video of Biana’s riding lesson and sent it to the producers.
That didn’t mean that Tamimi had nothing to learn, which she did with trainer Heath Harris. “I always used to ride very neatly — Heath has taught me how to go fast. And hang on!”
For the rest of the cast, however, the task of riding proved a daunting challenge.”I had my first horse riding lesson in Namibia,” recalls Patrick Elyas. “It’s actually really fun, but it was a bit hard. It was difficult for me to get the horse going because you have to squeeze really hard and I’m not used to it. And it kind of feels weird when I trot because I have to go up and down and it makes my back and stomach feel weird.” Does he feel that he has mastered the art? “No, not at all,” but adds diplomatically that “In the script Aden’s really not much of a horseman.”
Even though he was not required to ride in the film, Richard Romanus, in the true spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie, decided to support Elyas in his efforts.”Well, I had maybe 15 minutes of an hour lesson,” says Romanus with a chuckle.”Every time they trot, you have to jump up and down in the saddle, that was enough, that was it for me. I couldn’t figure out how to do that. How do these guys do it? There must be some trick, I’m sure they use tape or rubber bands or something. I haven’t quite figured it out, but riding is not for me.”
IMAX Large Format
A continuation of what is still one of the most popular stories among young readers,”The Young Black Stallion” follows on the heels of the family classics,”The Black Stallion” (1979) and “The Black Stallion Returns” (1983). Adding to the experience this time around is the fact that the story will be told on the giant IMAX screen for the first time. Shooting on large format did, however, require a certain amount of adaptation on the part of the filmmakers.
“Large format is incredibly challenging,” says Simon Wincer. “The composition is quite different because the camera sees such a huge area and it’s very hard to isolate characters in dialogue scenes, therefore, you have to stage it in a slightly more theatrical way.”
To a large extent Wincer had to trust director of photography Reed Smoot, a veteran large format filmmaker, when it came to the positioning of shots because of the subject movement within the frame. “It is difficult to capture intimacy on large format because the screen is so large,” says Smoot. “The challenge is to combine the format, the story and the locations, and in this film we have a wonderful story, spectacular locations and a great format with which to capture this.”
The filmmakers sought locations that would take advantage of the large format, including the magnificent dunes of the Namibian Skeleton Coast, the majestic Spitzkoppe and the breathtaking splendor of South Africa’s Drakensberg mountain range. “The contrast between the desert and the verdant Drakensberg region adds enormously to the film,” says Roos. “We had initially considered shooting the entire film in Namibia, but needed a contrast and the geography of the Drakensberg provided that.”
The big race in which Neera competes is ideally suited to this format and Smoot regards this sequence as “one of the most exciting sequences ever seen on large format.”
Working in large format was also a new experience for Costume Designer, Jo Katsaras. “I am a huge fan of large format. I remember seeing the large format documentary on the ‘Cirque du Soleil’ and I could see every little fiber of the costumes. I was inspired and really excited about being approached to do ‘The Young Black Stallion.’ I remember Director of Photography, Reed Smoot’s words to me right at the beginning that a wide shot does not mean that there’s no detail in the foreground and therefore I have insisted that attention be paid to every aspect of the costumes. All the garments have French seams, there is no overlocking and no compromise,” says Katsaras. “My eyes have been overly sensitive to what we see out there.”
The fact that, for the most part, the filmmakers would only be using natural light was also a consideration for Katsaras in choosing her colour palette. “I love colour and during my discussion with Reed during pre-production he told me that large format is true to the eye, so I followed my gut and he has been very complimentary about the colours I’ve used.”
In excess of 40 Arabian horses and 10 camels were used in the film. Each horse featured was hand picked by renowned Australian Horse Trainer, Heath Harris. “The horses came from a stud in South Africa owned by Fanie and Jack Maritz. They are horses of amazing quality. Jack is an international show judge who goes all over the world judging Arabian horses.
“Arabians are Moorish horses, magnificent creatures and a very old breed their blood lines go back about 2000 years,” says Harris. “In the Middle East they are highly regarded and, in some cultures, enjoy a status higher than that of the owner’s wife or children. They have a very noble bearing and an extraordinary look — big head, big eyes and flared nostrils, a dream horse.” However, working with them was an enormous challenge for Harris and his team because the Arabians they used were totally unfamiliar with the kind of work expected of them. “They are difficult to train because they’re ‘hot’ horses but once you have them trained they are remarkable, especially for film work,” concludes Harris.
Harris has the utmost respect for the horses that he works with and regards them as being on par with actors. “Every horse has its own character and I work with that. These horses are essentially actors and they deserve the same rehearsal time as the actors. Particularly on this film where the horse is the star,” says Harris.
Preparing and training the horses for the film was a massive undertaking for the horse trainers. “All the horses had to be extremely fit,” says Harris. “We used endurance horses and they went on a total training program to prepare them for the rigors of the set.”The horses were trotted a certain amount of kilometers every day and cantered a certain distance every day in preparation.”We wanted to do a race sequence like no other seen on screen before and I think we have achieved that,” says an elated Harris.”Performing is not difficult for the horse, but it is physically hard on the horse. I always think of the welfare and the safety of the horse first because if the horse is safe the rider is safe.”
Planning was of paramount importance to Harris. “I work from the screen backwards by asking myself how we can get the shot that’s needed on the screen and then structure the training accordingly.” With only a few weeks of pre-production, Harris set about getting the horses screen ready. “I don’t think I was hired because I am the best horse trainer in the world, but because I am the quickest,” jests Harris. “In some cases we had little more than a few days to prepare a horse for certain scenes.”
For each featured horse used in the film there were two standby horses or understudies as it were. Each understudy had to match the featured horse exactly and in many cases the horses needed to be dyed. “Some of the horses enjoyed far more time at the hairdresser than any of the human cast members,” muses Krissy Harris.
There were many moments of sheer magic for the horse trainers. Perhaps the ultimate moment for Heath and Krissy Harris was the race sequence shot at Palmenhorst. “The tracking shot of Biana galloping at 65 kilometers per hour, we measured her speed on the tracking vehicle, when she pulls off her headpiece and her hair streams out behind her was a very special moment for us.”
Not only did Biana have to ride horses, but also a camel. “When I first got up I was really scared and I almost fell off because they lift their hind legs first and you have to lean back and there’s a big bump on the saddle which you can’t touch, but then when I was on it was fun,” recalls Biana. “They are comfortable to ride — walk and trot — but the canter! I did it a couple of times but I was really scared because I didn’t have stirrups.”
Controlling the massive camel was a real challenge for Biana. “They are not very maneuverable or easy to control, but I was lucky because the camel I had was really nice and I had a lot of fun. Camels are really disgusting creatures, they make these strange gurgling sounds all the time.”
The Big Race
A major aspect of the story is the grueling race in which Neera competes against some formidable opponents. Shooting the various sequences of the race was never going to be easy given the amount of horses required and the very specific positioning of the riders during each stage.”We shot the race over ten days in a number of different locations, including the Spitzkoppe, Rooibank, Palmenhorst and the shallow pans just outside Walvis Bay.” says Wincer. “At each stage Neera is seen to work her way up the field until the end where she is in third place behind Mansoor and Rhamon.”
In order to make the race as authentic as possible, the horse trainers were hard pressed to find suitable riders for the task. “What we didn’t want was to see riders pulling back in order to allow Neera to pass them. The excitement of the race all depended on seeing Neera work through the field in the most realistic way possible,” says Harris. “We looked for experienced riders who would be able to give it all they had in the race and yet hold their positions as required by the story.”
To that end Harris employed celebrated jockey Ali Al Ameri, American trainer Bill Lawrence, and a group of endurance riders from South Africa. “We plotted each stage of the race very carefully and told each rider where he needed to be at each stage,” says Harris.Throughout the race, safety considerations were a priority for Harris.”The three lead horses are at a full gallop and bunched very close together during the closing stages of the race, leaving no room for mistakes. We had Biana riding up there with them and I had to make sure that Biana would be safe.”
Harris was also very careful in his choice of mount for Tamimi. “I chose a horse with an even temperament and one that Biana was comfortable with. You cannot put a child on a horse that is going to scare them or destroy their confidence,” says Harris. His choice of Nyala was an instant hit with Tamimi. “He was a very special horse and some of my best moments were galloping out on him,” enthuses Tamimi.
While there is a strong bond that exists between Neera and Shetan in the story, he is wild and the true test of her mettle comes when she is finally able to mount the wild horse, this posed no problem for the young actress. “I have worked with horses like that before, horses that are skittish and spooky, but I think they are all just really nice and have a good temperament,” says Tamimi.
One of the most treacherous stages of the race was shot at Black Mountain, an isolated hill covered in loose black rock. “Black Mountain made a lot of the riders really nervous,” recalls Harris. “The path up and the path down looked horrendous, but it was safe. I set it up days in advance to make sure that it was safe and the end result was great.”
The spectacular water sequence shot at the shallow pans outside Walvis Bay was Harris’ suggestion. “I knew that having the horses emerge from the desert into the pans would make an incredible shot,” enthuses Harris. “Once again, safety was a primary concern because there is quick sand in the area. I rode through the pans, identifying the soft spots and then plotted a safe route through the water for the riders. The completed sequence looks extraordinary.”
Tamimi thoroughly enjoyed shooting this sequence. “We started at a trot, went to a canter and then a full gallop as we hit the water,” recalls Tamimi.”I just loved the feeling of the mud and dirt flying into my face. I couldn’t open my mouth.”
Both the horses and cast worked in extreme conditions throughout the shooting of “The Young Black Stallion” and while the cast were easily able to find respite from the heat and discomfort, every effort was made to make conditions pleasant for the horses as well. Playing “mother” to the horses was assistant horse trainer Krissy Harris.
“In much the same way as we look after the actors on set, so too we have to take care of these very valuable horses,” says Harris. “Although they are able to cope with the heat much better than we are, we demand a lot of them and therefore it is important that they be made as comfortable as possible on set. They are treated no differently than anyone else on set. We also have medical support for them, as well as craft services, because they also need to be able to drink and nibble as they wait to be used.”
Two members of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League were on set at all times to ensure the well-being of the horses and other animals used during the making of the film. “We pride ourselves on the fact that no animal was injured or placed under undue stress during the making of this film,” comments Harris.
“We rotated the horses all the time,” says Harris. “On any given day all three horses could be used for different sequences depending on prevailing conditions or which horse was best suited to the task at hand.”
Logistically transporting a large number of horses from one location to the next was a daunting task. All the horses came from Upington in South Africa, some 1000 kilometres from Walvis Bay. “When you have to travel such long distances with the horses, it is vital that you break the journey at regular intervals so that the horses can be checked, watered and allowed to walk around,” says horse owner, Fanie Maritz. “We regularly transport our horses to shows and events, but have never had to transport them over such vast distances.”
An entire compound was created to house the horses in Walvis Bay complete with stables and paddocks. “We need to work with the horses very intensively,” says Heath Harris. “Therefore we have to keep them in the lap of luxury and ensure that they remain in peak condition.They are extremely valuable animals and the most important aspect of this film.”
“Many of the locations were difficult to reach by road and progress was very slow.” Rooibank, the beautiful red dune location featured in part of the big race and also the location where Ishak releases Jinah back into the desert was a particularly trying location in terms of transporting the horses. “The road to Rooibank was a nightmare and our trailer got bogged down in the soft sand on our way out,” recalls Harris. “We were stuck for hours after wrap and only managed to get the trailer out of the sand during the early hours of the following day.We had to remove all the horses in order to free the trailer and by the time we got out of there, we were exhausted and so were the horses.”
Recreating North Africa for IMAX
Shooting Namibia for North Africa circa 1945 provided an exciting challenge in terms of production design. “We researched various North African territories and architecture before settling on Morocco,” recalls production designer, Paul Peters. “The architecture of Morocco is amazing and was perfectly suited to the film.”
“We have two major builds in the film, the Bedouin Tent Town and Ishak’s casbah,” says Peters. The design of Ishak’s casbah pays tribute to the striking casbahs of Morocco. “The buildings have changed very little through the years and even the oldest are generally in fairly good shape. Because they are made of earth, the inhabitants often renew them or repair them using mud and sticks,” explains Peters. “Our biggest challenge during the design of the building was ensuring that every detail was perfect because when you are shooting on large format everything is seen — floors and ceilings.”
“The casbah’s are very basic multi-storied buildings built along practical lines,” says Peters. “Typically, they have a ground floor with stables for the horses and if the owner is wealthy, it will be built around a fountain with a hand pump to service the house. The sleeping and living areas would be on the first floor and a roof area would provide an outdoor entertainment or eating area.”
Construction of the casbah was a major feat for the construction team employed. With daily temperatures often soaring to 50% Celsius (122%F) construction was heavy going, but in just a few weeks the enormous casbah rose from the sandy desert floor, looking for all the world as though it had always been there.”We had one of the most remarkable construction teams working on this film,” says associate producer Patricia Churchill. “The speed at which they worked, under the most hostile conditions, and their attention to detail was awe inspiring.”
The completed casbah is seen in two different states in the film. Firstly, immediately after the war when Neera returns and then again a year later. “We establish the casbah in a slightly forlorn state showing the affects of the war on the building,” comments Peters. “Although the damage is largely superficial, Ishak, has fallen on hard times and has neglected the building.” In this sense, the building mirrors Ishak’s despondent state of mind.”Neera’s return heralds a new hope for Ishak and this is reflected in the restored building.”
Given the tight shooting schedule, the transformation of the casbah had to be completed in little more than two days. “In restoring the building for the second phase of shooting, we used brighter colors on the walls and rich carpets to subliminally show the fresh energy that Neera’s return had brought to Ishak’s life,” says set decorator Emilia Weavind.
“To show the passing of time and seasonal changes, we also needed to dress the barren fields surrounding Ishak’s casbah,” notes Weavind. “This was a massive task and we had to bring in a special team to plant an entire field of wheat as well as a palm grove. As a final touch we added a harvested field complete with haystacks.”
While the casbah was the biggest building on “The Young Black Stallion,” it was the Bedouin tent town that tested Weavind and her team to the limit. “The tent town is the setting for both the start and the end of the race, and because it was to be shot from a number of different angles, the dressing had to be particularly detailed,” says Weavind. “Bedouin tent towns are usually busy trading posts featuring little stalls selling everything from salt and spices to fresh produce. To create a bustling market atmosphere, we brought in about sixteen tons of dressing.” No detail was overlooked and when shooting commenced at the tent town, it looked for all intents and purposes like a real Moroccan market.
“Casting Neera was becoming a worry because she had to be a rider and we had to do very specific things with her, the clock was ticking and we hadn’t found her,” recalls Simon Wincer.
Then the unexpected happened and through a strange and fortuitous set of circumstances, the filmmakers discovered Biana Tamimi. “Suddenly she emerged and she had all these attributes,” says Wincer.
“My friend’s mom was looking on the internet for filmmaking classes for him,” says Tamimi, “and she saw a casting announcement for ‘The Young Black Stallion.’ They were looking for a girl between 9-12 who was of Middle East descent and a good rider. They said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is Biana!’ They asked if they could come to my riding lesson the next day, to make a video. Later, after Fred Roos and his LA casting director, Linda Phillips-Palo, had seen it, they sent us a script and asked us to make another video with that.”
Producer Fred Roos was totally captivated by the audition tape and there was no doubt in his mind that they had found the perfect Neera. “Biana is one of the most beautiful kids I’ve ever met and she has a wonderful way about her,” says Roos. “She is a natural and perfect for this role, she is also an amazing rider.” From then on things moved at an alarming pace and it was only a matter of weeks before Biana landed in Namibia to commence shooting on “The Young Black Stallion.”
“After I heard that they wanted me, I was really excited,” recalls Biana. “But when I had to leave for South Africa, I felt really scared. I didn’t want to go so far away from my horse. I was excited, but scared. I never thought that I would be an actress, I always thought that I would be an Olympian rider, a trainer or teacher.”
Because of the speed with which she landed the role and the unexpected chain of events that led to her casting, it was some time before the reality of the situation dawned on Biana or she was fully able to grasp that she was to be the star in a major Disney feature film. “I finally realized that I was an actress when we were on the plane from Cape Town to Walvis Bay. I remember my first scene was at the Spitzkoppe. There were all these rocks and I had to climb up and I was panting and puffing. I just remember that the first thing I heard was speed, rolling, action and I loved it.”
Biana’s beauty, charm and natural acting ability soon enchanted everyone involved in the production and her presence on set brought a fresh energy and element of magic to the production.”It was difficult for me because I have never in my life before cast anybody that I hadn’t actually met and I was already in preproduction so I only saw photographs and videotapes,” recalls Wincer. “However, Biana is wonderfully natural and she relaxed right into it. The camera just loves her. She’s got beautiful eyes and great body language.”
Casting for Biana’s on-screen friend, Aden, was no less fortuitous and it was also sheer luck that saw Patrick Elyas being cast in the role. “A friend of my parents is the owner of Arab American television and the casting crew from Los Angeles called him and he suggested me for the role,” recalls Patrick. “Later that day, I did a script reading, but at first I didn’t really fit the part, because Aden was supposed to be older and taller than me.”
However, impressed with Patrick’s audition, the filmmakers adapted the script to suit him and called him back for a second audition. “We went back to Disney Studios at about 4:00 that afternoon and the next morning when my dad returned from his walk, he received a message saying that I needed to get to Disney Studios immediately. I was taken out of school and went straight to the studios where I met Biana and Kevin,my acting coach, who made a video of my audition for Simon Wincer.”
Richard Romanus plays Neera’s grandfather Ben Ishak with celebrated Moroccan jockey, Ali Al Ameri cast as the powerful Mansoor and Gerard Rudolph as Sheik Rhamon.
About The Cast
RICHARD ROMANUS (Ben Ishak) left law school to pursue a career as an actor. After studying at the Actor’s Studio in New York with Lee Strassberg, his first major role came as the character Michael in Martin Scorsese’s classic film “Mean Streets.” In the years that followed, Richard has performed in countless stage productions, films and television shows.
In addition to his acting, Richard started to pursue both music and writing and is credited as the composer on several films and has written, most recently, with his wife Anthea Sylbert. Together they wrote and produced “Giving Up the Ghost” in 1998 and “If You Believe” in 1999, for which they were nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award.
His feature film credits include “The Couch Trip,” “To Protect and Serve,” “Pandemonium,” “Stranger’s Kiss,” and “Russian Roulette.” He also has a recurring role in the award-winning television series “The Sopranos.” Most recently, he starred in Mike Valerio’s black comedy “Carlo’s Wake.”
Born in Columbia, Ohio, BIANA TAMIMI (Neera) is a straight A, 6th Grade student at St. Andrews Episcopal School. She enjoys a Mexican/Palestinian heritage and is conversant in Spanish and has a firm understanding of Arabic.
An accomplished rider who has been riding horses since the age of 5, Tamimi describes horses and horse riding as the love of her life. She has a horse named Buddy. She’s a hunter jumper and has taken part in numerous shows over the past few years. Recently she has cut back on the amount of shows she does in order to concentrate on hunter jumping. Her role models in the horse world include U.S. champion equestrians, David O’Connor and Karen O’Connor.
Being an actress was always one of Biana’s secret wishes, however she never imagined that acting would be any more than a pipe dream. Landing the role of Neera, her very first acting role, was a dream come true and the chance to share the screen with a horse an even more special opportunity.
She lists Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise as her favorite actors.
Apart from a few brief appearances on TV, 11- year-old PATRICK ELYAS (Aden) has no previous acting experience. An American of Egyptian descent, he is a 6th Grade student in Los Angeles. Patrick is fluent in English, Arabic and French.
He landed the role of Aden in “The Young Black Stallion” when a family friend suggested his name to casting assistant Marjorie Noble. His impressive audition immediately made him a favorite for the role. “The Young Black Stallion” marks his feature film debut. Acting in his first feature has given him a much greater appreciation for the filmmaking process.
Away from the world of film, Patrick’s ambition is to be a businessman and perhaps also a politician. He foresees a diversified career in finance and petroleum.
He enjoys the internet, watching television and playing basketball with friends. He lists Michael Jordan, Reese Witherspoon, Pat Rafter, Chris Rock and Sean Connery as some of his favorite greats.
About The Filmmakers
SIMON WINCER (director) has won equal success in the United States after ascending to the position of one of Australia’s most celebrated film and television directors.
In the summer of 1993, Wincer’s “Free Willy” was a critical and commercial hit, which took in more than $200 million worldwide. For American television, Wincer directed the hugely successful epic miniseries “Lonesome Dove,” which ranks among the top dramatic programs ever screened in the U.S. “Lonesome Dove” was nominated for an incredible 18 Emmy Awards, winning seven, including Best Director for Wincer.
In 1999,Wincer directed “P.T. Barnum” for A&E, starring Beau Bridges. The four-hour miniseries was nominated for Best Miniseries and Best Performance by an Actor at the 2000 Emmy Awards. Also in 2000, Wincer’s “Crossfire Trail,” a Louis L’Amour Western starring Tom Selleck, became the highest-rated movie ever screened on U.S. cable television.
In January 2003, Wincer’s “Monte Walsh,” starring Selleck and Isabella Rossellini screened to another ratings record — the highest audience ever for a Friday night movie on cable and a combined three-night audience of 36 million.
Wincer has been involved with some of the largest-grossing Australian films in history. As the executive producer of “The Man from Snowy River” and the director of “Phar Lap,” Wincer proved to be one of the few filmmakers in his country able to channel his expertise into producing and directing with equal success.
In 1998,Wincer directed the critically acclaimed and hugely successful Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “The Echo of Thunder,” starring Judy Davis (who was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance). In 1995-6,Wincer directed Paramount Pictures’ “The Phantom,” based on Lee Falk’s comic book hero. In 1995, he filmed Walt Disney Pictures’ adventure movie, “Operation Dumbo Drop.”
Wincer’s other Australian features include “Snapshot,””Harlequin,” and “The Lighthorsemen,” the latter a huge historical spectacle about the last successful cavalry charge in history. He also helmed “Lightning Jack,” the comedic Western starring Paul Hogan and Cuba Gooding, Jr. For U.S. producers, Wincer also directed Paramount’s “D.A.R.Y.L.,” “Quigley Down Under,” and “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.”
Wincer is currently directing his second 15/70 film, entitled “NASCAR:The IMAX Experience 3D” for a Spring 2004 release in IMAX Theatres worldwide.
JEANNE ROSENBERG (screen story and screenplay by / executive producer) was educated at New College in Sarasota, Florida, where she majored in philosophy and psychology. As a graduate student at USC School of Cinema, she completed her MFA degree and made an award winning documentary, “L.A. Backwater: The Venice Canals”. Post graduation, she received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to make a lyrical documentary about a government sponsored wild horse roundup, “Nowhere to Run.”
Almost by accident, she fell into the world of dramatic feature films when she learned that Carroll Ballard would be directing “The Black Stallion.” Having re-read the book for a script analysis class at USC, she was certain this favourite childhood novel would make a wonderful movie. When she sent her analysis to Carroll Ballard and offered to help, she hardly expected a response. His phone call came as a delightful surprise. Enthusiastically she went on location where she partnered with Melissa Mathison to write the screenplay, often finishing a scene only moments before the cameras rolled. It was an exciting, if somewhat unconventional introduction to the world of narrative films.
Hoping to learn more about this world, Jeanne began working as a script supervisor becoming a member of what was affectionately called the Roger Corman School of Down and Dirty Film Making. She was involved with such classics as “Piranha,” “Rock & Roll High School,” “The Fog,” and “The Howling.”
She also continued to write. Her first original screenplay “The Journey of Natty Gann,” the story of a young girl’s cross-country odyssey set during the Great Depression, was produced by Disney in the mid 1980’s. The wolfdog from Natty Gann became the inspiration for Jeanne’s next project, an adaptation of Jack London’s “White Fang”.
Writing quickly grew into a full time occupation. Of her many projects, several screenplays have been produced including “Running Free,” “Rip Girls” and “Heidi.” In addition, Jeanne has been involved in an emerging, innovative kind of filmmaking — dramatic, large format movies. These include the films “T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous” and “China:The Great Panda Adventure” as well as “The Young Black Stallion” a project she initiated with Fred Roos who was a producer on the original “Black Stallion” movie. They hope to once again create magic, this time on the big, big screen.
Besides her writing and producing, Jeanne plans to be directing in the near future. Meanwhile she manages to find time to ride and show reining horses. She lives with her husband Max Trumpower (a builder and actor of enormous talent), her daughter Erica and son Alex on their horse ranch nestled in the rugged hills near the outskirts of Los Angeles.
WALTER FARLEY’s (based on the novel by) love of horses began when he was a small boy living in Syracuse, New York. Walter never owned a horse, but gained firsthand experience of horses through his uncle, a professional horseman.
Walter began writing his first book, The Black Stallion, while he was a student at Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall High School and Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, and finished it while he was an undergraduate at Columbia University. It was published by Random House when he was 26.
The appearance of The Black Stallion in 1941 was hailed by enthusiastic boys and girls all over the country and an avalanche of mail urged Farley to write more about Alec Ramsey and the Black. However, World War II intervened and it was only after the War that Farley resumed the adventures of Alec and the Black with The Black Stallion Returns. This was followed by Son of the Black Stallion.
Walter Farley’s books have been published in more than 20 countries, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Israel, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaya, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Switzerland. They have sold millions of copies in all their editions.
Walter Farley died in October 1989, shortly before the publication of the twenty-first book in the Black Stallion series, The Young Black Stallion, written with his son, Steven.The book was dedicated to his first grandchild, Miranda.
STEVEN FARLEY (based on the novel by) has picked up the torch passed by his father,Walter Farley. When the elder Farley became too ill to continue work on what would be his final novel, The Young Black Stallion, Steven completed the work. He has since gone on to write several books in the Young Black Stallion series, a new series of novels about a girl and a very special black colt. The books are set in Florida horse country, not far from Farley’s childhood home. He is also the author of The Black Stallion’s Shadow and The Black Stallion’s Steeplechaser, two new books in the Black Stallion series.
FRED ROOS (producer) has worked with some of Hollywood’s most gifted filmmakers and actors over the last three decades producing some of the most unique films of our time, including the original “Black Stallion” movie in 1979 as well as “The Black Stallion Returns” in 1983. Together, his films have earned a total of 37 Academy Award® nominations and 8 Oscars® including best picture for “The Godfather, Part II.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Roos graduated from UCLA with a degree in Filmmaking. After making documentary films in the Army, Roos began working at a small independent studio making low budget films. He gravitated toward casting and soon began casting television shows such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” “I Spy,” “That Girl,” and “Mayberry RFD.”
Roos began formally producing in the 1960’s with director Monte Hellman’s film, “Backdoor to Hell.” While shooting the film on location in the Phillipines, Roos and the film’s star, Jack Nicholson, conceived of the story for their next collaboration with Hellman, “Flight to Fury,” shot immediately after.
Roos’s services as a casting director became increasingly sought after and he began casting features such as “The Godfather,” “American Graffiti” and “Five Easy Pieces,” “Petulia,” “Fat City,” and “Zabriske Point” which helped launch the careers of numerous legendary Hollywood actors.
His 30 year collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola started when Coppola asked him to cast “The Godfather” in 1971. Soon, Roos began producing for Coppola, starting with 1974’s “The Conversation” which won the Palm D’Or at Cannes and was nominated for three 1975 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. “The Godfather, Part II” followed and was nominated for a total of eleven Academy Awards® and won six including Best Picture. Their next collaboration was the groundbreaking “Apocalypse Now” which also won the Palm D’Or as well as the Golden Globe for Best Drama. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards® including Best Picture and won two.
Roos has since maintained a steady schedule of films spanning three decades, including Carroll Ballard’s “The Black Stallion,” Wim Wenders’s “Hammett,” Barbet Schroeder’s “Barfly.” Agnieszka Holland’s “The Secret Garden,” and Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides” as well as other collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola including “One From the Heart,” “The Outsiders,” “Rumble Fish,” “The Cotton Club,” “Gardens of Stone,” “Tucker: The Man and his Dream” and the Oscar®-nominated “Godfather, Part III.”
This year, in addition to “The Young Black Stallion,” Roos also Executive Produced Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed second film, “Lost in Translation,” starring Bill Murray.
FRANK MARSHALL (producer) is one of the motion picture industry’s most respected filmmakers. With an astonishing number of films to his credit as a visionary producer who irrevocably transformed American film, he has also excelled as a director and, transcending his chosen industry, found the time to devote his talents to numerous endeavors in public service and sports.
As a producer, Marshall has over fifty films under his belt. He has already made several trips to the Academy Awards®, having been nominated in the Best Picture category in 1982 for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and again in the same category in 1985 for “The Color Purple” with co-producers Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones and his wife, Kathleen Kennedy. One of his most recent projects, M. Night Shyamalan’s 1999 box office smash “The Sixth Sense,” was nominated for six Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.
As a director, Marshall’s credits include the summer 1995 hit adventure,”Congo,” based on Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel; the sensitive true-life drama, “Alive,” from Piers Paul Reid’s non-fiction book; the thriller “Arachnophobia”; and an episode of the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries, “From the Earth to the Moon.”
Marshall began his motion picture career as assistant to Peter Bogdanovich on the director’s cult classic,”Targets.” He was then asked by Bogdanovich to serve as location manager for “The Last Picture Show” and “What’s Up, Doc?” before graduating to associate producer on the filmmaker’s next five movies, including “Paper Moon” and “Nickelodeon.”
Marshall was line producer on Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz,” the heralded musical documentary on The Band. He then began a two-film association with director Walter Hill, first as associate producer on “The Driver,” then as executive producer of “The Warriors,” both of which have also attained a certain cult status among cineastes. Marshall was also line producer of Orson Welles’s legendary unfinished film, “The Other Side of the Wind,” to which he periodically returned from 1971 through 1976.
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” marked the beginning of Marshall’s epochal collaboration with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy. Following the productions of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (for which he was production supervisor) and “Poltergeist” (which he produced), in 1981 he formed industry powerhouse Amblin Entertainment with Spielberg and Kennedy. During his tenure at Amblin, Marshall also produced such films as Kevin Reynolds’s “Fandango,” Barry Levinson’s “Young Sherlock Holmes,” “Gremlins,” “Poltergeist,” the “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” and Spielberg’s “Always,” “Hook,” and “Empire of the Sun,” as well as his own directorial debut, “Arachnophobia.”
Marshall left Amblin in the fall of 1991 to pursue his directing career. Together with Kathleen Kennedy, he formed The Kennedy/Marshall Company, under which “Alive” was the company’s first release. In 1995, he directed “Congo” and produced the highly acclaimed film “The Indian in the Cupboard” with Kathleen Kennedy and Jane Startz. In 1997, he directed his episode of “From the Earth to the Moon,” which centered around the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The Kennedy/Marshall Company’s productions include a remarkably diverse group of films, including “Snow Falling on Cedars,” directed by Scott Hicks; “A Map of the World,” starring Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore; “The Sixth Sense,” starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment; “Olympic Glory,” the first official large format film of the Olympic Games; “The Bourne Identity,” starring Matt Damon; M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs,” and this year’s box office success, “Seabiscuit,” the dramatic true story based on Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book and directed by Gary Ross.
Marshall is currently producing “The Bourne Supremacy,” with Paul Greengrass to direct and Matt Damon returning as Jason Bourne. Photography will commence this fall in Berlin and Moscow.
While at UCLA, Marshall ran cross-country and track and was a three-year Varsity letterman in soccer. He continues to find time for his love of music and sports and participates in distance races worldwide. Combining his passions for music and running, he, along with America’s premiere miler Steve Scott, founded the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon, which debuted in 1998 in San Diego as the largest first time marathon in history.
Marshall is a Vice President of the United States Olympic Committee, a board member of The Los Angeles Sports Council, Co-Chairman of The L.A. Mentoring Partnership and a member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Governors. He is a recipient of the acclaimed American Academy of Achievement Award, the UCLA Alumni Professional Achievement Award and the California Mentor Initiative’s Leadership Award.
KATHLEEN KENNEDY’s (executive producer) record of achievement has made her one of the most successful executives in the film industry today. Among her credits are three of the highest grossing films in motion picture history — “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park,” and “The Sixth Sense,” which she produced with Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen and Frank Marshall, respectively.
Kennedy served as co-president of the Producers Guild of America last year, and was re-elected as the PGA’S sole president this year. She currently heads The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she founded alongside director/producer Frank Marshall in 1992. Kennedy/Marshall’s productions range from critically acclaimed blockbusters such as “Signs” and “The Sixth Sense,” which was nominated for six Academy Awards® including Best Picture, to intimate films such as Scott Hicks’s “Snow Falling on Cedars” and “A Map of the World,” starring Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore. Kennedy/Marshall recently produced the film adaptation of the non-fiction bestseller, “Seabiscuit,” written and directed by Gary Ross and starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper.
Kennedy has sustained a long-standing creative association with Steven Spielberg through dozens of projects, serving as producer or executive producer on such landmark films as “Schindler’s List,” “Empire of the Sun” and the recent “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence,” as well as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Jurassic Park.” Their collaboration began when Kennedy served as writer John Milius’s assistant on Spielberg’s “1941”. She became Spielberg’s assistant on “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” his associate producer on “Poltergeist,” and then producer of “E.T.” While “E.T.” was becoming an international phenomenon, Spielberg, Kennedy and Marshall were already in production on “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” which she and Marshall produced with George Lucas.
Kennedy co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Spielberg and Marshall in 1982. Amblin’s productions included “The Color Purple,” which earned eleven Academy Award¨ nominations in 1985, including Best Picture. Later that year, Kennedy, Spielberg and Marshall produced 1985’s highest grossing film, “Back to the Future”, which they followed with two highly successful sequels, “Back to the Future, Part II” and “Back to the Future, Part III.” Their many projects also included the Amblin Entertainment/Malpaso Production “The Bridges of Madison County,” directed by Clint Eastwood, Jan DeBont’s action thriller “Twister” and the Spielberg-directed “The Lost World.” Amblin’s first animated feature was the endearing “An American Tail” in 1986. Next came the adventurous “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” which boldly blended live-action and animated characters and was the top-grossing film of 1988. Other animated hits included the sequel to “An American Tail” as well as “The Land Before Time” and its sequel.
Kennedy produced Frank Marshall’s 1990 directorial debut “Arachnophobia,” with Richard Vane and re-teamed with Robert Watts to produce Marshall’s second film “Alive” in 1993. In the summer of 1995, The Kennedy/Marshall Company released the Marshall-directed “Congo,” which Kennedy produced with Sam Mercer.
Raised in the small Northern California towns of Weaverville and Redding,Kennedy graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in telecommunications and film. While still a student, she began working at a local San Diego television station. Following jobs as a camera operator, video editor, floor director and news production coordinator, Kennedy produced the station’s talk show “You’re On.” She then relocated to Los Angeles and worked with writerdirector John Milius prior to beginning her association with Spielberg.
REED SMOOT (director of photography) has served as Director of Photography on dozens of feature films for television and theatrical release including “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” for Walt Disney Pictures, “The Windwalker,” “Russkies,” the critically acclaimed NBC miniseries “The Long Hot Summer” and was cameraman on the Academy Award®-winning Documentary Feature, “The Great American Cowboy.” Smoot was Director of Photography for the Academy Award®-nominated NOVA Documentary Short Subject large format film “Special Effects” and the Academy Award®-nominated Live Action Short Subject films “The Rainbow War” and “Ballet Robotique.”
He has specialized in the production and photography for large format films including “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets,” “Mysteries of Egypt,” “Yellowstone,” and “To Be An Astronaut.” He directed and photographed the large format film “The Great American West” and was one of five large format cinematographers selected to film the Nagano Winter Games for the production “Olympic Glory”. He was director of photography on the Sony Pictures Classics/Cirque du Soleil IMAX 3D film “Journey of Man” winning the 1999 GSTA Award for Best Large Format Cinematography.
Smoot’s most recent large format films as director of photography include, “Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure” winner of the 2000 GSTA Award for Best Large Format Cinematography, “China: The Panda Adventure,” “The Human Body,” “Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees,” and “ESPN’s Ultimate X.”
In May 2001 Reed Smoot was presented with the KODAK® Vision Award for contributions to large format filmmaking. He is a charter member of the Large Format Cinema Association and is an active member of the American Society of Cinematographers and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
PAUL PETERS (production designer) is a longtime collaborator with Simon Wincer, including such films as “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man,” “The Phantom,” and “P.T. Barnum,” for which he was nominated for Excellence in Production Design by his peers at the Art Directors’ Guild. He is also a frequent collaborator with director Carl Franklin, designing, most recently, “Out of Time,” as well as “High Crimes” and “One True Thing.”
Peters was nominated for an Emmy for Best Production Design for his work on the television film “Lincoln.” He also won a CableACE Award for Best Production Design for “Heart of Darkness” after previously being nominated for his work on “Broken Chain.”
Peters has been the production designer on many more films, including Alan Rudolph’s “Made in Heaven”; “The House on Turk Street,” directed by Bob Rafelson; and “American Pie” and “Down to Earth,” both from the directing team of Chris & Paul Weitz.
An Academy Award® nominee for both “The Exorcist” and “Flashdance,” BUD SMITH (editor), began his career editing documentaries for David L. Wolper before joining semi-underground filmmaker Robert Downey, Sr. as editor on “Putney Swope,” “Pound,” “Greaser’s Palace” and “Sticks and Bones.” He joined William Friedkin on his horror classic “The Exorcist,” and their association continued with “Sorcerer,” “The Brink’s Job,” “Cruising,” “Deal of the Century” and “To Live And Die in L.A.” Smith’s other editing credits include “Personal Best,” “Cat People,” “The Karate Kid,” “Poltergeist II,” Howard Deutch’s “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Gross Anatomy,” “Darkman,” and “The Replacements.”
Smith directed the 1988 romantic comedy “Johnny Be Good,” starring Anthony Michael Hall and introducing Uma Thurman. He also served as second unit director on “Sorcerer,” “Cat People,””To Live And Die in L.A.,” “Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot!,” “Waterworld” and “Virus.”
TERRY BLYTHE (editor) has edited the feature films “Local Boys,” “Lone Justice 2,” “California Heat,” “The Killing Grounds,” “Highway 395” (which she also associate produced), and “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.” Her television credits include “Day of Reckoning,” “Getting Gotti,” “The Linda McCartney Story,” “Crossfire Trail,” “Double Teamed,” and the miniseries “Jackie, Ethel, Joan:The Women of Camelot.”
JO KATSARAS (costume designer) was born in Cyprus, but relocated to Johannesburg when she was 5 years old. She was a naturally talented child who started sewing at the age of 8 and displayed a natural flair for cutting patterns. Often she would simply get friends to lie down on a piece of fabric and cut around them.
After completing her education at the Johannesburg School of Art, Drama, Music and Ballet she seriously considered a career in architecture, but decided to travel the world before furthering her studies. However, her father’s insistence that she get a qualification that she could fall back on changed the course of her studies.
Taking her natural talent to the next level, Katsaras enrolled at fashion school where, given her ability to draw, sew and cut patterns, she was allowed to enroll for the final year of a three-year course, thus completing her diploma in one year.
Returning from her travels, Katsaras entered the world of fashion working as a Senior Designer at a large clothing manufacturer. However, she soon discovered that her real area of interest lay in designing individual wardrobes — unique clothing that defined the wearer. Film was therefore a natural progression for Katsaras who found ultimate expression for her creativity through this medium.
Her rise through the ranks in the film industry was no less dramatic than that of completing her diploma, and within eighteen months of entering the industry as an assistant, Katsaras rose to the position of head of department. To design for feature films and television was to enter a world of fantasy, where Katsaras could indulge her every fantasy, creating beautiful garments for unique characters. She thrives on the challenge of condensing a wealth of information about a character into a single garment and is thrilled by the fact that her designs are preserved in perpetuity on celluloid.
Since designing her first feature, “There’s a Zulu on My Stoep,” Jo Katsaras has designed for a number of commercials as well as television series and feature films. Her feature credits include: Jean Jacques Annaud’s “Running Wild” for Sony, Carl Schenkel’s “Tarzan and the Lost City,” starring Casper van Dien and Jane March, and the 2001 South African box office hit “Mr Bones,” starring Leon Schuster,David Ramsey and Faizon Love.
HEATH HARRIS (head horse trainer) has horse mastered, trained, stunt co-ordinated, and second unit directed over 40 feature films and approximately 120 commercials and television series, including New Zealand’s “Black Stallion” television series. His diverse knowledge and experience has led to such diverse positions as creative consultant to Marlboro, trainer of racing camels in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and, later, Director of Desert Veterinary Services for the Abu Dhabi Government. A native Australian, he returned to his home country to team with his wife, Krissy, to create a competitive show jumping team as well as two live shows: “Heath Harris’s Movie Magic,” in which he explains to the audience how horses are trained for the movie business, and “Girls Girls Girls,” a troupe of 7 trick riders and horses who perform daredevil stunts, whip cracking, and song and dance routines to audiences all over Australia.
BEVERLEY HOUSE (hair & make-up) completed her schooling in Johannesburg, South Africa, and enrolled at the Rhona Greaves Face to Face Make-Up School to study Beauty Make-Up,Theatrical Make-Up and Feature & Television Make-Up as well as Special Effects. Having completed this course with distinction, House completed an International Diploma in Make-Up Artistry.
Her first break came when she was appointed Assistant Make-Up and Hairstylist on the 1988 feature “Purgatory”. The opportunity to work alongside some of the leading make-up artists and hairdressers working in film and television industry provided her with a thorough understanding of the specific requirements of both film and television.
Having worked in the film industry for some years, House branched into television and worked on a number of teleseries including the phenomenally successful South African multi-lingual soap opera “Egoli: Place of Gold.” However, after a few years, she returned to working on feature films and commercials.
ROLY JANSEN (stunts & special effects) is a founder member of Stunt S.A., a specialist stunt and SFX company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has a wealth of experience built up over the many years that he has worked in the film and commercials industry.
His feature film credits include “The Piano Player” starring Christopher Lambert and Dennis Hopper; “Second Skin” starring Natasha Henstridge, Angus McFadyen and Peter Fonda; Jean Jacques Annaud’s “Running Wild”; “Tarzan and the Lost City” starring Casper van Dien and Jane March; the acclaimed South African struggle musical, “Sarafina!”; “The Spear” starring Elizabeth Hurley; and “Danger Zone” starring Billy Zane and Robert Downey Jr.
WILLIAM ROSS (music by) is a prolific, award-winning composer and arranger whose work has spanned feature films, the recording industry, and television. He has composed the scores to such films as “Tuck Everlasting,” “My Dog Skip,” the IMAX film “T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous,” “A Smile Like Yours,” “The Evening Star,” “My Fellow Americans,” “Tin Cup,” “Black Sheep,” and “The Little Rascals.” His work for television includes the critically acclaimed miniseries, “Me and My Shadows: Life with Judy Garland” and the opening sequence for “The Wonderful World of Disney,” among others.
Ross has arranged for a remarkable list of artists, including Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Michael Jackson, David Foster, Quincy Jones, and Babyface. He arranged Dion’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” for the 2002 Super Bowl and her performance of “God Bless America” on the nationally televised Concert for America.
His arrangements have been featured in many films, including Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” (from “Titanic”), Gloria Estefan’s “Music of My Heart” (from “Music of the Heart”), and Jennifer Lopez’s “Alive” (from “Enough”).