|Born||Robert Lee Zemeckis|
May 14, 1952
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mary Ellen Trainor (1980-2000)|
Leslie Harter Zemeckis (2001-)
Robert Lee "Bob" Zemeckis (born May 14, 1952) is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning American film director, producer and screenwriter. Events 1264 - Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured in France making Simon de Montfort the Year 1952 ( MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A film director, or filmmaker, is a person who directs the making of a Film. Mary Ellen Trainor (born July 8, 1950) is an American actress who may be best remembered as either Dr Events 1264 - Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured in France making Simon de Montfort the Year 1952 ( MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. "The Oscar" redirects here for the film see The Oscar (film. The Golden Globe Awards are American awards for motion pictures and Television programs given out each year during a formal dinner The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A film director, or filmmaker, is a person who directs the making of a Film. A film producer is a person who creates the conditions for making movies. Screenwriters or scenarists are Scriptwriters who write the Screenplays from which Films and Television programs are made Zemeckis first came to public attention in the 1980s as the director of the comedic time-travel Back to the Future films as well as the live-action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), though in the 1990s he diversified into more dramatic fare, including 1994's Forrest Gump, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director. The Back to the Future trilogy is a comedic Science fiction Film Trilogy written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 Live-action/animated film produced by Amblin Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company (released Forrest Gump is a 1994 Comedy film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom and the name of the title character The Academy Award for Achievement in Directing (Best Director is one of the Awards of Merit presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS to
His films are characterized by an interest in state-of-the-art special effects, including the early use of match moving in Back to the Future Part II (1989) and the pioneering performance capture techniques seen in The Polar Express (2004). The illusions used in the Film, Television, Theater, or Entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called In Cinematography, match moving is a special effects technology to allow the insertion of virtual objects into real footage with the correct position scale orientation and Back to the Future Part II is a 1989 film and a Sequel to the 1985 film Back to the Future. Motion capture, motion tracking, or mocap are terms used to describe the process of recording movement and translating the movement onto a digital model The Polar Express is a 2004 Academy Award -nominated feature film based on the children's book of the same title by Chris Van Though Zemeckis has often been pigeonholed as a director only interested in effects, his work has been defended by several critics, including David Thomson, who wrote that "No other contemporary director has used special effects to more dramatic and narrative purpose. David Thomson (b 1941 London UK) is a noted Film critic in the United States and the author of more than 20 books including The New "
Zemeckis was born in Chicago, Illinois to a Lithuanian father and Italian American mother and was raised in a working-class Catholic family. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the An Italian American is an American of Italian descent and/or dual citizenship Catholic is an Adjective derived from the Greek adjective '' / 'katholikos' meaning "whole" or "complete". Zemeckis has said that "the truth was that in my family there was no art. I mean, there was no music, there were no books, there was no theater. . . . The only thing I had that was inspirational, was television—and it actually was. Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic " As a child, Zemeckis loved television and was fascinated by his parents' 8 mm film home movie camera. 8 mm film is a motion picture film format in which the filmstrip is eight Millimeters wide Starting off by filming family events like birthdays and holidays, Zemeckis gradually began producing narrative films with his friends that incorporated stop-motion work and other special effects. Stop motion (or frame-by-frame) animation is an Animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own
Along with enjoying movies, Zemeckis remained an avid TV watcher. "You hear so much about the problems with television," he said, "but I think that it saved my life. " Television gave Zemeckis his first glimpse of a world outside of his blue-collar upbringing; specifically, he learned of the existence of film schools on an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. A film school is a generic term for any educational institution dedicated to teaching moviemaking, including but not limited to film production theory, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was a late-night talk show hosted by Johnny Carson under the ''Tonight Show'' franchise from 1962 After seeing Bonnie and Clyde with his father and being heavily influenced by it, Zemeckis decided that he wanted to go to film school. Bonnie and Clyde is a American Crime film about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the bank robbers who operated in the Central United States
His parents disapproved of the idea, Zemeckis later said, "But only in the sense that they were concerned. . . . for my family and my friends and the world that I grew up in, this was the kind of dream that really was impossible. My parents would sit there and say, 'Don't you see where you come from? You can't be a movie director. ' I guess maybe some of it I felt I had to do in spite of them, too. "
Zemeckis applied only to University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, and got into the Film School on the strength of an essay and a music video based on a Beatles song. The University of Southern California (commonly referred to as USC, SC, Southern California, and incorrectly The USC School of Cinematic Arts, until 2006 named the School of Cinema-Television (CNTV is a Film school within the University of Southern California The Beatles were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1960 Not having heard from the University itself, Zemeckis called and was told he had been rejected, because of his average grades. The director gave an "impassioned plea" to the official on the other line, promising to go to summer school and improve his studies, and eventually convinced the school to accept him.  Arriving at USC that Fall, Zemeckis encountered a program that was, in his words, made up of "a bunch of hippies [and] considered an embarrassment by the university. " The classes were difficult, with professors constantly stressing how hard the movie business was. Zemeckis remembered not being much fazed by this, citing the "healthy cynicism" that had been bred into him from his Chicago upbringing. 
While at USC, Zemeckis developed a close friendship with the writer Bob Gale, who was also a student there. For the English cricketer see Bob Gale (cricketer Michael Robert "Bob" Gale ( May 25, 1951, University City Gale later recalled, "The graduate students at USC had this veneer of intellectualism. . . . So Bob and I gravitated toward one another because we wanted to make Hollywood movies. We weren't interested in the French New Wave. "Nouvelle Vague" redirects here For the music group of the same name see Nouvelle Vague (band. We were interested in Clint Eastwood and James Bond and Walt Disney, because that's how we grew up. Clinton "Clint" Eastwood Jr (born May 31 1930 is a four-time Academy Award winning American Actor and Filmmaker. James Bond 007 is a Fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve Novels and two Short story Walter Elias Disney (December 5 1901 – December 15 1966 was a multiple Academy Award -winning American Film producer, director, Screenwriter " He graduated from USC in 1973. 
As a result of winning a Student Academy Award at USC for his film, A Field of Honor, Zemeckis came to the attention of Steven Spielberg. The Student Academy Awards are awards given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to filmmakers at the undergraduate and graduate Steven Allan Spielberg, KBE (Hon (born December 18 1946 is an American Film director, Screenwriter and producer. Spielberg said, "He barged right past my secretary, and sat me down and showed me this student film. . . . and I thought it was spectacular, with police cars and a riot, all dubbed to Elmer Bernstein's score for The Great Escape. Elmer Bernstein ( April 4 1922 - 18 August 2004) was an Academy and two-time Golden Globe award winning American The Great Escape is a popular 1963 War film about the 250 Allied prisoners of war escaping from a German POW camp " Spielberg became Zemeckis' mentor and executive produced his first two films, both of which Zemeckis co-wrote with Bob Gale.
1978's I Wanna Hold Your Hand and 1980's Used Cars (starring Kurt Russell) were well-received critically, with Pauline Kael going into particular rhapsody over the latter film, but both were commercially inert. I Wanna Hold Your Hand is a Comedy Film directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis that takes its name from the 1963 Beatles Used Cars is a 1980 Comedy satire film It stars Kurt Russell, Jack Warden (in a Dual role) Deborah Harmon Kurt Vogel Russell (born March 17 1951 is an Emmy Award - and Golden Globe -nominated American Actor. Pauline Kael (June 19 1919 &ndash September 3 2001 was an American Film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991 (I Wanna Hold Your Hand was the first of several Zemeckis films to incorporate historical figures and celebrities into his movies; in the film, he used archival footage and doubles to simulate the presence of The Beatles. The Beatles were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1960 ) After the failure of his first two films, and the Spielberg-directed 1941 in 1979 (for which Zemeckis and Gale had written the screenplay), the pair gained a reputation for writing "scripts that everyone thought were great [but] somehow didn't translate into movies people wanted to see. 1941 is Steven Spielberg 's fourth theatrical film written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. "
As a result of his reputation within the industry, Zemeckis had trouble finding work in the early 1980s, though he and Gale kept busy. They wrote scripts for other directors, including Car Pool for Brian De Palma and Growing Up for Spielberg; neither ended up getting made. Brian De Palma (born Brian Russell DePalma on September 11 1940 in Newark New Jersey) is an American Film director. Another Zemeckis-Gale project, about a teenager who accidentally travels back in time to the 1950s, was turned down by every major studio.  The director was jobless until Michael Douglas hired him in 1984 to film Romancing the Stone. Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American Actor and producer, primarily in Movies and Television Romancing the Stone is an 1984 American action - Adventure film, and has many elements that might categorize it as a romantic A romantic adventure starring Douglas and Kathleen Turner, Romancing was expected to flop (to the point that, after viewing a rough cut of the film, the producers of the then-in-the-works Cocoon fired Zemeckis as director), but the film became a sleeper hit. Mary Kathleen Turner (born June 19, 1954) is a Tony Award - and Academy Award -nominated American actress. Cocoon is a 1985 Science fiction film, directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people who are rejuvenated by aliens While working on Romancing the Stone, Zemeckis met composer Alan Silvestri, who has scored all of his subsequent pictures. Romancing the Stone is an 1984 American action - Adventure film, and has many elements that might categorize it as a romantic Alan Silvestri (born March 26, 1950, New York City) is an acclaimed American Academy Award nominated Film score Composer
After Romancing, the director suddenly had the clout to direct his time-traveling screenplay, which was titled Back to the Future. Back to the Future is a 1985 science fiction Comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg. Starring Michael J. Fox, the 1985 movie was wildly successful upon its release, and was followed by two sequels, released in 1989 and 1990. Michael J Fox (born Michael Andrew Fox; June 9 1961 is a Canadian / American Back to the Future Part II is a 1989 film and a Sequel to the 1985 film Back to the Future. Back to the Future Part III is the third installment of the ''Back to the Future'' trilogy. Before the Back to the Future sequels were released, Zemeckis directed another film, the madcap 1940s-set mystery Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which painstakingly combined traditional animation and live action; its $70 million budget made it one of the most expensive films made up to that point. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 Live-action/animated film produced by Amblin Entertainment and The Walt Disney Company (released Traditional animation, also referred to as classical animation, cel animation, or hand-drawn animation, is the oldest and historically the most popular The film was both a financial and critical success, and won four Academy Awards. "The Oscar" redirects here for the film see The Oscar (film. In 1990, Zemeckis commented, when asked if he would want to make non-comedies, "I would like to be able to do everything. Just now, though, I’m too restless to do anything that’s not really zany. "
In 1992, Zemeckis directed the black comedy Death Becomes Her, starring Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. Death Becomes Her is a 1992 dark Comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep and Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep (born June 22, 1949) is an award-winning American Actress who has worked in Theatre, Goldie Jean Hawn (born November 21 1945 is an American Academy Award -winning Actress, director and producer. Walter Bruce Willis (March 19 1955 is an American actor and Singer-songwriter. Although his next film would have some comedic elements, it was Zemeckis' first with dramatic elements, and was also his biggest commercial and critical success to date, 1994's Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump is a 1994 Comedy film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom and the name of the title character Starring Tom Hanks in the title role, and borrowing heavily from Woody Allen's Zelig, Forrest Gump tells the story of a mentally handicapped man who unwittingly participates in some of the major events of the twentieth century, falling in love, and interacting with several major historical figures in the process. Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks (born July 9 1956 is an two-time Academy award and Emmy winning American Film actor, director Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg; December 1 1935 is an American Film director, Writer, Actor, Comedian, and Zelig is a 1983 American Mockumentary written and directed by Woody Allen. The film grossed $677 million worldwide and became the top grossing U. S. film of 1994; it won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Hanks as Best Actor, and Zemeckis as Best Director. The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is one of the Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS to artists working Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS to recognize The Academy Award for Achievement in Directing (Best Director is one of the Awards of Merit presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS to In 1997, Zemeckis directed Contact, a long-gestating project based on Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name. Contact is a 1997 Science fiction film adapted from the novel by Carl Sagan. Carl Edward Sagan ( November 9 1934 &ndash December 20 1996) was an American Astronomer, astrochemist, author Contact is a Science fiction Novel written by Carl Sagan and published in 1985. The film centers around Eleanor Arroway, a scientist played by Jodie Foster, who believes she has made contact with extraterrestrial beings. Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster (born November 19 1962 is a two-time Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe -award winning American
In 1999, Zemeckis donated $5 million towards the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts at USC, a 35,000 square-foot center that houses production stages, an immense 60-system digital editing lab, and a 50-seat screening room. When the Center opened in March 2001, Zemeckis spoke in a panel about the future of film, alongside friends Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Steven Allan Spielberg, KBE (Hon (born December 18 1946 is an American Film director, Screenwriter and producer. George Walton Lucas Jr (born May 14, 1944) is an Academy Award -winning American Film director, producer, Screenwriter Of those (including Spielberg) who clung to celluloid and disparaged the idea of shooting digitally, Zemeckis said, "These guys are the same ones who have been saying that LPs sound better than CDs. Long play (LP record albums are 33⅓  Rpm vinyl Gramophone records (phonograph records generally either 10- or 12- Inches in diameter A Compact Disc (also known as a CD) is an Optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio You can argue that until you're blue in the face, but I don't know anyone who's still buying vinyl. Film, as we have traditionally thought of it, is going to be different. But the continuum is man's desire to tell stories around the campfire. The only thing that keeps changing is the campfire. " The Robert Zemeckis Center currently hosts many film school classes, much of the Interactive Media Division, and Trojan Vision, USC's student television station, which has been voted the number one college television station in the country. The 's School of Cinematic Arts 's Interactive Media Division first accepted students in. Trojan Vision is a Student television station operated by students at the University of Southern California through
In 1996, Zemeckis had begun developing a project titled The Castaway with Tom Hanks and writer William Broyles Jr., about a man who becomes stranded on a desert island and undergoes a profound physical and spiritual change. William Broyles Jr was born on October 8, 1944 in Houston Texas, and raised in Baytown Texas.  While working on The Castaway, Zemeckis also became attached to a Hitchcockian thriller titled What Lies Beneath, the story of a married couple experiencing an extreme case of empty nest syndrome that was based on an idea by Steven Spielberg. Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 What Lies Beneath ( 2000) is a Psychological horror Film by Film director Robert Zemeckis. Empty nest syndrome is a general feeling of loneliness that Parents other guardian relatives may feel when one or more of their Children leave home  Because Hanks' character needed to undergo a dramatic weight loss over the course of The Castaway (which was eventually retitled Cast Away), Zemeckis decided that the only way to retain the same crew while Hanks lost the weight was to shoot What Lies Beneath in between. Cast Away is a 2000 Film by 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks about a modern day Robinson Crusoe, a FedEx employee He shot the first part of Cast Away in early 1999, and shot What Lies Beneath in fall 1999, completing work on Cast Away in early 2000.  Zemeckis later quipped, when asked about shooting two films back-to-back, "I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. " What Lies Beneath, starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, was released in July 2000 to mixed reviews, but did well at the box office, grossing over $155 million domestically. Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an Academy Award - and BAFTA -nominated as well as Golden Globe -winning American Michelle Marie Pfeiffer ( IPA: /mɪˈʃɛl ˈfаɪfɜr/ born April 29 1958 is an American Actress. Cast Away was released in that December and grossed $233 million domestically; Hanks received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Chuck Noland. Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS to recognize
In 2004, Zemeckis reteamed with Hanks and directed The Polar Express, based on the children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. The Polar Express is a 2004 Academy Award -nominated feature film based on the children's book of the same title by Chris Van For the film see The Polar Express (film. The Polar Express is a 1985 Children's book (ISBN 0-86264-143-8 Chris Van Allsburg (born June 18, 1949 in East Grand Rapids Michigan) is an American Author and Illustrator of children's The Polar Express utilized the computer animation technique known as performance capture, whereby the movements of the actors are captured digitally and used as the basis for the animated characters. Computer-generated imagery Computer animation is the art of creating moving images with the use of Computers It is a subfield of Computer graphics Motion capture, motion tracking, or mocap are terms used to describe the process of recording movement and translating the movement onto a digital model As the first major film to use performance capture, The Polar Express caused The New York Times to write that, "Whatever critics and audiences make of this movie, from a technical perspective it could mark a turning point in the gradual transition from an analog to a digital cinema. "
In February 2007, Zemeckis and Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook announced plans to set up a new performance capture film company devoted to CG-created, 3-D movies. Richard W "Dick" Cook is Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios.  The company, ImageMovers Digital, will create films using the performance capture technology, with Zemeckis expected to direct a number of the projects. ImageMovers Digital (formerly ImageMovers) is a studio run by film producer Robert Zemeckis and The Walt Disney Company and it specializes in Performance Disney will distribute and market the motion pictures worldwide.
Zemeckis used the performance capture technology again in his latest film, Beowulf, which retells the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the same name and stars Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie, and Anthony Hopkins. Beowulf is a 2007 Performance capture Action film based on the Old English epic poem of the same name. An epic is a lengthy Narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation Beowulf is an Old English Heroic epic poem of anonymous authorship dating as recorded in the Nowell Codex manuscript from between Raymond Andrew "Ray" Winstone Jr (born 19 February 1957) is an Emmy Award -winning English film and television actor Angelina Jolie (born Angelina Jolie Voight on June 4 1975 is an American film actor Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, CBE (born 31 December 1937 is a Welsh Film, stage and Television Actor. Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer Neil Gaiman, who co-wrote the adaptation with Roger Avary, described the film as a "cheerfully violent and strange take on the Beowulf legend. The Hugo Awards are given every year for the best Science fiction or Fantasy works and achievements of the previous year Neil Richard Gaiman (ˈgeɪmən (born November 10, 1960) is an English author of Science fiction and Fantasy short stories and Roger Roberts Avary (born August 23, 1965) is a Canadian -born motion picture director, producer and Oscar -winning Screenwriter " The film was released on November 16, 2007. Events 534 - A second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.
In July 2007, Variety announced that Zemeckis had written a film adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1843 story A Christmas Carol, with plans to use performance capture and release it under the aegis of ImageMovers Digital. Variety is a weekly entertainment trade newspaper founded in New York in 1905 by Sime Silverman A Christmas Carol is a 2009 film adaptation of Charles Dickens ' 1843 story of the same name. A Christmas Carol in Prose Being a Ghost Story of Christmas (commonly known as A Christmas Carol) is a Novella by Charles Dickens Zemeckis wrote the screenplay with Jim Carrey in mind, and Carrey has agreed to play a multitude of roles in the film, including Ebenezer Scrooge as a young, middle-aged, and old man, and the three ghosts who haunt Scrooge. James Eugene Redmond "Jim" Carrey (born January 17 1962 is a Canadian-American Film actor and Comedian. Ebenezer Scrooge is the Main character in Charles Dickens ' 1843 Novel, A Christmas Carol.  The film began production in February 2008, and will be released on November 6, 2009. Events 355 - Roman Emperor Constantius II promotes his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with This article is about the year For the film see 2009 Lost Memories. 
Zemeckis has said that, for a long time, he sacrificed his personal life in favor of a career. "I won an Academy Award when I was 44 years old," he explained, "but I paid for it with my 20s. That decade of my life from film school till 30 was nothing but work, nothing but absolute, driving work. I had no money. I had no life. " In the early 1980s, Zemeckis married actress Mary Ellen Trainor, with whom he had a son, Alexander. Mary Ellen Trainor (born July 8, 1950) is an American actress who may be best remembered as either Dr He described the marriage as difficult to balance with filmmaking, and his relationship with Trainor eventually ended in divorce. In 2001, he married actress Leslie Harter.
for Schindler's List
|Academy Award for Best Director|
for Forrest Gump
for Schindler's List
|Golden Globe Award for Best Director - Motion Picture|
for Forrest Gump