John Lee Hancock
Director, writer and producer JOHN LEE HANCOCK (Director) has established himself as a distinctive voice in filmmaking with his ability to tell extraordinary stories on screen. Most recently, Hancock directed “Saving Mr. Banks,” which tells the story of the relationship between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers, and Disney’s desire to adapt Travers’ “Mary Poppins” into a film. The film includes Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, BJ Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Giamatti and Bradley Whitford.
Hancock’s other recent directorial project was Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment’s “The Blind Side,” which he both wrote and directed. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and garnered Sandra Bullock the Best Actress statuette for her portrayal of Leanne Tuohy. The film, based on the 2006 book by Michael Lewis, told the life story of Baltimore Ravens left tackle, Michael Oher.
Born and raised in Longview, Texas, John Lee was surrounded by sports growing up. His father played college football for Baylor and had a brief run with the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL. Brothers Joe and Kevin played college football (at Vanderbilt and Baylor, respectively), with Kevin playing professionally for the Indianapolis Colts. When it was time for John Lee to go to college, he focused on his studies entirely. He graduated from Baylor with an English degree, as well as a law degree from Baylor’s school of Law. Hancock practiced law for four years before he found himself drawn to the world of films.
In 1991, Hancock made his film debut with “Hard Time Romance,” a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of a rodeo, which he both wrote and directed. In 1993 he wrote the screenplay for “A Perfect World,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and Kevin Costner. Some years later, Clint Eastwood asked Hancock to adapt the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” The film came out in 1997, was directed by Clint Eastwood and starred Kevin Spacey and John Cusack.
In 2002, Hancock found himself back in the director’s chair for “The Rookie.” The film told the true story of fellow Texan Jim Morris, who at age 35 made his Major League baseball debut as a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The critically acclaimed film starred Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths and Brian Cox, and established Hancock as a director who knows how to translate a story from page to screen.
Hancock’s other credits include: “Snow White and the Huntstman”, which he co-wrote with Evan Daugherty and Hossein Amini; “The Alamo,” which he directed and co-wrote with Les Bohem and Stephen Gaghan; and “My Dog Skip” for which he served as a producer.
AARON RYDER is the Co-President of Production and Acquisitions at FilmNation Entertainment. Since joining the company in 2009, the veteran producer has established himself as one of the brightest and most prolific independent producers working today. Among the films Ryder has produced with FilmNation are Jeff Nichol’s critically acclaimed “Mud,” a 2012 Cannes official selection starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Michael Shannon; “Sanctum,” which was executive produced by James Cameron; “The Raven” with John Cusack; and Mark Tonderai’s “House at the End of the Street” starring Jennifer Lawrence.
In addition to “The Founder,” during the summer of 2015 Ryder produced Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction epic “Story Of Your Life,” starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker.
At FilmNation, Ryder is also working on several development titles, including “The Tunnels” with Tobias Lindholm set to write for Paul Greengrass to direct. He is also focusing on “Slingshot,” a starring vehicle for actor Jeremy Renner.
Prior films Ryder has produced include his collaborations with director Christopher Nolan starting with “Memento” in 2000 and then “The Prestige” in 2007 as well as the sci-fi action film “Transcendence” with Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman, directed by Wally Pfister. In 2008 Ryder produced the Sundance hit “Hamlet 2,” and the critically acclaimed “TV Set” for director Jake Kasdan. Other credits include “My One And Only” with Renee Zellweger, “The Mexican” starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, and “Donnie Darko,” with Drew Barrymore and Jake Gyllenhaal.
DON HANDFIELD (Producer) is a writer, director and producer. Together with two-time Academy Award® nominee Jeremy Renner, he formed The Combine, a Los Angeles based company, to create, develop and produce high quality, character-driven content with award-winning potential from every genre.
Since its creation in 2013, The Combine has produced the true-life dramatic thriller “Kill the Messenger,” starring Jeremy Renner and directed by Michael Cuesta from a screenplay by Peter Landesman, and “The Throwaways,” a feature length action comedy that premiered on Crackle, starring Sam Worthington, Kevin Dillon and James Caan.
In a short time, Handfield and his team at The Combine team have originated, acquired and developed projects with John Lee Hancock (“Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Blind Side”), Peter Berg (“Lone Survivor,” “Friday Night Lights”), Ron Moore (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Outlander”), and Rob Siegel (“The Wrestler”). The Combine recently sold the television series “Playing with Fire” to HBO and “Knighfall” to The History Channel.
The true story of Ray Kroc and Kroc’s relationship with the McDonalds Brothers first came to Handfield’s attention twelve years ago, and his ambition to bring that story to the screen has now been fulfilled in “The Founder,” after more than a decade of work and development.
Handfield wrote and directed “Touchback,” starring Kurt Russell. He has written for Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Lionsgate and Paramount among others. He wrote and created the series “Knightfall” together with novelist Richard Rayner.
Handfield began his career as an actor and graphic designer before moving into production at E! He graduated from Ohio State University and remains a devoted Buckeye.
ROBERT SIEGEL (Screenwriter) is a New York-based screenwriter and director. He is the writer of the Darren Aronofsky-directed film “The Wrestler,” for which Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei earned Academy Award® nominations. His directorial debut, “Big Fan,” was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. From 1996 to 2003, Siegel served as editor-in-chief of the satirical publication The Onion, where he won the 1999 Thurber Prize For American Humor and edited the number-one New York Times bestselling book Our Dumb Century. A native of Long Island, NY, he lives near Union Square with his wife and son.
John Schwartzman ASC
Director of Photography
JOHN SCHWARTZMAN ASC (Director of Photography) is an award winning cinematographer whose work encompasses some of cinema’s biggest action and comedy blockbusters, including Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spiderman,” Michael Bay’s “Armageddon,” Jay Roach’s “Meet the Fockers” and, more recently, John Lee Hancock’s “Saving Mr. Banks.” Schwartzman recently completed filming “Jurassic World,” directed by Colin Trevorrow.
Twice nominated for the coveted ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases, Schwartzman won in 2004 for his work on Gary Ross’ “Seabiscuit,” for which he also received an Academy Award® nomination. His additional film credits include Bay’s “The Rock” and “Pearl Harbor,” Michel Gondry’s “The Green Hornet,” Rob Reiner’s “The Bucket List,” Hancock’s “The Rookie,” Shawn Levy’s “Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian” and Richard Donner’s “Conspiracy Theory.”
The Los Angeles native attended the USC school of Cinema, before spending 6 months under the tutelage of Vittorio Storaro on Francis Coppola’s biopic, “Tucker: A Man and his Dream.” During this period, his friend (and aspiring filmmaker) Michael Bay asked Schwartzman to shoot spec TV with him while he studied directing at the renowned Art Center College of Design. That led to assignments with Propaganda Films, where Schwartzman shot music videos for artists such as Madonna and Paula Abdul and as industry tastes changed he moved with his directors into mainstream advertising.
In addition to his work on the big screen, Schwartzman is one of the commercial industry’s most sought after cameramen. His commercial work includes work for wide range of national and international clients, such as HBO, Chevrolet, Visa, Nike, Toyota, America Express, Mercedes Benz, AT&t, Honda, Victoria’s Secret, Chobani Yogurt, Coca-Cola, Canon, Pepsi, and Reebok, to name a few.
CARTER BURWELL (Composer) Carter Burwell has composed the music for more than 80 feature films, including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Rob Roy, Fargo, The Spanish Prisoner, Gods and Monsters, Velvet Goldmine, The General’s Daughter, Three Kings, Being John Malkovich, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (BAFTA Nominee for Film Music), Before Night Falls, A Knight’s Tale, The Rookie, Adaptation., Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers, No Country for Old Men, In Bruges, Burn After Reading, Twilight, Where the Wild Things Are (Golden Globe Nominee for Best Original Score), A Serious Man, The Blind Side, The Kids Are All Right, True Grit, Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2, and The Fifth Estate, Mr. Holmes and Legend.
Burwell most recently wrote the music for the drama Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara directed by Todd Haynes which premiered in Cannes and was released in theatres in November 2015. He also wrote the score for Charlie Kaufman’s first-stop motion film Anomalisa which opened in December 2015 in New York and Los Angeles. Burwell received his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for Carol. He was also was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Carol. Burwell won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Award for Best Music Score for Carol and Anomalisa. He received an Annie nomination for Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated Feature Production for Anomalisa.
Other recent film projects for Burwell released in 2016 include the ocean thriller The Finest Hours starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck directed by Craig Gillespie; Hail, Caesar! written and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen and the Nicole Kidman-Jason Bateman drama The Family Fang.
The Founder, the true story of how Ray Kroc met Mac and Dick McDonald and created a billion-dollar fast food empire, is Carter Burwell’s fourth collaboration with director John Lee Hancock. They previously worked together on The Rookie (2002), The Alamo (2004) and The Blind Side (2009).
His theater work includes the chamber opera The Celestial Alphabet Event and the Mabou Mines productions Mother and Lucia’s Chapters of Coming Forth by Day.
In 2005 he developed a concert work for text and music titled Theater of the New Ear, presented in New York, London and Los Angeles. The text, by Joel and Ethan Coen and Charlie Kaufman, was performed by a dozen actors including Meryl Streep, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hope Davis, Peter Dinklage, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The music was performed by the 8-member Parabola Ensemble, conducted by Mr. Burwell.
Burwell’s dance compositions include the pieces The Return of Lot's Wife, choreographed by Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, and RABL, choreographed by Patrice Regnier. He has performed around the world with his own ensembles as well as others, such as The Harmonic Choir.
His writing includes the essay "Music at Six: Scoring the News Then and Now," published in the inaugural issue of Esopus magazine in 2003 and reprinted in Harper's Magazine in 2004, and the essay “No Country For Old Music” in the 2013 Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics.
Burwell has taught and lectured at The Sundance Institute, New York University, Columbia University, and Harvard University.
His website is carterburwell.com
MICHAEL CORENBLITH (Production Designer) marks his fourth collaboration with filmmaker John Lee Hancock, after having designed the productions for his three previous directorial efforts – the period film “Saving Mr. Banks,” the Oscar®-nominated Best Picture “The Blind Side,” and his 2004 epic retelling of the battle for Texas independence, “The Alamo.”
Corenblith most recently designed Craig Gillespie’s upcoming film “The Finest Hours,” starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. He also recently worked on Disney’s comedy “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” directed by Miguel Arteta.
For his period recreations on “Saving Mr. Banks,” Corenblith earned his fourth Excellence in Production Design nomination from the Art Directors Guild and a pair of nominations for his vivid depictions of 1906 Australia and 1961 Hollywood from the San Diego and Phoenix Critics Societies.
In addition to his ongoing association with Hancock, Corenblith has also enjoyed a long-standing collaboration with Ron Howard, having designed such films as “Apollo 13,” “Ransom,” “Edtv,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Frost/Nixon.” He earned two Academy Award® nominations during his tenure with Howard -- for his dazzling, imaginative creation of Dr. Seuss’ Whoville in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and his recreation of the 1970 doomed Apollo moon launch in the epic space adventure, “Apollo 13.”
In addition to the Oscar® nominations, Corenblith also won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for “Apollo 13” and received a pair of nominations for “Excellence in Production Design” from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Art Directors for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Frost/Nixon.”
Corenblith also continues his ongoing association with filmmaker Jay Roach, which began with the comedy “Dinner For Schmucks,” and continued on his recent politically-themed projects -- the big screen comedy, “The Campaign,” and HBO ‘s acclaimed drama, “Game Change,” which collected five Emmy Awards in 2012, including Best Dramatic Movie/Miniseries and Best Actress for star Julianne Moore. For his work on the telefilm, he landed his third nomination from the Art Directors Guild. He most recently reteamed with Roach on the HBO comedy pilot, “The Brink,” which stars Jack Black and Tim Robbins.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Corenblith studied design at UCLA, and entered the entertainment industry as a lighting designer for television before moving to art direction, winning an Emmy Award in 1983 for his work on the 55th Academy Awards® show.
He began his work on feature films as key set designer on Paul Mazursky’s 1984 comedy, “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” and followed with assignments as a set designer or art director on “Cat People,” “Burglar,” “Red Heat” and “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” before graduating to production designer on the film “Prince Jack.”
He went on to design such movies as the recent inspirational drama, “Dolphin’s Tale,” “Down Periscope,” “Cool World,” “Be Cool,” “He Said, She Said,” and two Disney features -- the remake of “Mighty Joe Young” and the road comedy, “Wild Hogs.” He has also designed numerous TV pilots, including Showtime's signature series, "Dexter.”
In 2015 Corenblith was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame as part of the original ACL crew, where he played an important role in the launch and continuing success of the long-running influential series.
DANIEL ORLANDI (Costume Designer) comes to “The Founder” after working with John Lee Hancock on “Saving Mr. Banks,” for which he was nominated for the BAFTA and Costume designers Guild awards. They also collaborated on “The Blindside” with Sandra Bullock in her Oscar® winning role, and Disney’s epic production of “The Alamo,” starring Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton.
His designs can also be seen in the recently released blockbuster, “Jurassic World.” He worked with Jay Roach on upcoming “Trumbo” starring Bryan Cranston, the Emmy winning “Game Change,” “The Campaign,” “The Brink,” and “Meet the Parents.”
Orlandi also designed Ryan Murphy’s Emmy winning HBO production of the acclaimed Larry Kramer play “The Normal Heart” starring Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Taylor Kitsch for which he was nominated for an Emmy, and the HBO series “Silicon Valley.”
Daniel worked with Ron Howard for his film versions of the bestselling novels “Angels and Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code” as well as the 1930s era boxing drama “Cinderella Man,” starring Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger, and his Oscar® nominated film “Frost/Nixon.”
He costumed Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor in the 1960s style “Down with Love,” and Joel Schumacher’s films “The Number 23,” “Flawless,” and “Phone Booth,” along with the principal costumes for Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Kangaroo Jack” and “Last Holiday,” starring Queen Latifah.
Television work includes the first season of the NBC comedy “Ed,” and Maureen O’Hara costumes in “Cab to Canada.” Orlandi won the Emmy Award for his work with David Copperfield in 1989.
Graduating from Carnegie-Mellon University, he got his start working with Bob Mackie on the film “Pennies from Heaven,” numerous television specials and Mackie’s successful couture collection.
With “The Founder,” ROBERT FRAZEN (Editor) marks his first collaboration with director John Lee Hancock. Most recently, Frazen completed actor-director Jason Bateman’s second directorial feature, "The Family Fang."
Frazen's previous film credits include Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York," Joe Carnahan’s “Smokin’ Aces,” John Wells’ “The Company Men,” and the last four films with director Nicole Holofcener, including "Enough Said," “Please Give, “Friends With Money” and “Lovely & Amazing.”
For television, some of Frazen’s work includes editing director John Madden’s pilot episode of Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” HBO's pilot episode of “Girls,” and “Enlightened” for Lena Dunham and Mike White.