Based on the true story of the first American incursion into Afghanistan, and the New York Times #1 best seller by Marcus Luttrell, four Navy SEALs are dropped behind enemy lines to verify the whereabouts of a senior Taliban commander. Once located, they are to communicate his hiding place to headquarters, then call in to be picked up and returned to camp.
They come across an old man and three boys, and while knowing that it could jeopardize their lives, the commandos let the group pass. The act of mercy backfires, and soon the team is under attack by the Taliban army. With no clear escape, and no help from headquarters, Luttrell takes charge of the impossible mission. As they fight for their lives, they are quickly outnumbered and under heavy artillery. They must rely on their instincts and courage to get out of this hellhole alive.
Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of heroism, courage and resilience, Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Faced with an impossible moral decision, the small band is isolated from help and surrounded by a much larger force of Taliban ready for war. As they confront unthinkable odds together, the four men find reserves of strength and bravery as they stay in the fight to the finish.
MARK WAHLBERG (The Fighter, Contraband) leads the cast as Marcus Luttrell, the author of the first-person memoir “Lone Survivor,” whose book has become a motivational resource for its lessons on how the power of the human spirit is tested when we are pushed beyond our mental and physical limits.
Starring alongside Wahlberg as the other members of the elite team who gave everything for their brothers-in-arms are TAYLOR KITSCH (Savages, Friday Night Lights) as Michael Murphy, EMILE HIRSCH (Into the Wild, television’s Bonnie and Clyde) as Danny Dietz and BEN FOSTER (3:10 to Yuma, Kill Your Darlings) as Matthew “Axe” Axelson. ERIC BANA (Star Trek, Hanna) joins the core team as Erik Kristensen, their commanding officer in Afghanistan.
The performers are supported by ALI SULIMAN (The Kingdom) as Mohammad Gulab, an Afghan villager who protects Luttrell when the Taliban comes to execute him; ALEXANDER LUDWIG (The Hunger Games) as Shane Patton, one of the youngest members of SEAL Team 10; YOUSUF AZAMI (Brothers) as Ahmad Shah, a senior Taliban commander who orchestrates the attack; and SAMMY SHEIK (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) as Taraq, Shah’s vicious second-in-command.
Lone Survivor I s written and directed by PETER BERG, who again crafts a striking portrait of the unbreakable bonds between men that he first explored in Friday Night Lights. Based on the book “Lone Survivor” by retired Petty Officer First Class MARCUS LUTTRELL with PATRICK ROBINSON, the film tells the dramatic story of how a single decision resulted in unimaginable consequences for these SEALs and the fellow servicemen who tried to rescue them.
Although Lone Survivor takes the creative liberties necessary to make a movie, it is committed to preserving the essential experience of what these men endured on their mission. It is a realistic, timeless and isolated portrait of the sacrifices that one small band of warriors made…and how one survived to tell their tale.
Behind the camera, the distinguished production team dedicated to honouring this story of selflessness and bravery includes a crew of long time Berg collaborators and accomplished craftspersons new to his team. They are led by director of photography
TOBIAS SCHLIESSLER (Friday Night Lights, Hancock), production designer TOM DUFFIELD (The Kingdom, Broken City), editor COLBY PARKER, JR. (Hancock, Friday Night Lights), costume designer AMY STOFSKY (Mulholland Drive, Wild at Heart) and composers EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY (Friday Night Lights, Prince Avalanche) and STEVE JABLONSKY (Transformers series, Ender’s Game).
The action-drama is produced by Berg, SARAH AUBREY (Lars and the Real Girl, Bad Santa), RANDALL EMMETT (2 Guns, End of Watch), NORTON HERRICK (2 Guns, The Devil’s Double), Academy Award® winner BARRY SPIKINGS (The Deer Hunter, Beyond Rangoon), Academy Award® winner AKIVA GOLDSMAN (A Beautiful Mind, Hancock), Wahlberg, STEPHEN LEVINSON (Contraband, Broken City) and VITALY GRIGORIANTS (upcoming Spinning Gold).
Executive producers of Lone Survivor are MARK DAMON (2 Guns), GEORGE FURLA (2 Guns), SIMON FAWCETT (Bronson), BRADEN AFTERGOOD (Battleship), LOUIS G. FRIEDMAN (American Reunion), REMINGTON CHASE (2 Guns), STEPAN MARTIROSYAN (End of Watch), ADI SHANKAR (Broken City), SPENCER SILNA (The Grey), BRANDT ANDERSEN (2 Guns), JEFF RICE (End of Watch) and TAMARA BIRKEMOE (2 Guns).
Foresight Unlimited is the international distributor on Lone Survivor and, together with Envision Entertainment, provided a majority of the financing for the film.
Live to Tell the Story
On June 28, 2005, a four-man reconnaissance and surveillance team boarded a helicopter for insertion into a remote mountainous region in Kunar province, near the Pakistan border. Their mission, code name Operation Red Wings, was to identify Ahmad Shah, a key Taliban leader believed to be hiding out in the mountainous terrain and responsible for the deaths of many American service members. Here is but a glimpse into the lives of five of the men whom we follow in the film.
Erik Kristensen: Lieutenant Commander Erik S. Kristensen was the commander of Operation Red Wings, and he was all too well aware that Shah killed 20 Marines the previous week and that the Taliban leader would not hesitate to execute American military whenever and wherever he could. When Kristensen’s four-man Reconnaissance team went off the grid, the commander did everything in his power to find his SEALs and get them back to base. For his actions in the line of duty, Kristensen was given the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for Valor, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and Afghanistan Campaign Medal, awarded posthumously.
Michael Murphy: Lieutenant Michael Patrick “Murph” Murphy was the on-ground team officer in charge of Operation Red Wings, and he reported directly to Kristensen. In advance of a bigger special operations force that would wipe out Shah, Murphy was tasked with taking his four-man team through the rocky and treacherous Hindu Kush region. For his actions, Murphy was the first person in Afghanistan to be awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, posthumously.
Marcus Luttrell: Leading Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell was the medic of Operation Red Wings and a member of SEAL Team 10 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The team’s mission, under Lt. Murphy’s command, was to gather intel on Shah, and as one of its snipers, Luttrell was key at keeping enemies at bay. For his actions in the line of duty, Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross.
Matthew “Axe” Axelson: Sonar Technician (Surface) Second Class Petty Officer Matthew Gene “Axe” Axelson was nothing short of an eagle eye. Before his men left Bagram Airfield, the navigation specialist studied their infiltration plan again and again. Alongside Luttrell, Axe drew detailed maps, diagrams and blueprints of every structure in Shah’s village as they conducted reconnaissance. He knew this region better than many non-natives ever will. For his actions in the line of duty, Axelson was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Danny Dietz: Gunner’s Mate Second Class Danny P. Dietz, Jr. was a communications officer and spotter for SEAL Team 10. The mountains of the Hindu Kush are extraordinarily difficult terrain and extremely spotty for communication. Dietz tried valiantly to get any radio signal when it was time to advise the evacuation team that the mission was compromised and his fellow SEALs needed extraction. For his actions in the line of duty, Dietz was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Although Murphy, Dietz, Axelson and Luttrell—under the command of Kristensen—coordinated a successful infiltration into the region, three goat herders grazing their flock stumbled upon the men’s hiding place and plunged the mission into immediate jeopardy. The SEALs knew it was time to abort. Protocol dictated that they release the civilian non-combatants, but were they to do so, they knew that it could be mere minutes before word reached the numerous Taliban fighters that Americans were up the mountain.
After a discussion of the rules of war, the SEALs saw that they only had three choices: kill the three civilians to prevent them from disclosing the location to the Taliban; tie them up and leave them on the mountain, where they would surely die due to the dropping temperatures; or set them free and make their own way to a communications zone and pickup. Ultimately, the civilians were cut loose, and the SEALs began an arduous climb to what they hoped to be safety. Soon, hellfire rained down upon them. The Taliban assault—an intense fire fight from PK machine guns, AK-47s, RPG-7s and 82 mm mortars—came quickly and relentlessly from three sides. Nothing the elite SEALs had experienced could have prepared them for what came next: They were outgunned by a much larger enemy force and driven deeper and deeper into the treacherous terrain.
Tragically, Murphy, Dietz and Axelson were killed on that mountain, alongside their would-be rescuers—those manning a Night Stalker MH-47D Chinook helicopter that was attempting to save the four SEALs. The helicopter was taken down by rocket propelled grenade fire from the Taliban forces, and those aboard perished. The lives of 16 Special Operations Forces including 8 other Navy SEALs— Kristensen, Petty Officer First Class Jeffrey S. Taylor, Petty Officer Second Class James E. Suh, Chief Petty Officer Jacques J. Fontan, Petty Officer First Class Jeffrey A. Lucas, Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel R. Healy, Lieutenant Michael M. McGreevy, Jr., and Petty Officer Second Class Shane E. Patton—and 8 Army Night Stalkers—Major Stephen C. Reich, Sergeant First Class Michael L. Russell, Chief Warrant Officer Christopher J. Scherkenbach, Master Sergeant James “Tre” W. Ponder, III, Sergeant Kip A. Jacoby, Sergeant First Class Marcus V. Muralles, Staff Sergeant Shamus O. Goare and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Corey J. Goodnature—were lost on that fateful day.
Because of the actions of his fellow men, Luttrell—although gravely wounded—evaded the enemy fighters and crawled miles to safety. Once again, however, Afghan civilians stumbled upon his hiding place. This time, he was more fortunate. A Pashtun villager named Gulab discovered Luttrell nearly dead—where the petty officer first class lay with a torn shoulder, facial fractures, broken back and pelvis and bullet holes that had riddled his body.
Gulab, whose tribe lives by the ancient code of the Pashtunwali—one that dates back to the pre-Islamic era—that dictates aid for a person in dire need from his enemies, was unblinking in his decision to take Luttrell into his home. At great risk to himself, his family and fellow villagers, Gulab defied the Taliban warlord Shah and hid the American soldier until he could be returned safely to his base.
Miraculously, Luttrell was finally located by American forces and brought to safety. Through courage, perseverance, the kindness of strangers and the ultimate sacrifice of his brother SEALs under the most extreme conditions, Luttrell is alive today with one mission: to share their story.
Luttrell says: “It’s about brotherhood, and about no matter how bad it gets or what happens to you, you keep fighting just to protect the guy next to you until the minute you die. You need to go through something like that to understand the capacity to which someone will go to give their life for somebody else. Most people wouldn’t do that. That’s what it resorted to: It went from hunting this guy down to protecting each other until the very end.”
A total of 11 SEALs and 8 soldiers perished on that mountain. This day is forever marked in our history, as it became the biggest single loss of life for Naval Special Warfare forces since World War II, until August 6, 2011, when a U.S. Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan and 30 U.S. military personnel and 8 Afghans were killed.
From Page to Screen:
Operation Red Wings Lives On
When retired Petty Officer First Class Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson’s book “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10” was published in 2007, it quickly rose to the top of The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.
This true story of duty and honour in the face of extreme adversity and the heroic deeds of fallen comrades caught filmmaker Peter Berg’s attention when his production partner, Film 44’s Sarah Aubrey, gave him a copy of the book and insisted that he read it.
Although in production on his then-upcoming blockbuster Hancock, Berg began to flip through it during a lunch break. After a few minutes, he was transfixed, locking the door to his trailer and reading the book cover to cover. Determined to win the rights and adapt “Lone Survivor” into a film, Berg became a man obsessed.
Aubrey recalls how it all began: “We originally were sent ‘Lone Survivor’ by a friend of the Film 44 family, Barry Spikings, who got it from Marcus’ attorney. When I read the book, I knew instantly that this would be a perfect movie for Pete. His strengths as a director are in taking an audience into a closed world. It was very detailed about how SEALs operate together with this component of tremendous emotion, and that’s Pete’s sweet spot. He loves to take an audience into a world and show them the details but then hit them with this emotional wallop. The book has this incredibly emotional story of brotherhood and sacrifice, and then ultimately, in the story with Gulab, this grace and humanity even in the midst of war.”
Berg admits that his choices in subject matter come from an attraction to themes that are common among people in sports and the military. He says that he’s long been interested in the reasons why these men and women would put themselves in harm’s way.
Berg offers: “When I first read Marcus’ book, what got me the most was the dilemma that these men faced: being compromised by three goat farmers and knowing that if they let them go, there was a very good chance they were going to get into a dangerous gunfight with a lot of guys.”
Inevitably, the SEALs’ journey struck the themes that Berg has returned to over and over again in his projects. Says the writer/director: “This story is about working together for something bigger than our ego, bigger than our individuality. It’s about coming together as a group—protecting each other, loving each other, looking out for each other—and finding a greater strength as a team than you could ever find as an individual. Marcus wrote a book that, as much as it’s about 19 people being killed on a tragic day in Afghanistan, is about brotherhood, sacrifice and team commitment.”
Berg and Aubrey reached out to Luttrell to discuss the possibility of adapting the SEALs’ story into a film. “Early on in the process, Pete and I met Marcus in Austin,” Aubrey explains. “He walked in the room and he is a mountain of a man, imposing under any circumstances, but knowing that he is also a Navy SEAL and has survived an incredible trial makes you give him a lot of weight when he speaks. He was very clear about wanting to honour the memory of the men that died alongside of him. We instantly knew that we had to get it just right, or there would be trouble. He was not going to let us do a half-baked version.”
For their part, Berg and Luttrell struck up a fast rapport. Over the course of one of their follow-up meetings, Berg showed Luttrell a rough cut of his then-upcoming 2007 film, The Kingdom, and Luttrell decided that this should be the director who could take the powerful tale of his fallen brethren and do it justice on the screen.
Luttrell appreciated the filmmaker’s military-like attention to detail and guerrilla style of filmmaking and insisted to Berg that he would only grant him rights to the story if Berg truly respected and honoured his brothers’ sacrifice. Indeed, Luttrell hoped that audiences around the world would begin to understand the decisions made on that mountain. After a bonding experience over many beers, and a not-so-thinly-veiled threat that Berg would have to answer to more than 1,000 SEALs if the director messed up the interpretation, Luttrell was on board.
Their ongoing talks led to a deeper friendship and gradually to discussions with many of the men and women in uniform who had been involved in Operation Red Wings and the rescue. “I spent quite a bit of time not just with Marcus, but I interviewed so many men and women,” recalls Berg about his efforts to get the story right. “I feel like I’ve done my due diligence.”
The former SEAL discusses why he chose Berg: “There were so many directors and studios that came in and wanted to make the movie, and I interviewed with all of them. But when I saw Pete and talked to him, he’s the one that I got that certain feeling about. He was the one I thought could get it done.” Luttrell was impressed by the filmmaker’s dedication. “Pete went above and beyond. He’s done all his homework, studied it for years to get this right, and it paid off. You can tell somebody who puts the work in and you can tell somebody who didn’t. He did, and I love him for it. He’s a good man, and it’s a privilege to have him in my life.”
While Luttrell’s book is a chronicle of many events, including his 1999 enlistment and training prior to his mission in 2005, Berg realized that the screen adaptation would need to concentrate on the more dramatic tale that unfolded once Luttrell was deployed to Afghanistan. His focus for the screenplay became the unbreakable camaraderie of the team members, their valour under fire and the tragic turn that forever changed the life of sniper, hospital corpsman and SEAL Luttrell.
While Berg knew that there would be significant pressure to get their story just right, he couldn’t anticipate the depths to which he would become emotionally involved in the lives of these elite warriors and their relatives. He pauses: “There was pressure from the families, the SEAL community, and then Marcus—whether I liked it or not— announced that he was moving into my house for a month. He was going to make sure I understood what happened on that mountain.”
As he delved further into the project, Berg knew it would prove invaluable to sit with those most affected by the loss of their loved ones. He offers: “My research started with meeting the families of the SEALs who were killed. I went to New York and met the Murphys. I went to Colorado and met the Dietzes, and I went to Northern California and met the Axelsons. After spending time with them, you realize that these kids were the best and the brightest; they were the stars of the families. The grief and the wounds are still very raw. You would have to be inhuman to not feel the responsibility when that kind of grief gets shared with you.”
The writer/director is the first to admit that there were times during preproduction when he realized that this film would be his most difficult endeavour to date. He gives: “One of these moments was when I visited the Dietz home and Mr. Dietz took me to Danny’s bedroom, which he’s kept. It was the room of a teenage boy, but he had built this glass case and inside was Danny’s uniform with the bullet holes in it and blood on it, as well as his gun, helmet and boots. Mr. Dietz took a piece of paper and started reading it; it was the autopsy report from the military. As he was reading, tears started hitting the piece of paper. When he finished, he put the paper down on my lap and said, ‘That’s who my son was. That’s how tough my son was. You make sure you get that right.’”
Berg reflects: “You can only imagine how much it means to these families to have their sons’ story continue and legacy preserved. It is something that I am very proud of.”
Because of his longstanding ties with members of the armed services, Berg, in early 2010, was on his way to the Middle East and embedded with a SEAL platoon in Iraq near the Syrian border. He spent a month at a small desert base with a team of 15 as he began the arduous task of crafting the script. There, he was offered a window into their world as he accompanied them on night patrols and observed how the men operated.
“I don’t know if a SEAL platoon embed would be possible today,” says Berg. “This was several years ago, and everyone was very accommodating. They asked me to not reveal certain tactics, to respect the reasons why classified information stayed that way. We do that in the film.”
Being given the type of access that one would only imagine a seasoned journalist would have was a privilege and honour that Berg did not take lightly. He patently dismisses a familiar misconception: “One of the things that I’ve come to appreciate about Navy SEALs is that they’re not superhuman guys. They’re not necessarily the biggest or the fastest or the strongest. But the common thread that they all share is character. They all have indomitable will and a very real sense of honour.”
The filmmaker extends his respect to the Pashtun villagers who saved Luttrell.
Discussing Luttrell’s saviour, Berg says: “All the things Marcus was talking about—discipline, a code of honour, dedication and commitment to a belief system—Gulab had all of these things. You talk about the will of the warrior? That guy is a warrior.”
Just as they were about to cast the film and begin production, Berg was given more pressure than he had expected. Luttrell recalls: “I felt so sorry for Pete because he got it so bad from every team guy, from every widow. We just kept saying, ‘Don’t mess this up.’ But I think that’s also something that fuelled him. That’s why the movie is great and why people are responding to it so strongly, because he put 110 percent into it…probably because he knew his life was on the line.”
Wahlberg Joins the Team:
Early during the development of the action-drama, Berg mentioned to Mark Wahlberg that Lone Survivor was a film he wanted to tackle, but at the time, they each had other projects in various stages of production. When Emmett/Furla principals Randall Emmett and George Furla expressed interest in securing financing to make the film, the project gained momentum and moved to the top of Berg and Wahlberg’s wish list.
Reflects Emmett: “Of course, whenever we consider structuring the deal to finance a project, we have to believe in the story wholeheartedly. When I read ‘Lone Survivor,’ I was struck not only by the bravery of the SEALs and soldiers who sacrificed everything for their brothers, I was moved at how cinematic Marcus and Patrick’s book read. They took us to a foreign land and served as our guides into what was one of the most powerful and moving tales in our military’s history. We knew that in order to do their story justice, we would have to partner with fellow filmmakers we trusted. As we’ve worked with Mark on Broken City and 2 Guns, and Pete is such an accomplished writer/director in this genre, we were certain that they would be ideal partners.”
Once Berg had the script at a place where he felt comfortable, he sent it to Wahlberg, who had purposely chosen not to read Luttrell’s book in advance. “The problem when adapting a piece of material like that,” says the performer, “is that you always feel like something is missing. I wanted to come at it from this perspective.”
As both a producer and an actor, Wahlberg’s reaction to the script was enthusiastic, and he agreed to portray Luttrell, the team’s medic and one of its snipers. “I was moved by the screenplay, so I felt like we were on the right track. I loved the balance of the drama, action, humour and emotion,” he says. “In the first act, you’re meeting these guys, seeing how much they love each other and what they’re doing out there. Then when Red Wings is a go, you see the shift from playful to all business.”
Wahlberg admits that the selflessness of both the SEALs and the Afghan villagers shook him deeply: “What makes this story so special is the bond and the camaraderie between the guys, but also the state of where we are in the world today. The act of heroism by Gulab and his fellow villagers moved me the most. I found it so inspiring, and it gave me so much hope for the world.”
Although the performer has played characters based on real people before, in such films as The Fighter and Invincible, he admits that it’s never easy to do this kind of story justice: “I always feel some weight when portraying somebody in real life, whether they’re alive or not. I want to make sure that I make them and their family members proud.” Knowing that Luttrell would be available to offer guidance proved to be a welcome bonus. Says Wahlberg: “I loved speaking with Marcus about his relationship with those guys, because it always made him feel good to talk about how much he loved them, how much they loved him and how tight they were.”
When Wahlberg considers his time spent with the cast and crew, he reflects that working on Lone Survivor ranks at the top of his professional achievements as an actor and producer. He says: “This is the best working experience I’ve ever had, under the toughest conditions. I remember early on as an actor, you worked a long, hard day, but you did something you felt was special, and that car ride home you couldn’t stop thinking about it. I had that feeling every day on this movie.”
Berg offers that the set was very back to basics, and that Wahlberg had to rough it with the rest of them. He says: “Most of the guys liked having a hardier approach to the production. We’d take a chairlift up to the set, and you’d see Mark carrying a bunch of grip equipment because there was no room. Lunch was: ‘Here’s a sandwich; have that under a tree.’”
When discussing what it was like to watch someone else play him, Luttrell admits that it was initially odd. He says: “Wahlberg is a consummate professional, and he’s a great actor. It was a little strange watching somebody trying to play me, but we talked about it and I knew it would turn out great. I was more worried about the other guys because they’re not around to speak for themselves.”
Assembling the Brotherhood:
SEAL Team 10 Is Selected
As he did with Wahlberg, Berg had discussed the project with Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster several years earlier. To a person, the actors advised that they wanted to be a part of the film when it happened. “He’d been raving about the book and the story for three-plus years,” recalls Kitsch, with whom Berg has partnered on multiple movie and television projects. “So I started reading the book. Part of the way in, I said to myself, ‘This role is once in a lifetime.’ I called Pete up and said, ‘When you’re ready, I’m ready.’”
The on-ground leader of Operation Red Wings, Lieutenant Michael Murphy (aka “Murph”) was a respected Navy SEAL who walked into a clearing and drew enemy gunfire for his men. Kitsch, like the rest of his performers, felt the heavy weight on his shoulders to honour Murph and his fellow fallen servicemen. He reflects: “It’s a beautiful, true story that needs to be told right. It’s gutting, intense and encompasses why they do what they do, which is for each other—first and foremost.”
Kitsch knew that getting the nod to play the lieutenant would be a responsibility he wouldn’t take for granted. He reflects: “Murph’s actions speak louder than anything he’s ever said, and they should. I think he was that type of leader who just loved his guys, and getting the nod to play this guy was something special.”
The fact that he was portraying a real-life warrior who distinguished himself in the line of duty was not lost on Kitsch. Murphy posthumously received the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, becoming the first person to do so for actions during the war in Afghanistan. Subsequently, a Navy destroyer, the USS Michael Murphy, was also named in his honour. The accountability to the memory of this man weighed heavily on Kitsch. “It doesn’t go away,” he explains about the sense of responsibility that comes with the project, “and I’m sure the rest of the guys will say that, too. You just try and do everything possible to do it justice.”
As was the case with Wahlberg, Kitsch knew that having Luttrell on set would be an asset throughout production. He says: “It was remarkable to have him there. When you take on something like this, you think, ‘How will Luttrell and Murph’s family react?’
You’re playing his best mate and their son, so those are the people that you want to come up to you and say, ‘Thank you,’ more than anyone else.”
When Hirsch ran into Berg almost four years ago at a local gym in Southern California, Berg mentioned a story about Danny Dietz. Hirsch wasn’t sure of the reference to the gunner’s mate, but intrigued by the story, he found out that the SEAL was one of the men featured in the book that the director wanted to adapt. Several years later, Hirsch got the call to meet with Berg about a role for this film. The results of the meeting were inconclusive, and Hirsch sensed that he needed to fight for the part.
The performer discusses his interest in the role of the communications officer and spotter for the team: “I wanted this role so bad. It was a mix of awe for Danny and a profound level of respect for the commitment that he gave to his brothers, his country and his family—that level of fearlessness.” Hirsch knew that being chosen for these roles was never a given for any of the performers. “I wanted a challenge, so I started to train and work out on my own. I genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen. Months went by and it was to the point where I was passing on other movies, but I didn’t have this job. I was willing to do anything. I ended up training six days a week, four to five hours a day.”
Although he’s played real-life characters before, the chance to honour a fallen SEAL offered challenges much more powerful than simply physical exhaustion. Hirsch adds: “I know how important it is to all the families how their loved ones are portrayed in the film. I felt more responsibility playing Danny than I’ve ever felt playing any character. You know it’s a movie, but it’s also a monument to these guys. We knew it was up to us to portray the SEALs in the right way, which is representative, respectful and truthful. Their warrior spirit goes back to the SEAL creed. They are the common man with an uncommon desire to succeed.”
Foster, who has appeared in small films and large productions alike, responded immediately to his director’s enthusiasm for the tale. “It’s impossible not to be affected by it,” says Foster. “It’s a very difficult story about very brave men.” He reflects on what it was like to portray Matthew “Axe” Axelson, sonar technician second class: “It’s a privilege to participate and collaborate in telling a story like this. They don’t come around very often. These men were serving our country and sacrificed their lives.”
As did his fellow performers, Foster met with Axe’s family and friends to get to know the team point man and sniper whom he’d be portraying. “It was such a rich opportunity to listen to the Axelsons talk about their son,” he says. “Their generosity and inclusiveness with me was so touching and open. They love to talk about their boy because they love him; so we, in turn, love him. We can’t bring him back, but what we can do is aim, every day, to do the best that we can to honour him.”
Much like Wahlberg, Foster respects that what he does as an actor is to bring his interpretation of Axe to the screen, and he had no desire to engage in mimicry. “These men all have different personalities, but the spine is the same,” reflects Foster. “In this film, we’re honouring that spine, which is: You don’t quit, you’re selfless and you can do whatever you put your mind to.”
The work was often exhausting, but the director was able to hold everyone together with his passion for the story and his collaborative work style. Foster quickly related to Berg’s method, noting: “He’s total energy. You felt like you had another team member in the scene with you, and he liked being surprised. Pete’s able to look at an environment, listen to people talking, drop something, add something else. It’s a fluid experience, and you feel like you’re contributing.”
Luttrell weighs in about what it was like to see these three men portray his brothers. “Ben, Taylor and Emile all had more pressure than Mark did. Those guys had to nail it, because from now on, any time you hear the name Matt Axelson, you’re going to think of Ben Foster. The same goes for Emile Hirsch as Danny Dietz and Taylor Kitsch as Mike Murphy.”
As this story opens, SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team 1 members Luttrell, Murphy and Axelson and SDV Team 2 member Dietz are stationed at SEAL Team 10 Camp Ouellette at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. It’s also where their commander, Lt. Cmdr. Erik Kristensen, briefs the men, sends them out on the mission and monitors their communications. As the events unfold in the mountains, the crew back at base has no intel, except for a brief radio report of an attack. A rescue team is assembled, and the U.S. military is on the move.
Eric Bana, who made his American film debut in Ridley Scott’s brilliant war film Black Hawk Down, responded well to the material when he read the script and signed on to portray Kristensen. The performer flew in from Australia toward the end of the shoot to lens his scenes and quickly caught up to speed.
Discussing his decision to join the team, Bana says: “There are two factors that make this story special, and they are the reasons why I jumped on board. One is the story itself, and two is who chooses to direct a project like this. I knew how involved Peter would be and that he would know how to portray Navy SEALs. That was what I wanted to be a part of. The greatest way to honour these guys is to make a great film and have it stand the test of time.”
The more he researched the life of Kristensen, the more he was drawn to the story. Shares Bana: “He becomes the backdrop for the audience as we progress through the story. We’re back at the command centre and watching the tension of the mission unfold, slowly go awry and then become very tense. For an actor, this is an exciting character, because you’re on the same path as the audience in terms of the flow of information.”
With his core team assembled, Berg was ready to begin what was unquestionably the most difficult production of his life. He notes that his entire team gave it their all and kept complaints to a minimum: “I’ve never worked on a film that had this kind of camaraderie. So many crew members had read the book and wanted Marcus to sign it and talk about what it meant to them. That was just a rare treat I had never experienced on a set. I’ve never been involved in a film where the actors felt such a strong sense of responsibility to honour the characters that they were playing. The actors knew quickly that they had a responsibility to capture the character and warrior spirit that those men had. They were not playing around with it. They were all in.”
Stand as One:
Training and Operations
To put the actors through their paces, the production assembled an elite team of SEALs and former SEALs, including associates of Luttrell who understood what it would take for the performances to look genuine. The word “intense” was used over and over by the actors to describe the training regimen. Not only were there physical workouts for the players, they were also trained in weapons, communications and learning to operate as a tactical team.
Luttrell proved to be the men’s greatest asset as they pulled together and trained. “The details and the specifics from the event that Marcus was able to provide were great,” commends Berg. “But, more than that, just having him on the set…I have never seen a film crew quite so motivated. This was definitely more than a job. People were working as hard as they could. Everyone felt that Marcus had shown them what it means to work hard, have character and never quit. These actors and our crew all wanted to show Marcus that they had something to give.”
Luttrell discusses what this abbreviated SEAL training looked like for the actors: “We put them through the ringer. We beat them hard, and they came together as a team.
You could see it while we were putting them through this training that they just started to come together. It was tactically sound the way they were moving and shooting and communicating. They just did a good job.”
Wahlberg reflects that this was the most training he’s ever had to do to prepare for a film.
“I’ve done a lot of military stuff in the past. I’ve played soldiers, but this was completely different,” he says. “The SEALs that we had training us made damn sure that we were going to look real. They didn’t let anybody cut corners, and by the time you finished the training you felt like you’d shot a big portion of the movie. But we hadn’t even started.”
Kitsch, who was in Newfoundland for two months prior to the beginning of principal photography, began high-intensity workouts with body armour and long runs with a 40-lb. weighted vest. “I thought I was trained,” laughs the performer, “then we got here the first day with these SEALs, and it was just another level.” Discussing the sink-or-swim attitude that pervaded the training camp, Kitsch remembers: “Live fire the first three days; that was no joke. It was so full on, and we were trying to assimilate as much as we could, as fast as we could. The learning curve was intense.”
The performer appreciated seeing the SEAL ethos in action. “These guys are never out of the fight, giving themselves for each other,” says Kitsch. “Every one of these guys personifies that never-quit attitude, and Murph embodies that. He literally gives himself up for these three guys to keep fighting. As we trained with these men that knew him, I learned those nuances that Murph had. The pieces of my character are very similar to who he was.”
The physical training ensured that the actors would come across as SEALs on film. By putting them in situations to give them the feel for what it’s like in a gunfight and by making their responses in simulated battle automatic, they were freed to focus on the other aspects of their characters. Just being surrounded by SEALs on a daily basis brought home realizations about the men they were to portray…and the attitude required when you must fight for your life.
Explains Foster of the training regimen: “We were out in the gun range doing live fire, learning how to operate tactically as a unit. I didn’t even know the names of the weapons when we started. By the end, we were doing blind mag changes and engaging in live fire.” Harder yet for the performer was understanding how to become Zen in the face of danger. “The culture of the sniper is unique,” observes Foster. “They’re very calm, patient. It’s not my natural disposition.”
Foster reflects on what he witnessed of the SEALs’ training and character: “It has very little to do with being an elite warrior. It’s about a gut check: How far can you dig, and are you going to come out on the other end? Every possible moment they’re telling you that you can’t. And the whole game is don’t quit. Very few make it. At the end of the day these guys are pushed through a very brutal sieve, and it’s a unique personality of can-do.”
Hirsch sums his fellow actors’ agreement that although this training program was the physically toughest thing they have ever done, it pales in comparison to the SEALs’ training. “We trained mostly with M4 rifles,” he says. “We learned how to fire at the SWAT range and at targets, moving in unison with real bullets. It was dangerous, but it was also fun. It was hard on the knees because they had us doing a lot of rolling and firing, but I had a great time with the guys. You certainly learn to trust your fellow actors really quick.” Hirsch pauses: “Even if I trained seven days a week, 24 hours a day, it wouldn’t be one one-hundredth of what the students go through at BUD/S. The SEALs in training kept pushing us all to move out of our comfort zones.”
Not only did the performers of Lone Survivor need to act the part of SEALs, they had to look it. The challenge for Amy Stofsky’s costume department was to make sure the military wardrobe reflected 2005, because what the troops wore then no longer exists. This meant making all the uniforms for the key cast members and getting or manufacturing the correct patches and insignia for the time period.
A stickler for detail, Berg worked with Luttrell and Stofsky’s team to make sure that the clothing replicated the men’s injuries as faithfully as possible. Indeed, he had asked to see the autopsy reports of those who had been killed in the line of duty in order to do their stories justice. With four-time Emmy winner GREGORY NICOTERO and Oscar® winner HOWARD BERGER running special makeup effects, Berg knew that there would be as much reality as possible on set and that audiences would get a realistic glimpse into the sacrifices these SEALs made.
Filming in New Mexico:
Design and Locations
Berg stayed mindful of the burden of responsibility that went with the telling of Luttrell’s story and kept it in the forefront of the minds of cast and crew throughout the production. Working with a team that included cinematographer Tobias Schliessler, production designer Tom Duffield, costume designer Amy Stofsky and editor Colby Parker, Jr., Berg began the painstaking process of re-creating the story of SEAL Team 10.
Producer Emmett marvels at the level of detail that Berg’s team was able to reconstruct: “You couldn’t step a foot on set without feeling as if you were being transported into another land. My hat is off to the crewmembers who pulled off such an accomplishment. To a person, the level of detail that they were able to incorporate into this film was an achievement in each of their fields. I hope what they have done on Lone Survivor will be seen as a loving memorial to the families of these brave men.”
Sangre de Cristo Mountains
After years of preparation and months of training, production began in October 2012 in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Santa Fe National Forest at the ski basin north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Duffield sums: “This film was mostly locations, mountains, cliffs and rocks. That was almost half of the schedule.”
Eight days alone were spent 11,000 to 12,000 feet up in the mountains at locations such as Antenna Ridge, Raven’s Ridge, Benny’s Jump and Loggers Cliff. There, the temperatures hovered in the high 30s and low 40s. In all, to approximate the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, the production shot at 10 separate locations in the national forest.
Reachable by chairlift to a staging area, then by foot to the shooting location, some of the remote spots were silent except the sounds of wind rustling through the pines and aspens, and the occasional bird of prey’s wings soaring overhead.
Often, communication was by bullhorn, with the assistant director at the bottom of the cliff and the actors at the top. Terrain too rocky and inclines too steep for more conventional camera equipment—such as cranes and dollies—meant that some of the shots were accomplished by DP Schliessler’s camera operators, who were rigged to the ski lift just above the action.
Needless to say this was a challenge for actors and crew alike, but because of the nature of the project there wasn’t a lot of grumbling on the set. “There were a couple days I wanted to give up,” admits Wahlberg. “But you remind yourself what they went through—Marcus, Axe, Murphy and Dietz—and everybody else who was in that helicopter, as well as the guys before them and after them. We knew we had to suck it up, go out there and make them proud.”
Says Kitsch about the overall mood: “This is something that’s bigger than all of us, and that was the tone on set.” He laughs: “Our crew’s insane, really. These guys were trekking that gear up in negative weather—through rocks, up inclines, scaling boulders—and you didn’t hear one guy complain the entire time.”
Village Sets in Chilili
The production moved from the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the less treacherous terrain of Chilili, New Mexico, a Mexican land grant approximately 45 miles southeast of Albuquerque. Here, the cast and crew made use of the wooded areas for portions of the battle scenes, and the art department built the sets for the Shah village, as well as the Pashtun village where Gulab hides Luttrell and the SEAL’s helicopter rescue takes place. For the RPG explosions and bullet hits shown in the battle sequences that occur in the roads around Gulab’s home, BRUNO VAN ZEEBROECK’s special effects team rigged the villages.
The Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, are organized into tribes of primarily Sunni and Shi’a Muslims and speak Pashtu and Dari. Many are now in Pakistan, refugees from past fighting in their homeland. Other Afghan ethnic groups, most of which opposed the Taliban, include Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks and Nuristanis.In keeping with the production’s commitment to authenticity, Afghan brothers MUHAMMAD NAWROZ RAHIMI and NAWAZ RAHIMI were asked to come aboard as cultural technical advisors to the filmmaking team. They worked with the casting and wardrobe departments—as well as with extras brought on to play both villagers and Taliban fighters—to help them understand language, customs and fighting methods.
Their father, ZARIN MOHAMMAD RAHIMI, a refugee from the region who brought his family to the U.S. to escape the Taliban, not only joined his sons in advisory duties, he played the role of the eldest shepherd in the crucial scene in which the SEALs are discovered.
Remarks Stofsky on her search for authenticity in duplicating their dress: “There are so many different tribes in Afghanistan, and we had to do a good deal of studying. Our advisors were paramount in helping sort it all out.”
Albuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base and Soundstages
We begin Lone Survivor with our four-man team living in the compound with their fellow SEALs—including Fontan, Healy, Kristensen, Lucas, McGreevy, Jr., Patton, Suh and Taylor. They were part of the 16-man Special Operations Forces aboard the MH-47 Chinook helicopter—including 8 Army Night Stalkers—dispatched to aid the four SEALs in trouble on the ground. The helicopter was shot down during the rescue attempt, and all 16 men perished.
Rather than in the tents for the enlisted men on the rest of Bagram Airfield, the SEALs were housed in nearby plywood buildings that included sleeping quarters, a weight room, television room and Tactical Operations Command (TOC). It’s here that the men review their mission, prepare their gear and pass the time in friendly competitions and one-upmanship, waiting in anticipation for word that their mission is a go.
Much like the real base in Afghanistan, the set for Camp Ouellette was a compound built from sea containers and HESCO barriers on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. With its desert vistas, runways and space for helicopter and military transport vehicles, this location added to the film’s authenticity.
Shooting on a functioning Air Force base and receiving permission to use aircraft and personnel took coordination with a multitude of military and government agencies. Senior military advisor and security consultant HARRY HUMPHRIES, a former SEAL who had worked with Berg on Hancock and The Kingdom, came on board as an associate producer to handle the details. As one might expect, the logistics required major coordination of assets from multiple branches of the Armed Forces. Some days on set, the actual military personnel outnumbered the cast and crew.
As the SEALs are at the core of this film, the Navy was the lead service over the course of the production. For its part, the Air Force (Kirtland 58th Special Operations Wing) provided two HH60G Pave Hawks for the combat search and rescue (CSAR) mission scene at Gulab’s Pashtun village set. Luttrell is loaded aboard as one of the Hawks lands, while the other one provides close air support (CAS). Manned by military personnel, these helicopters flew from Kirtland to the village set in Chilili on the day the rescue scenes were shot.
The Army provided two MH-47 Chinooks and two AH-64 Apaches from the 1st Cavalry Division that were flown in from Fort Hood, Texas. These were used for scenes at the Camp Ouellette set built at Kirtland. For its part, the Marines provided vehicles and 30 Marine reserves for the Bagram Airfield and Jalabad scenes lensed at Kirtland.
After two weeks at Chilili and five days on the Air Force base, the production moved to soundstages for interior scenes and blue-screen work. Most of the time, a crew finds stage work a bit boring, but with this production everyone was more than ready for a little R & R. Says Wahlberg: “I looked forward to getting off those hills every day, to getting out of Chilili and to getting to the stage—even though when you get on stage it slows down.”
At I-25 Studios in Albuquerque, the art department built Gulab’s house and the interiors for Camp Ouellette’s bunk rooms, television room, TAC and command centre. The blue-screen work involved a portion of an MH-47 Chinook fuselage on a gimbal and a mountain cliff built by the art department in the stage facility parking lot.
When the production wrapped in November 2012 in Albuquerque after 40 days of shooting, the feeling all around was bittersweet. Despite the harsh conditions, the story and the work itself had had a great impact on cast and crew alike. Luttrell was on set this last day, making it all the more emotional. “Marcus was standing right beside me,” recalls Wahlberg, “and I just looked at him and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty much how it went down.’ I had this horrible knot in my stomach thinking about what he went through and how difficult it must be to see it being replayed in a movie.”
Foresight Unlimited and Emmett/Furla Films present: In association with Universal Pictures: A Film 44 / Emmett/Furla Films / Herrick Entertainment / Envision Entertainment / Spikings Entertainment / Single Berry / Closest to the Hole / Leverage production of a Peter Berg film: Mark Wahlberg in Lone Survivor, starring Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. Casting for the film is by Linda Lowy, CSA, John Brace, and the music is by Explosions in the Sky, Steve Jablonsky. The visual effects supervisors are Jesper Kjölsrud, Grady Cofer, and the special makeup effects are by Gregory Nicotero, Howard Berger. The film’s costume designer is Amy Stofsky, and its editor is Colby Parker, Jr. The production designer is Tom Duffield, and the director of photography is Tobias Schliessler, ASC. Lone Survivor’s executive producers are Mark Damon, George Furla, Simon Fawcett, Braden Aftergood, Louis G. Friedman, Stepan Martirosyan, Remington Chase, Adi Shankar, Spencer Silna, Brandt Andersen, Jeff Rice, Tamara Birkemoe. The movie is produced by Peter Berg, Sarah Aubrey, Randall Emmett, Norton Herrick, Barry Spikings, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Vitaly Grigoriants. It is based on the book by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. The film is written by Peter Berg, and it is directed by Peter Berg. ©
2013 Universal Studios.
THE FALLEN SERVICE MEMBERS OF OPERATION RED WINGS
SONAR TECHNICIAN (SURFACE) SECOND CLASS (SEAL) PETTY
OFFICER (STG2) MATTHEW GENE “AXE” AXELSON was raised in Cupertino, California. STG2 Axelson entered boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, in December 2000. He completed STG “A” school and went directly to BUD/S, graduating with Class 237. After BUD/S, he attended Army Jump School, SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) school. He checked aboard SDV Team 1 in December 2002, and joined ALFA Platoon. Axelson deployed to Afghanistan in March 2005 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
STG2 Axelson’s personal awards include the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. It would be hard to meet a better person. Besides the love Axelson had for his wife, Cindy, who was his heart and soul, his love for golf, the taste of a good beer and the warm California sun, being in the Teams was what he liked best. He graduated from Chico State University in California with a degree in political science. Behind his quiet and laid-back demeanour, he was a true professional. He was extremely intelligent; what seemed hard and confusing to most was a piece of cake for Axe. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, and it would be impossible to find a person with anything bad to say about him. Words cannot explain the wonderful person he was. If you think of the ideal sniper, that was Matt; he was the ultimate quiet professional. He had a calming presence about him that was contagious. He had the ability to remove the stress from any situation. Matt had so much going for him—he could have been anything he wanted, including a PGA Tour pro, but he loved being a Navy SEAL.
STG2 Axelson is survived by his wife, Cindy; his father, Cordell; his mother, Donna; and his brother, Jeff.
GUNNER’S MATE SECOND CLASS (GM2) (SEAL) DANNY P. DIETZ was born on January 26, 1980, in Aurora, Colorado. GM2 Dietz graduated from Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado, and entered the U.S. Navy on August 31, 1999.
After graduating from Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, on November 27, 1999, GM2 Dietz completed Gunner’s Mate “A” School at the Naval Air Technical Training Centre (NATTC) in Pensacola, Florida. Upon completion, he transferred to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training and graduated BUD/S Class 232. After graduation, Dietz attended the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, SEAL Qualification Training and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Training.
From there, he reported for duty at SDV Team 2 on November 8, 2001.
Immediately upon checking in, GM2 Dietz was assigned to Task Unit Bravo as the secondary SDV Pilot and head of the ordnance and engineering department. During a rigorous predeployment work up, he honed his skills, becoming one of the best pilots in the command. He leveraged his skills during the following six-month deployment to European Command (EUCOM) as the lead pilot in multiple proof-of-concept full mission rehearsals, which ultimately paved the way for the first successful SDV and Dry Deck Shelter combat operations.
Upon his return from EUCOM, GM2 Dietz was assigned to Task Unit Charlie as a primary special reconnaissance team member and the communications department head. He focused his time during predeployment training on perfecting his SEAL sniper, reconnaissance and field skills. Dietz put his abilities to the test during a Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)-directed exercise off the coast of Southern California, and during a fly-away exercise with the United Arab Emirates. In April 2005, he deployed with his special reconnaissance element to Afghanistan to support Naval Special Warfare Squadron Ted and the Naval Special Warfare community’s prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism.
During his service, Danny was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defence Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Expert Pistol Medal and Expert Rifle Medals and the Combat Action and Sea Service Deployment Ribbons. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Danny is survived by his widow, Patsy; his mother, Cindy; his father, Danny, Sr.; sister, Tiffany; brother, Eric; and a host of family and friends.
FIRE CONTROL MAN CHIEF (SEAL) JACQUES J. FONTAN was born on November 11, 1968, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chief Fontan graduated from Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, and attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette prior to enlisting in the United States Navy on March 7, 1989.
After graduating from Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, Chief Fontan completed Fire Controlman “A” School at Fleet Combat Training Center in Dam Neck, Virginia. Upon completion, he transferred to the USS Nicholas (FFG 47) in Charleston, South Carolina, and then to Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron One in Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training at Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California, on October 23, 1998, Chief Fontan was assigned to SEAL Team 8 in Little Creek, Virginia, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 in Little Creek and SEAL Team 10 in Little Creek.
During his service, Chief Fontan was awarded the Bronze Star Medal (with a “V” for Valor), the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with Combat “V”), two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Navy “E” Ribbon, five Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, three Southwest Asia Service Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the NATO Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Expert Pistol Medal and the Sharpshooter Rifle Ribbon.
Jacques was a loving husband, avid golfer, great friend and he loved life. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and being able to teach. He had a funny and sarcastic personality, which was loved by all who knew him. Jacques is survived by his wife, Char Fontan; mother, Hazel; father, Earl; daughter, Jourdan; sisters, Suzanne and Cheri; and brother, Paul.
STAFF SERGEANT (SSG) SHAMUS O. GOARE died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations.
SSG Goare was born May 28, 1976, in Ohio and joined the Army in 1994 as a Huey helicopter repairer. He attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
From December 1994 to October 1996, SSG Goare was assigned to Company I, 158th Aviation Battalion as a utility helicopter repairer. In October 1996, he was reassigned as a UH-1 crew chief to 1st U.S. Army Support Battalion, Multinational Force and Observers, Sinai, Egypt. Upon completion of a one-year tour in Egypt, Goare was then assigned as a crew chief to 12th Aviation Brigade in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. From January to May 1999, he attended the Heavy Helicopter Repairer Course at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and became a Chinook helicopter repairer. In June 1999, he was assigned to Company C, 52nd Aviation Regiment at Camp Humphreys, Korea, where he performed duties as a CH-47 mechanic until May 2000. In June 2000, Goare was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Training Company and, upon completion of the Basic Mission Qualification Course (Green Platoon), was assigned as a flight engineer for Company B, 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield.
SSG Goare’s military schools include the Utility Helicopter Repairer Course, the Medium Helicopter Repairer Course, Special Operations Training Course, Primary Leadership Development Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course and the Basic Non-commissioned Officers Course.
SSG Goare’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal for Valor, four Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, three Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Non-commissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 2, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2, the Multinational Force and Observers Medal with numeral 2, the Senior Aircraft Crew Member Badge and the Sharpshooter Weapons Qualification Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Medal for Valor and the Combat Action Badge.
Shamus is survived by his parents, Charles and Judith Goare.
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER THREE (CW3) COREY J. GOODNATURE died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations.
CW3 Goodnature was born February 13, 1970, in Minnesota. In 1991, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with an associate’s degree in aerospace engineering and later joined the Army in October of that year. CW3 Goodnature served as a parachute rigger at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He attended the Warrant Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Upon graduation from flight school in 1995, his first assignment was flying UH-1s in Korea. In 1996, he was assigned to Camp Wheeler, Hawaii. He assessed for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) (Airborne) in 1998 and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion 160th SOAR (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, as an MH-47D Chinook pilot.
CW3 Goodnature’s military schools included the U.S. Army Rigger’s course, the Basic Airborne Course, the Electronic Warfare Officers Course, the CH-47D Aircraft Qualification Course, the Air Assault Course, the Special Operations Training Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, the CH-47D Instructor Pilot Course and the Aviation Warrant Officers Course.
CW3 Goodnature’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal for Valor, the Air Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Senior Army Aviator Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Airborne Badge, the Parachute Rigger Badge and the Ivory Coast Paratrooper Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal for Valor and the Combat Action Badge.
Corey is survived by his wife, Lori; two sons, Shea and Brennan; his parents, Don and Deb; and sister, Amy.
INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNICIAN SENIOR CHIEF (ITCS) (SEAL) DANIEL R. HEALY was born in Exeter, New Hampshire. ITCS Healy graduated from high school in Exeter in 1986. He entered the United States Navy in June 1990. After completion of boot camp in San Diego, California, he went to Recovery Mechanism “A” School and subsequently volunteered for BUD/S. ITCS Healy graduated with Class 176 and took orders to SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team 1 in San Diego. He departed the team in December of 1996, and reported to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) where he studied Russian. Upon graduation from the DLI, he transferred to SEAL Team 2 in Little Creek, Virginia, where he served for two years in the training department and in Foxtrot Platoon, completing an MED cruise aboard the USS Ponce. In March 2000, he transferred back to SDV Team 1 in Hawaii, where he joined Echo Platoon as leading petty officer. After being promoted to chief petty officer, he worked in the SDV training department before joining Alfa Platoon as leading chief petty officer, deploying to Afghanistan in March 2005. While in Afghanistan, ITCS Healy received his senior chief petty officer rank.
ITCS Healy’s personal awards include the Bronze Star (with Combat “V”), the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal (with two bronze stars), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Dan loved being a dad and wanted his kids to be successful in anything they desired. It would break his heart to be away from them, and when he was able to have all of his children together, he would get teary-eyed. Dan was so proud of his children and would go to any length to participate in their lives. His pride in his children has inspired them to accomplish a lot in the years since they lost him. His son, Jake, graduated from the University of San Diego in May 2013, with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He is currently the East Coast regional executive at Xterra Wetsuits. Jake is very passionate about giving back and has recently joined Gold Start Teen Adventures as their mentor and public relations coordinator. He also launched the Children of the Fallen website.
Dan’s oldest daughter, Chelsea, is currently studying psychology at Hawaii Pacific University and works with children who have faced challenges in their lives. She finds this works to be very rewarding. Jasmine is a sophomore in high school and loves band.
She has a kind heart and loves spending time with her friends. Sasha is very active in sports. Her current sport of choice is tennis, at which she excels. Dan learned the love of family from his mother, Natalie. She taught him to never give up and showed him how to be courageous as well as generous. Natalie’s ability to get through challenges taught him the skills and strength that attributed to his success as a Navy SEAL.
Dan was a great big brother. Though he loved tormenting his Irish twin sister, Jennifer, he was also the protector of her and his baby sister, Shannon. He and Jen finally became best buds when they were teenagers and remained so until his death. Dan had such a generous presence and was such an all-around awesome guy that even years later, his friends and Team guys from around the country continue to pay respect to him by visiting his memorial, watching over his children and comforting his family.
Dan is survived by his widow, Norminda; their children, Jacob (Jake), Chelsea (Chache Monster), Jasmine (Jazzy) and Sasha (Sasha girl); his mother, Natalie; sisters, Jennifer and Shannon; brother-in-law, Steve; father, Tom; and Tom’s family.
SERGEANT (SGT) KIP A. JACOBY died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations.
SGT Jacoby was born September 2, 1983, in Florida. A native of Pompano, Florida, he graduated high school in 2002 and later enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 2002 as a heavy helicopter repairman. He attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
In May 2003, SGT Jacoby was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Training Company and upon completion of the Basic Mission Qualification Course was assigned as a helicopter repairman for 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. In February 2004, he was reassigned within the battalion to Company B as an MH-47D crew chief.
SGT Jacoby’s military schools include the Heavy Helicopter Repairman Course, the Special Operations Training Course, the Basic Mission Qualification Course and the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course.
SGT Jacoby’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal, the National Defense Service Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Aircraft Crew Member Badge and the Marksman Weapons Qualification Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal for Valor, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
Kip is survived by his parents.
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER (LCDR) ERIK S. KRISTENSEN was born in Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, on March 15, 1972. LCDR Kristensen graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., in 1990, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1991 and the United States Naval Academy in 1995.
After graduating with honors from the Naval Academy, LCDR Kristensen reported to the USS Chandler (DDG 996) in Everett, Washington, as the fire control officer. Next, he served on Special Boat Team 12 in Coronado, California, as the officer in charge of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat Detachment.
LCDR Kristensen began teaching English at the Naval Academy in 1999 and also attended graduate school at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, before accepting a transfer to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, where he graduated with BUD/S Class 233. From there, he reported for duty at SEAL Team 8 as officer-in-charge of a SEAL platoon. Kristensen deployed as a task unit commander at SEAL Team 10 to Afghanistan to support the Naval Special Warfare Command community’s prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism.
Erik is remembered as an intelligent leader who earned the respect of his men and his senior officers. He succeeded everywhere he served. He had a great love of the arts and literature. Kristensen also spoke French and was selected as an Olmsted Foundation scholar. He planned to begin study at the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 2006. The program allows a select few service members to study abroad for two years. He had an outgoing personality and enjoyed a life full of skiing, snowboarding and surfing. Kristensen was a big man with an even bigger heart. He was a leader who listened to the advice of his men and always took care of them.
During his service, Erik was awarded the Bronze Star (with “V” for Valor), the Purple Heart, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Expert Rifle Medal and the Expert Pistol Medal.
Erik is survived by his father, Edward K. Kristensen, RADM, USN (Ret), and his mother, Suzanne Carrico Samsel Kristensen, of Washington, D.C.
ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN FIRST CLASS (ET1) (SEAL) JEFFREY A. LUCAS was born on September 17, 1971. He grew up in Corbett, Oregon. Jeff chose his career path in the fourth grade when he wrote a paper about the Special Forces— Green Berets, Army Rangers, Marine Recon and Navy SEALs—and said he one day wanted to be a Navy SEAL because they were the best.
Upon graduating from high school in 1989, Lucas enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
After graduating from recruit training and Electronics Technician “A” School, he transferred to Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After Hawaii, he transferred to the Branch Medical Clinic in San Diego, California, where he remained from May 1991 to June 1993.
ET1 Lucas entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL in June 1993, graduating with Class 191 in January 1994. After graduation, he reported to SEAL Team 1 in San Diego, California, from 1994 to 1999. Jeff went to the East Coast in 1999 and did tours at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and SEAL Team 8 before joining SEAL Team 10 in March 2002.
As a leading petty officer, Jeff was known for his leadership. His enthusiasm and quick wit were portrayed in everything he did. He was considered a very funny man who was guaranteed to put a smile on the face of all in his presence.
His 10 years as a Navy SEAL allowed him to develop a laundry list of qualifications, such as sniper, sniper instructor and military free fall parachutist, to name a few. He was an expert in every qualification and was known for his innovation and constant tinkering with his gear.
His medals include the Bronze Star (with “V” for Valor), the Purple Heart, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, two National Defense Service Medals, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the NATO Medal, the Expert Rifle Medal and the Expert Pistol Medal.
Jeff is survived by his wife, Rhonda, and his son, Seth.
LIEUTENANT (LT) MICHAEL M. MCGREEVY, JR. was born on April 24, 1975, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. LT McGreevy graduated in 1993 from Portville High School, where he was well-known as a track star.
LT McGreevy attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1997. Upon commissioning, he served aboard the USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) as a surface warfare officer. His true passion was to become a SEAL, and he later realized his dream when he graduated in BUD/S/SEAL training as the “Honor Man” of Class 230 in August 2000.
LT McGreevy served at SEAL Team 4 and completed a Southern Command deployment. He later transferred to SEAL Team 8 and completed a Central Command deployment as assistant officer-in-charge. He later transferred to SEAL Team 10 as officer-in-charge of Echo Platoon.
During his service, Mike was awarded the Bronze Star (with “V” for Valor), the Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, two National Defense Service Medals, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Navy Expert Rifle and the Navy Expert Pistol.
Mike is survived by his wife, Laura; his daughter, Molly; and their dog, Loki.
SERGEANT FIRST CLASS (SFC) MARCUS V. MURALLES died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations.
SFC Muralles was born October 5, 1971, in Louisiana and was raised in Shelbyville, Indiana. He joined the Army in December 1988 as an infantryman. After completion of Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia. After completing his initial enlistment obligation, he was assigned to the Inactive Ready Reserve in 1993. In August 1998, SFC Muralles returned to active duty and graduated One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning in the summer of 1998. His first duty station was Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment as a medical administrator, platoon medic and company senior medic. In August 2003, Muralles was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, as an aerial flight medic.
SFC Muralles’ military schools include the Emergency Medical Technician’s Course, the Basic Airborne Course, the Ranger School, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the U.S. Army Jumpmaster School, the Special Operations Training Course, the Special Operations Medic Course, the Basic non-commissioned Officer Course and the Army Advanced non-commissioned Officer Course. SFC Muralles’ awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, two Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, three Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 3, the Army Service Ribbon, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Medical Badge, the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Aircraft Crew Member Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge with two combat jumps, the Expert Weapons Qualification Badge (rifle) and British Jump Wings. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Medal for Valor and the Combat Action Badge.
Marcus is survived by his wife, Diana; their two children, Anna and Dominic; his father, Leonel; his mother and stepfather, Rosemarie and Robert; and his sister, Cindy.
LIEUTENANT (LT) MICHAEL PATRICK “MURPH” MURPHY was born in Smithtown, New York, and grew up in the NYC commuter town of Patchogue on Long Island. LT Murphy was commissioned on December 20, 2000, and began BUD/S training in January 2001, graduating with Class 236. Upon graduation, Murphy attended the U.S. Army Airborne School (aka Jump School), SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) school.
LT Murphy checked on board SDV Team 1 in July 2002. In October 2002, he deployed with Foxtrot Platoon to Jordan as the liaison officer (LNO) for Early Victor. Following that assignment, LT Murphy was attached to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) and deployed to Qatar in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). After returning from Qatar, LT Murphy was deployed to the Horn of Africa, Djibouti, to assist in the operational planning of future SDV missions. As the assistant officer in charge (AIOC) of Alfa Platoon, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
LT Murphy’s personal awards include the Medal of Honor, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Award, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Sea Service Medal. The Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke destroyer DDG 112 is named the USS Michael Murphy and was commissioned and put into service in October 2012 in New York City. USS Michael Murphy is now assigned to the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Murph attended Penn State University, where he was an exceptional all-around athlete and student, excelling at ice hockey and graduating with honors. After Graduation , he was accepted to several law schools before changing course and going to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 2000. He was an avid reader and his favorite book was Steven Pressfield’s “Gates of Fire,” about the Spartan stand at Thermopylae.
Murph was set to marry his best friend, Heather Lynn Duggan, from the nearby community of Mount Sinai, New York, on November 19, 2005, following his return from deployment. He is survived by his mother, Maureen Murphy; his father, Dan Murphy; his brother, John Murphy; and Heather.
MACHINIST’S MATE SECOND CLASS (MM2) (SEAL) SHANE E. PATTON was born in San Diego, California, and raised in Coronado, California, and Las Vegas. Petty Officer Patton entered the Navy in January 2001, and went to boot camp, Machinist’s Mate (MM) “A” School, then BUD/S, graduating with Class 239. After BUD/S, he accepted orders to SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team 1 in Hawaii, completing Basic Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, SEAL Qualification Training back at Coronado and SDV Training at Panama City Beach, Florida, en route. SDV Team 1 was his first SEAL command. He joined Alfa Platoon in October 2003 and deployed to Afghanistan in April 2005.
MM2 Patton’s personal awards include the Bronze Star (with Combat “V”), the Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Shane loved surfing, skateboarding and playing guitar. He especially enjoyed punk rock music and playing with his band, True Story. As a student-athlete on Boulder City High School’s baseball team, he was the star pitcher and an exceptional outfielder.
He became increasingly interested in computers and photography. Shane loved older Volkswagen Bugs. He customized and restored two and had big plans to create the ultimate customized Bug.
Shane was a friend to everyone who knew him. He had one goal in life: to be like his father. He wanted to be a Navy SEAL and a member of the Navy Jump Team, as his father had been.
MM2 Patton is survived by his father, BMCS (SEAL, Ret) James J. Patton; his mother, Valerie Robinson; and his three brothers, Jimmy, Chase and Dean.
MASTER SERGEANT (MSG) JAMES “TRE” W. PONDER III died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations. Ponder was born June 24, 1969, in Alabama.
MSG Ponder joined the Army in March 1990 as a Chinook helicopter repairer.
After graduating from Basic Combat Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia, he was assigned to Camp Humphreys, South Korea. He arrived at the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in December 1992 and was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. MSG Ponder served in a variety of positions, including maintenance team leader, company standardization instructor, platoon sergeant, battalion flight engineer instructor, 160th flight engineer instructor, battalion standardization instructor and regiment standardization instructor. This was his fourth rotation to Afghanistan.
MSG Ponder’s military schools included the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Combat Lifesavers Course, the Special Operations Training Course, the Basic non-commissioned Officers Course, the Flight Engineer Instructors Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, the Equal Opportunity Leaders Course, the Air Assault Course, the Basic Airborne Course, the Army Advanced non-commissioned Officers Course and the Army Safety Program.
MSG Ponder’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal for Valor, four Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, four Army Achievement Medals, five Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 3, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Air Assault Badge, the Airborne Badge, the Senior Aircraft Crew Member Badge, the Master Aircraft Crew Member Badge, the Scuba Diver Badge and the Expert Weapons Qualification Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Medal for Valor and the Combat Action Badge.
Tre is survived by his wife, Leslie; their daughters, Samantha and Elizabeth; and his parents, Jimmy and Rebecca.
MAJOR (MAJ) STEPHEN C. REICH died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations.
MAJ Reich was born May 22, 1971, in Ohio, and was raised in Washington, Connecticut. He graduated from the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Arabic and Spanish, and received his commission in 1993. In 1994, he attended the Aviation Officer Basic Course and Initial Entry Rotary Wing training. In 1995, he was assigned to the University of Kentucky ROTC program, and later played professional baseball for the Baltimore Orioles.
After receiving a UH-60 Black Hawk transition in 1996, MAJ Reich was ordered to Germany where he served as Platoon Leader in Company A, 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment. During his subsequent tour with the 12th Aviation Brigade, he served in Operation Allied Force, deploying to Hungary, Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo.
Returning from Germany in 2000, MAJ Reich attended the Infantry Officer Advance Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, followed by the Combined Arms Services Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Upon arrival to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in April 2001, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion and later deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001, as Battle Captain in support of Task Force Dagger. In December 2001, he served as Operations Officer for the 2nd Battalion’s detachment of MH-47E aircraft in Afghanistan. He commanded Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion from February 2002 through May 2003. Reich then completed a one-year assignment to Daegu, South Korea, as the Operations Officer for E Company, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) (Airborne). He took command of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 160th SOAR (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, on August 5, 2004.
MAJ Reich’s military schools included the Airborne Basic Course, the Air Assault Course, the UH-60 Aviator Qualification Course, the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the CH-47D Aircraft Qualification Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course and the Special Operations Training Course.
MAJ Reich’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Kosovo Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Services Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2, the NATO Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Senior Army Aviator Badge, the Airborne Badge and the Air Assault Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal for Valor and the Combat Action Badge.
Stephen is survived by his wife, Jill; his parents, Raymond and Sue; and his two sisters, Megan and AnnMarie.
SERGEANT FIRST CLASS (SFC) MICHAEL L. RUSSELL died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations.
A resident of Rincon, Georgia, SFC Russell was born September 28, 1973, in Virginia. Russell joined the Army in October 1991 as a Chinook helicopter repairer .After completing Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, his first duty station was Barbers Point, Hawaii, until April 1995. In May 1995, he was assigned to the 158th Aviation Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado. In August 1996, Russell was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), where he served as a flight engineer with the 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
SFC Russell’s military schools include the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, the Environmental Coordinator’s Course and the Basic non-commissioned Officers Course. SFC Russell’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal for Valor, two Air Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, seven Army Achievement Medals, four Army Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 2, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Senior Aircraft Crew Member Badge and the Expert Weapons Qualification Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal for Valor, the Master
Aircraft Crew Member Badge and the Combat Action Badge.
Michael is survived by his wife, Annette; daughters, Lauren and Megan; parents, Lee and Linda; brother, Lee; and sister, Melissa.
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER FOUR (CW4) CHRISTOPHER J. SCHERKENBACH died June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down by enemy fire during combat operations. CW4 Scherkenbach was born on November 3, 1964, in Illinois. He originally enlisted in the Army as a communication specialist in April 1987, his first duty station being in Germany. He was accepted into the Warrant Officer Entry and Initial Entry Rotary Wing program in 1990, and graduated at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
After completing the Warrant Officer Basic Course and the CH-47D aircraft qualifications at Fort Rucker in 1991, CW4 Scherkenbach was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. In 1994, he was assigned to Camp Humphreys, Korea, as a CH-47D Chinook pilot. After completing his tour in Korea, he returned to the 159th Aviation Regiment. His final assignment was Company B, 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
CW4 Scherkenbach’s military schools include the Electronic Warfare Officer Course, the Special Operations Aviation Training Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course, the Aviation Warrant Officer Advanced Course and the Aviation Safety Officer Course.
CW4 Scherkenbach’s awards and decorations include four Air Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2 and the Senior Army Aviator Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal for Valor, the Combat Action Badge and the Master Army Aviator Badge.
Chris is survived by his wife, Michelle; their daughter, Sarah; his five brothers, Jeff, Craig, Jed, Kurt and Lee; and two sisters, Karen and Cheryl.
QUARTERMASTER SECOND CLASS (QM2) (SEAL) JAMES ERIK SUH was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in South Florida by his single father, Solomon Suh. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in statistics from the University of Florida, James proceeded to boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, and then attended Quartermaster “A” School. Upon graduation, he reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California. He graduated with Class 237 and took orders to SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team 1 in Hawaii. He went to basic airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia, SEAL Qualification Training in Coronado, California, and SDV School in Panama City Beach, Florida, en route. James checked aboard SDV Team 1 on December 1, 2002, to begin his first tour.
QM2 Suh’s personal awards include the Bronze Star (with Combat “V”), the Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
James was loved by an entire community of family and friends. They knew him as a young man of exceptional character, intelligence and athleticism, packaged under a wry smile and dry sense of humour. Growing up, James was encouraged to make academics his priority; he attended gifted and advanced classes throughout his school years. In high school, he lettered for four years on the swim team and tennis team. His friends would tell you that he was the type of person who was easy to love and someone who would go out of his way to make outsiders feel included. Those who knew James knew he had immense pride in two things: his close-knit family, including 11 cousins who were like siblings, and his job as a U.S. Navy SEAL. James’ childhood desire to become a veterinarian (he was a “dog whisperer” of sorts) was overtaken later in life by his desire to become a SEAL. James exuded passion and pride in being part of an elite group of men who defied the limits of physical and mental endurance. He had always been protective of his family and friends, and became equally committed to defending and protecting his country. James’ family is comforted by the knowledge that he held a deep faith in God and an unwavering devotion to his teammates.
QM2 Suh is survived by his father; older sister, Claudia Suh Brown; and a large extended family.
HOSPITAL CORPSMAN FIRST CLASS (HM1) (SEAL) JEFFREY S. TAYLOR was born on May 18, 1975, in Beckley, West Virginia. HM1 Taylor attended Independence High School in Coal City, and enlisted in the Navy on June 20, 1994. HM1 Taylor’s duty assignments included Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois; Naval School of Health Sciences, San Diego, California; Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia; Field Medical Service School, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training, Naval Special Warfare Center, Coronado, California; SEAL Team 8, Little Creek, Virginia; USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Norfolk, Virginia; John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and SEAL Team 10, Little Creek, Virginia.
As platoon-leading petty officer, HM1 Taylor was an extremely strong leader who knew how to get the job done. He was known as a serious, yet light-hearted person. In his off-duty time, he was an avid gun collector.
Petty Officer Taylor’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal (with “V” for Valor), the Purple Heart, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (with combat “V”), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, two Navy Unit Commendation Medals, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Navy Battle “E” Ribbon, four Good Conduct Medals, the Navy Fleet Marine Force Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, two National Defense Service Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Expert Rifle Medal and the Expert Pistol Medal.
HM1 Taylor is survived by his wife, Erin; his father, John; and his mother, Carrie.
MARK WAHLBERG (Marcus Luttrell/Produced by) earned both Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for his standout work in the family boxing biopic The Fighter and Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed drama The Departed. Wahlberg has played diverse characters for visionary filmmakers such as David O. Russell, Tim Burton and Paul Thomas Anderson. His breakout role in Boogie Nights established Wahlberg as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents.
Wahlberg’s remarkable film career began with Renaissance Man, directed by Penny Marshall, and The Basketball Diaries, with Leonardo DiCaprio, followed by a star turn opposite Reese Witherspoon in the thriller Fear. He later headlined Three Kings and The Perfect Storm, with George Clooney, and The Italian Job, with Charlize Theron.
Wahlberg then starred in the football biopic Invincible, with Greg Kinnear, and Shooter, based on the best-selling novel “Point of Impact.” He reunited with The Yards director James Gray and co-star Joaquin Phoenix in We Own the Night, which he also produced. Other projects include The Happening, Max Payne, The Lovely Bones, Date Night, The Other Guys, Contraband, Ted and Broken City. In 2013, Wahlberg starred in Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain, with Dwayne Johnson, and Baltasar Kormákur’s 2 Guns, with Denzel Washington. Wahlberg recently wrapped production on Bay’s highly anticipated fourth instalment of the Transformers franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Also an accomplished film and television producer, Wahlberg has won many awards, among them a Golden Globe Award, a Peabody Award and a BAFTA Award. He has also been nominated for an Oscar®, nine Golden Globes and five Primetime Emmy Awards. In addition to Lone Survivor, Broken City, Contraband, The Fighter and We Own the Night, Wahlberg is executive producer of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. He also executive produced HBO’s Entourage, In Treatment and How to Make It in America.
A committed philanthropist, Wahlberg founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in 2001 to benefit inner-city children and teens.
TAYLOR KITSCH (Michael Murphy) was most recently seen alongside Brendan Gleeson in The Grand Seduction, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8. In June, Kitsch will be seen alongside Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts in HBO’s The Normal Heart, based on the Tony Award-winning play and directed by Ryan Murphy.
In 2012, Kitsch was seen in Oliver Stone’s Savages, which tells the daunting story of a fight against a Mexican drug cartel. Kitsch starred alongside the riveting Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro. Earlier that year, he starred in Peter Berg’s Battleship, alongside Liam Neeson, Rihanna and Alexander Skarsgård, and Disney’s live-action film John Carter, which was directed by two-time Academy Award® winner Andrew Stanton (WALL-E, Finding Nemo) and co-starred Lynn Collins.
Kitsch previously starred in Steven Silver’s The Bang Bang Club as Kevin Carter, one of four young photojournalists whose graphic images drew the world’s attention to the last stages of apartheid in South Africa. Based on a true story, this gripping drama portrays the stresses, tensions and moral dilemmas of working in situations of extreme conflict. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, screened at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2011, and was released theatrically the following day.
Lone Survivor marks Kitsch’s third film directed by Berg. In addition, Berg directed him on NBC’s critically acclaimed sports drama Friday Night Lights (FNL), in which Kitsch played the role of Tim Riggins, a troubled Texas high-school fullback who struggles to find his identity while wrestling with personal demons. The fifth and final season of the series premiered on April 15, 2011, and ran throughout the summer season.
During one of FNL’s summer hiatuses, Kitsch filmed the 2008 feature Gospel Hill, alongside Julia Stiles, Danny Glover, Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by actor/director Giancarlo Esposito, the story focuses on a bigoted former sheriff of a Southern town and a civil-rights worker whose intersecting lives are still haunted by events that took place decades before.
Kitsch, who grew up in British Columbia, Canada, began his career in 2002, when he moved to New York to study with renowned acting coach Sheila Grey. He landed his first major feature film back on familiar ground (Vancouver) the next year in David R. Ellis’ cult classic Snakes on a Plane, which starred Samuel L. Jackson.
His additional feature film credits include Renny Harlin’s horror flick The Covenant; Betty Thomas’ comedy John Tucker Must Die; and Gavin Hood’s 2009 sci-fi action-adventure X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which he starred as Gambit, alongside Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds and his John Carter co-star Collins.
EMILE HIRSCH (Danny Dietz) can next be seen in the TV miniseries Bonnie & Clyde as Clyde Barrow, starring opposite William Hurt, as Frank Hamer, and Holliday Grainger, as Bonnie Parker. The miniseries is directed by Bruce Beresford and will air on Lifetime, A&E and History.
Hirsch, a Screen Actors Guild Award nominee, starred alongside Paul Rudd in David Gordon Green’s offbeat comedy Prince Avalanche, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win an award for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival. He can also be seen in Sergio Castellitto’s romantic comedy Twice Born, opposite Penélope Cruz. The film, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, is scheduled for release on December 6. In addition, Hirsch starred alongside Stephen Dorff and Dakota Fanning in Alan and Gabe Polsky’s The Motel Life, which won the Audience Award at the 2012 Rome Film Festival.
After his breakthrough performance in Into the Wild, Hirsch starred in Milk, opposite Sean Penn, and Speed Racer, for which he earned a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure.
Additional film credits for Hirsch include Oliver Stone’s Savages, Nick Cassavetes’ Alpha Dog, Peter Care’s The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and Luke Greenfield’s The Girl Next Door.
BEN FOSTER (Matt “Axe” Axelson) was most recently seen in David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, alongside Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, and John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings, with Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan and Michael C. Hall. The Village Voice noted about both performances that “Foster dazzled as the young William Burroughs on the edges of the Beat true-crime tale Darlings, then impressed even more as a kindly deputy trying to keep the peace in Saints, a performance that evokes the young Gene Hackman in its understated masculine authority.” In an Indiwire survey of critics, Foster’s work in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was ranked the Best Supporting Performance of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Earlier this year, Foster made his Broadway debut opposite Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge in a revival of Lyle Kessler’s play Orphans.
In 2009, Foster starred opposite Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton in Oren Moverman’s The Messenger. The film, a moving portrayal of one soldier’s journey to reassimilate after his turn in Iraq, was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay and the Peace Film Award at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. It also won the Grand Special Prize for Best Film at the 2009 Deauville Film Festival. Foster reteamed with Moverman in 2011 to co-star in and produce Rampart, which tells the story of a veteran police officer who gets caught up in a corruption scandal. Foster portrays a homeless man at the centre of the scandal.
In 2007, his portrayal of outlaw and a cold-blooded killer Charlie Prince in James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma, earned Foster rave reviews. Of his performance, Todd McCarthy of Variety noted that Foster “puts the kind of indelible imprint on this juicy role that, in earlier eras, allowed such thesps as Lee Marvin, Richard Boone, Dan Duryea, James Coburn, Jack Palance, Lee Van Cleef, Strother Martin and others to immortalize themselves in the annals of Western villainy. He is a mad delight to watch.” The cast received a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Foster’s additional credits include Fernando Meirelles’ 360, Baltasar Kormákur’s Contraband, Braden King’s Here, Simon West’s The Mechanic, Nick Cassavetes’ Alpha Dog, Brett Ratner’s blockbuster X-Men: The Last Stand, David Slade’s 30 Days of Night, Florent-Emilio Siri’s Hostage and Barry Levinson’s Liberty Heights, which marked his film debut.
On the small screen, Foster portrayed Russell Corwin for three seasons on HBO’s critically acclaimed drama Six Feet Under, which won the 2004 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. He was also a part of the Primetime Emmy-nominated HBO telefilm The Laramie Project. Foster appeared on several episodes of the cult hit Freaks and Geeks as the mentally handicapped student Eli, and Foster’s lead performance in Showtime’s Bang Bang You’re Dead garnered him a Daytime Emmy Award.
Foster is currently shooting as the lead in Stephen Frears’ biopic of Lance Armstrong, for Working Title Films.
ALI SULIMAN (Gulab) made his American movie debut with a starring role in Peter Berg’s The Kingdom, opposite Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper. Suliman then played the role of Omar Sadiki in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Body of Lies, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. More recently, Suliman played the lead role of Amin in Ziad Doueiri’s feature The Attack, which won a top prize at the 2012 San Sebastián International Film Festival and made its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.
Suliman came to international attention in 2005’s award-winning feature Paradise Now, playing the role of Khaled, one of two boyhood friends recruited for a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in what may be the last two days of his life. The landmark film, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, collected an Academy Award® nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, the first Palestinian movie ever to earn that distinction. The film also won a Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award, National Board of Review Award, the Blue Angel Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival and the VFCC Award from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle.
Suliman has also appeared in a half-dozen other big-screen productions, including The Syrian Bride, The Barbecue People, The Diary of a Male Prostitute, The Check Point, The Border and Elia Suleiman’s drama Chronicle of a Disappearance, which won the Luigi De Laurentiis Award at the Venice International Film Festival. His television work includes The Battle of Jerusalem, Puzzle, Hafuch and the pilot episode of Showtime’s Homeland.
The Nazareth, Israel, native began his career in theater, logging roles in plays from some of the world’s most distinguished playwrights including Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie), Arthur Miller (A View from the Bridge), Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot), Oscar Wilde (Salome) and William Shakespeare (The Tempest).
Suliman’s additional stage credits include Victor Lanou’s Can Opener; Ach Boom Trach, at the Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa, for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Haifa International Children’s Theater Festival; and Martin Crug’s Eyes Can See, Antar, Missing and The Heart’s Key, staged by the Arab-Hebrew Theatre of Jaffa; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Nathan the Wise; Heiner Müller’s The Mission; the original production of The Freedom Trap at the Acco Festival in Israel; and Slawomir Mrozeck’s Out at Sea.
ALEXANDER LUDWIG (Shane Patton) was most recently seen in the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups 2. In 2012, Ludwig appeared in the box-office smash-hit The Hunger Games in the role of Cato. He previously starred in Walt Disney Pictures’ hugely successful Race to Witch Mountain, opposite Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino. On the small screen, Ludwig can next be seen as Bjorn Lothbrok on the History Channel’s series Vikings, and as Abigail Breslin’s co-star and nemesis in the film Final Girl. He recently wrapped production on Sony Pictures’ When the Game Stands Tall, opposite Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern and Michael Chiklis. The film is set to be released in September 2014.
Ludwig grew up in Vancouver, Canada. After beginning his acting career at age nine with commercial and television parts, he landed the starring role of Will Stanton in 20th Century Fox’s 2007 action-adventure The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising. When he is not working, Ludwig is a student at the University of Southern California, studying film, theater and entrepreneurship. In addition to acting and filmmaking, he is a gifted musician and is in discussions to record his original material. In his free time, Ludwig competes in extreme freestyle skiing on Whistler
Mountain and surfs the coast of California.
Already well-known to audiences in his native Australia, ERIC BANA (Erik Kristensen) was first introduced to the worldwide film community with his portrayal of the real-life (and larger-than-life) crime figure Mark “Chopper” Read in Andrew Dominik’s Chopper, which had its U.S. premiere at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. His performance in the title role earned him awards for Best Actor from the Film Critics Circle of Australia and Australian Film Institute.
Bana subsequently starred in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down and Australian writer/director Bill Bennett’s comedy The Nugget. Bana next played Bruce Banner in Ang Lee’s Hulk; portrayed Hector, the prince of Troy, in Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy; voiced a character in Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich’s Academy Award®-winning animated blockbuster Finding Nemo; and starred in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed Munich.
Bana also starred in Curtis Hanson’s Lucky You, opposite Drew Barrymore and Robert Downey, Jr.; Justin Chadwick’s The Other Boleyn Girl, alongside Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson; and Robert Schwentke’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, with Rachel McAdams.
Bana’s additional film credits include the Australian feature Romulus, My Father, directed by Richard Roxburgh, for which he won his second Australian Film Institute Award for Best Lead Actor; Judd Apatow’s Funny People, with Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann; Stefan Ruzowitzky’s Deadfall, alongside Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek; and J.J. Abrams’ hit Star Trek, as the villainous Nero.
Bana most recently starred in John Crowley’s Closed Circuit, opposite Rebecca Hall, for Focus Features. Bana’s company Pick Up Truck Productions acquired the Australian distribution rights to Closed Circuit and will release the film there later this year along with director/producer Robert Connolly’s CinemaPlus. He was previously seen in Joe Wright’s adventure thriller Hanna, opposite Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett, also for Focus Features. He will next be seen in Scott Derrickson’s paranormal thriller Beware the Night, with Edgar Ramirez and Olivia Munn.
Bana’s directorial debut, the dramatic documentary feature Love the Beast, had its U.S. premiere at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Bana appears in the film with Jay Leo, Dr. Phil and Jeremy Clarkson, among others. Love the Beast explores the meaning of Bana’s 25-year-long (and counting) relationship with his first car, and the importance of the bonds that form through a common passion.
PETER BERG (Written by/Directed by/Produced by) has enjoyed success as a writer, director, producer and actor. Berg made his feature film directorial debut (from his own original screenplay) on the 1998 cult favorite Very Bad Things, which starred Cameron Diaz, John Favreau and Christian Slater and earned kudos at the Deauville and San Sebastian film festivals. He went on to direct the actioner The Rundown, which starred Dwayne Johnson and Christopher Walken, and returned to the action genre with the war drama The Kingdom, which starred Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Chris Cooper. In 2008, he directed the action hit Hancock, which starred Will Smith in the title role. He directed Battleship, which hit theatres worldwide in 2012. In 2007, Berg executive produced the offbeat independent comedy Lars and the Real Girl, which starred Ryan Gosling.
Berg is known for his fierce portrait of high school football in the 2004 film adaptation of H.G. Bissinger’s blistering best-seller “Friday Night Lights,” which starred Billy Bob Thornton. The film’s success, both in theatres and on DVD, spawned the acclaimed television series of the same name, which aired for five seasons and garnered multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominations and wins. In addition to serving as the series’ executive producer, Berg directed several episodes of the show, including the 2006 pilot, for which he earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. As one of the series’ writers, he also shared a Writers Guild of America Award nomination for Best New Series.
Berg was the creator/executive producer of the critically acclaimed HBO documentary series On Freddie Roach. He executive produced the police procedural drama Prime Suspect, which starred Maria Bello, and the medical drama series Trauma, both for NBC. Berg previously created and executive produced the ABC drama series Wonderland, for which he also wrote and directed episodes. He got his start as a writer and director on David E. Kelley’s critically acclaimed series Chicago Hope, on which he starred for three seasons as the brash, hockey-playing surgeon, Dr. Billy Kronk.
As an actor, Berg’s film work includes roles in Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs, with Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise; Smokin’ Aces, for director Joe Carnahan; and Michael Mann’s Collateral, with Cruise and Foxx. Berg’s additional film acting credits include Cop Land, The Great White Hype, John Dahl’s The Last Seduction, A Midnight Clear and Late for Dinner.
Berg, a New York native (and son of a naval historian) is developing several projects under his Film 44 banner. In December, HBO will premiere Berg’s sports documentary series State of Play, which he executive produced and will serve as moderator for each episode’s panel discussion. Next, Berg will executive produce and direct the pilot for the upcoming HBO series The Leftovers, starring Justin Theroux and Liv Tyler.
MARCUS LUTTRELL’s (Based on the Book by) “Lone Survivor,” The New York Times No. 1 best-seller, tells the harrowing story of four Navy SEALs who, in 2005, journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Operation Red Wings. An unparalleled motivational story of survival, the book is also a moving tribute to the friends and teammates who did not make it off the mountain. A powerful testament to the courage, integrity, patriotism and community that forged these American heroes, “Lone Survivor” is an incredible account of teamwork, fortitude and modern warfare.
Operation Red Wings’ mission was to gather intelligence on a Taliban leader with ties to Osama bin Laden. When the team encountered several goat herders, the SEALs questioned them and, after a debate about the rules of engagement, let them go. Shortly thereafter, a large Taliban force ambushed the four-man team on a remote ridge. Luttrell and his teammates valiantly fought for hours, displaying characteristic SEAL determination and bravery, refusing to retreat from the fight despite being heavily outnumbered. Hours later, after Luttrell had watched all three friends die—and literally had been blown off the mountain by a rocket-propelled grenade—a rescue helicopter, carrying 16 special operation forces, was shot down, killing all on-board.
His face shredded, nose broken, rotator cuff torn, three vertebrae cracked, his body riddled with shrapnel and unable to stand, Luttrell began to crawl through the mountains in search of shelter. Help arrived by way of the Afghan villagers of Sabray. They took Luttrell in, cleaned his wounds and, honouring their tribe’s custom, protected him from the Taliban at the risk of their own lives. As the Taliban circled the village and the threats intensified, the village elder sought help from the nearest Marine Corps outpost. Five nights after the nightmare began, Luttrell was rescued.
In this emotionally raw account, Luttrell honors the memories of all those who died, sharing with us the incredible bravery, courage and honour of these extraordinary warriors. He holds up their lives as examples of the Navy SEAL code: “I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time.”
When speaking in-person, Luttrell describes the rigors of SEAL training and what it takes to join America’s elite fighting force, to the battle on the mountain, his family’s experience of community support and generosity, and back to his own incredible story of survival and grace.
In powerful narrative, he weaves a rich account of courage and sacrifice, honour and patriotism, community and destiny that audiences find both wrenching and life-affirming. In his new best-selling book “Service: A Navy SEAL at War,” Luttrell turns his focus from his own experiences as a combat-trained Navy SEAL to the nature of service on America’s battlefields and the soldiers who give their lives to defend their nation and each other.
Luttrell joined the U.S. Navy in March 1999 and became a combat-trained SEAL in January 2002. After serving in Iraq for two years, he was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2005. As a SEAL, Luttrell was trained in weapons, demolition and unarmed combat. He also served as platoon medic.
After recuperating from Operation Red Wings, he redeployed to Iraq for another tour. President George W. Bush awarded him the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006. Then, in the spring of 2007, Petty Officer First Class Luttrell retired. To honour his lost comrades from Operation Red Wings, Luttrell established the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010. It is dedicated to honouring and remembering American warriors by providing unique educational, rehabilitation, recovery and wellness opportunities to U.S. Armed Forces service members and their families.
In addition to co-writing The New York Times No. 1 nonfiction best-seller “Lone Survivor,” PATRICK ROBINSON (Based on the Book by) is the author of several international best-selling U.S. Navy–based novels, including “Intercept,” “Diamondhead,” “To the Death” and “The Delta Solution,” as well as several nonfiction best-sellers, including The New York Times best-seller “A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers” and the international bestseller “One Hundred Days.”
Robinson is also the author of several thrillers featuring the U.S. Navy, including “Nimitz Class,” “Kilo Class,” “Barracuda 945,” “Scimitar SL-2,” “U.S.S. Seawolf” and “The Shark Mutiny.”
Robinson lives in Ireland but spends his summers in Cape Cod.
SARAH AUBREY (Produced by) is partnered with Peter Berg in their production company, Film 44. Together they have produced film and television projects, including the acclaimed film and television series Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom, Battleship, On Freddie Roach, the upcoming HBO series State of Play and The Leftovers.
The Austin, Texas, native and former entertainment lawyer (who earned her law degree at the University of Texas after graduating from Princeton University) also produced Terry Zwigoff’s irreverent hit comedy Bad Santa, which starred Billy Bob Thornton and marked her first motion picture producing credit. She also served in a similar capacity on the original romantic comedy-drama Lars and the Real Girl, which starred Ryan Gosling and Patricia Clarkson.
As one of the entertainment industry’s most prolific film producers, RANDALL EMMETT (Produced by) has produced more than 50 feature films since his start as Mark Wahlberg’s assistant in the 1990s. Combining financial acumen with an incisive creative sensibility,
Emmett is partner and co-founder alongside GEORGE FURLA (Executive Producer) of Emmett/Furla Films, a production company dedicated to the development, financing and production of top-tier filmed entertainment for the theatrical marketplace with its own equity fund. Emmett is also founder and partner of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s production company, Cheetah Vision Films.
In the past decade, Emmett’s ability to package films with well-known actors and filmmakers has resulted in major box-office success—netting more than $250 million at the U.S. box office alone. Additionally, he has forged strong partnerships with major Hollywood studios to finance and distribute commercial films to audiences both domestically and internationally. Aside from high-concept films, Emmett has produced smaller, critically acclaimed indie fare such as Narc and Wonderland. These films, and others, have played at acclaimed film festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Venice and Telluride. Many have also been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
In the past year, Emmett completed Baltasar Kormákur’s 2 Guns, which starred Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg; Empire State, which was written by Adam Mazer, directed by Dito Montiel and starred Liam Hemsworth, Dwayne Johnson and Emma Roberts; Escape Plan, which was written by Miles Chapman, directed by Mikael Håfström and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone; and The Frozen Ground, which was written and directed by Scott Walker and starred Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens and 50 Cent.
Most recently, Emmett signed on to finance and produce Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated Silence; as well as Expiration, starring Bruce Willis. Other projects he is set to finance and produce include Everest, for Universal Pictures and Working Title Films, and The Last Witch Hunter, for Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate, starring Vin Diesel.
Emmett/Furla’s recently released films include End of Watch, written and directed by David Ayer, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña; Lay the Favorite, directed by two-time Oscar®-nominated Stephen Frears, which starred Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rebecca Hall and Vince Vaughn; and Freelancers, which starred Robert De Niro, 50 Cent and Forest Whitaker.
Emmett/Furla’s past films include Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Righteous Kill, 88 Minutes, King of California, 16 Blocks and The Contract.
Born and raised in Miami, Emmett graduated from the respected performing arts high school, New World School of Arts. As an undergraduate, he attended the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City. Presently, he speaks at various industry conferences and mentors up-and-coming filmmakers at UCLA’s school of continuing education.
Emmett lives in Los Angeles with his family.
NORTON HERRICK (Produced by) is chairman and CEO of The Herrick Company, Inc., one of the nation’s most successful real estate investment firms. Several years ago, the company formed Herrick Entertainment and began its foray into the financing and production of major motion pictures with My One and Only, which starred Renée Zellweger and Kevin Bacon. Herrick Entertainment’s coming-of-age film, Very Good Girls, was written and directed by Naomi Foner. The film starred Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen and Demi Moore, and premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Most recently, Herrick Entertainment produced 2 Guns, which starred Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Herrick Entertainment is currently in postproduction on the horror-thriller Nightlight.
Other films Herrick produced include Lee Tamahori’s The Devil’s Double, which featured Dominic Cooper’s chilling interpretation of Saddam Hussein’s son and his body double; Vanishing on 7th Street, which starred Hayden Christensen; Madison, which starred Jim Caviezel; and The Moth Diaries, directed by Mary Harron.
Herrick was the producer of the Las Vegas stage show Hairspray, which was performed at the Luxor hotel; and the theater adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” Herrick produced the Broadway revivals of Exit the King, which starred Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon; Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, which starred Brian Dennehy and Carla Gugino; American Buffalo; Promises, Promises, which starred Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes; Hair; and Pippin, for which Herrick won Tony Awards for each show for Best Revival of a Musical. Herrick produced Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5: The Musical; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson; and the currently running Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. He is an investor in the Broadway revival and touring show of West Side Story.
Announced in early 2013, HerrickTV is developing, producing and deficit financing both scripted and unscripted programming, including adaptions of international formats.
With offices in Boca Raton, Florida; Cedar Knolls, New Jersey; New Hampshire and Norwalk, Connecticut, The Herrick Company, under Herrick’s direction, has become a major force in the real estate marketplace over the last 45 years with income property transactions totalling more than $5 billion. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Herrick managed, purchased and sold hundreds of apartment complexes throughout the eastern United States. Today, he is considered a foremost authority on net lease real estate transacting and financing, as well as the construction, structuring and financing of net lease and sale-leaseback transactions that include hospitals and power plants.
An affiliate of The Herrick Company has been involved with the financing, construction and ownership of the world’s largest, and the first in the United States, electric producing power plants, which utilize biomass (turkey manure) to generate electricity. The Herrick Company has been involved in transactions involving plants and manufacturing facilities that produce ethanol and utilize biomass for building materials.
He has earned a reputation as one of the fastest builders, acquisition decision makers and closers in the country.
Another affiliate of The Herrick Company has investments in thoroughbred horse racing, which reached new heights in 2011 when Animal Kingdom, trained by Graham Motion, won the Kentucky Derby and in 2013, won the $10 million World Cup in Dubai. Herrick is a long-time supporter of progressive and humanitarian causes. He has served on the board of directors of the People For the American Way, the advisory board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and the advisory committee of the National Multi Housing Council. Herrick is the recipient, along with former President Ronald Reagan and Isaac Stern, of the Jerusalem 3000 Award, presented by Prime Minister Shimon Peres. He is the recipient of the President’s Medal from the University of Miami, which was presented by its president, Donna E. Shalala, and the Guardian Award from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
BARRY SPIKINGS (Produced by) won an Oscar® for producing The Deer Hunter, the seminal film that collected five Academy Awards®. Marcus Luttrell watched it regularly with his SEAL buddies, which led to him approaching Spikings to produce Lone Survivor.
Spikings served as chairman and CEO of EMI Film and Theater Corporation— Europe’s largest entertainment group. He was chairman of Shepperton Studios and Elstree Studios, where he authorized construction of a new soundstage to house George Lucas’ Star Wars movies.
Spikings has produced, financed or invested in several films, including The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, The Elephant Man, Tender Mercies, The Deep, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet and Beyond Rangoon. As president of Nelson Entertainment, Spikings provided majority financing for Castle Rock films, including When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers and Misery.
Born in Boston, England, Spikings was honoured in the presence of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth as one of the 300 individuals who had shaped the U.K. during the 20th century.
Spikings was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from the University of Lincoln.
Raised in Brooklyn Heights, New York, AKIVA GOLDSMAN (Produced by) received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and studied fiction writing at New York University.
His feature writing credits include Silent Fall, The Client, Batman Forever, A Time to Kill, Practical Magic, I, Robot, Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and A Beautiful Mind, for which he won an Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award and Writers Guild of America Award.
Under his Weed Road Pictures banner at Warner Bros. Pictures, Goldsman has produced Deep Blue Sea, Lost in Space, Starsky & Hutch, Constantine, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I Am Legend, Hancock and Fair Game. Goldsman served as executive producer on Paranormal Activity 2, 3 and 4. He also worked as a consulting producer on the television show Fringe, which he directed and co-wrote episodes for. His work on Fringe garnered him a Saturn Award and a Hugo Award nomination.
Currently, Goldsman is in postproduction on his feature directorial debut Winter’s Tale, which filmed last winter in New York City and will be released in February 2014. Goldsman wrote the script based on Mark Helprin’s novel of the same name. The film stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, Will Smith and Russell Crowe.
STEPHEN LEVINSON (Produced by) is an American film and television producer. Levinson is the recipient of a Producers Guild of America Award, a BAFTA Award, two Peabody Awards and a Golden Globe Award. He has been Mark Wahlberg’s long-time manager and producing partner. Together, they have executive produced such acclaimed HBO television series as Entourage, In Treatment, How to Make It in America and Boardwalk Empire, as well as the films Contraband and Broken City.
Levinson grew up in Manhasset Hills, New York, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University. He moved to Los Angeles in 1991 to begin a career in entertainment, having previously worked as an accountant and founded his own clothing company.
His early jobs in Hollywood included mail-room positions at InterTalent (which became United Talent Agency). He founded Leverage Management in 1996 to help a select group of accomplished artists further develop their careers. As Leverage clients found more and more success, Levinson was able to grow the production side of the company, which took off in 2004 with the premiere of Entourage. The show was partly inspired by the real life of Wahlberg.
Levinson is also the owner and creator of WhoRepresents.com, an Internet database of talent representatives in the fields of film, television, music, pro sports and media. Launched as a free site in 2000, WhoRepresents.com is now one of the most popular subscription-based services of its kind, used by professionals in all areas of media and entertainment. In 2010, Levinson launched TheQuickList.net, a site custom designed for viewing, creating and sharing casting ideas online.
Born in Baku, Russia, VITALY GRIGORIANTS (Produced by) began his foray into film financing in 2011, when he entered into a joint venture with Envision Entertainment Corporation for the purpose of investing in U.S.-produced feature films.
In addition to Lone Survivor, this venture has invested more than $100 million in the production of films, including 2 Guns, Escape Plan and the upcoming And So It Goes.
In 2000, Grigoriants became chairman of the Vitoil Corporation, a California real estate development company with assets exceeding $400 million and consisting of nine unique properties in Las Vegas, San Jose, Malibu, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since then, he has located and supervised the acquisition of more than 13,900 acres of land in Hawaii and has plans to build and develop more than 10,000 single family homes and condos; supervised the acquisition and planned development of 37 residential lots for single-family homes in Las Vegas; and located and supervised the acquisition of 2,400 acres of beachfront property on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 1991, Grigoriants founded Arch Ltd., which specializes in the extraction and refining of crude oil, the trading of crude oil and other petroleum products, as well as the distribution of petroleum products throughout the company’s own distribution network within Ukraine.
Over the last 15 years, Grigoriants has formed more than 30 subsidiary companies, all within the Arch Ltd. organization, to assist in the company’s quest to continue its tremendous growth. Just a few of the many assets of these subsidiaries include two refineries, more than 550 retail and wholesale petrol stations, and one of the largest privately owned financial institutions within Ukraine, known as Ukrainian Industrial Bank, with more than 300 branches.
With the success of Arch Ltd.’s petroleum business, Grigoriants has expanded into the lucrative real estate market. In addition to investing in the film industry, Grigoriants has involved Arch Ltd. in real estate development projects in some of the most prestigious residential and commercial areas in Moscow. These developments range from large shopping centers and luxurious office buildings to high-rise residential condominium complexes and large housing developments in the suburbs. One of Grigoriants’ many assets is Arch Ltd.’s corporate headquarters, a $68 million office building in one of the most prestigious areas of central Moscow.
In July 2004, for his outstanding services for the prosperity of Armenia, Grigoriants was decorated with the St. Grigor Lusavorich Order by the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, at the sacred location of the Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia. In addition to his many contributions to the people of Armenia, Grigoriants financed the construction of an Armenian Orthodox cathedral in Moscow.
Currently, Grigoriants employs more than 23,000 people in his many companies and maintains an impeccable reputation with all of his customers and clients, which include some of the world’s largest financial institutions, such as BNP Paribas, ING and AMRO Bank.
In his spare time, Grigoriants enjoys skiing and playing tennis.
MARK DAMON (Executive Produced by) is a leading independent feature film producer credited with having invented the foreign sales business, as we know it today.
Considered one of the world’s leading authorities on international distribution, Mr. Damon has played a successful role in various facets of the entertainment industry for over 50 years. Mr. Damon has produced or executive produced over 70 films, and his films have received 10 Oscar nominations including the 2005 Oscar winner, Monster, starring Charlize Theron, the critically acclaimed, multi-Oscar nominated World War II drama, Das Boot, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and The NeverEnding Story, also directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Other acclaimed films include The Upside of Anger, starring Oscar nominee Joan Allen and Kevin Costner; 9 1/2 Weeks, directed by Adrian Lyne; 8 Million Ways to Die, directed by Hal Ashby; Short Circuit, directed by John Badham; High Spirits directed by Neil Jordan; Choirboys directed by Robert Aldrich; The Lost Boys, directed by Joel Schumacher; Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, directed by Stephen Sommers; The Musketeer directed by Peter Hyams; Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, also directed by Peter Hyams, and starring Michael Douglas.
Over the past 25 years, Mark Damon’s productions have grossed over $2 billion in theatrical box office worldwide. Mr. Damon executive produced the recent Universal Pictures release 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. He is currently producing the comedy And So It Goes…, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton and directed by Rob Reiner and the Nei lBogart biopic Spinning Gold to be directed by Spike Lee and starring Justin Timberlake who also produces the film alongside Mr. Damon and Academy Award nominated Laurence Mark (DREAMGIRLS, JERRY MAGUIRE) and Boardwalk Entertainment’s Timothy Scott Bogart and Gary A. Randall.
Mr. Damon has been directly involved in the international licensing of over 300 feature length pictures, including such noteworthy box-office titles as the James Bond film Never Say Never Again, directed by Irvin Kershner and starring Sean Connery; Prizzi’s Honor, direc ted by John Houston and featuring Jack Nicholson and Angelica Houston; Once Upon A Time In America, directed by Sergio Leone and featuring Robert De Niro and James Wood; Cotton Club, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featuring Richard Gere; and The Final Countdown, starring Kirk Douglas.
Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Foresight Unlimited, a company he founded in October of 2004. Mr. Damon is one of the original founding members of AFMA and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Independent Film and Television Alliance. His biography, From Cowboy To Mogul To Monster, was published in May 2008, chronicling his 50 years in the entertainment industry. Mark received his M.B.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles and resides with his wife in Beverly Hills.
STEPAN MARTIROSYAN (Executive Produced by) was born in Armenia in 1959, moved to Russia in 1977 to study business and international finance at Moscow University. After graduating with honors in 1981, Stepan accepted a job at one of Russia’s most prestigious law firms where he was tasked with financially restructuring the company and doubled their profit margin within two years, a feat he repeated several times at other legal firms over the ensuing years.
Riding his newly minted reputation as a “financial guru” but desperate for a change of scenery, in 1989 Stefan accepted a job as Chief Financial Officer for one of Russia’s fastest rising oil companies where he oversaw their expansion of drilling and production of oil and gas in multiple new territories including Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Iran and Iraq.
In 1989, while flirting with the prospect of retirement after 20 years working in the oil business, Stepan opted instead to follow his childhood dream of making movies in Hollywood. Teaming with old friend and fellow movie lover, Stepan became partner and CFO of Envision Entertainment.
REMINGTON CHASE (Executive produced by) Mr. Remington Chase, CEO & President of Envision Entertainment, a onetime child actor from Hollywood, CA., grew up in and around the film business, becoming friends with several legends such as Gregory Peck, George C. Scott and Shelley Winters.
Pressured by his parents into focusing on business and International Finance while attending college at UCLA and later USC, Remington still found time to study and =try his hand at every aspect of filmmaking. Intent on understanding the business from the ground up, he gladly accepting any and every position in every university production available, from production assistant to line producer, from production designer to best boy to grip, to even trying his hand at acting in front of the camera.
Chase never abandoned his love and interest of films and the entertainment industry, even while working for over 20 years as an international financier in the petroleum, ship building and commercial real estate industries where he worked out of offices in both London and Moscow. Then, in 2010, while dining and lamenting the collapse of the US real estate market with old friends, which included screen legend Jane Russell and director Richard Rush, it was suggested he return back to his first love, the film business.
After pondering the near ridiculousness of the idea, Chase finally decided to broach the subject with Stepan Martirosyan, his partner of over 20 years in the Russian petroleum industry as well as numerous residential and commercial real estate developments around the globe, from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands to Moscow and London. To his surprise, Stepan, also a lifelong film fan, loved the idea and jumped on board with both feet. Within weeks, Envision Entertainment was born and only a few weeks after that, Envision’s first film was in pre-production.
TAMARA BIRKEMOE (Executive produced by) is the President and Chief Operating Officer of independent feature film production company Foresight Unlimited where she oversees the acquisition, development, sales, and production of all feature films.
Tamara is an executive producer of the feature film 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, which was released this past year through Universal Pictures. Tamara is currently executive producing the upcoming comedy And So It Goes…, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton and directed by Rob Reiner and the Neil Bogart biopic Spinning Gold to be directed by Spike Lee and starring Justin Timberlake.
She previously executive produced The Ledge, starring Charlie Hunnam and Liv Tyler and Flypaper starring Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd. She has also co-produced Beyond A Reasonable Doubt starring Michael Douglas and Captivity starring Elisha Cuthbert.
Tamara was integral in the development and sales of numerous other projects including Oscar winner Monster, starring Charlize Theron; Running Scared, starring Paul Walker; Havoc, starring Anne Hathaway and The Upside of Anger, starring Joan Allen and Kevin Costner. In addition, she was an associate producer on Lovewrecked, It’s Alive, and Universal Soldier: Regeneration.
TOBIAS SCHLIESSLER, ASC (Director of Photography) reunites with director Peter Berg after their collaboration on four previous projects: the action hit The Rundown, the fierce sports drama Friday Night Lights, the box-office smash Hancock, with Will Smith, and the sea adventure Battleship. A German native, Schliessler studied filmmaking at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. He began his career in Canada, shooting documentaries such as Close to Home, and then segued into music videos, independent features, television movies and commercials. Schliessler relocated to Los Angeles in 1997, after he had firmly established his career, particularly in the commercial and telefilm arenas.
Schliessler was honored in consecutive years by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) for his cinematography on two celebrated TV spots: in 2001 for Lincoln Financial’s 90-second spot “Doctor” and in 2000 for Audi’s 30-second “Wake-Up” commercial. Both are now part of the permanent archives of The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Department of Film and Video in New York City.
In addition to his commercial work (for such companies as Lexus, Ford, AOL and AT&T) and music video photography (for such artists as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera), Schliessler has also compiled a lengthy list of credits on both the motion picture and television screens, which include Tony Scott’s 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3; Bill Condon’s rousing big-screen musical Dreamgirls, which earned eight Academy Award® nominations (and two wins) upon its release in 2008; and the recent thriller The Fifth Estate, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl.
His other feature credits include Bait, The Guilty, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh and Killer. His television work includes such telefilms as Legalese, The Long Way Home, Outrage, The Escape, The Limbic Region and Joseph Sargent’s Mandela and de Klerk, among several other titles.
A native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, TOM DUFFIELD (Production Designer) traveled to San Luis Obispo, to attend California Polytechnic State University’s School of Architecture. After graduating and working in architecture, Duffield soon discovered that film design and art direction were personally more rewarding, having learned about the business as a tour guide at Universal Studios. Making his way up through the art department ranks on classic films like Blade Runner, he teamed up with production designer Bo Welch in 1986. As art director, Duffield collaborated with Welch on 15 films, three of which (A Little Princess, Men in Black and The Birdcage) were nominated for Academy Awards® in art direction. Other films art directed by Duffield during that period included The Lost Boys, Beetlejuice, The Accidental Tourist, Ghostbusters II, Edward Scissorhands, Joe Versus the Volcano, Grand Canyon, Batman Returns, Wolf, Primary Colors and Wild Wild West.
His first film as production designer was Tim Burton’s critically acclaimed biopic Ed Wood. Duffield quickly developed a touch for the fine art of black-and-white filmmaking. Since then, he designed Gore Verbinski’s hit thriller The Ring, narrowly missing a close encounter with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Then it was on to Peter Berg’s action/comedy The Rundown, again having a close call with disaster in the jungles of Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian Amazon. For that film, he created a Brazilian jungle mining town in Los Angeles. Duffield then reunited with Verbinski for The Weather Man, using Chicago in winter as a character in the film. He reteamed with Peter Berg for The Kingdom, re-creating downtown Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in Mesa, Arizona. He partnered with director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) to design the pilot Hound Dogs for Warner Bros. and TNT, turning the entire stadium of the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs into a fictional stadium in Nashville. At the end of 2012, Duffield designed Allen Hughes’ Broken City, which starred Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Duffield has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1983 after appearing in Heart Like a Wheel, in which he played drag racer Shirley Muldowney’s crew chief, opposite Bonnie Bedelia and Anthony Edwards. He has also been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for nearly 20 years and is a member of the Designers Branch Executive Committee.
Primetime Emmy Award-winning costume designer AMY STOFSKY (Costume Designer) splits her creative efforts between films and high-profile television series. Stofsky was nominated for a Costume Designers Guild Award for her work on David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr.
As a costume supervisor, Stofsky’s credits include The Pentagon Wars, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award, Air Force One and In the Line of Fire. Stofsky’s costume design work for the small screen was seen on such series as Prime Suspect, Weeds and Medium.
COLBY PARKER, JR. (Editor) continues his long-time collaboration with filmmaker Peter Berg on Lone Survivor, which marks their eighth project together. After working with Berg on his original ABC television series Wonderland, he served as an additional editor on the action hit The Rundown and an editor on Friday Night Lights and The Kingdom. The pair first worked together on a music video produced in conjunction with Berg’s big-screen directorial debut, the 1998 black comedy Very Bad Things. Their professional partnership continued on Berg’s 2009 megahit, Hancock, and 2012 sea adventure, Battleship.
Parker grew up in Brooklyn and studied film at SUNY New Paltz. He began his professional career editing sports segments for WPIX-TV in New York before branching out on his own. He opened his own music video and commercial editing facility, where he cut more than 100 videos for such musical artists as Missy Elliott, Green Day, P. Diddy and Alien Ant Farm.
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY (Music by) formed in February 1999, when three long-time friends from Midland, Texas, were in a record store in Austin, Texas, and saw a flyer that said “Wanted: Sad, triumphant rock band.” As it happened, that was exactly what the three Midlanders wanted as well. A drummer from Illinois had just moved to Austin, and had put up the flyer. The four met up the next day and started playing. They flirted with singing at the very beginning, but quickly settled into a standard rock setup— two guitars, a bass guitar and drums, or sometimes three guitars and drums.
Over the coming months, they picked a band name (Breaker Morant, named after the movie), then picked a better band name (named after fireworks), then wrote and recorded an album. That album was called “How Strange, Innocence,” and they self released a few hundred copies on CD-R in January 2000. While it was largely out of tune, it set the tone for what the band would do over the course of the next 14 years, all with the same founding members. They have referred to their often-lengthy-narrative instrumentals as “cathartic mini-symphonies.”
A friend of theirs sent a recording of one of their live shows to Temporary Residence (a record label that was based in Baltimore at that time), and the label offered to put out albums for the band. The band agreed. A year later, they put out a second album, “Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever”. They began to tour often, all over the world. In 2003, they released “The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place” and in 2007, they put out “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone.” Their most recent album was 2011’s “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.”
They also put out an EP called “The Rescue” in 2005, and recorded the score for Universal Pictures’ Friday Night Lights in 2004. Most recently, they created the score for Magnolia Pictures’ Prince Avalanche.
STEVE JABLONSKY (Music by) has composed the music for many of Hollywood’s blockbuster films. Jablonsky wrote the score for director Michael Bay’s 2007 film Transformers, the hit sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and the third installment of the blockbuster franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He also composed the music for Bay’s 2005 futuristic thriller The Island, and also worked with Bay’s Platinum Dunes on the original music for the horror remakes A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Hitcher, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror. In addition, Jablonsky created the original score for the Japanese anime film Steamboy, directed by legendary filmmaker Katsuhiro Otomo, the man behind Akira.
More recently, Jablonsky wrote the scores for Bay’s Pain & Gain, Peter Berg’s sci-fi action-adventure Battleship and Ruben Fleischer’s action-crime Gangster Squad, which starred Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling.
Jablonsky most recently composed the music for the epic adventure Ender’s Game, which starred Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld and was written and directed by Gavin Hood.
On television, Jablonsky composed music for the hit ABC series Desperate Housewives. He also composed the score for the award-winning telefilm Live from Baghdad, as well as Threat Matrix and ESPN’s Sports Century: The Century’s Greatest Athletes.
Jablonsky developed his career as a film composer, collaborating with such noted composers as Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson-Williams. He has written additional music for such films as Bad Boys II, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Armageddon, Tears of the Sun, Pearl Harbor, Hannibal and Deceiver. As the world of video games becomes more sophisticated with each passing year, the need for exciting, innovative music has grown with it. Jablonsky’s striking melodies can be heard in a number of video games, including The Sims 3, Gears of War 3, Gears of War 2, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Transformers: The Game and Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath. He has composed for commercials for companies such as Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, the U.S. Army and Marlboro. One of the highlights for Jablonsky was scoring the BMW short film Hostage, for director John Woo.