Set in Los Angeles in the slight future, "Her" follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet "Samantha", a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other. From the singular perspective of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Jonze, comes "Her" an original love story that explores the evolving nature and the risks of intimacy in the modern world.
Set in Los Angeles in the slight future, “Her” follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.
From the singular perspective of Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Spike Jonze comes “Her,” an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and the risks—of intimacy in the modern world.
Written and directed by Jonze, the romantic drama stars Oscar® nominee Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master,” “Walk the Line,” “Gladiator”), Oscar® nominee Amy Adams (“The Master,” “Doubt”), Oscar® nominee Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”), Olivia Wilde, and Scarlett Johansson.
“Her” was produced by Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay. Daniel Lupi, Natalie Farrey and Chelsea Barnard served as executive producers.
The film reunited Jonze with production designer K.K. Barrett, editor Eric Zumbrunnen and costume designer Casey Storm, who worked together on “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Adaptation.” and “Being John Malkovich.” Joining them was director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), and editor Jeff Buchanan (HBO’s “Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak,” co-directed by Jonze). The music was composed by Arcade Fire. Additional music by Owen Pallett.
Writer/director Spike Jonze brings his distinct style and insight to this modern relationship story, "Her," a film that takes an unconventional look at the nature of love.
"One of the most challenging aspects of a relationship is being truly honest and intimate and allowing the person you love to be the same," he says. "We're changing and growing all the time, so the question is, how do you allow them the freedom to be who they are, moment to moment, day to day and year to year? Who are they going to become, and can you still love them?" Moreover, can they still love you?
These are some of the questions and ideas that emerge when Theodore brings home a state-of-the-art, voice-controlled computer operating system?and meets Samantha.
"It's advertised as an intuitive system that listens, understands and knows you," says Jonze.
A highly sophisticated artificial intelligence, Samantha is immediately warm and empathetic. She soon reveals an independent streak, a wicked sense of humor, and a knack for getting to the truth of things, as well as an increasingly rich emotional range. Upon coming into existence, she quickly progresses, as does their relationship, Jonze says, "from that of an assistant to a trusted friend and confidant, and from that to something much, much, more."
Jonze co-wrote the screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are with Dave Eggers and, in 2010, wrote the 30-minute short "I'm Here," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, but "Her" marks the first feature film on which he is the sole screenwriter.
That he would choose to explore the all-too-human nature of love through the bond between a man and the disembodied consciousness of his operating system (OS) is not surprising. His work has been synonymous with innovation, from his breakthrough days as a music video director and documentary filmmaker, to such creative triumphs as "Being John Malkovich," "Adaptation." and "Where the Wild Things Are."
Joaquin Phoenix, who stars as Theodore, found the story "astonishing." Though involved at the time in what would become his Oscar®-nominated performance in "The Master," he recounts, "Whenever we had the opportunity, Spike and I would talk about the script and about the characters, and it was great to watch it all develop."
"I trust his instincts. If he has any hesitation with something, I know it needs a deeper look," says Jonze, who approached the actor a week after completing the script. "Within the first five minutes of talking to him I thought, 'I love this guy. This is who I want to be in the movie.' Joaquin brings so much heart and sincerity to the role. Even though Theodore holds so much sadness, he also has a capacity for joy and playfulness and it's a sweet contrast, all of which Joaquin brings to the performance-and more."
Designed to learn and evolve on her own, Samantha is delighted by each novel experience and always wants more. At the same time, she begins to bring out the best in Theodore. "Although she has access to all the information in the world, she is creating every thought and response in the moment," says Scarlett Johansson, who stars as Samantha. "She has no predetermined views. So for all her depth, there's also an innocence and openness."
As Samantha's self-awareness grows, so does Theodore's. He takes her on excursions to the city, the mountains, the beach, and into the pattern of his daily routine and, with her perspective, sees these familiar haunts as he's never seen them before. He begins to see himself differently, too, which the director cites as the hallmark of every budding romance: "You show each other different ways to look at things, which is what falling in love and being in love hopefully is all about-being with someone whose point of view excites and inspires and challenges you, and gives you insight into yourself in a new way," he says.
Sophisticated but eminently relatable, "Her" moves from drama and heartbreak to moments of soaring romance and reflection, to the natural comic rapport of its two leads.
Phoenix and Johansson, together with Jonze, took on the challenge of imbuing Samantha, who is never seen on screen, with the fullness and presence she deserves. "There are so many facets to Samantha," notes Jonze. "She has to be guileless, yet witty, smart and self-possessed, and also sexy and intriguing, while believably developing as an emotional being, and it all has to come through Scarlett's performance."
Johansson recalls, "It was a very fluid process. Sometimes Joaquin and I would record together and sometimes I'd be working with Spike, but there was always a degree of spontaneity in uncovering the nuances of the character and the relationship."
"Everyone on the production was committed to making it feel intimate and real," adds Phoenix, who noted that even the atmosphere during filming was not the usual hub of kinetic activity that can compromise an actor's focus. "Nothing felt typical on this film, from the script to working with Scarlett, to the feeling on the set, and that made it all an amazing experience."
The idea for "Her" had been simmering with Jonze for years. "The initial spark," he recalls, "was an article I saw online about 10 years ago, about instant-messaging with an artificial intelligence. I linked to it and I said 'Hello,' and it said 'Hello.' 'How are you?' 'Good. How are you?' We had a little exchange and there was an initial buzz of, 'Wow, I'm talking to this thing, this thing is listening to me,' and then the illusion quickly dissolved and I could tell it was parroting what it had heard before and it wasn't intelligent, it was just a clever program. But that initial buzz was exciting. Eventually I thought about the idea of a man who's having a relationship with an entity like that, but a fully formed consciousness, and what could happen, and used that as a way to imagine this love story."
Once written, its execution quickly took on a life of its own. In addition to writing and directing, Jonze also produced the film with longtime producing partner Vincent Landay and Oscar®-nominated producer Megan Ellison. Says Jonze, "Megan is very impressive. She has clear opinions and clear taste and is building a company that feels personal and intimate. She's doing something very special."
Likewise, Ellison states, "Working with Spike has been a phenomenal and treasured experience. He is an extraordinarily generous and empathic filmmaker whose contributions to culture are so vast, varied, and brilliant. His ability to be playful, emotional and intellectually profound-in his work and as a person-will never cease to amaze me."
Work on "Her" brought together the talents of Jonze's numerous frequent collaborators, including production designer K.K. Barrett, editor Eric Zumbrunnen, and costume designer Casey Storm. It also marked the first time the director has worked with cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, of whom he says, "What I especially liked about Hoyte was the sensitivity of his approach. I wanted this film to feel intimate and romantic and tactile, and he really brought a sophisticated and poetic sensibility to it.
"There are lots of ideas here about technology and the world we live in, the isolation that it can create as well as the connections it creates, and the way we're changing as a society," says Jonze. "But as I was writing the story, I always ended up putting those themes in the background. The high concept always takes a back seat to the relationship between Theodore and Samantha. Every scene is based in their reality as a couple. We wanted to look at it as a relationship between two individuals and, through them, make a story that looked at love and relationships as complexly and from as many angles as possible.
"I wanted to touch on some of the needs and fears, the judgments and expectations we bring into a relationship; the things we don't want to acknowledge, or things we pretend we don't need, but need anyway; the ways in which we connect with each other, or try to connect and fail," he continues. "We want to be known, but at the same time, are afraid of being known.
"Samantha was created to evolve," he says. "And once she's set in motion, like once we're all set in motion, there's no limit to where that's going to take us and who we're going to become. If you fall in love with someone, that's the risk you take."
The challenge was in presenting a love story when audiences can only see one of the two people involved. “There was only one way it was going to work, and it was entirely dependent on Joaquin and Scarlett. It’s their performances that make the connection and the love between Theodore and Samantha something audiences can really feel,” says Jonze.
“To have the camera resting on Joaquin’s face and watch him listening to Samantha, and to see his love for her in his expression—to me, that was one of the most exciting aspects of the movie,” the director continues. “He’s not only showing how his character feels, but he’s helping to embody her through his response to her.”
“We never treated it as anything other than a real relationship,” adds Phoenix.
Equally vital is the way in which Johansson expresses Samantha’s increasing self-awareness solely through a vocal characterization that starts simply and grows to encompass a rich subtext of feeling: joy, hope, compassion, confidence, jealousy, doubt, frustration, fear.
For Johansson, “There was a tremendous sense of freedom in being able to create a personality without the limits or the expectations of anything physical. It was liberating.”
Running concurrently to his romance with Samantha, the movie also looks at the aftermath of Theodore’s marriage to Catherine, a successful neuroscientist, played by Rooney Mara. “Spike originally thought I might be too young to play Catherine but I really went after it,” Mara recalls. “It’s such a powerful story. It raises a lot of interesting questions, not just about relationships but about who we are and how we interact with each other. I loved it and I really wanted to be a part of it.”
Still haunted by thoughts of her, Theodore is trying to make peace with what happened and why.
“There are flashbacks to some of the important moments between Catherine and Theodore, so you get a sense of their history and their life as a couple and how things have changed,” says Mara.
Meanwhile, another woman in Theodore’s life, his best friend Amy, played by Amy Adams, appears to be on a parallel track as she faces the end of her own marriage, though the circumstances differ. “The character Amy reached a point in her marriage where she was trying to fit the mold of somebody else and not being authentic, and it was causing her a lot of stress,” Adams explains. “I think when you do that, it stunts your growth, emotionally and intellectually. One of the things Amy and Theodore have in common is they were both trying to do something that wasn’t working.
“It’s wonderful to explore a true male/female friendship like this, with no undertones or overtones,” she says. “Amy wants to push Theodore past this place he’s in, but at the same time she does it with kid gloves because she appreciates his vulnerability.
“Spike is interested in people and he’s interested in the female point of view and what drives women emotionally, so you get characters like Amy and Catherine and Samantha,” Adams adds. “He spent so much time and energy helping us understand these people and their connections with Theodore. I believe everyone will see something in these characters that reflects themselves and how they deal with relationships.”
Rounding out the main cast is Olivia Wilde, who stars as a promising but mercurial blind date for Theodore in one remarkably vivid scene. On the surface, this date is the total package: gorgeous, smart, accomplished and flawlessly turned out, but on the inside it’s another story. “She’s got it all, and yet she’s damaged,” says Wilde. “She’s fear-based; fears about her biological clock, fears about her own failures and where she’s going. She has a similar void, like Theodore, and is desperate to fill it. With so much baggage, she makes an interesting contrast to Samantha, who has no baggage.”
Wilde purposely did not meet Phoenix prior to playing the scene. “Spike wanted to keep us separate until that moment to maintain the nervous energy of a blind date, so it was kind of like jumping into the pool—which was thrilling, actually, and fun for an actor,” she says.
The film’s supporting cast also includes Chris Pratt as Theodore’s easygoing office-mate, Paul, who invites Theodore and Samantha to join him and his own flesh-and-blood girlfriend on a double date and doesn’t miss a beat when informed that Samantha is an OS; and Matt Letscher as Amy’s opinionated husband, Charles.
The story unfolds in an elegantly rendered and optimistically evolved Los Angeles—familiar enough to feel real but different enough to seem just slightly out of reach.
Says Jonze, “It’s never really defined, when it is. We decided pretty early on that we weren’t interested in predicting or presenting our view of what the future should look like. What was important was creating a future that felt right to this story.”
What he envisioned was “a kind of utopian environment where the weather is nice, the food is great, everything is beautiful and comfortable and made with quality materials, fabrics are soft and rich, and it’s just a good, warm place to live. Technology has become more sophisticated and provides us with even more services to make our lives easier and better.
“Where everything is clean and colorful,” he adds, “seemed to me like an interesting setting for loneliness and disconnection, which is the sort of world we created for the movie and that’s where we find Theodore when the story begins.”
Producer Vincent Landay started pre-production early. “While Spike was writing, we had a team of researchers around the world pulling visual references of modern architecture,” he says. “By the time he completed the first draft, we had compiled hundreds of images for him to review with K.K. Barrett, our production designer. This gave them a visual tool grounded in reality, which they could reference as they defined their vision of the future.”
Helping to compose the look and mood, Barrett favored a series of subtle adjustments toward what he calls “a future that is around the corner rather than some distant time where the audience would marvel at all the changes. It often takes just a couple of altered conceits to shed a different light on society. We are in Los Angeles so I thought, ‘Take away the cars. What would it be like if there was no noticeable traffic? What if there was a subway to the beach? Get in at Hollywood and step out on the sand. Take a weekend trip to a cabin in the snow on a high-speed bullet train.’”
L.A. without cars? That required much creative license and images of a city in a different stage of development—a fair portion of what the filmmakers discovered in the relatively new Pudong District near Shanghai, where elevated walkways keep the pedestrian eye-line well above the distant hum of unseen vehicles.
“Much of Pudong was built in the last 12 years,” says Jonze, who examined other possible locations, including Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing and cities in Germany and Singapore before finding what he was looking for. “It has skyscrapers, the streets are straight and wide, the buildings are offset and everything is brand new. It was a magical combination of elements that worked, with lots of recent construction. And L.A. is all about ‘new.’ It just seemed that if the city did develop in that way, this is what it would resemble.”
Blending the Chinese and Southern California cityscapes involved some digital artistry. However, Jonze states, “There aren’t a lot of visual effects in the film. We added buildings and removed signage from one skyline to another, and there’s a holographic video game that Theodore plays in his living room, but overall it isn’t an effects-heavy movie, especially for something set in the future.”
Likewise, the filmmakers sought practical locations as much as possible. Says Landay, “We make it a priority to create an environment actors can thrive in, and that includes the atmosphere on set and the set itself. Having a real apartment or office helps to ground the scene in reality and also better matches Spike’s aesthetic than a studio set with green screen. To fully take advantage of this, we looked for interior locations that had lots of natural light. That created a greater challenge to schedule filming around the sun and moon, and for K.K., who would have to transform these existing spaces and structures.”
Los Angelinos will spot many authentic reference points, among them the landmark Santa Monica Pier where Theodore and Samantha enjoy a fun night out, and the stylish Pacific Design Center, which serves as the entrance to Theodore’s apartment building.
Everywhere, art and comfort abound. Parks atop high-rises invite people to linger and enjoy the view. In keeping with the film’s overall tone, Barrett says, even advertising is unobtrusive: “It’s mainly big, slow-motion images with a minimum of type or graphics, a soft sell for the viewer to be drawn in by the mystery of the image and not bludgeoned with hype.”
On a more personal level, he furnished Theodore’s office and home for ease and efficiency, with well-crafted simple items—especially in the devices that Theodore uses to communicate with Samantha. “This is not a future of harshness but of bespoke details,” he outlines. “I like the way fountain pens and cigarette cases were designed in the 1940s, small leather address books and the feel of a Zippo lighter in your hand, things that are archaic in use but timeless in design. So, take the detail of those beautiful objects and apply them to something you use many times a day: your phone. Even in designing the tech end, I stayed away from new materials, instead framing the computer monitors as if they were photographs or art. These devices are meant to convey a link for human contact. They needed to be simple so the voice is what holds the viewer’s attention.”
Finally, he says, “I always have a single buzzword for each film that informs a thread to the images. This time it was ‘red.’ We sprinkled a lot of red around.”
Red similarly echoes through the wardrobe selections provided by costume designer Casey Storm. “We felt there would be lots of color in the future and to embrace it. Theodore’s office was bananas with color, tinted glass and things like that,” he says.
Like Barrett, Storm sought a design scheme that suggested the future without being futuristic. He and Jonze reviewed a span of styles, from photos and from pieces Storm collected from thrift shops for early fittings. Acknowledging the cyclical nature of fashion, he says, “We decided that going backwards made sense, incorporating a range of elements from different decades and styles and putting them together to create something new.”
Outfitting the men in high-waisted trousers was a conscious nod towards the evolution of women’s fashion of the past hundred years and applying it to menswear. “Looking at the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and realizing how women’s styles in particular have often gone towards a higher waist, I liked the idea of pairing a high waist with a narrow tapered leg,” Storm continues. “We tried it on Spike and it looked good, then we tried it on Joaquin and it worked really well.”
For Theodore, Storm chose a natural, comfortable look across a limited palette, stating, “He wouldn’t want his clothes to make him stand out. Plus, he’s a creature of habit, so he tends to wear the same kinds of things. Joaquin was in wardrobe pretty early in the process and it was very collaborative. There were times when he had an insight for his character I didn’t have, and would suggest a shirt or a pair of pants I hadn’t thought of.”
As with the production design, it all came down to details and distinctions. “For example,” Storm cites, “in the business world, men have worn suits and ties as far back as you can remember so we couldn’t depart too drastically from that. Instead, we kept the suits but lost the ties or the lapels, or adjusted the proportions—nothing groundbreaking or calling too much attention to itself, but just enough to give the impression of being slightly off.”
Music for the film was created by Grammy Award-winning band Arcade Fire, as well as their frequent collaborator Owen Pallett.
“Arcade Fire started writing the music as we were shooting, so I’d sometimes use it on set,” Jonze says. “I’d send them stills and footage and they’d send us an amazing mass of material in batches, maybe 50 tracks, which we would refine, and then work on pieces we still needed, so the DNA of the music and the look and feel of the film feels very organic. The music is really beautiful and is very specific to the story.”
Likewise, the tender and wistful “The Moon Song” was inspired by and written for the story by singer/songwriter Karen O, with whom Jonze has often collaborated, including on the score for his “Where the Wild Things Are,” which earned a 2010 Golden Globe Award nomination. Performed in the film by Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, it serves as an impromptu duet between Theodore and Samantha on a trip to the mountains.
JOAQUIN PHOENIX (Theodore) earned Best Actor nominations in 2013 for the Academy®, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards, to name only a few, for his critically acclaimed performance as Freddie Quell in “The Master.” He will next be seen starring opposite Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner in the James Gray film “The Immigrant,” and has just completed work on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”
Phoenix was born in Puerto Rico and began his acting career at the age of eight. As a boy, he made numerous episodic television appearances, on such hit television shows as "Hill Street Blues,” "The Fall Guy" and "Murder, She Wrote.” He was a regular on the short-lived 1986 CBS series "Morningstar/Eveningstar,” and followed, that same year, with his first feature film role in “Spacecamp.” The following year, he starred in “Russkies,” with sister Summer and Carole King. Two years later, director Ron Howard cast the teenager as Dianne Wiest’s son in his popular family comedy “Parenthood.” It wasn’t until 1996 that the young actor returned to the fold with a stunning and critically acclaimed performance opposite Nicole Kidman in Gus Van Sant’s “To Die For.” He next co-starred with Liv Tyler, Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly in “Inventing the Abbotts,” in 1997; and with Claire Danes, Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez in Oliver Stone’s “U-Turn.”
In 1998, Phoenix co-starred opposite Vince Vaughn in two very different roles: as an American jailed in Malaysia for drug possession in “Return to Paradise,” and as a dupe to Vaughn’s smooth-talking serial killer in the black comedy “Clay Pigeons.” He next won acclaim for his role in Joel Schumacher’s dark thriller “8mm,” with Nicolas Cage.
In 2000, a banner year for the actor, Phoenix earned his first Academy® Award nomination, co-starring opposite Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture, “Gladiator.” In addition to nominations for the Oscar®, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA Award, he received awards as Best Supporting Actor from the National Board of Review and The Broadcast Films Critics Association. He followed with Philip Kaufman’s Oscar®-nominated “Quills,” opposite Kate Winslet and Geoffrey Rush, based on Douglas McGrath’s play about the Marquis de Sade, for which he won the Broadcast Film Critics Award as Best Supporting Actor. That same year, he also starred with Mark Wahlberg, James Caan, Faye Dunaway, Ellen Burstyn and Charlize Theron in James Gray’s “The Yards.”
Phoenix continued his busy career as Mel Gibson’s brother in the M. Night Shyamalan blockbuster “Signs,” which earned nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. He reteamed with Shyamalan two years later on his gothic thriller “The Village.”
Phoenix went on to star in the dark comedy “Buffalo Soldiers,” opposite Ed Harris; took the lead in the firefighting drama "Ladder 49," opposite John Travolta; and, in 2004, earned high praise for his turn as a cynical journalist witnessing the horrific genocide of the Tutsis in Terry George’s “Hotel Rwanda.”
In 2006, Phoenix was hailed for his mesmerizing performance as legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, opposite Reese Witherspoon, in James Mangold’s riveting biopic “Walk the Line.” For his performance, he collected his second Academy Award® nomination (this time, as Best Actor) and won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical as well as earning nominations for BAFTA, SAG®, Critics Choice and Chicago Film Critics Awards.
In October 2007, Phoenix starred in two films: “We Own the Night,” for which he reteamed with Mark Wahlberg and director James Gray, and the deeply moving “Reservation Road,” which reunited him with director Terry George and Jennifer Connelly. He later reteamed with director Gray for “Two Lovers,” opposite Gwyneth Paltrow and Isabella Rossellini.
On October 27, 2008, Phoenix reportedly announced his retirement from film in order to focus on his rap music, but the announcement turned out to be part of his acting role in the mockumentary “I’m Still Here,” directed by his brother-in-law, Casey Affleck. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 and was released in the summer of 2010.
A social activist, Phoenix has lent his support to a number of charities and humanitarian organizations, notably Amnesty International, The Art of Elysium, HEART, and The Peace Alliance, an organization which campaigns for a United States Department of Peace; and is on the board of directors for The Lunchbox Fund. In 2005, he received the Humanitarian Award at the San Diego Film Festival for his work and contribution to “Earthlings,” a video about the investigation of animal abuse in factory farms, pet mills, industry and research, that he narrated for Nation Earth. Also in 2005, he lent his voice to the documentary “I’m Still Here: Real Diaries of Young People Who lived during the Holocaust.”
Phoenix has also directed music videos for Ringside, She Wants Revenge, People in Planes, Arckid, Albert Hammond, Jr. and the Silversun Pickups.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON (Samantha), one of Hollywood’s most talented young actresses, is a Tony and BAFTA Award winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee. Earlier this year, Johansson wrapped her second run on Broadway as Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” She most recently starred in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, “Don Jon,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and opened in theatres in September.
Johansson recently wrapped production on Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which is set to be released in April 2014. She will also reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow again next year, when production begins on the sequel to “The Avengers,” “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” She also recently wrapped the Jon Favreau-directed comedy “Chef,” opposite Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman and Sofia Vergara, as well as the independent film “Under the Skin,” for director Jonathan Glazer. Up next, Johansson will begin production on Luc Besson’s action thriller “Lucy,” playing the title role opposite Morgan Freeman.
Johansson received rave reviews and a Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival for her starring role opposite Bill Murray in “Lost in Translation,” the critically acclaimed second film from director Sofia Coppola. She also won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in the Arthur Miller play “A View from a Bridge,” opposite Liev Schreiber.
At the age of 12, Johansson attained worldwide recognition for her performance as Grace MacLean, the teen traumatized by a riding accident in Robert Redford’s “The Horse Whisperer.” She went on to star in Terry Zwigoff’s “Ghost World,” garnering a Best Supporting Actress award from the Toronto Film Critics Circle. Johansson was also featured in the Coen Brothers’ dark drama “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Frances McDormand.
Her film credits include “The Avengers”; “Hitchcock,” opposite Anthony Hopkins; “We Bought A Zoo,” for Cameron Crowe; the box office hit “Iron Man 2;” the Weitz brothers’ film “In Good Company”; “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” opposite John Travolta, for which she earned her third Golden Globe nomination in two years; and Woody Allen's “Match Point,” which garnered her fourth consecutive Golden Globe nomination in three years.
She also starred in ”He’s Just Not That Into You”; “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”; “The Other Boleyn Girl”; “The Spirit”; “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” opposite Colin Firth; “The Island,” opposite Ewan McGregor; Brian DePalma’s “The Black Dahlia; Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige”; and “The Nanny Diaries.”
Her additional credits include Rob Reiner’s comedy “North”; the thriller “Just Cause,” with Sean Connery and Laurence Fishburne; and a breakthrough role at the age of 10 in the critically praised “Manny & Lo,” which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.
A New York native, Johansson made her professional acting debut at the age of eight in the off-Broadway production of “Sophistry,” with Ethan Hawke, at New York’s Playwrights Horizons.
AMY ADAMS (Amy) is a four-time Oscar® nominee, whose impressive body of work ranges from major studio hits to acclaimed independent features.
She earned her most recent Oscar® nod for her performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2012 drama “The Master,” for which she also received Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations. She also won several critics group awards, including the Los Angeles Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics Awards.
Adams most recently starred in the iconic role of Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s blockbuster Superman adventure “Man of Steel,” opposite Henry Cavill.
Following “Her,” she will star in David O. Russell’s drama “American Hustle,” opposite Christian Bale, and Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes,” in which she portrays artist Margaret Keane, opposite Christoph Waltz.
Additionally, Adams is set to produce two upcoming feature projects: “The Ten Best Days of My Life,” and “Object of Beauty,” based on the book by Steve Martin, in which she will also star.
Adams earned her first Oscar® nomination for her performance in the 2005 indie film “Junebug.” In addition, she garnered a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® nomination and won an Independent Spirit Award, as well as a number of critics groups awards for her work in that film.
She gained her second Oscar® nomination for her role in John Patrick Shanley’s thought-provoking 2008 drama “Doubt,” in which she starred with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Adams’ performance in the film as the conflicted Sister James also brought her Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG Award® nominations.
Adams’ third Oscar® nomination came for her work in David O. Russell’s true-life drama “The Fighter,” in which she starred with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. For her portrayal of the tougher-than-she-looks bartender, Charlene, she was also recognized with Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, and SAG Award® nominations.
In 2007, she delighted critics and moviegoers in Kevin Lima’s musical hit “Enchanted,” earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for her performance as the displaced, would-be fairy tale princess, Giselle.
Adams first caught the attention of critics and audiences when she co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg’s fact-based drama “Catch Me If You Can.” Among her other film credits are Adam McKay’s “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” with Will Ferrell; Mike Nichols’ “Charlie Wilson’s War,” with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts; “Sunshine Cleaning”; “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”; “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” with Ben Stiller; Nora Ephron’s “Julie & Julia,” with Meryl Streep; the family hit “The Muppets”; and Clint Eastwood’s “Trouble with the Curve,” opposite Eastwood and Justin Timberlake.
On the stage, Adams starred last summer in the Public Theater’s revival of the award-winning musical “Into the Woods,” a presentation of Shakespeare in the Park, at the Delacorte Theater.
ROONEY MARA (Catherine) began her career shortly after enrolling as a student at New York University. It was during her college years that Mara decided to explore her interest in acting, landing small parts in independent films and eventually moving to Los Angeles to pursue it full-time.
Mara mesmerized audiences and critics alike in director David Fincher’s U.S. adaptation of the popular Stieg Larsson book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, released on December 20, 2011. As part of a three-picture deal, to include “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” Mara portrayed the female lead, Lisbeth Salander, opposite Daniel Craig and Robin Wright. For her performance, Mara was recognized by the National Board of Review for Breakthrough Performance and earned Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress.
Mara recently starred in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival competitive entry “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” for writer/director David Lowery, with Casey Affleck and Ben Foster. The drama tells the story of a young mother who struggles to cope with life after her husband is imprisoned for a deadly crime.
She also recently starred in “Side Effects,” directed by Steven Soderbergh and opposite Channing Tatum and Jude Law, as a woman who turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety and depression. The film, released in February of 2013, was an official entry at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.
In addition to “Her,” Mara wrapped production last year on the “Untitled Terrence Malick Project” in which she starred alongside Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman. The story involves two intersecting love triangles, sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.
Mara just wrapped production on Stephen Daldry’s film “Trash,” set in the slums of Brazil, with a script written by Richard Curtis, based on the best-selling book. She will portray a government aid worker.
Her additional film credits include “Tanner Hall,” directed by Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg; David Fincher’s acclaimed drama “The Social Network”; “Youth in Revolt”; and “The Winning Season,” opposite Sam Rockwell.
On the small screen, Mara’s credits include memorable guest-starring roles on “ER,” “The Cleaner,” “Women’s Murder Club” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
Mara is the Founder of the non-profit organization Uweze, which provides critical care and assistance to poverty-stricken orphans in Africa’s largest slum in Kibera, Kenya.
OLIVIA WILDE (Blind Date) most recently starred in the Formula One biographical drama “Rush,” directed by Ron Howard and co-starring Chris Hemsworth, which opened in September. She additionally stars in a number of upcoming feature film releases, including “Third Person,” written and directed by Paul Haggis, with a ensemble cast led by Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, James Franco and Adrien Brody; the comedy drama “Better Living Through Chemistry,” with Sam Rockwell and Michelle Monaghan; and “The Longest Week,” with Jason Bateman.
Wilde also recently starred in “Drinking Buddies,” which premiered at the March 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival and went on to earn stellar reviews in its limited U.S. release, and in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” opposite Steve Carell.
She also appeared in Alex Kurtzman’s directorial debut, “People Like Us,” “The Words,” and the quirky political satire “Butter.” Additionally, she starred in Stefan Ruzowitzky’s thriller “Deadfall,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys & Aliens,” and “The Change Up.”
Wilde first drew wide recognition for her role in the 2010 3D futuristic blockbuster “Tron: Legacy,” in which she starred as Jeff Bridges’ trusted friend and protector, Quorra.
In 2011, she made her writing and directing debut for Glamour magazine’s short film series with “Free Hugs,” which received praise at film festivals throughout the U.S.
Raised by parents who are award-winning journalists and documentary filmmakers, Wilde was inspired to explore the documentary field. Her most recent effort was the PBS docu-series “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which aired in October 2012 to rave reviews. Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, it introduces women and girls in unimaginable circumstances and their brave fight to change them. Additionally, she executive produced “Baseball in the Time of Cholera,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and received a special jury mention during judging. The film explores the current cholera epidemic in Haiti.
In 2010 she made her filmmaking mark at the Tribeca Film Festival by executive producing the short “Sun City Picture House,” which follows a community in Haiti that rallies to build a movie theater after the disastrous 2010 earthquake. The film won the audience award at the Maui Film Festival and was also included in the DocuWeeks screening series.
In addition to her work on the big screen, Wilde played Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley on “House,” which became the most watched television program in the world in 2008 and the winner of four Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes.
Her previous film credits include Paul Haggis’ “The Next Three Days”; “Year One”; “Alpha Dog”; “Bickford Schmeckler’s Cool Ideas,” for which she won Best Actress at the Aspen Film Festival; and “Conversations with Other Women.”
Her television credits include “The Black Donnellys,” created by Paul Haggis; “Skin,” produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; and a recurring role on the critically acclaimed FOX series “The O.C.” On the stage, Wilde headlined in “Beauty on the Vine,” in the Epic Theatre Center's off-Broadway production.
Wilde is a board member of Artists for Peace and Justice and sits on the foundation board of the ACLU of Southern California.
SPIKE JONZE (Writer/Director/Producer) is the versatile filmmaker behind the acclaimed films “Being John Malkovich,” for which he received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Director, and “Adaptation.,” for which its three stars—Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper—received Academy Award® nominations for their performances, with Cooper going on to win Best Supporting Actor.
“Where the Wild Things Are,” his screen adaptation of the classic book by Maurice Sendak, marked his third directorial feature. As a producer, his credits include Michel Gondry’s first film, “Human Nature,” and frequent collaborator Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, “Synecdoche, New York.” He recently co-wrote and produced “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” with his old friends and colleagues, Jeff Tremaine and Johnny Knoxville, with whom he also created and produced the “Jackass” TV show and movies.
In addition to feature films, Jonze has directed numerous music videos, commercials, short films and documentaries, including the 2010 dramatic short “I’m Here,” starring Andrew Garfield, that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He also serves as the creative director at VICE media, where he helped create its video content division, and just recently created and produced YouTube’s first music awards show.
MEGAN ELLISON (Producer) is the founder of Annapurna Pictures, a film production and finance company that focuses on creating sophisticated, high-quality films.
As head of Annapurna Pictures, Ellison successfully upholds the company’s vision to produce critically and commercially conscious films. With her passion for creating first-rate pictures, making films of all genres and budgets while preserving their originality, Ellison’s projects appeal to a growing and diverse audience. This innate enthusiasm and original style of filmmaking is quickly turning Ellison into one of Hollywood’s top producers amongst the new wave of industry auteurs and elite storytellers.
Under Ellison’s guidance, Annapurna has provided the industry with a number of mature, adult dramas in recent years. Annapurna’s releases include Kathryn Bigelow’s multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award®-nominated “Zero Dark Thirty”; Paul Thomas Anderson’s multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award®-nominated masterpiece “The Master”; Andrew Dominik’s “Killing Them Softly,” starring Brad Pitt; and John Hillcoat’s “Lawless.” Annapurna’s latest release, “Spring Breakers,” directed by Harmony Korine and starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco, broke records to earn the biggest box office opening weekend of 2013 for a film playing in limited release.
Annapurna’s upcoming projects include David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. Also scheduled for release later this year is Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher,” starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo, based on the true story of convicted millionaire murderer John DuPont. Annapurna previously acquired the U.S. rights to Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster,” the story of martial arts master and Bruce Lee trainer Ip Man, which was released August 23, 2013.
Annapurna also just announced that they will partner with Skydance Productions on a rebooted “Terminator” movie, the first of a stand-alone trilogy, to be released in 2015. Further, the company has partnered with Nina Jacobson’s Color Force on the best-selling comedic novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette, written by Maria Semple, and has partnered with Denver & Delilah and CJ Entertainment on the “Sympathy of Lady Vengeance” remake, written by William Monahan and starring Charlize Theron. Last spring, the company made a deal to back Panorama Media, which will serve as the international sales agent on select Annapurna projects.
VINCENT LANDAY (Producer) has spent the last 20 years producing with director Spike Jonze, a collaboration that has been fruitful ever since its start. Music videos for bands such as Arcade Fire, Kanye West & Jay Z, REM, Björk, Weezer, Fatboy Slim and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and commercials for Nike, Adidas, The Gap, Ikea and Levi’s, have led to numerous awards, including those from MTV, the Grammys, the Emmys, the Museum of Modern Art and the Cannes Film Festival. Landay produced the acclaimed Directors Label DVD Series that featured collected short form work of Jonze, Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry.
In 1999, Landay produced Jonze’s debut feature film, “Being John Malkovich,” which received Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations and won awards, including the Producers Guild, BAFTA, Independent Spirit and MTV Movie Awards. In 2003, Landay produced “Adaptation.,” Jonze’s second feature film, which also marked their second time working with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. The film’s three stars—Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper—received Academy Award® nominations for their performances, with Cooper going on to win Best Supporting Actor.
Their third feature collaboration was 2009’s acclaimed “Where the Wild Things Are,” a film based on the classic Maurice Sendak story and starring an ensemble cast, including Max Records, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara and Forest Whitaker. Additionally, Landay served as a producer on Jonze’s two most recent short films, the drama “I’m Here,” starring Andrew Garfield and Sienna Guillory, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and “Scenes from the Suburbs,” which earned a Golden Bear nomination from the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.
Jonze and Landay also worked together on the documentary “Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak,” co-directed by Jonze and Lance Bangs, which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art and aired on HBO; as well as the animated short “Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must be More to Life,” adapted from another of Sendak’s stories by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, known as the directing team Clyde Henry.
DANIEL LUPI (Producer) most recently worked on Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming crime drama “Inherent Vice,” based on the Thomas Pynchon novel and starring Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin.
In 2012, he executive produced Steven Spielberg’s Oscar®- and BAFTA-nominated biographical drama “Lincoln,” after previously working with Spielberg on “Catch Me If You Can.”
He also collaborated with Paul Thomas Anderson on the acclaimed drama “The Master,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix; “There Will Be Blood,” which received a Best Picture Oscar® nomination; “Punch-‐Drunk Love”; “Magnolia”; “Boogie Nights”; and “Hard Eight.”
NATALIE FARREY (Executive Producer) most recently served as associate producer on Spike Jonze’s short film “Scenes from the Suburbs,” which was inspired by the music of Arcade Fire. It was nominated for a Golden Bear Award at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.
As an associate producer, her previous collaborations with Jonze include the robot love story “I’m Here,” starring Andrew Garfield; the feature film “Where the Wild Things Are,” with an ensemble cast led by Max Records, Catherine Keener, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara and Forest Whitaker; and the music-driven short “We Were Once a Fairytale,” starring Kanye West, in which Farrey also appeared.
Additionally, she was an associate producer on the 2010 unique animated/live action short “Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must to More to Life,” directed by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski as the directing team Clyde Henry, and based on the book by Maurice Sendak.
CHELSEA BARNARD (Executive Producer) is a production executive at Annapurna Pictures, a film production and distribution company founded by Megan Ellison in 2010.
Barnard has been with the company since its inception, overseeing production on such projects as Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed drama “The Master,” which garnered numerous film festival and critics’ association honors as well as Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations for its stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams; and Bennett Miller’s upcoming “Foxcatcher,” starring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum.
Previously, Barnard worked with director Larry Charles in a range of production capacities on the feature comedies “Brüno,” “Religulous” and “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”
HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA (Director of Photography) most recently photographed director Mikael Marcimain’s acclaimed “Call Girl,” for which he won a Guldbagge Award, the Swedish Film Institute’s highest honor, and Tomas Alfredson’s dramatic thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” for which he earned numerous accolades, including nominations from the BAFTA Awards and the American Society of Cinematographers. In 2010, he worked with David O. Russell on the Oscar®-nominated biographical drama “The Fighter.”
Van Hoytema received the Kodak Nordic Vision Award for Best Cinematography at the Göteborg Film Festival and his first Guldbagge Award, among other honors, for his earlier collaboration with Tomas Alfredson, “Let the Right One In,” in 2008. He followed that in 2009 with a second Guldbagge for his cinematography on Fredrik Edfeldt‘s family drama “The Girl,” originally titled “Flickan,” and, that same year, was cited by Variety as one of its “10 Cinematographers to Watch.”
Born in Switzerland, Van Hoytema studied at the National Film School in Lodz, Poland. In Sweden, he served as director of photography on a host of commercials, documentaries and miniseries. In addition to his association with Alfredson, he has worked multiple times with director Mikael Marcimain, including the award-winning Swedish miniseries “The Laser Man” and “How Soon is Now.”
Among his upcoming projects is Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.”
K.K. BARRETT (Production Designer) was nominated for a 2012 Art Director’s Guild Award for his work on director Stephen Daldry’s Oscar®-nominated drama “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”
Previously, he earned a BAFTA Award nomination for his work on Sofia Coppola’s biographical drama “Marie Antoinette.” He also collaborated with Coppola on the Oscar®-winning “Lost in Translation,” which garnered him his first nomination for the Excellence in Production Design Award from the Art Directors Guild. He also worked with director David O. Russell on the comedy “I Heart Huckabees,” and with Michel Gondry on his film “Human Nature.”
“Her” marks Barrett’s fourth collaboration with director Spike Jonze, with whom he worked on the critically acclaimed features “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation.” and “Where the Wild Things Are,” the latter earning Barrett his second Art Directors Guild nod. He has designed for Jonze’s many music videos as well.
Barrett has twice been honored with the MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction: for Beck’s “New Pollution” in 1996 and for The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” in 1997.
He recently co-created and designed an opera with Karen O, called “Stop the Virgens,” which was presented in New York in 2011 and at the Sydney Opera House in 2012.
ERIC ZUMBRUNNEN (Editor) marks his fourth feature film with Spike Jonze on “Her,” the latest in a longtime association that spans nearly 20 years and includes work on features, shorts, documentaries and videos.
Zumbrunnen began his career editing music videos for bands such as Jane’s Addiction, The Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Björk, Weezer, Fatboy Slim and Beck. During that period he earned two MTV Music Video Awards for Best Editing and developed a working partnership with directors such as Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who directed “Little Miss Sunshine,” and Spike Jonze.
Zumbrunnen successfully transitioned to feature films with Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich,” which received three Academy Award® nominations and earned Zumbrunnen a BAFTA nomination and an American Cinema Editors (ACE) Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical. Jonze and Zumbrunnen subsequently collaborated on the feature “Adaptation.,” which received four Academy Award® nominations and netted another ACE nomination for editing.
Their collaboration continued on the 2009 feature film “Where the Wild Things Are,” an acclaimed adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book, directed by Jonze. Zumbrunnen also edited the 2010 dramatic short “I’m Here,” written and directed by Jonze, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
Most recently, he served as editor on director Andrew Stanton’s sci-fi action adventure “John Carter.”
JEFF BUCHANAN (Editor) most recently edited the Adult Swim comedy mockumentary “The Greatest Event in Television History.” His recent editing credits also include the feature comedy “All is Bright,” starring Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti; director Michel Gondry’s drama “The We and I”; and the comedy short “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,” directed by Spike Jonze and starring The Beastie Boys.
In 2009, Buchanan served as editor on the documentary “Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak,” directed by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze, that aired on HBO.
His work with director Michel Gondry includes the feature comedies “Be Kind Rewind” and “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party”; the short films “How to Blow Up a Helicopter (Ayako’s Story)” and “I’ve Been Twelve Forever”; and music videos for Beck, Kanye West, and The White Stripes.
He additionally directed, produced and edited the video documentary shorts “The Making of ‘The Science of Sleep,’” “September in Brooklyn: The Making of ‘Block Party’” and “Inside the Mind of Michel Gondry.”
Buchanan has worked with director Lance Bangs on numerous other projects, including the TV documentary “Sonic Youth Video Dose”; “David Cross: Let America Laugh,” co-directed by Cross; “The Work of Director Michel Gondry,” co-directed by Gondry; “The Work of Director Chris Cunningham,” co-directed by Cunningham; and “The Work of Director Spike Jonze,” co-directed by Jonze.
His television editing credits also include the Adult Swim series “Delocated,” which he directed as well.
CASEY STORM (Costume Designer) marks his fourth feature film collaboration with Spike Jonze on “Her,” having previously designed costumes for Jonze’s acclaimed films “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation.” He also worked with the director on the 2010 drama short “I’m Here,” as well as the 1999 comedy short mockumentary “Torrance Rises,” for directors Jonze and Lance Bangs.
In addition, Storm costumed David Fincher’s period crime drama “Zodiac.”
His career also includes work on a wide range of music videos for artists including Michael Jackson, Metallica, Beck, The Cure, The Beastie Boys, Björk, Chemical Brothers, Elastica, Fatboy Slim, Weezer, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Def Leppard, Faith No More, Puff Daddy and Notorious BIG, to list only a few. He has also designed the wardrobe for more than 100 commercials, for clients such as Nike, Levi’s, BMW, Cadillac, Ford, Adidas, Van’s, Sony Playstation, SEGA, 7-UP, Bud Light, Dominos, Johnnie Walker, AT&T, Coca-Cola and MasterCard.
Storm won the 2009 Costume Designers Guild (CDG) Award for the “White Gold” series of Milk commercials and again in 2010 for its “Milkquarious” campaign. He was previously nominated for a CDG Award for his work on Geico’s “Cavemen.”
ARCADE FIRE (Music) is a Montreal-based band. Following the 2003 release of a self-titled EP in 2003, the band came to international prominence with the 2004 release of their first album, Funeral. They have since released their sophomore effort, 2007’s Neon Bible, and 2010’s The Suburbs, which debuted at #1 in the U.S., UK and Canada, and went on to win Album of the Year at the 53rd Grammy Awards. The Suburbs was also released in a deluxe edition featuring the Spike Jonze-directed short film “Scenes from the Suburbs.”
“Scenes from the Suburbs” was Arcade Fire's second collaboration with Jonze, the first being their re-recording “Wake Up,” from Funeral, exclusively for the trailer to Jonze’s 2009 feature film “Where The Wild Things Are.”
Arcade Fire's other original songs recorded for film and television include “Cold Wind,” for the “Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends” compilation, and “Abraham’s Daughter,” which ran through the end credits of “The Hunger Games,” both of which were nominated for Grammys. Additionally, Arcade Fire contributed “Horn Of Plenty,” the recurring Panem national anthem for “The Hunger Games” and its original motion picture score. The band’s fourth album will be released on October 29, 2013.
OWEN PALLETT (Music) is a composer, violinist, vocalist and arranger who has worked with The National, Taylor Swift, R.E.M., Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Robbie Williams, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Mountain Goats, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Linkin Park, Brian Eno, Snow Patrol, Arcade Fire, F****d Up, David Lang and many more. He has been commissioned by Brooklyn Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Bang on a Can, the CBC Radio Orchestra and the National Ballet of Canada.
Pallett has scored several films, including Richard Kelly’s “The Box,” with Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, and The New York Times Magazine’s Emmy Award-winning video presentation “Fourteen Actors Acting.” He recently completed a film score for M. Blash’s “The Wait,” which had its world premiere at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. He has additionally made several solo records.