The Judge Production Notes


Release Date: 2015-01-01
Runtime: 140 mins. / 2 h 20 m

In “The Judge,” Downey stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.


From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes “The Judge,” which pairs two-time Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. (“Chaplin,” “Tropic Thunder”) and Oscar winner Robert Duvall (“Tender Mercies”), starring together for the first time on the big screen. The film also stars Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air”) and Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton (“Sling Blade”), and is directed by David Dobkin.

In “The Judge,” Downey stars as big city defense attorney Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

The film’s stellar ensemble also includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard, Emma Tremblay, Balthazar Getty and David Krumholtz.

“The Judge” is produced by Susan Downey, David Dobkin, and David Gambino, with Herbert W. Gains, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Kleeman and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque, story by Dobkin & Schenk.

Dobkin’s behind the scenes creative team includes Oscar-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Schindler’s List”), production designer Mark Ricker, editor Mark Livolsi and costume designer Marlene Stewart. The music is by twelve-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman (“Saving Mr. Banks,” “Skyfall”).

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Big Kid Pictures/Team Downey production, a film by David Dobkin, “The Judge” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

About The Production

Slick Chicago lawyer Hank Palmer is set to pluck his latest white collar client from the State of Illinois’ prosecutorial clutches when he receives a message that his mother has just passed away. Hank has no contact with his dad, and his mom is the one person in his family—in his entire hometown—with whom he had remained in touch for the past 20 or so years. She is the only one, her death the only event, that can draw him home. What waits for him in idyllic Carlinville, Indiana, however, is much more than a memorial service, and far from a warm welcome. And before he can make his escape, Hank is called back to defend his own estranged father, the town’s venerable judge of 42 years, who suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the bench.

“No matter how old we are, within five minutes of walking back into our childhood home, we are exactly who we were when we left there,” says director and producer of “The Judge,” David Dobkin. “We fall back into those routines; we’re subject to the same behavior and communication patterns of our youth, the same unspoken misunderstandings and unresolved issues, however great or small, which wind up driving us for the rest of our lives.”

Pairing acting heavyweights Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall for the first time, the film seeks to explore the role reversal we all face, whether through emotion or circumstance, of having to parent our aging parents and come to terms with our own personal history. How we, as adults, suddenly find ourselves in unfamiliar familial territory, and how even the best intentions don’t always lead us to take the best course of action or, ultimately, generate the best results.

Star and executive producer Downey states, “What I love about this story is the incredible sense of place, of going away from home and having to return to face all the things this guy had been avoiding for years, which all come flooding back at once. How failures and successes in life can be perceived so differently by people who are so alike, even if they can’t see it or admit it. And it’s told with a lot of twists and surprises and humor. To me, it really feels like a 21st century version of what I consider classic filmmaking.”

Dobkin says that not only was the role of Hank Palmer conceived with Downey in mind, but that for him, no other actor ever came into play. “I had met Robert about a year before, and we really hit it off. If I have a reaction to an actor and admire his talent, somewhere in my subconscious I start looking for or developing a piece of material that I think could be right for him. So when this movie began to bubble up in my conscious mind, Robert was always there in it.”

The primary relationship Dobkin wanted to explore was one between a strong patriarchal father and the son who had left home years ago and who, due to an ongoing, seemingly irreparable rift between them, had never returned to face all the skeletons in his boyhood closet.

Robert Duvall, who plays the tough-as-nails judge, says he readily signed on because “it was a smart script, very well written with wonderful characters—definitely an actors’ film. On top of that, I felt the people involved would be great to work with. David really brought his own passion and commitment to it in a very positive way, so it was an enticing project for me.”

Downey and his producing partner and wife, Susan Downey, having recently hung out their own shingle, Team Downey, determined that “The Judge” would be their company’s first production. “Robert and I had a lot of other things in development that we’d been considering to go out with, and this was kind of flying under the radar,” she relates. “It’s one of those pieces that you only do if the script is fantastic…and it was.”

The story first occurred to Dobkin when, after experiencing a personal loss, he began to think about how adult children relate to their elderly parents in U.S. culture. “In many parts of the world, multiple generations live in the same house their entire lives, it’s totally natural,” he says. “But for the most part, we Americans don’t live with our parents, so in a way we’re anesthetized from their aging, both physically and emotionally. I started envisioning these three brothers and their father, coming together after the mom passes away, and what that would be like.”

Dobkin worked with writer Nick Schenk to hone the story, come up with the characters and produce the initial script. “I really like his writing, so I called him. We sat down, I told him the idea and he sparked to it and put together this personal, emotional journey,” the director recalls.

“The thing that struck me the most when David told me the idea was that we had an immediate bond around the loss of our moms—he’d just gone through it and I was in the middle of it,” Schenk relates. “It occurred to me that in most families, the mom is really the pin that holds the hand grenade together, so when she passes first, the pieces fly further. But it also can be a rallying point.”

Once the Downeys were on board, they and producer David Gambino of Team Downey met periodically with Dobkin to continue fleshing out the plot and characters. Dobkin notes, “It was important to explore the whole back story of guilt and remorse—both the father’s and the son’s—and how the two men now collide while they’re trying to unravel this present-day mystery in the middle of a murder trial, with the son having to defend his father.”

“From the beginning, we really liked working with David, and things tend to finish like they start,” says Robert Downey Jr. “It was his drive, his vision that we really got behind, and it went from there.”

The filmmakers then turned to screenwriter Bill Dubuque to pull it all together. “Bill grew up in Middle America,” Gambino notes, “so he immediately connected with the story of a judge being a real powerhouse in this small town, and his relationships with his sons, Hank in particular. He really understood the cadence of the characters and who they were.”

“I knew they wanted a Midwestern sensibility, and they felt that would be right up my alley,” Dubuque says. “It also called for a very dialogue-heavy verbal combat, which is my cup of tea. It is set largely in a courtroom, but it’s not a courtroom drama—it’s a family drama—so it was important to know where these people are coming from. Why are these two men, in particular, so different and yet so similar? And what the hell went wrong? I knew if I could capture all of that, it would be something people could relate to.”

Susan Downey offers, “I remember finally reading Bill’s draft and, at about page 60, I told Robert I was scared to read the rest because there was no way the second half was going to be as good as the first. But it was.”

“Bill has a real swagger in his writing,” Dobkin adds. “It’s very clean, sharp, succinct. His characters are not afraid to make mistakes and make things messier. It’s very literary and, at the same time, very entertaining.”

A luxury not always afforded a cast during pre-production, rehearsal time was generous, culminating in a 90-minute improv with the immediate “family”—Downey, Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong—navigating through their respective characters together before cameras rolled.

“We set a scene in motion,” Dobkin says, “and because we had all massaged that family dynamic down to something so specific, it worked. It was a very exciting and fruitful process, and amazing to witness how much comes out of just the classic techniques, that old-school acting approach. Anything I threw into the mix would just cycle through their personalities perfectly and open up a whole new path to go down, created through them. It’s like bringing together great basketball players or football players: you know when you put the greats together they’re going to know how to play. They’ve got the moves, the chops and the experience to get into a real groove.”

HANK We need to establish a firm defense. JUDGE There’s no “we” here, Henry… Fathers & Sons If the sins of the father are said to be visited upon the son, what of the sins of the son? High-priced, workaholic lawyer Hank Palmer is unquestionably the man every high-class criminal wants by his side in the courtroom. Checking his scruples at the door, he is a master manipulator of the law, and his services are available to the highest bidder; the innocent, he coolly professes, can’t afford him. Dobkin remembers asking Robert Downey Jr. early on, “‘Does your character know he’s in crisis, or does he just feel he’s in crisis?’ His answer was, ‘He knows it, but he doesn’t feel it.’ Hank is aware, on an intellectual level, that he’s unable to have an emotional truth. He’s stuck at a dead end in his life even though he’s at the top of what he set out to achieve.” “Hank is comfortable where he’s comfortable: at home in Chicago with his marriage that’s falling apart and this billion-dollar case that he knows how to cheat and win,” Downey says. “All of the things that make him comfortable are the things that make most people uncomfortable.” Hank rarely lets his guard down, carefully navigating the prickly relationships he has surrounded himself with, keeping those close to him at arm’s length and allowing in only a few—his mother and his daughter. He has created a strong protective wall around his emotional self, choosing instead to deflect even the slightest opportunity for self-reflection with sarcastic humor and intellectual superiority. Maintaining distance from the source of his earliest wounds keeps any cracks in the wall from spreading…until he is forced to go home again by the loss of his first and greatest source of comfort, his mom. “One of the nice things about playing Hank is that I get to explore that part of me—of everybody—that just wants to jump out of their seat and run,” Downey shares. “The minute he gets to Carlinville, he’s just looking for a trapdoor to fall through and wind up anywhere else but where he is. “He’s a pretty shut-down guy,” the actor continues. “He is in his life mentally and physically, but not emotionally; he’s in complete flight from the ramifications of the way he’s behaved emotionally. He is also very accustomed to winning, and a lot of his identity is tied up in that, in his profession, but that doesn’t matter to anyone else. And of course the fact that his father is a judge and Hank’s a big time defense attorney says a lot about him.” Dobkin admired Downey’s freedom in the role. “It’s a very complex tightrope to walk, to start a movie with a character as broken as Hank is, and to be honest about it,” he says. “Robert is completely unafraid of any kind of scene, or to be disliked the way Hank is early on, because he can play him with enough charm for people to stay with him, to go through the journey he’s on. He’s a beautiful meeting of both comedy and drama, and he has incredible control over the tone of his work. He showed up every day hungry and curious and wanting to make something great.” “This was an opportunity for me to return to the classic acting of my roots, to see if I could still hit that place of deep emotional resonance like you do in the theater,” Downey says. “Hank is under tremendous pressure, and he just keeps being handed more and more weight and becomes less and less confident, which is not a place he’s used to being, not a feeling he likes at all. When he is certain he’s right, no one will listen; when he’s not so sure, everyone is looking to him for answers. Every day he has to jump through some sort of flaming hoop. I’d never really played a part that had so much to do with salvation and redemption, and that was one of the greatest challenges and joys of playing Hank.” In traditional American families, Hank would be heralded as the shining example, having left his small town upbringing for the wilds of the big city and made his own way with unparalleled success. Whether due to a case of “I’ll show him” or “I’ll make him finally see me,” Hank’s high marks in law school and his rise up the corporate ladder are typical behavior of either a bad-kid-making good, a chip-off-the-old-block carving out his own path or, most likely, a mixture of both. Upon his return home, he receives a very chilly reception; he’s viewed almost as a profligate, his career accomplishments looked on as “less than” and his marital failure called out by his disapproving father, Judge Joseph Palmer, who sees everything in black and white. Far from welcomed with open arms by the Palmer patriarch, Hank—who lives life in shades of gray—is all but ushered out the door as unceremoniously as he arrived. “Joseph Palmer is a man who represents the old world, the old guard,” Dobkin says. “He’s about honor; he believes that how a man walks through life has everything to do with where he ends up and how he is remembered. His legacy, that he helped people, that he protected an ideal, is important to him. Hank, on the other hand, believes you do whatever you need to do to get to the top, and once you’re there and as long as it was legal, it’s okay, even if it was manipulative. As long as the court tells him he wins, he doesn’t care if his client actually did terrible things, or whether he has to do terrible things to help his client. The law decides whether he’s right or wrong. His father views this not as something to be proud of, but as just more bad behavior from the rebellious teen Hank was growing up.” Robert Duvall acknowledges, “The Judge would rather go to prison than lose his honor, definitely. And that complicates things for his sons, Glen, Hank and Dale. For Dale, because he lives at home, and Glen, because he doesn’t want to take on the role of Dale’s father, but especially for Hank, who subconsciously thinks he’ll win his dad’s approval by winning the case.” Duvall enjoyed exploring such a complex character. “He has many contradictions, like we all do in life. He’s a family-oriented guy, and he loves his sons, but he always left the showing of affection to his wife, and now she’s gone. So he’s very deficient when it comes to relating to them on his own, particularly Hank. They’ve had no contact for years; everything went through Hank’s mother, so they don’t have a way of interacting. And the Judge has never really forgiven Hank for something that happened in the past—or if he has, he can’t admit it, not even to himself, I’d suspect. So he gave me a lot of interesting things to work with, to find within myself.” “The first time I read the script, the Judge felt like Bobby Duvall,” Dobkin states. “There are very few men who could play that role, I think—very few who are that powerful, who are willing to hit as hard as the part required—and not be concerned about looking good. Duvall is really something else to watch, his acting is incredible and I believe this could be one of the great performances of his career, and that’s saying a lot. And it’s no credit to me, it’s just him. He showed up and did things in his scenes that left me speechless every day. There wasn’t a take we couldn’t use.” Downey agrees. “I learned a lot from watching him just be so still and yet so commanding. I’m completely the opposite, we have very different styles. We all did, really. I got to see all these different ways of working come together and really gel, and I came away with an even deeper respect for the work thanks to this experience.” Duvall admired the younger actor as well, citing, “He’s very, very talented, and he was relaxed and in control of both his performance and his off-camera work as a producer, so it was a pleasure for me.” Fair but firm in the courtroom, Judge Palmer has preserved the sanctity of his community for more than four decades; the man Hank sees on the bench today appears to be the very same man Hank knew when he last lived at home. Glen, the firstborn son, played in the film by Vincent D’Onofrio, was a baseball prodigy with a 90-mile-per-hour fastball and, to Hank’s recollection, his father’s clear favorite. And the Judge holds the once-irresponsible Hank responsible for Glen’s inability to pursue his dream of the major leagues. “I think people are going to be able to recognize the kind of real family drama that goes on every day,” D’Onofrio attests. “Some of it is funny, some of it is heart wrenching—all of the stuff this kind of movie should be, because that’s just life.” The actor felt a strong connection to Glen and enjoyed the variety of characters that comprised the family and the town. “Every character is an individual with his or her own story and we all have strong emotional moments. I was very proud to be a part of it,” he says. Though Glen, who runs a tire and rim shop, has had to forego the life of a star athlete due to an injury he sustained as a teen, the evidence of his potential and of his father’s pride remains enshrined in the Palmer home: to Hank, a slap in the face to his own career achievements, and to Glen, a reminder of what might have been. And though Glen does not seem to blame his younger brother and has led a good life with a loving wife and two sons, the idea of having to shoulder further responsibility should the Judge not prevail at trial clearly weighs on him. “Glen’s relationship with his youngest brother, Dale, is not great at the moment,” the actor conveys. “There’s frustration on Glen’s part because he sees that without their mom around, and if their dad gets put away, responsibility for Dale will fall to him. He’s not sure he can handle it. Or maybe he just doesn’t like that he won’t have a choice because Hank certainly won’t be there.” Jeremy Strong portrays Dale, a gentle presence among the stronger personalities of his father and brothers, and—via his ever-present Super 8 camera—the “witness” to the Palmers’ dysfunction, the eyes and ears that attend both the good and bad moments that make up any family. And though he is clearly thrown by his mother’s passing, having been very close to her, he nevertheless remains much the same as he ever was, unscathed and innocent, and a counterpoint to the upheaval around him. Strong reveals that, “finding and committing to this character was daunting. There wasn't a lot on the page that indicated who he was, how he should be, which is a feature of great writing—that you have to dig deeper to unearth what’s there. All that was given was that he is somehow ‘off.’ I knew that his function in the story was to be the innocent, and that led me to something with a childlike quality, a simplicity. It became clear to me that his self-soothing, repetitive behavior, his fear of change and his need for continuity, were clues for me to follow. And because he’s so unchanging, on a simple frequency all his own, he really serves the story almost as an emotional weathervane for everyone else.” The handheld camera, Strong says, “Helps Dale feel safe by creating a barrier between him and the uncertainty of the world, and gives him purpose, too. I think the Judge used to take all the home movies when the kids were little, and at some point he turned the camera over to Dale. It’s more than a hobby, to him; it’s his way of holding his world together, preserving the memory of his mother, keeping his family together.” Producer Susan Downey reflects, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some sort of unique or complicated relationship with their parents; that’s just the nature of growing up, outgrowing your household, and becoming your own person. Sometimes it’s riddled with conflict, sometimes it’s minor, but it’s there. We get glimpses inside the Palmer family makeup, before it became so fractured, through these old home movies Dale puts together, and we see this incredibly loving, warm family with a wonderful father and mother and three glorious little boys. But it’s clear something happened, and a lot of this film is about exploring those secrets—some of which the characters know and reveal to us and others which even they didn’t know, secrets they’ve kept from each other and which we discover along with them through these beautifully layered performances.” According to producer Gambino, “Robert, Vincent and Jeremy decided they would spend time together and build up that bond, that shorthand you would have with each other as brothers, so when they hit the set, there would be that familiarity. And they did it. You really buy these guys as people who have been raised by this man and shared a collective experience.” “The relationship between the three brothers and their father surpassed anything that was on the page,” Dobkin asserts. “The chemistry between all four of them was very special, very dynamic. Their work was so nuanced, with so many facets to it. I could honestly watch them for hours and be completely engrossed.” SAM I love seeing you here, but I’m not naïve, Hank. I know you. HANK What do you think you know? New Fires & Old Flames When Hank arrives back in Carlinville for his mom’s funeral, he expects to find his father and brothers there, but what he doesn’t anticipate is running into his high school sweetheart, Samantha Powell. Dobkin describes Sam as “that reminder of what could’ve been, that one who got away who, when we look back, makes us think, ‘A little more maturity, a different place and time, a couple of different decisions and maybe, just maybe…’” Vera Farmiga, who had worked with Susan Downey previously, was eager to do so again. In addition, she was very touched by the script. “It told a very moving, brutally honest and emotional story with such intimate detail,” she remarks. “Quite honestly, I’ve never known a father and son who weren’t, consciously or unconsciously, trying to break some cycle of strife. This is just a beautiful story about forgiveness in which not only the father and sons but every character, on some level, is learning to forgive or to be forgiven.” Farmiga liked the fact that Sam isn’t at all shy about calling Hank out on his past bad behavior. “He left her high and dry without any warning or apology. Fast-forward more than 20 years later and here he is, her first love. I was absolutely smitten with the idea of exploring that through this woman, Sam, who has grace, sass, wit and confidence. She gave me a real playground to work in; she’s so powerful in her vulnerability, so comfortable in her own skin and with the choices she’s made. She’s not someone who has to prove herself to anybody, which is the complete opposite of Hank, who in a way has to keep proving himself over and over.” “In some ways I feel like Sam is the heart of the movie,” Robert Downey Jr. says. “She is the girl he left behind, probably the best thing that ever happened to him, and he still resists that. He doesn’t want to embrace what’s right in front of him, this badass, down-home, crazy, evolved, feminine personality, which Vera captured completely. “She just blew everyone’s mind,” he goes on. “Sometimes you’re on camera with someone who is just dead honest and looking right through you, challenging you, and that was every day with Vera. She was amazing.” Farmiga felt equally entranced. “Robert is that guy who, when you’re with him, you feel like you’ve known him a lifetime in just two minutes. We had an immediate kind of kinetic friendship. He has so much energy and is so gracious, so open-hearted, so playful and giving of himself.” Sam isn’t the only one from Hank’s past who comes back to haunt him in Carlinville. Even more unexpected is Dwight Dickham, a prosecutor from Gary, Indiana, with a grudge against Hank thanks to a prior legal entanglement. Dickham is all too eager to put Hank and, in turn, the Judge, in his place. Dickham is played by Billy Bob Thornton, who has worked with Duvall several times. “In most movies, I’m the prosecuted, not the prosecutor, so I thought I should check this out,” he grins. “It was a wonderful script, one of those where no deliberation is required. I believe that audiences love a good story and this is a good story. I knew Robert Downey a little and always wanted to work with him, and it’s always a plus for me when Duvall is in a movie.” Thornton describes his character as “a very confident attorney who borders on arrogant. He’s got a beef to settle with Downey’s character and so he places himself in this position to make sure he can even the score, but he also believes in justice and believes that he’s right in this case. He’s either the bad good guy or the good bad guy, depending on how you look at it.” On the other side of the aisle, Dax Shepard plays small town antiques dealer-cum-lawyer C.P. Kennedy, whom the Judge initially hires to defend him. Unfortunately, his inexperience shows as he rises to the level of Hank’s already rock-bottom expectations. “C.P. is clearly not stupid—you cannot get a law degree and be an idiot,” Shepard allows. “But he is very good-natured and genuine, and quite naïve, not the shark that Hank is. He’s only tried one criminal case before this, defended one person, and he got a guilty verdict. So he’s zero and one when he takes this case. Not an impressive record.” Early in the story, after his mother’s services, Hank’s father bids him farewell—summarily dismissing him without even a handshake. His need to get out of the house before he can actually head back to Chicago sends Hank and his brothers to the local tavern, where Hank enjoys a beer…and the company of the lovely young bartender, Carla, played by Leighton Meester. “Hank is a smooth talker,” Meester notes, “but Carla is pretty sassy. She’s got a mouth on her and she’s not afraid to use it.” The actress laughs as she relates a call she received from Downey upon learning she had the role. “He called to welcome me—at about 7:30 in the morning,” she says. “I don’t even know why I was up and out that early, but he said, ‘Hey, Leighton Meester? Robert Downey Jr. I called you an hour ago but you didn’t pick up.’ So of course I said, ‘That was, like, six o’clock in the morning.’ But that didn’t seem to faze him. Even in a friendly call first thing in the morning, he was all about the work.” Rounding out the main cast are young Emma Tremblay as Hank’s seven-year-old daughter, Lauren; Ken Howard as Judge Warren, who presides over his esteemed colleague’s trial; David Krumholtz as Mike Kattan, the Chicago prosecutor continually irked by Hank’s unprincipled methods; and Balthazar Getty as Carlinville’s newest lawman, the persistent Deputy Hanson. “After years of working on something, you don’t necessarily expect it to surprise you, for there to be new discovery,” Dobkin observes. “But because I believe in the process and I love performance, I put my faith in the cast and this cast was phenomenal. Everyone just opened the whole thing up again and gave it life beyond anything I’d imagined.” HANK Trust me, nobody wants to go to Carlinville, Indiana, everyone wants to leave. Big Cities and Small Towns For Dobkin, fictional Carlinville, Indiana, was intended to be a picture postcard town. “If you got in your car and you drove long enough into the middle of America, you’d eventually hit a place where things have not changed. Simple, tranquil, authentic, grounded,” he describes. “A town that a jurist like Judge Palmer would protect, that would represent his legacy, his ideals. A town that Hank Palmer may have loved once, but that he never fit into. A town that might make him feel as though he’d been exiled from Eden.” The filmmakers found their Eden—their Carlinville—in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Located in the northwestern part of the state along the Mohawk Trail, the historic village has a rich history and a strong artistic community with many art galleries, independent bookstores and studios located throughout the area. Production designer Mark Ricker says that when he first saw Shelburne Falls, “it was so charming, and 98 percent perfect for our film. We tried to find locations that would feel very comfortable, a place that you would want to come home to. Insofar as transforming the main street, we only had to change some of the signage and dress up the windows a little bit. “One of the things David said was that he wanted the town to feel slightly trapped in time, with a dose of Norman Rockwell thrown in, down to having none of our picture cars on the street be newer than 1990,” Ricker states further. “Bringing that sense to the look of the town took a number of forms, whether it was a color choice or font choices for the graphics, or thinking about who would have made the banner for the Blueberry Festival.” The Shelburne Falls scenes were shot over three weeks and included the facades of such local businesses as the Baker Pharmacy and Ice Cream Parlor; the Good Spirits Liquor Shoppe; and the Town Hall, which doubled as the front for the Crawford County Sheriff’s Station. The team also incorporated the town’s beautiful waterfalls adjacent to the Salmon Falls Artisans Showroom, which served as the exterior of the Flying Deer Diner, while interior sequences were filmed in the Golden Herbal Apothecary, formerly the Mole Hollow Candle Company. “The interior of the Flying Deer Diner, where Sam works, was completely created within an empty shell of that building because of the vista of this fantastic waterfall,” Ricker notes. The company also took advantage of the winding, two-lane blacktop to accomplish driving shots in the nearby towns of Colrain, Hadley and Deerfield. From Shelburne Falls, the company traveled to Plymouth to film three days at a lakeside cabin and one day at the Plymouth Superior Court, where they shot the Chicago courtroom scene. “One of the challenges of shooting rural Indiana in the Boston area was trying to avoid certain foliage and architecture—essentially, colonial New England,” Ricker points out. “The lakeside cabin was surprisingly very difficult to find. In Massachusetts, most lake houses are surrounded by real estate and we wanted a house that stood alone. We found it on Fearing Pond, located in the heart of Plymouth’s Myles Standish State Forest. There are only a few cabins scattered around this pond. I scouted there a few times and saw one cabin that looked like it might work for us. I was sure the inside was going to be comprised of teeny-tiny rooms but when I went inside, it had a great big, wide-open room with a large deck. We were very lucky to find it.” Leaving Plymouth for Boston, the production hop-scotched through the suburban towns of Milton for exteriors of the Judge’s house; Attleboro for the funeral home; Dedham for scenes in a church and the exterior of the courthouse; Belmont, where the Municipal Electrical Station stood in for the interior of the police station; and Buckland, where a small market became the interior of the mini-mart where Judge Palmer’s troubles begin. Scenes were also shot in Waltham’s Old Kindred/Braintree Hospital and, while in historic Concord, they spent a day at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution. Rounding out the Boston locations, flashback scenes were shot on a baseball field in Quincy; the Worcester Municipal Airport stood in for one in Indiana; and a very modern residence in Belmont became Hank’s home in Chicago. “The opening scenes take place in Chicago,” says Ricker, “and introduce us to Hank, who he is and the world he has created for himself. They needed to be in contrast to what he comes home to so you understand why he left Carlinville, why he had to escape that place.” The final weeks of filming took place inside a massive, empty warehouse in Norwood, where Ricker and his art department constructed, in sections, the three-story Palmer family home and the interior of Judge Palmer’s Carlinville courthouse. “It is very impractical if not impossible to shut down a courtroom for three weeks. For a day or two, they can rearrange their schedules,” Ricker explains. “The interior of our courtroom matches somewhat the one where we shot the exterior scenes in Dedham. We took some inspiration from the architecture on the outside of the building, but mostly we came up with an intimate, charming and traditional Midwestern courtroom, à la ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ In fact, we probably looked at every courtroom that’s ever been in any movie and culled images of the bits we liked, as well as some David unearthed, and found a way to marry them all together to give us what we needed. “Thematically, that courtroom and trial represent judicious Americana, a story of right and wrong. That was a jumping off point for us,” Ricker continues. “And the irony of having Robert Duvall sitting on the judge’s bench, having appeared in quite a different role in ‘Mockingbird,’ is poetic in a way.” In an additional nod to that film, there is a balcony in the courtroom that Downey’s character slips into to surreptitiously watch his father at work. For the three sets that comprised the interior of the Judge’s house, Ricker took his cue from the house in Milton where the exterior scenes had been shot. “The Palmer residence is a typical Craftsman Victorian house, and we tried to bring those details into the interiors. In terms of dressing the interior, Ricker kept in mind that it had been the home of a family of five for over 40 years. “There needed to be layers and layers of history and family heirlooms. It had to feel like a house from another time, yet it’s a present-day story. We figured that they had probably remodeled the kitchen in the recent past so there are modern appliances.” For the upstairs, Dobkin desired a centralized feel, with all the bedrooms flanking off of a hallway. “Architecturally, it’s almost like the Judge had a view of all three boys, you couldn’t escape his watchful eyes,” Ricker laughs. Additionally, he notes, “Hank’s room connects through a bathroom to Dale’s room because we wanted to tie in their closeness.” For the décor, they chose rock band posters for Hank’s room and put Glen’s baseball trophies in his old room. However, when Hank returns for the funeral, he discovers that his room has been appropriated, taken over by his dad’s overflow: fishing equipment, legal briefs, old toys and books. When Hank first walks into the room, Ricker observes, “It’s as if his childhood has been forgotten.” Ricker and his team also incorporated details in the house that may not even be noticed, but which would subtly strengthen the mood of a scene. For example, in the basement, where Dale spends much of his time splicing together home movies, there is a couch, the same one that can be seen in a flashback to Christmas in the 1970s. Working in tandem with Dobkin and Ricker was renowned cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, shooting the movie on film, rather than digitally, to maintain that classic look. “I wanted a movie that was set in a place that looked like another time, but was contemporary,” says David Dobkin. “Janusz is a painter. Every single day watching him work with light is like watching a great artist. What an incredible gift he has; every shot that I’d see on the monitor was gorgeous. He’s also got endless energy and is like a kid in a candy store, which is great fun to be around.” “We were so excited to get Janusz,” agrees Susan Downey. “Robert and Gambino and I have always been a fan of his work. In terms of this movie, we wanted to have a stylized yet real feel, and Janusz really brings that to everything that he does.” Ricker, who had worked with Kaminski before, offers, “Janusz likes to light through practical windows, so we incorporated those into our set designs as much as possible, particularly in the courtroom. There were many discussions about where the light was coming from, what were the sources, whether it was daylight or manufactured light.” The production designer also worked closely with costume designer Marlene Stewart in order to prep her for all the choices he and Dobkin made in relation to style, color, and so forth. “I sent her photographs of all the ideas we were considering for every environment, so she’d be aware of what we were thinking,” Ricker says. “Surprisingly, contemporary movies are a little bit more challenging than period or fantasy movies,” Stewart says. “This was an interesting project because it was a more contained story, a character study and also a story about Americana, perhaps an idealized Americana that doesn’t really exist anymore.” For the opening scene in Chicago, Stewart needed to indicate, in one glance, Hank’s upscale world. “Hank is a high-powered, hotshot lawyer and represents a level of financial success. He is the kind of person that would have his suits and his shirts tailor made. It’s a very powerful male image. I like to do men’s suits and tailoring, so that was something I was looking forward to creating, and we built all of Hank’s suits. It gives you an opportunity to get into the made-to-order world, which is interesting. Not to mention the fact that Robert wears clothes so well,” she smiles. Hank does go through a transformation when he goes back to his small town. “He kind of gives it up; he goes into his childhood room and finds some of the clothes he wore in his former life,” she says. “He softens up. He opens up to his roots and really integrates more into the town of Carlinville, which is symbolic for a simpler way of life, when people were connected.” Stewart goes on to say that she “enjoyed collaborating with Robert, he’s very generous and he sits down with you and spends time during the fittings. It means a lot that he is present and interacting and always participating. As a costume designer, I don’t think there’s anything you want more than someone giving you his time so that you can create a character together.” The character of Judge Palmer, who stands for traditional values in a small town where time has almost stood still, was dressed in a very classic way. “The Judge is a man who takes care of his things,” says Stewart, “and when he finds something that he likes, he sticks with it, he takes care of it. Actually I used his car, a 1973 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, as the touchstone of how I would dress him. I used that as a period in time when he would have chosen his wardrobe, so it’s short-sleeved Arrow shirts and flat front trousers that are permanent press. His clothes are from that era when things were still being made in America. We also mixed in a few present day items but they are very classic pieces.” HANK I can’t stay. SAM You’re a lawyer, he is your father. You leave now, you will regret it. Striking a Chord To accentuate the film’s sometimes playful, frequently poignant themes, Dobkin turned to renowned composer Thomas Newman to create music for “The Judge.” “Thomas Newman’s score has always been a part of this movie,” Dobkin states. “His unique and original style is the only one we ever envisioned. I designed the visuals to it and we played it on set for a few scenes. His score helped guide us through the interior space of the characters.” Newman offers, “My approach in scoring ‘The Judge,’ from the outset, was refining the underlying dramatic tones, allowing wit and humor to find its place without sacrificing the deeper emotional content.” Dobkin adds, “Thomas can be at once hauntingly melancholy, and then, at a turn, lilt beautifully into hope and warmth. He led us meticulously through the mystery of who Hank Palmer is, how he got there, and whether or not he will be able to move to a place beyond the weight of his past.” The story and characters in the film are universal ones; everyone, in one way or another, is parented and, young or old, alternates embracing and resisting the process. The director remarks, “What the family goes through in this film…we’ve all been there, or likely will be. It’s my hope that audiences will embrace these very human feelings and behaviors we explore, and enjoy the incredibly powerful, striking performances from Downey and Duvall and this extraordinary cast who bring the characters to life in a way that resonates long after leaving the theater.” # # # ABOUT THE CAST ROBERT DOWNEY JR. (Hank Palmer / Executive Producer) is a two-time Academy Award nominee who earned his most recent Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, for his work in Ben Stiller’s comedy hit “Tropic Thunder.” His performance as Kirk Lazarus, a white Australian actor playing a black American character, also brought him Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations. Downey was honored with his first Oscar nomination, in the category of Best Actor, for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough’s acclaimed 1992 biopic “Chaplin,” for which he also won BAFTA and London Film Critics Awards and received a Golden Globe Award nomination. In early 2010, Downey won the Golden Globe for his performance in the title role of the 2009 hit “Sherlock Holmes,” under the direction of Guy Ritchie. In December 2011, Downey teamed up with Ritchie and co-star Jude Law to return to the role of the legendary detective in the sequel “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” In summer 2008, Downey received praise from critics and audiences for his performance in the title role of the blockbuster hit “Iron Man,” under the direction of Jon Favreau. Bringing the Marvel Comics superhero to the big screen, “Iron Man” earned more than $585 million worldwide, making it one of the year’s biggest hits. Downey reprised his role in the successful sequel, which was released in May 2010. He returned to the role in Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers,” released in May 2012, which is the third-highest grossing film of all time. Downey most recently top-lined the third installment to the franchise, “Iron Man 3,” directed by Shane Black, which was the highest grossing film of 2013. Downey also stars in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which will hit theatres May 2015. Downey’s other recent films include: Todd Phillips’ “Due Date,” opposite Zach Galifianakis; “The Soloist,” opposite Jamie Foxx; “Charlie Bartlett”; David Fincher’s “Zodiac,” alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo; Richard Linklater’s “A Scanner Darkly,” with Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson; “Fur,” opposite Nicole Kidman in a film inspired by the life of revered photographer Diane Arbus; and “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.” He also shared in a SAG Award nomination as a member of the ensemble cast of George Clooney’s true-life drama “Good Night, and Good Luck,” and in a Special Jury Prize won by the ensemble cast of “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” presented at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Downey’s long list of film credits also includes: “Gothika”; “The Singing Detective”; Curtis Hanson’s “Wonder Boys”; “U.S. Marshals”; Mike Figgis’ “One Night Stand”; Jodie Foster’s “Home for the Holidays”; “Richard III”; Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers”; Robert Altman’s “The Gingerbread Man” and “Short Cuts,” sharing in a Golden Globe Award for Best Ensemble for the latter; “Heart and Souls”; “Soapdish”; “Air America”; “Chances Are”; “True Believer”; “Less Than Zero”; “Weird Science”; “Firstborn”; and “Pound,” in which he made his debut under the direction of Robert Downey Sr. In November 2004, Downey released his debut album, The Futurist, through Sony Classics. The album, containing eight original songs, showcased his singing talents. In 2001, Downey made his primetime television debut when he joined the cast of the Fox-TV series “Ally McBeal,” as attorney Larry Paul. For this role, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, as well as the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Comedy Series. In addition, Downey was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. ROBERT DUVALL (Joseph Palmer), a leading man since the 1960s, has specialized in taciturn cowboys, fierce leaders and driven characters of all types. Respected by his peers and adored by audiences worldwide, he has earned numerous Oscar nominations for his performances in “The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now,” “The Great Santini” and “The Apostle.” Duvall won the Academy Award and a Golden Globe as Best Actor for his role in “Tender Mercies.” In addition, he has received Golden Globe Awards for his performances in the title role of HBO’s “Stalin” as well as for his memorable turns as Lt. Col. Kilgore in “Apocalypse Now” and the grizzled Texas Ranger Gus McCrae in “Lonesome Dove.” Duvall was also honored with an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe nomination for his iconic portrayal of Prentice Ritter in AMC’s “Broken Trail.” Duvall made his big screen debut in 1962, as the creepy Boo Radley in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He has gone on to star in such films as “Bullitt,” “True Grit,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Conversation,” “Network,” “The Natural,” “Colors,” “Days Of Thunder,” “A Handmaid’s Tale,” “Rambling Rose,” “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway,” “Phenomenon,” “A Civil Action,” “Open Range,” “Thank You For Smoking,” “The Road,” “Get Low” and “Crazy Heart,” among many others. As a director and producer, Duvall got behind the camera for his labor-of-love project “The Apostle,” in which he also starred. The film went on to earn many accolades, including being named on over 75 film critics’ “Top 10 Films for 1997” lists, including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He also wrote, produced and starred in “Assassination Tango.” Duvall was most recently seen in the ensemble drama “Jayne Mansfield’s Car”; as Cash in “Jack Reacher”; Johnny Crawford in “Seven Days in Utopia”; and Red Bovie in “A Night in Old Mexico.” He is currently at work directing his second feature film. VERA FARMIGA (Samantha Powell) is an Oscar-nominated and award-winning actress who continues to captivate audiences with her ability to embody each of her diverse and engaging roles. She was last seen in the second season of the A&E original series “Bates Motel,” which is a modern day prequel to the genre-defining film “Psycho.” Farmiga, who earned a 2013 Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role, stars as the iconic character Norma in the series, which gives audiences a glimpse into the dark and deeply intricate relationship Norman Bates has with his mother. A&E has renewed the show for a third season. Farmiga recently starred alongside Patrick Wilson in James Wan’s thriller “The Conjuring,” co-starred with Andy Garcia in Adam Rogers’ romantic comedy “At Middleton,” and appeared in Nae Caranfil’s “Closer to the Moon.” Farmiga co-starred with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in Daniel Espinosa’s 2012 film “Safe House,” and in Christopher Neil’s “Goats,” opposite David Duchovny, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Farmiga directed and starred in the feature “Higher Ground.” The film was in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. She received critical praise and nominations, including Academy Award, BAFTA, Broadcast Film Critics’ Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award nods, for her role in Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air,” opposite George Clooney. Her recent film credits include Duncan Jones’s “Source Code,” opposite Jake Gyllenhaal; Malcolm Venville’s “Henry’s Crime,” opposite Keanu Reeves; Jaume Collet-Serra’s “Orphan,” opposite Peter Sarsgaard; Niki Caro’s “The Vintner’s Luck”; Carlos Brooks’ “Quid Pro Quo”; the Holocaust drama “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” for which she was awarded the Best Actress Award from the British Independent Film Awards; and Rod Lurie’s political drama “Nothing But the Truth,” which earned her a nomination for a Broadcast Film Critics Award. Farmiga won the Best Actress award from the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Association for her performance in the independent film “Down to the Bone,” a revelatory drama about a weary working-class mother trapped by drug addiction. She also won Best Actress awards from the Sundance Film Festival and the Marrakech Film Festival and earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the role. Her additional film credits include: Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning police drama “The Departed,” opposite Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson; Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking & Entering,” opposite Jude Law; “Joshua,” opposite Sam Rockwell; and “Never Forever,” opposite Jung-woo Ha and David McInnis. VINCENT D’ONOFRIO (Glen Palmer) recently wrapped filming on “Jurassic World,” opposite Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, directed by Colin Trevorrow. He is currently filming the Netflix series “Daredevil,” opposite Charlie Cox, as the supervillain The Kingpin. D’Onofrio will next be seen as the coach in Brian Grazer’s “Pelé,” written and directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. He will also be seen in the spring starring opposite Liam Neeson in “Run All Night.” Last year he wrapped the independent film “Broken Horses,” opposite Anton Yelchin. In July 2013, D’Onofrio was seen in Wayne Kramer’s action-comedy “Pawn Shop Chronicles,” with Elijah Wood, Matt Dillon and Brendan Frasier. D’Onofrio was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Hawaii, Colorado and Florida. He eventually returned to New York to study acting at the American Stanislavsky Theatre with Sharon Chatten of the Actors Studio. While honing his craft, he appeared in several films at New York University and worked as a bouncer at dance clubs in the city. In 1984, he became a full-fledged member of the American Stanislavsky Theatre, appearing in “The Petrified Forest,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and “The Indian Wants the Bronx.” That same year, he made his Broadway debut in “Open Admissions.” He recently starred off-Broadway in Sam Shepard’s “Tooth of Crime (Second Dance).” D’Onofrio gained attention for his intense and compelling talent on the screen in 1987 with a haunting portrayal of an unstable Vietnam War recruit in Stanley Kubrick’s gritty “Full Metal Jacket.” His other early film appearances include “Mystic Pizza” and “Adventures in Babysitting.” He also executive produced and portrayed 1960s counterculture icon Abbie Hoffman in the film “Steal This Movie,” opposite Janeane Garofalo, and starred opposite Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn in the science-fiction noir film “The Cell.” His other film credits include “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys,” opposite Jodie Foster; “The Salton Sea,” opposite Val Kilmer; “Imposter,” with Gary Sinise; “Chelsea Walls,” directed by Ethan Hawke; “Happy Accidents,” co-starring Marisa Tomei; Robert Altman’s “The Player”; Joel Schumacher’s “Dying Young”; Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood”; Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days,” opposite Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett; Harold Ramis’ “Stuart Saves His Family”; Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Men In Black,” opposite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones; “The Thirteenth Floor,” opposite Craig Bierko; “The Whole Wide World,” which he produced and starred in, opposite Renée Zellweger; and Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” More recently, D’Onofrio appeared in the sci-fi thriller “The Tomb,” featuring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and also recently finished “Fire with Fire,” opposite Bruce Willis and Josh Duhamel. Forthcoming film appearances also include the independent feature “Chained,” from writer-director Jennifer Chambers Lynch. On television, D’Onofrio starred as Detective Robert Goren in over 100 episodes of the series “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” He received an Emmy Award nomination in 1998 for his riveting guest appearance in the “Homicide: Life on the Street” episode “The Subway.” D’Onofrio directed, produced and starred in the short film, “Five Minutes, Mr. Welles,” and recently appeared in the Academy Award-winning short “The New Tenants.” JEREMY STRONG (Dale Palmer) was seen in the Oscar-nominated films “Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg and opposite Daniel Day Lewis, and in “Zero Dark Thirty,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow. He played Lee Harvey Oswald in Peter Landesman’s “Parkland,” alongside Paul Giamatti, Jacki Weaver and Billy Bob Thornton. He will be seen next in Oren Moverman’s “Time Out of Mind,” with Richard Gere; in “Selma,” Ava Duvernay’s film about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement; and in Scott Cooper’s drama starring Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger. Strong co-starred in the independent film “Robot and Frank,” opposite Frank Langella; the David Gordon Green-produced “See Girl Run”; and in Galt Niederhoffer’s “The Romantics.” His other films include Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger,” M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening,” and the leading role in “Humboldt County.” Strong has appeared on the small screen in Frank Darabont’s noir series “Mob City.” In theater, Strong made his Broadway debut opposite Frank Langella in “A Man for All Seasons.” He most recently starred to rave reviews in Amy Herzog’s “The Great God Pan,” at Playwrights Horizons, and in Richard Nelson’s translation of Turgenev’s “A Month in the Country,” at The Williamstown Theater Festival. He starred in Adam Rapp’s “Hallway Trilogy,” off-Broadway, opposite Julianne Nicholson; played the title role in Nick Jones’s “The Coward,” at Lincoln Center; and starred in Theresa Rebeck’s “Our House,” at Playwrights Horizons. His other theater credits include Richard Nelson’s “Conversations in Tusculum,” at The Public, opposite David Strathairn; David Ives’ “New Jerusalem,” at Classic Stage Company; Richard Nelson’s “Frank’s Home,” at Playwrights Horizons; and John Patrick Shanley’s “Defiance,” at Manhattan Theatre Club. He studied at Yale, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. DAX SHEPARD (C.P. Kennedy) is currently a series regular on the hit NBC show “Parenthood.” His notable film credits include the adventure comedy “Without a Paddle”; Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy,” and “Employee of the Month”; the comedy “Baby Mama,” with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; and the comedy drama “The Freebie.” He also wrote, directed and starred in two features films: “Hit and Run,” in 2012, and “Brother’s Justice,” in 2010. Shepard was born in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. With both parents working in the automotive industry, his first love was cars. He graduated in 1993 from Walled Lake High School, and moved to California in 1995. He graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a degree in Anthropology. While attending UCLA, he trained at The Groundlings Theater for improv and sketch comedy. His first paid acting role was on MTV’s “Punk’d.” BILLY BOB THORNTON (Dwight Dickham) is an Academy Award-winning writer, actor, director and musician who has had an extensive and impressive career in motion pictures, television and theater. Charismatic and uniquely talented, Thornton has established himself as a sought after actor/filmmaker. Currently celebrating a high water mark in his career, Thornton was most recently seen starring in the critically acclaimed FX Network limited television series “Fargo,” based on the 1996 Oscar-winning film by the Coen brothers, for which he received the Broadcast Television Critics Award for Best Actor in a Mini-series/Movie and an Emmy nomination for Best Actor in a Mini-series or Movie. He also recently starred in the ensemble drama “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” an original script co-written by Thornton and longtime collaborator Tom Epperson, for which he once again stepped behind the camera to direct. The film stars Thornton, Robert Duvall, John Hurt and Kevin Bacon. He was also seen in the ensemble drama “Parkland,” in which he co-starred with Paul Giamatti and Marcia Gay Harden, and directed “The King of Luck,” a documentary about country music legend and longtime friend Willie Nelson. Thornton most recently starred in “Cut Bank,” appearing at this year’s Los Angeles and Toronto film festivals, and in which he co-stars with John Malkovich, Bruce Dern, Oliver Platt and Liam Hemsworth, and will next be seen in the drama “London Fields,” co-starring Amber Heard. His prior projects have included the action thriller “Faster,” co-starring Dwayne Johnson; the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ best-selling novel “The Informers”; the Polish brothers’ dark comedy “The Smell of Success”; “Eagle Eye”; the comedy “Mr. Woodcock”; “The Astronaut Farmer,” directed by Michael Polish; “School For Scoundrels”; the re-make of the “The Bad News Bears”; and “Friday Night Lights.” In 2003 he garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role in the critically acclaimed box-office hit “Bad Santa,” and in 2004 he received rave reviews for his portrayal of legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett in “The Alamo.” Showing the versatility of his acting abilities, in 2001 Thornton starred in the caper comedy “Bandits,” for director Barry Levinson, co-starring Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett; the noir “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” for the Coen Brothers; and the heart-wrenching drama “Monster’s Ball,” in which he co-starred with Halle Berry, Peter Boyle and Heath Ledger. Each of the three performances garnered Thornton unprecedented critical acclaim, and resulted in his being named Best Actor of 2001 by the National Board of Review, Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Drama for “The Man Who Wasn’t There” and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for “Bandits,” and an American Film Institute Award nomination for Best Actor for “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” Thornton’s 1996 release of the critically acclaimed and phenomenally popular feature film “Sling Blade,” which he starred in and directed from an original script he wrote, firmly secured his status as a preeminent filmmaker. For his efforts, he was honored with both an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The film also starred Robert Duvall, JT Walsh, Dwight Yoakum and John Ritter. Prior to “Sling Blade,” Thornton already had an extensive motion picture credit list. He wrote and starred in the thrilling character drama “One False Move,” which brought him immediate critical praise. Thornton’s powerful script, co-written with Tom Epperson, was enhanced by his intense performance as a hunted criminal. The film, directed by Carl Franklin, was an unheralded sleeper success. In addition, Thornton has been featured in such films as “The Winner,” for director Alex Cox, “Indecent Proposal,” directed by Adrian Lyne, “Deadman,” for director Jim Jarmusch, and “Tombstone,” directed by George Cosmatos. Thornton has also appeared in the films “On Deadly Ground,” “Bound by Honor,” “For the Boys” and “The Stars Fell on Henrietta.” As a writer, Thornton has worked on numerous projects for studios and production companies. He also scripted “A Family Thing,” a highly regarded feature film that starred Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones. Thornton co-starred in the blockbuster action-adventure film “Armageddon,” with Bruce Willis, for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and he also co-starred opposite Sean Penn and Nick Nolte in “U-Turn,” directed by Oliver Stone, and in “Primary Colors,” opposite John Travolta and Emma Thompson, for director Mike Nichols. He also starred in the dark comedy “Pushing Tin,” opposite John Cusack. Thornton received an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his celebrated work in the tightly woven drama “A Simple Plan,” for director Sam Raimi, as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Screen Actors Guild. For his second and third directorial outings, Thornton chose the comedy “Daddy and Them,” which he again wrote and starred in, and the best-selling Cormac McCarthy novel, the epic “All the Pretty Horses,” starring Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz and Henry Thomas. Thornton also co-wrote “The Gift,” starring Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi and Hillary Swank. Thornton’s other film credits include the comedy “Waking Up in Reno,” co-starring Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze and Natascha Richardson; the drama “Levity,” in which he co-starred with Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst; “Intolerable Cruelty,” co-starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones; and “Love Actually,” with Hugh Grant, Laura Linney and Liam Neeson. LEIGHTON MEESTER (Carla) began her career performing in regional theatre before receiving critical acclaim for her portrayal of Blair Waldorf on the hit show “Gossip Girl.” She had recurring roles on a variety of long-running shows, including “24” and “Entourage.” Meester is also a singer/songwriter and starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw in the feature film “Country Strong.” Her additional film credits include a turn opposite Hugh Laurie, Allison Janney, and Oliver Platt in “The Oranges”; in Frank Whaley’s “Like Sunday, Like Rain,” with Debra Messing and Billie Joe Armstrong; and in “Life Partners.” She recently starred alongside James Franco and Chris O’Dowd in the critically acclaimed Broadway run of the John Steinbeck play “Of Mice and Men.” ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS DAVID DOBKIN (Director / Producer / Story By) is a filmmaker known for creating entertaining and insightful films that resonate with mass audiences across genres. His films tell human stories which feature memorable and iconic performances from his actors. Dobkin made his directing debut with the 1998 dark comedy “Clay Pigeons,” which marked his first collaboration with Vince Vaughn. The film also starred Joaquin Phoenix and Janeane Garofalo. Dobkin then proved his ability to combine action and comedy in the hit film “Shanghai Knights,” with Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan. In 2005, Dobkin revived the hard-R-rated comedy genre when he directed the summer blockbuster “Wedding Crashers,” starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. The romantic comedy about two buddies who sneak into weddings to pick up women grossed over $285 million at the worldwide box office. Dobkin went on to direct the comedies “Fred Claus,” with Vaughn starring, and “The Change-Up,” starring Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde. Up next, Dobkin will produce a reboot of the classic comedy “Vacation,” with Ed Helms, for his Big Kid Pictures production company. In addition to his feature film success, Dobkin is an award-winning commercial and music video director. He was awarded a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for directing a Sony PlayStation spot, and his commercial for the Utah Symphony was named “Spot of the Month” by Adweek magazine and was featured in Communication Arts as one of the year’s best. His other commercial directing work includes ads for such clients as Heineken, which earned him honors from SHOOT magazine; ESPN; Carl’s Jr.; Coca-Cola; Honda; and Coors Light. Dobkin has directed music videos for such recording artists as Elton John, Extreme, Robin Zander, John Lee Hooker, Sonic Youth, dada, Blues Traveler and Tupac Shakur. Dobkin won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video for Coolio’s “1, 2, 3, 4.” A native of Washington, D.C., Dobkin is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. SUSAN DOWNEY (Producer) is a prolific film producer who has collaborated with some of the industry’s most renowned talents on a diverse list of films, encompassing action adventures, dramas, comedies and horror thrillers. She is a partner in Team Downey, the production company she formed with her husband, Robert Downey Jr. “The Judge” marks the first Team Downey film produced under the banner’s first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures. Team Downey is also actively developing a broad range of feature and television projects. The company’s recently announced films include the supernatural horror comedy “Cloaked,” and “Pinocchio,” a live-action adventure to star Robert Downey Jr. as Geppetto. Their other film projects in development include the crime thriller “Perry Mason,” based on the original mystery stories by Erle Stanley Gardner, set in Los Angeles in the 1930s; “Yucatan,” an action thriller based on an original story by the late Steve McQueen; and an as-yet-untitled historical drama that tells the true story of Hunter Scott, the young man who led the campaign to clear the name of Captain McVay, the commander of the ill-fated USS Indianapolis. For the small screen, Team Downey is developing a drama for Showtime centered around the rehab/therapy community in Venice Beach, circa 1983. Downey previously produced Guy Ritchie’s 2009 action adventure “Sherlock Holmes,” starring Robert Downey Jr. as the legendary detective and Jude Law as Dr. Watson. The film was a worldwide hit, taking in more than $524 million at the global box office. Two years later, Downey produced the equally successful sequel, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” which earned more than $545 million worldwide. She also served as an executive producer on Jaume Collet-Serra’s thriller “Unknown,” starring Liam Neeson; Todd Phillips’ hit comedy “Due Date,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis; and the blockbuster “Iron Man 2,” directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson. Downey earlier held the dual posts of Co-President of Dark Castle Entertainment and Executive Vice President of Production at Silver Pictures. During her tenure, she produced or executive produced such diverse films as the Hughes brothers’ post-apocalyptic drama “The Book of Eli,” starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman; the horror thriller “Orphan,” starring Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard; Guy Ritchie’s crime comedy “RocknRolla,” starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton and Idris Elba; Neil Jordan’s psychological drama “The Brave One,” starring Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard; Shane Black’s critically acclaimed comedic thriller “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer; and the horror hits “House of Wax” and “Gothika.” She earlier co-produced “Cradle 2 the Grave” and “Ghost Ship,” which marked her producing debut. She had joined Silver Pictures in 1999, overseeing the development and production of films released under both banners, including “Thir13en Ghosts” and “Swordfish.” Prior to her tenure at Dark Castle and Silver Pictures, Downey worked on the hit films “Mortal Kombat” and “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” Downey is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television. DAVID GAMBINO (Producer) is the President of Production for Team Downey, Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey’s production company, which has a first look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures. Gambino oversees all aspects of business for the company, including development, production, and acquisitions for both film and television. Team Downey’s bold and diverse slate includes a modern retelling of the classic story Pinocchio; “Yucatan,” a mind-bending adventure created by the legendary actor Steve McQueen; and a feature film reboot of everyone’s favorite lawyer, “Perry Mason.” Gambino began his career at Silver Pictures when he joined the company in 2001. At Silver, Gambino collaborated with some of the industries brightest minds while developing and producing films for both Silver Pictures and its genre label Dark Castle. Gambino served as associate producer on the action-thriller “The Invasion,” starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, as well as co-producer on acclaimed director Neil Jordan’s vigilante thriller “The Brave One,” starring Jodie Foster. He went on to produce the murder mystery “Whiteout,” starring Kate Beckinsale, and the psychological thriller “The Factory,” starring John Cusack. Before joining Silver Pictures, Gambino produced and directed a graduate thesis film titled “Shooters,” about the world of paparazzi. The film garnered unprecedented media attention for its prescient subject matter and won numerous awards on the festival circuit. The film caught the eye of producer Joel Silver and Silver launched Gambino’s career. Gambino graduated cum laude from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in Film. NICK SCHENK (Screenplay / Story By) is a writer and actor best known for his script for “Gran Torino,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. The film was named Best Screenplay by the National Board of Review in late 2008. BILL DUBUQUE (Screenplay) worked as corporate headhunter for 12 years before breaking into the industry with the drama “The Headhunter’s Calling.” Soon after, his acclaimed Blacklist script “The Accountant” caught the town’s attention and Dubuque was enlisted to write “The Judge” for Team Downey, the company’s first production. His ability to organically channel emotion and empathy through his characters has deemed Dubuque one of the most sought after scribes in Hollywood. Currently, he is has several projects in development. HERBERT W. GAINS (Executive Producer) most recently served as executive producer on the highly successful Liam Neeson thriller “Non-Stop.” His body of work includes several large-scale, action-packed films such as “GI Joe: Retalliation,” Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern,” Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen,” and “The Brave One,” starring Jodie Foster. He previously produced the horror thriller “The Reaping,” starring Hilary Swank, and was a producer on Michael Tollin’s poignant sports drama “Radio,” with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris. His additional executive producer credits include “House of Wax,” starring Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray; the 2004 romantic comedy “Little Black Book,” with Brittany Murphy; “Cradle 2 the Grave,” starring Jet Li and DMX; Jake Kasdan’s comedy “Orange County”; “Hardball,” starring Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane; and “Summer Catch,” starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jessica Biel. Gains counts among his co-producing credits “Varsity Blues,” with James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight and Amy Smart; “Ready to Rumble”; and Rob Cohen’s “Daylight,” starring Sylvester Stallone. A production manager for such films as “The Negotiator” and “Mouse Hunt,” he had earlier worked as an assistant director on a variety of films, including “Natural Born Killers,” “Heaven & Earth,” “Point Break,” “Pacific Heights,” “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” “Dirty Dancing” and “The Fan.” JEFF KLEEMAN (Executive Producer) graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in English. He curated exhibits at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and ran a Story Department at Carolco. In 1987, Kleeman joined Paramount Pictures and was a development and production executive on “Internal Affairs,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “Shirley Valentine” and “Star Trek 6.” He was also responsible for the development of “Deep Cover,” later produced and released by New Line Cinema. In 1991, Kleeman became Vice President of Production for Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope, where he worked on “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” initiated Tim Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow,” was associate producer on “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” co-producer on “Kidnapped,” and executive producer on “Haunted” and “The Titanic.” Kleeman joined MGM/UA in 1993, where he was Executive Vice President of Production. He was responsible for overseeing the revitalization of the James Bond franchise, beginning with “Goldeneye,” then “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The World Is Not Enough.” He oversaw the development and production of “Rob Roy,” “Hackers” and “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and he was responsible for the acquisition of “Leaving Las Vegas.” While at MGM/UA, Kleeman also developed “Cold Mountain,” “Heartbreakers” and “The Pink Panther.” In 1999, Kleeman left MGM/UA to work with Robert Redford, developing strategies for Redford’s future Sundance Entertainment Ventures. He also served on the Board of Directors of The Sundance Channel. In 2005, Kleeman co-created/show-ran “Misconceptions,” a multi-camera sitcom for The WB. In 2006, he wrote a single-camera comedy, “Roll with It,” for Fox Television. In 2007, he wrote a one-hour drama pilot, “Sleeping Beauty,” for ABC, Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick. He also returned to MGM/UA as Executive Vice President of Motion Picture Production. In September 2008, Kleeman joined David Dobkin as President of Big Kid Pictures. In 2010, he wrote a one-hour pilot for Warner Bros. Television based on the film “Time After Time.” He also executive produced the film “The Change-Up.” Kleeman was Executive Producer on the single-camera half-hour series “Friends with Benefits,” which aired on NBC in 2011. He is a writer on the Guy Ritchie-directed “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” feature, releasing in 2015. In August 2012, Kleeman became President of Ellen Degeneres’s company, A Very Good Production. They are currently in production on three television series that will air in 2015, as well as a web series that will stream in Fall 2014. Kleeman is a member of the USC Cinema School faculty, where he teaches graduate courses on film development, production and the studio system. He has lectured at Yale, UCLA and Northwestern, and at several film conferences, as well as taught Film Independent’s Screenwriter’s Lab. Kleeman has chaired Film Independent’s Spirit Awards Nominating Committee. He has served on the board of directors of The Sundance Channel, IFP West and The Los Angeles Film Festival Advisory Committee, and served as a judge for the International Thriller Writers Best Screenplay Award. Kleeman currently chairs the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Screening Committee. He is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Writers Guild of America, The Producers Guild of America, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and The British Academy of Film & Television. BRUCE BERMAN (Executive Producer) is Chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures. The company has a successful joint partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures to co-produce a wide range of motion pictures, with all films distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. The initial slate of films produced under the pact included such hits as “Practical Magic,” starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; “Analyze This,” teaming Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal; “The Matrix,” starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne; “Three Kings,” starring George Clooney; “Space Cowboys,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood; and “Miss Congeniality,” starring Bullock and Benjamin Bratt. Under the Village Roadshow Pictures banner, Berman has subsequently executive produced such wide-ranging successes as “Training Day,” for which Denzel Washington won an Oscar; the “Ocean’s” trilogy; “Two Weeks’ Notice,” pairing Bullock and Hugh Grant; Eastwood’s “Mystic River,” starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins in Oscar-winning performances; “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”; Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” starring Johnny Depp; the blockbuster “I Am Legend,” starring Will Smith; the acclaimed drama “Gran Torino,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood; director Guy Ritchie’s hit action adventure “Sherlock Holmes,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, and its sequel, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”; and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” which won the AACTA Award for Best Picture, one of 13 wins, from the Australian Film Institute. Most recently, Berman served as executive producer on the international blockbuster hit “The LEGO Movie,” directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and featuring an all-star vocal cast, and the sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow,” starring Tom Cruise. His upcoming projects include the Wachowskis’ original sci-fi action adventure “Jupiter Ascending”; Ron Howard’s action adventure “In the Heart of the Sea,” based on the Nathaniel Philbrick bestseller about the dramatic true journey of the whaling ship Essex; and George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Berman got his start in the motion picture business working with Jack Valenti at the MPAA while attending Georgetown Law School in Washington, DC. After earning his law degree, he landed a job at Casablanca Films in 1978. Moving to Universal, he worked his way up to a production Vice President in 1982. In 1984, Berman joined Warner Bros. as a production Vice President, and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Production four years later. He was appointed President of Theatrical Production in September 1989, and in 1991 was named to the post of President of Worldwide Theatrical Production, which he held through May 1996. Under his aegis, Warner Bros. Pictures produced and distributed such films as “Presumed Innocent,” “GoodFellas,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” the Oscar-winning Best Picture “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Batman Forever,” “Under Siege,” “Malcolm X,” “The Bodyguard,” “JFK,” “The Fugitive,” “Dave,” “Disclosure,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Outbreak,” “The Client,” “A Time to Kill,” and “Twister.” In May of 1996, Berman started Plan B Entertainment, an independent motion picture company at Warner Bros. Pictures. He was named Chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures in February 1998. JANUSZ KAMINSKI (Director of Photography) has created some of the most lasting and memorable images in cinema history. Whether filming “Schindler’s List” or “Saving Private Ryan,” Kaminski is a naturally gifted cinematographer. He earned his sixth Academy Award nomination for his work on 2013’s “Lincoln,” adding further proof that Kaminski is one of the finest cinematographers of his generation. He was most recently nominated for an Emmy Award for his directorial work on “Making a Scene: The Year’s Best Performances in 11 Original (Very) Short Films,” for New York Times Magazine. Kaminski had his first big break with Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film “Schindler’s List,” earning him his first Academy Award for Best Cinematography. He won his second Oscar on Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” The duo has worked together on many hits, including “Lincoln”; “War Horse”; “Indiana Jones 4,” with Harrison Ford; “Munich”; “War of the Worlds,” with Tom Cruise; “The Terminal,” with Tom Hanks; “Catch Me if You Can,” with Leonardo DiCaprio; “Minority Report”; “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”; “Amistad”; and, finally, “Jurassic Park: The Lost World.” Kaminski worked with Julian Schnabel on “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” which earned Kaminski an Academy Award nomination. MARK LIVOLSI (Editor) reunites with director David Dobkin after serving in the same capacity on the filmmaker’s prior films “Wedding Crashers” and “Fred Claus.” Livolsi hails from suburban Pittsburgh, where his father worked as an illustrator for the Pittsburgh Press. He studied his craft at Penn State University before setting out for New York City, where he began his career cutting TV commercials at a local production house. He next moved into sound editing, assisting on Mike Nichols’ “Heartburn” before fatefully meeting editor Joe Hutshing on Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street”, where Hutshing worked as an assistant alongside Livolsi’s role as an apprentice editor. Soon thereafter, Livolsi began establishing his cutting room skills by assisting such veterans as Susan E. Morse on four Woody Allen films, “Deconstructing Harry,” “Alice,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and “Shadows and Fog”; Alan Heim on “Funny Farm”; and David Brenner on “Night and the City,” and “Heaven & Earth.” After a few years, Hutshing tapped Livolsi as his assistant editor on “The River Wild,” which Brenner co-edited, “French Kiss,” “Meet Joe Black” and Cameron Crowe’s seminal comedy “Almost Famous,” which earned Hutshing and co-editor Saar Klein an Oscar nomination for Best Editing. In addition to his work during filming, Livolsi was also instrumental in the DVD launch of the Director’s Cut of the film. Livolsi continued his collaboration with Hutshing on Crowe’s very next project, the drama “Vanilla Sky,” on which he earned his very first credit as film editor alongside his longtime mentor. He most recently reunited with Crowe on “We Bought a Zoo” and served as an additional editor on his 2005 feature, “Elizabethtown.” He has also established a long-standing association with directors David Frankel, cutting “Marley & Me,” “The Big Year” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” and John Lee Hancock on “The Blind Side” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” He collected three American Cinema Editors Eddie nominations, for his work on “Wedding Crashers,” “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” More recently, Livolsi edited “Stand Up Guys,” and his current project is “The Jungle Book” for John Favreau. He has also edited the independent dramas “The Girl Next Door,” “Crazy for Love” and “Pieces of April,” the latter an Oscar, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominee that premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. MARK RICKER (Production Designer) has received Art Directors Guild Award nominations for Excellence in Production Design for his work on the Academy Award-winning “The Help,” written and directed by Tate Taylor, and for “Julie & Julia,” written and directed by Nora Ephron. In 2010, he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his work on director Barry Levinson’s and HBO’s look at the life of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, “You Don’t Know Jack.” Most recently, Ricker’s production design can be seen in the James Brown biopic “Get on Up,” directed by Tate Taylor. He also recently designed the sleeper box office hit “The Way Way Back,” written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. His additional design credits include “Conviction,” the true story of Betty Anne Waters, portrayed by Hilary Swank and directed by Tony Goldwyn; “The Nanny Diaries,” directed by Shari Springer Berman and Bob Pulcini; “The Hoax,” directed by Lasse Hallström; three films for director Griffin Dunne, “The Accidental Husband,” “Fierce People” and “Lisa Picard Is Famous”; Ben Younger’s “Prime,” which starred Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman; Rebecca Miller’s “The Ballad of Jack & Rose,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener; “Sunshine State” for John Sayles; Jill Sprecher’s “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing”; “Julie Johnson,” directed by Bob Gosse; and Alex Winter’s “Fever.” As an art director and set designer, Ricker contributed to the designs of “The Shipping News,” “Far From Heaven,” “Kate & Leopold,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “The Out-of-Towners” and “The Substance of Fire.” He began his career in the prop and set decorating departments of “Passion Fish,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Once Around” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” His first motion picture experience was handing out hot dogs to extras in “Bull Durham.” Ricker’s advertising work includes multiple commercials directed by Janusz Kaminski, Guillermo Arriaga and Tony Goldwyn. He studied English at UNC-Chapel Hill and has an MFA in scenic and production design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. MARLENE STEWART (Costume Designer) has built a long and illustrious career, working with some of the most prominent filmmakers of our time. Stewart’s feature film credits include “Oblivion,” directed by Joseph Kosinski; “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” directed by Tommy Wirkol; “Real Steel,” “Date Night” and the “Night at the Museum” movies, all directed by Shawn Levy; “Tropic Thunder,” directed by Ben Stiller; “Stop-Loss,” directed by Kimberly Pierce; “The Holiday,” directed by Nancy Meyer; “Hitch,” directed by Andy Tennant; “21 Grams,” directed by Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu; “Ali,” directed by Michael Mann; “Coyote Ugly,” directed by David McNally; “Gone in 60 Seconds,” directed by Dominic Sena; “Enemy of the State,” directed by Ridley Scott; “The Phantom,” directed by Simon Wincer; “True Lies,” directed by James Cameron; “JFK,” directed by Oliver Stone; and “Siesta,” directed by Mary Lambert. She received her Master’s degree in European History from UC Berkeley and went on to get another degree in design from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Stewart was an early pioneer in music videos, working with, among others, Smashing Pumpkins, The Bangles, Eurythmics, The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson and Debbie Harry. She also toured with Madonna three times and designed clothing for some of her most popular music videos, including “Vogue,” “Material Girl,” “Like a Prayer” and “Express Yourself.” The “Vogue” video earned her an MTV Music Video Award for Best Costumes. During this time, Stewart designed a contemporary women’s clothing line, Covers, which appeared in stores in New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Milan and Rome. In 2012, Stewart was presented with a Career Achievement Award by the Costume Designer’s Guild. She had earlier received the Bob Mackie Award for Design. THOMAS NEWMAN (Composer) is widely acclaimed as one of today’s most prominent composers for film. He has composed music for more than 50 motion pictures and television series and has earned 12 Academy Award nominations and six Grammy Awards. He is the youngest son of Alfred Newman, the longtime musical director of Twentieth Century Fox and the composer of scores for such films as “Wuthering Heights,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “All About Eve.” As a child, Thomas Newman pursued basic music and piano studies. However, it was not until after his father’s death that the younger Newman, then age 14, felt charged with the desire to write. Newman studied composition and orchestration at USC with Professor Frederick Lesemann and noted film composer David Raksin, and privately with composer George Tremblay. He completed his academic work at Yale University, studying with Jacob Druckman, Bruce MacCombie and Robert Moore. Newman also gratefully acknowledges the early influence of another prominent musician, the legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, who served as a great mentor and champion. A turning point in Newman’s career took place while he was working as a musical assistant on the 1984 film “Reckless,” for which he soon was promoted to the position of composer. And so, at the age of 27, Newman successfully composed his first film score. Since then he has contributed distinctive and evocative scores to numerous acclaimed films, including “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “The Lost Boys,” “The Rapture,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Player,” “Scent of a Woman,” “Flesh and Bone,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Little Women,” “American Buffalo,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” “Oscar and Lucinda,” “The Horse Whisperer,” “Meet Joe Black,” “American Beauty,” “The Green Mile,” “Erin Brockovich,” “In The Bedroom,” “Road to Perdition,” “Finding Nemo,” “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Cinderella Man,” “Jarhead,” “Little Children,” “The Good German,” “Revolutionary Road” and “Wall-E.” His most recent projects include “The Debt,” “The Adjustment Bureau,” “The Help,” “The Iron Lady,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Skyfall,” “Side Effects” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” Newman also composed the music for HBO’s acclaimed six-hour miniseries “Angels in America,” directed by Mike Nichols. He received an Emmy Award for his theme for the HBO original series “Six Feet Under.” In addition to his work in film and television, Newman has composed several works for the concert stage, including the symphonic work “Reach Forth Our Hands,” commissioned in 1996 by the Cleveland Orchestra to commemorate their city’s bicentennial, as well as “At Ward’s Ferry, Length 180 ft.,” a concerto for double bass and orchestra commissioned in 2001 by the Pittsburgh Symphony. His latest concert piece was a chamber work entitled “It Got Dark,” commissioned by the acclaimed Kronos Quartet in 2009. As part of a separate commission by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the work was expanded and adapted for symphony orchestra and string quartet, and premiered at Walt Disney Concert Hall in December of 2009.