December 13, 2011 10:42am PT by Scott Feinberg
Steven Spielberg's Longtime Below-the-Line Collaborators Talk About the Legendary Director, Making 'War Horse' (Exclusive Video)
Several days ago, I had the privilege of moderating a Q&A in New York with seven incredibly talented people whose names and faces are not known to the general public, but whose contributions were essential to the making of many of our most cherished films over the past few decades -- including and especially those directed by Steven Spielberg, with whom all have closely collaborated on numerous cinematic ventures, most recently during the making of the epic Oscar contender War Horse.
They were ...
- producer Kathleen Kennedy, who has produced or executive produced the vast majority of Spielberg's films since her first, E.T. (1982), and who has produced a grand total of six films that received best picture Oscar nominations: E.T., The Color Purple (1985), The Sixth Sense (1999), Seabiscuit (2003), Munich (2005), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
- production designer Rick Carter, who has worked on eight films that Spielberg has directed dating back to Empire of the Sun (1987), and who has twice been nominated for the best art direction Oscar, for Forrest Gump (1994) and Avatar (2010) -- he won for the latter
- first assistant director Adam Somner, who has served in that capacity on Spielberg's last five films, as well as Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), Seabiscuit (2003), There Will Be Blood (2007), and many other memorable films
- costume designer Joanna Johnston, who has worked on five Spielberg films since 1989, as well as Forrest Gump (1994), The Sixth Sense (1999), Cast Away (2000), and many other memorable films
- makeup artist Lois Burwell, who has worked on four films that Spielberg has directed dating back to Saving Private Ryan (1998), and who has twice been nominated for the best makeup Oscar, for Braveheart (1995) and Saving Private Ryan -- she won for the former
- cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, who has shot all of the films that Spielberg has directed dating back to Schindler's List (1993), and who has twice won the best cinematography Oscar, for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan (1998) -- he was also nominated but did not win for Amistad (1997) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
- film editor Michael Kahn, who has worked on virtually all of Spielberg's films dating back to Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and who has garnered seven best film editing Oscar nominations, winning for three, all Spielberg films -- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Schindler's List (1993), and Saving Private Ryan (1998)
I hope that you'll check out our conversation, through which I learned a great deal about each of these artists, Spielberg, and the making of many of the films on which they have collaborated, especially War Horse.