This page was created on February 11, 2002
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005



Nick Cassavetes

Director Nick Cassavetes most recently directed She's So Lovely, starring Sean Penn, Robin Wright and John Travolta, the only film to win two awards at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, including a best Actor Award for Sean Penn and a Best Cinematography Award. Cassavetes made his feature film directorial debut on the critically-acclaimed Unhook the Stars, starring Marisa Tomei, Gerard Depardieu and Gena Rowlands.

As an actor, Cassavetes studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. His 1999 releases include starring roles opposite Eddie Murphy in Life, opposite Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron in New Line's The Astronaut's Wife and opposite William H. Macy in Panic. He has also been seen in John Woo's Face/ Off, Alan Rudolph's Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Oliver Stone's The Doors and Peter Bogdanovich's Mask. Other screen acting roles include Just Like Dad, Blind Fury, Quiet Cool, The Wraith and Twogether. In addition, Cassavetes has penned several projects including Blow, The Godforsaken and Unless That Someone is You.

Mark Burg (Producer)

Mark Burg has produced and executive produced a wide range of films including Bull Durham, starring Kevin Costner; Can't Buy Me Love, starring Patrick Dempsey; Airheads; The Cure; Toy Soldiers; the Sandlot; Eddie, starring Whoopi Goldberg; Don't be a Menace, starring Sean and Marlon Wayans; and B.A.P.S. starring Halle Berry and Martin Landau for New Line Cinema. He also produced The Gingerbread Man, based on an original story by John Grisham and directed by Robert Altman, starring Kenneth Branagh, Embeth Davidtz, Robert Downey, Jr., Daryl Hannah, Famke Janssen, Tom Berenger and Robert Duvall.

Most recently Burg produced the Jim Toback movie, Black & White, starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jared Leto, Brooke Shields, Elijiah Woods and Mike Tyson; Lockdown, directed by John Luessenhop; and Good Advice, directed by Steve Rash and starring Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards, Angie Harmon, Jon Lovitz and Rosanna Arquette.

Burg formed Evolution Entertainment with Oren Koules in October 1998, a management/production company representing actors, writers and directors. The company also has a first-look television deal with DreamWorks SKG.

Oren Koules (Producer)

Oren Koules is co-founder of Evolution Entertainment, a management/production company that represents actors, writers and directors. Together with Mark Burg, he has produced such films as Black and White and Good Advice, as well as the upcoming Run Ronnie Run!, starring David Cross and Bob Odenkirk. Prior to Evolution Entertainment, Koules served as Senior Vice President of Production for Paramount Pictures and also produced Set it Off, directed by F. Gary Gray, and Mrs. Winterbourne starring Shirley MacClaine, Ricki Lake and Brendan Fraser.
Koules began his motion picture career in 1992 and co-founded Peak Productions in 1995 with Dale Pollack. The duo produced two studio releases in eighteen months.

Avram Butch Kaplan (Executive Producer)

Avram Butch Kaplan was born in New York City and received a classical French education from Lycee Francais before moving at age 15 to Israel and attending agricultural high school, where he matriculated in dairy farming. He then subsequently joined the Israeli Defense Forces and served as a paratrooper for three years in the standing army, and later in the reserves.

In 1982, Kaplan entered the film business as the Israeli distributor at CIC (an equivalent to Paramount and Universal in Israel). In 1987, he returned to the United States and began working in production in Los Angeles, going on to produce various television shows including "Red Shoe Diaries" for Showtime, "Strangers" for HBO, "Allies" for CBS and "Beyond Belief" for Fox.

Kaplan's feature producing credits include The Patriot, directed by Dean Semler for Interlight Pictures; Lawnmower Man 2, directed by Farhad Mann for New Line Cinema; and Lake Consequence. Kaplan also served as line producer/UPM on Buffalo 66, directed by Vincent Gallo for Lion's Gate Films.

It was while producing She's So Lovely, starring John Travolta and Sean Penn, that Kaplan formed a working relationship with John Q. director Nick Cassavetes.

James Kearns (Screenwriter)

Before concentrating on screenwriting, James Kearns lived in New York City where he worked as a playwright. His plays "Days in the Dark Light" and "Price of Admission" were produced in New York and Los Angeles. Another full-length drama, "Favorite Sons" was staged by the Actors Producing Company in New York and was subsequently named a Selection Committee Finalist at the Eugene O'Neill Writers Conference in Waterbury, Connecticut.

His work in the theater eventually led him to relocate to Los Angeles where he worked as a writer on several critically praised dramatic series, most notably "A Year in the Life" (NBC) and "Wiseguy" (CBS). Over the years he has managed to stay gainfully employed by writing film scripts (which have yet to make their way to the big screen) and several television movies, including the recently filmed "Code 1114" for CBS. John Q. is his first screenplay to be produced as a feature length film. He currently lives in southern California with his wife and two daugthers.

Rogier Stoffers, N.S.C. (Director of Photography)

Rogier Stoffers, a native of Holland, was the cinematographer on Mike van Diem's Character, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1993 in addition to three Best Cinematography Awards at film festivals in the U.S., Poland and Madrid. Stoffers has just completed Philip Kaufman's Quills. His other credits include Mart Dominicus' 1999, Ilse Somers' short, Sancta Mortale, Anette Apon's One Man and His Dog, Monique van de Duren's Mama's Proefkonun, Robert Steyn's Ici Et Maintenant and Mike van Diem's Alaska, which won an Academy Award for Best Student film in 1990.

Stefania Cella (Production Designer)

Stefania Cella hails from Italy, where she completed Papa Dice Messa and Amati Matti (which screened at the Venice Film Festival) before relocating to the United States. More recently she designed Jill Mazursky's short, Fallen Bride, John Briley's The Son of Man and Dangerous Beauty directed by Marshall Herskovitz, on which she worked as Art Director.

Cella's television credits include eight episodes of ABC's "Once and Again" and the pilot "The Castle," directed by Marshall Herskovitz. Cella honed her skills on scores of commercials and music videos for such directors as Woody Allen, Fabrice Carazo, Michael Grasso, Edward Zwick and Mark Piznarski.

Cella recently completed Assassination Tango directed by Robert Duvall and produced by Francis Ford Coppola.

Beatrix Auruna Pasztor (Costumer Designer)

Beatrix Arurna Pasztor's most recent credits are Wonder Boys, starring Michael Douglas, Monkey Bone with Brendan Fraser and A Dog of Flanders. She previously designed the costumes for Nick Cassavetes' She's So Lovely. A member of Gus Van Sant's creative team, she first worked for him on Drugstore Cowboy followed by My Own Private Idaho, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, To Die For, Good Will Hunting and Psycho, starring Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn.

Among her more than 20 feature films are The Fisher King, Oliver Stone's U-Turn and Marco Brambilla's Excess Baggage, Indecent Proposal, American Heart and her first picture, The Bloodhounds of Broadway, starring Madonna.

Dede Allen, A.C.E. (Editor)

The numerous feature credits of acclaimed editor Dede Allen include such classic films as The Hustler, America, America, Bonnie and Clyde, Rachel, Rachel, Alice's Restaurant, Little Big Man, Slaughterhouse Five, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Night Moves, The Missouri Breaks, Slapshot, The Wiz, Reds (for which she also served as Executive Producer), The Breakfast Club, The Milagro Beanfield War, Henry and June, The Addams Family and, most recently, Wonder Boys.

Allen began her career in film editing in 1950 in New York (following a stint making commerical spots for television) with Odds Against Tomorrow, directed by Robert Wise, and from there went on to form collaborations with several noted directors, including six films for Arthur Penn, three films for Sidney Lumet, two films for George Roy Hill, two films for Paul Newman and one film each for Elia Kazan and Robert Rossen. With her work on Bonnie and Clyde, Allen pioneered such innovative and much-imitated editing techniques as pre-lapping sound - the sound track coming in ahead of the picture on a cut - and unmatched cuts, fade-outs and cut-ins. She was also the first in her craft to win a credit position for the film editor in the opening credits of a film, alongside the cinematographer, the writer and director.

In 1992, Allen returned to Los Angeles to become a creative executive in theatrical production at Warner Brothers, where she consulted on films from dailies to post-production. In 1999, Allen left her executive position to return to her first love - film editing - and edited the acclaimed Wonder Boys.

Allen's numerous awards and nominations include the 1982 Women in Film Crystal Award, the 1975 British Academy Award for Dog Day Afternoon, Academy Award nominations for Dog Day Afternoon and Reds, a Doctor of Fine Arts Honorary Degree from the American Film Institute, the 1994 A.C.E. Lifetime Achievement Award, the 1999 Hollywood Film Festival Career Achievement Award, the 2000 Los Angeles Film Critics Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2001 New York Women in Film and Television Muse Award.

Aaron Zigman (Composer)

John Q. marks the feature film debut of composer Aaron Zigman.

Previously Zigman has worked extensively as a music producer, arranger and/or writer for such recording artists as Christina Aguilera, Seal, Aretha Franklin, Oleta Adams, Phil Collins, Tina Turner, Patti Labelle, Chicago, The Jets, Nona Gaye, Carly Simon, Pointer Sisters, Huey Lewis, Dionne Warwick and Jennifer Holiday. His work has been featured on such film soundtracks as Mulan, Buster, What's Love Got To Do With It?, License to Kill, Pocohantas and Fame


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