Alex Proyas

Alexander Proyas (/ˈprɔɪəs/; born 23 September 1963) is an Australian film director, screenwriter, and producer. Proyas is best known for directing the films The Crow (1994), Dark City (1998), I, Robot (2004), Knowing (2009), and Gods of Egypt (2016).

Alex Proyas
Alex Proyas by Sachyn Mital
Alex Proyas on the red carpet for Gods of Egypt, 2016
Born
Alexander Proyas

23 September 1963 (age 55)
Alexandria, United Arab Republic (present-day Egypt)
NationalityAustralian
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer
Notable work
The Crow
Dark City
I, Robot
Knowing
Gods of Egypt

Early life

Proyas was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to Egyptiotes (Greeks from Egypt) parents, and moved to Sydney when he was 3.[1] At 17, he attended the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School, and began directing music videos shortly after.[1] He moved to Los Angeles in the United States to further his career, working on MTV music videos and TV commercials.[1]

Career

Proyas' first feature film was the independent science fiction thriller Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, which was nominated for two Australian Film Institute awards in 1988, for costume design and production design[2] and which won a Special Prize at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.[3] Next, Proyas directed the 1994 superhero fantasy thriller The Crow starring Brandon Lee. Lee was killed in an accident during filming, only eight days before the completion of the film on 31 March 1993. After Lee's death, Proyas and his producers decided to complete the film, partially rewriting the script and using a stunt double and special effects to film the remaining scenes.[4] The Crow was released in May 1994 and was a box office and critical success.[5]

Proyas then wrote, directed and produced the 1998 science fiction thriller Dark City, which had disappointing box office results despite very positive critical reception and winning several awards.[6] In 2004, he directed I, Robot, a science fiction film suggested by[7] the Isaac Asimov short story compilation I, Robot.

Proyas' film, the thriller Knowing, began production in Melbourne in March 2008 and opened in North America in March 2009.[8]

His next project was meant to be an action-oriented adaptation of John Milton's 17th-century Christian epic poem Paradise Lost, starring Bradley Cooper.[9] Both Proyas and Cooper were on hand to debut concept art at ComicCon 2011,[10] but the project was ultimately cancelled over budgetary concerns related to the effects.[11]

Proyas also worked with John Foxx on the creation of Parallel Lives, a joint project.

In late 2012, it was revealed that Proyas was slated as director of the science fiction thriller film adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson novel Amped.[12]

Proyas directed Gods of Egypt, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and co-written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. The film was critically panned upon its release.[13]

Filmography

Feature films

Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
1988 Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds Yes Yes Yes Directorial Debut
1994 The Crow Yes No No Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Director
1998 Dark City Yes Yes Yes Silver Scream Award
Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay
Film Critics Circle of Australia
Pegasus Audience Award[14]
Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Director
Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Writing
2002 Garage Days Yes Yes Yes
2004 I, Robot Yes No No
2009 Knowing Yes Yes No
2016 Gods of Egypt Yes Yes No Nominated- Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
Nominated- Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director

Short films

Year Film Director Writer Editor Cinematographer Notes
1980 Neon Yes No No No Co-directed with Salik Silverstein
Groping Yes No No Yes
1981 Strange Residues Yes No Yes No
1987 Spineless Yes No No No Also actor
1994 Book of Dreams: Welcome to Crateland Yes Yes No Yes Nominated- Short Film Palme d'Or
1995 Book of Dreams: Dream 7 - Ruben's Dream Yes Yes No No

Music videos

References

  1. ^ a b c Lancaster, Kurt; Thomas J. Mikotowicz (2001). Performing the Force: Essays on Immersion Into Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Environments. McFarland & Company. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7864-0895-5.
  2. ^ "Awards for Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  3. ^ "Yubari International Fantastic Adventure Film Festival '90". yubarifanta.com. Archived from the original on 7 April 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  4. ^ Ascher-Walsh, Rebecca (13 May 1994). "How Crow Flew". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  5. ^ "The Crow (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  6. ^ "Awards for Dark City". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  7. ^ "Full Cast and Crew for I, Robot". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  8. ^ Fleming, Michael (10 December 2007). "Cage to star in Proyas' 'Knowing'". Variety. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  9. ^ Sarafin, Jarrod. "Proyas Helms PARADISE LOST". Archived from the original on 18 September 2010.
  10. ^ Chitwood, Adam (6 July 2011). "Comic-Con 2011: Legendary Pictures Announces Panel Featuring PARADISE LOST". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike (9 February 2012). "Bradley Cooper-Starrer 'Paradise Lost' Scrapped By Legendary Pictures". Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  12. ^ Alex Proyas To Direct Sci-Fi Thriller Amped, From The Author of Robopocalypse, Cinemablend.com, retrieved 7 November 2012
  13. ^ "Alex Pyoyas' epic fantasy film project Gods of Egypt". geektyrant.com. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Awards for Alex Proyas". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 December 2007.

External links

25th Saturn Awards

The 25th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction, fantasy and horror film and television in 1998, were held on June 9, 1999.Below is a complete list of nominees and winners. Winners are highlighted in bold.

Audi RSQ

The Audi RSQ is a mid-engined concept car developed by Audi AG for use as a product placement in the 2004 sci-fi film I, Robot. It is meant to depict a technologically advanced automobile in the Chicago cityscape from the year 2035.

This sports coupé is a visionary interpretation of Audi's typical automobile design. An important challenge presented to the designers was that in order for the car to be successful advertising for Audi as product placement, despite its extreme character, the car still had to be recognised by those audience members familiar with car designs as an Audi. To accommodate this demand, the engineers implemented a current Audi front-end design which includes the trapezoidal "Audi Single-Frame Grille," the company's trademark overlapping four rings, and the Multi Media Interface (MMI) driver-to-car control system. The RSQ also includes special features suggested by film director Alex Proyas. The car uses spheres instead of conventional wheels. Its two reverse butterfly doors are hinged to the C-posts of the body.Although this kind of collaboration was a first for Audi, a similar project named the Lexus 2054 was developed by Lexus for use in the 2002 film Minority Report.

Bram Stoker Award

The Bram Stoker Award is a recognition presented annually by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for "superior achievement" in dark fantasy and horror writing.

Craig Wood (film editor)

Craig Wood is an Australian film editor working in America.

Born in Sydney, Wood began his career at the age of 19 as an assistant editor in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's documentary department before moving into music video and advertising work.

He has worked as an editor on all of director Gore Verbinski’s films, including the 1996 short film The Ritual, as well as on over a dozen Verbinski-directed commercials, including the Clio Awards and Silver Lion-winning Budweiser "Frogs" (1995).

Dariusz Wolski

Dariusz Adam Wolski (born 7 May 1956) is a Polish film and music video cinematographer. He is best known for his work as the cinematographer on the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and on Alex Proyas' cult classics The Crow and Dark City. Many of his collaborations include working with film directors like Ridley Scott, Rob Marshall, Tony Scott, Gore Verbinski and Tim Burton. He has been a member of the American Society of Cinematographers since 1996 and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2004. Along with working with many film directors, Wolski has also worked on several music videos with artists such as Elton John, Eminem, David Bowie, Sting, Aerosmith, and Neil Young.

Dark City

Dark City may refer to:

In film:

Dark City (1950 film), an American film noir starring Charlton Heston

Dark City (1990 film), a Canadian-UK independent film

Dark City (1998 film), an American-Australian science fiction film by Alex Proyas

Dark Cities (Ciudades oscuras), a 2002 Mexican film starring Alejandro TommasiIn other uses:

"Dark City", a song by Iced Earth from Dystopia

"Dark City", a song by Machinae Supremacy from Overworld

Dark City (1998 film)

Dark City is a 1998 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer. The film stars Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, and William Hurt. Sewell plays John Murdoch, an amnesiac man who finds himself suspected of murder. Murdoch attempts to discover his true identity and clear his name while on the run from the police and a mysterious group known only as the "Strangers".The majority of the film was shot at Fox Studios Australia. It was jointly produced by New Line Cinema and Mystery Clock Cinema. New Line Cinema distributed the theatrical release. The film premiered in the United States on February 27, 1998. The film was nominated for Hugo and Saturn Awards. For the theatrical release, the studio was concerned that the audience would not understand the film and asked Proyas to add an explanatory voice-over narration to the introduction. A director's cut was released in 2008, restoring and preserving Proyas's original artistic vision for the film. Some critics have noted its similarities and influence on the Matrix series, which came out a year later.

Escape Artists

Escape Artists Productions, LLC, commonly known as Escape Artists and distinct from Escape Artists, Inc. (pod caster), is an independently financed motion picture and television production company with a first look non-exclusive deal at Sony Pictures Entertainment, headed by partners Steve Tisch, Todd Black, and Jason Blumenthal. In 2001, Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal’s Black & Blu merged with the Steve Tisch Company to form Escape Artists.

The first produced movie under the Escape Artists banner was A Knight's Tale, starring Heath Ledger in 2001. In the fall of 2005, Escape Artists released The Weather Man, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Nicolas Cage and Michael Caine. Their next film, The Pursuit of Happyness, directed by Gabriele Muccino and starring Will Smith, was released in December 2006 and earned over $300 million in worldwide ticket sales, as well as best actor Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Will Smith. Seven Pounds, another Gabriele Muccino-directed film starring Will Smith, was released in December 2008. In 2009, Escape Artists released the Alex Proyas thriller Knowing, starring Nicolas Cage, and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, directed by Tony Scott and starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta. Their latest project entitled, The Back-Up Plan, directed by Alan Poul and starring Jennifer Lopez, was released through CBS Films in April 2010.

The company's production office is located in the Astaire Building on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, California.

Exile (Gary Numan album)

Exile is the thirteenth solo studio album by English musician Gary Numan, released in October 1997 by Eagle Records. Its release continued a critical upswing in Numan's career which began three years earlier with the release of Sacrifice.

The album followed a loose concept namely that, rather than being opposites, God and the Devil were two sides of the same coin. Each track reflected some aspect of this premise. Unlike Sacrifice, Numan’s theme in Exile was not so much atheistic as heretical; it did not deny the existence of God but, instead, his proclaimed goodness. Shortly after the album's release, Numan explained: "Personally, I don't believe in God at all, but if I'm wrong and there is a God, what kind of god would it be who would give us the world we live in?"The opening number and single, "Dominion Day", set the album’s gothic/industrial rock tone, describing how a man's nightmare becomes reality as Christ returns to Earth in scenes suggestive of the Book of Revelation. The tale was set against a wall of synthesizers, drum loops and distorted guitars. "Dark", which further explored what the composer saw as an incestuous relationship between God and the Devil, became a favourite for movie trailers before being used on the soundtrack of Alex Proyas’ film Dark City. "Dead Heaven" turned various biblical conceits on their head (Mary is ravaged, rather than revered, by the Three Wise Men) while "Absolution", a re-recording of a 1995 single, was a bitter reflection on the consequences of unquestioning faith; it was covered by Amanda Ghost on the Random tribute album.

Though not a big chart success Exile scored almost universally positive reviews, a contrast to the situation in Numan’s early years when he had many hits but was generally condemned by critics. However it further alienated some fans who had been put off by Sacrifice’s anti-religious undertones. The website www.remindmetosmile.com changed from a tribute page to one openly critical of Numan for being "so bold that he feels he can mock God and feel good about it". Numan’s response was:

"This sort of reaction always amazes me. Here you have people that genuinely believe that God created this entire bloody universe in just six days, without anybody's help, and yet they seem to think that He needs their help to deal with little me. If God was bothered about me, He would deal with me".The US edition of Exile included one extra track, a live recording of "Down in the Park", previously released on the double album Ghost (1987); Numan, who did not approve its inclusion, presumed that his record label did it to link him to Marilyn Manson and other artists who had recently covered the song. An extended version of Exile, nearly twice as long as the original, was released in 1998. Numan toured the UK and US in support of the album to largely sell-out crowds, a concert recording from this period called Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire (US title Live in London) eventually being released in 2004.

Garage Days

Garage Days is a 2002 Australian film directed by Alex Proyas and written by Proyas, Dave Warner and Michael Udesky. The Garage Days soundtrack includes the song "Garage Days" featuring Katie Noonan, David McCormack and Andrew Lancaster.

Gods of Egypt (film)

Gods of Egypt is a 2016 fantasy action film directed by Alex Proyas based on the ancient Egyptian deities. It stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwick Boseman, Élodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush. The film portrays a mortal Egyptian hero who partners with the Egyptian god Horus to save the world from Set and rescue his love.Filming took place in Australia under the American film production and distribution company Summit Entertainment. While the film's production budget was $140 million, the parent company Lionsgate's financial exposure was less than $10 million due to tax incentives and pre-sales. The Australian government provided a tax credit for 46% of the film's budget. When Lionsgate began promoting the film in November 2015, it received backlash for its predominantly white cast playing Egyptian deities. In response, Lionsgate and director Proyas apologized for ethnically-inaccurate casting.

Lionsgate released Gods of Egypt in theaters globally, starting on February 25, 2016, in 2D, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D, and in the United States, Canada, and 68 other markets on February 26. The film was poorly reviewed by critics, who criticized its choice of cast, script, acting and special effects. It grossed a total of $150 million against a $140 million budget, becoming a box office bomb and losing the studio up to $90 million. It received five nominations at the 37th Golden Raspberry Awards.

I, Robot (film)

I, Robot (stylized as i,robot) is a 2004 American science fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay by Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman is from a screen story by Vintar, based on his original screenplay "Hardwired," and suggested by Isaac Asimov's short-story collection of the same name. The film stars Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, and Alan Tudyk.

I, Robot was released in North America on July 16, 2004, in Australia on July 22, 2004, in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2004 and in other countries between July 2004 to October 2004. Produced with a budget of $120 million, the film grossed $144 million domestically and $202 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $346 million. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the visual effects and acting but criticism of the plot. At the 77th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Visual Effects.

Knowing

Knowing may refer to:

Knowledge

Knowing (film), a 2009 science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas and starring Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne

The Knowing, an album by the doom/death metal band Novembers Doom

"Knowing", a song by OutKast from their 2003 album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

"The Knowing", a 2011 song by The Weeknd

Knowing (album), a 2015 album by Hubert Wu

Knowing, a fragrance by Estée Lauder Companies

Knowing (film)

Knowing (stylized as KNOW1NG) is a 2009 science fiction thriller film directed by Alex Proyas and starring Nicolas Cage. The project was originally attached to a number of directors under Columbia Pictures, but it was placed in turnaround and eventually picked up by Escape Artists. Production was financially backed by Summit Entertainment. Knowing was filmed in Docklands Studios Melbourne, Australia, using various locations to represent the film's Boston-area setting.

The film was released on March 20, 2009, in the United States. The DVD and Blu-ray media were released on July 7, 2009. Knowing grossed $186.5 million at the worldwide box office, plus $27.7 million with home video sales, against a production budget of $50 million. It met with mixed reviews, with praise for the acting performances, visual style and atmosphere, but criticism over some implausibilities.

Rhythm of Love (Yes song)

"Rhythm of Love" is a song by Yes. It appeared on the 1987 Big Generator album. It was released repeatedly as a single, alternating as the A-side or B-side of "Love Will Find a Way". It was also remixed many times, though, thus far, only two have seen a legal issue on CD; both appeared on one 1987 CD single issue, and have not seen an official release elsewhere. Paulinho Da Costa was brought in for percussion overdubs. The song eventually became one of the band's most popular songs (even if the album received heavy criticism for being very pop-heavy) and it appeared on a vast number of tours since 1987, eventually becoming the 18th most played song at Yes concerts, appearing 384 times as of 2009. Despite its popularity, very few live versions were issued.

A music video of the song, directed by Alex Proyas, also exists.

Saturn Award for Best Director

The Saturn Award for Best Director (or Saturn Award for Best Direction) is one of the annual awards given by the American Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The Saturn Awards, which are the oldest film-specialized awards to reward genre fiction achievements, in particular for science fiction, fantasy, and horror (the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation is the oldest award for science fiction and fantasy films), included the Best Director category for the first time at the 3rd Saturn Awards, for the 1974/1975 film years.The award is also the oldest to honor film directors in science fiction, fantasy and horror. It has been given 36 times, including a tie for the 1977 film year.

James Cameron holds the record of the most wins with five (for six nominations), while Steven Spielberg is the most nominated director with twelve nominations (for four wins). Only three other directors have won the award more than once: Peter Jackson (three times), Bryan Singer and Ridley Scott (two times). At the 22nd Saturn Awards (for the 1995 film year), Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the award, 15 years before becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director.

Spielberg was also the first to win Best Director from both the Saturn Awards and the Academy Awards at the same year, but for different movies (Saturn Award for Jurassic Park, and Academy Award for Schindler's List, both in 1993); Peter Jackson was the first to win both for the same film (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, in 2003) while Alfonso Cuarón was the second (for Gravity in 2013).

Notes:

"†" indicates an Academy Award-winning movie on the same category.

"‡" indicates an Academy Award-nominated movie on the same category.

Simon Duggan

Simon Duggan (born 13 May 1959) is a New Zealand-born Australian cinematographer.

Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds

Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds is a 1989 Australian post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure film directed by Alex Proyas. It was his first feature.

The film was shot on location near Broken Hill, New South Wales and at Supreme Studios Sydney.

The Crow (1994 film)

The Crow is a 1994 American supernatural superhero film directed by Alex Proyas, written by David J. Schow and John Shirley. The film stars Brandon Lee in his final film appearance. The film is based on James O'Barr's 1989 comic book The Crow, and tells the story of Eric Draven (Lee), a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his own death as well as the rape and murder of his fiancée.

The lead actor, Brandon Lee, was accidentally wounded on set during filming by a defective blank and later died in the hospital during surgery. Only eight days left of production, unfinished scenes that were to feature him were dealt with a re-written format in the script, a stunt double and digital special effects. The film is dedicated to both Lee and his fiancée, Eliza.

Despite the several production setbacks due to Lee's death, The Crow was well-received critically for its unique visual style, premise, emotional depth and its tribute to the deceased actor. The film opened at the top of the box office and attained a strong cult following. It is the first installment of a franchise, which includes three sequels and a television series.

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