“Hey, that would make a great movie!”
Crew came from the same magical place most movies begin–with someone saying those seven little words. The first time they were spoken was nearly sixteen years ago when John Carroll Lynch sat down with his new financial adviser Brad Melby and noticed the head of an oar mounted above Brad’s desk. “What’s that?” John asked him. After Brad had told him the story of his experience on the Men’s Crew at the University of Minnesota, John immediately blurted out, “Hey, that would make a great movie!”
It’s an unforgettable story, and John thought about it for years. With his film acting career thriving, he kept coming back to it, wondering. At a party, John pulled his friend Tess Clark, a screenwriter, to the corner of the room, said he was thinking about writing a movie and proceeded to tell her the story he’d been contemplating for years. Once Tess had confirmed what John has suspected, that it would in fact make a great movie, John asked Tess to bug him about it, to hound him and encourage him to put it on paper. Tess bugged him for three years. She felt that the story was so good that she wanted to make sure it made its way to the screen.
Finally, John and Tess sat down and wrote the screenplay together.
Unexpected. Unlikely. Unforgettable.
Karyn Kusama – Director
Karyn Kusama wrote and directed her first feature film, Girlfight, in 1999. The film, starring Michelle Rodriguez in her breakthrough debut performance, won the Director’s Prize and shared the Grand Jury Prize at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. Girlfight went on to win a total of 15 prestigious awards and 11 nominations in film festivals all over the world. It was released by Sony Screen Gems in September of 2000. In 2004, Karyn directed the science fiction love story Aeon Flux starring Charlize Theron for Paramount Pictures. It was released in December of 2005. Her third directorial effort, the comedy-horror film Jennifer’s Body, was released in September 2009 by Twentieth Century Fox. Her most recent effort, The Invitation, will be released in 2016.
Diane Nabatoff – Producer
Diane Nabatoff founded Tiara Blu Films in 2000. Since then she has produced Take The Lead and Narc, and executive produced The Brass Teapot and Gray Matters. In TV, she executive produced Knights of the South Bronx for A&E and Racing For Time for Lifetime as well as the series After Hours with Daniel. She also co-executive produced the pilots Baseball Wives for HBO and Scent Of the Missing for TNT. She is presently in post on Dancing In Jaffa. Prior to founding Tiara Blu Films, Diane was a producer at Interscope Communications where she developed and produced Very Bad Things, The Proposition, Operation Dumbo Drop, Separate Lives, Holy Matrimony and Body Language. Earlier in her career, Diane was Senior Vice–President of Henry Winkler’s Fair Dinkum Productions and Vice President of Vestron Pictures where she executive produced Hider in the House and Fear. She began her film career as Vice President of The Feldman-Meeker Co. where she worked on The Golden Child and associate produced Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark. Diane has a BA from Harvard University and MBA from Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Producers Guild of America.
John Carroll Lynch – Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
John Carroll Lynch began his acting career in Minneapolis at the renowned Guthrie Theater where he spent eight seasons appearing on stage. In his first film Fargo he played the postage-stamp-painting husband of pregnant policewoman Frances McDormand. Now with over one hundred feature film and television credits, he continues to be in high demand with appearances in Crazy, Stupid, Love, Shutter Island, Gran Torino, Confidence, Gothika, Zodiac and Things We Lost in the Fire. On television, Lynch spent six seasons as Drew’s brother on The Drew Carey Show, completed the final season of HBO’s Carnivale, frightened everyone as Twisty the Clown on American Horror Story and appeared in Body of Proof, The Americans, Tuesdays With Morrie, Live From Baghdad and From the Earth to the Moon. He is the co-writer of the screenplay Crew and will be playing Brad Melby’s father in the film.
Tess Clark – Producer, Screenwriter
Tess Clark’s production company has been successfully producing and managing television advertising campaigns for nearly twenty years. She was at the helm of a sports series on ESPN, and her short film The Middle Passage won numerous film festivals before finally earning a spot on the short-list for the 1994 Academy Awards. Tess has written documentary films, pilots for episodic television series, and hundreds of commercials. She spent three years cutting her sitcom teeth at Paramount Studios on Family Ties and Cheers. Her award-winning screenplays have been recognized by the Academy Award Foundation’s Nichol Fellowship, Sundance Institute, the Telluride Independent Film Festival, and purchased by both independent producers as well as major studios. Tess is the co-writer of the screenplay Crew.
John Stout – Executive Producer, Attorney
John Stout is an officer and shareholder of Fredrikson & Byron, a 200 plus attorney firm with offices in Minneapolis, London and Monterey, Mexico, practicing principally in governance and finance. Stout chairs the firm’s Corporate Governance Group, and co-chairs the firm’s Advertising, Media and Entertainment Group. His initial feature film representation was Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Since then he has worked on the financing of more than 70 independent feature films, most recently A Prairie Home Companion, written by Garrison Keillor and directed by Robert Altman, for which Stout served as a Co-Executive Producer and attorney for the limited partnership which financed a portion of the film’s budget. He co-founded New Front Films, which produced six feature films. During the 1980s Mr. Stout was engaged by American Playhouse, New York, to establish a for-profit subsidiary, Playhouse International Pictures, and finance a slate of specialized films. He has producing credits on five feature films. Mr. Stout co-founded the Minnesota Film Board in 1981, currently serves as a director and its pro bono legal counsel, and continues to volunteer substantial time and energy to the growth and development of the film and television industry in Minnesota. He has been recognized by former Governor Perpich and the Minnesota Legislature for his service to Minnesota’s film industry.
Brad L. Melby
Brad Melby’s experiences as a rower on the University of Minnesota’s Men’s Crew, where the Gopher’s achieved their highest finish in history at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship, are the basis for the screenplay. A graduate of the U of M, Brad is now a Financial Advisor, CFP® in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
For more information, email us: investment[at]crewthemovie.com