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Thursday, April 6, 2023

#MovietimeInManhattan @AmazonStudios #AirMovie @AirMovie @BenAffleck Earns Our Highest Recommendation Says @ManhattanPeachy #PeachyDeegan #WhomYouKnow

Inspiration for Nothing by Peachy

I want my Ben and Matt

Now look at them Beantown guys, that's the way you do it
You put the shoe story on the Amazon
That ain't working, that's the way you do it
Inspiration for nothing and your clicks for free

Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a old school dial phone in your 80s office
Maybe get a call back from Michael Jordan's mum

We got to install lights camera action
Custom his airness till Affleck screams Martiniiiiiiiiiiiii
We got to move these box office tickets
We got to move these color rule-breaker sneakieeeess

See the little revenue from the Nike division of basketball
Yeah buddy it's a real problem
That can be solved with a stack of tapes to see
That smart Sonny who makes Jordan a millionaire

We got to see this winner of a movie
How about them apples says Peachy
Watch those sneakers fly off the shelves
Hoops tapes should have Boston boys named Curley

I shoulda learned to market the person
Says Converse Adidas and those guys
Look at that mama, she got it negotiated
Next please Ben and Matt, don't stop working together!

We are the last people you need to convince of the importance of shoes; we have four columns on them and have for 14 years. And, it's not who you know it's WHOM YOU KNOW and though we don't know Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, we do know Boston and like the rest of the living we met them on the screen through Good Will Hunting when Peachy was residing in BOSTON!!!!!!!!! Boston matters, shoes matter, and Ben and Matt matter!!!!!

We are thrilled to kick off coverage of Amazon Studios.

ALSO NOTE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE'VE GONE TO A MOVIE THEATRE SINCE COVID - CLINT EASTWOOD'S RICHARD JEWELL WAS THE LAST....we will do anything for Clint Eastwood, so, if you haven't gone to the movie theater either yet, now's the time!


Don't waste another minute: get your ticket now because theaters will sell out. So what did we like? We want our MTV, Ronald Reagan, Money for Nothing, Trivial Pursuit, Old School Wall Street Before the Quants, and Ice Cream Cups and we miss all of those.  We do not miss the lousier tv resolution.

The all-star cast is truly amazing and excels together, especially in addition to Ben and Matt obviously, Jason Bateman really stepped up his game.  The chemistry between all is truly fantastic. Jay Mohr of Jerry Maguire fame even has a small part.  

The theme could not be better and what have we been telling you for fourteen plus years: it is about excellence and it is about relationships.  This is what makes marketing work, period.  Also you will see how this movie makes going back to the office fun again!!!  You're remembered for the rules you break.

We should have brought our Cabbage Patch Kids to see it.  And P.S. Phil Knight and Ben Affleck we saw some purple vehicles at the NY Auto Show so stay tuned.  And the soundtrack could not have been better right down to Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top, whom we met in St. Augustine.


If you are not crying by the end, you are not human.
Previously on Whom You Know, Affleck earned accolades for ARGO and The Accountant.

“A shoe is just a shoe…until my son steps into it.”

From award-winning director Ben Affleck (Argo, The Town), AIR reveals the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division which revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand. This inspirational story follows the career-defining gamble of an unconventional team with everything on the line, the uncompromising vision of a mother who knows the worth of her son’s immense talent, and the basketball phenom who would become the greatest of all time.

AIR stars Matt Damon as Nike’s basketball expert, Sonny Vaccaro; Ben Affleck as Nike founder and CEO, Phil Knight; Jason Bateman (Ozark) as Rob Strasser, Nike’s VP of Marketing; Chris Tucker (Rush Hour franchise) as Howard White, Sonny’s colleague and advisor; Chris Messina (Sharp Objects) as David Falk, Jordan’s agent; Marlon Wayans (Respect) as George Raveling, one of Jordan’s coaches at the 1984 Olympics; and Viola Davis as Michael’s mother, Deloris Jordan.

The main cast also includes Matthew Maher (Captain Marvel) as Peter Moore, Nike’s creative director; and Julius Tennon (The Woman King) as Michael’s father, James Jordan.

Affleck directed AIR from a screenplay by Alex Convery. Affleck and Damon are also producing alongside David Ellison, Jesse Sisgold, Jon Weinbach, Madison Ainley, Jeff Robinov, Peter Guber, and Jason Michael Berman. Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Kevin Halloran, Michael Joe, Drew Vinton, John Graham, Peter E. Strauss and Jordan Moldo serve as executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes three-time Oscar-winning director of photography Robert Richardson (Hugo, The Aviator, JFK), production designer François Audouy (Ford v Ferrari, Logan), Oscar-winning editor William Goldenberg (Argo, The Imitation Game, Zero Dark Thirty), costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones (Judas and the Black Messiah) and music supervisor Andrea von Foerster (Yellowstone).

Amazon Studios and Skydance Sports present an Artists Equity and Mandalay Pictures production, AIR. The film has been rated R by the MPAA for language throughout.


I really believe that human excellence is a beautiful thing; the concept of genius is one of the things that’s most fascinating to me, and Michael Jordan is nothing if not a genius. There is a mystery in what exactly makes him who he is—that level of elite, that cut above, the greatest basketball player ever. His influence on basketball and sports in general, and the people who love them, is incalculable.

However, this a story that exemplifies how—even before he stepped on an NBA court—he completely transformed the world of sports marketing and how athletes are compensated, championed by his mother, who envisioned his future and knew his worth.

AIR is not Michael Jordan’s story, but there is no story without him. I would not have made this movie without first reaching out to him. And I’m grateful to Michael for sharing what was important to him. His presence and influence is felt throughout the film, though we don’t see his face. Because he is such an icon—an undisputedly important and meaningful figure, someone everyone holds in such high esteem—we didn’t want to shatter the illusion, but rather let the audience invoke their own memories and experiences of what Michael Jordan means.

The unconventional team at Nike, led by Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), Howard White (Chris Tucker) and Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) saw greatness in Jordan, but they never imagined that a shoe designed around a single player would be the catalyst for a multibillion-dollar global industry that would set a new standard. Today, we take it for granted when stars in any arena have a brand, but this is a story about the nascence of that—when the concept of creating a brand and associating it with personal identity was first formed.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the movie for me was that, going into it, the protagonist isn’t who you think it is. In the course of developing the film, I came to the realization that the fulcrum of the movie is Viola Davis’s character, Deloris Jordan. I wanted to do justice to her, as well as Michael, and honor who they are and the lasting impact they have on our culture.
-- Ben Affleck


Our business is change.

-- Nike Mission Statement, 1984

Today, the instantly recognizable Nike swoosh is emblazoned on athletes in every major sport; however, four decades ago, Nike’s fledgling basketball division was the underdog, with no top players wanting to wear a “running shoe” brand. Then, in 1984, an unprecedented deal between the struggling company and an untested NBA rookie named Michael Jordan rewrote all the rules, launching what would become a global, multibillion-dollar industry.

But it all started with the vision of one man, the conviction of his team, the faith and determination of one woman and the unparalleled talent of one extraordinary athlete. Together, they turned the once-generic basketball shoe into something forever iconic: the Air Jordan.

Director/producer Ben Affleck, who also plays Nike founder Phil Knight in the film, relates, “I had a picture of my little brother wearing Air Jordans; it was the winter of 1985 or early ‘86. I remember quite clearly when Nike replaced what was popular then, which was mostly Adidas. And I remember how, seemingly overnight, Nike became what you had to have if you wanted to be cool. But I had no knowledge whatsoever of the backstory of the origin of the Air Jordan. Naturally, we know that the shoe is not what made Michael great; rather his greatness is what made the shoe such a phenomenon. Sneaker culture is ascendant now, and AIR is about the inception of that, which I think will surprise a lot of people. That appealed to me.”

Matt Damon stars in the film as Nike’s resident basketball guru, Sonny Vaccaro, and also served as a producer. He adds, “You might go into the movie with a certain set of expectations, but then the story evolves into being more about Viola’s character, Deloris Jordan, Michael’s mother. That’s what we loved about the story: it centers around this person we know, this great sports legend, but it’s about everything happening behind the scenes and, in particular, the impact his mom had. She was so sharp and understood what his value really was. And the rest is history.”

Viola Davis observes, “There are changemakers who we don’t necessarily see and don’t necessarily know. We only know Deloris predominantly though Michael Jordan, but she was someone who was able to create tremendous change in the space she was in. I think the inspiration to be found in the entire movie is—and my husband, Julius, says this all the time—you don’t know whose life you’re going to touch; you don’t know whose life you’re going to change, but your job is to plant the seed. You don’t know how it’s going to grow, but you have to plant it no matter who you are. If there is one thing you could take from this movie, it’s that everybody had a great idea, but you didn’t see how it was going to grow. And now, here we are in 2023 and we’ve seen the unbelievable growth from all these ideas that came from people who were just following their hearts. That’s all they were doing. I think that’s a larger message for people in general, that you don’t have to have a million dollars, you don’t have to have a PhD. You just have to have a vision, a purpose, a heart, and a huge amount of courage.”

Interestingly, the choice of Davis to play Deloris came from the person who knows her best. Affleck explains, “I wasn’t going to make this movie without at least seeking Michael’s blessing, making sure there was nothing objectionable to him and asking him, ‘What do you really care about?’ He was gracious enough to sit down with me, and he had a couple of things that were important to him, like making sure Howard White and George Raveling were included. Michael wanted to honor the contributions that people made, and he was quite adamant that Viola play his mother. I guess that’s very in keeping with Michael Jordan—to set the bar as absolutely high as possible and then expect to reach it.”

Affleck adds that he was thrilled with the choice, noting, “It has long been an ambition of mine to direct her in a movie. So, overall, I felt like it was incumbent on me to try to make sure the part warranted someone of Viola’s stature. And in typical fashion, it turns out that Michael is a genius casting director as well,” he laughs.

The director felt it was important to take a different approach in “casting” the legendary figure at the center of the story. “Michael Jordan is so famous that I truly felt if we ever saw an actor playing it would be hard to get the audience to suspend their disbelief, because, in my opinion, there’s no convincing anybody that someone who isn’t Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan. We felt a more interesting way to tell the story would be for him to exist in the ether of the movie. To be talked about by everyone but not seen is somewhat analogous to the experience of celebrities and sports stars in modern life, because most people go their whole lives without ever meeting or seeing their favorite sports star or celebrity in person. So we only see Michael in clips and flashes. We don’t ever fully see him in person because to see him in person would be to put his feet on the ground in a way that the movie doesn’t want to do.”

Jason Bateman, who joined the ensemble cast as Nike VP of Marketing Rob Strasser, remarks, “I’m excited for people to see this movie because the Air Jordan is such a major part of the fabric of our culture and it’s amazing that most of us never really knew how it all came about.”

Chris Messina, who appears as Michael Jordan’s agent, David Falk, adds, “When I was a kid, I had a pair of Air Jordans, and I obviously understood the talent as I saw Michael Jordan play. But it was not until reading the script and doing research on the time and my character that I truly understood the impact that this deal had on sports in general. And to this day, I have a 14-year-old and a 13-year-old, and they’re still buying Air Jordans.”

Chris Tucker plays Nike executive Howard White, who is the actor’s real-life friend. “What they did not only changed their own lives but the lives of future generations of athletes. I think Howard is very proud of what they accomplished, together with Michael and his mother, and I am proud to be part of telling their story.”

“AIR is just one of those feel-good movies about a time in our lives that many of us remember so well,” Damon reflects. “When I was watching The Last Dance, I had this experience of reminiscing about when I was a kid and got to go to one basketball game a year. My brother and I would always choose the Bulls because we wanted the chance to say we saw MJ play in person. In our youth, he meant so much to us…he was everywhere.”

Affleck agrees. “He loomed so large in my childhood when I was at the age when professional sports was all-consuming. I have nostalgic memories that I associate with that period, and I thought I could have fun hearkening back to that.”


Assume nothing.

Make sure people keep their promises.

-- Nike Mission Statement, 1984

The movie AIR originated with screenwriter Alex Convery, a self-described “huge Chicago Bulls fan,” who says, like many, he was obsessed The Last Dance, the Emmy-winning docuseries about Michael Jordan’s career and the Bulls dynasty, which culminated with the team’s sixth championship season. He recounts, “In episode five, there’s a segment about how Nike should never have gotten Jordan, but prevailed with this kind of unheard of pitch of building an entire shoe line around an athlete instead of the other way around.”

Years earlier, Convery had worked as an intern at the company that produced the ESPN 30 for 30 episode about Sonny Vaccaro, called “Sole Man.” He recalls, “I didn’t have anything to do with the project directly, but I had the opportunity to watch them edit it and saw hours and hours of footage of Sonny’s interviews. He was the guy who said, ‘Go sign Jordan,’ and that kind of led me down a whole rabbit hole of research. I read about 700 pages of his interview transcripts for both documentaries, which was incredibly valuable when it came to capturing his voice.”

Interestingly, Convery’s screenplay came full circle when it was sent to Mandalay, where his initial inspiration became the first step in the film’s realization.

Producer Peter Guber, the CEO of Mandalay and one of the executive producers on The Last Dance, recalls, “Our president, Jason Michael Berman, and vice president, Jordan Moldo, recommended the screenplay to me. I thought it had a deftly shaped narrative that captured Sonny’s passion to never give up or give in and his belief in Michael Jordan.”

Berman, a producer on AIR, says, “I have always been drawn to underdog and empowerment stories; I love seeing characters fight for what they believe in and think outside the box to accomplish their goals. We believed this could be a very special movie because it’s an incredible story with so much heart.”

Mandalay connected with Skydance Sports, where producer Jesse Sisgold, President & COO of Skydance Media, offers, “We were fortunate to have Peter Guber call us with this terrific script just as we were launching our sports division. One of the most fortuitous aspects was that our first hire at Skydance Sports, Jon Weinbach, was a producer on The Last Dance and also co-directed the 30 for 30 documentary ‘Sole Man,’ which was the definitive doc on Sonny Vaccaro.”

Weinbach, President of Skydance Sports and a producer on AIR, says, “I have 20 years of history with Sonny, one of the pioneers in creating the nexus between basketball, athletes and sneakers, so when Peter asked if I’d ever heard of a guy named Sonny Vaccaro, I laughed. And then, once we read Alex’s script, we all loved it.”

Sisgold adds, “I think the screenplay spoke to me because the struggle and payoff that comes with following your gut is so relatable. This theme is obvious with Sonny, but it equally applies to Deloris Jordan, too. She entered a new world and, as risky as it was, she fought against the norm because, instinctively, she knew what was right…even if that meant creating a whole new model.”

Skydance put Sonny in touch with Convery, who says, “I was fortunate to spend a day with Sonny and his wife, Pam, going over the script and hearing it from his perspective.”

Nearly 40 years after the actual events unfolded, Vaccaro allows, “No one in the world could have imagined what the Air Jordan would become. Even I never believed that that would happen because no one had ever done what Nike did. That’s what the marvel is. There is only one GOAT, the ‘greatest of all time,’ but that doesn’t always mean who won the most championships or who’s the best player. Those are all authentic things, but it’s what Michael did off the court, too. He revolutionized companies. He created generational wealth for individuals, making the athlete a partner. There were great players before and after Michael, but Michael and that shoe… A shoe. Can you imagine that?”

When it came time to choose a director for AIR, the producers and the screenwriter were in synch about the best person to be at the helm. “Ben Affleck is whip-smart and a fantastic director,” Weinbach states. “This story clearly connected with him on multiple levels: as a legit sports fan, as a child of the `80s, and as an astute interpreter of modern American history in films like Argo. He also had the gravitas to elevate this story, attract an unbelievable cast, bring in some of the best professionals in the industry, and—perhaps most importantly—to approach Michael Jordan and get his thoughts on it. None of that was possible without Ben at the helm, and it was wildly exciting to see him make it all happen.”

Convery points out that Affleck has also demonstrated an innate ability to make moviegoers second guess what they know. “You hear all the time that it’s all about the journey not the destination, but that is even truer here because virtually every single person comes into this movie knowing the outcome. But Ben is able to work the tone and the tension in a way that makes you think, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen. Is he going to sign?’ It's similar to Argo in that he takes you on this journey and, whether you know the ending or not, you’re along for the ride.”

Guber adds, “Ben’s enthusiasm for the story and his understanding of the film’s challenges made him the perfect choice for us, as well as the perfect first project for him and Matt Damon in their new company, Artists Equity.”

Affleck concurs, remarking, “The story reflects several themes that are parallel with what Matt and I are trying to do with Artists Equity, in terms of taking ownership of the material we’re creating and embracing the idea that artists and creators are risking a lot putting themselves in their work. There is no story more emblematic of the value created by a person’s identity and cultural footprint than Michael Jordan. And I also felt that this was a movie that genuinely had something positive and inspiring to say.”


Push yourselves, push others.

Stretch the possible.

-- Nike Mission Statement, 1984

AIR brings together a remarkable roster of actors and, Sisgold says, “Most of the credit goes to Ben for (rapidly) attracting and putting together so much incredible talent. It truly is a dream cast.”

Affleck offers, “Film is not a solitary artform; it’s collaborative. It relies on other people, so you need great partners. With casting, it’s all about empowering your actors to enable them to do their best possible work. And when you have actors of the caliber of this cast, that process is more about just getting out of the way,” he smiles. “But it sure helps when someone like Viola Davis comes along and makes your movie 100 times better just by walking in the door.

“And that’s also true of Matt,” he continues. “He is very, very gifted and it was a pleasure to direct him for the first time and discover even more about him as an actor. I feel very lucky that my oldest friend and I are in the same line of work and get to work together. We’re doubly blessed in that way.”

Damon, in turn, says he appreciated the chance to team with Affleck in a different capacity. “Obviously, we’ve written and produced together over the years, but getting to work with him as a director was utter joy and so creatively rewarding. We tend to have similar sensibilities about what’s working in a scene and what isn’t, so we had such an ease with each other. And this cast…every day I was working with another heavyweight acting hero of mine. Start to finish, it was the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie, and it just doesn’t get any better than that.”

As of 1984, Sonny Vaccaro hadn’t had much success recruiting top players to Nike’s basketball division. Converse had all but cornered the market with superstars like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Adidas, hyping its cool factor, was attracting the hot prospects from the draft, including the third pick—a guard out of the University of North Carolina named Michael Jordan. Putting his career on the line, Sonny decides to take the biggest gamble of his life. In an unprecedented move, he wants Nike to create a shoe designed specifically for Jordan.

“It is an all-or-nothing gamble, but one in which he entirely believes because he absolutely knows and loves the game,” says Damon. “But he’s at a point where his career is in a precarious place and Nike’s entire basketball division is on the brink. He is risking all their jobs by pushing that agenda because he’s been told Jordan really wants to go with Adidas. Their shoes are cooler, and Nike is considered a jogging shoe company that Michael doesn’t associate with basketball. Nobody really does.

“That was one of the things that was so surprising to me when I read the script,” Damon continues, “because I always had this idea of Nike as this absolute powerhouse in the basketball shoe market, which they are now. But when you catch them at the beginning of this story, they are the clear underdogs. So it was interesting to recontextualize how this all unfolded.”

Sonny’s leap of faith would first have to clear a few hurdles, beginning with the fact that there can be no deal without Michael, and there will be no Michael without the person whose opinion he trusts most: his mother, Deloris Jordan. And the only actress Michael Jordan trusted to portray his mother was Viola Davis. Upon learning she was Jordan’s choice for the role, “I was flattered, of course,” Davis recalls. “There is something in me that reminds him of probably the most important person in anybody’s life. So that was deeply moving to me.”

Davis says she didn’t know anything about Deloris prior to accepting the role, “but then, when I heard that she actually brokered the deal that got him a percentage in that Nike contract, my first thought was, ‘Who is this woman whose mind was so progressive that she even thought of demanding something that had never been given to a player before?’ That she had the strength and the courage to say, ‘This is what my son is worth.’ For Deloris to have that sort of insight and vision makes her a unique human being, and that made me lean in.”

Delving more into her character, Davis offers, “I see her as one of those people who moves through life like a hot knife through butter. She has an absolute confidence in who she is, who her family is, and what her purpose is in life. She is someone who, even when the people around her are walking into the walls, she stays steady as a rock. That’s how I see her: as a beautiful, God-fearing, love-filled rock. And I feel like she is one of those people who, when you are with her, you are going to be humbled in her presence. She is an extraordinary woman, and that made me a little nervous because I had to fill those shoes.”

Affleck counters that the actress needn’t have worried, noting that she did more than fill her character’s shoes. “Viola Davis is truly one of the greatest actresses of our time. To be around somebody who is that talented and watch them perform is in itself a real honor. I wanted to give her the sense that not only did I welcome her input, but I also valued her vantage and needed her perspective on this character. I just can’t say enough about her. I remember talking with Matt and trying to articulate what it is that makes her so interesting and so incredibly brilliant. You can't put your finger on it because it’s a combination of thousands of little things.”

This admiration is mutual. “Ben is an excellent director,” Davis states. “First of all, he is very intentional about who he chooses to be on his crew—not just in terms of talent, but in terms of character, so that creates a foundation right there. Secondly, he knows exactly what he wants, and has the control over his artistry and the language to speak to you as an actor to get what he needs. So I felt supported; I felt like I could trust him, and trust is a big thing for me. It was one of my best experiences on a movie, and Matt was also a huge part of that. Ben and Matt together are unbelievably respectful and kind, which is sometimes in short supply in this business.”

When Sonny shows up unannounced at the Jordan home, he is greeted first by Michael’s father, James Jordan, who seems amused, knowing this is just the beginning for his son. James is played by Viola Davis’s real-life husband, Julius Tennon, who says, “I think James is realizing what a moment this is for Michael. He is very proud of his son and wants him to look at every opportunity, but you got to go talk to mama. He defers to Deloris and lets her take the lead because she was college-educated and is more savvy and will know what to ask for. James knows she is ready, willing and able to handle it, so he just sits back in support.”

The Jordans aren’t the only ones Sonny needs to convince. His game-changing idea is also facing some in-house resistance at Nike, including from the company’s founder and CEO, Phil Knight. Affleck comments, “I thought he was a fascinating character because he was an interesting study in contradictions. I was really drawn to the idea of this Buddhist capitalist captain of industry, whereas you might think those two things would be inherently at odds. And I was also drawn to the notion of a man who started out as a renegade and ended up having to be the responsible steward of the company and become more risk-averse. But back then, who could have known that the popularity of basketball shoes would expand so massively? And the reason it did was because of Michael Jordan.”

Nike’s VP of Marketing, Rob Strasser, is initially skeptical about what he sees as anthropomorphizing a shoe. Speaking to his character’s doubts, Jason Bateman attests, “Rob is an initial roadblock, but Sonny goes rogue and goes around him, and thank God he does. They had to roll the dice and do something aggressive, which seems like it was already part of the culture there. Sonny is basically saying to Phil and Rob, ‘Let’s practice what we preach and get weird.’”

“Jason’s part was especially challenging,” Affleck observes, “because he has to be interesting and also further the plot with a lot of the exposition. Jason is a fantastic actor and was able to deliver those lines and make them compelling, funny or heartbreaking in the moment.”

Bateman notes that the main draw for him “was the chance to work with Matt and Ben, as actors and producers, and then to be able to get a front row seat to watch Ben direct. I have always been a fan of his films. It is clear he has so much love and respect for the process of making a film, much like I have.”

Howard White, a former college player and NBA draft pick, whose career was benched by injury. Now an executive at Nike, he becomes an ally to Sonny in Nike’s pursuit of Michael Jordan. Chris Tucker is a friend of the real Howard White, and Affleck says the actor did more than just play the role. “Chris is a genius who essentially created the character from whole cloth. Early in the process, I approached him and said, ‘I've always wanted to work with you. Help me build this character.’ Because it turned out he knew Howard and had a take on him.”

Tucker affirms, “When my agent told me about the role and mentioned the name Howard White, I said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s my friend.’ So I called Howard up and talked to him a lot about it and got a lot of good information. I thought it was cool that I could play a good friend in the movie and also get so much insight from him. He took me through his life and helped me learn about the business and what happened between Nike and Michael Jordan, and the signing of Michael. It was awesome.”

Affleck appreciated Tucker’s firsthand research, stating, “When you direct movies, you’re telling stories from so many people’s point of view and it’s impossible for you to have a subjective shared life experience with all the characters. I feel the more you can avail yourself of other people’s input and perspective who are good storytellers and group performers—and Chris is great at both—the better your movie is going to be and the more rich and full and complete it’s going to feel.”

“Ben is like a player/coach,” Tucker remarks. “He’s an actor and a director, so he understands actors. He understands how we think and how we maybe want to do things a different way sometimes. Coming from standup, I always want to be creative and figure things out and change things if something isn’t working, and that’s the way Ben and Matt work. I loved it.”

Before making the bold and somewhat risky decision to approach the Jordans directly, Sonny consults with coach George Raveling, who has a personal stake in both sides. Cast in the role, Marlon Wayans explains, “George was a very respected college coach and was also a coach for the 1984 Olympic team, which Michael Jordan played on, and the two became friends. It’s important to George not to hurt the relationship between him and Michael, but he still wants to be a friend to Sonny. I think it meant a lot to him to protect Michael, and not just from a coach’s perspective. All coaches are kind of like father figures and Raveling served to be a confidant to Michael.”

“Marlon brought so much of his own perspective and energy to that part,” says Affleck, “which was so important because I know it was meaningful to Michael that George Raveling be acknowledged as being integral to him coming to Nike.”

Sonny’s unannounced visit to the Jordan house doesn’t exactly sit well with Michael’s agent, David Falk, played by Chris Messina, who was working with Affleck for the third time, following Argo and Live by Night. “I told Chris, ‘This is the guy everyone wants as their agent, just a pure killer for the deal.’ He came in and made those scenes even better than I imagined,” says the director.

The majority of Messina’s scenes are on the phone with Damon’s Sonny Vaccaro, and the actors reveal they were filmed in an innovative way. Instead of each actor shooting their end of the conversations individually, as is typically done, Damon details, “Chris was in a room that had been made into Falk’s office, and I was in an office on the other side of the building. We had two camera teams, so we were being filmed simultaneously.”

Messina adds, “I’ve done tons of phone calls in my career, but never like that. Usually, you have the other actor or a script supervisor just feeding you lines, but Matt was on the other end of the call and we were shooting in real time, which was very cool. Some of our exchanges were happening in the moment and Ben was letting us loosen it up and improvise a bit. You know he has hired you for a reason and that he trusts you, so he lets you play. And Ben is brave enough to see what’s working and what feels true to the moment.”

In researching his role, Messina says, “I read his book, The Bald Truth, and watched interviews with him. He’s an extremely intelligent man and obviously had a big impact on this particular deal and the future of sports and branding. He was a young man when this all went down, so I was super impressed by how he helped define a new way of advertisement. And he was very important to the Jordans, as he was with Michael throughout his career. But it’s our own version of David Falk, with all due respect to him. I’m not doing an imitation of him in any way; it’s taking the essence of the man and doing my own thing with it.”

The entire deal with Nike hinges on Michael liking the design of the prototype Air Jordan. Matthew Maher plays the role of Nike’s brilliant creative director Peter Moore, who is credited with conceiving the shoe that launched an empire. “What makes Peter so funny and so alive as a character is he is going through a mid-life crisis and is totally unapologetic about it,” says Maher. “He rides a skateboard to work, doing tricks in the parking lot for all to see. He immediately sees the stakes in the Jordan deal and is not afraid to view the challenge in grand terms. The fact that he is given carte blanche is more than just a design opportunity; it is a chance to meet the greatness of an athlete with his own version of greatness.”

Maher actually has a long history with both Affleck and Damon. “We went to the same high school and did plays together,” the director shares. “I’ve directed Matt in several of my films and he is a wonderful actor and very accomplished.”

Affleck notes, “I loved working with all the actors in AIR. It was a joy for me as a director. Great actors just make everything better, and our cast made this experience spectacular.”


Your job isn’t done until the job is done.

-- Nike Mission Statement, 1984

Behind the camera, Affleck collaborated with a veteran team to achieve his vision for AIR, including director of photography Robert Richardson, production designer François Audouy, editor William Goldenberg, and costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones.

Affleck has high praise for all, beginning with his DP. “Bob Richardson is a master and among the greatest cinematographers in the world. I could not have idolized him more and I felt lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.”

AIR was filmed entirely in and around the Los Angeles area, where the first priority was to find a location to serve as Nike’s Beaverton, Oregon, headquarters. “Ben had imagined a contiguous office space with a central atrium,” Audouy offers. “He wanted a relatively unimpressive basketball division, with a contrasting shiny executive suite upstairs. The overall look and feel of these offices needed to reflect Nike’s humble beginnings, underscoring that they’re the underdogs in our story.”

The filmmakers utilized an office building in Santa Monica, where two full floors were transformed into Nike headquarters, circa mid-1980s. “Francois really embraced the ethos of us wanting the set to look rundown,” the director comments. “It's a hard thing to say to a production designer, ‘The point is that the place is ordinary and boring,’ not sexy and cool like the Nike campuses are now.”

A lot has changed in office environments since 1984, from technology to furnishings, so the design team’s job began “with an intense amount of research,” Audouy says. “We tracked down an extensive collection of imagery and archival footage of the film’s actual settings, which proved invaluable. Much of the look of Phil Knight’s office was replicated exactly, as was his Porsche at the time, which included the distinctive vanity plate seen in the film.”

The kitchen of the Jordan house was also built in the Santa Monica building, while the exterior of their home was located in Northridge, California.

Other locations included the famed Smokehouse Restaurant in Burbank; the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood; and UCLA’s Drake Stadium. In addition, the production utilized the L.A. North Stages in Santa Clarita, where the production designer’s team built the boardrooms for rivals Adidas and Converse.

The costume designer also did an extensive amount of research. Jones details, “I scanned catalogs from 1978-83 because the people in the movie would be wearing a mix of all those years of fashion. Another awesome thing is that they had early ‘80s line sheets for Nike, so I was able to see what the company had produced then, which was super helpful in deciding what Nike gear Sonny and Phil would wear. I wanted the fashions at Nike to have a relaxed, outdoorsy vibe, because it’s in Oregon, where people engage in more nature-based activities, whereas the people outside the company are a bit slicker in power suits.”

Jones naturally based Damon’s costumes on the real Sonny Vaccaro, noting, “He was a high school basketball scout and put on tournaments so he was definitely not a suit guy.” The costume designer received high praise from a knowledgeable source. Damon recalls, “Pam Vaccaro told her, ‘It looks like you raided Sonny's closet.’”

In fashioning Viola Davis’s wardrobe, Jones says, “Deloris worked at a bank, so I wanted to make sure she always wore suits to the meetings. She is also clearly the boss of the Jordan family at that time, and I wanted her to look powerful every time she’s on screen.”

For Phil Knight, “The look we created was largely based on documentary footage, and Ben was game to wear anything, including those hot pink leggings,” Jones laughs. “We had a lot of fun on set that day.”

“Charlese came to be more than a costume designer on this movie,” Affleck relates. “I relied on her creativity for a broad swath of things because she’s so talented, smart, and articulate about the way that movies tell stories visually.”

While not part of a costume, one item of clothing was integral to the story in AIR—the prototype of the original Air Jordan. Shoe designer Reynaldo Marquez, who was responsible for re-creating the now-iconic sneaker, says, “Over the years, the Jordan 1 has turned into a timeless classic, so I really wanted to make sure I got it right. The shoe pretty much stays true to the original, with the exception of the white tongue tag.” In addition to the prototype, Marquez designed eight other variations of Nike sneakers that are seen in the film.

One artistic element that is key in capturing any era is music, but instead of having a traditional score, the director took a different tack in conveying the mid-1980s. “Rather than having a composer try to reproduce the distinct sound of the eighties, with its the heavy synthesizer elements, I wanted to incorporate actual score selections from movies of the `80s,” Affleck explains. “If they aren’t too recognizable, hopefully the music would serve to subconsciously put the audience in that period. That, in combination with the source music and the songs we do recognize, I thought could work. It was a bit of a gamble because I didn't know if the score from all those different movies would ultimately feel cohesive. But credit to my brilliant editor, Billy Goldenberg, music editor Cory Milano and music supervisor Andrea von Foerster. They all did a great job evoking that time, and I think it worked out really well.”

Damon reflects, “This was such a significant time in these people’s lives. One thing Sonny Vaccaro was very clear with me about was that the feelings of camaraderie, friendship and loyalty are his takeaways from that time. That’s what we wanted to put in the movie—a story about these underdogs doing something that had never been done before.”

Affleck concludes, “My hope is that this is a story that audiences will connect with and it will resonate with them. I hope they will find it meaningful and rewarding to watch…because that’s the point of telling stories.”


MATT DAMON (Sonny Vaccaro / Producer), one of today’s most respected and in-demand actors, has been honored for his diverse career achievements on both sides of the camera.

In 2022, Damon partnered with Ben Affleck to launch Artists Equity, a production venture that vows to expand profit participation and provide a talent-friendly environment to creatives. AIR is the first project produced under the Artists Equity banner. Damon and Affleck are also set to produce the film The Instigators, for Apple. Damon will also star in the film with Casey Affleck.

Upcoming, Damon will be seen in Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated next feature, the fact-based drama Oppenheimer, to be released by Universal Pictures this summer.

Damon appeared in several film and television roles before being catapulted to fame in 1997’s hit drama Good Will Hunting, which he co-wrote and starred in with his lifelong friend, Ben Affleck. The duo won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and also earned a Writers Guild of America Award nomination, and several critics group awards. For his performance in the film, Damon received an Academy Award nomination, as well as two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations, one for Best Actor and another for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast.

Damon has since earned numerous other acting honors, including two more Oscar nominations, the latest in the category of Best Actor, for his performance as an astronaut stranded on Mars, in Ridley Scott’s 2015 hit The Martian, for which he also won a Golden Globe and received BAFTA and Critics’ Choice Award nominations. In 2009, he was Oscar-nominated, for Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar in Clint Eastwood’s true-life drama Invictus, also gaining SAG and Critics’ Choice Award nominations.

Hailing from Boston, Damon attended Harvard University and gained his first acting experience with the American Repertory Theatre. He made his film debut in Mystic Pizza, followed by roles in School Ties, Walter Hill’s Geronimo: An American Legend, and the cable projects Rising Son and Tommy Lee Jones’ The Good Old Boys. However, it was his portrayal of a guilt-stricken Gulf War veteran in 1996’s Courage Under Fire that first caught the attention of both critics and audiences.

Damon’s early film credits also include Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker; the title role in Steven Spielberg’s award-winning World War II drama Saving Private Ryan; John Dahl’s drama Rounders; Kevin Smith’s controversial comedy Dogma, alongside Affleck; and another title role, in Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley.

In 2001, Damon joined the all-star ensemble cast of the mega-hit heist film Ocean’s Eleven, which marked his first collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh, followed by Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen. Soderbergh also directed him in The Informant!, Contagion, Che: Part Two, and HBO’s acclaimed biopic Behind the Candelabra, for which Damon received Emmy, SAG, and BAFTA Award nominations.

For his work on the small screen, Damon has also earned two more Emmy Award nominations, both for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, for his role on 30 Rock and for hosting Saturday Night Live.

Damon originated the role of Jason Bourne in Doug Limon’s 2002 blockbuster The Bourne Identity. He reprised the role in three more action hits: The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Jason Bourne, all directed by Paul Greengrass. Damon also worked with Greengrass in 2010’s Green Zone.

His other film acting credits during that decade include Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance; Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses; Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by George Clooney; the Farrelly brothers’ comedy Stuck on You; Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm; Stephen Gaghan’s geopolitical thriller Syriana; Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Best Picture The Departed; Robert De Niro’s dramatic thriller The Good Shepherd; Hereafter, reuniting him with Eastwood; and the Coen brothers’ remake of the classic Western True Grit.

Damon went on to star in George Nolfi’s thriller The Adjustment Bureau, Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret, Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo, Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land, Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fi thriller Elysium, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, Yimou Zhang’s The Great Wall, Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, and the Clooney-directed films Monuments Men and Suburbicon.

He more recently starred in the critically acclaimed box office hit Ford v Ferrari, for director James Mangold; Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater; and Taika Waititi’s action adventure hit Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel Studios. In addition, Damon starred in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, for which he also co-wrote the screenplay, with Affleck and Nicole Holofcener, and was a producer.

In 2000, Damon teamed with Affleck and Chris Moore to form the production company LivePlanet, to produce film, television, and new media projects. LivePlanet produced the documentary Running the Sahara, directed by James Moll, as well as three seasons of the Emmy-nominated series Project Greenlight, chronicling the making of independent films by first-time writers and directors and spawning three features: Stolen Summer, The Battle of Shaker Heights and Feast. The series, which first aired on HBO and later Bravo, was resurrected and the fourth season aired on HBO in September 2015 under Damon and Affleck’s Pearl Street Productions banner.

Pearl Street Productions produced the aforementioned Jason Bourne; Promised Land, which was written and produced by Damon and John Krasinski and reunited Damon with director Gus Van Sant; Affleck’s Live By Night; and Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, which received Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Picture, among other honors. The company also produced Incorporated, written and directed by Alex and David Pastor, for the Syfy Channel.

In addition, Damon served as an executive producer on the Showtime drama series City on A Hill. He also executive produced and appeared in the History Channel project The People Speak, based on a book co-written by famed historian Howard Zinn and featuring dramatic readings and performances from some of the most famous names in the entertainment industry.

Apart from his film and television work, Damon co-founded H20 Africa in 2006, now known as, a foundation that brings clean water and sanitation to countries around the world that suffer without that simple need. This year Damon and his partner, Gary White, released their first book, The Worth of Water, the incredible true story of two unlikely allies on a mission to end the global water crisis for good.

VIOLA DAVIS (Deloris Jordan) recently became an EGOT, becoming one of a very few artists in history to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. She achieved EGOT status earlier this year with a Grammy Award win for her recording of the book Finding Me.

Upcoming, Davis stars in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the prequel to the blockbuster films, directed by Francis Lawrence. Last year, Davis starred in the acclaimed action drama The Woman King, which was produced by Davis’s JuVee Productions. Based on true events, the film tells the story of a general of an all-female West African military regiment. Davis received Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and BAFTA Award nominations for her portrayal of General Nanisca. In 2022, Davis portrayed Michelle Obama in Showtime’s limited series The First Lady, which she also executive produced.

In 2021, Davis received an Oscar nomination for her transformative performance as Ma Rainey in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She also won a SAG Award for the role and received Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominations, among other honors.

In 2019, Davis wrapped the final season of the series How to Get Away with Murder, from ABC Studios and Shondaland. In 2015, she earned a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, in addition to becoming the first African-American actress to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She went on to receive two more consecutive SAG Award nominations, two more Emmy nominations, and a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Annalise Keating.

In 2019, Davis starred in and served as a producer on Amazon Studio’s family comedy Troop Zero, directed by Bert & Bertie. The year prior, she starred in the crime drama Widows, directed by Steve McQueen

In 2017, she co-starred with Denzel Washington in Fences, adapted from the play by August Wilson and directed and produced by Washington. For her performance as Rose Maxson, Davis won an Academy Award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress, in addition to taking home Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA Awards. Davis previously played Rose, opposite Washington, in the 2010 Broadway revival of the play. Her performance earned her a Tony Award, as well as a Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award. Fences was also honored with the Tony Award for “Best Play Revival” and was the most profitable theater production of the year.

In 2016, Davis was seen in the action hit Suicide Squad, with Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. The film broke the all-time opening record for August, with $135 million. The year before, she starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in Lila & Eve, the story of two mothers whose children are killed in drive-by shootings. Davis also took the reins as a producer on this film, along with her husband, Julius Tennon, for their company, JuVee Productions.

In 2013, film audiences saw Davis in four vastly different projects: the film adaptation of the popular science fiction novel Ender’s Game, alongside Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford; Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard and Paul Dano; and Richard LaGravenese’s Beautiful Creatures, with Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons.

In 2012, Davis and her husband founded JuVee, with its focus being to give a voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful and culturally relevant narratives. The Los Angeles-based and artist-driven company produces film, television and digital content across all of entertainment.

That same year, Davis received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of the heartbroken but stoic Aibileen Clark in the 2011 drama The Help. Based on Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller and directed by Tate Taylor, the film also starred Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer. Davis won SAG and Critics’ Choice Awards, for Best Actress, and was also nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards. In addition, the ensemble won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble. The film was also Oscar-nominated for Best Picture.

In 2008, Davis starred with Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the critically revered film Doubt, based on the Tony Award winning play by John Patrick Shanley, who also directed. For her performance as Mrs. Miller, Davis was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a SAG Award, for Best Supporting Actress. The National Board of Review recognized Davis with the Breakthrough Award and she was also honored by the Santa Barbara Film Festival as a Virtuoso. That same year, Davis had a six-episode arc in Showtime’s hit series United States of Tara, written by Diablo Cody.

Davis earlier won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female for her performance in Antwone Fisher. Her additional film credits include Get On Up; Blackhat; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; Knight and Day; Nights in Rodanthe; Madea Goes to Jail; Law Abiding Citizen; Disturbia; Eat, Pray, Love; It’s Kind of a Funny Story; The Architect; Never Back Down; and Far From Heaven. She worked with director Steven Soderbergh on Solaris, Traffic and Out of Sight, and in Syriana, which Soderbergh produced for director Stephen Gaghan.

In 2004, Davis starred on stage in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Lynn Nottage’s play Intimate Apparel, directed by Daniel Sullivan. She garnered the highest honors for an off-Broadway play, including Drama Desk, Drama League, Obie and Audelco Awards for Best Actress, as well as a Lucille Lortel Award nomination. She reprised her role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, where she was recognized with the Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics and Garland Awards.

In 2001, Davis won Tony and Drama Desk Awards, for Best Featured Actress in a Play, for her portrayal of Tonya in King Hedley II. She previously received a Tony nomination in the same category for her role in Seven Guitars, which marked her Broadway debut.

A graduate of The Julliard School, Davis received an Honorary Doctorate during its 109th Commencement Ceremony and she also holds an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College.

She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

BEN AFFLECK (Director / Producer / Phil Knight) See bio in FILMMAKER section.

JASON BATEMAN (Rob Strasser) is one of the most in-demand talents in Hollywood, known for his skills both in front of and behind the camera. For his work on Netflix’s Ozark, Bateman, together with the other show producers, was nominated by the Producers Guild of America for the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television. He was also individually nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series. In 2019, Bateman earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.

This year, Bateman won his second Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, for his work on Ozark. In addition, he has been nominated for multiple Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe Awards for his leading roles on both Ozark and Arrested Development. He earned the 2019 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for the former, and the 2005 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for the latter. Ozark recently completed its four-season run on Netflix, while Arrested Development ran for three seasons on FOX. In 2018, Netflix premiered a 14-episode return of the cult favorite, in which Bateman reprised his role.

In 2012, Bateman established the production banner Aggregate Films, with a first-look, two-year partnership with Universal Pictures and Universal Television that extended through 2017. In 2018, Bateman partnered with Michael Costigan, and together they set Aggregate Films in a first-look, multiyear deal with Netflix to generate both film and television projects.

In July 2020, Bateman joined forces with Will Arnett and Sean Hayes to launch Smartless, a podcast series centered on the element of surprise, with one of the hosts revealing a mystery guest to the other two, to discuss shared experiences through thoughtful dialogue. Featured guests have included Vice President Kamala Harris, George Clooney, LeBron James, Tom Hanks, Billie Eilish, Tina Fey, J.J. Abrams, and Jon Stewart, among many other high-profile luminaries. The podcast quickly rose to become one of the most popular shows in the U.S., resulting in Amazon Music and Wondery’s acquisition of the exclusive rights. The series has since been nominated for a 2021 People’s Choice Award in the category of Favorite Pop Podcast, and a 2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Award in the category of Podcast of the Year.

Bateman more recently served as an executive producer on the Netflix romantic comedy film Your Place or Mine, written and directed by Aline Brosh McKenna. He and Costigan also executive produced Under the Banner of Heaven, an FX limited series, which launched exclusively on Hulu in the U.S. on April 28, 2022. They are currently executive producing Based on a True Story, which explores American’s obsession with true crime and serial killers; the upcoming Apple TV+ drama series Lessons in Chemistry, written and executive produced by Susannah Grant and based on the debut novel from Bonnie Garmus; and the upcoming Netflix series Florida Man.

In 2020, Bateman guest starred as Terry Maitland and served as the director of the first two episodes of the HBO series The Outsider, based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. Additionally, he was an executive producer of the entire series. That same year, he and Costigan served as executive producers on FX’s drama series A Teacher, created by Hannah Fiddell.

In 2018, Bateman starred in and produced Warner Bros. Pictures’ Game Night, opposite Rachel McAdams. The year prior, he starred with Aniston in Paramount’s comedy Office Christmas Party. In 2016, Bateman lent his voice to Disney’s Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning animated feature Zootopia, which grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

In 2015, Bateman directed the indie drama The Family Fang, in which he also starred opposite Nicole Kidman. The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically by Starz. He also starred alongside Joel Edgerton and Rebecca Hall in the psychological thriller The Gift, written and directed by Edgerton. The previous year, Bateman starred in Shawn Levy’s This is Where I Leave You, with Tina Fey, Rose Byrne, and Adam Driver.

Bateman made his directorial debut with the dark comedy Bad Words, in which he also starred. The film made its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and its U.S. premiere the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, and was released by Focus Features. In 2013, he co-starred with Melissa McCarthy in Seth Gordon’s 2013 comedy Identity Thief.

In 2011, Bateman joined Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston in the box office hit comedy Horrible Bosses. He reunited with the cast in the hit sequel Horrible Bosses 2, in 2014. Bateman also starred with Aniston in the 2010 comedy The Switch.

In 2009, he starred with Vince Vaughn and Kristen Bell in Jon Favreau’s Couples Retreat, and in Mike Judge’s Extract, the latter of which was produced by Bateman under his previous F+A Productions banner. He was also seen in Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, with George Clooney, and Kevin Macdonald’s State of Play; and had a memorable cameo in the Ricky Gervais comedy The Invention of Lying.

In 2007, Bateman played the pivotal role of potential adoptive father in Jason Reitman’s hugely successful independent film, Juno. The acclaimed film earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, as well as Best Film nominations from most major film critics groups.

Bateman’s long list of film acting credits also includes Greg Mottola’s comedy Paul; David Dobkin’s comedy The Change-Up; The Ex; Hancock, opposite Will Smith and Charlize Theron; The Break-Up, with Vince Vaughn and Aniston; Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; with Vaughn and Ben Stiller; Starsky & Hutch, alongside Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Vaughn; and the romantic comedy The Sweetest Thing.

In his adolescent and teen years, his work in the series Silver Spoons prompted NBC to create the series It’s Your Move, starring Bateman. He then starred with Valerie Harper in the television series Valerie, retitled Valerie’s Family, followed by The Hogan Family. His first television role was as a regular on the iconic television series Little House on the Prairie.

CHRIS TUCKER (Howard White) is an internationally recognized, award-winning actor, producer and comedian. He is best known for his role of Detective James Carter in the blockbuster Rush Hour action comedy film franchise, starring opposite Jackie Chan under the direction of Brett Ratner.

Tucker’s career began in the early 1990s when he became a favorite on Russell Simmons’ HBO Def Comedy Jam. He then rose to prominence with his first starring role, in the 1995 cult classic Friday, alongside Ice Cube. In 1997, Tucker executive produced and co-starred with Charlie Sheen in the hit movie Money Talks, directed by Ratner, and also appeared in Luc Besson’s globally successful sci-fi adventure The Fifth Element.

His other film credits include the Hughes brothers’ Dead Presidents, Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, David O’Russell’s award-winning hit Silver Linings Playbook, and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

In 2015, Tucker released Chris Tucker Live exclusively on Netflix, marking the first project he starred in and produced through his own company, Chris Tucker Entertainment. He currently tours around the world performing live comedy shows, which have received rave reviews globally.

In addition to entertaining millions of fans on stage and screen, Tucker is a dedicated humanitarian, spending much of his spare time traveling the world, doing charitable work through The Chris Tucker Foundation. By making a difference, he truly believes we are blessed to be a blessing.

MARLON WAYANS (George Raveling) is a successful actor, producer, comedian, writer and film director. His films have grossed more than $736 million in domestic box office and $1 billion globally. As a stand-up comedian, he is selling out nationwide and adding shows every weekend. He hit a career milestone with his highly anticipated first-ever stand-up comedy special, Woke-ish, which premiered on Netflix in February 2018.

Wayans’ third comedy special for HBO Max, Marlon Wayans: God Loves Me, just dropped on March 2nd. He has signed an overall deal with HBO Max, performing a stand-up special and hosting a multi-act special. This resulted in his specials Marlon Wayans: You Know What It Is and Marlon Wayans Presents: The Headliners, which are both streaming on the service.

Onscreen, Wayans starred last year in Netflix’s The Curse of Bridge Hollow, which he also produced. In 2021, he starred as Ted White in MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, opposite Jennifer Hudson. The year prior, he starred in Sofia Coppola’s Apple-A24 movie On the Rocks, alongside Rashida Jones and Bill Murray.

In 2019, Wayans wrote and produced the Michael Tiddes-directed Netflix movie Sextuplets, in which he starred as Alan, a man who embarks on a personal journey to find his birth mother and discovers he was born a sextuplet. In addition to playing the central role, Wayans appeared as all five of Alan’s siblings in the film.

On television, Wayans recently gained rave reviews for his guest star role as Lou in the final episode of Bel-Air. He also executive produced and hosted Meta’s Oh Hell No! With Marlon Wayans. In addition, he starred for two seasons on the NBC sitcom Marlon, a family comedy loosely based on his life. Both seasons of Marlon are currently airing on Netflix.

Wayans reunited with director Michael Tiddes in the 2017 Netflix movie Naked, which Wayans wrote, produced and starred in, opposite Regina Hall. The year before, he wrote, produced and starred in Tiddes’ Fifty Shades of Black, also starring Mike Epps and Kali Hawk.

In 2014, Wayans starred in the Open Road Films comedy A Haunted House 2, the sequel to the hilarious 2013 hit A Haunted House, which had a budget of $1.7 million and grossed $65 million globally. Wayans wrote and produced both films.

Wayans hosted the NBC comedy/variety series I Can Do That! and also starred in and created the 2014 TBS hit comedy competition series Funniest Wins. Also in 2014, he embarked on a national comedy tour with his brothers Keenan, Damon and Shawn, which marked the first stand-up tour for the four Wayans Brothers.

Wayans is commonly recognized for his role as Marcus Copeland in Columbia Pictures’ 2004 hit comedy White Chicks, opposite Shawn Wayans, Jamie King and Terry Crews. Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, the film grossed more than $100 million worldwide. He also starred alongside Shawn Wayans and Regina Hall in Dimension Films’ horror comedy spoof films Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2, both directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Wayans’ additional film credits include the Columbia Pictures comedy Mo’ Money; New Line Cinema’s drama Above the Rim; Miramax’s parody film Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood; Touchstone Pictures’ The Sixth Man; Miramax’s Senseless; Dungeons & Dragons; Darren Aronofsky’s hit drama Requiem for a Dream, opposite Jared Leto and Jennifer Connolly; The Coen Brothers’ The Ladykillers, opposite Tom Hanks; Behind the Smile; Columbia Pictures’ Little Man; DreamWorks’ Norbit, opposite Eddie Murphy; Paramount Pictures and MTV’s parody film Dance Flick; Paramount’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, opposite Channing Tatum, Dennis Quaid and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; 20th Century Fox’s Marmaduke; and the hit comedy The Heat, opposite Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.

Additionally, Wayans starred with his brother Shawn Wayans on The WB’s The Wayans Bros., which was the highest -rated comedy on the network and continues to air in syndication. He has appeared on several popular television programs, including FOX’s In Living Color, Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital, and BET’s Second Generation Wayans.

CHRIS MESSINA (David Falk) is making his third appearance in a film directed by Ben Affleck, beginning with the 2012 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Argo, for which he shared in a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast. In 2016, he co-starred in Affleck’s Live by Night.

Upcoming, Messina stars in the 20th Century Studios thriller The Boogeyman, produced by Shawn Levy and based on the famed Stephen King short story, as well as in the indie film I.S.S., opposite Ariana DeBose.

In 2022, he starred opposite Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver in the indie Call Jane, directed by Phyllis Nagy, which premiered at Sundance. He also starred in Focus Feature’s Dreamin’ Wild, with Casey Affleck, Beau Bridges, Zooey Deschanel and Walton Goggins, for director Bill Pohlad.

In addition, he was recently seen opposite Rosamund Pike in the Netflix feature I Care a Lot, which premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival and was one of Netflix’s most viewed original titles that year. Messina’s other recent film credits include Warner Bros. Pictures’ 2020 action adventure Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor, and the 2019 indie feature She Dies Tomorrow, directed by Amy Seimetz. His other credits include Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto, and David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn with Al Pacino.

On television, Messina was seen in the Starz fact-based limited series Gaslit, starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. He also had a recurring role in the third season of the critically acclaimed USA anthology series The Sinner, with Matt Bomer and Bill Pullman.

Messina played Detective Richard Willis in Jean-Marc Vallée’s HBO Emmy-nominated limited series Sharp Objects, opposite Amy Adams. He previously spent six years alongside Mindy Kaling in The Mindy Project, for which he earned two Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. He also starred with Glenn Close and Rose Byrne in Damages for FX and in HBO’s The Newsroom.

Messina made his Broadway debut in 2003 in Oscar Wilde’s Salome, at the Ethel Barrymore Theater.

JULIUS TENNON (James Jordan) is Co-President of JuVee Productions which he founded with his wife, Viola Davis, in 2012. The two have shared both the stage and screen, appearing in such notable projects as Intimate Apparel, at the Mark Taper Forum; CBS’s Laws of Chance; The Architect; and the JuVee-produced films Custody and Lila & Eve.

An accomplished film, television, and theatre veteran actor and producer with more than 30 years of experience, Tennon oversees JuVee’s development and production. Juvee creates scripted and non-scripted television, film, documentary, theater, and digital immersive content for global audiences. The company currently has a first-look feature production deal with Amazon Studios on the film side, as well as an overall development deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios for broadcast, cable, streaming and digital platforms. In 2020, JuVee and TIME brought Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic I Have a Dream speech to virtual reality to select museums across the country.

At its core, JuVee’s philosophy integrates optimal character and story-driven content that has remained the cornerstone of what best entertains audiences worldwide.  The company will continue to focus on and produce cost-effective content while offering filmmakers and creative talent a welcomed supportive environment to explore optimal creative opportunities, telling fresh stories reflective of the world as it exists.

A native of Austin, Texas, Tennon began as both a thespian and a star linebacker. Offered a full football scholarship to the University of Tulsa, he became the very first African American to graduate from the theatre department.

His notable screen credits include The Simone Biles Story, Batman v. Superman, Get On Up, Fame, Friday Night Lights, and Dazed and Confused, as well as such popular television shows as Criminal Minds and Lonesome Dove, among others.

MATTHEW MAHER (Peter Moore) has been honored for his work on the stage and has also played a variety of roles in films and on television.

He recently appeared on Broadway, as Oswald in the 2019 production of Shakespeare’s King Lear. His off-Broadway credits include Othello, for which he received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play; The Muscles in Our Toes, Mr. Burns, The Flick, also appearing in the London production; The World Over (Playwrights Horizons); Golden Child (Signature); Red Handed Otter (Cherry Lane); Uncle Vanya; Orange Hat and Grace; Molly’s Dream (Soho Rep), Tales From My Parents’ Divorce (The Civilians, Associate Artist); and School For Lies (CSC).

Maher has also been in shows with Clubbed Thumb, 13P, PS122, TFANA and The Public. His regional credits include productions at Williamstown, NY Stage & Film, Berkeley Rep, A.R.T. and The McCarter.

Early in his career, he won an Obie Award for his performance in the one-man show The Race Of The Ark Tattoo with The Foundry. In 2013, he was presented with an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance.

On the big screen, Maher previously worked under the direction of Ben Affleck in the films Live By Night and Gone Baby Gone. His other film credits include Funny Pages, Marriage Story, Captain Marvel, My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea, The Finest Hours, A Most Violent Year, While We’re Young, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, The Killer Inside Me, Jersey Girl, Vulgar, Bringing Out The Dead, and Dogma.

Maher’s many television credits also include Hello Tomorrow!, Our Flag Means Death, Outer Range, Prodigal Son, New Amsterdam, Mozart in the Jungle, Nurse Jackie, Over/Under, Bored To Death, The Unusuals, John From Cincinnati, and all three Law & Order series.


BEN AFFLECK (Director / Producer / Phil Knight) has been recognized for his work as a director, actor, writer, and producer. He is the recipient of two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award, and two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, among other accolades.

He most recently received a SAG Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in Amazon’s The Tender Bar, and received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, for Best Actor, for his starring role in The Way Back.

In 2012, Affleck directed, produced and starred in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Argo, which also won Golden Globe, BAFTA, Producers Guild of America, and numerous critics group awards for Best Picture. Affleck was also honored with a Golden Globe, DGA Award, BAFTA Award and Critics’ Choice Award, for Best Director, and shared in a SAG Award win for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast.

Affleck had made his feature film directorial debut on the 2007 drama Gone Baby Gone, which he also scripted and for which he received a Best Directorial Debut Award from the National Board of Review. He went on to write, direct and star in the dramas The Town and Live by Night, the latter of which he also produced. Together with Matt Damon, he recently wrote, produced and starred in the 2021 historical drama The Last Duel, for director Ridley Scott.

Early in his career, he and Damon won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 1997 acclaimed drama Good Will Hunting, in which they also co-starred. The duo also won Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards, for Best Screenplay, and received a Writers Guild of America Award nomination. Additionally, they shared in a SAG Award nomination, for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast.

In 2007, Affleck earned several accolades, including a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of George Reeves in Hollywoodland. His long list of acting credits also includes John Madden’s Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Extract, Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, David Fincher’s Gone Girl, The Accountant, Triple Frontier, and Deep Water.

Affleck has also starred as DC’s iconic super hero Batman and his alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, in three films. He reprises his role in Andy Muschietti’s The Flash, due out this summer, and James Wan’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, slated for a holiday release. His upcoming films also include Hypnotic, for director Robert Rodriguez.

In 2022, Affleck teamed with Damon to launch Artists Equity, a production venture that vows to expand profit participation and provide a “talent-friendly” environment to creatives. AIR marks the first project under their new banner. The company’s forthcoming projects include The Instigators, for Apple.

In 2000, Affleck partnered with Matt Damon, Chris Moore and Sean Bailey to form LivePlanet. Their first endeavor, Project Greenlight, premiered in 2001 on HBO and drew critical, audience and industry attention for its behind-the-scenes look at the challenges faced by a first-time filmmaker. The second season of Project Greenlight aired on HBO in 2003, with a third season on Bravo in 2005. All three seasons were nominated for Emmy Awards. The fourth season of Project Greenlight aired on HBO in 2015.

Affleck’s own Pearl Street Productions co-produced such films as Promised Land, directed by Gus Van Sant and written and produced by Matt Damon and John Krasinski; Jason Bourne; and the Academy Award-nominated drama Manchester by the Sea. The company also co-produced Incorporated for the Syfy Channel, written and directed by Alex and David Pastor, and Showtime’s drama series City on A Hill, among other projects.

Outside of his successful film career, Affleck is also a passionate advocate and philanthropist who supports many charitable organizations. In March 2010, he founded the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), the first U.S.-based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on the mission of helping the people of eastern Congo support local community-based approaches that create a sustainable and successful society in the long-troubled region.

ALEX CONVERY (Screenwriter) counts AIR as his first produced screenplay. He has been featured on the annual Hollywood Blacklist three times and was named one of Variety's 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2022.

Originally from Chicago, Convery graduated from USC’s Writing for Screen and Television program.

DAVID ELLISON (Producer) is chief executive officer of Skydance Media, the diversified media company he founded in 2010 to create elevated, event-level entertainment for global audiences. As CEO, he sets and executes the strategic vision for the company across all its divisions: Feature Film, Television, Interactive, Animation, New Media, and Sports.

Ellison oversees the entire Skydance film slate, which includes the recently released, critically acclaimed Top Gun: Maverick which broke box office records and became the highest grossing film of 2022 and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The studio’s upcoming film slate also includes Ghosted, Heart of Stone, The Family Plan, The Gorge, The Old Guard 2, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, a reboot of the popular Spy Kids franchise, and the upcoming seventh and eighth installments of the Mission: Impossible series, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning. Under his leadership, Skydance has produced a number of blockbuster and critically acclaimed films, including The Adam Project, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, The Tomorrow War, The Old Guard, 6 Underground, Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Annihilation, Star Trek into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, the Jack Reacher films and the Academy Award-nominated True Grit.

In 2013 Ellison launched Skydance Television, which boasts a diverse slate of series across a range of platforms. The studio’s slate includes several Emmy-nominated series such as Grace and Frankie, Foundation, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, as well as Reacher, Condor, The Big Door Prize, FUBAR, and Cross.

In 2016, Ellison formed Skydance Interactive, a dedicated subsidiary that creates and owns original virtual reality games and licensing. The studio’s library includes the critically acclaimed VR survival-horror game The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners as well as its recently released next chapter, Chapter 2—Retribution.

Ellison launched an animation division at Skydance in 2017 with the purpose of producing a bold and original slate of high-end animated feature films and television series. The studio’s inaugural animated short film, Blush, debuted at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in 2021 and went on to receive a number of nominations and awards. Skydance Animation recently debuted its first full-length animated feature, Luck, and is currently in production on the animated musical Spellbound. In 2020, Ellison formed Skydance Animation Madrid, which expanded the creative capability, scale, and leverage of the studio.

In 2019, Ellison established Skydance New Media to create narratively focused interactive experiences crafted as original series, putting the audience at the center of the action and adventure, with the first two productions being with Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm Games, respectively.

The studio’s newest division, Skydance Sports, was launched in 2021 to develop premium scripted and unscripted sports-related content, documentaries, and events. Since its launch, the studio has made a number of high-profile deals including with the NFL, international soccer superstar Kylian Mbappe, Religion of Sports and Meadowlark Media. The studio’s first project, Good Rivals, launched in 2022. AIR marks the studio’s first scripted film.

Ellison announced in 2018 that Skydance had entered into a partnership with Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading provider of internet value added services in China. In 2020 he announced the formation of strategic partnerships with Redbird Capital and CJ E&M, culminating in a $275 million equity capital expansion that saw Skydance’s valuation increasing to $2.3 billion. This partnership with CJ E&M expanded Skydance’s global television business, providing the company a strong foothold in South Korea’s entertainment market and access to CJ E&M’s expansive library of wildly popular entertainment.

Ellison is an accomplished pilot and a lifelong film enthusiast. He attended the School of Cinematic Arts at USC and is a member of the Producers Guild of America, as well as the Television Academy. He resides in Southern California with his wife, musician Sandra Lynn.

JESSE SISGOLD (Producer) is President, Chief Operating Officer, and Board Member of Skydance Media, where he helps to set and execute the overall strategy and growth plan for the company, while managing the business across all units, including feature film, television, sports, animation and interactive.

Most recently, Sisgold architected Skydance’s newest division, Skydance Sports, with the goal of building the first independent, global sports content studio at scale. The NFL validated and accelerated the goal when it chose to partner with and rapidly expand Skydance Sports at the end of 2022. Sisgold is a producer on the studio’s first two releases, both for Amazon: the critically acclaimed film AIR, and the docuseries franchise Good Rivals, around the unparalleled rivalry between U.S. and Mexico’s national soccer teams.

In 2022, Sisgold helped spearhead Skydance’s $400 million investment led by KKR, marking the company’s valuation over $4 billion. In 2020, he played a key role in the formation of Skydance Animation Madrid following the acquisition of Ilion Animation Studios, creating one studio across two continents with the expanded creative capability, scale and leverage to deliver on the studio’s goal of becoming an industry-leading producer of high-end animated films. That same year, Sisgold was instrumental in raising $275 million of equity capital and forming strategic partnerships with Redbird Capital and CJ ENM. The partnership with CJ ENM grows Skydance’s global television business and provides a foothold in the booming Korean entertainment market. In 2018, Sisgold raised $100 million of equity capital and formed a broad strategic partnership with Tencent Holdings to bolster Skydance’s footprint in China for its film and interactive divisions. In 2017, he facilitated a multiyear renewal of Skydance’s first-look production and global distribution deal with Paramount. And in 2016, Sisgold took a leadership role in Skydance’s first acquisition—of game developer The Workshop Entertainment—to form Skydance Interactive, as well as in securing a $700 million recapitalization to enable continued growth and expansion.

Before joining Skydance, Sisgold served as the managing shareholder of his own boutique entertainment and venture capital law firm and launched the graphic novel and augmented reality company Anomaly Productions. He began his career at Heller Ehrman LLP.

Sisgold is a member of the Television Academy, Paley Media Council, and Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission, and was honored in Variety’s prestigious Dealmakers Impact Report for six years in a row (2015-2020). He is also a minority owner of Angel City Football Club and of Team Liquid (multi-champion esports team). He also serves as a board member of UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability, Conservation International’s Global Leadership Council, and Angels at Risk.

Sisgold earned his J.D. with honors from the University of California, Hastings and his B.A. with honors from the University of California, San Diego.

JON WEINBACH (Producer) a decorated filmmaker and writer, is the President of Skydance Sports, a division of Skydance Media launched in September 2021. At Skydance, he oversees all production and development of sports and sports-adjacent content, including premium unscripted series, documentaries, scripted series and feature films. In addition to the highly anticipated Air, the studio’s slate includes the studio’s first project, the docuseries Good Rivals, which debuted last year.

Weinbach’s connection with Sonny Vaccaro began when he interviewed him several times in the early 2000s as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where Weinbach spent six years covering the sports business. Their relationship expanded when Weinbach co-directed and produced Sole Man, a 2015 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about the life and career of Vaccaro, a sports-marketing guru who signed Michael Jordan to Nike and helped create the modern sneaker industry.

Prior to joining Skydance, Weinbach was Executive Producer and Executive Vice-President of Mandalay Sports Media, a content venture founded in 2012 by Peter Guber and Mike Tollin. For MSM, he produced and sold high-profile, acclaimed programming and branded content for a wide variety of outlets, including Netflix, ESPN, HBO, CBS, Turner Sports, Showtime, Fox Sports, FIFA, and Vice Media. His portfolio at MSM included producing The Last Dance, the Emmy- and Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award-winning, 10-episode documentary series on Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls for ESPN and Netflix; executive producing The Comedy Store, a five-episode documentary series for Showtime on the iconic Los Angeles comedy club; and executive producing nine documentary films for the International Olympic Committee’s new OTT platform, The Olympic Channel, including The Redeem Team, a documentary he also directed, which debuted on Netflix in October of 2022.

Weinbach has worked at the top levels of sports and entertainment media for more than 20 years, working closely with many of the biggest names in the industry. In 2015, he produced Kareem: Minority of One, an Emmy-winning HBO documentary about the life and career of basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Prior to joining Mandalay, Weinbach produced and wrote The Other Dream Team, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, was purchased by Lionsgate, and was nominated for Best Documentary by the PGA. The film spotlights the journey of the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic men’s basketball team, which forged a memorable link with the Grateful Dead and won bronze at the Barcelona Games.

In the scripted realm, Weinbach worked with Jeremy Garelick, Ice Cube and Michael Strahan to co-create, co-write and executive produce The Rebels, a half-hour sitcom pilot for Amazon about a fictional pro football team. In 2010, he produced and wrote Straight Outta L.A., an ESPN documentary directed by Ice Cube. The film, part of the award-winning 30 for 30 series, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and details the Los Angeles Raiders’ connection with the rise of Gangsta Rap and hip-hop during the late 1980s and early ‘90s.

As a journalist, Weinbach was a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where his articles often appeared on the “Most Popular” list of An expert on the sports business, he has appeared regularly on ESPN, CNBC, Fox News and national radio.

A graduate of Yale University, Weinbach lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.

MADISON AINLEY (Producer) currently serves as the Vice President of Production & Development at Pearl Street Films. A graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Ainley rose through the ranks, first at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production shingle, Appian Way, before pivoting over to his work alongside Affleck and Damon at Pearl Street, where he is in his tenth year.

There, he has overseen a robust slate across film and television, including most recently executive producing 20th Century’s The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott, and Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Way Back, directed by Gavin O’Connor.

JEFF ROBINOV (Producer) is founder and CEO of Studio 8, a multi-platform media company and champion of filmmaker-driven content prioritizing the unique insight and creative vision of their artistic partners. Recent projects produced by Robinov and his Studio 8 team include Apple’s The Instigators, starring Matt Damon and Casey Affleck and produced alongside Damon and Ben Affleck’s production venture Artists Equity, as well as Focus Features’ Nosferatu, directed by Robert Eggers and starring Aaron Taylor Johnson.

Prior to launching Studio 8, Robinov served as President of Warner Bros. Picture Group where he played an integral role in the development and growth of the division and created a singular vessel integrating the Studio’s production, marketing and distribution operations. Robinov oversaw an impressive sequence of award-winning content along with some of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed films and franchises in recent memory, including, The Dark Knight trilogy, which garnered over $2.4 billion worldwide; The Hangover films, one of the most popular R-rated comedy franchises, grossing over $1.4 billion worldwide; Inception, reaching over $825 million worldwide; Argo, amassing over $230 million worldwide and recipient of the 2013 Academy Award for Best Picture; and Gravity, which surpassed $716 million worldwide and won seven Academy Awards, including Best Director.

Under Robinov’s leadership, the division crossed the billion-dollar mark every year since 2002 in both domestic and international box office. Robinov began his tenure at Warner Bros. as Senior Vice President of Production.

Studio 8 is based in Los Angeles, California.

PETER GUBER (Producer) is Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group. Prior to Mandalay, Guber was President of Columbia Pictures, Owner and Co-Founder of Casablanca Record & Filmworks, Chairman and CEO of Polygram Entertainment, and Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Guber produced or executive produced (personally or through his own companies) films that garnered five Best Picture Academy Award nominations (winning for Rain Man) and box office hits that include The Color Purple, Midnight Express, Batman, Flashdance, The Kids Are All Right and Soul Surfer.

In 2020, Guber executive produced the Mandalay Sports Media series The Last Dance, which chronicles Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls. The show won the Emmy for Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series, the NAACP Award - Best Documentary Series, and Guber won the Producers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-fiction Television.

Guber is operating Owner and Executive Chairman of the 2015, 2017 and 2018 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors; the Owner of the 2020 World Series Champion, seven-time National League West Champion, and three-time National League Champion, Los Angeles Dodgers; and the Owner and Executive Chairman of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), which won the 2022 MLS Cup Championship. He is Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of aXiomatic, a broad-based esports and gaming company, which owns Team Liquid, a premier esports team.

Guber is also a noted author with works including Shootout: Surviving Fame and (Mis)Fortune in Hollywood, which became a television series on AMC that Guber hosted for six seasons. He wrote the cover article for the Harvard Business Review, titled The Four Truths of the Storyteller. His most recent business book, Tell To Win – Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story, became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Guber is a Regent of the University of California and has been a professor at UCLA for 40 years.

JASON MICHAEL BERMAN (Producer) is the President of Mandalay Pictures.

Berman was named in the 2016 Variety Dealmakers Impact Report, and in Variety in 2011 as one of the Top Ten Producers to Watch.

Berman recently produced Surrounded, directed by Anthony Mandler and starring Letitia Wright, Jamie Bell and Michael K. William, awaiting release from MGM/Amazon.

His other recent producing credits include Edson Oda’s Sundance award-winning film Nine Days, starring Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Bill Skarsgård, and Benedict Wong; Olivier Megaton’s The Last Days of American Crime, starring Edgar Ramirez; Prentice Penny’s Uncorked; Cindy Chupack’s Otherhood; Clark Johnson’s Juanita; Jonathan Helpert’s IO; Gerard McMurray's Burning Sands; Ryan Koo's Amateur; Eli Craig's Little Evil; and Nate Parker’s 2016 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury and Audience Award-winning film, The Birth of a Nation.

Berman’s past producing credits include Approaching the Unknown, Mediterranea, The Benefactor, Little Accidents, The Dry Land, Jess + Moss, Seven Days in Utopia, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, LUV, and Struck by Lightning.

Berman is in development on projects for Skydance, Netflix, Sony, Apple and A24.

Prior to producing, Berman worked at the William Morris Agency, MGM Studios, and for writer/director Gary Ross. Berman is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and the Producers Guild of America.

He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts, where he has been an adjunct professor since 2013. Berman helped to develop and start the Catalyst program at the Sundance Institute which has now raised over $50M for the financing of award-winning independent narrative film and documentary projects. He is originally from Baltimore, Maryland.

ROBERT RICHARDSON (Director of Photography) is a three-time Academy Award winner, who has received numerous other honors for his work with a number of prominent directors, including frequent collaborations with Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino.

Richardson began his career on an apprenticeship shooting second unit on Repo Man while filming television documentaries for PBS and the BBC. His work in television led Oliver Stone to hire Richardson to shoot both Salvador and Platoon, both of which required a cinema verité style filming that only a documentary cinematographer could offer. The latter brought Richardson his first Oscar nomination.

From there, Richardson worked almost exclusively for Stone, filming Wall Street; Born on the Fourth of July, for which he was Oscar-nominated; and The Doors. However, it was Richardson’s stunning work, using a multitude of stock and cameras to create a documentary feel for Oliver Stone’s JFK, which earned the cinematographer his first Academy Award win. During those years, Richardson also branched out to lens John Sayles' Eight Men Out and City of Hope.

While he sharpened the hyperkinetic style of JFK in Natural Born Killers, Nixon and U-Turn, Richardson was in demand by other top Hollywood directors, including Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese. Richardson earned his second and third Oscars for his work with Scorsese on the films The Aviator and Hugo. He also teamed with the director on Bringing Out the Dead.

His first collaboration with Tarantino was on Kill Bill: Vol. 1, immediately followed by Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Richardson continues to make an historical impact in Hollywood with his visuals on Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, and Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, earning Oscar nominations for each of them.

In the past several years, Richardson has been busy filming projects such as Ben Affleck’s Live by Night; Breathe, for director Andy Serkis, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy; Adrift, for director Balthasar Kormákur, starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin; Matthew Heineman’s A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike; Serkis’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage; and Emancipation, for director Antoine Fuqua.

In 2019, he was honored by his peers with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers.

FRANÇOIS AUDOUY (Production Designer) previously worked with Matt Damon while they were filming director James Mangold’s Ford vs. Ferrari, for which Audouy received an Art Directors Guild (ADG) nomination for Excellence in Period Production Design. Audouy also collaborated with Mangold on The Wolverine and Logan, the latter of which earned him a Best Production Design in Contemporary Film Award from the ADG.

His additional credits as a production designer include director Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, for which he was nominated for an ADG Production Design Award, and the period fantasy films Dracula Untold, directed by Gary Shore, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, directed by Timur Bekmambetov.

In the music world, Audouy’s eye has been responsible for the looks of a number of popular music videos, including Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever in Spatial Audio, for which he received an ADG Excellence in Production Design Award, and Harry Styles: Falling, for which he garnered another Excellence in Production Design Award in 2021. His other music video projects have included Coldplay’s Let Somebody Go and My Universe, as well as Pink’s All I Know So Far, Camila Cabello’s My Oh My, and Dua Lipa’s Be the One.

Over the past 20 years, Audouy, as an art director, contributed to the distinct look of dozens of diverse films, including Watchmen, Transformers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Terminal, and Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. He was also a member of the art departments of Men in Black; Primary Colors; Minority Report; The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe; Zodiac; Avatar; and Jurassic World.

WILLIAM GOLDENBERG (Editor) is one of the most well-respected and sought-after film editors working today. He won an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and the American Cinema Editors’ (ACE) Eddie Award for his outstanding work on the 2013 Best Picture, Argo, directed by Ben Affleck. He also edited Affleck’s period gangster drama Live By Night and his crime thriller Gone Baby Gone.

Goldenberg received dual Oscar nominations in 2013, also being nominated, along with editor Dylan Tichenor, for his work on Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. In addition, he and Tichenor earned Best Editing Awards for the political thriller from several influential organizations, including The Boston Film Critics Association, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the London Film Critics Association, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, among others.

His latest films include Transformers: Rise of the Beasts; the crime thriller The Outfit; Paul Greengrass’s post-Civil War action-adventure story News of the World, produced by and starring Tom Hanks; and the action thriller 6 Underground, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ryan Reynolds. He previously worked for Bay on Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Transformers: Age of Extinction both of which grossed more than $1.1 billion.

Goldenberg’s other recent motion picture credits include 22 July, written and directed by Paul Greengrass; Detroit, directed by Kathryn Bigelow; Concussion, starring Will Smith; and the harrowing true-life drama Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie.

In 2015, Goldenberg was again nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA Award, and an Eddie Award for the historical thriller The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

He was previously Oscar-nominated for his editing work on Seabiscuit, and on Michael Mann’s controversial film The Insider (with Paul Rubell and David Rosenbloom). Goldenberg was also part of the editing team on Mann’s Heat, Ali, and Miami Vice.

Goldenberg’s resume also includes the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced films The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Confessions of a Shopaholic, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, National Treasure, Kangaroo Jack, and Coyote Ugly. His additional motion picture editing credits include Alive, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Pleasantville and Domino. He also collaborated with editor Michael Kahn (as additional editor or assistant) on Hook, Toy Soldiers, Arachnophobia and Always. Goldenberg also edited the short Kangaroo Court, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

For television, Goldenberg worked on the HBO films Body Language and Citizen X, receiving an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Editing for a Miniseries or Special for the latter. He also edited the pilot for Over There, the critically acclaimed FX show about the Iraq War.

CHARLESE ANTOINETTE JONES (Costume Designer) has established herself over the past decade as one of the most talented costume designers in the business. Her personal fashion influences range from 1969; the afro-futurism of the 70s and Gianni Versace’s 90s; to her passion for travel and exploring new worlds, creating groundbreaking, vibrant contemporary and period costumes.

Jones’s work was recently showcased in Kasi Lemmons’ biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody; writer/director Nikyatu Jusu’s Nanny, starring Anna Diop, Sinqua Walls and Michelle Monaghan, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the U.S. Grand Jury Prize; and Shaka King’s critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated Judas and the Black Messiah, starring Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield and Dominique Fishback, for which Antoinette received a 2021 Costume Designers Guild Award nomination. The film was nominated for more than 80 awards worldwide.

Over the last ten years, Jones has served as the costume designer for a wide range of films, among them the Spike Lee-produced See You Yesterday, Vincent N Roxxy and Little Boxes, all of which premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival. Her additional film credits include George Tillman’s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, and Shaka King’s Newlyweeds, both of which premiered at Sundance in 2013.

Jones’s design work can also be seen on the small screen, in the second season of Terence Nance’s Peabody Award-winning Random Acts of Flyness for HBO, as well as Kenya Barris’s original sketch comedy Astronomy Club and the internationally lauded Raising Dion, both from Netflix.

In 2019, Jones launched the Black Designer Database with a mission to support Black designers through the amplification of their work while connecting them with consumers as well as media opportunities.

Jones became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2021.

ANDREA VON FOERSTER (Music Supervisor) is an award-winning music supervisor for film, television and online projects, based in Los Angeles. Throughout her 20-plus years in the industry, her credits include independent films such as (500) Days of Summer, From Prada to Nada, Bellflower, Begin Again, Before We Go, The Bad Batch, Happy Death Day, and Happy Death Day 2U; studio films such as Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Chronicle, Chasing Mavericks, Fantastic Four, Going In Style, Breakthrough, Sweet Girl, and Those Who Wish Me Dead; music documentaries such as The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights, Butch Walker: Out Of Focus, and Jaco.

Her television work includes Daybreak, Dollhouse, Stargate Universe, Don't Trust The B In Apt. 23, Modern Family, Life In Pieces, Scream (TV), Queen of the South, Run’s House, Life of Ryan, Mayor of Kingstown, Tulsa King, and 1883.

She recently completed work on the AppleTV+ feature The Beanie Bubble, the Blumhouse feature M3GAN, Hello Sunshine/ABC Signature series Tiny Beautiful Things, and the critically acclaimed Paramount Network series Yellowstone, helmed by Taylor Sheridan and starring Kevin Costner. She’s currently working on Taylor Sheridan's new shows 1923, Bass Reeves, and Lioness.

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