The next generation of Griswolds is at it again. New Line Cinema’s “Vacation,” starring Ed Helms (“The Hangover” films) and Christina Applegate (the “Anchorman” films), takes the family on the road for another ill-fated adventure. The film marks the directorial debut of Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley.
Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s “favorite family fun park,” Walley World. What could go wrong?
Rounding out the cast are Skyler Gisondo (“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” “Hard Sell”) and Steele Stebbins (“A Haunted House 2”) as Rusty’s sons, James and Kevin; with Chris Hemsworth (the “Thor” films) in the role of Stone Crandall, Rusty’s irritatingly successful brother-in-law; Leslie Mann (“The Other Woman”) as Stone’s wife, Rusty’s sister, Audrey; and Beverly D’Angelo and Chevy Chase as Ellen and Clark Griswold from the classic “Vacation” comedies.
Goldstein & Daley (“Horrible Bosses,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”) wrote the script, based on characters created by John Hughes. David Dobkin (“The Judge,” “Wedding Crashers”) and Chris Bender (“We’re the Millers,” “Horrible Bosses 2”) produced “Vacation,” with Marc S. Fischer, Jeff Kleeman, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Samuel J. Brown and Dave Neustadter serving as executive producers.
The directors’ behind-the-scenes creative team also included director of photography Barry Peterson (the “Jump Street” films, “We’re the Millers”), production designer Barry Robison (“Wedding Crashers,” “Pitch Perfect”), editor Jamie Gross and costume designer Debra McGuire (“Ted”). The music is by Mark Mothersbaugh.
New Line Cinema presents A Benderspink/Big Kid Pictures Production, “Vacation.” Set to release in cinemas in India on August 14, 2015, it will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Guys, I have exciting news.
The four of us are going on a trip.
Much better. Walley World!
Ah, the summer. Those idyllic months between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the kids are out of school and mom and dad can finally spend some precious time with them, all together. Everybody has fond memories of those family vacations, some enjoyable, some…not so much. Like weddings, reunions or funerals, they never go quite the way they are planned. And sometimes they go wrong. Horribly…hysterically…wrong.
Famous for their own recreational mishaps, the Griswolds, the First Family of vacations, are on the road again in “Vacation.” This time, Rusty Griswold is all grown up and in the driver’s seat and, along with his wife and kids, is pushing the envelope more than ever before.
The Griswolds first hit the screen over three decades ago in the classic comedy “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” giving audiences lasting memories of the disasters that can befall a family on a cross-country road trip. Getting to Walley World, America’s favorite adventure destination, was a hilarious hassle for Clark Griswold, his wife, Ellen, and their bickering kids, Rusty and Audrey. It was also an unforgettable trip for filmgoers around the world and became a major box office success. Over the years, the Griswolds took us on a “European Vacation,” a “Vegas Vacation,” and even shared a “Christmas Vacation” with us, becoming part of our cultural fabric.
And now they’re back. A little older, not so wiser. Ed Helms stars as Rusty Griswold, taking the vacation torch from his father, Clark, determined to get his own family to the now bigger, better Walley World theme park and getting into even more outrageous situations along the way.
“Horrible Bosses” scribes Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley wrote “Vacation,” which also marks their feature film directorial debut. Both are die-hard fans of the film franchise, particularly the one that launched it.
“We love ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’; it’s legendary,” Goldstein attests. “We wanted our new take on ‘Vacation’ to work for people who know and love the original, but also for those who may not be familiar with it.”
Daley agrees. “It was important for the new movie to be able to stand on its own while still paying respects to its classic predecessor.”
“The script was so damn funny, contemporary, totally fresh and original, but still in keeping with the comedic values of the original movie,” Helms states, thrilled to join the family. “It was more than an exciting creative opportunity. As far as I’m concerned Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are comedy royalty, and it’s a privilege to exist not only in the same universe that they brought to life as the Griswolds, but to actually be in this movie with them.”
Christina Applegate stars as Debbie Griswold, the popular sorority girl who married Rusty. Applegate was also enthusiastic about continuing the “Vacation” legacy. “I’m a huge fan of the Griswolds and their saga. We all came on board because of what Beverly and Chevy created,” says Applegate. She was also drawn to what she describes as the directors’ “rapier wit. It’s sharp and smart and yet they are able to write heart. It can’t all be snark; there has to be an emotional thread and it was there, woven into the crazy comedy and mishaps. That was a big plus for me.”
Goldstein and Daley’s instincts convinced Chase and D’Angelo to slip into their familiar characters once again. Having the ones who started it all bless “Vacation” with their presence was worth the price of admission for everyone involved. “It was a dream come true. We were fan-boying the entire time we were directing,” laughs Goldstein.
Chase, who returns as one of the world’s best known—and wackiest—on-screen fathers, now a grandfather, reflects, “There’s something about the optimism in the Griswolds that is relatable. Regardless of everything going wrong that can go wrong, they're going to get to Walley World or wherever, and that's where everything’s going to go right. Of course, it doesn't, but that's what it’s all about, wanting it to, and it's those little comic moments along the way that really make it worth the trip. I loved the script and John and Jonathan’s take and was flattered to be invited along,” he continues. “I think this ‘Vacation’ will make people laugh a lot.”
D’Angelo, who returns as Ellen Griwsold, recalls, “It became a kind of phenomenon that has never really gone away. I just think that there’s something about Clark Griswold that struck a familiar chord in people, to make a dream come true against all odds. Somehow I think the Griswold family vacations embody that.
She continues, “When I got the final script, I just started to smile by page three. I called Chevy and said, ‘They nailed it. It’s funny, really, funny.’ It's also a great team, the directors, the producers, Ed and the lovely Christina, it’s just an amazing cast. It’s great to be part of this.”
Producers David Dobkin and Chris Bender had joined the conversation to revisit a franchise they also regard with great affection and were excited about Goldstein and Daley’s reverence for the original.
“Having worked with Jonathan and John as comedy writers before, I knew their voice and their humor was a great match for the Griswold world,” adds Bender, who says he’s seen the films more times than he can count. “The script exceeded my expectations, capturing their specific comedic tone. Directing it was a must.”
Dobkin relates, “Few comedies stand the test of time the way that film does. And the bar is set very high. If it wasn't for the extraordinary screenplay that Jonathan and John wrote, the new ‘Vacation’ never would have happened. It was clear that they had the vision to take it all the way—and they delivered as directors too, big time, like seasoned pros.”
Preserving the beloved Griswold lore, Goldstein and Daley made sure the same prone-to-mishaps Griswold DNA is steering the comedy wheel. “Rusty has inherited that family curse of disaster following them on holiday,” explains Daley. “He’s also stepped into his father’s shoes, with Clark’s unwavering resolve to get there and have fun, whatever it takes, dammit.”
Rounding out the cast are Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins as Rusty’s sons, James and Kevin; Chris Hemsworth in the role of Stone Crandall, Rusty’s irritatingly successful brother-in-law; and Leslie Mann (“The Other Woman”) as Stone’s wife, Rusty’s sister, Audrey. Following another “Vacation” tradition, a wealth of memorable characters pop up on the journey, and a host of actors signed on for the cameos, including Ron Livingston, Keegan-Michael Key, Regina Hall, Charlie Day, Michael Peña, Kaitlin Olson, Norman Reedus, Sports Illustrated swimwear model Hannah Davis, and Colin Hanks to name a few.
“I can hardly believe we got all these actors to come play with us,” says Daley. “We wanted to do the Griswolds justice and we really had an amazing cast to do just that.”
“It’s like being given the keys to your dad’s car,” says Goldstein. “It’s exciting to take it out for a whirl.”
Speaking of cars, Clark’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster has some shiny new competition. There’s a brand new ride for the Griswolds on the trip. The Tartan Prancer, a wildly fictional minivan with more bells and whistles—and confounding buttons—than Rusty bargains for when he rents it.
Buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride…
I just thought we could sing Seal together,
like normal families do.
Rusty may have made it to Europe when he was a teenager, but now his air travel only takes him between South Bend and Chicago, piloting an 18-minute flight each day on a low rent airline. But who needs a snappier uniform or hot flight attendants when you have a perfect suburban life with your wife and kids happily waiting for you at the end of every day? And who needs Paris when your family loves your yearly vacation destination to a cabin in Michigan, where they have a blast, just like the family vacations you had when you were a kid?
That eternal hope is a Griswold trait and was the springboard for creating a whole new grown up Rusty. Daley observes, “We tried to imbue him with Clark’s dogged positive outlook, but there’s a difference too. Rusty has his own endearing qualities, including a real innocence as a dad who finds himself going up the proverbial creek. He doesn’t go to the same dark places Clark might go.”
Goldstein adds, “Rusty’s rich and humorous family history is layered in there, but it was cool to pretty much be able to write him how we imagined him best as an adult.”
And everyone agreed Ed Helms was the best choice to pull off that transition and take the Griswolds into the 21st century. “In creating a successor to Clark and Ellen’s road trips, we knew Ed was perfect to take on the mantle. In the sequence with Chevy and Ed, you believe they are truly father and son, Rusty having inherited that famous Griswold optimism,” says Bender.
Chase acknowledges, “I loved Ed’s Rusty and how much he’s like Clark in many ways. Ed was terrific and we had a lot of fun.”
Helms immediately responded to the character, intrigued that “Vacation” wasn’t a re-make, but more of a continuation. “It’s an honor to step into the role,” he says. “I love that Rusty is now the dad. I was super psyched to play that because, although so many great actors portrayed him as a teen, the adult Rusty has never existed before. I looked at this character as a fully formed human being who’s well past his teenage years. I think, realistically, adults are different than the teenage versions of ourselves. So it was exciting to have a clean slate going in.”
Dobkin attests, “Ed can move seamlessly between the emotional work and the comedy and always knows where the sweet spot of the scene is.”
Although he had room to play, Rusty is definitely his father’s son.
“The apple has not fallen far from the tree,” affirms Helms. “He isn’t striving for greatness, but he’s a very earnest and enthusiastic dad. He’s willing to fight to make it right when things go wrong and to make sure the family has fun in the face of ridiculous odds. It doesn’t even matter if they’re actually having fun, as long as they’re just smiling and saying that they are. That’s almost enough for Rusty and I think it’s something he inherited from Clark Griswold—there’s also a very unhealthy, but amusing, amount of denial in Rusty.”
Goldstein observes, “Rusty has this idea that his family is a lot more functional than it actually is. He thinks he saves the day every day that he comes home and there's a fight going on between his kids. He thinks his wife is as happy as the day they got married.”
In fact, the kids don’t really look up to him. And his wife is not so happy.
Describing the lopsided marital ties, Helms offers, “Debbie’s a huge win for Rusty, to have scored such a remarkable woman. It’s pretty clear that Rusty probably fell in love and popped the question pretty fast, because he felt at some level like she was out of his league and might disappear, so he had to lock it up.”
Applegate had a great time as Helm’s on-screen better half. “It was impossible not to get swallowed up in Ed’s portrayal of Rusty; that childlike innocence and joy was infectious, and it was wonderful to watch. Ed really kept us afloat, both our fictional characters and as actors. He’s wonderful; he set the tone for us and we were all game for anything.”
“Once we started shooting, Christina and Ed had that chemistry you hope for. They just clicked,” recalls Bender. “We knew we had something special.”
Helms says of his co-star, “Christina’s one of the most lovable human beings I’ve ever come across. She’s the perfect Debbie and brought a great dynamic to Rusty and Debbie’s relationship. It was such a wonderful process with Christina, a real mutual effort to get to the laugh. She’s a pro, her instincts are dialed in and she knows how to make a moment funny that maybe didn’t inherently scream comedy.”
Before Rusty, Debbie went to college, got a Masters, had plans…and was even a bit of a wild child. Then she got married and had kids and things changed. Applegate offers, “She probably needed a Rusty, he’s grounded. But even if you’re happy and comfortable, there comes a time when you’re watching your kids grow and they don’t need you as much as they used to, and you want you back. That’s where Debbie is. I like the fact that she wasn’t written like the typical, supportive wife. I love that she’s got spunk and she’s got a mouth on her and she has an opinion. You know she’s not just going along for the ride. She’s her own person.”
She also has a secret that pre-dates Rusty. And it’s going to blow Rusty’s mind.
“I can't say enough good things about Christina. She just brings it,” Goldstein recalls. “At first, we didn't really know what to expect; neither of us had met her before and she was very shy and soft spoken and it was unclear how she would portray Debbie. Then we had our first table read and all of a sudden she transformed into this crazy, lively character. We would throw her lines and she'd make everything work.”
While Rusty is flying planes, blissfully ignorant about the state of his family, Clark and Ellen Griswold are now running a bed and breakfast in San Francisco. Chase and D’Angelo were happy to play their infamous on-screen duo again.
“There’s nobody like Clark. He’s still a nut,” Chase admits. “Clark’s a mediocre guy who would like to think he's better than that. He’s a character that I can fall right into, but I wouldn’t do it without Beverly, of course. She’s like a second wife anyway, she comes over all the time and bothers my wife. And bothers me and I bother her. There’s a lot of bothering,” he laughs.
“We had chemistry from the first moment we met, a weird and funny connection that let us slip so easily into the characters of Clark and Ellen,” D’Angelo agrees. “I don’t know how it happens, it just does. We get each other, or at least I get him,” she grins. “And it was great to see that Christina and Ed have that undefinable connection too—their own magic in the Griswold world.”
Applegate shares, “I’m a huge Beverly D’Angelo fan. I wanted to be Beverly D’Angelo from the time I saw her in “Hair” when I was a little girl. And then, of course, I grew up watching Chevy and everything that he’s ever done. So to be able to be in a dinner scene with the two of them was just one of my greatest joys. It was pretty cool.”
“Chevy has been just a profound influence on my entire life,” says Helms. “I do what I do in part because of Chevy Chase, so to have him and Beverly there was a thrill and a huge validation of the whole project for me.”
Whereas Rusty is a regional pilot at a no-name airline, his brother-in-law, Stone Crandall, is a popular on-air forecaster who has done very well and is on the cusp of even more success, with the ranch and cattle and man toys to prove it. And as the trip spirals out of control, Rusty and his family find themselves on his doorstep.
To find the perfect man that is Stone Crandall, the filmmakers looked to the gods, or at least one of them. Chris Hemsworth, who has notably saved the world as the popular mythical figure Thor, was excited to come on board. “I grew up on the ‘Vacation’ films like most people my age, so I was all in,” says Hemsworth. “But this was also an opportunity to do something different. I loved the script and the character and the cast involved. It was a no-brainer. I knew it would be a blast.”
Hemsworth describes his character as “a cheesy weatherman, a bit of a douche bag who has some old-fashioned views of the world. He gets away with a lot of the outrageous things he's saying and doing because he's charming and you kind of forgive him for it.”
Although Hemsworth is known as a dramatic actor, he was thrown into the comedy deep end with the rest of the veteran cast.
“He was astounding. Just so funny and likeable,” remarks Daley. “You know, you wanna hate a guy who's that handsome but we all developed man crushes and just wanted to hang around him.”
Hemsworth describes Stone’s relationship with his wife, Audrey, as “hugely sexual, I believe. It's probably the only thing that they have in common or agree upon.”
That isn’t all that is huge. Even bigger than his ego are his family jewels. Stone Crandall is distractingly, epicly endowed. Unfortunately, having his brother-in-law’s natural perfection literally in his face only makes things worse for Rusty, who holds his own relationship up to Stone’s as a measuring stick….which leads to one of the film’s most outrageous scenes.
Leslie Mann plays Stone’s wife, Rusty’s adult sibling, Audrey. She had not only collaborated previously with Dobkin but had known Daley since he was a teen actor on “Freaks and Geeks.”
Daley observes, “Audrey sees the world through more realistic eyes than Rusty, yet, at the same time, she's completely in her own world. There are different levels of darkness going on in Audrey's head that Leslie was so amazing at portraying. It was awesome.”
Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins are the youngest additions to the Griswold family tree. Thousands of kids across the country and in Vancouver auditioned for the roles of Rusty and Debbie’s kids, who couldn’t be more different—or create more backseat drama. “We were lucky to get two amazing young actors,” says Goldstein. “They're crazy good.”
Gisondo plays Rusty’s oldest son, James. “I’ve always been a movie fanatic, so I’d seen all the ‘Vacation’ films and love the Griswolds,” he says.
James may be older and a good deal taller but he never has the upper hand with his younger, louder, obnoxious brother. Gisondo relates, “James is very bookish, and extremely awkward around girls. His younger brother, who’s way shorter than him and probably close to 100 pounds lighter, takes total advantage of him.”
Gisondo admits being the youngest in his family he got away with some of that when he was a kid. “I was very familiar with both sides of the situation,” he comments.
Stebbins plays Kevin, the younger sibling. “It’s amazing, everyone knows who the Griswolds are; everyone has seen the ‘Vacation’ movies, including me. The script also made me laugh out loud, plus the cast was pretty cool,” he says. Stebbins’ small stature next to James is not the only thing that makes the character outrageous. “Kevin cusses…a lot. He pushes his older brother around and just thrashes him for everything. James is sensitive; obviously, Kevin is not. It’s fun to play a jerk,” Stebbins grins.
“The only way that Kevin can get away with saying some of the things that he says in the movie is if he's also really likable. And that is Steele Stebbins,” says Daley.
Day in and day out, Kevin harasses James and the clash only fuels the chaos of the already chaotic road trip. “James probably has more of Rusty in him than Debbie. Kevin is a meanie with a potty mouth, and has more of Debbie in him,” Applegate observes.
Try as they might, Rusty and Debbie can’t keep the peace. But the trip definitely has some unexpected and hysterical growing pains in store for both boys. “Skyler and Steele really made Kevin and James’ relationship,” acknowledges Goldstein. “And, believe me, some pretty big surprises await both Griswold boys.”
“Skyler and Steele are smart, professional, astounding, talented human beings and they lit up my day. I’m glad I got to work with them,” Applegate shares.
Gisondo and Stebbins bonded with their screen parents immediately. It wasn’t unusual for Helms to make silly faces at them when they were doing close-ups.
Helms reveals, “Christina and I also became weirdly overprotective. These kids were just magic. They are sweet, smart, poised, and incredibly good actors; they’re like little genius comedy robots. Boom, they do it and they do it funnier than you thought it was going to be. It was such a joy to work with them.”
“They really melded like a family. They are the Griswolds,” says Dobkin.
In all these years of taking his family to the same cabin in Cheboygan,—or Cheboring as Debbie and the kids have nicknamed it— Rusty has been blissfully unaware that they would rather be anywhere else. When he looks at their vacation pictures, however, he realizes Debbie is smiling a little less in each photo. Just as Rusty measures himself against his brother-in-law, he measures his family’s happiness and his marriage by how much fun they have on vacation.
There is only one solution: to surprise them with the same road trip that he went on 30 years ago with his mom and dad and Audrey…to Walley World. Daley offers, “Rusty thinks if he can replicate that, all will be well with the Griswold family.”
Unfortunately Rusty has a selective memory. He’s blocked out all the terrible things that happened and only remembers the family bonding. “That’s Rusty’s first mistake,” says Goldstein.
His second is renting the Tartan Prancer to get them there.
It’s the Tartan Prancer. This baby is pretty sweet.
What do all the buttons do?
No clue. We’ll figure it out.
One of the scene stealers of “Vacation” is the Tartan Prancer. Filmmakers had a blast designing the fictional car for the famous Griswold family to take for a spin.
“We went through a lot of names for the Prancer,” recalls Goldstein. “It was almost going to be the Squirt, I think. There were some pretty offensive ones.” As they went down that conceptual road, the writers/directors’ basic inspiration for the Tartan Prancer was a vehicle that is symmetrical—it looks like it has two front ends.
“It’s absurd and ridiculous. You don’t know if it’s coming or going,” laughs Goldstein.
“Kind of like the Griswolds on a vacation,” adds Daley.
They worked closely with production designer Barry Robison and the art department as well as Dobkin and Bender, and the rest of the film’s creative team to work through numerous iterations of the Prancer until they had the perfect vacation vehicle.
The art department turned over the actual fabrication of the car to Dennis McCarthy and his team at Vehicle Effects. They sourced five 1995 Toyota Previas, and the transformation began. First, they sculpted front, back and side fiberglass molds that were then mounted on the Previas. Since the Previa is not a four door vehicle, a hunt began for four passenger side driver doors. After an extensive search, they were finally located in England and shipped to the U.S. The doors on both sides of the car were then converted to “suicide” doors.
Sheet metal body siding was also added to eliminate the Previa body lines. Another clay mock-up was hand-formed to build a mold for the nose and tail fiberglass parts. Land Rover headlights were used on both the front and rear, and, in addition to the usual side mirrors, two inexplicable side mirrors—to reflect the road ahead—were installed. Because you never know when you will need those angles.
Wipers were also added on the back to mirror the front. Additionally, grills were created on both front and back which, when opened, reveal long cords with plugs for the hybrid engine. But this is no ordinary plug. One of the prongs is a corkscrew. Another perk: the very long cord is supposed to automatically retract.
The bells and whistles don’t stop there.
How about those exterior cup holders? And then there’s the door-slam injury protection, which Rusty demonstrates to his family—or tries to—before they get in the car.
Something that needs its own instruction manual is the Prancer’s multi-function key fob which has icons on it that are so baffling Rusty has no clue how they correlate to actual functions on the vehicle. But he’s pretty sure he won’t hit the one that looks like a swastika. Apart from the obvious—a headlight, horn, open and closed locks, open hatch and plug—the more nonsensical choices include a rocket ship, sprinting rabbit, top hat, hubcap, leaf, and car swerving; the phrases “Paç fat!” and “Të dua”; the numbers 2 and 1; random letters NJ, dh, Ç, and ë; and three buttons with only dots. Oh, and a muffin. Let’s just say Rusty might want to avoid pressing that one, too.
“We tried to make the buttons as random as possible. We thought of the first objects that popped into our heads. In a way, it’s a glimpse into our subconscious,” jokes Daley.
There are even more confounding buttons on the Prancer’s interior. The ignition says shkoni, which actually means “go” in Albanian. But that’s as straightforward as it gets. Some correlate to the key fob. The rest are random icons, including a battery, lightning bolt, scissors, singing bird, bicycle, knife and fork set, and sailboat, to name a few. And then there are completely blank buttons. Good luck with that.
Goldstein explains, “We wanted all the icons and gauges to be as confusing and inscrutable as possible. One of my favorites is the temperature control knob that goes from blue to purple. Which is colder, blue or purple?”
Below is another panel with three large knobs that appear to turn to the right or left and, at first glance resemble airflow controls. A closer look reveals stick figures in a progression of action modes: throwing a punch, flailing backwards, half-kneeling, and falling backwards. Above these two panels is a multi-lingual GPS navigator. In the movie, what starts out as a lovely, calm female English voice becomes an angry Korean diatribe that the Griswolds can’t translate.
The steering wheel and its console has its own set of mystery buttons: there are seven on the steering wheel, but only two are marked to indicate what they do: cruise control and coast control. On the console, the speedometer is flanked by two red warning lights as well as two fuel gauges on the left and water and RPM meters on the right. The Prancer has two gas tanks with one tiny glitch—as you press the accelerator, the speedometer isn’t the only gauge that moves fast: the fuel gauge falls in sync.
And the icing on the cake—or muffin—is to the right of the GPS panel. In addition to AM radio, the Prancer has an actual CB radio which pops up out of a concealed bed of carpet in the dash.
The art department supplied the design for the interior Tartan Prancer, which the vehicle special effects team built out. Goldstein and Daley were very hands-on with all the interior details, including six ashtrays, front and rear cigarette lighters and the genuine cloth upholstery and interior color scheme. There’s a little bit of everything: Stout corduroy headrests, Brentano vinyl and metallic vinyl dash, Brentano vinyl armrests, and a mixture of plain blue fabric trim with blue and tan diamond-patterned fabric for the front bucket seats and back bench seat.
The highlight is a driver seat that swivels, which could be entertaining…if you’re in Park. It may, however, present a problem if you’re on the freeway. To accomplish this in the movie, parts of the interior of the car were removed and the bench back seat was moved approximately one foot back. The special effects team inserted a motorized boat style seat and the real back of the driver’s seat was separately attached to Ed Helms’ back like a vest so when the motor was on it appeared that the entire driver’s seat was moving around in a full circle.
Once the basic Prancers were built, other modifications were made by the special effects team to accomplish the practical shooting of the car stunts, like cutting out the bumper on the stunt Prancers and attaching a custom built rubber bumper to the cars with heavy duty magnets that they could disengage to drop the bumper.
One of the most complicated scenes involving the Prancer required the build of a massive rig that surrounded the Prancer so it could be rotated like a rotisserie. All of the actors were strapped inside the Prancer, which was inside the rotisserie rig and the vehicle was turned. This was shot green screen and items floating in the air around them were later added in post.
In fact, the actors spent a good deal of the shoot inside the car on a soundstage. Instead of “that new car smell” the odor was more like gasoline. The actors were always getting stuck in the car. A door would jam or a handle would not work. The kids would have to climb over Helms and Applegate from the back to get out. Sometimes the cast had to crawl through the windshield.
“The Prancer is the gift that keeps on giving,” Helms quips.
“But it made us bond—or want to kill each other—just like the Griswolds,” Applegate laughs.
The rotisserie shot was done for a chase scene involving the Prancer darting in and out of traffic with a semi truck that seems to be following them from place to place. This is where Rusty channels his inner Vin Diesel. A third Prancer—a stock Previa that had wheels and tires to match the hero Prancer—was projected out of a ditch and on to the pavement. Ramps were built to jump the vehicle and visual effects were incorporated to track the body to later modify it digitally to look like the real Prancer. For another seminal scene involving pyrotechnics, the “Burn Prancer,” consisting of nothing but a shell, was used.
The Prancer’s increasing decline as the Griswolds get into more and more scrapes along the way was art directed and then implemented by the film’s transportation and special effects teams.
Apart from the Prancer, Clark’s good old Wagon Queen Family Truckster also makes an appearance. “It felt like audiences would want to see a little of the first Griswoldmobile,” says Goldstein. “I know we did.”
Chevy Chase admits that upon being reunited with his old ride, “I wet my pants when I saw it again. But the color is still as hideous as I remember.”
The Truckster used in the film belongs to a family in Georgia—actually named the Griswolds—who built a replica from the original “Vacation” and took it on their own family vacation to all the spots across America the film family visited. They were thrilled to loan it to the filmmakers.
The filmmakers admit that although they were glad to see the Truckster, if it came down to it, they would choose the Prancer for their own family vacation.
“If I had to pick, the Prancer's much roomier than the Truckster. More comfortable,” says Goldstein. “Just don’t press the rocket ship. Or the top hat…”
“…Or the rabbit. Or the muffin,” adds Daley. “In fact, don’t press anything.”
It was crazy to think I could make us closer
by locking us in a car together for a week.
This trip has been a nightmare.
That’s what family vacations are. But you can’t give up.
The journey sucks. It’s what makes you
appreciate the destination.
“Vacation” was shot primarily in and around Atlanta, Georgia, which happens to be Ed Helms’ home town. “It’s a great city, I’m grateful to have grown up there,” says Helms. “Being back evoked so many memories and really helped put me in the mindset of a family man.”
To achieve the road trip look, a second unit shot the Griswolds’ car making its way through the desert and past other national scenic landmarks.
Goldstein and Daley collaborated with both production designer Barry Robison and director of photography Barry Peterson to create a palette that was bright and cheery at the outset, but as the Griswolds continue their trip, incorporated darker and more faded colors and surroundings to match the character’s experiences.
Part of making the most out of each place was making the most out of the cameos that appear along the way. Goldstein offers, “I think it’s interesting for an audience to see a recognizable face in a small role that doesn't necessarily show up again.”
Daley adds,” We figured we’d go for it and ask because it adds so much. It was like, wow, for us, that all these actors were willing to be a part of it.”
To kick things off, Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta doubled for Midway International Airport, where a smarmy but cool pilot, played by Ron Livingston, bumps Rusty off a shuttle ride.
A private residence in a subdivision of Tucker, Georgia became Rusty’s house. Its interior was the setting for a dinner party which included Keegan-Michael Key and Regina Hall as the Griswold’s neighbors, who’ve been to Paris and don’t hesitate to rub it in.
Once they’re on the road, one of the highlights of the trip is a stop at the Grand Canyon for a Whitewater rafting trip. As luck would have it, the Griswolds are accompanied by an unhinged and unpredictable rafting guide, Chad, played by Charlie Day, for the perilous trip through the rapids. Along with signage, the production design team built a cabin on the grounds at the Bellwood Quarry for the Grand Canyon Whitewater rafting site. The rest of the Whitewater raft trip was filmed at the U.S. National Whitewater Center outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Another pit stop is the Wampum motel, consisting of large wigwams in a circle, with double beds inside. The fictional hotel was built on the soundstages at the Atlanta Film Studios in Hiram, Georgia. In the film, it is located at the Four Corners landmark in New Mexico, where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico all converge. As Rusty’s awareness that Debbie needs a change intensifies, he comes up with a risqué idea for the two of them at the site. Sneaking out of the wigwam in the middle of the night, Debbie and Rusty are in for a surprise, including over-caffeinated cops with rivalry issues from the four corner states: New Mexico represented by Michael Peña, Arizona by Kaitlin Olson, Colorado by Nick Kroll, and Utah by Tim Heidecker. The actors all enjoyed the ridiculous free-for-all that ensues.
Also constructed on the soundstages, the grungy Sleep ‘N Save Hotel is where Rusty is envisioning a romantic interlude to spice things up with Debbie. Unfortunately, the rooms have stained ceiling tiles, peeling wallpaper, cheap paintings and broken blinds, and what looks like bloodstains, along with mushrooms growing in the bathroom tub. Not exactly the environment to get in the mood. The hotel is also the setting for James’ acoustic version of “Summer Breeze” and his attempt to communicate with a cute girl he’s seen before on the trip, played by Catherine Missal. Gisondo actually played the guitar and sang the vocals. Writer/director Jonathan Goldstein also appears as a guest who walks into a dicey talk between Rusty and James at the jacuzzi.
The impromptu visit to Debbie's former alma mater, Memphis State College, was shot at Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast in Covington, Georgia. When the Griswolds arrive, a benefit hosted by Tri-Pi, Debbie’s sorority, is in progress. Contestants must drink a pitcher of beer and try to make it through an obstacle course with moving parts. The aptly named Tri-Pi Chug Run “benefits Assburgers” as the sign on the porch of the sorority house proclaims. Debbie could successfully run it in 16 seconds flat when she was in college and is determined to do it again.
In the front yard, the production design team built the obstacle course for the Chug Run with moving parts that can slice and punch. Christina did her own stunts for the Chug Run.
A particularly gross mishap as Rusty and the kids make their way across the country is a stop at a natural spring which they rename Griswold Springs before they have all the facts. A below-ground plastic swimming pool ringed by greens was constructed and the water heated on a hillside near Atlanta's Bellwood Quarry.
Two different private homes in Atlanta stood in for Stone and Audrey’s home in Texas, one for the rear of the house and a scene where Rusty tries, disastrously, to herd cattle, and one for the interior. A residence in Monroe, Georgia was used for the front of the sprawling ranch.
Shellmont Inn in midtown Atlanta doubled for Clark and Debbie’s Ashbury Lane Bed and Breakfast in San Francisco, a green Victorian with yellow trim and picket fence, and booked with not-so-happy guests. Chase and D'Angelo filmed their scenes there over the span of one week, during which the cast and crew presented Chase with a cake for his 71st birthday, featuring Walley World’s mascot, Marty the Moose.
Walley World has changed since Clark was there. Not only is the park bigger but Marty the Moose has come into the 21st century—holding a cell phone in a selfie pose. “I did get a selfie with Marty the Moose,” admits Helms.
To recreate Walley World, the production shot at Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell for a week during off season, when it was closed. The production design team’s challenge was creating a newer park at the older style park. Graphic designer Jack Finch came up with a visual design package which included the Velociraptor as a modern, exciting ride that can go 110 miles an hour and is 450 feet tall with a triple cork screw. Several rides were used to shoot the Velociraptor sequence, and the visual effects team, headed by Bruce Jones, added elements in post to enhance the size and scope of the ride. Writer/Director John Francis Daley makes a cameo appearance as a snotty Walley World employee who runs the rollercoaster. The actors all rode the rides and a camera was mounted in the car with them. Inserts were shot against green screen at the Atlanta Film Studios on the last day of shooting.
One of Goldstein and Daley’s favorite sequences involves the Griswolds’ throw down with another family. The filmmakers used a phantom camera, which can shoot a thousand frames per second, to capture the fight in slow motion, with sweat flying and cheeks rippling.
In addition to Walley World and the Truckster, there are other throwbacks to the original “Vacation,” including swimsuit model Hannah Davis appearing as a girl in a red Ferrari who flirts with Rusty. “People like to be reminded of what made them laugh before, and we had fun doing that here and there,” says Daley.
The Griswold’s journey is punctuated by Mark Mothersbaugh’s score as well as some enjoyable tunes from other decades because, frankly, Rusty likes to sing along to the radio. Throughout the trip, Rusty, ever the optimist, hopes the family will sing along with him to Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose.”
“He’s trying so hard and they just don’t get it,” says Applegate. “He comes up against all these walls and yet he still has that enthusiasm and tenacity to get through all of these disasters with a real go-get-‘em attitude that things are going to work if they just push through as a family.”
Helms offers, “It’s those little things that make you relate to Rusty. He just wants to have a sing-a-long. Is that too much to ask? He wants his family to be happy. But the world makes that hard sometimes.” He smiles, adding, “The sometimes raunchy, usually insane situations the Griswolds wind up in, and how they handle it, will make people laugh, feel empathy….or cringe.”
Goldstein adds, “There’s no such thing as a functional family. But we still want to believe there can be. We want the Griswolds to do it. We want them to get it right. They just can’t.”
“We hope the audience has fun rooting for them,” relates Daley, “and is relieved that at least their family’s not that crazy.”
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ABOUT THE CAST
ED HELMS (Rusty Griswold) is an actor, writer, and producer best known for his scene-stealing roles on both the big and small screens.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Helms attended Oberlin College and moved to New York City in 1996 to pursue a career in comedy. As he immersed himself in sketch and standup across the city and trained with The Upright Citizens Brigade troupe, his craft steadily evolved. In 2002, Helms landed the coveted role of correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” where he stayed for almost 5 years, combining his loves of comedy and politics.
From there, Helms joined NBC's hit comedy “The Office,” where he starred as Andy Bernard, a Cornell grad and a cappella singer alongside fellow Daily Show alum, Steve Carell. “The Office” won multiple awards, including the 2006 Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, 2008 SAG award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, the 2007 Television Critics Association Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and many more.
On the film side, Helms starred in “The Hangover” trilogy opposite Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis. The first installment won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, and the three films have collectively grossed nearly $1.5 billion dollars worldwide.
He recently wrapped production on Jessie Nelson’s holiday film “Love the Coopers,” opposite Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton and John Goodman, which follows the Cooper family’s annual Christmas Eve celebration that takes a turn as they encounter a series of unexpected events. The film is slated for release on November 13, 2015.
Helms will soon begin production starring in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s STARZ Network TV drama “The One Percent,” opposite Hilary Swank and Ed Harris. Helms will play the lead role of Alfred Murphy, who is struggling professionally and personally to keep the family business afloat.
Helms will also executive produce Rawson Marshall Thurber’s comedy “Central Intelligence,” about a mild-mannered accountant who, after reuniting with an old pal through Facebook, is lured into the world of international espionage. He will also lend his voice to the role of Mr. Krupp and Captain Underpants in Rob Letterman’s movie adaptation of the beloved “Captain Underpants,” which is currently in pre-production and will be released on January 13, 2017.
In 2013, Helms launched his production company, The Pacific Electric Picture Co. with Universal TV. The company produced “Jake & Amir,” based on College Humor's most popular and longest-running series by comedy duo Amir Blumenfeld and Jake Hurwitz. Under the Pacific Electric Picture Co. banner, Helms is also developing various feature films as vehicles for him to star in and produce, including the action-comedy “Epic Fail,” alongside Nicky Weinstock and Michael Falbo. Additionally, Helms will head NBC’s half-hour comedy “Big Kids” as an executive producer alongside Joe Wengert.
The actor’s additional film credits include “They Came Together,” “We’re The Millers,” “Jeff, Who Lives At Home,” “Cedar Rapids,” and “The Lorax,” based on the famous Dr. Seuss children's book. Ed starred on Yahoo Screen's “Tiny Commando” and made appearances on Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD:SUV” and Netflix's “Arrested Development.”
Beyond acting and producing, Helms has worked closely with Malaria No More, a non-profit organization at the vanguard of the fight to eradicate malaria worldwide. He also sits on the advisory board for Education Through Music-Los Angeles, which builds curriculum and funds music education in L.A. public schools. A lifelong musician, Helms plays a mean banjo in his bluegrass band, The Lonesome Trio which formed at Oberlin College in the mid 90s and has played together for over 20 years. The band released their debut album this past June. In 2010, Helms co-founded The L.A. Bluegrass Situation, a music festival in Los Angeles, and its sister website, TheBluegrassSituation.com, providing news and resources for fans of Americana, Bluegrass and Old Time music.
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE (Debbie Griswold) has endeared herself to audiences and received accolades for her strength and versatility in theatre, film and television. With Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony nominations to her credit, she has proven herself to be one of Hollywood’s most influential leading ladies.
Applegate most recently reprised her role as Veronica Corningstone in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” which chronicles the on-set adventures of San Diego's top rated newsman Ron Burgundy. Before that she was seen alongside Will Arnett in NBC’s comedy “Up All Night,” executive produced by Lorne Michaels, where she played Reagan, a career-driven and energetic woman trying to juggle the demands of career, marriage and motherhood.
In 2011, Applegate joined Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, and Jenna Fischer in “Hall Pass,” the Farrelly brothers’ comedy. Applegate played Grace Searing, the practical thinking wife of Fred Searing (Sudeikis).
Applegate had previously co-starred in Nanette Burstein’s romantic comedy “Going the Distance,” with Justin Long and Drew Barrymore. In addition to that, Applegate was the voice of Catherine in the animated 3D comedy, “Cats & Dogs: the Revenge of Kitty Galore.”
In December of 2009, Christina starred as Brittany, the lead chipette, in the $200M box office blockbuster “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.” When released, the film was number one at the box office and remained in the top 5 through January of 2010.
Applegate’s performance as the title character Samantha Newly in the ABC series “Samantha Who?” has been applauded by critics and fans and garnered her a third SAG Award nomination. Its acknowledgements include two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, two Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, two SAG Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical, and a Prism Award nomination for Performance in a Comedy Series. In addition, Applegate served as a producer for the show, which won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy during its first season.
Applegate’s additional film credits include “The Rocker,” for director Peter Cattaneo, where she starred opposite Rainn Wilson; “Surviving Christmas” for director Mike Mitchell; the comedy “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” with Will Ferrell; her critically praised performance alongside Cameron Diaz and Selma Blair in the raucous comedy “The Sweetest Thing”; “Wonderland”; “View From the Top,” with Gwyneth Paltrow; and Stephen Herek’s “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.”
Applegate first gained widespread attention as the sexy and sarcastic Kelly Bundy on the long-running Fox series “Married with Children.” After a very successful 11-season run, she furthered her television success by starring in her own NBC comedy series, “Jesse.” In 1999, the highly rated show garnered Applegate a People’s Choice Award as Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series and a Golden Globe nomination in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical.
In 2004, Applegate returned to television as a guest star on “Friends” as Rachel’s younger sister, Amy. Her performance earned her an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role. She was nominated for an Emmy again the following year for her witty performance.
In 2005, Applegate made her Broadway debut in the revival of “Sweet Charity,” in the starring role of Charity Hope Valentine, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical as well as a Drama Desk Award in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Musical. “Sweet Charity” ended its run in January 2006. Her other stage credits include an appearance in John Cassavetes’ Los Angeles production of “The Third Day,” with Gena Rowlands; “The Axeman’s Jazz”; “Nobody Leaves Empty Handed”; “The Run-Through”; and “The Grass Harp.”
In 2008, after receiving her breast cancer diagnosis through an early, doctor-ordered MRI, Applegate founded Right Action for Women to educate women about what it means to be at high risk for breast cancer and encourage them to talk to their doctors about appropriate screening. Right Action for Women will provide aid to individuals who are at increased risk for breast cancer and do not have insurance or the financial flexibility to cover the high costs associated with breast screenings. Applegate has been a longtime supporter of women’s cancer causes. In 2003 and 2009 she served as the ambassador for Lee National Denim Day, one of the largest single-day fundraisers for breast cancer in the country.
BEVERLY D'ANGELO (Ellen Griswold) is an actress, singer, and songwriter with approximately 60 feature films and countless television performances to her credit. In addition to her acclaimed work as a dramatic and comedic actress, she has written and performed songs for a number of soundtracks for film and television.
D'Angelo is best known in the role of Ellen Griswold opposite Chevy Chase in “National Lampoon's Vacation” and the subsequent “European Vacation,” “Christmas Vacation” and “Vegas Vacation.” She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Patsy Cline in Michael Apted's “Coal's Miner's Daughter,” in which she sang several songs made famous by the legendary crooner. Among her most notable film roles is the beleaguered Doris Vinyard in Tony Kaye's haunting “American History X,” for which she was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award.
The multi-talented D'Angelo began her career in the entertainment industry as an artist in the animation department of Hanna-Barbera. She moved to Canada to pursue her singing career with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins and as a studio vocalist. It was multi-Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Gower Champion who spotted her in a repertory company in Canada and cast her in the starring role of Ophelia in the Broadway production of "Rockabye, Hamlet."
After small roles in such early films such as “First Love,” NBC 's “Captains and the Kings” miniseries and “Annie Hall,” she earned critical acclaim starring in Milos Forman's heralded rock musical, “Hair,” and her popularity increased with Clint Eastwood's "Every Which way but Loose." Among her other film credits are several films directed by John Schlesinger: "Honky Tonk Freeway," “Pacific Heights,” and “Eye For An Eye,” as well as two films directed by Neil Jordan, “High Spirits" and "The Miracle,” which he wrote for her. She also costarred with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Barkin in "Man trouble."
She wrote and performed in various soundtracks including the films “The Woo Woo Kid," and “Above Suspicion,” and acted in and performed a number of songs for “Daddy's Dyin’ . . . Who's Got the Will.” She also sang Lovin' You for “Vegas Vacation” and Crazy for “Field of Dreams.”
She had a recurring role as defense Attorney Rebecca Balthus on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” as well as recurring on “The Simpson's” as Lurleen Lumpkin, the singing waitress from Spittle County, a role she reprised in “The Simpson's Take the Bowl” musical, to seek out audiences at the Hollywood Bowl. For seven years, she played tough-as-nails agent Barbara “Babs” Miller on HBO's hit series “Entourage.”
Among her most noteworthy television performances are her Emmy nominated portrayal of Stella Kowalski in the ABC-TV remake of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and opposite Edward Olmos as Kitty Menendez in “Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills,” a mini-series about the sensational Beverly Hills murder case. For her off-Broadway performance in Sam Shepard's “Simpatico” she received The Theater World Award.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH (Stone Crandall) has become one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. Hemsworth starred in the fourth highest-grossing film of all time, “The Avengers,” and returned in the second installment, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” following close as the sixth highest-grossing film of all time alongside an all-star cast, including Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson. He previously starred in “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which debuted at No. 1 at the box-office, and is currently in production for the spinoff, “The Huntsman,” opposite Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, and Emily Blunt. Hemsworth’s breakout was playing the title role in “Thor,” directed by Kenneth Branagh.
He will next be seen in Ron Howard’s epic adventure “In the Heart of the Sea.” Hemsworth previously worked with Howard as Formula One driver James Hunt in “Rush.” He was also seen in the second installment of the “Thor” franchise, “Thor: The Dark World.”
Hemsworth made his U.S. film debut in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek,” playing the pivotal role of George Kirk. His additional credits include movies such as Michael Mann’s “Blackhat,” the Joss Whedon-scripted “The Cabin in the Woods,” and the remake of “Red Dawn.”
Hemsworth was born and raised in Australia, and supports the Australian Childhood Foundation.
LESLIE MANN (Audrey Griswold) has comedic timing and standout performances that captivate audiences and critics alike.
Her upcoming projects include New Line’s 2016 Valentine’s Day release “How to Be Single,” in which Mann stars as a maternity doctor who hasn’t found the right partner with whom to raise a child and feels her biological clock ticking. “How to Be Single” will also star Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson and Alison Brie. Mann is also lined up for a voice performance in “The Croods 2,” the sequel to the hit animated feature set for release in 2017.
In 2014, Mann starred alongside Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton in Nick Cassavetes’ “The Other Woman.” Also in 2014, Mann continued her well-established voice performance work while reprising her role as Linda, the main human character, in the animated blockbuster “Rio 2.” Her previous voice performances include the Oscar-nominated “ParaNorman,” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” On the TV side, Mann voiced Gina Winthrop on Jonah Hill’s hilarious animated Fox television series “Allen Gregory.”
In 2012, Mann’s stand out performance opposite Paul Rudd as Debbie in Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40” garnered her The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nomination in the category of Best Actress in a Comedy. The movie reunites the trio from the award-winning blockbuster “Knocked Up,” with Mann and Rudd reprising their characters from the earlier film.
Among her other feature films are “The Bling Ring,” “The Change Up,” “I Love You Phillip Morris,” “17 Again,” “Big Daddy,” “Little Birds,” “George of the Jungle,” “Timecode,” “She’s the One,” “Stealing Harvard,” “Drillbit Taylor,” “Orange County,” “Funny People” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin.”
A native of Southern California, Mann studied acting with the Groundlings improv troupe. One of her first big breaks was a role in Ben Stiller’s “The Cable Guy,” with Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick. While auditioning for the film, she met future husband Judd Apatow. This film marked their first collaboration and the beginning of their creative professional partnership.
Mann and Apatow are longtime supporters of the non-profit organization 826LA. Founded by Dave Eggers, the organization provides free tutoring and literacy programs to students. Additionally, Mann and Apatow were honored with the 2012 Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program’s Children’s Choice Award for their philanthropic contributions to support children, and their families, who are dealing with pediatric cancer. In 2009, the couple was also recognized by The Fulfillment Fund who honored them at their annual benefit gala.
Mann, Apatow and their two daughters currently reside in Los Angeles.
STEELE STEBBINS (Kevin Griswold) started his career in the entertainment industry at the early age of 5. He is best known for his role in the hilarious feature film “A Haunted House 2,” starring opposite Marlon Wayans and Jaime Pressly.
Stebbins also has a supporting role in the upcoming thriller “Within,” starring Michael Vartan.
Stebbins has been a part of the Bright House Network commercial campaign for the past three years. Stebbins has booked national commercials for McDonaldʼs, Duracell, Chamberlain, Petsmart, and AT&T just to name a few.
In his spare time, he enjoys skateboarding, going to skate parks, building skate ramps and roller coasters.
SKYLER GISONDO (James Griswold) is a multi-faceted actor who is constantly pursuing challenging roles, evolving with each new project and fast becoming one of the entertainment industry’s hottest actors for both independent and mainstream film.
Gisondo most recently starred in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” opposite Ben Stiller. He plays Nick, the son of museum security guard Larry Daley (Stiller) in the London-set threequel, alongside Dan Stevens, Owen Wilson and Robin Williams. The film was released in December 2014 and grossed over $360 million dollars worldwide.
In addition, he recently starred as the lead of the independent feature drama “Hard Sell,” directed by Sean Nalaboff and starring Kristin Chenoweth and Katrina Bowden. Gisondo plays Hardy Buchanan, an introverted, intellectual teenager whose home life is far from perfect. He can also be seen in Marc Webb's 2014 “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” in which he reprised his role as the brother of Gwen Stacey, played by Emma Stone, in “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
Skyler’s additional credits include: Young Moe in “The Three Stooges,” for the Farrelly Brothers in 2012, with Larry David and Jane Lynch; “Buttwhistle,” from producer Daniel Dubiecki; “Walk Hard,” opposite John C. Reilly; and “Four Christmases,” with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn.
CHEVY CHASE (Clark Griswold) is one of the most honored and beloved actors of his generation. He first came to national prominence as a writer and performer with the original cast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” for which he won two Emmy Awards. Soon after endearing himself to television audiences, Hollywood beckoned and Chase made his feature film debut in the comedy-thriller “Foul Play” with Goldie Hawn. His many memorable films include: “Caddy Shack,” “Seems Like Old Times,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Fletch,” “National Lampoon’s European Vacation,” “Spies Like Us,” “The Three Amigos,” “Funny Farm,” Caddyshack II,” “Fletch Lives,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Memoirs of an Invisible Man,” “Cops and Robbersons;” “Man of the House,” “Vegas Vacation” and “Snow Day.”
Chase began his career in comedy as a writer and performer for “Channel One,” a local New York underground revue that satirized television. “Channel One” later became the basis for the film “The Groove Tube.” He has written for Lily Tomlin and the Smothers Brothers, and earned a Writers Guild of America Award for writing “Alan King’s Energy Crisis, Rising Prices and Assorted Vices” TV special. In addition, he won an Emmy Award for co-writing “The Paul Simon Special.”
In 1992, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation’s oldest undergraduate dramatic group, honored Chase as its Man of the Year.
In 2007, Chevy received critical acclaim for his guest-starring role on NBC’s award-winning series “Law and Order.” He followed that return to the small screen with a two-episode guest-appearance on the hit ABC series “Brothers and Sisters,” as well as three episodes on NBC’s “Chuck” in 2009. That same year Chase began starring as Pierce Hawthorne in the hit NBC comedy series “Community,” on which he appeared for five seasons.
Chase recently reprised his role in “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” having also co-starred in the original.
Chase resides in New York with his wife, Jayni and is the proud father to three daughters and numerous animals.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN (Writer/Director) is a comedy writer whose credits include the hit ensemble “Horrible Bosses” and “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.” He makes his feature directorial debut with “Vacation,” which he also co-wrote with feature writing and directing partner, John Francis Daley.
After graduating from Harvard law School in 1995 and practicing for two years at a large New York law firm, Goldstein ran screaming from his office, moved to Los Angeles and became a comedy writer. Over the next 12 years, he wrote and produced numerous network television comedies, including “The PJ’s,” starring Eddie Murphy, “The Geena Davis Show,” “Good Morning Miami,” “Four Kings,” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” In 2007, in collaboration with Daley, Goldstein sold his first film script, “The $40,000 Man” to New Line Cinema. That script landed on the Hollywood “Black List,” and launched the team’s screenwriting career.
Goldstein and Daley’s 2011 comedy, “Horrible Bosses,” which the pair wrote, earned over $200 million at the worldwide box office and quickly became one of the highest grossing R comedies of all time. The pair also wrote “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” and the 2013 hit animated film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” which earned over $200 million globally and opened at number one in its first weekend at the box office.
Goldstein and Daley will next make their producing debut on the upcoming action comedy “All Day and a Night” for Relativity studios.
Goldstein lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the novelist, Adena Halpern and their son, Samson.
JOHN FRANCIS DALEY (Writer/Director) came to national attention as an actor when he was cast in the lead role of Sam Weir in the critically acclaimed Judd Apatow-produced television series “Freaks and Geeks,” alongside Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jason Segel. He makes his feature directorial debut with “Vacation,” which he co-wrote with writing and directing partner Jonathan Goldstein.
Following “Freaks and Geeks,” Daley starred on several television series, such as “The Geena Davis Show,” “The Kennedys,” “Regular Joe” and the Fox comedy “Kitchen Confidential,” with Bradley Cooper. He can also be seen in the feature films “A View FromThe Top,” “77” and “Waiting,” alongside Ryan Reynolds.
For the past seven years, Daley has starred on the hit Fox series “Bones” as Dr. Lance Sweets. He most recently starred on the big screen alongside Anna Kendrick in the comedy fantasy “Rapture-Palooza.”
Daley made his debut as a screenwriter with Goldstein on the hit ensemble comedy “Horrible Bosses.” They followed with the 2011 comedy short “Audio Tour,” “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” and the 2013 animated family comedy “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.”
Daley and Goldstein sold their first screenplay, “The $40,000 Man,” to New Line Cinema in 2007 and will make their producing debut on the upcoming action comedy “All Day and a Night” for Relativity studios.
Additionally, Daley plays keyboard, sings and writes music.
DAVID DOBKIN (Producer) revived the hard-R-rated comedy genre when he directed the 2005 summer blockbuster “Wedding Crashers,” starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. The romantic comedy about two buddies who sneak into weddings to pick up women grossed more than $285 million worldwide at the box office. Last year, Dobkin directed and produced the drama “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, and Billy Bob Thornton. Duvall received both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Dobkin made his feature directing debut with the 1998 dark comedy “Clay Pigeons” which marked his first collaboration with Vaughn. The film also starred Joaquin Phoenix and Janeane Garofalo. Dobkin then proved his ability to combine action and comedy in the hit film “Shanghai Knights,” with Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan. Among his most recent projects, Dobkin served as an executive producer on director Guy Ritchie’s action adventure “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, opening August 14.
In addition to his feature film success, Dobkin is an award-winning commercial and music video director. He was awarded a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Film Festival for his Sony PlayStation spot “Bell.” Previously, Dobkin directed music videos for such recording artists as Tupac Shakur, Elton John, John Lee Hooker, Sonic Youth, and Blues Traveler, to name only a few. He won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video for Coolio’s “1, 2, 3, 4.” And most recently, he directed the smash hit music video for Maroon 5’s “Sugar,” which went viral and, as of now, has over 375 million views.
A native of Washington, D.C., Dobkin graduated with honors from New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts in 1991, with a BFA in film and television. He began his career six years earlier as an assistant to the production manager on John Schlesinger’s “The Believers.” While pursuing his film studies at NYU, he worked in development for Warner Bros. His NYU thesis film, “52nd St. Serenade,” won several national and international awards, including a 1992 CINE Golden Eagle Award and a Gold Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
CHRIS BENDER (Producer) established Benderspink with partner J.C. Spink in November of 1998 with “American Pie” in post-production as well as 14 writer clients signed to their management company. The film production arm of Benderspink has had a successful first look deal with New Line Cinema for over 15 years, and they recently signed a first look deal with Universal Cable Productions for television.
Bender has produced or developed projects that have grown into six franchises in various genres: “Final Destination,” “American Pie,” “The Ring,” “Cats & Dogs,” “The Butterfly Effect” and “The Hangover.” Eight of his movies have opened to number one, and Bender, along with Spink, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the David Cronenberg directed “A History of Violence.”
He most recently served as producer on the hit comedy “We’re the Millers,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis, and “Horrible Bosses 2,” starring Jason Bateman, Sudeikis and Charlie Day.
MARC S. FISCHER (Executive Producer) has a list of credits as an executive producer and co-producer that include a number of box office hits, such as “There’s Something About Mary,” “Me, Myself, and Irene,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Kingpin,” “John Tucker Must Die,” “Shallow Hal,” and the Academy Award nominated “Leaving Las Vegas,” which was also nominated for a DGA Award.
Born in New York City and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Fischer got his start in the Entertainment Industry as an accountant on the Academy Award nominated film “Runaway Train.” After becoming the Head of Production at Canon Films and Orion Pictures, Fischer joined the Director’s Guild of America in 1987, and was soon thereafter unit production managing and executive producing feature films. In 1996, Fischer co-produced the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy “Kingpin,” which has led to nearly 20 years of working with the Farrelly Brothers, and culminated in last year’s release of “Dumb and Dumber To.”
JEFF KLEEMAN (Executive Producer) graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in English. He curated exhibits at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ran a story department at Carolco. In 1987, Kleeman joined Paramount Pictures and was a development and production executive on “Internal Affairs,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “Shirley Valentine” and “Star Trek VI.” He was also responsible for the development of “Deep Cover.”
In 1991, Kleeman became Vice President of Production for Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope, where he worked on “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” initiated Tim Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow,” was associate producer on “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” co-producer on “Kidnapped,” and executive producer on “Haunted” and “The Titanic.”
Kleeman joined MGM/UA in 1993, where he was Executive Vice President of Production. He was responsible for overseeing the revitalization of the James Bond franchise, beginning with “Goldeneye,” then “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The World Is Not Enough.” He oversaw the development and production of “Rob Roy,” “Hackers” and “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and he was responsible for the acquisition of “Leaving Las Vegas.” While at MGM/UA, Kleeman also developed “Cold Mountain,” “Heartbreakers” and “The Pink Panther.”
In 1999, Kleeman left MGM/UA to work with Robert Redford, developing strategies for Redford’s future Sundance Entertainment Ventures. He also served on the Board of Directors of The Sundance Channel.
In 2005, Kleeman co-created/show-ran “Misconceptions,” a multi-camera sitcom for The WB. In 2006, he wrote a single-camera comedy, “Roll with It,” for Fox Television. In 2007, he wrote a one-hour drama pilot, “Sleeping Beauty,” for ABC, Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick. He also returned to MGM/UA as Executive Vice President of Motion Picture Production.
In September 2008, Kleeman joined David Dobkin as President of Big Kid Pictures. In 2010, he wrote a one-hour pilot for Warner Bros. Television, based on the film “Time After Time.” He also executive produced “The Change-Up.” Kleeman was executive producer on the single-camera half-hour series “Friends with Benefits,” which aired on NBC in 2011.
Kleeman most recently served as an executive producer on the acclaimed feature drama “The Judge,” which Dobkin directed. Among his upcoming projects are the Guy Ritchie-directed “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” feature, on which he shares a story credit. The film is in theatres August 14th.
In August 2012, Kleeman became President of Ellen Degeneres’s company, A Very Good Production. Their current roster includes the series “Green Eggs and Ham” on Netflix; “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” on HGTV; “One Big Happy,” “First Dates” and “Little Big Shots” on NBC; “Repeat After Me” on ABC; and “Hello/Goodbye” on Travel Channel.
His upcoming projects include producing, with Degeneres, the feature film adaptation of Hugo Award-winning author Naomi Novik’s latest novel, the fantasy Uprooted.
Kleeman is a member of the USC Cinema School faculty, where he teaches graduate courses on film development, production and the studio system. He has lectured at Yale, UCLA and Northwestern, and at several film conferences, as well as taught Film Independent’s Screenwriter’s Lab. Kleeman has chaired Film Independent’s Spirit Awards Nominating Committee. He has served on the board of directors of The Sundance Channel, IFP West and The Los Angeles Film Festival Advisory Committee, and served as a judge for the International Thriller Writers Best Screenplay Award. Kleeman currently chairs the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Screening Committee. He is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Writers Guild of America, The Producers Guild of America, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and The British Academy of Film & Television.
TOBY EMMERICH (Executive Producer) has served as President and COO of New Line Cinema since 2008. In this role, he has full oversight of New Line Cinema’s development, production and financial operations. Previously, he held the position of President of Production, to which he was promoted in January 2001, and oversaw the most successful period in company history. He also has oversight of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, the live stage play division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Since Emmerich took the production helm, New Line has released such diverse features as the Academy Award-winning blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”; 2005’s highest-grossing comedy, “Wedding Crashers”; “The Conjuring,” one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time; “Elf”; “The Notebook”; “Hairspray”; “Sex and the City”; “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”; “He’s Just Not That Into You”; “Four Christmases”; “Valentine’s Day”; “Horrible Bosses” and “Horrible Bosses 2”; “17 Again ”; “We’re the Millers”; “Annabelle”; and the worldwide box office hit trilogy “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”. New Line most recently released the global blockbuster “San Andreas,” and upcoming releases include “How to Be Single,” “Keanu” and “Central Intelligence.”
A longtime studio veteran, Emmerich previously served not only as President of New Line Music, but also as an accomplished screenwriter and producer, who wrote and produced New Line’s sleeper hit “Frequency,” starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel.
Emmerich joined the company in 1992 as a dual development and music executive. In his position as President of Music, he oversaw the development of numerous platinum- and gold-selling soundtracks for such films as “Seven,” the first two “Austin Powers” films, “Elf” and many more.
Prior to his posts at New Line, Emmerich was an A&R representative at Atlantic Records from 1987 to 1992. He attended The Calhoun School and Wesleyan University, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1985 with honors in English and concentrations in classics and film.
RICHARD BRENER (Executive Producer) has been a New Line Cinema veteran for 20 years, and has served as President of Production for the company since 2008.
During his tenure at New Line, Brener has overseen and served as executive producer on many of the company’s most successful films, including such blockbusters as “Sex and the City,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “The Wedding Singer,” “We’re The Millers,” the “Final Destination” franchise, and “Horrible Bosses.” He most recently executive produced “San Andreas,” starring Dwayne Johnson.
Brener joined the company as a temp and rapidly rose through the ranks, from Story Editor to President. Over the course of his career, Brener has overseen the studio’s relationships with much of its key talent, including Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.
Born and raised in Short Hills, New Jersey, Brener graduated with a B.A. in History from Yale University in 1994.
SAMUEL J. BROWN (Executive Producer) has been a development executive with New Line Cinema since 2002 and is currently Senior Vice President of Production for the studio. Brown most recently executive produced the global blockbuster “San Andreas,” starring Dwayne Johnson. His other recent credits include the comedy sequel “Horrible Bosses 2,” the Adam Shankman musical “Rock of Ages,” the worldwide hit “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” the romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve,” the comedy “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” the comedy “Horrible Bosses,” and the 2010 hit romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day.” His other credits include “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” “The Last Mimzy,” “Fracture,” “Rush Hour 3,” “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” “Appaloosa” and “Pride and Glory.”
Brown is currently overseeing post production on Key and Peele’s first feature film, “Keanu,” as well as production on the action comedy “Central Intelligence,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. His upcoming projects include “The House,” starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler; “Going in Style,” starring the Oscar-winning acting trio of Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin; and “Fist Fight,” with Charlie Day and Ice Cube; among more than 20projects he is supervising in development.
Brown was selected by The Hollywood Reporter for their “Next Gen” list of studio executives 35 and under in 2009. He also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board for The Young Storytellers Foundation, an arts-focused non-profit organization. Brown graduated from Harvard University.
DAVE NEUSTADTER (Executive Producer) has been a development executive with New Line Cinema since 2007 and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Production for the studio. He most recently produced “The Gallows,” a found-footage horror movie, and “Annabelle,” the breakout hit and spin-off of “The Conjuring.” His other credits include “The Conjuring,” one of the highest grossing horror films of all time; “We’re the Millers,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis; “A Nightmare on Elm Street”; and the romantic comedy “Going the Distance,” starring Drew Barrymore. He is currently in production on “Lights Out,” and in post production on the low budget horror film “Wolves at the Door,” and the romantic comedy “How to Be Single,” starring Dakota Johnson.
Neustadter began his career at New Line in 2003 as an intern in the development department, and was then hired as Richard Brener’s executive assistant. He is a graduate of Indiana University.
BARRY PETERSON (Director of Photography) worked with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on “21 Jump Street” and “22 Jump Street,” as well as “The Lego Movie.”
He also worked with director Rawson Marshall Thurber on the comedies “We’re the Millers,” and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” the latter starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.
Peterson’s first major feature film as a cinematographer was Ben Stiller’s classic comedy “Zoolander.” His other past film work includes the crime thriller “Dark Blue,” from director Ron Shelton; Todd Phillips’ “Starsky & Hutch,” starring Stiller and Owen Wilson; and Doug Liman’s action feature “Jumper,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Diane Lane.
BARRY ROBISON (Production Designer) graduated from UCLA, receiving his MFA in design.
A California native, Robison began his career in Minneapolis, working at the Guthrie Theater and the Children’s Theatre Company. He continued his career in Chicago, working for such renowned theater venues as the St. Nicholas, the Steppenwolf and the Goodman. Moving on to New York City, he continued to design for theater, opera and television, including the daytime dramas “Another World,” “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”
Robison relocated to Hollywood to segue into films, where he has enjoyed ongoing associations with such directors as Michael Apted, Joe Johnston, Dean Parisot, Bill Condon, David Dobkin and Gavin Hood.
Robison has designed such diverse films as Apted’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”; Hood’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”; Dobkin’s “Wedding Crashers” and “The Change-Up”; Parisot’s “Fun With Dick and Jane”; Condon’s “Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh”; Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin’s “Nim’s Island”; Anthony and Joe Russo’s “You, Me and Dupree”; James Cox’s “Highway”; Johnston’s “October Sky”; Erin Dignam’s “Loved”; Blair Hayes’ “Bubble Boy”; Gregory Nava’s “My Family”; and, most recently, Stile White’s “Ouija.”
After three back-to-back projects in Australia, Robison became an Australian citizen.
JAMIE GROSS (Editor) got her start assistant editing on the Oscar-nominated documentary “Murderball.”
She has worked with director David Wain on his feature films “The Ten,” “Role Models,” “Wanderlust” and, most recently, she edited his “They Came Together,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014.
Gross also edited “MacGruber,” directed by Jorma Taccone and produced by John Goldwyn and Lorne Michaels.
DEBRA MCGUIRE (Costume Designer) has achieved many accomplishments as a fine artist, fashion designer and costume designer. She is best known for her 10-year run on the hit show “Friends,” and for designing many of David Mamet's film and theatre projects, including “Phil Spector,” starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, nominated for 11 Emmy Awards and for which she was nominated for Best Costume Design. McGuire has also designed many of Judd Apatow’s film and television projects. She is currently designing the fifth Season of Fox’s “The New Girl,” as well as several pilots. McGuire will next design the film “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” shooting in Hawaii.
Passionate about the theatre, she began designing costumes for a dance theatre company in Paris in the early ‘80s. In 2007, she won the NAACP Award for Best Costume Design for “Atlanta,” at the Geffen Playhouse, and in 2006 she was nominated for an Ovation Award for Best Costume Design for “Boston Marriage,” also at the Geffen Playhouse.
McGuire is primarily a fine artist with a career that began as a painter, working and teaching in her Bay Area studio. She became an instructor at Colleges and Universities in Northern California, a jewelry and accessories designer in New York, fashion designer, fashion consultant, couturier (with a store in Pacific Palisades, California, for 10 years) and costume designer. She has been speaking at galleries and art colleges on the East Coast, most recently Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, about The Refinement of Process: Visual Journey of the Artist as Costume Designer.
Her creativity is rivaled only by her ability to multitask, a skill that has been honed through many years of hard work and dedication.
MARK MOTHERSBAUGH (Composer) has written the music for more than 70 film and television projects, including the recent box office hits “The LEGO® Movie,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and its sequel; “21 Jump Street” and its sequel, “22 Jump Street”; “Pitch Perfect 2”; and “Hotel Transylvania” and its upcoming sequel.
Mothersbaugh first came to prominence in the music world as lead singer and keyboard player of the progressive new wave/rock band DEVO, that released a series of highly eclectic and satirical albums, including Are We Not Men? and Freedom of Choice.
In the mid-1980s, Mothersbaugh began to write music for commercials and received a Clio Award for his work. He went on to compose music for numerous television projects, including the memorable theme song and underscore for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.” That led to a long run of writing music for the popular children’s series “Rugrats” and the hugely successful “The Rugrats Movie.” His more recent television credits include HBO’s “Enlightened” and Showtime’s “House of Lies.”
In 1996, he met Wes Anderson and scored the filmmaker’s critically acclaimed “Bottle Rocket.” He also wrote the music for Anderson’s “Rushmore,” starring Bill Murray, and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” starring Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston and Owen Wilson. His score for “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” is one of Mothersbaugh’s most memorable, to date.
His additional film credits include “Last Vegas”; “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”; Catherine Hardwicke’s “Lords of Dogtown” and “Thirteen”; Joe and Anthony Russo’s “Welcome to Collinwood,” starring George Clooney; “Happy Gilmore,” starring Adam Sandler; and the IMAX documentaries “Born To Be Wild” and “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.”
Mothersbaugh’s record and song production credits include work with such artists as Vampire Weekend, Tegan and Sara, David Bowie, Cypress Hill, David Byrne, Beck, Iggy Pop, B-52s, Jacob Dylan, Cindy Lauper and A Tribe Called Quest. Further extending Mothersbaugh’s musical palate; he has also scored numerous video games, including “The Sims” and “Boom Blox.”
The recipient of BMI’s distinguished Richard Kirk Lifetime Achievement Award, Mothersbaugh continues to perform with DEVO, which has had a resurgence in recent years, playing concerts across the country, including New York’s Central Park and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The Ohio native studied at Kent State University. A world-renowned artist, his drawings and paintings have been shown in galleries around the world.