WAG THE DOG
PRODUCTION NOTES

BARRY LEVINSON, (Director) has crafted an enviable reputation as a filmmaker who blends literate and intelligent visions into motion pictures. An Academy Award®-winning director, screenwriter and producer, Levinson was awarded the 1988 Best Director Oscar for the multiple award-winning Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, and in 1991 his production of Bugsy was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. As a screenwriter, he has earned three nominations for the pictures Avalon and Diner, both of which he directed, and ...And Justice For All.

Currently, Levinson is directing Sphere, starring Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone. Most recently, he produced the much-praised drama, Donnie Brasco, starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and Anne Heche, as well as produced and directed the critically acclaimed feature Sleepers, based on the best-selling book by Lorenzo Carcaterra, starring Robert DeNiro, Brad Pitt, Jason Patric, Kevin Bacon and Dustin Hoffman.

His other credits include directing and producing Disclosure; writing, producing and directing Jimmy Hollywood and Toys; directing Good Morning Vietnam, Young Sherlock Holmes and The Natural; and writing and directing Tin Men.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Levinson has used his hometown as the setting for various projects from the semi-autobiographical Diner, which marked his directorial debut, to his hit television series "Homicide: Life on the Streets." His work on this critically acclaimed drama earned him an Emmy for Best Individual Director of a Drama Series. The show has also received two Peabody Awards, two Writers Guild Awards and an Excellence in Quality Television Founders Award for the 1994 and 1995 seasons. In addition, Levinson served as an executive producer on the HBO drama "Oz," which won the Cable Ace Award in 1997.

After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., Levinson moved to Los Angeles where he began acting as well as writing and performing comedy routines. He went on to write for several television variety shows including "The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine," which originated in England, "The Lohman and Barkley Show," "The Tim Conway Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show." A meeting with Mel Brooks led to a collaboration with the veteran comedian on the features Silent Movie and High Anxiety. Levinson made his film acting debut in High Anxiety, and continues to act with small cameo roles in many films.

JANE ROSENTHAL (Producer) founded Tribeca Productions along with Robert DeNiro in 1988. As president, she oversees all aspects of project development and serves as producer with DeNiro.

Tribeca's motion picture productions include Marvin's Room, the screen adaptation of Scott McPherson's award-winning play, starring Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton, A Bronx Tale, Panther, The Night We Never Met, Night And The City, Mistress, Cape Fear and Thunderheart.

Prior to her partnership with DeNiro, Rosenthal served as vice president of movies and miniseries at Warner Bros. Television. She also spent two years at Walt Disney as vice president in charge of motion pictures and television where she was involved in the production of such films as The Color Of Money, Adventures In Babysitting and The Good Mother.

Previously, Rosenthal was vice president of feature production at Universal Studios, following a five-year stint at CBS as director of motion pictures for television. During that time, she developed such critically praised telefilms as "Gideon's Trumpet," "Silences of the Heart" and "The Burning Bed."

DAVID MAMET (Writer) is lauded as a playwright and screenwriter, having penned more than 20 award-winning works. Mamet authored the motion pictures The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, The Untouchables and Hoffa. He also wrote and directed House of Games, Oleanna, Homicide and The Spanish Prisoner.

Among the plays he scripted are "Oleanna," "Glengarry Glen Ross" (which won a 1984 Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award), "American Buffalo," "A Life in the Theater," "Speed-the-Plow," "Edmond," "Lakeboat," "The Water Engine," "The Woods," "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," "Reunion" and "The Cryptogram" (which won the 1995 Obie Award).

His translations and adaptations include "Red River" by Pierre Laville and "The Cherry Orchard," "Three Sisters" and "Uncle Vanya" by Anton Chekhov.

Mamet wrote Warm and Cold, a book for children with drawings by Donald Sultan, as well as two other children's books, Passover and The Duck and the Goat. He has also written four volumes of essays: Writing in Restaurants, Some Freaks, The Cabin and Make-Believe Town, a book of poems entitled The Hero Pony, plus the titles Three Childrenís Plays, On Directing Film, True and False and the novel The Village.

HILARY HENKIN (Writer) recently completed a project for director Joel Schumacher and Matthew McConaughey. Among her previous screenplays, she wrote and produced the drama Romeo Is Bleeding, starring Gary Oldman and Lena Olin.

EZRA SWERDLOW (Executive Producer) has served as producer on such films as Copland, January Man and the box office hit Waiting To Exhale, directed by Forest Whitaker. He executive produced The First Wives Club, starring Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Better Midler; The Good Son, starring Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood; Alien 3 directed by David Fincher and starring Sigourney Weaver; and Mel Brooks' Life Stinks.

Swerdlow co-produced Brooks' Spaceballs and was the associate producer on Woody Allen's Radio Days and Hannah and Her Sisters. He also worked for Allen as a production manager and location manager on such pictures as Broadway Danny Rose, Zelig and Stardust Memories. He was the production manager for both Heartburn, directed by Mike Nichols, and The Muppets Take Manhattan, directed by Frank Oz.

ROBERT RICHARDSON, A.S.C. (Director of Photography) won an Academy Award® for his cinematography on Oliver Stone's J.F.K. and was nominated for his work on the films Born on the Fourth of July and Platoon. He has served as Stone's director of photography for many projects, including Salvador, Wall Street, Talk Radio, The Doors, Heaven and Earth, Natural Born Killers and Nixon. He has also worked with Martin Scorsese on Casino, John Sayles on Eight Men Out and City of Hope, Rob Reiner on A Few Good Men and with Penelope Spheeris on Dudes. Richardson's next project is Robert Redford's adaptation of Nicholas Evan's best-selling novel, The Horse Whisperer.

His other film credits include second unit work on Repo Man, Nightmare on Elm Street, Making the Grade and Breakin'.

He began his professional career filming documentaries and docudramas such as "America, America" for Disney cable, "God's Peace" for the BBC and "The Front Line: El Salvador" for PBS.

WYNN THOMAS (Production Designer) first worked for Tribeca Productions as the designer on Robert DeNiro's directorial debut, A Bronx Tale.

Thomas has also designed the films The Five Heartbeats, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar and Mars Attacks! As an apprentice under production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein, he worked on The Money Pit and Brighton Beach Memoirs as well as Beat Street where Thomas first met Spike Lee. When Lee began making films, he tapped Thomas to create the settings for She's Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do The Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X and Crooklyn.

Thomas began working in theatre at age 15. He studied theatre design at Boston University and went on to create sets for the Negro Theatre Ensemble in New York for two years. Before moving on to film, he worked on a number of theatre productions for the New York Shakespeare Festival and the New York Public Theatre.

STU LINDER (Editor) began his career in the early 60's as an apprentice editor at Paramount Studios. His first assignment as an editor was working for John Frankenheimer on Grand Prix as one of four editors who jointly won the Academy Award. He went on to work as an assistant editor for director Mike Nichols on Catch 22, Carnal Knowledge and The Day of the Dolphin and as editor on The Fortune.

In 1975, Linder took a five-year respite from the movie business and sailed around the world on an ocean racer. He returned to work on My Bodyguard, Six Weeks and First Family. His next film, Diner, was the first of many collaborations with director Barry Levinson. The two have worked together on The Natural, Young Sherlock Holmes, Tin Men, Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, for which he received an Academy Award® nomination, Avalon, Bugsy, Toys, Disclosure and Sleepers. He also cut Robert Redford's Quiz Show.

RITA RYACK (Costume Designer) made her debut in motion pictures soon after receiving nominations for a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for her designs in the Broadway musical hit, "My One and Only," starring Tommy Tune and Twiggy.

Her list of film credits include The Fan, Apollo 13, Casino, The Paper, A Bronx Tale, Mad Dog & Glory, Cape Fear, Class Action, Penn and Teller Get Killed, An Innocent Man, Crossing Delancy, Mr. Jones, Suspect, The House on Carroll Street and After Hours.

She has also designed for the television movies "Ghost Writer," "Gideon Oliver" and "Dinner at Eight," as well as for the pilot for "Steel Magnolias." Ryack also designed the costumes in Michael Jackson's video hit, "Bad."

In 1986, Ryack was honored with the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design. Her Broadway credits include "The Human Comedy" and her off-Broadway credits include "A Lie of the Mind," "The Foreigner," "It's Only a Play," "Hunting Cockroaches," "Anteroom" and "The Vampire."

Ryack has also won several awards for her work in illustration and film animation.

A graduate of Yale Drama School, Ryack was invited to join the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard as the principal costume designer. After doing a dozen plays, she went on to design wardrobe for several theatres, including Chicago's Goodman Theatre, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Playwright's Horizon Theatre, before tackling the New York stage.

DALE DYE (Technical Advisor) is a highly decorated retired U.S. Marine captain who survived 31 major combat operations in Vietnam. He served as technical advisor for Oliver Stone's Academy Award-winning Platoon, also acting in the film as Captain Harris.

He has also served as technical advisor for Brian De Palma's Casualties of War (in which he also acted), 84 Charlie Mopic, The Beast, The Fourth War, Born on the 4th of July, Dogfight, Jacob's Ladder, Fire Birds, J.F.K., The Last of the Mohicans, Heaven and Earth, Guarding Tess, Blue Sky and Natural Born Killers.

Dye has also performed in such motion pictures as Steven Spielberg's Always, and on the small screen in "The Neon Empire," "The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson" and "Mission of the Shark," among others.

Dye authored several screenplays and three books, including Run Between the Raindrops and Platoon, a novelization of Stone's screenplay.

Dye served in Vietnam between 1967-1970 and was decorated for his action in the battle of Hue in 1967. He ended his career with the Marines in 1984 after completing a tour in Lebanon.