Robert Zemeckis

A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...

Born on May 14, 1952

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Height 1.83m / 6' 0"

Biography

A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect vehicles (Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Back to the Future (1985)). His later films have become more serious, with the hugely successful Tom Hanks vehicle Forrest Gump (1994) and the Jodie Foster film Contact (1997), both critically acclaimed movies. Again, these films incorporate stunning effects. Robert has proved he can work a serious story around great effects.Read More

Known For

TradeMarks

Frequently casts Tom Hanks, Christopher Lloyd and Robin Wright. Generally finds a role for Wendie Jo Sperber and/or Marc McClure.

A main protagonist that unwittingly inspire real-life people, events and things (Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Forrest Gump (1994)).

During scenes in his films which are shot at night, and outside, he has all cement fixtures and streets soaked with water, for dramatic effect

Often uses a scene in a restaurant/bar, with the main character starting a fight and then fleeing out into the street, where a complicated chase ensues (Back to the Future (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back ...

[Music] Often uses Alan Silvestri for his pictures

Almost never makes a fixed shot, his camera always moves

[Opening long-take] Often utilizes long, complicated opening shots (Back to the Future (1985), Forrest Gump (1994), Contact (1997)).

[State-of-the-art] Often produces movies at the fore-front of technology (Back to the Future (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Forrest Gump (1994), Contact (1997), The Polar Express (2004)).

[Celebrities] Frequently includes actual celebrities as characters, generally through the use of archival footage or look-alikes (Forrest Gump (1994)).

[Citation] Likes to cite/imitate famous movies/commercial spots

Trivia

Sits on USC School of Cinema-Television's Board of Councilors.

Three of the actors he has worked with have acted on camera for one of his films and provided a character voice in another film. Kurt Russell, who appeared in Used Cars (1980), provided the voice of Elvis Presley in Forrest Gump (1994). He has also played Elvis in a made-for-TV film for John Carpenter. Charles Fleischer, who voiced Roger Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), also played a mechanic in the past and future sequences of Back to the Future Part II (1989). Kathleen Turner, the voice of Jessica Rabbit, played the lead role in Romancing the Stone (1984).

Is good friends with director Peter Jackson. The two of them have used four of the same actors: Michael J. Fox, who appeared in the Back to the Future trilogy, played the lead role in Jackson's The Frighteners (1996), which Zemeckis produced; Peter Dobson, who also appeared in The Frighteners, also played Elvis Presley in Forrest Gump (1994), although Kurt Russell provided the voice; Elijah Wood made his film debut in Back to the Future Part II (1989), then went on to play Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy; Miranda Otto, who played a distraught neighbor in What Lies Beneath (2000), played Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

His father was of Lithuanian descent and his mother was of Italian ancestry.

Owns two production companies - ImageMovers and DarkCastle Entertainment (which he co-owns with Joel Silver).

Father, with Mary Ellen Trainor, of Alexander Zemeckis.

Announced through his company ImageMovers that he will direct a film adaptation of the popular horror/fantasy comic book "Route 666". The comic, published by CrossGen Comics, centers on a young woman who is besieged by demons and other strange creatures during the Cold War. [August 2002]

His first wife, Mary Ellen Trainor, appeared in four of his films: Romancing the Stone (1984) (as Joan Wilder's kidnapped sister, Elaine), Back to the Future Part II (1989) (as Officer Reese), Death Becomes Her (1992) (as Vivian Adams), and Forrest Gump (1994) (as Jenny's babysitter).

First television script that he and Bob Gale sold in Hollywood was for Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Chopper (1975).

Attended University of Southern California, School of Cinema. Former classmates included George Lucas, John Milius and others.

Quotes

I was raised a Catholic on the South Side of Chicago, and I felt I had to undo a lot of serious damage. But as I was getting older, I began coming off my absolutely young, arrogant, agnostic beliefs. I was thinking more about coming to terms with human spirituality.

I guess you can say, I have been remaking my student films forever.

From where I sit, I see the digital cinema creating sloppiness on the part of filmmakers because they know if they really get in trouble they can fix it later. So they don't pay that much attention, and of course it costs a lot of money.

It's the most unrealistic thing you can do to shoot a close-up, and it's the most unrealistic place you can be as a performer. And yet, actors grouse about having to do visual effect shots. But they love close-ups.

No matter how many obstacles that are thrown in our path, there are ways to accept them and to live through them. Understand life's mysteries, - as mysteries to be lived.

Spouses

Leslie Zemeckis Leslie Zemeckis December 04, 2001 - present (2 children)

Filmography

Today Today Himself-Guest(1episode,2016)
Kolchak: The Night Stalker Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Good Morning America Good Morning America Himself-Guest(1episode,2012)
I Wanna Hold Your Hand  I Wanna Hold Your Hand 
I Wanna Hold Your Hand  I Wanna Hold Your Hand 
1941  1941 
Amazing Stories Amazing Stories
Back to the Future  Back to the Future 
Back to the Future  Back to the Future 
Biography Biography Himself(1episode,2005)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit  Who Framed Roger Rabbit 
Tales from the Crypt Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt Tales from the Crypt
Back to the Future Part II  Back to the Future Part II 
Back to the Future Part II  Back to the Future Part II 
Parker Lewis Can't Lose Parker Lewis Can't Lose Himself(1episode,1991)
Back to the Future Part III  Back to the Future Part III 
Back to the Future Part III  Back to the Future Part III 
Death Becomes Her  Death Becomes Her 
Death Becomes Her  Death Becomes Her 
The Public Eye  The Public Eye 
Trespass  Trespass 
Trespass  Trespass 
Johnny Bago Johnny Bago
Johnny Bago Johnny Bago
Late Show with David Letterman Late Show with David Letterman Himself-Guest(1episode,1997)
Forrest Gump  Forrest Gump 
Cinema 3 Cinema 3 Himself(1episode,2013)
MADtv MADtv Himself(1episode,2001)
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight  Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight 
The Frighteners  The Frighteners 
Perversions of Science Perversions of Science
Contact  Contact 
Contact  Contact 
Tales from the Cryptkeeper Tales from the Cryptkeeper
Tales from the Cryptkeeper Tales from the Cryptkeeper
The Media Show The Media Show Himself(1episode,1991)
What Lies Beneath  What Lies Beneath 
What Lies Beneath  What Lies Beneath 
Cast Away  Cast Away 
Cast Away  Cast Away 
Arthur Arthur
From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of Industrial Light & Magic  From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of Industrial Light & Magic  Himself
The Directors The Directors Himself(1episode)
Through the Eyes of Forrest Gump  Through the Eyes of Forrest Gump  Himself-Director
Citizen Steve  Citizen Steve  Himself-Writer
S1m0ne  S1m0ne 
Charlie Rose Charlie Rose Himself-Guest(3episodes,1994-2012)
Roger Rabbit and the Secrets of Toon Town  Roger Rabbit and the Secrets of Toon Town  Himself
The 68th Annual Academy Awards  The 68th Annual Academy Awards  Himself-Presenter:BestDirector
Ghost Ship  Ghost Ship 
Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory  Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory  Himself
Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory  Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory 
HBO First Look HBO First Look Himself(4episodes,1997-2004)
Matchstick Men  Matchstick Men 
The Polar Express  The Polar Express 
The Polar Express  The Polar Express 
The Polar Express  The Polar Express 
4Pop 4Pop Himself(1episode,2004)
Bl!tz Bl!tz Himself(1episode,1997)
The Making of 'Cast Away'  The Making of 'Cast Away'  Himself
Monster House  Monster House 
Shootout Shootout Himself(1episode,2004)
Muzeum voskových figurín  Muzeum voskových figurín 
Behind the Ears: The True Story of Roger Rabbit  Behind the Ears: The True Story of Roger Rabbit  Himself
Who Made Roger Rabbit  Who Made Roger Rabbit  Himself(archivefootage)
Last Holiday  Last Holiday 
Enfants terribles  Enfants terribles 
Le grand journal de Canal+ Le grand journal de Canal+ Himself(1episode,2015)
The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing  The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing  Himself(archivefootage)
Real Steel  Real Steel 
Beowulf  Beowulf 
Beowulf  Beowulf 
The Reaping  The Reaping 
The Hour The Hour Himself(1episode,2012)
Bruce Willis Bruce Willis Himself
Make It Happen  Make It Happen 
The Making of 'The Frighteners'  The Making of 'The Frighteners'  Himself
Mundo VIP Mundo VIP Himself(1episode,1997)
The Films of Robert Zemeckis The Films of Robert Zemeckis Himself
The Making of 'Cast Away' The Making of 'Cast Away' Himself
Johnny Bago Free at Last Johnny Bago Free at Last
Show nº77 Show nº77 Himself
Anatomy Lesson Anatomy Lesson
It's for You It's for You
While the Cat's Away While the Cat's Away
Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters  Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters  Himself(archivefootage)(uncredited)
Ace of Cakes Ace of Cakes Himself(1episode,2011)
Episode #2.6 Episode #2.6 Himself
Competitive Spirit Competitive Spirit
Unpopular Mechanics Unpopular Mechanics
Waste Not, Haunt Not Waste Not, Haunt Not
A Friend in Deed A Friend in Deed
Mac the Black Mac the Black
Put on Your Thinking Caps, Kids! It's Time for Mr. Wisdom! Put on Your Thinking Caps, Kids! It's Time for Mr. Wisdom!
Bravelord and the Demon Monstrux Bravelord and the Demon Monstrux
The Money Tree The Money Tree
Verne's New Friend Verne's New Friend
Gomorron Gomorron Himself-Regissör(2episodes,1994-2001)
Xposé Xposé Himself(1episode,2009)
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