GOING UPRIVER - THE LONG WAR OF JOHN KERRY Photo
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GEORGE BUTLER
Director/Producer

George Butler is one of the most respected and original documentary filmmakers and photographers in the world today.

Butler was born in England in 1943, the son of a British military officer and an American mother. Raised in Wales, Somalia, Kenya, and Jamaica, Butler moved to the United States to attend Groton School. Butler went on to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he majored in English and Classics. Thereafter, he received a Masters in Creative Writing from Hollins College in Virginia.

Butler worked for Newsweek in New York and then became a VISTA Volunteer in the inner city of Detroit where he founded and published a neighborhood newspaper. He went to work for John Kerry in 1969 and later co-edited (with U.S. Senator John Kerry and David Thorne) The New Soldier, a highly praised book about the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He then worked as press secretary in the New Hampshire campaign for Congressman Paul McCloskey, who ran for the Republican nomination for President against Richard Nixon on an anti-war ticket.

In 1972, a photo assignment for LIFE magazine to cover the Mr. Universe contest in Baghdad led to the publication of Pumping Iron: the Art and Sport of Bodybuilding, a highly unlikely bestseller, which eventually ran through 16 printings. While working on the book, Mr. Butler encountered a young Austrian bodybuilder -- Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1977, Butler directed a documentary about Schwarzenegger and his fellow athletes in Pumping Iron, a surprise commercial and critical success that subsequently launched Schwarzenegger’s film career and helped create the physical fitness industry.

Butler’s other films include Pumping Iron II: The Women, a witty re-definition of the boundaries of femininity; and In The Blood, a controversial examination of the benefits of hunting for conservation. More recently, Butler produced and directed three films based on Caroline Alexander's best selling book, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. One of the longest running theatrical documentary engagements in history, The Endurance has won awards at 20 major film festivals. Additionally, It won the National Board of Review award for Best Documentary of 2001. The two-hour television version was nominated for two British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), and the IMAX film version won the Giant Screen Theater Association (GSTA) award for best IMAX.

Between films, Mr. Butler has published a number of books and his photographs regularly appear in such publications as TIME, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New York Times.

Currently, Mr. Butler is working with NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy on a new large format film about NASA's mission to Mars. He is also working with the World Wildlife Fund to develop a large format film on endangered lowland Gorillas in the Congo, as well as several other film projects.

This September, he will release John Kerry: A Portrait. The book is a compilation of photographs spanning the 40-year friendship between Butler and John Kerry. With text and captions by Butler, the book shows a face of John Kerry that has never before been seen by the American public.

Mr. Butler lives on a farm in New Hampshire. He has two sons, Desmond and Tyssen.

Directed by................................................................ George Butler
Produced by............................................................... George Butler
................................................................................. Mark Hopkins
Executive Producers.................................................... William Samuels
................................................................................. Vincent Roberti
................................................................................. Marc Abrams
................................................................................. Michael R. Klein
Written by.................................................................. Joseph Dorman
Based on the book “Tour of Duty” by............................ Douglas Brinkley
Director of Photography............................................... Sandi Sissel, A.S.C
................................................................................. Jules Labarthe
Music by..................................................................... Philip Glass
Film Consultant........................................................... Deborah Dickson
Edited by.................................................................... Timothy Squyres
................................................................................. Melody London
................................................................................. Jean Tsien
................................................................................. Kenneth Wachtel
Co-Producers............................................................. Daniel Holton-Roth
................................................................................. Sarah Scully
Consultant.................................................................. Caroline Alexander
Film/Stills Producer.......................................... Prudence Arndt
Associate Producer...................................................... Marina Parker

 

 

 

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