A Jerry Bruckheimer Production
Larger and costlier than the CIA, the National Security Agency at Fort Meade is fiercely secret about its work. What does it have to listen to now that the Cold War is over? Plenty.
Touchstone Pictures presents A Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Production, a Tony Scott Film, "Enemy of the State," starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman and Jon Voight.
Rounding out the cast are actors Regina King, Loren Dean, Jake Busey, Barry Pepper, Gabriel Byrne, Tom Sizemore, Lisa Bonet, Jamie Kennedy, Ian Hart, Scott Caan and Jack Black. Joining the creative team is director of photography Dan Mindel, editor Chris Lebenzon, composers Trevor Rabins and Harry Gregson- Williams, stunt coordinator Chuck Picerni, Jr., technical advisor Steve Uhrig, special effects coordinator Mike Meinardus and costume designer Marlene Stewart.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his late partner Don Simpson first began developing "Enemy of the State" in 1991. "It took a long time to get a screenplay," says Bruckheimer. "We started with a simple one line idea about a man whose electronic identity is stolen and manipulated, and asked a young writer, David Marconi to come in and develop it with us. It grew from there to encompass the more far reaching scope of institutionalized information gathering."
At the behest of Simpson and Bruckheimer, Marconi started doing extensive research. "After a lot of investigation, I eventually was able to come up with a boogie man - the National Security Agency, which at the time nobody had ever heard of," explains Marconi. "Their nickname was `No Such Agency.' The more I dug, the less I could find of these guys, so I realized that we had the possible making for a great story with powerful adversaries. If you take an idea like that and marry it to a `Three Days of the Condor' type of story, I thought it would turn into a good movie. Everyone at Simpson/Bruckheimer was very supportive - they gave me a green light and, off I went to write [the first draft of] the movie."
"I've always been interested in the inevitable questions surrounding the invasion of privacy," notes Bruckheimer. "With today's technology anything is possible and everything is probable. I don't think the public is truly aware of what's at stake in terms of an individual's privacy. But the other side of the controversy remains - we need to be able to protect our borders and our citizens. The NSA has been incredibly active in preventing terrorist attacks and finding those responsible for the rash of senseless bombings that have erupted recently."
"We've had enormous success together," says the producer of his association with Scott. "Dating back to `Top Gun,' we've been able to create some wonderful movies together. Tony has such a wonderful way of working with actors, pushing them beyond their capabilities to make them even better and bringing out abilities they never knew they possessed. He's really honed his story-telling skills and understands the dynamics behind a screenplay; he's developed into a truly accomplished director, rather than simply a brilliant visual artist, which of course, he is. I look forward to doing more pictures with him in the future."
The two soft-spoken Hollywood titans have been friends for years. They have made more than movies together; they have created a style that has changed fads in music, fashion, make-up and even Navy recruiting! Their four previous blockbusters include "Beverly Hills Cop II," "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder" and "Crimson Tide."
"The secret to Jerry's and my relationship is that he pulls one way and I pull the other," laughs Scott. "And somehow we come to the answer somewhere in the middle. He has the ability to step back from the movie making process and get a sense of the overall movie. He's amazingly articulate. We have enormous respect for one another."
Scott was on the lookout for a challenging project, but he wanted to do something with substance, something intriguing and of personal consequence. "I was always fascinated with the idea of surveillance," says Scott, "especially surveillance from hundreds of miles up in the atmosphere. And I was always a big fan of `Three Days of the Condor' and `The Conversation' and wanted to do a movie in that genre. The real challenge was to take this genre and reeducate the public about what goes on in the world today."
Scott is quick to point out that the concept behind the NSA and other such government agencies, as well as the notion of comprehensive surveillance systems and invasion of privacy, is a global situation. "It's what the entire world is succumbing to today. It has nothing to do with the American system. This could be anywhere in the world.
Both producer and director agreed the film was a character driven piece set against the world of surveillance and espionage. Their next step was to find the perfect actor for each role. Bruckheimer credits Scott with shifting the casting into high gear.
"Tony started the ball rolling," says Bruckheimer. "Once we got Tony, we went after Will and he committed right away. Getting Gene was a chore, he turned us down two or three times, but then Tony got on the phone with him and convinced him we had to work together again after such a terrific experience on `Crimson Tide.' We were very lucky."
For Bruckheimer the casting process had never before been quite as auspicious an occasion. "This is one of the best casts we've ever put together," he states emphatically. "We were able to assemble an exceptional group of talent, selecting the best from the finest established actors of one generation to the younger, up and comers of Generation X who are just beginning to receive notoriety for their work."
Bruckheimer has always been credited with an astute sense for hiring talent on the rise. His films have helped to catapult many fresh faces into Hollywood stardom, from Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" to Will Smith in "Bad Boys."
A tech head himself, Smith was fascinated with the many pieces of technology used in the film. "All the music on my album is MIDI work. I'm always working with computers or working with my son on the computer, so I was pretty aware of technology. But visiting the CIA was another thing. It made me even more cognizant of the fact that the only privacy we truly have is what we keep in our minds. Once we say something, there can be a microphone; once we go out, there can be a camera, every aspect of your life can be monitored and that's what happens to Robert Clayton Dean. They destroy him. They ruin his credit, they create doubt in his wife using photographs, they give false information to his employer and they plant misinformation in the media.
"What's really amazing is that you have to imagine that anything you see in a movie is probably already 10 to 15 years behind what they actually have," he says. "The things we saw in their archives - computers that could tell what you are typing on a typewriter just from the sound, cameras in toothpicks, and all of this technology was old, things they don't use anymore!
Marconi was convinced anyone could manipulate modern technology (not to mention the press) to theiradvantage, enough to destroy a man's reputation and moreover, his life. "For Dean, I utilized the story of an innocent man who is basically taken apart and destroyed by a large corporation," says Marconi. "You see these circumstances in politics daily. You're guilty until proven innocent. Take a couple facts, mix them with a couple lies and leak it in the paper and boom, you've got a ruined reputation, a ruined career. It was that outrage that compelled me to create this character.
Hackman was particularly attracted to the "Everyman" aspect of the script. "Almost all of us has had some difficulty with governmental red tap and intrusion. I think all of us has a bit of paranoia about other people getting into our lives.
"What's fascinating is that certain situations depicted in this film can really happen," states Hackman. "The government can go to great lengths to get information from someone if they want that information or feel it's necessary. I think we all believe this could happen to some degree. That's what's exciting about a film like this.
"Brill is a bitter man," describes the actor of his character. "He's certainly willing to do what he can to throw some sand into the gears of the government."
Hackman was Scott's only choice to play the secretive, underground operative. "Gene's character is another generation," he says. "Only a limited number of people had access to computers and the type of hardware we have today. Brill is of the old school so we took a lot of references from our surveillance expert, Steve Uhrig. I taped every meeting with Steve Uhrig so we had all these transcripts to refer to, not only in terms of information about surveillance, but also for character reference. It's a great way of pulling lines from the real guys. I rely on technical advisors most of all for character reference. And that was what Gene did - I could see him observing Steve and Marty and he would take just a little bit there and it would surface a week later."
"Reynolds (rogue NSA agent) is more of a `State Department' type of guy," contends Voight. "And in this particular situation, he's a person without guidance. He doesn't have anyone he's responsible to, so he's able to do whatever he wants.
"Usually there are checks and balances in these organizations, but every once a while there's an air pocket and somebody gets into a position where they're not held responsible to anyone and they can do some pretty unsavory things," he says. "That's the case with Reynolds. He has an agenda and he follows through on it and becomes dangerous. He can use any of the manpower and equipment at his disposal if he's clever, and he is."
Bruckheimer, Scott, executive producers James W. Skotchdopole and Andrew Z. Davis, and production designer Benjamin Fernandez were invited to tour the facility by deputy director William Crowell (whose daughter, Laura Cayouette, appears in the film) but were not allowed to speak with any of the agency's employees.
"It was a sanitized tour," recalls Davis. "We were very protected and couldn't wander off the path. Individual offices were empty of personnel. But when we went to the CIA, they weren't as secretive. They actually have a public affairs department that deals with the media."
Scott was notably surprised by the age of the people he was able to see at work in both agencies. "I was flabbergasted how young the kids were," he says. "90 percent of the CIA looks like UCLA campus- all these kids in bell bottoms and T-shirts. Other than heads of departments (senior agents who are 35, 40,) they all literally could have been students. You could have interchanged them with kids in the commissary at UCLA.
"Today kids are born and bred on laptop computers," the director notes. "I wanted to change the audience's perception of what the agency world is about. It's not about guys who are bald and 50 carrying guns, as the media always portrays them, it's about young people who are on the cutting edge of technology. Our kids: Loren Dean [Hicks], Barry Pepper [Pratt], Ian Hart [Bingham], Jack Black [Fiedler] - I swear you could drop them into the CIA or the NSA, and you couldn't pick them out."
With little to no public records or information about the NSA, the filmmakers relied on James Bamford's book, The Puzzle Palace, published in 1983. They also depended heavily on information gathered by two writers from The Baltimore Sun newspaper who wrote a series of articles in 1995 about the highly secretive agency. But because most of the current information about the NSA is classified, Marconi, Bruckheimer and Scott looked to their technical advisors to set the record straight. All of the technology and scenarios depicted in the film are real, albeit a bit archaic compared to methods and equipment used today. Again, it's classified.
According to Scott Shane and Tom Bowman's six- part series in The Baltimore Sun, the National Security Agency is "virtually invisible to the American public. [It] runs the most ambitious spying operation, eclipsing the Central Intelligence Agency in budget and personnel. It's operations cost nearly$1 million an hour, $8 billion a year. Its Maryland work force of 20,000 makes the NSA the state's largest employer, and it oversees tens of thousands of eavesdroppers in listening posts from Alaska to Thailand."
They go on to report that "The National Security Agency's job is to protect U.S. government communications from eavesdroppers and to eavesdrop on foreign countries. In spy jargon such eavesdropping is called signals intelligence, or SIGINT. It includes the interception of voice or text messages sent by phone, fax, computer or other means, as well as such nonverbal transmissions as radar and electronic signals from missiles."
"What as consumers we see available on the market, like voice recognition programs for our computers, the NSA was running about 20 years ago," says Marconi. "In The Puzzle Palace, they talk about sweeping phone lines and looking for trigger words, and that book was written in the early `80s, that's almost 20 years ago! So you can imagine, especially with computers, how far technology has progressed even beyond that.
"Some of the satellite technology that appears in the film was stuff that we had to extrapolate on and take to the next step and make imaginative leaps as to what our capabilities would be because obviously no information about what we actually have in operation can be published. Anyone who works at the NRO [National Reconnaissance Organization] or the NSA is forbidden by federal law to talk about any of that stuff. Even our advisors on the picture couldn't really talk about anything that is classified or what our current capabilities might be. They could only nod or shake their heads, but they couldn't really offer any definitive answers to pointed questions." Hence, the insiders' colloquialism for the agency: Never Say Anything.
According to Scott, surveillance advisor Steve Uhrig "is the James Bond of the last ten years. He ranks in the top 10. These guys are the real thing. What fascinated me when I met them was that they look like two plumbers. And sitting in their bungalows, it's just wall to wall with bits of technology. From top to bottom, it's cluttered with gear-tools, gadgets, semi conductors, manuals- everything and anything. Steve has got the IRA on one line and he's calling the SAS on the other line. He devises bomb detectors and other pieces of equipment for or both, it's fascinating."
"When I first read the script, I thought it was going to be a boring movie," laughs Uhrig, the gray bearded surveillance guru. "We went through the script and made a million notes on how to make it more interesting in terms of the electronics. We helped refine every draft, again and again, until they had a shooting script. It's very dynamic, especially considering that it's written by someone who doesn't do surveillance for a living."
On the issue of the government's ability to listen in on anyone anywhere, Uhrig is succinct. "It's not necessarily a matter of being interested in a particular person, but information is power; information is control. The more information you have on people, the more control the government has. But for every bit of information that's gathered using all this clever surveillance, there's infinitely more revealed because somebody out there runs their mouth. That's how information is gathered for the most part."
Kaiser, who has worked in intelligence and counter intelligence since the late 1960s was initially unsure of his involvement in the project. "When I first read the script I felt what Dean was going through in terms of the NSA shadowing his every move and looking into every aspect of his life was very similar to what I experienced during my battle with the FBI," says Kaiser who went through a heated and much publicized controversy with the agency. "It was a little too close to home to suit me. But thin it dawned on me that the very thing I had been fighting for 20 years - the protection of the Bill of Rights - was what this movie was about. I thought working on this film would be an excellent opportunity to get the point across."
A long time associate of the CIA, FBI and private industry, Kaiser fell into the intelligence business purely by accident. "I was on my way to a little brewery in downtown Baltimore and got lost when I saw a sign that read `US Army Intelligence, Fort Holabird, Maryland,'" recalls Kaiser. "I thought, `They must have something in there that's broken that I can fix. Sure enough they had a box full of equipment they were using for intelligence purposes. At that time there was no real surveillance equipment in existence. I asked them if I could manufacture exactly what they needed and that's when the game started. Word spread to other agencies and it just developed from there." The two experts make clear that a legal wiretap requires a court order and that, according to the government's figures, in 1996, a total of approximately 1,000 wire taps were approved at the federal, state and local levels of government, yet Uhrig's company alone sold that many devices in six months. Consider that many of these devices are manufactured in bulk, 20,000 to 50,000 units at a time, by Pacific Rim countries, for sale elsewhere in the world where possession and use of surveillance equipment is not as highly regulated..
"A lot of people in government feel the ends justify the means," says Uhrig. "And in a way, it's hard to refute when you consider what we're up against: narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and espionage. But there are legal guidelines and you can't just throw all that aside because we're fighting a common enemy."
Kaiser also points out that with advanced intelligence gathering techniques also comes improved capabilities in the dissemination of misinformation.
Will audiences think this is all too farfetched? Scott and Bruckheimer don't think so. "Audiences today are very sophisticated," says Bruckheimer. "We went to a great deal of trouble to make sure our facts were right and the audience will see that on the screen. We're giving them an inside look into a world they've never seen before. I don't make films to necessarily send a message, but I think this will make people think twice."
"I want audiences to leave the theater and say, `Oh my God, they're up there, they're out there,'" says Scott. "They can actually do what we've said they can do, and more. I want them to question `How real was that movie?' I want that question in their minds. Yeah. But it's still a piece of entertainment."
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Principal photography commenced in Baltimore, Maryland. Location shooting began on a ferry in Fells Point and continued in locations throughout the city and in Washington D.C. In mid-January, the company moved to Los Angeles to complete production in April 1998.
The filmmakers decided to use multi media in creating the look of the film and shot many of the scenes with digital cameras as well as with many of the same miniature transmitting cameras built for use by the surveillance community (note: manufactured by Steve Uhrig of SWS Security). "We actually shot some of the scenes using button hole transmitting cameras," says Bruckheimer. "We mounted it on the camera operator and he'd move around the room in place of one of the actors playing an NSA agent."
Although the NSA did not give the filmmakers access to its resources or property, the company was able to shoot an aerial establishing shot from publc air space well above the grounds of Fort Meade. For the interior of the NSA, production designer Benjamin Fernandez recreated a control room on a stage that was constructed using verbal information from the technical advisors as well as several people who used to work at the agency.
"It was really taking a little bit of information from Steve and Marty," says Scott. "They're a pretty closed shop in terms of what information they feel is confidential, even in terms of the look of a room. We also used the Baltimore Sun articles for which Steve Uhrig was a primary consultant. That was really our best form of information in terms of how the place looked to these guys. What we recreated came off a description from 2 or 3 people who all corroborated the description.
Two particularly daunting locations in which the company shot included a downtown access tunnel and the original Dr. Pepper plant which had long ago been abandoned.
"I loved the tunnel sequence," Scott says. "Jerry kept saying `There's no way that's going to work!' He couldn't get past how we were going to get cars down there. And in the end, you always can."
The transportation, grip and art departments teamed up to execute the task of cutting into pieces several cars, lowering them down a manhole and rebuilding them twenty feet underground in a subterranean access tunnel (which houses an enormous exhaust system) just beneath the Ft. McHenry Tunnel a major thoroughfare in the heart of the city.
"These were vehicles that had to function," says Bruckheimer. "We had to complete part of a weighty chase scene and I just couldn't imagine how we were going to do it. No one but Tony would have come up with this," he laughs. "It's just another element to entertain. It's great when people look at the screen and wonder `How'd they do that?' It's just a little worrisome when the producer is asking that question too."
"We had to justify story-wise to the general public how the heck you can get cars down an A.C. unit, which is how Will gets down there," notes Scott. "But I always like transporting the public, even in a very realistic movie, into odd places."
Scott credits his surveillance advisors with coming up with Smith's attire (robe and boxer shorts)for this wild chase sequence. "It came from Steve and Marty ," he says. "You can plant a bug on a person - a favorite place is in the cuff of a pant so that you can run the antenna up the seam of the pantleg. The antenna helps for maximum efficiency in terms of the signal. This little bug which is as thin as a dime, they tape into the pant leg - you could even plant it in the seam of a pair of jockey shorts. In the end it's meant to be a little far fetched as an isolated incident, but when you see it in the overall context of the movie, Dean's paranoia starts to make sense."
To demolish or not to demolish, that was the question. It was a big question for the filmmakers whether or not to destroy a cultural icon. The original Dr. Pepper plant, a small, concrete building in an industrial area of town with warehouses and truck stops surrounding it, just off a major freeways used as Brill's lair. A hideaway he built himself covered with copper mesh to keep out any snooping eyes or ears; Brill calls his undetectable home The Jar.
"The thought of blowing up a building is always fun," says Bruckheimer. "Who wouldn't want to try? But we were wary about setting a particular mood and not subverting our own efforts. We strove to create a frightening situation in a plausible world and we didn't want to lessen the impact with a sequence that might be over the top."
"I was a little bit worried about slam, bang and gun shots," agrees Scott. "We were pushing for the drama to arise out of conversation and then again, when the process begins, it fills up like a canvas with paint and starts to take shape. I felt that the nature of Brill was such that he was outrageous or crazy enough not to want to leave anything behind, he was that obsessive. So blowing up the building seemed to fit into who Gene's character was. We don't make a big thing of it; we don't do `Lethal Weapon' where the building drops forever. But it does punctuate his personality."
Assisted by renowned demolition experts, the Loizeaux family and their company, Control Demolition Inc., the Dr. Pepper building came down in a flourish with 13 cameras capturing every conceivable angle.
ABOUT THE CAST
WILL SMITH portrays young, hotshot lawyer Robert Clayton Dean who unwittingly becomes embroiled in a cover-up of the murder of a congressman by government agents.
Smith has starred in two of the ten all-time top-grossing films worldwide; last summer's "Men in Black," for which he also recorded the Grammy-winning title song, and 1996's "Independence Day." Prior to "Independence Day," Smith starred in Jerry Bruckheimer's "Bad Boys," one of the largest grossing films of 1995.
Smith made his transition into television as the star of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," a sitcom created for Smith by Quincy Jones. The hit NBC series wrapped its sixth and final season in 1996.
Academy Award winner GENE HACKMAN is Brill, an ex-NSA agent who's seen it all and done it all in the game of espionage. Armed with that knowledge, he's gone underground to live. He is Dean's only hope of survival.
Hackman, with dozens of acclaimed performances in hit films, has earned a reputation as one of the most versatile and sought-after actors of his generation. He last worked for producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott on the critically acclaimed film, "Crimson Tide," co-starring Denzel Washington.
He has won two Academy Awards, the first for Best Actor for his role as Popeye Doyle in "The French Connection" and the second for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a vicious sheriff in Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven." He also garnered nominations for his performances in "MississippiBurning" (Best Actor) and "I Never Sang For My Father" and "Bonnie and Clyde" (Best Supporting Actor).
Also among his films are "The Quick and the Dead," "The Firm," "Class Action," "Geronimo," "Wyatt Earp," "Under Fire," "Hoosiers," "Another Woman," "The Package," "Postcards From the Edge," "Uncommon Valor," "The Narrow Margin," "No Way Out," "BAT 21," "Twice in a Lifetime," "Reds," "All Night Long," "Downhill Racer," "Under Fire," "The Poseidon Adventure," "Young Frankenstein," "The Conversation" and "Scarecrow." He also starred as Lex Luthor in the first of the "Superman" films as well as in the second and fourth installments.
Hackman was born in Riverside, California and brought up in Danville, Illinois where his father was a newspaper printer. He joined the Marines at 16 and became a radio operator. After his discharge from the service, Hackman moved from radio to television and worked at various small town television stations. He eventually returned to the west coast and enrolled at the Pasadena Playhouse. There, Hackman made his stage debut with Zazu Pitts in "The Curious Miss Caraway."
He made his screen debut in the 1964 film "Lilith" with Warren Beatty and followed this first picture with "Hawaii," "The Gypsy Moths," "Downhill Racer" and "Marooned." When he's not working, Hackman paints, flies his plane and races automobiles. He is also an avid film collector.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
British director TONY SCOTT has had a consistent string of successes in films and commercials, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Born in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, England, Scott attended the Sunderland Art School where he received a fine arts degree in painting. While completing a yearlong postgraduate study at Leeds College, he developed an interest in cinematography and made "One of the Missing," a half-hour film financed by the British Film Institute and based on an Ambrose Bierceshort story. He then went on to earn his master of fine arts degree at the Royal College of Arts, completing another film for the British Film Institute, "Loving Memory," from an original script financed by Albert Finney.
In 1983, Scott started his feature film career with the modern vampire story "The Hunger," starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon. Three years later he directed the Simpson Bruckheimer production, "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis which broke box office records worldwide. He then went on to direct five more movies (two for Simpson Bruckheimer) over the next six years: "Beverly Hills Cop II," "Revenge," "Days of Thunder,"" The Last Boy Scout," and the critically acclaimed" True Romance."
While shooting another celebrated collaboration with Simpson Bruckheimer, "Crimson Tide," starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, the Scott brothers were in the midst of negotiating the sale of the legendary Shepperton Studios. The purchase was finalized in February 1995, providing a big boost for the British film industry.
What a film audience takes away from their two hours in a dark theater depends somewhat on who the audience is, but mostly on whom the filmmakers are. JERRY BRUCKHEIMER, one of the most successful producers of all time, is a filmmaker who loves telling a story with fully developed characters who go through a process to learn something. His films take us, his audience, through those same processes, and we leave the theaters enriched by the unforgettable characters, excited by the great stories and intrigued by the new experiences.
So we go back, and keep going back, to the films that begin with the lightning bolt - the Bruckheimer films that have grossed billions and have earned their producer the acclaim and respect of his industry and devotion of moviegoers throughout the world.
Bruckheimer has always been a storyteller. He started out with short ones - the 60-second tales he created as an award-winning commercial producer in his native Detroit. One of those mini-films, a parody of "Bonnie and Clyde" he created for Pontiac, was noted for its brilliance in Time magazine. It also brought the 23-year-old producer to the attention of world-renowned ad agency BBD&O, which lured him to New York.
As one of the most prolific partnerships in recent motion picture history, Bruckheimer and Simpson produced films that were honored with 15 Academy Award nominations; two Oscars for Best Song; four Grammy's; three Golden Globes; two People's Choice Awards for Best Picture; and MTV Awards for Best Picture of the Decade.
Equally important to Bruckheimer as a creative force was the fact that the films were turning their stars into box office giants. "Beverly Hills Cop" launched Eddie Murphy's film career and "Top Gun" made Tom Cruise an international superstar.
By 1995 the team was producing one hit after another. In that year alone, Bruckheimer was responsible for "Bad Boys," the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence film that was Columbia Pictures' highest grossing movie of the year; Michelle Pfeiffer's acclaimed "Dangerous Minds" and "Crimson Tide," the Denzel Washington/Gene Hackman adventure that, with "Dangerous Minds," topped Hollywood Pictures' box office slate.
In 1996 Bruckheimer produced "The Rock." Starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage, the film broke new ground and continued established Bruckheimer traditions of success. With a box office gross of nearly $350 million worldwide, it set the video rental market record as the most-ordered film in history. His casting of the film reestablished Connery as an action star and created that same image for the intellectual Cage. THE ROCK, which was named Favorite Movie of the Year by NATO, more significantly was Bruckheimer's last movie with Simpson, who died tragically during production.
Now on his own, Bruckheimer followed in 1997 with "Con Air," a film that firmly placed Cage in the stratosphere of international action heroes, and grossed over $200 million. It also earned the producer two more Oscar nominations, a fifth Grammy and brought him once more to the attention of the international industry, which this year awarded him with the ShoWest International Box Office Achievement Award for his unmatched foreign box office grosses.
And those grosses continued in 1998 with the July release of Touchstone Pictures' "Armageddon," the highest-grossing live action film ever to come from The Walt Disney Studios.
With worldwide revenues of over $4 billion in box office, video and recording receipts, more than any other producer in history, he continues to find and develop the films that will take him into the new millennium.
STEVE UHRIG (Surveillance Advisor) is the founder and president of SWS Security, a multinational manufacturer of electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering systems for government agencies. His company provides electronic intelligence systems and support services to law enforcement, government and military entities worldwide handling such operations as drug interdiction, antiterrorism and military intelligence and counter intelligence.
Uhrig's interest in electronics began during early childhood. He attributes his aptitude to his father who encouraged his interest in the field and taught him basic electronic theory and practical application by helping him build hobby electronic projects and repair electrical items for neighbors.
Uhrig formed his own company in 1972 doing small surveillance and communications projects for local police departments. In the mid 70s he entered federal government service as a full time pursuit and worked for a host of U.S. government agencies in various electronic support operations. While in government service, Uhrig worked heavily in the field with military agencies from many countries and developed a reputation for being capable and reliable, an artisan who could perform the impossible under extreme conditions.
In the mid 1980s, Uhrig left government service to devote full attention to his growing company. Since that time his firm has expanded to include facilities in 10 countries and support services to over 40 governments of other nations. He has developed electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering systems that have become the worldwide standard in the fight against terrorism, as well as state-of-the-art defense systems created to protect both people and property which also are in use around the world. Uhrig's advancements in surveillance technology in such areas as video transmission technology, electronic tracking and direction finding, communications and signal intercept, and clandestine communications have established performance standards throughout the industry.
In addition to his role as a surveillance expert on the film, Uhrig made his motion picture debut as an electronics store owner, writing his own dialogue for his scene with Gene Hackman (as Brill) who is shopping for surveillance items.
MARTIN KAISER (Surveillance Advisor) joined RCA Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey in 1957 as a senior research technician. There he worked for such renown scientists as Doctors Morton and Zworykin, co inventors of the television; Dr. Rudy, inventor of image conversion and intensifier tubes; Dr. Nergaard, inventor of the cavity magnetron that made radar a practicality; to name a few. Through these associations, he became involved in basic research on cryogenic techniques, infrared systems, evaporated phosphors and semiconductor concepts and development. He also worked on the Nimbus and Tiros satellites. During this time he also wrote extensively for technical and amateur radio publications.
In the early `60s his efforts concentrated on VLF (anything below 10Hz) communication and he became involved in ionospheric and seismic studies. The Air Force funded his project in advanced research of ionospheric phenomena and he began to research for as radio free, or RF, an environment as possible. He moved to Barbados to conduct the study.
Upon his return, he resumed his studies at Rider College in Trenton, New Jersey and after receiving his bachelors degree in business administration, briefly served as Chief Engineer at Telerad Manufacturing, a division of the Lionel Corporation. His responsibilities included the design and manufacture of several missile-borne transponders and receiver systems such as the Atlas missile command receiver.
He then accepted a position with an aircraft radio manufacturer in Cockeysville, Maryland where he worked for a short while before forming Martin L. Kaiser, Inc. in 1965. His first customer was Armco Steel. As an electronic "fix it" man, he could repair just about any type of electronic equipment. When he repaired the company's ultrasonic probe system used to find flaws in steel ingots, the maintenance foreman was so surprised and thrilled at how quickly and efficiently he completed the task, he called his associates around the city of Baltimore and within minutes, Kaiser had over 50 industrial customers.
One day on his way to a downtown brewery, Kaiser saw a sign that would change his life forever: Fort Holabird - US Army Intelligence. The then home of Army Intelligence, they had many pieces of equipment in disrepair. Kaiser offered his services and the government accepted. When he became aware of how much the government was paying for each piece of equipment, he again made them an offer of his services at a much reduced rate, which they also gladly accepted.
Kaiser built over 100 products for the agency including a general-purpose amplifier, an RF detector, a telephone analyzer (or debugging device), plus many other types of transmitters. He also began lecturing at the US Army Intelligence school, at various state and local law enforcement agencies and to foreign governments. In the late 1960s when the Vietnam War escalated and racial strife exploded nationwide, he turned his efforts to bomb detection and disposal. This resulted in another extensive product line and the lecture circuit. Over time his name became recognized and well respected in the intelligence and law enforcement communities.