Hollywood Director, Andrew DavisApril 17th, 2012
Davis is a filmmaker with a reputation for directing intelligent action thrillers, most notably the Academy Award® nominated box office hit, The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The film received seven Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture and earned Jones a Best Supporting Actor award. Davis garnered a 1993 Golden Globe nomination for Best Director and a Directors Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Direction. In reviewing The Fugitive, film critic Roger Ebert commended Davis, noting that he “transcends genre and shows an ability to marry
action and artistry that deserves comparison with Hitchcock, David Lean, and Carol Reed. He paints with bold, visual strokes.”
Davis is the son of parents who met in a repertory theater company in Chicago, where he was raised. His late father, Nathan Davis, worked on several of his films, including his role as Shia Labeouf’s grandfather in Holes. Andy Davis received his degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and began his work in motion pictures as an assistant cameraman to renowned cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler on the 1969 classic Medium Cool. Wexler’s ultra realistic approach was to have a
great influence on Davis, who then became a director of photography on numerous award-winning television commercials and documentaries, including fifteen studio and independent features. The former cinematographer describes his experience behind the camera as vital to the way he works. “Trying to direct without understanding the camera, to me, is like someone conducting a symphony without reading music.” He has consistently been recognized for his thorough understanding of the visual elements which drive cinematic drama. In 1976, joined by many of his fellow cinematographers, Davis challenged the IATSE union’s restrictive studio roster system in a landmark class action suit that forced the industry to open its doors to young technicians in all crafts.
Davis made his directorial debut in 1978’s STONY ISLAND. The thriller, The Final Terror, was Davis’ sophomore project, for producer Joe Roth, which starred then-newcomers Darryl Hannah, Joe Pantoliano, Rachel Ward and Adrian Zmed. Davis then co-wrote the screenplay for Harry Belafonte’s rap musical, Beat Street, before moving into the
director’s chair full-time for Mike Medavoy and Orion Pictures on the Chuck Norris classic, Code of Silence.
Davis directed, co-producedand co-wrote Steven Seagal’s feature film debut, Above the Law, for Warner Brothers.
The Package (Orion) followed, directed by Davis and starring Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones. Davis went on to
direct Fall 1992’s top grossing picture, Under Siege, for Warner Brothers, a classic action film teaming Steven Seagal
with Tommy Lee Jones.
Davis’ other directorial credits include (for Warner Bros.) Collateral Damage, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and
A Perfect Murder,starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortensen; Chain Reaction, (Fox) starring Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman, which brought Davis back to his hometown of Chicago; and Steal Big,
Steal Little, starring Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin as twin brothers, which lovingly featured Davis’ adopted
home of Santa Barbara, California. Davis next directed and produced Holes, the feature film adaptation of Louis Sachar’s
beloved Newberry Medal and National Book Award-winning children’s novel. Starring Shia Labeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon
Voight and Patricia Arquette, and released by the Walt Disney Company, Holes was named one of the 100 Best Family Films.
Holes has been praised by audiences of all ages, furthering Davis’ reputation as a director with a wide range.
A.O. Scott’s review in The New York Times called it ”the best film released by an American studio so far this year.”
In 2006, Davis completed the Disney/Touchstone feature film, The Guardian, which honors the true heroes of the
ocean- the Rescue Swimmers of the U.S. Coast Guard. Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher portray heroic swimmers committed to the personal and physical sacrifices necessary to save the lives of those stranded helplessly in the sea. In an unforgettable
instance of life imitating art, the film’s New Orleans production was halted due to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. The staff of
U.S. Coast Guard, advisors to the production, left to help rescue 35,000 people in its wake.
Presently, Davis is developing several projects through his Santa Barbara based production company, Chicago Pacific
Entertainment, including: a political eco-thriller based on a technology called Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, or OTEC
(one of the most viable, renewable energy resources in the world); Our Future Matters, a multi-part documentary series
outlining possibilities for America’s energy future (a collaboration with leading figures in renewable energy technology and
environmental sciences); Tom Quixote, adapted from the screenplay by famed writer Waldo Salt, a brilliantly spirited family
film inspired by the famous novels Don Quixote and Tom Jones; and a modern retelling of Treasure Island set in forgotten shadows of post Katrina Louisiana, a thrilling family adventure about the temptations of the
long lost fortune of one of America’s most infamous rascal heroes, the pirate Jean Lafitte.
The re-release of Stony Island will be available on April 24th.