Document 56673

 Screenings: Running Time: Monday, March 11 @ 7:00 p.m., Paramount Wednesday, March 13 @ 7:00 p.m., SXSatellite Alamo Slaughter Friday, March 15 @ 11:00 a.m., Rollins Theatre at the Long Center 90 minutes Press Contact: Cara White, CaraMar, Inc., 843-­‐881-­‐1480, [email protected] Synopsis Hawking is the extraordinary story of the planet’s most famous living scientist, told for the first time in his own words and by those closest to him. Made with unique access to Hawking’s private life, this is an intimate and moving journey into Stephen's world, both past and present. An inspirational portrait of an iconic figure, Hawking relates his incredible personal journey from boyhood underachiever, to Ph.D. genius, to being diagnosed with ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and given just two years to live. Despite the constant threat of death, Hawking makes amazing scientific discoveries and rises to fame and superstardom. Hawking — a remarkable man, a remarkable movie. VERTIGO FILMS present A DARLOW SMITHSON Production, In co-­‐production with PBS/CHANNEL 4 "HAWKING" Director of Photography PAUL F JENKINS Film Editor TIM LOVELL Original Music NICK POWELL, ALEX LEE Executive Producers BEN BOWIE, DAVID GLOVER, BETH HOPPE Written by STEPHEN HAWKING, STEPHEN FINNIGAN, BEN BOWIE, Directed, Filmed & Produced by STEPHEN FINNIGAN Credits Directed, Filmed & Produced by Stephen Finnigan Writers Stephen Hawking Stephen Finnigan Ben Bowie Executive Producers Ben Bowie David Glover Beth Hoppe Film Editor Tim Lovell Director of Photography Paul F Jenkins Original Music Nick Powell Alex Lee Interviewees, in order of appearance Niki Pidgeon is one of Stephen’s longest serving caregivers. Mary Hawking is the eldest of Stephen’s two younger sisters, born 18 months after him. Sarah Hardenberg is a very close cousin to Stephen and lived with his family when they were growing up in Highgate. John McClenahan went to St. Albans School with Stephen and was one of his childhood best friends. Gordon Berry studied for a Bachelor of Science, specializing in Physics at University College Oxford with Stephen. He was also part of the Oxford University rowing team. Paul Shellard is the Director of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He was Stephen’s Ph.D. student from1983 to 1986 studying quantum effects in the early universe. Jonathon Wood is Stephen’s latest graduate assistant, joining the team in early 2012. Pete Denman is an interactions designer for Intel Labs. Intel sponsors the computer system that provides Stephen’s speech; they are currently testing new technologies to help increase his rate of communication. Kitty Ferguson is Stephen’s official biographer and friend. Alexander Kaus is a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics Relativity and Gravitation research group, which Stephen currently supervises. Bernard Carr studied his Ph.D. under Stephen’s supervision from 1972 to 1975 and was one of his first students to undertake the responsibilities as Stephen’s assistant. Jane Hawking was Stephen’s first wife. They met in 1963 when Stephen was first diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Scleroses. Their romance blossomed during Stephen’s Ph.D. and upon its completion they were married. They had three children together — Robert, Lucy and Tim. They separated in 1990. Roger Penrose is a world-­‐renowned mathematical physicist specializing in general relativity and cosmology and is one of Stephen’s oldest collaborators, working with him during his Ph.D. on singularity theorems. Kip Thorne is one of Stephen’s oldest friends and colleagues. Thorne invited Stephen to the California Institute of Technology in 1974, where he penned his influential paper on radiating black holes. Don Page studied his Ph.D. in black holes under the supervision of Kip Thorne and Stephen Hawking at the California Institute of Technology in the mid-­‐1970s. Page took over from Bernard Carr in 1974 as Stephen’s research assistant. Judy Fella was Stephen’s first secretary. She joined his office in 1973 due to a special grant from the Royal Society, which recognized Stephen’s requirement for extra help. Fella held this position for 14 years. Al Zuckerman was Stephen’s literary agent while he was writing his world famous book A Brief History of Time. Peter Guzzardi was assigned by Bantam Books to oversee the writing of Stephen’s book A Brief History of Time. Brian Whitt started his Ph.D. in the 1980s under Stephen’s supervision. When Hawking became seriously ill and lost his ability to speak, Brian was integral in helping him adopt the new computer communication system provided by Walt Woltosz and assisted him with completing A Brief History of Time. Walt Woltosz founded Words+, Inc. in 1981 after his wife’s mother was diagnosed with ALS. The company developed software that enables communication for people who have lost the ability to speak. This is the same system that Stephen uses to this day. Buzz Aldrin was an Apollo 11 astronaut and one of the first people to set foot on the moon. He and Stephen collaborate to advance humanity’s future in space. Richard Branson is the Founder and Chairman of The Virgin Group. One of Branson’s most ambitious enterprises is that Virgin Galactic aims to take tourists into space. Richard has offered Stephen a ticket on the first commercial flight. Judith Croasdell has been Stephen’s personal assistant since 2004, playing a vital role managing his agenda and business affairs. Judith is the first point of contact and receives and responds to hundreds of enquiries from around the world including press and media matters. Jim Carrey wrote and performed a comedy skit with Hawking in his appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2003. This collaboration led to a lasting friendship. Benedict Cumberbatch played Stephen Hawking in the 2005 BBC dramatization of his life during his Ph.D. at Cambridge. About the Filmmaker Stephen Finnigan (Writer, Director, Producer) BAFTA nominated Stephen Finnigan has been making award-­‐winning films for the past 18 years. Recognized for powerful storytelling and a passion for letting his subjects voices be heard, his film credits include Supergrass, Who Stole The World Cup?, The Girls Who Were Found Alive, State Of Terror and Brighton Bomb. An Interview With Stephen Finnigan Q: Tell us a little about your film. HAWKING is the intimate story of the life and work of Stephen Hawking. The film is told in Stephen's own words and by those who are closest to him. What makes the film different is that we look at the 'man' as well as his 'science.’ We tell the inside story of how he became who is today and how he has battled for survival over his illness. I was privileged to be given unique access to film his daily life and it was great to get to know and understand what kind of a man he is. Stephen is a very, very funny man -­‐ with a great sense of humor. Q: Why did you start making films? Great documentaries and dramas should make you think about the world in a different way. Oh. . . and perhaps more importantly, my mum used to take me to cinema all the time. . . with a packed lunch. . . cheese and HP sauce sandwiches. Priceless. Q: Have you been to SXSW before? This is my first time at SXSW -­‐so I'm looking forward to experiencing the 'buzz' that people say the festival cultivates. Apart from the great films I also want to check the music — I love watching live bands. Q: Tell us a random fact (or two!) that would give us a better idea of who you are. Although we share the same name, unlike Stephen Hawking, physics and math were my worst subjects at school. Stephen Hawking Biography First child of Frank and Isobel Hawking, Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo. Due to the turmoil of World War II, his mother was sent to Oxford to give birth to her son, rather than remaining in Highgate in London, which was considered unsafe. The family continued to live in Highgate until 1950, and grew to include two younger sisters, Mary, born in 1943, and Philippa, born in 1946. In 1950 Frank Hawking began working at The Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, and the family moved to St. Albans, where they were regarded as eccentric. There Stephen attended St. Albans High School for Girls. His father had wanted him to attend Westminster, but Stephen was ill at the time of the scholarship examinations and the family could not afford the tuition without financial aid. Despite feeling that he was average in a school of intelligent children, Stephen’s peers gave him the nickname Einstein, and though he was scoring among the lowest in the class, his teachers began to see signs of great intellect. At the age of 17, Stephen went to Oxford University, as his father had always wished. Though he and his father had a difference of opinion as to what he should study, they came to a decision and agreed on Natural Sciences, specializing more specifically in Physics. Stephen gained new interests and hobbies during his time at Oxford, including becoming the coxswain on the University rowing team, which in turn introduced him to one of his ‘favorite pastimes’ – partying. During these years Hawking estimates that he worked on average an hour a day. Although he started to notice health problems during his last year at Oxford, he graduated with first class honors in 1962. A year later he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Scleroses (ALS) also known as Motor Neurone Disease (UK) or Lou Gehrig’s disease (USA). By this point, Stephen had started studying for his doctorate at Cambridge University. The doctors predicted that he would not live long enough to complete his studies; however, he met a girl he wanted to marry, and realized that in order to lead the life he wanted to lead with her, he had to finish his Ph.D. and get a job. At first, Stephen struggled to decide on a subject for doctoral study, but groundbreaking findings from a fellow cosmologist, Roger Penrose, spurred on Stephen’s fascination with how the universe began. Despite his developing disease, Stephen’s breakthroughs during this time led to new pathways for discovery in the world of cosmology. After marrying Jane Wilde in June 1965, Stephen completed his Ph.D. in 1966 and was awarded a fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Stephen was gradually losing physical control over his body and by the end of the 1960s was forced to use a wheelchair. By this time, he and Jane had become parents to their first son, Robert, born in 1967. Hawking continued his work, and in 1974 provided a theoretical argument contrary to all previous theories on black holes, stating that they must emit radiation, meaning that a black hole would shrink and eventually vanish. This huge discovery was later accepted and given the name Hawking Radiation. Following the discovery of Hawking Radiation, Stephen was inducted into the Royal Society, the first of many scientific awards. Later that same year he was made a distinguished scholar at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the family relocated to Pasadena for the next year. During his time at Caltech, Stephen’s physical control of his body deteriorated and by the end of the year he lost control of his hands. Paradoxically these physical obstacles seemed to strengthen his mental development, making him even more advanced than his colleagues. In 1979, Stephen was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge but, as his career progressed, his body continued to deteriorate. In 1985 he contracted pneumonia, which resulted in a tracheotomy and the loss of his voice for good. Eventually Stephen received “Equalizer,” a computer program that allowed him to speak and which he still uses today. In 1988 Hawking’s A Brief History of Time was published, which explains how the universe began. The book made it to number one on The Sunday Times bestseller list and remained there for 237 weeks (a Guinness Book of Records holder). This new fame and fortune, along with other pressures, eventually led to Jane and Stephen’s separation and divorce. In 1995, Stephen married Elaine Mason, a nurse of his at the time, but after strains on their relationship, that marriage ended in 2006. Stephen’s career continued to excel. He received many more awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and most recently the Russian Fundamental Physics Prize in 2012. He also published many more highly regarded books and papers, including (among many), Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (1993) and George’s Secret Key to the Universe (2007), a children’s science book, which he co-­‐wrote with his daughter Lucy. His most recent publication is The Grand Design (2010), which argues against Sir Isaac Newton’s belief that the Universe had to have been created by a God. Hawking has also been a guest star on various television programs including The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory and Star Trek: The Next Generation, of which he himself is a huge fan. Having recently been the star speaker at the opening of the Paralympic Games in the summer of 2012, Hawking continues to be considered one of the most famous and influential theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein. In addition to his son Robert, Hawking has two other children, Lucy, born in 1969, and Timothy, born in 1979. Darlow Smithson Productions Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) is an award-­‐winning production company whose film and television projects include The Thriller in Manila (2010 George Foster Peabody Award) and Touching the Void (2004 BAFTA, Alexandra Korda Award for Best Film). DSP has an unsurpassed reputation for producing high quality film and television content for UK, US and international distribution, and has achieved worldwide industry recognition for its groundbreaking output. DSP is the proud recipient of more than 40 awards, including recognition from prestigious organizations such as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), The Royal Television Society and the US Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. From its base in London, DSP works across a wide range of non-­‐fiction content – from prestigious single feature-­‐length documentaries to flagship series, from long-­‐running popular formats to high-­‐quality factually-­‐based drama. DSP also specializes in the use of advanced computer graphics and quality dramatic re-­‐enactment and is an acknowledged leader in theatrical documentary.