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Kurtzman, Nicotero and Berger

EFX Group

The Kurtzman, Nicotero and Berger EFX Group (KNB) was formed in 1988 by ROBERT KURTZMAN, HOWARD BERGER and GREG NICOTERO. In the last 10 years their talents have been highlighted in such films as Dances With Wolves, Misery, Scream, City Slickers and Pulp Fiction. Collectively, they had worked on a numerous variety of projects ranging from Aliens and Predator to Monkey Shines and Evil Dead II. It was on Evil Dead II that the three technicians decided to form their own company.

Robert Kurtzman, with his strong design sense and technical knowledge was born in Ohio and moved to Los Angeles in 1984. Currently Robert is in negotiations to direct his third feature. His second feature, The Wishmaster, for Live Entertainment was released in Halloween 1997. His first film, The Demolitionist, was a futuristic action film featuring Nicole Eggert and Richard Grieco.

Greg Nicotero began his career under the tutelage of director George Romero and effects master Tom Savini in Pittsburgh and quickly relocated to Hollywood. His skills as a coordinator helped him adapt easily to the needs of the film industry.

Howard Berger grew up in Los Angeles and spent his younger years visiting the studios of Stan Winston and Rick Baker, effects innovators with whom he would later work. His years of hard work and love of sculpting and painting have moved KNB to the forefront of make-up effects companies.

Since the company’s inception, they have excelled in a wide variety of effects. Prosthetics and character make-ups can be seen in everything from Wes Craven’s megahit Scream, to Reservoir Dogs and From Dusk Til Dawn with Quenton Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Their work can be seen in X-Files: Blackwood as well as Steven Speilberg’s Amistad, the highly recognized Boogie Nights, John Carpenter’s Vampires, A Simple Plan starring Bill Paxton and Peter Berg’s thriller Very Bad Things to name a few.

KNB has also met the demand for animal duplicates and animatronic "critters." Kevin Costner gave them their first real challenge, to create the slain buffaloes for Dances With Wolves. Subsequently, they have provided hydraulic alligators for Eraser and mechanical tarantulas for Tim Allen’s feature Jungle 2 Jungle. Their work can also be seen in The Jungle Book, Hard Target and Alaska. They also created 8 animatronic Gorilla suits for a Fox television special, Simian.

While simultaneously providing a few choice aliens for the blockbuster Men In Black under the tutelage of effects master Rick Baker, as well as a myriad of effects for Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks, KNB was given their greatest challenge yet, to create a character for Todd McFarlane’s best selling comic book Spawn. Not only did they create the prosthetic make-up for John Leguizamo’s Clown character and Spawn himself, but KNB built a 12 foot tall hydraulic puppet of the Violator, Spawn’s demonic arch nemesis. Combined with digital effects from ILM, the creature proves to be as realistic and frightening as the T-rex from Jurassic Park.

There is always the need for the occasional monster, and KNB has provided creatures, monsters and ghouls for films such as John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, Army of Darkness, Phantoms and Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions. KNB also worked on The Faculty, written by Kevin Williams and directed by Robert Rodriguez. KNB was responsible for designing and creating various incarnations of an alien threat on the fictional Herrington High School and it’s students.

Although most of their work is in features, KNB has entered into the television market, lending their talents not only to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, but Showtime’s The Outer Limits as well as the popular Fox shows The X-Files and Picket Fences.

KNB has recently continued their foray into motion picture production with their involvement with Russell Mulcahey’s Talos the Mummy. KNB not only supervised all make-up and digital effects, but co-produced the film as well.

They recently finished working on Stephen King’s acclaimed novel The Green Mile, starring Tom Hanks under the direction of Academy Award nominee Frank Darabont.
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