skip navigation
Carroll Ballard

Carroll Ballard

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Black Stallion DVD When a shipwreck leaves Alec--a courageous young boy--and "The Black"--a wild... more info $7.99was $9.98 Buy Now

Wind DVD A thrilling adventure on the high-seas, "Wind" tells the story of two seasoned... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

4 Film Favorites: Family Adventures... Tales of friendship, family, and fun are showcased in the 2-disc set "4 Film... more info $19.94was $19.94 Buy Now

Duma (Fullscreen) DVD Best friends can come from anywhere, even a cheetah cub. Alexander Michaletos... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Never Cry Wolf DVD In this visual 1983 epic, Charles Martin Smith as biologist Tyler is sent on a... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now



Also Known As: Carroll James Ballard Died:
Born: October 14, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: director, camera operator, producer, Army cameraman, car designer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Meticulous American director of several lush, visually striking films since the late 1970s who made a memorable feature debut with "The Black Stallion" (1979), an exquisitely crafted tale of the far-flung adventures of a boy and a horse. Executive produced by Ballard's UCLA film school chum Francis Ford Coppola, the film was hailed both for its extraordinary attention to visual and behavioristic detail and as a beautifully realized adaptation of Walter Farley's classic 1941 children's novel. Four years passed until Ballard's next film, "Never Cry Wolf" (1983), an unusual and haunting nature tale featuring Charles Martin Smith, in a rare starring role, as a biologist investigating whether wolves are responsible for the gradual disappearance of the caribou herds. Two years of demanding production in the wilds of the Yukon and Alaska paid off to create a poetic work that easily transcended the standard qualities of a Disney nature picture (which it was, after all). Ballard's subsequent output has been disappointingly sparse. Six years elapsed before "Nutcracker: The Motion Picture" (1986), an ambitious film version of the Christmas 1983 Seattle production staged by Maurice Sendak and Kent Stowell....

Meticulous American director of several lush, visually striking films since the late 1970s who made a memorable feature debut with "The Black Stallion" (1979), an exquisitely crafted tale of the far-flung adventures of a boy and a horse. Executive produced by Ballard's UCLA film school chum Francis Ford Coppola, the film was hailed both for its extraordinary attention to visual and behavioristic detail and as a beautifully realized adaptation of Walter Farley's classic 1941 children's novel. Four years passed until Ballard's next film, "Never Cry Wolf" (1983), an unusual and haunting nature tale featuring Charles Martin Smith, in a rare starring role, as a biologist investigating whether wolves are responsible for the gradual disappearance of the caribou herds. Two years of demanding production in the wilds of the Yukon and Alaska paid off to create a poetic work that easily transcended the standard qualities of a Disney nature picture (which it was, after all).

Ballard's subsequent output has been disappointingly sparse. Six years elapsed before "Nutcracker: The Motion Picture" (1986), an ambitious film version of the Christmas 1983 Seattle production staged by Maurice Sendak and Kent Stowell. Ballard utilized Sendak's dreamy sets to bring out some of the psychosexual underpinnings of the ballet. Less successful was the sometimes frantic editing which some reviewers found too reminiscent of music videos. "Wind" (1992) was a ho-hum yacht racing yarn that boasted outstanding cinematography by John Toll. Ballard's affinity for the beauties and rigors of nature and weather were undiminished but the material and characters were unworthy.

Doubtlessly making "Wind" called upon elements of the filmmaker's childhood spent at Lake Tahoe where his father was a boat builder. Ballard himself spent a year after high school building a catamaran. He next enlisted in the Army where he served as a cameraman while stationed in the American South. During that period, Ballard saw three films that revolutionized his notions about film: Teinosuke Kinugasa's "Gate of Hell" (1953-Japan), Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" (1957-US), and Carl Dreyer's "Ordet" (1955-Denmark). Inspired, he enrolled in the UCLA film school in the early 1960s. There Ballard began making acclaimed short narratives and documentaries that usually starred animals. He was nominated for a Oscar as the producer of the documentary, "Harvest" (1967).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Duma (2005) Director
2.
  Fly Away Home (1996) Director
3.
  Wind (1992) Director
5.
  Never Cry Wolf (1983) Director
6.
  The Black Stallion (1979) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Spent childhood at Lake Tahoe where his father was a boat builder
1952:
Moved to Marin County, California at age 15 (date approximate)
:
Designed cars for a while after high school
:
Spent a year building a catamaran
:
Enlisted in US Army; worked as a film cameraman while stationed in the South
:
Saw three films that revolutionized his notions about film: Teinosuke Kinugasa's "Gate of Hell" (1953-Japan), Stanley Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" (1957-US), and Carl Dreyer's "Ordet" (1955-Denmark)
:
Enrolled in UCLA's film school in the early 1960s; same class as Francis Ford Coppola
:
Made numerous short narratives and documentaries, often using animals as his "stars"
1967:
Produced a documentary entitled "Harvest" for the US Information Agency; nominated for an Academy Award
:
Directed "Rodeo", a portrait of champion bull rider Larry Mahan
1977:
Worked as second unit camera operator on "Star Wars"
1979:
Feature film directing debut, "The Black Stallion", produced by Coppola
1983:
Directed "Never Cry Wolf" starring Charles Martin Smith as a government researcher, sent to research the "menace" of wolves in the north
1986:
Directed the feature production of "Nutcracker: The Motion Picture"
1992:
Directed Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey in "Wind"
1996:
Directed "Fly Away Home" starring Anna Paquin as a young girl who attempts to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air
2005:
Directed "Duna" a film about an orphaned cheetah that becomes the best friend and pet of a young boy living in South Africa
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California at Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

"Much of his (Ballard's) justly praised short pix, such as "Pigs", "The Perils of Priscilla", shot from a cat's p.o.v., and "Rodeo", have dealt with animals, and his sensitivity to the beautiful steed's grace of movement, nervous reactions to humans and even breathing rhythms is just one of the factors that lifts the picture far above standard works in this genre."

"Ballard's camera eye and powers of sequence conceptualization are manifestly extraordianary."

--From review of "The Black Stallion" in "Variety", October 17, 1979.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute