Introduction to AFI's Master Class - The Art of Collaboration: Robert Zemeckis and Don Burgess
Oscar®-winning director Robert Zemeckis and Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Don Burgess began working together more than two decades ago and, since then, their collaborations have been nothing short of remarkable. Together they have created such acclaimed films as Forrest Gump (1994), the Academy Award®-winning story of a simple man's life through decades of U.S. history; the Oscar®-nominated sci-fi thriller Contact (1997), adapted from Carl Sagan's book about an astronomer's discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence; the Oscar®-nominated Cast Away (2000), a tale of a man's journey home after being stranded on a deserted island; and their latest film, Flight (2012), an action-packed mystery thriller about a seasoned airline pilot's struggles after his miraculous crash landing.
In the new AFI special, the two men discuss their many collaborations and how the art of visual storytelling plays into each film. They also discuss films that have inspired them, including Carnal Knowledge (1971), The French Connection (1971), The Godfather (1972) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). AFI's Master Class is packed with clips from these films, as well as memorable scenes from the artists' own movies.
TCM will follow this latest edition of AFI's Master Class with a TCM premiere presentation of the Zemeckis and Burgess film, What Lies Beneath (2000), starring Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer and Katharine Towne, at 9 p.m. (ET) and an encore of the special at 11:30 p.m. (ET).
Master classes are a core part of the curriculum at the AFI Conservatory, which offers a Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines and is consistently recognized as one of the world's top film schools. With an audience comprised solely of AFI Fellows, two artists discuss films that inspired them and present clips from classic films. They also present and discuss their own collaborative work to illustrate different aspects of filmmaking. Each program concludes with a Q&A session with AFI Fellows.