Roland Emmerich

Roland Emmerich

Darsteller, Regie, Drehbuch, Kamera, Bauten, Schnitt, Sonstiges, Produzent, Aufnahmeleitung
*10.11.1955 Stuttgart

Biography

Roland Emmerich, born on November, 10, 1955 in Stuttgart, had already been artistically minded while still attending school: he illustrated books and exhibited his own paintings. In 1977 he took up his studies at the University of Television and Film in Munich. Initially focussing on production design, he soon changed to directing. He was the production designer of Doris Dörrie's graduation film "Der erste Walzer" ("Max & Sandy", 1978). His mid-length film "Franzman" (1979), which was intended as a filming exercise during his studies and which he shot on a shoestring budget with some old friends from school theatre days, was taken up into the program of the Hofer Filmtage. Emmerich's graduation film, the science fiction thriller "Das Arche Noah Prinzip" ("The Noah's Ark Principle", 1984) was the most expensive movie in the history of the University of Television and Film in Munich. In order to accomplish this film, he founded the production company Centropolis, which until this very day (co)produces all his movies. The visually spectacular film was invited to the Berlinale competition. Although it was criticized because of the dramaturgical gaps of its story, people nevertheless paid Emmerich due respect for widely ignoring the funding committees, from which he in the course of his further career became increasingly independent.

In the wake of  the two science fiction movies "Joey" ("Making Contact", 1984/85) and "Moon 44" (1988/89) some critics regarded Emmerich as the "German Steven Spielberg" and he followed the call to Hollywood where he directed the successful action movie "Universal Soldier" (1992), starring Jean-Claude van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. His ultimate breakthrough came two years later with the sci-fi fantasy adventure "Stargate" (1994). Emmerich's following movie about an alien invasion, "Independence Day" (1996), became an international box office hit, and firmly established Emmerich  in Hollywood as an expert for effects-laden blockbusters  – an image to which he remained true with his following films: the monster movie "Godzilla" (1998), the opulent period movie "The Patriot" (2000) starring Mel Gibson, the generally well-received disaster movie "The Day After Tomorrow" (2004), the stone-age epic "10,000 B.C." (2008) and  "2012" (2009), another highly successful doomsday spectacle.

At the same time Emmerich's appearance in Christoph Schlingensief's "Die 120 Tage von Bottrop" ("The 120 Days of Bottrop", 1997) shows that he is well capable of self irony. In 2005, he became president of the Jury of the Berlin International Film Festival. For the production of a socio-critical drama about human-trafficking, "Trade", Emmerich received the "Cinema for Peace Award" at the 2007 Hessian Film Award. In 2011 he returned to Europe for a new project, which again proved his versatility: the period drama "Anonymous" revolves around the question of the true authorship of the most famous works of William Shakespeare. The film went on to win six German Film Awards, including Best Camera (Anna Foerster), Best Editing (Peter R. Adam) and Best Costume Design (Lisy Christl). Christl's costume design was also honored with a nomination for an Academy Award.

For US television Emmerich made "Dark Horse" (2012), a crossover of fantasy drama and political thriller, then he shot the Hollywood production "White House Down" (2013) in which a cop and the president of the United States (Jamie Foxx) defend the Capitol against a terrorist attack. In Germany, Emmerich served as executive producer for Marco Kreuzpaintner's comedy "Coming In" (2014) and Oswald von Richthofen's "35 Cows and a Kalashnikov" (2014), a documentary on African masculinity rituals ranging from dandyism to voodoo wrestling.

A story much different from his typical action hits was in the center of Emmerich's next work as a helmer: "Stonewall" (2015) describes the self-discovery of a young man on the backdrop of the New York Stonewall riots from 1969, during which police clashed with homosexual protestors who fought against persecution and arrests. In interviews, Emmerich – who is openly gay – has pointed out that the film has been a matter close to his heart. "Stonewall" opened in German movie theaters in November 2015.


Filmography

2014/2015 Stonewall
Director, Producer
 
2014 35 Cows and a Kalashnikov
Executive producer
 
2013/2014 Coming In
Executive producer
 
2012/2013 White House Down
Director, Producer
 
2012 Der Bernd
Participation
 
2010/2011 Anonymus
Director, Producer
 
2010/2011 Hell
Executive producer
 
2008/2009 2012
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2006-2008 10,000 B.C.
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2005-2007 Trade - Willkommen in Amerika
Producer
 
2004 The Day After Tomorrow
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2002 Arac Attack - Angriff der achtbeinigen Monster
Executive producer
 
2000 Der Patriot
Director, Executive producer
 
1998/1999 The 13th Floor - Bist du was du denkst?
Producer
 
1998 Godzilla
Director, Screenplay, Executive producer
 
1996/1997 Die 120 Tage von Bottrop
Cast
 
1996 Independence Day
Director, Screenplay, Executive producer
 
1996 Hollywood, Germany - Die amerikanische Herausforderung
Participation
 
1994/1995 Stargate
Director, Screenplay
 
1993/1994 High Crusade - Frikassee im Weltraum
Producer, Executive producer
 
1992 Universal Soldier
Director
 
1990/1991 Eye of the Storm
Executive producer
 
1988-1990 Moon 44
Director, Screenplay, Story, Producer
 
1986/1987 Hollywood Monster
Director, Screenplay, Co-Producer
 
1984/1985 Joey
Director, Screenplay, Story, 2nd Camera unit, Special effects, Co-Producer
 
1982-1984 Das Arche Noah Prinzip
Director, Screenplay, Set design, Animation, Co-Producer
 
1981 ASA 400
Director, Screenplay
 
1980 Verlieben vielleicht
Cast
 
1980 Alto Sax
Cast, Screenplay
 
1979/1980 Franzmann
Director, Screenplay, Editing
 
1979 Liebe & Laster
Location manager
 
1979 Smash - Gefahr aus der Unendlichkeit
Set design
 
1979 Keep on
Director
 
1979 Lotte
Set design
 
1979 Wilde Witwe
Director, Set design
 
1978 Der erste Walzer
Set design
 
1978 Bei Anna
Director