George Miller (director)

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Not to be confused with George T. Miller.
George Miller
George Miller - Happy Feet 2.jpg
Miller at a Happy Feet Two event in 2011.
Born (1945-03-03) 3 March 1945 (age 69)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Nationality Greek/Australian
Other names Dr. George Miller
Education Sydney Boys High School
Alma mater University of New South Wales
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter and physician
Years active 1970–present

George Miller AO (born 3 March 1945) is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer, and former medical doctor. He is best known for his Mad Max franchise, but has been involved in a wide range of projects. These include the Academy Award-winning Babe and Happy Feet film series.

Miller is co-founder of the production houses Kennedy Miller Mitchell, formerly known as Kennedy Miller, and Dr. D Studios. His younger brother Bill Miller and Doug Mitchell have been producers on almost all the films in Miller's later career, since the death of his original producing partner Byron Kennedy.

In 2006 Miller won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Happy Feet. He has been nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Original Screenplay in 1992 for Lorenzo's Oil, and Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay in 1995 for Babe.

Early life[edit]

Miller was born in Brisbane, Queensland, to Greek immigrant parents: Dimitri (Jim) Castrisios Miller and Angela Balson. Dimitri Miller was from the Greek island of Kythira and he anglicised his surname from Miliotis to Miller when he emigrated to Australia; the Balson family were Greek refugees from Anatolia.[1] The couple married and settled in Chinchilla and had four sons. The first two were the non-identical twins George and John. Chris and Bill Miller followed.

George attended Ipswich Grammar School and later Sydney Boys High School,[2] then studied medicine at the University of New South Wales with his twin brother John. While in his final year at medical school (1971), George and his younger brother Chris made a one-minute short film that won them first prize in a student competition.[3] In 1971, George attended a Film Workshop at Melbourne University where he met fellow student, Byron Kennedy, with whom he formed a lasting friendship and production partnership, until Kennedy's death in a helicopter crash in 1983. In 1972, Miller completed his residency at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, spending his time-off crewing on short experimental films. The pair subsequently collaborated on numerous works.

Career[edit]

Miller's background in medicine is reflected in the main character in his Mad Max movies, Max Rockatansky. This is a reference to Baron Carl von Rokitansky, who developed the most common procedure used to remove the internal organs at autopsy, still called the "Rokitansky procedure".[4]

Miller wrote and directed the Mad Max movies starring Mel Gibson (Mad Max, Mad Max 2 (subtitled in the United States as The Road Warrior), and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome); co-wrote Babe and wrote and directed its sequel; and co-wrote (with Nick Enright) and directed Lorenzo's Oil. He also directed The Witches of Eastwick, starring Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon, Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Miller co-produced and co-directed many acclaimed miniseries for Australian television including The Dismissal (1983) and The Cowra Breakout (1984).

Miller's role as producer of Flirting, Dead Calm and the TV mini-series Bangkok Hilton and Vietnam, all starring Nicole Kidman, was instrumental in the early development of her career.

Miller was also the creator of Happy Feet, a musical epic about the life of penguins in Antarctica.[5] The Warner Bros. produced film was released in November 2006. As well as being a runaway box office success, Happy Feet has also brought Miller his third Academy Award nomination, and his first win in the category of Best Animated Feature. In 2011 the Happy Feet sequel Happy Feet Two was released.

Miller is the Patron of the Australian Film Institute and the BIFF (Brisbane International Film Festival) and a co-patron of the Sydney Film Festival.

Millers next project will be the fourth Mad Max film, currently titled Mad Max: Fury Road.

Kennedy Miller Mitchell[edit]

Kennedy Miller Mitchell is an Australian film production company founded in 1973 by George Miller and producer Byron Kennedy, as Kennedy Miller. Kennedy died in 1983. Miller kept his name in the company. In 2009, George Miller and Doug Mitchell renamed the company Kennedy Miller Mitchell.

Dr. D Studios[edit]

Dr. D Studios was a Sydney-based digital animation studio founded in mid-2007 as a partnership between Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Omnilab Media.[7] Following the financially unsuccessful release of its only film in 2011, Happy Feet Two, the studio closed down in 2013.[7]

Further reading[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Credit
1979 Mad Max Director, writer
1980 The Chain Reaction Director (car chase sequences), associate producer
1981 Mad Max 2 Director, writer, additional editor
1983 Twilight Zone: The Movie Segment Nightmare at 20,000 Feet director
1983 The Dismissal (TV) Director, writer, producer
1985 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Director, writer, producer
1987 The Witches of Eastwick Director
1987 The Year My Voice Broke Producer
1989 Dead Calm Producer, 2nd unit director
1991 Flirting Producer
1992 Lorenzo's Oil Director, writer, producer
1995 Babe Writer, producer
1997 40,000 Years of Dreaming Director, writer, presenter
1998 Babe: Pig in the City Director, writer, producer
2006 Happy Feet Director, writer, producer
2011 Happy Feet Two Director, producer, writer
2015 Mad Max: Fury Road Director, producer, writer

Awards and recognition[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]