George Miller (filmmaker)
Miller at a Happy Feet Two event in 2011.
3 March 1945
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|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|
George Miller AO (born George Miliotis, 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.
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. 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, 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. 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.
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".
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 was also the creator of Happy Feet, a musical epic about the life of penguins in Antarctica. 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.
|“||...ask Dr. George Miller today and he'll say that all of his movies are one and the same, whether they focus on human society or the animal kingdom, and whether they unfold against the sands of the Australian outback, the suburbs of Washington, D.C., or the ice shelves of the Antarctic. "I honestly see no difference between the essential elemental story of, let's say, The Road Warrior, Lorenzo's Oil and Babe," Miller told me earlier this month during a visit to L.A. to promote his latest film, the animated musical Happy Feet.||”|
Kennedy Miller Mitchell
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
Dr. D Studios was a Sydney-based digital animation studio founded in mid-2007 as a partnership between Kennedy Miller Mitchell and Omnilab Media. Following the financially unsuccessful release of its only film in 2011, Happy Feet Two, the studio closed down in 2013.
|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|
|1992||Lorenzo's Oil||Director, 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
- 1982: Won Australian Film Institute Award for Mad Max 2, Best Director and Best Film Editing (shared with others)
- 1987: Won Australian Film Institute Award for The Year My Voice Broke, Best Picture (as producer), shared with Doug Mitchell and Terry Hayes
- 1990: Won Australian Film Institute Award for Flirting, Best Picture (as producer), shared with Doug Mitchell and Terry Hayes
- 1993: Academy Award nomination for Lorenzo's Oil, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, shared with co-writer Nick Enright
- 1996: Two Academy Award nominations for Babe, Best Picture (as producer) and Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published, shared with co-writer Chris Noonan
- 1996: Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)
- 1999: Received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of New South Wales
- 2007: Won Academy Award for Happy Feet, Best Animated Feature
- 2007: Won BAFTA Award for Happy Feet, Best Animated Feature
- 2007: Received The Queensland – United States Personal Achievement Award at the Queensland Expatriate Awards at the Rainbow Room in New York
- 2007: Received the FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
- 2007 (April): Awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree by the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
- 2007: Received the AFI Global Achievement Award
- 2008: Awarded an honorary Doctorate from the Griffith University.
- 2009: Awarded the French Order of the Arts and Letters.
- 2010: First non-US Filmmaker to be awarded "honorary member" status among the VES.
- "for the world-wide Kytherian community: George Miller". Kythera-Family.net. 22 May 2004. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
- UNSWorld (2007) p. 15
- "The penguin suite". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 December 2006.
- Foundas, Scott (23 November 2006). "International Man of Myths". LA Weekly.
- Quinn, Karl (May 31, 2013). "Happy feet no longer tapping as animation studio sells up Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/happy-feet-no-longer-tapping-as-animation-studio-sells-up-20130530-2ney2.html". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
- It's an Honour
- Gadd, Michael (17 April 2007). "George Miller gets Masters". AAP.
- "2007 Winners". http://www.afi.org.au/ Australian Film Insititute. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
- Braithwaite, Alyssa. "Director George Miller to be awarded Ordre des Arts et des Lettres at Sydney's French Film Festival". Telegraph.
- "Miller receives VES award – Inside Film: Film and Television Industry News and Issues for Australian Content Creators". If.com.au. Retrieved 30 June 2011.