John Bard Manulis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Bard Manulis
Born John Bard Manulis
(1956-09-08) September 8, 1956 (age 60)
Los Angeles
Residence Los Angeles
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Producer, director, social/political activist, entrepreneur
Organization Writer's Guild of America East
Producer's Guild of America
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Board member of The Liberty Hill Foundation
The Getty House Foundation
Spouse(s) Liz Heller
Website Official website

John Bard Manulis (born September 8, 1956) is an American film, television and theater producer, director, entrepreneur and activist.[1] Working with actors including Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Christian Bale, Manulis has produced or executive produced more than 20 films, television programs, and theater productions, including Charlotte Sometimes, The Basketball Diaries, Swing Kids, Arctic Tale, Foxfire, HBO's Blindside, and The Umbilical Brothers: THWAK.

Manulis has been noted for creating a body of work over the course of his career that integrates social and political themes within popular entertainment, including these: drug addiction (The Basketball Diaries); repression and rebellion (Swing Kids); AIDS, individual freedom, and bi-racial relationships (Daybreak); the Vietnam conflict (Intimate Strangers); positive Latino role models (Tortilla Soup); female empowerment (Foxfire, V.I. Warshawski); poverty (American Idol Gives Back) and climate change/environmental consciousness (Arctic Tale).

Early life and education[edit]

Manulis was born in Los Angeles to actress Katherine Bard Manulis[2] and Martin Manulis; his father is a film, television, and theater producer best known as the creator of the television program, Playhouse 90.[3] He attended Harvard College[4] after his preparatory school education at Harvard School, in North Hollywood, California.[5]

Manulis graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature and Language. He was president of the Harvard Dramatic Club, and directed numerous productions, including the musical Two Gentleman of Verona, by John Guare and Galt McDermot, which he independently produced and presented outdoors in Harvard Yard,[6] and a multimedia adaptation of U.S.A. by John Dos Passos on the Loeb Mainstage.

During summer breaks, Manulis worked on films, most notably as a production assistant on All The President's Men[7] and as assistant art director on Lee Grant's Academy Award nominee The Stranger.



After graduating from Harvard, Manulis moved to New York, where he began his professional career as Marshall W. Mason's assistant at the renowned[8] Circle Repertory Company.[9] Promoted to casting director in 1980, he continued to work with Mason, co-directing John Bishop's The Great Grandson of Jedediah Kohler[10] and assistant directing[11] Lanford Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning trilogy, Talley's Folly, Fifth of July and A Tale Told; Hamlet, starring William Hurt, and Murder at the Howard Johnson's, which was produced on Broadway.[12] He also assisted Soviet director Jonas Jurasas on his production of The Suicide, and directed workshop productions at Circle Rep, Playwrights Horizons, and Manhattan Theatre Club. In addition, Manulis directed Marjorie Appleman's Seduction Duet, which starred Jeff Daniels and won the 1981 Samuel French One-Act Festival.[13][14]

Manulis has also produced several plays, including 1988's Three Ways Home at the Astor Place Theater in New York, a production which starred Malcolm Jamal Warner, Mary McDonnell and S. Epatha Merkerson, and The Umbilical Brothers: THWAK, which was produced in 1999/2000 at Off-Broadway's Minetta Lane Theater and The Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles

In 1979, Manulis was chosen by Arthur Penn, Elia Kazan and Joseph Mankiewicz to become a Founding Member of the Actors Studio Playwrights and Directors Unit.

Film and television[edit]

In 1983, Manulis joined the Nederlander Organization, where he brought projects through development and production as an executive producer in their newly formed television and film division. While at Nederlander, Manulis was involved with producing properties ranging from the ACE Award-winning A Case of Libel, starring Daniel J. Travanti and Ed Asner, to Intimate Strangers, a television movie starring Teri Garr and Stacy Keach which earned a notably high rating of 26.4 Nielsen rating.[15][16] In addition, Manulis created the critically acclaimed Comedy Zone, a weekly one-hour series on CBS, which brought together writers and actors such as Neil Simon, Kathleen Turner, Wendy Wasserstein, Joe Mantegna, Jules Feiffer and Christopher Durang.[17] Manulis went on to serve as Vice President of Film for Edgar Scherick Associates, Senior VP of Production for Jeffrey Lurie's Chestnut Hill Productions, and Head of Worldwide Production and Acquisition for Samuel Goldwyn Films,[18] where he supervised the production or acquisition of films such as The Madness of King George, Lolita, American Buffalo, I Shot Andy Warhol, Welcome to Woop Woop, Bent and Tortilla Soup. Manulis has produced or executive produced 19 films and television programs, including Charlotte Sometimes,The Basketball Diaries, Swing Kids, Arctic Tale, Foxfire and HBO's Blindside.

Live events[edit]

In 2008, Manulis produced the campaign events involving local, regional and national surrogates for Barack Obama's Campaign for Change in Colorado. He also produced the short filmmaking competitions for Microsoft's Imagine Cup in both Brazil (2004) and Japan (2005), and the Liberty Hill Foundation's annual Upton Sinclair Award dinner (2003, 2004, 2005). With Gary Sinise, he directed the Director's Guild of America's memorial tribute to the life of director John Frankenheimer.

Digital media and technology[edit]

Manulis co-founded Visionbox Media Group, a production, post-production and distribution consulting company using digital technology to produce and distribute films and television content in 2000,[19] before digital technology became ubiquitous in film and television.[20][21] "Definitions are changing on everything, even what the word 'digital' means," Manulis said in a 2002 interview with the Los Angeles Times. "There are so many technologies that are encompassed in that one word....The one thing everyone agrees on is that 'digital' equals change."[22] During its seven-year existence, Visionbox Media was involved in the creation of more than 20 films, including The Cooler, The Illusionist, Aurora Borealis, Duma, The Matador, The L.A. Riot Spectacular and Arctic Tale.[23]

Manulis is the CEO of Screenspaces, a social technology company he founded with his wife, Liz Heller, in 2011. Screenspace's inaugural product offering was the Vwalls social publishing platform.[24]

Activism and philanthropy[edit]

Manulis, who was recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors as one of their 2012 Leaders To Watch, is a lifelong philanthropist and activist. He serves on the board of directors for The Getty House Foundation, and on the board of the Liberty Hill Foundation. Manulis and his wife, Liz Heller, received the Liberty Hill Founder's Award in 2010.[25]


Year Title Credit Medium
2007 Arctic Tale Executive Producer Film (documentary)
2007 American Idol
Gives Back
Executive Producer,
documentary segments
TV series (2 episodes)
2006 Believe in Me Producer Film
2006 The Woods Production Executive Film
2006 The Painted Veil CEO, Visionbox Media Group Film
2006 First Snow CEO, Visionbox Media Group Film
2006 The Illusionist CEO, Visionbox Media Group Film
2005 The L.A. Riot Spectacular Producer Film
2004 Malibu Eyes Executive Producer Video
2003 Master and Commander As Production Executive (MGM) Film
2002 Teddy Bear's Picnic Executive Producer Film
2002 Charlotte Sometimes Executive Producer Film
2001 Falling Like This Executive Producer Film
2001 Tortilla Soup Producer Film
2001 Comics on Campus Co-executive Producer TV Series pilot
1999 The Invisibles Executive Producer Film
1999 The Umbilical Brothers:
Producer Theater (Minetta Lane Theater)
1997 Welcome to Woop Woop Executive Producer Film
1997 The Chambermaid
on the Titanic
As Production Executive (MGM) Film
1997 Bent As Production Executive (MGM) Film
1996 Foxfire Producer Film
1996 The Preacher's Wife Executive in Charge of Production Film
1995 The Basketball Diaries Producer Film
1995 Napoleon Executive in Charge of Production Film
1994 The Madness of King George Executive in Charge of Production Film
1993 Swing Kids Producer Film
1993 Daybreak Producer Television Movie
1993 Blindside Executive Producer Television Movie
1991 V.I. Warshawski Co-executive Producer Film
1988 Three Ways Home Producer Theater (Astor Place Theater)
1986 Intimate Strangers Executive Producer Television Movie
1984 Comedy Zone Executive Producer/Creator TV Series (5 episodes)
1982 The Great Grandson
of Jedediah Kohler
Assistant Director Theater (Circle Repertory)
1981 Foxtrot by the Bay Director Theater (Circle Repertory
at the White Barn Theater)
1981 The Suicide Assistant Director Theater (Broadway)
1981 Fifth of July Assistant Director Theater (Mark Taper Forum)
1981 Talley's Folly Assistant Director Theater (Mark Taper Forum)
1981 A Tale Told Assistant Director Theater (Circle Repertory)
1981 Seduction Duet Director Theater (Circle Repertory)
1979 The Deserter Director Theater (Circle Repertory)
1978 Twelfth Night Assistant Stage Manaager Theater (Academy Festival Theater)
1976 All The President's Men Art Department liaison Film



  1. ^ "John Bard Manulis at IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ Segalof, Nat (2011). Arthur Penn: American Director. University Press of Kentucky. p. 50. 
  3. ^ Noland, Claire. "Martin Manulis, 92; first 'Playhouse 90' producer". September 30, 2007. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ No writer attriubted. "Candidates For Class Marshall". October 24, 1977. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Forbes Staff. "A Profile of America's 20 Best Prep Schools". April 29, 2010. Forbes. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ Hartocollis, Anemonia. "Cuanto Me Gusta". May 11, 1977. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "All The President's Men on IMDb". Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ Weber, Bruce. "Circle Repertory Enters Upon Adulthood". October 10, 1994. New York TImes. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ "John Bard Manulis Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ John, Beaufort. "Circle Rep's wildly funny broadside; The Great Grandson of Jedediah Kohler; Comedy by John Bishop. Directed by John Bard Manulis and Marshall W. Mason.". March 25, 1982. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  11. ^ "RICHARD II / THE GREAT GRANDSON OF JEDEDIAH KOHLER – SOUVENIR PROGRAM". Bibliopolis. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Talley's Folly on Broadway Playbill". Playbill Vault. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ Appleman, M. (1982). The Seduction Duet (Script). New York: Samuel French, Inc. p. 5. ISBN 9780573600548. 
  14. ^ "John Bard Manulis Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  15. ^ Associated Press. "Movie Helps CBS Lead in TV Ratings". January 8, 1986. New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ O'Connor, John. "TV: 'INTIMATE STRANGERS,' 10 Years After Vietnam". January 1, 1986. New Yprk Times. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  17. ^ Sellars, Pat. "John Manulis will tickle your funny bone – if only CBS lets his best gags get on the air". August 27, 1984. Us Magazine. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  18. ^ "John Manulis at Digital Hollywood". March 20, 2005. Digital Hollywood. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Vision Media Group: About Us". 2000. Visionbox Media Group Website. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ Silverman, Jason. "Learning to Love Digital Video". January 20, 2001. Wired. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  21. ^ Marlowe, Chris. "Digital Producers Answer Call". February 25, 2002. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  22. ^ Huffstutter, P.J. "Oscar Enters the Picture in Film vs. Digital Debate". December 3, 2002. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Visionbox Media Group at IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Vwalls Content Curation". 2012. Vwalls Website. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Founders Award: John Manulis and Liz Heller". 2011. Liberty Hill. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ "John Manulis Credits at IMDb". Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  27. ^ "John Bard Manulis Credits at Yahoo". Retrieved May 29, 2013. 

External links[edit]