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Walter F. Parkes

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Walter F. Parkes
BornWalter Steven Fishman
(1951-04-15) April 15, 1951 (age 73)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
OccupationFilm producer, screenwriter, media executive
SpouseLaurie MacDonald

Walter F. Parkes (born April 15, 1951) is an American producer, screenwriter, and media executive. The producer of more than 50 films, including the Men in Black series and Minority Report, he is the co-founder and co-chairman of Dreamscape Immersive.[1][2]

Parkes and his wife and business partner, producer Laurie MacDonald, helped to build DreamWorks, with Parkes the head of its motion picture division,[3] and the two later moved to Amblin Entertainment, where Parkes served as president.[4] He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, receiving his first nomination as the director/ producer of the 1975 documentary The California Reich; his second for co-writing the original screenplay for WarGames; and his third as a producer of Awakenings.[5] Parkes and MacDonald created the Parkes + Macdonald production company (P+M, P+M Image Nation) in 2010, collaborating on the productions of a number of films, including films that Amblin has released.

Life and career[edit]

Parkes was born in Bakersfield, California. He attended Yale University, and graduated cum laude in 1973.[6] WarGames, co-written by Parkes with Lawrence Lasker and Walon Green, garnered a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination. Parkes and Lasker co-produced several films, including Sneakers and Awakenings, a Best Picture Oscar nominee in 1990. Other films Parkes produced or on which he served as executive producer include, the Men in Black series, The Kite Runner, Golden Globe-winning Sweeney Todd, Dinner for Schmucks, Gladiator, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, The Ring, The Terminal, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Road to Perdition, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Deep Impact, Twister, The Legend of Zorro and Amistad.

In 1994, Parkes was named President of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and later that year, he and his wife and business partner Laurie MacDonald[7] were tapped to help create the DreamWorks SKG motion picture studio. As the studio's president, Parkes, in partnership with MacDonald, oversaw development and production of all DreamWorks' film projects, including three consecutive Best Picture Oscar winners: American Beauty, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind — the latter two in partnership with Universal Studios. Other films produced during their tenure include: Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, Robert Zemeckis' What Lies Beneath, Adam McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Michael Mann's Collateral, and Steven Spielberg's Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning drama Saving Private Ryan, which was the top-grossing film domestically of 1998.

Parkes is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Writers Guild of America and the Global Business Network. He is on the board of directors for the Center for A New American Security (CNAS).

Parkes and MacDonald live in Santa Monica, California, and have two children, Jane MacDonald and Graham Joseph.[7]

Parkes + MacDonald production company[edit]

Its origins go back to 1991 when Parkes and MacDonald founded their own production company Aerial Pictures, which was first set up at Columbia Pictures. In 1993, it was moved to 20th Century Fox.[8] Later that year, it was moved and merged into Amblin Entertainment, and later to DreamWorks Pictures, so that Parkes could fill the seat left by the departure of Kathleen Kennedy.[9]

In 2005, they revived the idea of having their own production company, which is called "Parkes + MacDonald Productions" (aka P+M), and set up at DreamWorks Pictures.[10]

In 2012, the duo struck a deal with Imagenation Abu Dhabi (now Image Nation) to form a joint venture organization.[11][12] Since then, P+M has collaborated on the productions of a number of films that Amblin and Image Nation have produced, including the Men in Black film series from the third film onwards.[12]




Executive producer



Year Title Writer Executive
Creator Notes
1991 Eddie Dodd Yes Yes Yes 6 episodes
1994 Birdland Yes Yes Yes 7 episodes
1997-2001 Men in Black: The Series No Yes No 53 episodes
2014 Crossbones No Yes No 8 episodes
2015 The Slap Yes Yes Developer Miniseries
Warrior No Yes No TV movie


  1. ^ Barnes, Brooks (September 26, 2017). "Coming Soon to AMC Theaters: Virtual Reality Experiences". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Fink, Charlie. "Dreamscape's Big Dreams for Immersive VR". Forbes. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Duke, Paul F. (May 23, 2000). "D'Works reups film co-toppers". Variety. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  4. ^ BRAXTON, GREG (January 27, 1994). "'Birdland' Pair Unruffled by It All : Entertainment: Executives Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are getting ready to take over at Spielberg's Amblin, but say, 'We can't afford to get ahead of ourselves.'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  5. ^ "Parkes and MacDonald Renew DreamWorks Deal". May 23, 2000. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  6. ^ Kaplan, Fred (February 19, 2016). "'WarGames' and Cybersecurity's Debt to a Hollywood Hack". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Walter F. Parkes (1951– )". FilmReference.com. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  8. ^ Ayscough, Suzan (June 7, 1993). "Aerial alights at Fox, ends deal at Colpix". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  9. ^ O'Sheen, Kathleen (November 9, 1993). "Aerial duo to Amblin". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  10. ^ LaPorte, Nicole (May 17, 2005). "Dream team takes flight". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  11. ^ Kilday, Gregg (April 25, 2012). "Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald Form New Joint Venture With Image Nation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Siegel, Tatiana (September 24, 2015). "Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald on New 'Malala' Doc, Feminist Barbie and a Revived 'Men in Black' (Sans Will Smith)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 9, 2019.

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