[12/07/05 - 12:00 AM]
FX Puts a New Face on Its Upcoming Six-Part Documentary

[via press release from FX]

FX Puts a New Face on Its Upcoming Six-Part Documentary



Award-Winning Producer R.J. CUTLER and Actor/Producer/Musician ICE CUBE Examine Race in Series That Transforms Two Families Using Make-Up Effects

Series Premieres in March '06

LOS ANGELES, December 7, 2005 ? What's it like to live in someone else's skin? That question will be answered in March with a provocative and insightful new original series "Black. White.", a six-part documentary from Emmy� Award winning producer R.J. Cutler and actor/producer/writer Ice Cube.

Black. White. examines race with an extraordinary approach by putting new faces on an African-American family, the Sparks, and Caucasian family, the Wurgels. Through the transformative power of make-up by Academy Award� nominated make-up effects artist Keith VanderLaan (The Passion of the Christ), the Wurgels become black and the Sparks become white, which challenges their beliefs and core values in ways they could have never imagined. The make-up process for each family member took 3 to 5 hours for every day of transformation.

In addition to the pressure of their newly assumed race, the Sparks of Atlanta (Brian, Renee and their son Nick) and Wurgel family of Santa Monica (Bruno, Carmen and their daughter Rose) shared a home in Tarzana, California for the duration of the six-week production, which wrapped last summer.

"Right after I first started at FX, I pitched R.J. the radical idea of using make-up to racially transform a black and white American family," said John Landgraf, FX Networks President and General Manager. "He took that notion and, with his colleagues Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez, developed and produced an astonishingly compelling and original documentary series. This show took a long time to finish because the idea is so risky and difficult to execute, but the results are extraordinarily provocative, entertaining and deep."

The series was developed by Cutler who serves as Executive Producer along with Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez. The show is produced by FX Networks, Actual Reality Pictures and Cube-Vision.

"I've never been more enthusiastic about a project than I am about Black. White.," said Cutler. "This series is an example of how television can be an extremely powerful and useful medium. I believe the Sparks and Wurgels took a big chance but are better people for having done so."

"I'm really excited to be a part of a show that explores race in America," said Cube. "Black. White. will force people to challenge themselves and really examine where we stand in terms of race in this country."

R.J. Cutler won the 2001 Emmy� Award for Outstanding Reality Program for his acclaimed FOX series American High. He also produced the Academy Award� nominated documentary The War Room, the behind-the-scenes look at Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. He also serves as an Executive Producer of FX's critically acclaimed 30 Days, FX's second documentary series under the recently revitalized brand of unscripted original programming. 30 Days, which was created by Academy Award� nominee Morgan Spurlock, returns for its second season next summer.

"Black. White. continues the growth, under the guidance of FX's head of unscripted development Eric Schrier, of FX's ambitious and distinctive documentary series brand which began with the launch last year of 30 Days," added Landgraf.

Ice Cube has made his mark as an actor starring in Barbershop, which he produced, XXX: State of the Union, Three Kings and Boyz in the Hood, and his films have generated over a half billion dollars at the box office. A double-platinum recording artist, Ice Cube has sold over 10 million records.

In addition to his work on The Passion of the Christ, Make-Up Effects Artist Keith VanderLaan has worked on films including Syriana, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Pirates of he Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Mrs. Doubtfire. Prior to the start of principal photography, VanderLaan and his team at Captive Audience Productions conducted extensive make-up testing on both the Sparks and Wurgel families.

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 87 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of distinctive original series and movies; an impressive roster of acquired hit series; an established film library with box-office hits from 20th Century Fox; and marquee sports such as NASCAR. For more information about FX, visit our web site at www.FXnetworks.com.

  [december 2005]  

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