John Wells is one of the most prolific writers, directors and producers for the stage, television and film. Over the past two decades, Wells has been a creative force behind some of primetime's biggest hit series, including "ER," "The West Wing," "Third Watch," and "China Beach". He is currently the Executive Producer of the hit TNT crime drama, "Southland," as well as the new Showtime series, "Shameless" starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.
Shows produced by John Wells have received an astounding 262 Emmy nominations with 55 Emmy wins, as well as 5 Peabody Awards, numerous People's Choice Awards, Producers Guild Awards, a Humanitas Prize (nominated 7 times), not to mention numerous distinctions from health care organizations across the country for "ER." During its fifteen year run, "ER" earned 122 Emmy nominations, the most in television history.
A seven-time Writers Guild Award nominee, in 2007, Wells received the WGA's Paddy Chayefsky Television Laurel Award given to writers who have advanced the literature of television and made outstanding contributions to the profession of television writers. In 2005, Wells was awarded the David Susskind Achievement Award in Television from the Producers Guild of America. In September 2009, Wells was once again elected President of the Writers Guild of America, West. Wells had previously served as President of the Writers Guild of America, West (1999-2001) and was vital to the success of the 2001 MBA contract negotiations.
Wells and his production and development team at John Wells Productions have a number of high-profile films in various stages of production and development. As a producer, Wells' most recent motion-picture credits include: Carroll Ballard's acclaimed drama Duma, a children's film starring Hope Davis and Campbell Scott; Peter Kosminsky's adaptation of Janet Fitch's critically acclaimed novel White Oleander, starring Alison Lohman, Robin Wright Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer and Renée Zellweger; and Neil Jordan's The Good Thief, starring Nick Nolte. Wells served as a producer on Andrzej Bartkowiak's Doom, based upon the popular video game and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
In an arrangement unique to the business, John Wells Productions also funds Killer Films, the independent operation of Christine Vachon, Pam Koffler and Katie Roumel. For Killer Films, Wells executive-produced Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo, Todd Graff's Camp, Fenton Bailey's Party Monster, Robert Altman's The Company, Michael Mayer's A Home at the End of the World, John Waters' A Dirty Shame, Mary Harron's The Notorious Bettie Page, Phyllis Nagy's Mrs. Harris, Todd Haynes' I'm Not There, Tom Kalin's Savage Grace, Douglas McGrath's Infamous, and the upcoming Todd Haynes miniseries, "Mildred Pierce," starring Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood and Guy Pierce, which will HBO in Spring 2011.
As a TV producer, Wells' diverse projects include series "SMITH," "The Evidence" and "Jonny Zero," as well as made-for-TV movies Mrs. Harris (2005), Dark Shadows (2004), and The Big Time (2002). Wells' award-winning stage productions include "Judgement," "Balm in Gilead," "Battery," and "She Also Dances."
Born in Alexandria, Virginia, and raised in Denver, Colorado, Wells graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a bachelor of fine arts and later earned a Masters degree in film and television at the University of Southern California, where he also serves on the school's Television Executive Advisory Council.
No County for Old Men marked the ninth consecutive collaboration with the Coen brothers and their Academy Award®-nominated cinematographer, Roger Deakins. No County for Old Men was preceded by The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty, The Man Who Wasn't There, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy and Barton Fink. Deakins' work with the Coen brothers has earned him critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. O Brother Where Art Thou? earned him BAFTA, American Society of Cinematographers and Academy Award® nominations.
For his work on Fargo, he received American Society of Cinematographers and Academy Award nominations, as well as Best Cinematographer citations from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Barton Fink earned him the Best Cinematography award from the National Society of Film Critics. The Man Who Wasn't There earned an Academy Award nomination, an ASC Award and a BAFTA. His work on The Shawshank Redemption brought him the American Society of Cinematographers Award, as well as his ﬁrst Academy Award® nomination. For his work on Martin Scorsese's Kundun he received Best Cinematography citations from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics, as well as Academy Award and American Society of Cinematographers Award nominations.
Recently, Deakins has also served as the cinematographer for Doubt, Revolutionary Road, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and In the Valley of Elah.
Deakins began working as a stills photographer before enrolling in Britain's National Film School in 1972. His association with fellow student Michael Radford led to director of photography work on three features directed by Radford: Another Time, Another Place, 1984 and White Mischief. Deakins has also shot such feature documentaries as When the World Changed and Eritrea: Behind the Lines; and the music documentaries Blue Suede Shoes and Van Morrison in Ireland. Deakins has also shot music videos for Eric Clapton, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock and Madness among others.
His other director of photography credits include Alex Cox's Sid and Nancy, Bob Rafelson's Mountains of the Moons, Michael Apted's Thunderheart, John Sayles' Passion Fish, Agnieszka Holland's The Secret Garden, Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking, Edward Zwick's Courage Under Fire and The Siege, Norman Jewison's The Hurricane and Dinner With Friends, Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind, Vadim Perelman's House of Sand and Fog, M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, and Sam Mendes' Jarhead.
His primary hobby is taking still photographs. Before he entered the National Film School, he spent a year in North Devon, England, documenting the way of life on the farms and in the villages. This cemented his passion for still photography that continues to this day. On the rare days that he is not in his boat while in Devon, he enjoys traveling to various places to augment his growing series of images.