Alumnus Ric Kidney Making Silver Screen Magic
Executive producer of spy thriller 'Salt' continues to spice up theaters with eclectic mix of motion pictures
October 15, 2010
If there's a "big name" actor in Hollywood, chances are University of the Arts alumnus Ric Kidney '75 (Photography/Film) has worked with them on a major motion picture. Pacino, Willis, Hackman, Stallone, DeNiro, Costner, Smith, Barrymore and Jolie are but a few of the Hollywood "A-Listers" who have acted in films on which Kidney has worked behind the camera in a director's capacity or behind the scenes as a producer or production manager.
As executive producer, Kidney most recently enlisted Hollywood icon Angelia Jolie in the title role of this summer's blockbuster "Salt." Since its July 23 release, the spy thriller about a CIA agent who goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy has grossed nearly $200M worldwide.
"To me a good artist is not one who merely exercises a series of innate creative impulses," Kidney said. "It is one who utilizes a learned craft built upon basic premises that can be forever applied to one's work. Those basics I learned at the University of the Arts: starting with 2- and 3-D design, to drawing, photography and filmmaking. Some of us come with greater God-given talent, that cannot be disputed, but those who strive to perfect their craft, along with their talent, will always be rewarded."
The University's 2003 Silver Star Alumni Award recipient, Kidney has been perfecting his craft in Hollywood for nearly 30 years, working on film across all genres. Prior to the frenetically paced "Salt," Kidney was the executive producer of Eddie Murphy's children's comedy "Imagine That" about a financial executive with misplaced priorities. He produced the Golden Globe- and Oscar-nominated "Six Degrees of Separation" with Will Smith and the Golden Globe-nominated "Legally Blonde" with Reese Witherspoon.
Kidney, whose parents met in the 1950s on the University of the Arts campus, has other producing credits that include "Four Brothers," "Flight of the Phoenix," "The Rundown," "The Recruit," "Life or Something Like It," "D-Tox," "Fear," "A Simple Twist of Fate," "Other People's Money," "After Dark My Sweet" and "Dad."
Following graduation from the University of the Arts, Kidney moved to Los Angeles to work in the film industry and was accepted into the Directors Guild of America as an assistant director in 1981. His first credit came as the assistant director on the 1983 Showtime Entertainment show "Lone Star Bar & Grill" in 1983. He worked in television for a number of years before turning his eye to the big screen, working as an assistant director or production manager on a number of films, including "Fire Starter," "Sweet Dreams," "At Close Range," "Angel Heart," "Bull Durham" and "In Country."