With the Oscars on the horizon, it's important to remember that behind every great "film author" are like a hundred other artists with slightly worse publicists. These people have worked tirelessly to help create some of your favorite moments in film, only to have their names scroll by in eight-point font while the audience files out, or, at best, patiently waits for that five-second scene where Iron Man eats a burrito.
Here are six more people you don't know but could not live without.
#6. Bob Anderson Was Responsible for Every Sword Fight You've Ever Loved
Think of the coolest sword fight you've ever seen in a movie. Did you go with Dread Pirate Westley versus Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride?
Blissfully beheading him before he could start the Monty Python Black Knight routine.
Or Connor MacLeod chopping heads off in Highlander?
If you said "Which Highlander?" we're gonna have to ask you to leave.
It doesn't matter which one you chose, because one man was responsible for all of those fights and more. Bob Anderson holds the coolest possible film credit imaginable as sword master for pretty much every movie where a character picks up a sword and proceeds to do something awesome with it. He started out as Errol Flynn's stunt double in the 1950s and kept working until the past decade, when he trained the actors in every Lord of the Rings movie.
"Sean Bean, we'll save time and just teach you how to fall."
In the meantime, he coached everyone from Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond movies to Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins in The Mask of Zorro. When the most detail-oriented director in history, Stanley Fucking Kubrick, needed a sword master who knew his shit for his film Barry Lyndon, he called Anderson. Remember The Three Musketeers with Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland? Yeah, we didn't either, but he worked there, too.
Oh, and he was Darth Vader.
"Hamill, if you're not going to make the light saber sounds with your mouth, how am I supposed to take this seriously?
That's right. It turns out that in addition to David Prowse providing the body and James Earl Jones providing the voice, Bob Anderson provided the awesome by doubling for all of Vader's light saber fights. He's the guy who chopped off Luke's hand, and he wasn't even credited for it. In 1983, it was Mark Hamill himself who revealed that it was Anderson in the suit and not Prowse for those scenes, a fact Lucas had been hiding all those years.
"He said he'd cut something more important if I didn't say anything."
#5. Kyle Cooper Created Every Title Sequence That Was Better Than the Movie
Sometimes the opening titles for a movie or show are way more satisfying to watch than the thing they're supposed to introduce. Take the opening to The Walking Dead, which conveys the tense horror of a zombie invasion better than the first two seasons of the show.
Plus there's no [whichever character we all hate now]!
Or the titles to FX's American Horror Story, which are creepier than anything series creator Ryan Murphy could ever come up with.
And this is the guy who invented Glee.
Well, whenever you come across an opening sequence so good that whatever comes next inevitably feels like a letdown, there's one guy you can blame -- his name is Kyle Cooper, and we seriously wonder how he keeps getting work. Early in his career, he made a name for himself by creating the insanely elaborate title sequence to the movie Se7en, which, as we've told you about before, involved serial-killer-like efforts.
Cooper also came up with the striking opening minutes for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films. The one for Spider-Man 2 alone took an entire year to create and required first-hand research into spiders and octopuses (since the villain was Doctor Octopus), plus digitally scanning dozens of vintage comics for a five-second montage. The one for Spider-Man 3 was so good that they should have just stopped the film there.
"No, really, this is more concise and less infuriating."
See, when your resume includes films like Flubber and Wild Wild West, you can't let a little thing like the movie sucking stop you from putting all your effort into the opening titles. For The Mummy, Cooper researched and created a historically accurate font, meaning that the credits to this film were most likely 10 times more researched than the film itself. He used actual blood for the opening titles to the Dawn of the Dead remake. Even director Zack Snyder had to admit they were better than the movie.
"We paid him extra not to tell us where he got the blood."
#4. Debbie Evans Is Every Crazy Woman You've Seen Behind a Wheel
A good chase sequence can justify the existence of a bad movie. Such is the case with the highway scene in The Matrix Reloaded where Carrie-Anne Moss drives her bike against the traffic to avoid the agents.
Or the vertigo-inducing car chase in Mission: Impossible II where Thandie Newton tries to push Tom Cruise's car off the road and ends up teetering on the edge of a cliff herself.
"Hold on, I'm gonna call Michael Caine, he'll know what to do!"
The Fast and the Furious series is made out of chase scenes and five minutes of plot in each movie to explain them, but one highlight is the scene in the original movie where Michelle Rodriguez drives a Honda Civic under a truck before crashing the shit out of it.
Obviously symbolic of Japanese-American economic co-dependence.
Only it wasn't Michelle Rodriguez, or Thandie Newton, or Carrie-Anne Moss in those scenes -- that was all Debbie Evans.
Moss did all her own ass-scenes, though.
Since the 1970s, any time a lady in a movie gets into a car or on a bike and starts doing stupid shit, Evans is most likely the one behind the wheel. She's doubled for everyone from Pamela Anderson to Whoopi Goldberg. Remember Linda Hamilton firing a rifle out of the back of a riot van in Terminator 2?
You do now.
That was Evans. Angelina Jolie driving like a maniac in Wanted? Evans. Parker Posey in the runaway car in Superman Returns? You get the idea. She even played Steve Martin's insane daredevil girlfriend in The Jerk.
One of the more conspicuous Oscar snubs that year.
How could she have lasted in the business so long? Well, she's been riding bikes since she was 6 years old and winning awards for it since age 9. Which actually makes us think that if movies didn't exist, she'd be doing all this crazy shit on her own dime anyway.