Filmmaker Stephen Milburn Anderson, best known for South Central (produced by Oliver Stone) and for Ca$h (starring Sean Bean and Chris Hemsworth), died May 1 at his home in Denver after a six-month battle with throat cancer. He was 67. A graduate of UCLA film school with 25 years of film-related work, Anderson was a pioneer in the use of digital film making and an early advocate of the New Mexico Film Incentive Program. In his career he wrote and directed eight films and was the filmmaker who gave Hemsworth his start.
In 1986 and 1987, he organized and produced The Discovery Program, a series of 16 short films for Columbia Pictures and David Puttnam. His short film Hearts Of Stone was critically acclaimed. After the screening of the indie drama South Central, he was named by The New York Times as one of the Hottest New Filmmakers in America along with Quentin Tarantino and Tim Robbins.
“He was my best friend,” said Marshall Bear, who has known him for 12 years. Bear produced the behind-the-scenes documentary of Anderson’s Ca$h which appeared as a special feature on the DVD. “I had never picked a camera before but did so at his request and with his generous support. He launched me into becoming a producer myself,” Bear told Deadline.
Anderson has worked in all facets of the production, including writer, producer, director, production manager, postproduction supervisor, location manager, camera assistant, electrician, grip and sound recordist. “He was very passionate about filmmaking, and we are very sorry to see him go,” said Bear.
He also founded The Studio, New Mexico where Suspect Zero was filmed. He was also an author and one of his final wishes was to get his books published, a fictional story about two young men on a journey to win the World Series of Poker called A Man, A Midget And A Book Of Cards which he described in his own words as “a story of friendship, manhood, human spirit and poker.” His other book is Killer, Me — an autobiography of a professional killer — as well as a Da Vinci Code-type story about the search for the Arc of the Covenant and the ability of man to choose good or evil for the betterment or destruction of mankind. That book is called Mind Of God.
He is survived by his wife of more than 30 years, Mary Weir.