S. Craig Zahler is an award-winning screenwriter, director, novelist, cinematographer and musician. He wrote, directed and co-composed the score for the 2015 film Bone Tomahawk, an Independent Spirit Award nominated picture (Best Screenplay; Best Supporting Actor) starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Lili Simmons, David Arquette and Richard Jenkins. The film garnered praise from critics and fans alike, including the New York Times, who called Bone Tomahawk, “[a] witty fusion of western, horror and comedy that gallops to its own beat”.
Zahler most recently wrote and directed Brawl in Cell Block 99, starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier and Marc Blucas. In early 2017, it was announced that Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn would star in Zahler’s gritty cop thriller Dragged Across Concrete. Zahler has written and sold more than twenty screenplays and continues to maintain a grueling writing pace.
Zahler's debut western novel, A Congregation of Jackals was nominated for both the Peacemaker and the Spur awards, and his 2014 novel Mean Business on North Ganson Street received starred reviews for excellence in Booklist. 20th Century Fox recently announced that Zahler's brutal western novel, Wraiths of the Broken Land, will be a major motion picture with Ridley Scott directing. His next book is the forthcoming Hug Chickenpenny: The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child, a gothic and Dickensian take on the Elephant Man that will be released in 2017 by Cinestate.
In addition to writing and directing, Zahler has founded and played in several bands, including the epic metal Realmbuilder, whose albums have been released by I Hate Records of Sweden. Longtime friends and songwriting partners S. Craig Zahler and Jeff Herriott co-composed the score for Bone Tomahawk, and recently formed Binary Reptile, a synthesizer project that proved the music for the upcoming ear movie, The Narrow Caves.
Versatile composer Jeff Herriott is equally comfortable and experienced in a range of musical settings, including contemporary classical music, indie rock, heavy metal, and experimental electronic projects. Recipient of commissions from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the MATA Festival, and the American Composers Forum, Herriott has had his classical works performed by leading soloists and ensembles across four continents. His music, which often includes interaction between live performers and electronic sounds, has been described as “colorful…darkly atmospheric” (New York Times), “hypnotic” (mainlypiano.com), and “incredibly soft, beautiful, and delicate” (Computer Music Journal). His album-length work, The Stone Tapestry, with performance by flutist Erin Lesser, percussionist Greg Beyer, and the Grammy-nominated Third Coast Percussion, was released in 2017 on New Focus Records.
In addition to Binary Reptile, Herriott (as JH Halberd) and S. Craig Zahler (as Czar) collaborate to write and perform songs as the heavy metal band Realmbuilder, which has three albums on the Swedish label I Hate Records. The duo also worked together to compose the film score to Zahler’s film, Bone Tomahawk, an existential horror western starring Kurt Russell, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox, and Patrick Wilson, which was released to wide acclaim in 2015.
Herriott’s work in popular and contemporary forms has included the sleepy rock/ambient band Bell Monks, which was described by The Onion’s AV Club as “Combining the minimalism of Brian Eno’s ambient work with the gloomy songwriting of Low”. Part of the Wren and Shark Collective, Bell Monks has released several albums through the Madison-based Mine All Mine and Danish clang labels.
Herriott is a Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, where he is the coordinator of the Media Arts and Game Development Program and teaches courses in audio, multimedia, music technology, and composition.