WSR LAB Series hosts Avram Noble Ludwig, filmmaker turned playwright

Sphinx collage 1Avram Ludwig may not be a household name, but his work with frequent collaborator director Doug Liman sure is.

On “Bourne Identity,” he snuck shots in the middle of the night, using power secretly tapped from an outlet outside Tavern on The Green. For the sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow,” Ludwig staged a mockup of the movie’s final scene, trashing his own rental car as a backdrop for Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. (Audiences may have loved it, but the rental company panned his work.)

And for the signature aerial shot of the Great Sphinx of Giza for Liman’s “Jumper,” Ludwig ignored warnings from the Egyptian Minister of Defense, commanding a helicopter the size of a Greyhound bus to get close to the historical landmark for a tight shot. In the process he got future pilots banned from ever flying over the Sphinx again.Sphinx collage 2

Those experiences inspired Ludwig’s just-released debut novel, “Shooting the Sphinx” which is also the inspiration for a new stage play which made its staged reading debut with WSR’s LAB Series on July 25, 2016.

The cast included Anish Jethmalani*, Sahar Dika, Robert Hardaway, and WSR ensemble members Alicia Regan* and James Knight*. The reading was directed by James Knight.  A Q&A with the playwright/author/filmmaker followed the reading.


Producer Avram Ludwig pens debut novel "Shooting the Sphinx," inspired by on-set experiences with Doug Liman.Born into a theatrical family, Avram grew up backstage and on sets. His father worked frequently with Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller. His mother, Eulalie Noble, was pregnant with him during the first production of Shakespeare in the Park. On the eve of the first public performance, she fell backward from the second story of the set onto the stage, but Avram hung in there and waited several years to make his theatrical debut. Avram originated the role of Richard Ashleigh, in the world premiere of Eugene O’Neil’s lost play, NOW I ASK YOU, at the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village.
Avram has produced over a dozen films including the “indie” sensation, SWINGERS, with John Favreau, Vince Vaughn and Heather Graham. He has worked frequently with director Doug Liman. Avram has shot four projects in the Middle East.In 2006, while working on the action movie JUMPER Avram shot a helicopter shot of the Sphinx. And in 2009, for the movie FAIR GAME, Avram returned to Egypt to film in multiple locations, then filming as well in Jordan then Baghdad while wearing a bullet-proof vest to get authentic shots for the film’s Iraq locations. Avram’s experiences on those two films are basis for the story of SHOOTING THE SPHINX, his debut novel.An avid private pilot and sailor, Avram and his friend Doug Liman rescued four people from the water after their speedboat had been run over by a ship in the middle of the night. Avram received a commendation from the commander of the New York Sector of the Coast Guard.Avram serves on the Board of Directors of the prestigious Actors Studio in New York, the American home of Method Acting, and has helped to run the Playwright/Directors Unit there, working with writers to develop their plays. Avram’s play based on his novel, HOW TO MAKE A TERRORIST is currently being workshopped at the Actors Studio as well as a play adaptation of SHOOTING THE SPHINX.
Avram is working on several film projects: A sequel to JUMPER and ATTICA, ATTICA about the prison uprising with Oscar-winning screenwriter, Geoffrey Fletcher for Doug Liman to direct. Avram is also producing the Virtual Reality series INVISIBLE for Samsung and Conde Nast as well as THE WALL, about a Mexican standoff between Iraqi and American snipers for Amazon.


Excerpts from “Producer Avram Ludwig pens debut novel “Shooting the Sphinx,” inspired by on-set experiences with Doug Liman” by MEGAN CERULLO, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, July 14, 2016, 12:05 PM