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Production Posse
The cast of every Christopher Guest movie.note 

Johnny Depp creating an eccentric, pale character for Tim Burton featuring Helena Bonham Carter is one of the most bizarrely specific cliches I think I've ever come across.
Daniel O'Brien, Cracked

A group of people that, whenever one is involved in a production, others are almost guaranteed to show up at some point.

This used to be a very enforced part of media making. Studios expected artists to specialize into units. An example would be John Ford being specialized in westerns, which meant that large parts of the crew—both in front of and behind the camera—would literally always work together. Another aspect of Hollywood filmmaking which used to enforce this in the past was that studios would often have exclusive contracts with big names spanning several years and movies. For instance, the vast majority of Humphrey Bogart's films after he made it big were for Warner Bros.

See also Those Two Actors. When each member tends to play the same sort of role every time, they're a Universal-Adaptor Cast. Associated Composer is a subtrope.


Examples:

  • The Rat Pack.note 
  • The Brat Pack.note 
  • The Frat Pack.note 
    • In fact, there's a whole stable of big time stars like Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell, supported by many actors (usually because of Second City connections) that could be from The Office (US), SNL, or The Daily Show. Judd Apatow probably plays behind the scenes.
    • Any movie produced or directed by Judd Apatow is almost guaranteed to have one or more of the following actors in it — Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jason Segel, Leslie Mann (his wife) and, more recently, his daughter Maude Apatow.
  • The John Ford Stock Company.
  • Quentin Tarantino writes and directs all his movies. Lawrence Bender, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and especially Samuel L. Jackson are never too far behind. All of his films were edited by the late Sally Menke (it is unknown if Fred Raskin will succeed her as a stable editor from here on out), and from Kill Bill onward he's used Robert Richardson as his cinematographer. Whenever he wants to collaborate with another director, he usually turns to Robert Rodriguez (see below).
    • Also of note, as of late, is Christoph Waltz, who not only became the first actor to win an Oscar for a Tarantino film, but did so twice (for Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained). The two seem set to work together for quite a while, given how Tarantino has credited Waltz for "saving" the former film from Development Hell (Tarantino was having trouble finding someone who can act in English, German, and French).
  • Robert Rodriguez's regular stable of actors includes Mickey Rourke, Antonio Banderas, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Rose McGowan, and he made Salma Hayek. As for crew? He is the crew. Also, a lot of bit-parts and behind the scenes work involve members of his family, particularly his sons Rebel, Rocket and Racer, credited as consultants for the Spy Kids movies.
    • Spy Kids stars Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega could very well end up here as well as he's used them each in each of the two Machete Movies respectively.
  • Christopher Guest movies all involve the same actors. Guest himself, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard, Ed Begley Jr., and Bob Balaban all appeared together in A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration, all but Shearer appeared in Best in Show, and at least four of the troupe appeared in each of This Is Spinal Tap (written, but not directed, by Guest) and Waiting for Guffman. Most of the films also feature behind-the-scenes contributions by the cast members; for example, McKean and Shearer received writing credits for This is Spinal Tap, and the score for A Mighty Wind had contributions from Guest, Shearer, Levy, O'Hara, and McKean (the last of whom, along with his wife Annette O'Toole, co-wrote the Oscar-nominated "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow").
  • Wes Anderson films: Owen and Luke Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray and Indian actor Kumar Pallana, who has been in all of Anderson's films except The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum have made frequent appearances as well, and Tilda Swinton & Bob Balaban seem to be the most recent initiates. He also usually has Robert Yeoman as cinematographer and Mark Mothersbaugh as the composer.
  • Actors in Joss Whedon projects have a tendency to reappear in his future projects. There's a handy table on Whedon's page on The Other Wiki showing which of his posse appeared in which of his projects.
    • Crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel was to be expected, since they exist in the same universe. But after Firefly was cancelled, no fewer than three of the main cast (Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Gina Torres) were given bit-parts in Buffy or Angel. Summer Glau was another crossover, but she was on Angel first and then cast on Firefly.
    • Then when Dollhouse hit the air it featured two of them (Alan Tudyk and Summer Glau again) in larger roles, along with ex-Angel actor Amy Acker, ex-Buffy/Angel actor Alexis Denisof, and an ex-Buffy/Angel actor in the lead (Eliza Dushku). Felicia Day had a bit part in both Buffy and Dollhouse; Christina Hendricks had bit parts in both Angel and Firefly. Meanwhile, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog starred both Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day.
    • And to keep the pattern going, Whedon's feature film The Cabin in the Woods stars Amy Acker (again) and Fran Kranz (from Dollhouse) and features Tom Lenk (from Buffy), while Alexis Denisof (again) and Enver Gjokaj (from Dollhouse) show up in The Avengers. Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye in Avengers) previously had a bit part in Angel, and Chris Hemsworth (Thor in Avengers) was one of the leads in Cabin.
    • Besides Dushku, Glau and Denisof, there are four less-well-known actors (Jonathan Woodward, Jeff Ricketts, Bob Fimiani, Carlos Jacott) who have appeared in three of Whedon's four TV shows.
    • This has now started to carry over to shows featuring former alumni who had worked on Buffy/Angel, as an episode of Grimm produced by David Greenwalt had Amy Acker (again!) as a guest star and will have Alexis Denisof as a recurring character. And Tim Minear's short lived show Drive on FOX starred Nathan Fillion.
    • In the season 1 DVD of Dollhouse, there's a whole behind the scenes look at all the cast and crew who return to work with Joss for the show. He's got a production posse that doesn't just act, but also write, produce, shoot, etc.
    • In one further unusual take on this trope, an episode of Dollhouse was directed by John Cassaday, the artist from Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men.
    • Actors from Joss productions often appear together even without Joss himself being on scene. In Castle, star Nathan Fillion has often appeared opposite Firefly alums, culminating in "Headhunters", where even the network was promoting the Adam Baldwin/Nathan Fillion reunion. Less well-known is the fact that the Season 2 executive producer was Jose Molina... himself a Buffy and Firefly alum.
    • Much Ado About Nothing marks the reunion for so many Joss alums that it's pointless to count them. And the movie was filmed at Joss's house.
      • To make an attempt:
      • From Angel, Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker play love interests Benedick and Beatrice (no doubt delighting the fans who wished to see them together on the show).
      • From Buffy, Tom Lenk appears as Verges. Riki Lindhome was a guest on the show before appearing in Much Ado as Conrade. Also, Anthony Head was the original choice to play Leonato.
      • Coming from Firefly are Nathan Fillion as Dogberry and Sean Maher as Don John.
      • Dollhouse had Fran Kranz, who plays Claudio here, and Reed Diamond, who plays Don Pedro.
      • The Avengers had Ashley Johnson and Clark Gregg, who ended up taking the part of Leonato after Head dropped out.
    • The pilot episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had appearances by J. August Richards (Gunn from Angel) and Ron Glass (Shepherd Book from Firefly); both played the same characters in later episodes of the season.
    • Even the single episode of Glee he directed has this, as he worked with Neil Patrick Harris in that one.
  • Jason Reitman has put JK Simmons in all four of his movies.
  • Toei Company reuses a lot of the same actors for there Tokustatsu production though few end up taking more than one starring role. Plenty who have starred in one series, however may appear in a minor role in another or vice verse. This usually is regulated to their two ongoing series, Kamen Rider and Super Sentai as well as the parody Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger.
  • Adam Sandler and his Happy Madison production house:
    • Expect any permutation of Rob Schneider, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Nick Swardson (in more recent movies) to be somewhere among the cast members. Of his crew of actors, some are former SNL cast members from the early 1990's.
    • Sandler's recurring actors also have included Steve Buscemi, Peter Dante, and Allen Covert.
    • And with crew members, Sandler has Rupert Gregson-Williams as composer (he's also worked Teddy Castalucci several times), Perry Andelin Blake as production designer, Brooks Arthur as music supervisor and Jack Giarraputo as producer. He also has the Panavision Genesis used on all his projects after working with Dean Semler (one of the creators of the camera) on a pair of projects.
    • Sandler's Personal Assistant Jonathan Loughran who appears in most of his movies.
  • The Kevin Smith gang includes Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Lee, himself, his wife, Jason Mewes, Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson, with Joey Lauren Adams and Ethan Suplee to a lesser extent. Most of his movies took place on the same universe, which meant there were some actors playing multiple characters. Additionally, most of his movies feature crew members Scott Mosier (producer) and Dave Klein (director of photography).
  • Where Tim Burton is, Danny Elfman is sure to follow, and Johnny Depp will probably not be far behind. Softer members of the posse include current significant other (Lisa Marie and Helena Bonham-Carter) and Paul Reubens. Christopher Lee or Christopher Walken (or both) could also feature in there. Burton likes his horror vets. Frequently making appearances have been Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Glenn Shadix and Michael Gough (who Burton twice got out of retirement). In the early days, Michael Keaton filled the role that Depp fills now, with starring turns in Batman and Beetlejuice. Early Burton films also had a tendency to feature Danny De Vito, Jan Hooks and Jack Nicholson.
    Burton: Get me Johnny Depp and my wife on the phone!
    Casting Agent: I can't ever not do that.
    Casting agent flips open a phone with two giant buttons labeled "Johnny Depp" and "Helena Bonham-Carter".
    College Humor, "Tim Burton's Secret Formula"
  • Helena lampshaded this by posting this picture on her Facebook page.
  • Hayao Miyazaki always taps Joe Hisaishi to do the soundtracks for his movies He also had a tendency in the 80's to cast Sumi Shimamoto for the lead roles in his films, but stopped that later on.
  • Say what? Darren Aronofsky is making a movie? Expect Clint Mansell to do the score, Matthew Libatique to be the cinematographer and Mark Margolis to appear in it.
  • When Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney got the idea to remake Ocean's Eleven, they went on to form a pretty tight A-List clique themselves. When a movie is directed, or at least produced by the two, it's pretty common to see Clooney, Matt Damon, or Brad Pitt starring opposite Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie or strangely enough, Cate Blanchett. Don Cheadle, David Strathairn, and Casey Affleck are commonly in supporting roles.
  • The Wachowski siblings have a stable of behind-the-scenes production folks that they use on every movie. Not so much for actors, but Hugo Weaving has started to become their go-to guy when they need a good actor. Yet, somehow, he was nowhere to be seen in Speed Racer. Huh.
  • Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Joe Cornish, Dylan Moran, Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Matt Berry, Rich Fulcher, Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness. They often pop up in each other's various projects.
  • Simon Pegg is actually a member of another posse, which includes Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, Julia Davis, Amelia Bullmore and Rebecca Front. Chris Morris is often leading charge. They've appeared in a number of works including Big Train, Jam, Im Alan Partridge, Look Around You, Spaced, Brass Eye and Nighty Night. Don't be surprised to see other familiar British comedy faces, such as Catherine Tate and members of The League of Gentlemen popping up.
  • Any given Star Trek TV series is likely to share a significant portion of its crew with any other Star Trek series. Trek directors are especially likely to have started out as Trek actors. They also have a pool of actors that they like to pull from for recurring or one-shot characters, such that there are five actors who have played seven or more different Trek characters: Vaughn Armstrong (12 characters! 13, if you include that Mirror Universe character), Thomas Kopache (7), Jeffrey Combs (9), J.G. Hertzler (8), and Randy Oglesby (7). Joseph Ruskin's only got six, but he's got the distinction of having appeared in five Star Treks.
    • Relatedly, a pizza trophy for the late Majel Barrett, the First Lady of Star Trek, who (unless the 2009 pre-boot gets a Spin-Off of its own) will go down in history as the only person to be involved in all seven versions of the franchise (TOS Nurse Chapel and pilot episode's Number One; TAS Lt. M'ress; TNG & DS9 Lwaxana Troi; TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, and ST2K9 Computer Voice).
    • Star Trek: The Animated Series had a low budget that led to it using the main actors as guest actors, so James "Scotty" Doohan and the aforementioned Majel Barrett voiced almost every guest character across the series' run.
    • This happened even outside Star Trek. Gargoyles started with Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis as part of the main cast. By the end of the series, minor and recurring characters were voiced by Brent Spiner, Kate Mulgrew, Nichelle Nicols, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Avery Brooks, Colm Meaney, and some others.
      • And it happened again on 24. Former Star Trek: Enterprise showrunner Manny Coto joined their staff for Season 6; then Brannon Braga came onboard for Season 7. That same year they had Trip Tucker, Dr. Phlox and Worf's brother in various one- or two-shot guest roles (hapless dock guard, hapless scientist kidnapped by Tony and Sangalan tyrant General Juma, respectively). At least for Season 8 they branched out to some hotshot pilots...
    • Likewise, Leverage had several episodes directed by Jonathan Frakes, and Star Trek alums in recurring or guest roles include Jeri Ryan, Wil Wheaton, Brent Spiner, Armin Shimerman and John Billingsley.
    • Michael Dorn once tried to make a film via Kickstarter called ''Through The Fire''; basically built upon the idea that fans would like to see Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Nana Visitor and Armin Shimerman in something together.
  • Practically every Mitchell and Webb production includes Olivia Colman - best known as Sophie from Peep Show, which also stars Mitchell and Webb - and James Bachman.
  • See something made by Sam Raimi?
    • Keep your eyes peeled for Bruce Campbell and Sam's own Oldsmobile Delta 88. Ted Raimi will usually have a cameo. Older brother Ivan used to co-write a lot of his screenplays as well. He's also cast Lucy Lawless in three different series now: Hercules and Xena (as Xena) and Spartacus; Blood and Sand. She also cameos in Spider-Man.
    • And more often than not, Rob Tapert will handle producing duties.
    • Josh Becker, who grew up with Sam, Bruce and co. and made Super8 Films with them in their teens worked on The Evil Dead Trilogy and Xena and has used the group in some capacity in all but one of his own Indie Films.
    • Joseph LoDuca has scored the Evil Dead trilogy and many TV series Raimi and Tapert produced (Hercules, Xena, Jack-of-All-Trades, Cleopatra 2525 and Legend of the Seeker).
    • And cinematography duties are usually handled by Bill Pope, but Raimi has returned to his DP from Evil Dead 2, Peter Deming from Drag Me to Hell and up.
    • It appears James Franco is joining the Raimi posse, taking the lead role in Oz: The Great and Powerful after appearing in all three films in the Spider-Man trilogy.
  • The Coen Brothers are a two-man posse on their own. They claim to divide the writing, directing and producing credits randomly between them for each film (the editing credit goes to an Invented Individual because they were embarrassed at their names appearing so often), and people who've worked for them tend to describe them as The Dividual when it comes to artistic decisions.
    • They usually draw from the same posse of actors, such as John Goodman, Frances McDormand (Joel's wife), Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, George Clooney, John Turturro, Jon Polito, Richard Jenkins, Josh Brolin and Billy Bob Thornton. And again Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell tends to show up in small parts. They also gave Jeff Bridges two starring roles.
    • Carter Burwell and/or T Bone Burnett have done all their scores.
    • Roger Deakins has done cinematography on every Coen film since Millers Crossing other than Burn After Reading. Before that it was Barry Sonnenfeld for the first three films.
  • Many movies directed by Blake Edwards have soundtracks by Henry Mancini.
  • Monty Python members are known to appear in each others' movies, and in the works of Python-animator-turned-movie director Terry Gilliam. Like Jabberwocky, Eric the Viking, Brazil, Time Bandits, Yellowbeard and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. This has caused some fans to assume that all of these movies are in fact Python productions, despite the fact that the troupe has considered itself to have been disbanded since the death of member Graham Chapman.
  • Steven Spielberg has his Associated Composer in John Williams (except for The Color Purple and his segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie). He also uses the same editor (Michael Kahn), in all since Close Encounters except ET, and has the same cinematographer (Janusz Kaminski) since Schindler's List.
  • Robert Zemeckis often casts Tom Hanks, who he first worked with on Forrest Gump. Zemeckis has declared that Hanks is his "favorite actor" and that "there hasn't been a single situation where we didn't see eye to eye. Not one." In the olden days, he frequently found parts, however minor, for Marc McClure and Wendie Jo Sperber, who were among the leads of his first professional film I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Yes, they're Marty's brother and sister in Back to the Future. Alan Silvestri has scored every Zemeckis film since Romancing the Stone. He worked with cinematographer Dean Cundey from Romancing the Stone to Death Becomes Her and from there had Don Burgess as his DP from Forrest Gump up to Cast Away, after which he went to performance capture, with Burgess returning for Flight.
  • Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Raise the Red Lantern) worked for a long time with acclaimed actress Gong Li. Unfortunately, they broke up, and now he's adopted Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as a muse instead.
  • John Woo used to work with Chow Yun-Fat a lot back in his Hong Kong days. About the only big Heroic Bloodshed movie he made in Hong Kong that didn't feature him was Bullet in the Head.
  • Movies featuring John Cusack will usually feature other Cusacks, as well as Jeremy Piven, a longtime friend.
    • If either Cusack or Tim Robbins is the lead, expect the other to make a cameo at least half the time.
  • In the early George Lucas days, it was rare that his films didn't include Harrison Ford. Ironically, he was not the first choice for any of his early roles.
  • Mel Brooks' movies were known for having Dom De Luise, Harvey Korman, Dick Van Patten, Gene Wilder, and Madeline Kahn, among others (for instance, Liam Dunn appeared in at least two of Brooks' movies).
  • John Waters regularly featured Divine, Edith Massey, and Mink Stole in many of his works.
  • Nowadays, if there's a work directed by J. J. Abrams, there's secondarily Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman as writers and Michael Giacchino as the score composer. He tried to give Greg Grunberg (Parkman from Heroes) a role in every project he did for a while, whether it was major or just a cameo like LOST (his cameo in Star Trek is voice only); he's lessened this over time.
  • There is a lot of osmosis between Full House, Step by Step, and Family Matters; they had the same producers and the same lead vocalist for their theme songs.
    • Bob Saget's comedy projects often include his Full House castmates, especially Dave Coulier, Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin.
  • If it's a Pixar feature film, John Ratzenberger will have a voice role in it. And expect music by either Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman, or Randy's cousin Thomas Newman (Brave, scored by Patrick Doyle, is the only exception to date).
  • Ron Howard often Co-produces with Brian Grazer. Also, expect Ron's brother Clint to show up at some point.
  • Any movie directed by Akira Kurosawa in the '50s and '60s could be expected to feature some combination of Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, and Minoru Chiaki. (Tatsuya Nakadai took Mifune's place in Kurosawa's later films, after Mifune and Kurosawa had a falling out in the mid '60s.) Part of this was the Toho studio system and Japan's relatively small pool of actors after World War II, but after a while Kurosawa started writing parts specifically for Mifune and Shimura.
  • Don't be surprised if you see Michael Biehn or Bill Paxton turn up in a James Cameron movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not uncommon to star (at least before he became The Governator). You'll probably find Lance Henriksen in it or possibly Sigourney Weaver. The score is most likely either done by Brad Fiedel or James Horner.
  • John Carpenter's famous collaboration with Kurt Russell, in Escape from New York, The Thing (1982) and Big Trouble in Little China. For the rest of the crew? He wrote, directed and often scored his own movies. Robert Rodriguez cited him as his major inspiration in that part. He even played the scores from Escape from New York and The Thing (1982) during the shoot of Planet Terror.
  • If a movie is directed by Colin Nutley, Helena Bergström (his wife) almost invariably plays the female lead.
  • Akiyuki Shinbo, the director for all of Studio Shaft's works, has a selection of voice actors that pop up time and time again. Hiroshi Kamiya, Chiwa Saito and Miyuki Sawashiro are the ones most likely to show up.
  • Martin Scorsese and his go-to guys Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, and these days, Leonardo DiCaprio. The editor of all of his movies since Raging Bull is Thelma Schoonmaker. Scorsese was also the last film director to work regularly with Saul Bass.
  • Guy Ritchie and his frequent producer (and now a director himself) Mathew Vaughn often use the same group of actors. Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng have appeared in nearly every film either of them have done.
  • When Judd Apatow switched from TV to movies, he obviously kept the section of his old Rolodex with the "freaks" from Freaks And Geeks (Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jason Segel) and one of the "geeks" (Martin Starr). Linda Cardellini and Busy Phillips, not so much.
    • Also from his second short lived series Undeclared Jay Baruchel and Carla Gallo.
      • Apatow's wife Leslie Mann has been in all four of his movies so far. Their two daughters in three.
  • Want to know who's going to star in Dan Schneider's next series? Similar to Disney Channel's series and movies just look to the recurring guest stars of the current one.
    • This used to only really apply to Disney Channel's movies with many actors such as Ryan Merrimaan appearing in multiple ones some of the show actors would as well but the shows mostly kept to themselves with actors being confimed to there own shows. Eventually more and more actors from the series started appearing in the movies and only very recently has this happened with actors appearing on other shows. Selena Gomez may be one of the first example of this with her appearance on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and later Hannah Montana and eventually landing Wizards of Waverly Place.
  • Guillermo del Toro movies tend to have Ron Perlman, Luke Goss, and/or Doug Jones; Hellboy II featured all three of them in notable roles. The cinematography is usually done by Guillermo Navarro and Marco Beltrami scores most of his films. Also, more times than not his films will feature a cameo by Santiago Segura.
  • Rob Zombie often uses the same actors in many of his films; usually the actors from one film will show up in the next. His wife, Sheri Moon, is in everything he's done.
  • Two well-known ones in Hong Kong cinema:
    • The "Seven Little Fortunes", a subset of which are the "Three Brothers" - Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung (Martial Law), and Yuen Biao, and Corey Yuen (martial arts director for The One, Kiss of the Dragon, Cradle 2 the Grave, Romeo Must Die and others), Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu (Kung Fu Hustle) which started out as a Chinese opera troupe but gradually moved on to movies in the 70s, essentially defining Hongkong action cinema. (Contrary to popular belief, Yuen Wo Ping [fight director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix, and Kill Bill ] was not a member of the Seven Little Fortunes. Yuen is his real surname, the Seven Little Fortunes just adopted it in honor of their teacher whose surname is Yuen.)
    • They have a Spiritual Successor in a new "Brat Pack" of sorts, a stable of young talents including Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Stephen Fung, Nicholas Tse, Cecilia Chung, Joey Yung, Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi (the last two even record albums under the name Twins). Sadly these kids are better known nowadays for Edison's scandal, wherein the people repairing his laptop went the extra mile to upload his Porn Stash on the internet - which included nude pics of some of the ladies.
  • Ed Wood and his posse: Dolores Fuller, Tor Johnson, Bela Lugosi, The Amazing Criswell, Bunny Breckinridge, Conrad Brooks, etc.
  • Kenneth Branagh films are likely to feature appearances by BRIAN BLESSED, Richard Briers, Geraldine MacEwan, Michael Maloney, and sometimes Derek Jacobi. Before Branagh and Emma Thompson divorced in 1995, she also played major roles in most of his films. Patrick Doyle usually does the music.
  • Spike Lee has a particularly large one. Members of it include his sister, and are all listed on his page on The Other Wiki. He also reuses crew members, such as cinematographer Ernest Dickerson.
  • The work of the "Black Pack" from the late 80's and mid 90's (Eddie Murphy, Robert Townsend, Arsenio Hall, Paul Mooney and Keenen Ivory Wayans).
  • All of David Cronenberg's films since The Brood (except for The Dead Zone) are scored by Howard Shore and he has worked with cinematographer Peter Suschitzky on all of his films since Dead Ringers (before that, his go to guy was Mark Irwin). Robert Silverman often shows up in a smaller role. Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons are also frequent collaborators with him. Carol Spier started off as art director on three of his early films, then became production designer from The Dead Zone on. His sister Denise has been his costume designer since The Fly.
  • Saturday Night Live alumni tend to work together a lot, usually members of the same cast, however it has been cross-generational as well.
  • Christopher Nolan has a noticeable tendency to cast the same actors in different films. Michael Caine has appeared in his last 5 films. Christian Bale, Cillian Murphy, and Ken Watanabe have also had recurring roles. Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt appear to be the newest members; after Inception, all three have roles in The Dark Knight Rises.
    • There seems to be an interesting pattern emerging since Inception. Apart from Michael Caine, Nolan has yet to use the same actor in more than two different roles. For Inception he brought in Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He reused these three in The Dark Knight Rises and threw in Anne Hathaway. The former three are not present for his upcoming film Interstellar, while Hathaway is (as is Michael Caine, again). If this pattern continues one can harbor a guess who will be in his next film. Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain might be good guesses.
    • He does screenwriting with his brother Jonathan, his wife Emma Thomas will usually be producing, Wally Pfister will be doing cinematography, Lee Smith will be editing, either David Julyan or Hans Zimmer will be writing the score, and Chris Corbould will be on special effects.
  • If Tony Scott's making a new movie, then chances are Denzel Washington's not far behind. See Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and Unstoppable. Denzel also starred in American Gangster, made by Tony's brother Ridley Scott.
  • Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries) always includes a role for Hector Elizondo.
  • Ever since Gladiator, Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe frequently reunite. In addition to Crowe, Scott has also worked with Costume designer Janty Yates, production designer Arthur Max, editors Pietro Scalia and Doby Dorn and cinematographer John Mathieson (though, post-Prometheus, Scott has been working with Dariusz Wolski on projects like The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings). Common composers for him also include Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer and Marc Streitenfeld.
  • If Robert Altman is directing a movie, Shelley Duvall, Lily Tomlin and/or Diane Lane can't be too far behind.
  • Ditto Hal Needham (Smokey and the Bandit) and Burt Reynolds, Dom De Luise and/or Jerry Reed.
  • BBS Productions in the late 60s and early 70s. For every film made by the company (with the exception of The Last Picture Show), the producer, director, writer and lead actor jobs were always filled by some combination of Bob Rafelson, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and Henry Jaglom.
  • Toronto-based Nelvana Studio is prone to using the same actors and actresses in its productions, be they live-action or animation. Common talent includes/included Alyson Court, Tara Strong, Sunny Besen-Thrasher, Michael Fantini, Hadley Kay, Jim Henshaw, Billie Richards, and Cree Summer, among many, many others.
    • Many animation studios often had their own stock company of voice actors. Hanna-Barbera's productions usually had Daws Butler, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Janet Waldo, and Frank Welker among its regulars.
  • Funimation, while huge, always ALWAYS uses voice actors for the lead roles who had appeared in their previous titles. They do look for new meat, but anime dubbing is so specialized that they really have no choice to cast the same people for the lead roles. Their actors also direct, write, line produce, and sound mix their dubs!
  • Filmation productions often noticably featured characters voiced by Lou Schiemer, one of the company's co-founders, although he was usually either uncredited, or went by the name "Erik Gunden".note  Other regulars included Lou's daughter Erika Schiemer, Jane Webb, John Erwin, Melendy Britt, Linda Gary, and the late George DiCenzonote .
    • During much of the 1980s, DIC tended to have Bettina (the title character in all of their Rainbow Brite productions), Scott Menville, Cree Summer, Danny Mann, Danny Wells, Jeannie Elias, character actress Marilyn Lightstone, and various other Canadian talents who also recorded voices for the aforementioned Nelvana.
  • Ingmar Bergman frequently worked with the "repertory company" of Max von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullman, Gunnar Björnstrand and others, and almost always worked with cinematographer Sven Nykvist.
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder frequently worked with the same actors and production crew. Most of the Neuer Deutscher Film directors did it too.
  • Koichi Mashimo frequently works with favorite seiyus Miyu Irino, Aya Hisakawa, Maaya Sakamoto among others. Musically he frequents the group Ali Project, and Yuki Kajiura. Also has his favorite screenwriters. In addition he always goes to the same studio for the art direction and in-betweening and completion work of his anime.
  • William Shakespeare had a stock company which included Richard Burbage (who generally played the leads) and Will Kemp (who played the comic roles). This is lampshaded in Hamlet where the actor playing Polonius is the same actor who originally played Julius Caesar (and therefore got stabbed again by Richard Burbage who played both Hamlet and Brutus).
  • During the 70s Mexican TV producer Roberto Gomez Bolaños (AKA: "Chespirito") used the same pool of actors on all of his shows, usually playing similar characters. This was particularly noticeable on El Chapulín Colorado, which only had one regular character (El Chapulin, played by Bolaños himself) since any other characters in the show where played by actors from his other hit show, El Chavo del ocho (where they played regular characters.) They consisted of some combination of himself, Carlos Villagrán, Ramón Valdez, Florinda Meza, María Antonieta de las Nieves, Edgar Vivar, Ruben Aguirre, and (occasionally) his younger brother Horacio Gomez Bolaños.
  • Don Bluth was always followed by Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy, and the three had left Disney at the same time to start Bluth's independent animation studio. Among the actors normally cast, Dom De Luise was a regular, with Will Ryan not to far behind.
  • A Disney Channel Original Movie made these days will likely feature one, or more, or several stars from the channel's original series, and maybe similar directors or writers.
  • Every Matthew Vaugh movie has Jason Flemyng in it, is produced by Jane Goldman, probably has Dexter Fletcher, and there's a huge list of regular collaborators (including Guy Ritchie and Brad Pitt) at the other wiki
  • Otto Preminger had poor working relationships with many of his stars (including Linda Darnell, whom he directed in four films), but he still had a few favorite associates:
    • Laura stars Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews became Preminger's favorite actors to cast at 20th Century Fox. Tierney was Preminger's first choice for Lady Windermere in The Fan, but pregnancy prevented her from taking the part. In the 1960s, Preminger brought them back for a minor role in one film each after their lives had deteriorated, Tierney in Advise And Consent and Andrews in In Harm's Way. Both those last two films also featured Burgess Meredith, who appeared in four other Preminger films.
    • Character actor Gregory Ratoff was a good friend of Preminger from his earliest year at Fox, and appeared in three films directed by Preminger; Preminger also played a small part in one film directed by Ratoff.
    • Doro Merande played small parts in four Preminger films, and was also in several Broadway flops Preminger directed.
    • More closely associated with Preminger than any actor was Saul Bass, who did promotional art and title sequences for most of Preminger's films (and a few plays) after he went independent.
    • Max Slater, a friend of Preminger's since his Vienna years, supervised the dialogue on most of Preminger's later films. He was born Maximilian Schulz, but he changed his last name to that of a character he liked in The Moon Is Blue.
    • Ben Hecht did screenplays or rewrites for four Preminger films.
  • Director James Mangold almost always has Cathy Konrad as producer, Phedon Papamichael as cinematographer and Arianne Phillips as costume designer. But he never used the same composer twice until The Wolverine (which reunites him with Marco Beltrami after 3:10 To Yuma).
  • In the early 1990's, it wasn't uncommon to see a Roger Corman production with Phedon Papamichael, Janusz Kaminski, Mauro Fiore and Wally Pfister all in the camera crew (usually with Papamichael as the main cinematographer). All four have gone on to respectable careers in the cinematography field.
  • Dan Schneider in the Nick Verse (Nickeldoeon shows iCarly, Victorious, Drake & Josh and Zoey 101) has certain actors having 3 or 4 different characters in the same shared universe. The main force behind this is that Dan reuses favoured actors as well as finding his future lead stars by casting them in guest or less than starring roles whilst they are younger, for example, Miranda Cosgrove having iCarly built around her through her work as Megan on Drake & Josh, with Nathan Kress being recruited for the show because of a one-shot guess character named Toplin; Jennette McCurdy's character Sam is based on a one episode character she played in Zoey101. Victoria Justice who was in Zoey 101 and iCarly before Victorious which was built around her when Dan identified her as a future star years earlier when she was on Zoey 101.
    • Also Taran Killam seems to pop up in his works somewhere as well.
  • Lucky McKee usually seems to have Angela Bettis as one of his actors (and when Bettis made her directorial debut, McKee was the lead actor).
  • Rob Thomas's Party Down features Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, and Ryan Hansen, all of whom appeared on Veronica Mars.
    • It also featured a ton of other Veronica Mars stars and guest stars in the first season and a few in the second including Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, and Alona Tal.
  • Justin Lin almost always has Sung Kang in one of his films (this would likely explain why Kang is the only actor from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift to appear in future installments).
  • Virtually every movie that David Lean ever directed featured Alec Guinness in a key secondary role (Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations, Fagin in Oliver Twist, Emir Feisal in Lawrence of Arabia and quite a few others), with Guinness only starring in The Bridge on the River Kwai. The two men had a falling out eventually and the next movie Lean made, in which he deliberately did not cast Guinness, was his first critical and financial failure since he began working with Guinness, and so for the rest of Lean's life Guinness always had a role in Lean's films, albeit increasingly smaller ones. The two men never became friends again but Lean still considered Guinness his 'good luck charm.'
    • With five Lean films to his credit, John Mills rivals Guinness as Lean's go-to actor. But Lean's earlier films generally feature many recurring actors: Celia Johnson, Kay Walsh (Mrs. David Lean for a time), Robert Newton, Stanley Holloway, Francis L. Sullivan, Joyce Carrey, Trevor Howard. Ann Todd also did three films with Lean during their brief marriage.
  • Quite a few movies that Tyler Perry directs and/or produces will have himself in a lead role, and also will have Tasha Smith, David Mann and Tamela Mann (the latter two are husband and wife).
  • Before he left the Church of Happyology in 2010, Paul Haggis usually had Michael Pena as one of his actors and Mark Isham as his composer (the latter two are active members).
  • Stu is usually accompanied by his girlfriend Jeanine Kasun, as well as writers/historians Mark Evanier, Earl Kress, and Jerry Beck.
  • Clive Doig's puzzle-based Edutainment shows for The BBC generally featured one or more of Janet Ellis, Sylvester McCoy, Mark Speight, Phillip Fox and Wilf Lunn.
  • Makoto Shinkai has not been involved in any project that does not have the name of composer Tenmon in it.
  • Along with Frank Capra and John Ford, the classic Hollywood director who had the most identifiable stock company was Preston Sturges. Such actors as Eric Blore, Al Bridge, Jimmy Conlin, Robert Grieg, Raymond Washburn, and most famously of all, William Demarest, appeared in most if not all of the movies Sturges directed for Paramount. He also directed Joel McRea in three films and Eddie Bracken in two.
  • Voice director Jack Fletcher (known for Disney's early dubs of Ghibli films, the numbered Final Fantasy games, Tenchi Muyo! and more) seems to work frequently with certain actors, such as John DiMaggio, Sherry Lynn, Matt K. Miller, Debi Derryberry, Roger Jackson, and Dwight Schultz. The Animatrix got some attention from fans of Final Fantasy X because it featured the entire main cast from the game (the exceptions being Paula Tiso [Lulu] and Gregg Berger [Jecht]), as well as much of the supporting cast.
  • Voice acting in general is prone to this. While voice actors are generally freelancers, a lot of studios and casting directors tend to have their own little talent pool, though there is some overlap when it comes to popular and in-demand talent. For instance, while all three studios use Los Angeles-based actors, it's easy to distinguish a dub by New Generation Pictures from one by Bang Zoom! Entertainment or PCB Productions.
  • The Sherlock Holmes movies are an attempt to enforce this trope. Around the time Game of Shadows came out, interviews with the director and the cast had them quoted saying they wanted to keep largely the same cast and crew for each movie in the series.
  • Every show created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere will usually feature most of or all of the actors of one of their previous shows. The most common ones being Kath Soucie, Pamela Adlon, April Winchell, Eddie Deezen, Justin Shenkarow, E.G. Daily, Ashley Johnson, Anndi McAffee, Tress MacNeille, and many more.
  • Joe Wright has directed Keira Knightley in 3 out the 5 films he's made (the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and the upcoming adaptation of Anna Karenina) and in a commercial for Chanel's 'Coco Mademoiselle' perfume.
  • Joe Dante films all notably have an appearance by actor Dick Miller, with Kevin Mc Carthy appearing in several as well. Jerry Goldsmith scored every single Dante film from 1983 onwards up until his death.
  • Craig McCracken has had 3 animated shows (one of which hasn't aired yet), he tends to use some of the same voice actors, often casting them in roles different from the other shows of his they've appeared on. These actors include Tom Kenny, Tara Strong, Tom Kane and Keith Ferguson. Grey DeLisle and Phil LaMarr, while regulars on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, had done voices at some point in The Powerpuff Girls.
    • Genndy Tartakovsky (who co-voice directed the first few seasons of Powerpuff with Craig, as he usually voice directs his shows) tends to use Voice Actors alot as well. He's worked with some of the above VAs on shows of his own (such as Strong, LaMarr, Kane, Kenny and DeLisle). He's also worked with Corey Burton, Richard McGonagle, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jeff Bennett, Rob Paulsen and James Arnold Taylor on two or more projects. While he often works with voice actors, he doesn't only cast them, having worked with on-camera actors and comedians (Mako, Tim Russ, Brian Posehn) in a few of his projects.
  • Along with some of the Star Trek examples mentioned above, Greg Weisman often tends to bring back some of the actors from Gargoyles in bit or main characters as well as reusing actors he started working with after Gargoyles. This includes Thom Adcox Hernandez, Jeff Bennett, Edward Asner, Dee Bradley Baker, Cree Summer, Vanessa Marshall, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Steve Blum, and Keith David, among others.
  • Every series that Tom Ruegger and Steven Spielberg collaborated on in the 90s seemed to have some combination of these voice actors: Tress MacNeille, Rob Paulsen, Maurice Lamarche, Frank Welker, Paul Rugg, Cree Summer
    • Julie Brown was a guest on one episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, and later became a regular on Animaniacs.
    • Tom Ruegger also cast his son Nathan in three of his series.
  • The main Horrible Histories cast comprising of Mathew Baynton, Ben Willbond, Jim Howick, Larry Rickard, Simon Farnaby and Martha Howe-Douglas couldn't bear the thought of not working together after that show ended. This led directly to a new TV series, Yonderland, and upcoming film Bill.
  • Sam Peckinpah had a "stock company" to rival John Ford: Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Strother Martin, LQ Jones, RG Armstrong, John Davis Chandler, David Warner, Slim Pickens, Cassie Yates, Aurora Clavell to name the most frequently occurring. He also frequently worked with cinematographer Lucien Ballard and composer Jerry Fielding.
  • David O Russell has begun to form a production posse so far consisting of Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
  • In music, EVERY RAP GROUP, CREW OR LABEL EVER. Every solo album one member does, you can almost guarantee the others won't be far behind. This is particularly prevalent in the somewhat self-insular rap groups the Wu-Tang Clan and Odd Future.
    • and Young Money. Any album by any member of YMCMB is probably going to have at least another member of the team on it somewhere (and there are several). Being the labels' founding musicians, chances are any YMCMB album will have some sort of vocal involvement from either Birdman or Lil Wayne.
    • GOOD Music, Kanye West's clique and label, does this as well - chances are any album the label releases will have involvement either in production or in vocals from Kanye himself, a hook from The-Dream, and features from any artist on the roster.
      • Kanye himself. Most stuff he's done since the start of his career has involved Common, John Legend, Malik Yusuf, Mos Def and Jay-Z somewhere along the line. He also gained his childhood friends Really Doe and GLC considerable exposure, along with his cousin Tony Williams. These days, if Kanye has a new album out, you can usually expect any (or indeed all) of these artists to be in hot pursuit - anyone mentioned above, Kid Cudi, Raekwon, The-Dream, Jay-Z, anyone not mentioned who is signed to GOOD Music, Talib Kweli, Justin Vernon, Lupe Fiasco, La Roux and Rihanna. You can also always expect his mentor No I.D. to have given some of the tracks a once-over production-wise.
      • And Jay-Z. Almost every Jay-Z album these days will involve production from one or more of Kanye West, Timbaland, Just Blaze or Pharrell. Chances are Kanye may have a verse or two as well. Others who are likely to be involved are Jay's wife Beyoncé, J Cole, Rick Ross, Nas and Rihanna.
  • Brad Paisley, a current country music star with a very healthy respect for country music's history and traditions, seems to not only include the likes of Little Jimmy Dickens, Dolly Parton, Bill Anderson, the late Buck Owens, George Jones and Bill Anderson in his music videos and album tracks, but they seem to show up often at Brad's public appearances, too, including award shows. Non-country music celebrities Brad's been known to pal with include Jason Alexander, William Shatner and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
  • Any time Bob Hope and Bing Crosby would hit the Road, Dorothy Lamour would invariably be along for the ride. Subsequent Bob Hope movies tended to feature Bing Crosby in a cameo, sometimes stealing the girl away from Bob at the last minute. Jerry Colonna appeared in some of the Road to ... movies, as well as some other Bob Hope projects. Lampshaded in the theme from "Road to Morocco":
    Where they're going, why we're going, how can we be sure?
    I'll lay you eight to five that we'll meet Dorothy Lamour.
  • Ever since he took up filmmaking, Bobcat Goldthwait's had one of these. He's stated in interviews he mostly casts his friends. This includes With the exception of Robin Williams, most of them are only slightly famous. This includes Geoff Pierson, Tom Kenny, Jill Talley, Toby Huss, author Dan Spencer, Morgan Murphy, Joel Murray, Tony V, Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson among others. Some are people he's worked with when he was acting in movies and television (Murray from One Crazy Summer, Pierson from Unhappily Ever After).
  • Black British director Steve McQueen has directed three films so far. All of them starred Michael Fassbender and were edited by Joe Walker. The cinamatographer for all three was Sean Bobbit.
  • Many of Stephen Sondheim's musicals were created in association with director-producer Harold Prince (Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Merrily We Roll Along, the failed version of Road Show known as Bounce) and writer-director James Lapine (Sunday In The Park With George, Into the Woods, Passion, the 2012 revival of Merrily We Roll Along). Almost all of these shows were orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick. (Sondheim had a lot of trouble with previous orchestrators when he started composing Broadway musicals in the 1960s.)
  • With any Syfy show, expect to see several guest appearances by actors from other Syfy shows. Sanctuary and Warehouse 13 are the best examples, with the former featuring several Stargate alumni, and the latter featuring guest appearances from almost every other Syfy show that was currently airing at the time.
  • To date, Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford have shared the screen in three different shows, including their stint as co-leads on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
  • Every Broadway musical originally starring Ethel Merman, with the exception of Gypsy, had a book written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse or by Herbert Fields with either B.G. DeSylva or Dorothy Fields. Cole Porter wrote songs for five Ethel Merman shows, and she was the only performer whose name he associated with the song ideas in his personal notebook.
  • Director Jeff Nichols always work with actor Michael Shannon. Also actor Ray McKinnon appears in his last two fims.
  • Director Ryuhei Kitamura has worked together with actors Tak Sakaguchi and Hideo Sakaki in four movies, Versus, Alive, Aragami, and Godzilla Final Wars.
  • American Horror Story changes its cast and plot every season, but each one to date (including the forthcoming Freak Show) has had Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy and Evan Peters in common.
  • Four movies directed by John Landis have a bit part for singer-songwriter Stephen "Charming Guy" Bishop, though Animal House is the only one with any sort of musical contribution by him.
  • Bryan Singer has both cinematographer Newton Thomas Siegel and editor\composer John Ottman (though Ottman was forced out of X-Men for scheduling conflicts), while writers Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty helped him in both the X-Men sequels and Superman Returns.
  • When Bryan Singer left the production of X-Men: The Last Stand he took his one to Superman Returns, but Brett Ratner brought two of his own collaborators to replace them - cinematographer Dante Spinotti and editor Mark Helfrich - and also actor Ken Leung as a spiked mutant.
  • Any show created by Donald P. Bellisario (Magnum, P.I., Tales of the Gold Monkey, Airwolf, Quantum Leap, JAG, First Monday, NCIS) will inevitably include members of his familiy both before and behind the camera.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan's operas, from The Sorcerer onward, were produced by Richard D'Oyly Carte's Comic Opera Company and its successor, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. There were many recurring actors, but a few names stand out:
  • The cartoon production company DIC had Shuki Levy compose the soundtrack to what may have been 98 percent of their output during The Eighties.
  • Many Game Show creators:
    • Chuck Barris always used Johnny Jacobs as an announcer from about the early 1970s onward. After Jacobs' death, he was replaced by Tony McClay.
    • Jack Barry also used Jacobs as an announcer very frequently. If he was unavailable, then Jay Stewart or Charlie O'Donnell was used instead. Many of his shows also had Hal Hidey compose the Theme Tune.
    • Bob Stewart: Bill Cullen will always be involved in some way, either as a host or celebrity guest. Bob Cobert was usually the Theme Tune composer.
    • Mark Goodson: If the show came out in the 70s or early-mid 80s and Gene Wood isn't announcing, then Johnny Olson probably is. Almost always with music composed by Score Productions and/or Edd Kalehoff.
    • Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley: Always announced by Kenny Williams, except Temptation (no relation to the Sale Of The Century knockoff of the 2000s) and The Magnificent Marble Machine.
  • George Strait has had many of the same staff since his 1992 soundtrack for Pure Country, including the same batch of session musicians (among them: drummer Eddie Bayers, fiddler Stuart Duncan, steel guitarist Paul Franklin, guitarists Steve Gibson and Brent Mason, pianist John Barlow Jarvis, and bassist Glenn Worf), as well as producer Tony Brown. He has also included a song written by Dean Dillon on nearly every album.
  • In The Nineties, Garth Brooks was produced by Allen Reynolds on all except for his 1999 side project done as Chris Gaines. He also had a song written by Kent Blazy on all albums except 1990's No Fences and the Chris Gaines album, and almost always had Trisha Yearwood (whom he would later marry) as a backing vocalist.
  • For the animation company Rankin/Bass, writer Maury Laws and composer Romeo Muller were involved some capacity since the company began and right up to the year that it closed its doors.

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