Director Nerd, Writer Nerd

Cameron Crowe (American film director, producer, and screenwriter) was born on July 13, 1957

Cameron Bruce Crowe is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Before moving into the film industry, Crowe was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, for which he still frequently writes. Crowe has made his mark with character-driven, personal films that have been generally hailed as refreshingly original and devoid of cynicism. Michael Walker in The New York Times called Crowe “something of a cinematic spokesman for the post-baby boom generation” because his first few films focused on that specific age group, first as high schoolers and then as young adults making their way in the world. Crowe’s debut screenwriting effort, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, grew out of a book he wrote while posing for one year undercover as a student at Clairemont High School in San Diego, California, where he met Geraldine Edwards, who was a student there while he was visiting mutual friends in 1975. He later based part of his Penny Lane character on her in Almost Famous after discovering that she had been going backstage to Rock and Roll concerts. Later, he wrote and directed one more high school saga, Say Anything, and then Singles, a story of Seattle twentysomethings that was woven together by a soundtrack centering on that city’s burgeoning grunge music scene. Crowe landed his biggest hit, though, with Jerry Maguire. After this, he was given a green light to go ahead with a pet project, the autobiographical effort Almost Famous. Centering on a teenage music journalist on tour with an up-and-coming band, it gave insight to his life as a 15-year-old writer for Rolling Stone. Part of the dialogue was inspired by comments that were made by Bebe Buell in certain interviews. Also in late 1999, Crowe released his second book, Conversations with Billy Wilder, a question and answer session with the legendary director.

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Actor Nerd, Director Nerd

Sydney Pollack (American film director, producer, and actor) was born on July 1, 1934

Sydney Irwin Pollack was an American film director, producer and actor. Pollack studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, where he later taught acting. He began directing television shows in the 1960s before moving to films. Pollack directed more than 21 films and 10 television shows, acted in over 30 films or shows, and produced over 44 films. Some of his best known works include Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975) and Absence of Malice (1981). His 1985 film Out of Africa won him Academy Awards for directing and producing; he was also nominated for Best Director Oscars for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Tootsie, in the latter of which he also appeared. His later films included Havana (1990), The Firm (1993), Sabrina (1995), The Interpreter (2005), and as producer for and actor in Michael Clayton (2007).

Comedy Nerd, Director Nerd, Writer Nerd

Scott Sanders (American screenwriter and film director) was born on June 10, 1968

Scott Sanders is an American screenwriter and film director. He is best known for his work with the films Black Dynamite and Thick as Thieves. Sanders began his career as a television writer working on TV shows such as “A Different World”, “Roc”, and “The Wayans Brothers”. Sanders’ directorial debut came on the 1998 HBO film Thick as Thieves. Thick as Thieves is a 1998 film directed by Sanders and starring Alec Baldwin, Michael Jai White, Rebecca De Mornay, and Janeane Garofalo. It was based on the novel “Thick As Thieves” by Patrick Quinn and adapted for the screen by Sanders and Arthur Krystal. The film premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by HBO. Black Dynamite premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Entertainment for worldwide distribution. Scott Sanders directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay along with Michael Jai White and Byron Minns. Black Dynamite has been in many 2009 film festivals including Sundance, Seattle International, Tribeca, Karlovy Vary International, Munich, Edinburgh International, Copenhagen Film Festival, Melbourne International, and Deauville American. At the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival, Black Dynamite won the 2009 Golden Space Needle Award for “Most Popular Film”. “Black Dynamite” was released by Sony Pictures on October 16, 2009.

Director Nerd, Science Fiction Nerd

Duncan Jones (English film director) was born on May 30, 1971

Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, also known as Zowie Bowie, is an English film director best known for directing the science fiction films Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011). Following on from the success of Moon, Jones is currently planning a follow-up which will serve as an epilogue. “Sam (Rockwell) has agreed to do a little cameo in the next film,” says Jones, who ultimately hopes to do three films in the Moon series. Later, he said that he would be doing “another science fiction film, called Mute, which takes place in a future Berlin. It’s a Blade Runner-inspired piece, a little love letter to that film.” The premise is that in future Berlin, a woman’s disappearance causes a mystery for her partner, a mute bartender. He must go up against the city’s gangsters to solve the mystery. The film takes place in the same timeline as Jones’ Moon, and will feature Sam Rockwell in a cameo as his character Sam Bell.

Director Nerd, Science Fiction Nerd, Writer Nerd

George Lucas was born on May 14, 1944

George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones. Lucas is one of the American film industry’s most financially successful directors/producers, with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion as of 2011. George Lucas was born in Modesto, California, the son of Dorothy Ellinore (née Bomberger) and George Walton Lucas, Sr. (1913–1991), who owned a stationery store. Lucas grew up in the Central Valley town of Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his USC student film 1:42.08, as well as his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti. Long before Lucas became obsessed with film making, he wanted to be a race-car driver, and he spent most of his high school years racing on the underground circuit at fairgrounds and hanging out at garages. However, a near-fatal accident in his souped-up Autobianchi Bianchina on June 12, 1962, just days before his high school graduation, quickly changed his mind. Instead of racing, he attended Modesto Junior College and later got accepted into a junior college to study anthropology. While taking liberal arts courses, he developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks. George Lucas graduated from USC in California.

Animation Nerd, Artist Nerd, Director Nerd

Bob Clampett (American animator, producer, director, and puppeteer) was born on May 8, 1913

Robert Emerson “Bob” Clampett was an American animator, producer, director, and puppeteer best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros., and the television shows Time for Beany and Beany and Cecil. Clampett was born and raised not far from Hollywood, and early on expressed an interest in animation and puppetry. After leaving high school a few months shy of graduating in 1931, Clampett joined the team at Harman-Ising Productions and began working on the studio’s newest short subjects, titled Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Clampett was promoted to a directorial position in 1937 and during his fifteen years at the studio, directed 84 cartoons later deemed classic and designed some of the studio’s most famous characters, including Porky Pig and Tweety. Among Clampett’s most acclaimed films are Porky in Wackyland (1938), Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943) and The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946). Clampett left Warner Bros. Cartoons in 1946 and turned his attention to television, creating the famous puppet show Time for Beany in 1949. A later animated version of the series, titled Beany and Cecil, ran on ABC for five years beginning in 1962 and ending in 1967, which was well loved by millions, and credited “a Bob Clampett Cartoon”.

Director Nerd, Writer Nerd

Edgar Wright (English film and television director and writer) was born on April 18, 1974

Edgar Howard Wright is an English film and television director and writer. He is most famous for his work with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the TV series Spaced, and for directing the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and co-writing Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin with Joe Cornish and Steven Moffat (the writer of Doctor Who and Sherlock). Wright was born in Poole, Dorset, but grew up predominantly in Wells, Somerset, after his family moved there during his childhood. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wright directed many short films, first on a Super-8 camera which was a gift from a family member and later on a Video-8 camcorder won in a competition on the television programme Going Live. These films were mostly comedic pastiches of popular genres, such as the super hero-inspired Carbolic Soap and Dirty Harry tribute Dead Right (the latter of which was eventually featured on the DVD release of Hot Fuzz).