John Howard Carpenter is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, composer, and occasional actor. Although Carpenter has worked in numerous film genres in his four-decade career, his name is most commonly associated with horror and science fiction. Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, the son of Milton Jean (née Carter) and Howard Ralph Carpenter, a music professor. He and his family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1953. He was captivated by movies from an early age, particularly the westerns of Howard Hawks and John Ford, as well as 1950s low budget horror and science fiction films, such as Forbidden Planet and The Thing from Another World and began filming horror shorts on 8 mm film even before entering high school. He attended Western Kentucky University where his father chaired the music department, then transferred to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1968, but later dropped out to make his first feature.
John Alan Lasseter is an American animator, director and the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is also currently the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering. Lasseter’s first job was with joined The Walt Disney Company, where he became an animator. Next, he joined Lucasfilm, where he worked on the then-groundbreaking use of CGI animation. After Lucasfilm became Pixar in 1986, Lasseter oversaw all of Pixar’s films and associated projects as executive producer and he directed Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and Cars. He has won two Academy Awards, for Animated Short Film (Tin Toy), as well as a Special Achievement Award (Toy Story). Lasseter is a close friend and admirer of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, and has been executive producer on several of Miyazaki’s films for their release in the United States, also overseeing the dubbing of the films for their English language soundtrack.
Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese manga artist and prominent film director and animator of many popular anime feature films. Through a career that has spanned nearly five decades, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of animated feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, an animation studio and production company. The success of Miyazaki’s films has invited comparisons with American animator Walt Disney, British animator Nick Park as well as Robert Zemeckis, who pioneered Motion Capture animation, and he has been named one of the most influential people by Time Magazine. During World War II, Miyazaki’s father Katsuji was director of Miyazaki Airplane, owned by his brother (Hayao Miyazaki’s uncle), which made rudders for A6M Zero fighter planes. During this time, Miyazaki drew airplanes and developed a lifelong fascination with aviation, a penchant that later manifested as a recurring theme in his films.
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern along with 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar. Zappa was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages.
Steven Allan Spielberg is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and business magnate. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust, the transatlantic slave trade, war, and terrorism. He is considered one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He is also one of the co-founders of DreamWorks movie studio. Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg’s films—Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993)—achieved box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time. To date, the unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $8.5 billion worldwide. Forbes puts Spielberg’s wealth at $3.3 billion.
Steven Vincent “Steve” Buscemi is an American actor, writer and director. An associate member of the renowned experimental theater company The Wooster Group, Buscemi has starred and supported in successful Hollywood and indie films, including Parting Glances, New York Stories, Mystery Train, Reservoir Dogs, Desperado, Con Air, Armageddon, The Grey Zone, Ghost World and Big Fish; and the HBO television series The Sopranos. He is also known for his appearances in many films by the Coen brothers: Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo and The Big Lebowski. Since 2010, he has starred in the critically acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire, which earned him two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe, and two nominations for an Emmy Award. He made his directorial debut in 1996, with Trees Lounge, in which he also starred. Other works include Animal Factory (2000), Lonesome Jim (2005) and Interview (2007). He has also directed numerous episodes of television shows, including; Homicide: Life on the Street, The Sopranos, Oz, 30 Rock and Nurse Jackie.
Judd Apatow is an American film producer, director, and screenwriter. Best known for his work in comedy films, he is the founder of Apatow Productions and also developed the cult television series Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared and Girls. Apatow’s work has won numerous awards including a Primetime Emmy Award (for The Ben Stiller Show), a Hollywood Comedy Award, and an AFI Award for his movie Bridesmaids. His work has also been nominated for Grammy Awards, PGA Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Academy Awards (for Bridesmaids). In October 2012, Vanity Fair announced that Apatow would be guest-editing their comedy Issue, the first person to ever do so. It has also been reported that Apatow will guest-write on an episode of The Simpsons that is due sometime in 2013-2014. In 2007, he was ranked #1 on Entertainment Weekly’s The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood. In the 2013 Critics Choice Award Nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Apatow’s film This Is 40 was nominated for Best Comedy as were Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd for their performances in the film. On January 10, 2013, the Broadcast Film Critics Association awarded Apatow the “Critics’ Choice Louis XIII Genius Award” named after a cognac. On October 3, 2013, The San Diego Film Festival awarded Apatow the esteemed “Visionary Filmmaker Award”.