Explorers of Science Fiction

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1.
James Cameron
Writer, Aliens
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University but, after graduating, drove a truck to support his screenwriting ambition. He landed his first professional film job as art director...
 
2.
Steven Spielberg
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer...
 
3.
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His father was a stationery store owner and he had three siblings. During his late teen years, he went to Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional race-car driver...
 
4.
Joss Whedon
Writer, The Avengers
Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon...
 
7.
Dan O'Bannon
Writer, Alien
Dan O'Bannon was inspired at an early age by EC Comics like Tales from the Crypt and old horror films that he saw in St. Louis. He even wrote a few stories for Heavy Metal magazine (which also showed up in the film). O'Bannon got his start when he and John Carpenter collaborated on the cult sci-fi film Dark Star...
 
9.
Ronald D. Moore
Ron Moore was a member of the Kappa Alpha literary society during his time at Cornell University. He dropped out of college during his senior year, after which he moved to Los Angeles, California, with a friend in hopes of becoming a working writer. He was two weeks away from joining the United States Navy when Michael Piller...
 
11.
Paul Verhoeven
Director, Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden, with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969, he directed the popular Dutch TV series, Floris, about a medieval knight...
 
12.
David Cronenberg
Director, The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father was a journalist, and his mother was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories, thus following his father's path) and for music (playing classical guitar until he was 12)...
 
13.
John Carpenter
Writer, Halloween
John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC film school in Los Angeles...
 
14.
George A. Romero
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; however, by all indications, he was very successful. The helmer of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 in New York City, New York, to a Cuban father and a Lithuanian-American mother. He grew up in NY, until attending the renowned Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...
 
15.
Stuart Gordon
Writer, Re-Animator
Stuart Gordon started his film directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist apprentice prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Unable to get into the film classes, he enrolled in an acting class and ended up majoring in theater...
 
16.
Ridley Scott
Producer, Blade Runner
Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. Following his commercial breakthrough with the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), his best known works are the noir science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), crime drama Thelma & Louise (1991), historical drama and Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator (2000)...
 
17.
Stanley Kubrick
Director, The Shining
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance...
 
18.
Andrei Tarkovsky
Writer, Solaris
The most famous Soviet film-maker since Sergei M. Eisenstein, Andrei Tarkovsky (the son of noted poet Arseniy Tarkovsky) studied music and Arabic in Moscow before enrolling in the Soviet film school V.G.I.K. He shot to international attention with his first feature, Ivan's Childhood, which won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival...
 
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20.
Roger Corman
Producer, Death Race
Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a total of three days as an engineer at US Electrical Motors...
 
21.
Robert Wise
Robert Earl Wise was born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, the youngest of three sons of Olive R. (Longenecker) and Earl Waldo Wise, a meat packer. His parents were both of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. At age nineteen, the avid moviegoer came into the film business through an odd job at RKO Radio Pictures...
 
22.
Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam was born in Minnesota near Medicine Lake. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of Mad magazine. In his early 20's he was often stopped by the police who often suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertisement...
 
24.
David Lynch
Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future director Jennifer Chambers Lynch shortly after he turned 21...
 
26.
Vincenzo Natali
Director, Cube
 
27.
Michael Piller
Michael went to school in New York before taking a creative writing course. The professor for this course told everyone, "There are enough bad writers out there. There needn't be anymore". Michael recalls that the professor would rip up his writing and he would be so broken-hearted. This professor eventually chased him into journalism...
 
29.
Christopher Nolan
Born in London in 1970, Christopher Nolan began making films at the age of seven years using his father's Super-8 camera and an assortment of male action figures. He graduated to making films involving real people, and his Super-8 surrealistic short 'Tarantella' was shown on P.B.S.' 'image union' in 1989...
 
30.
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Writer, Akira
Began to work as an animation artist in 1973.
 
31.
Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon was born in 1963. He studied at the Musashino College of the Arts. He began his career as a Manga artist. He then moved to animation and worked as a background artist on many films (including Roujin Z by 'Katsuhiro Otomo'). Then, in 1995, he wrote an episode of the anthology film Memories (this Episode was "Magnetic Rose")...
 
33.
Lana Wachowski
Writer, The Matrix
Lana Wachowski and her sister Lilly Wachowski, (also known as 'The Wachowskis') are the duo behind ground-breaking movies such as The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. Born to mother Lynne, a nurse, and father Ron, a businessman of Polish descent, Wachowski grew up in Chicago and formed a tight creative relationship with her sister Lilly...
 
34.
Lilly Wachowski
Writer, The Matrix
Director, writer and producer Lilly Wachowski was born in 1967 in Chicago as Andrew Wachowski, the son of Lynne, a nurse and painter and Ron, a businessman. Lilly was educated at Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago, before moving on to Whitney Young High School. After graduating from high school, she attended Emerson College in Boston, but dropped out...
 
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40.
Rintaro
Director, Metropolis
 
41.
Osamu Tezuka
Writer, Astroboy
Tezuka wrote/animated the Japanese TV Series "Jangaru Taitei" that was turned into a USA syndicated series in the 60s called "Kimba The White Lion". This story was then plagiarized by The Disney Company in 1994 and became "The Lion King", the most profitable film of all time, and Tezuka has never received due credit from Disney for his creation, much less any money.
 
44.
Glen A. Larson
Born on January 3, 1937 in Los Angeles, California, Glen A. Larson was the man behind some of the world's best-known prime-time television series. His highly successful productions (successful both financially and popularly, less often critically) include Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, Magnum, P.I....
 
45.
Rod Serling
John Phillips is the name used by longtime television and film writer Rod Serling when he asked that his real name be removed as the writer of the pilot episode of the series "The New People" in 1969. While Serling's name remained as series developer, he was sufficiently annoyed with ABC- TV's editing of the pilot-- it was cut from 52 to 45 minutes to fit into a 90 minute time slot...
 
46.
Kenneth Johnson
Writer, V
 
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48.
Alex Proyas
Director, Dark City
Alex Proyas has moved effortlessly between helming TV commercials and music videos to feature films. Born to Greek parents in Egypt, Proyas relocated to Australia with his family when he was three years old. He began making films at age ten and went on to attend the Australian Film Television and Radio School along with Jane Campion and Jocelyn Moorhouse...
 
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51.
Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Roslyn, New York. His father was a journalist and encouraged him to write and to type. Michael gave up studying English at Harvard University, having become disillusioned with the teaching standards--the final straw came when he submitted...
 
52.
Terry Nation
Writer, Doctor Who
Before becoming a film script writer Terry was a prolific writer of UK TV scripts in both action and science fiction genre. His scripts are noted for their depth, i.e. they usually have many sub-plots as well as the main plot. As a writer on the Dr Who TV series he created the DALEKs, the mechanical monsters who plan universal domination...
 
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54.
Russell T. Davies
Writer, Doctor Who
Russell T Davies was born in Swansea, Wales (UK) in 1963. After initially taking a BBC Television director's course in the 1980s, he briefly moved in front of the cameras to present a single episode of the BBC's version of the Australian young children's show "Play School" in 1987, before deciding that his abilities lay in production rather than presenting...
 
55.
Irwin Allen
Irwin Allen started in journalism before thrilling two generations as, firstly, the king of 1960s science fiction tv, then secondly, as "The Master Of 1970s Disaster" movies. His tv work is less talked about so this Biography will centre more on his tv work. Irwin Allen's 1960s material and 1970s material both fit under the headings of disaster or style over substance...
 
56.
David X. Cohen
Producer, Futurama
Cohen is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley; he studied theoretical computer science. His real name is David 'S.' Cohen. He used that name when he worked on The Simpsons, but when he starting working on Futurama, he joined the Writer's Guild (the TV writer's union). When he registered...
 
57.
Robert Zemeckis
A whiz-kid with special effects, Robert is from the Spielberg camp of film-making (Steven Spielberg produced many of his films). Usually working with writing partner Bob Gale, Robert's earlier films show he has a talent for zany comedy (Romancing the Stone, 1941) and special effect vehicles (Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Back to the Future)...
 
58.
Andrew Niccol
New Zealand-born screenwriter-director Andrew Niccol began his career in London, successfully directing TV commercials before moving to Los Angeles in order to make films "longer than 60 seconds." He interested high-powered producer Scott Rudin in his The Truman Show script, but Rudin was not willing to gamble on a rookie director...
 
59.
Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Director, The Animatrix
Graduated from Yokohama High School in 1968. After a few years working as animator at Mushi Production Animation, the company went bankrupt in 1972 and he joined Madhouse Studio. In the 70s he was promoted to animation director and finally debuted as film director in 1984's "SF New Century Lensman"...
 
60.
Peter Chung
Animation Department, Rugrats
 
63.
Ronald Shusett
Writer, Total Recall
Ronald Shusett was born to David and Fanny Shusett in June 1935. His younger brother Gary (1941 - 2013) founded the Sherwood Oaks Film School. When Ronald was three the family moved from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles where he grew up. He attended UCLA for two years and in the mid-1960s began producing stage plays...
 
65.
Genndy Tartakovsky
Genndy Tartakovsky was born and raised in Moscow, USSR. He and his family moved to Chicago, IL when he was 7 years old, after his father defected to the US. His interest in comic books and animation led him to study animation at Cal Arts in Los Angeles. While he was there he produced two student films...
 
66.
Chris Carter
Writer, The X-Files
Born and raised in Bellflower, California, Chris Carter graduated from the California State University at Long Beach with a degree in journalism. Formerly a freelance journalist and editor of "Surfing" magazine, Carter began his career as a screenwriter in 1985 at The Walt Disney Studios. In 1992 Carter began developing projects for Twentieth Century Fox Television...
 
67.
Scott Peters
Writer, V