greatest directors and writers (in no order)

by wyrick_cody | created - 09 Feb 2012 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

1. George Lucas

Writer | Star Wars

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 Thomas Downey High School and was very much interested in drag racing. He planned to become a professional racecar ...

2. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

3. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

4. Ron Howard

Actor | Arrested Development

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation's most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Apollo 13 (1995) to the hit comedies Parenthood (1989) and Splash (1984), he has created some of Hollywood's most memorable films.

Howard ...

5. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

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 before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

6. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

7. John Carpenter

Soundtrack | Escape from New York

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 ...

8. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Dunkirk

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear, storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

...

9. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

10. Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer | Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Paul W.S. Anderson gained a fair bit of notoriety in his native England when he directed the ultra-violent Shopping (1994) (which he also wrote), starring Jude Law and Sean Pertwee in a story about thieves who steal by ramming a car into storefronts. The film was banned in some cinemas in England, ...

11. Wolfgang Petersen

Director | Das Boot

This director seems to shine most when making movies that can best be described as part action movies/part disaster movies.

Beginning with Outbreak (1995) about the outbreak of a killer virus. This film had shades of an Irwin Allen disaster movie, The Swarm (1978), about the outbreak of killer bees....

12. Len Wiseman

Writer | Underworld

Filmmaker Len Wiseman's career began through his work in the art department on the blockbuster hits like Godzilla (1998), Men in Black (1997), and Independence Day (1996). His design talents soon got him behind the camera directing commercials for PlayStation, Time Warner, Oracle, Intel, and ...

13. Matt Stone

Music_department | South Park

Matt Stone was born on May 26, 1971 in Houston, Texas, USA as Matthew Richard Stone. He is known for his work on South Park (1997), South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and Team America: World Police (2004). He has been married to Angela Howard since 2008. They have two children.

14. Trey Parker

Music_department | South Park

Trey was born in Conifer, Colorado, on October 19, 1969 to Randy Parker, a geologist, and Sharon Parker, an insurance broker. He has an older sister, Shelley Parker. He met Matt Stone (co-creator of South Park (1997)) while attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he had a double ...

15. Gene Roddenberry

Writer | Star Trek

Gene Roddenberry was born on August 19, 1921 in El Paso, Texas, USA as Eugene Wesley Roddenberry. He was a writer and producer, known for Star Trek: The Original Series (1966), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). He was married to Majel Barrett and Eileen...

16. Guy Ritchie

Director | Sherlock Holmes

Guy Ritchie was born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on September 10, 1968. After watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) as a child, Guy realized that what he wanted to do was make films. He never attended film school, saying that the work of film school graduates was boring and ...

17. Mel Gibson

Actor | Braveheart

Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is ...

18. Mel Brooks

Actor | Spaceballs

Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in WWII, and afterwards got a job playing the drums at nightclubs in the Catskills. Brooks eventually started a comedy act and also worked in radio and as Master Entertainer at Grossinger's Resort before going to ...

19. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...

20. Rick Berman

Producer | Star Trek: First Contact

Rick Berman was born on December 25, 1945 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard Keith Berman. He is a producer and writer, known for Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek Generations (1994) and Star Trek: Insurrection (1998). He has been married to Elizabeth Berman since March 1980.

21. Fritz Lang

Actor | Le mépris

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

22. Robert Zemeckis

Writer | Back to the Future

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 (1984), 1941 (1979)) and special effect ...

23. Terry Jones

Writer | Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Terry Jones was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. His father was a bank clerk, mother - mistress of the house. He has an older brother, Nigel Jones (1940-). He studied at St. Edmund Hall College, Oxford University. In 1965, with his friend Michael Palin, he made The Late Show (1966) for television, ...

24. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

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 ...

25. Edgar Wright

Director | Shaun of the Dead

Edgar Howard Wright (born 18 April 1974) is an English director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He is best known for his comedic Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013), made with recurrent collaborators Simon Pegg...

26. 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 ...

27. Steven Moffat

Writer | Sherlock

Steven Moffat was born on November 18, 1961 in Paisley, Scotland as Steven William Moffat. He is a writer and producer, known for Sherlock (2010), Doctor Who (2005) and The Adventures of Tintin (2011). He has been married to Sue Vertue since 1999. They have two children. He was previously married ...

28. Mark Gatiss

Actor | The League of Gentlemen

Mark Gatiss is an accomplished author, actor and playwright. Originally from Sedgefield, County Durham, he graduated from Bretton Hall Drama College with a BA (honors) in Theatre Arts.

He was one-quarter of the award-winning comedy team The League of Gentlemen (1999), and became heavily involved in ...

29. Joss Whedon

Writer | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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. Whedon was ...

30. Brannon Braga

Writer | Star Trek: Generations

Brannon Braga was born on August 14, 1965 in Bozeman, Montana, USA. He is a producer and writer, known for Star Trek Generations (1994), Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).

31. Jeri Taylor

Producer | Star Trek: The Next Generation

Jeri Taylor was born on June 30, 1938 in Evansville, Indiana, USA as Jeri Cecile Suer. She is a producer and writer, known for Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Star Trek: Voyager (1995) and Quincy M.E. (1976). She was previously married to David Moessinger and Dick Enberg.

32. Ronald D. Moore

Producer | Battlestar Galactica

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 ...

33. Michael Piller

Writer | Star Trek: Insurrection

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 ...

34. Robert C. Cooper

Producer | Stargate SG-1

Robert C. Cooper was born on October 14, 1968 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a producer and writer, known for Stargate SG-1 (1997), Stargate: Atlantis (2004) and Stargate Universe (2009). He is married to Hillary Cooper. They have one child.

35. Brad Wright

Writer | Stargate: Atlantis

Brad Wright was born on May 2, 1961 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a writer and producer, known for Stargate: Atlantis (2004), Stargate SG-1 (1997) and The Outer Limits (1995).

36. Jonathan Frakes

Actor | Star Trek: First Contact

Jonathan Scott Frakes was born on August 19, 1952 in Bellefonte, in central Pennsylvania. He is the son of Doris J. (Yingling) and Dr. James R. Frakes, a professor. His parents moved with Jonathan and his younger brother Daniel to Bethlehem in eastern Pennsylvania. There, his father taught English ...

37. Michael Palin

Actor | Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Michael Palin is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter. He was one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python.

After the Monty Python television series ended in 1974, the Palin/Jones team worked on Ripping Yarns, an intermittent television comedy series broadcast over ...

38. Eric Idle

Actor | Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Eric Idle is an English comedian, actor, author, singer, playwright, director, and songwriter. Co-creator of Monty Python on TV, stage, and five films, including The Life of Brian and The Holy Grail, which he later adapted for the stage with John Du Prez as Monty Python's Spamalot, winning the Tony...

39. Terry Gilliam

Writer | Brazil

Terry Gilliam was born near Medicine Lake, Minnesota. When he was 12 his family moved to Los Angeles where he became a fan of MAD magazine. In his early twenties he was often stopped by the police who suspected him of being a drug addict and Gilliam had to explain that he worked in advertising. In ...

40. John Cleese

Actor | A Fish Called Wanda

John Cleese was born on October 27, 1939, in Weston-Super-Mare, England, to Muriel Evelyn (Cross) and Reginald Francis Cleese. He was born into a family of modest means, his father being an insurance salesman; but he was nonetheless sent off to private schools to obtain a good education. Here he ...

41. Graham Chapman

Writer | Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Graham Chapman was born on January 8, 1941 in Leicester, England while a German air raid was in progress. Graham's father was a chief police inspector and probably inspired the constables Graham often portrayed later in comedy sketches. Graham studied medicine in college and earned an M.D., but he ...

42. Guy Hamilton

Director | Live and Let Die

Typically British stiff-upper-lip war dramas and action adventure laced with moments of sophisticated comedy were Guy Hamilton's trademark. The son of a British diplomat, he spent most of his youth with his family in France, seemingly destined to be groomed for a career in the diplomatic service. ...

43. Neill Blomkamp

Director | District 9

Neill Blomkamp was born on September 17, 1979 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a director and writer, known for District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). He is married to Terri Tatchell. They have one child.

44. James Wan

Writer | Saw

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

45. Seth MacFarlane

Writer | Family Guy

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born in the small New England town of Kent, Connecticut, where he lived with his mother, Ann Perry (Sager), an admissions office worker, his father, Ronald Milton MacFarlane, a prep school teacher, and his sister, Rachael MacFarlane, now a voice actress and singer. He ...

46. James Gunn

Writer | Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gunn was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, to Leota and James Francis Gunn. He is from a large Catholic family, with Irish and Czech ancestry. His father and his uncles were all lawyers. He has been writing and performing as long as he can remember. He began making 8mm films at the age ...



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