Joe Dante biography
Date of Birth: November 28, 1946
A self-proclaimed lifelong movie fanatic, Joe Dante began his career in film as a teenager by writing articles for Castle of Frankenstein, a fanzine for horror film addicts. He went on to attend the Philadelphia College of Art, where, with help from his friend Jon Davison, he put together The Movie Orgy (1978), a seven-hour compilation of vintage film clips that received sponsorship from Schlitz beer to tour college campuses. After graduating, Dante landed a job editing trailers at Roger Corman's New World Pictures through his friend Davison, who was already working there. It was Dante's first experience with 35mm prints, but he quickly learned the process while on the job.
When Corman found out that Dante wanted to become a director, he offered him $50,000 to make a movie. Along with co-director Allan Arkush, Dante made Hollywood Boulevard (1976), a humorous film about the fictitious small time film company Miracle Pictures, whose motto is "If it's a good picture, it's a Miracle." Dante went on to direct two horror films, Piranha (1978) and The Howling (1981). His work caught the attention of Steven Spielberg, who hired him to direct a segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). Pleased with Dante's work, Spielberg asked him to helm the big budget film Gremlins (1980). The film was a huge hit at the box office and Dante won a Best Director award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
Other films include Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Matinee (1993), for which he won a Silver Raven at the Berlin Festival of Fantasy Films and Small Soldiers (1998), which was nominated for Best Film at the Catalonian Film Festival. Dante has also directed numerous television shows, including Night Visions, Eerie, Indiana, Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone and Police Squad. He returned to feature film directing with Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), a mixture of animation and live action starring Brendan Fraser and Timothy Dalton.
Joe Dante Filmography