76. Robert Zemeckis
Bob Zemeckis parents were most likely a Hollywood revival theater and a Radioshack. If there is anything that can be used to characterize one of his films it’s his loving use of cutting edge technology. Yet his talent also stretches to the low-tech filmmaking technique of screenwriting. In fact, he penned one of his most frequent collaborator’s most notable bombs: Spielberg’s 1941. He began his directing career with more traditional character driven comedy pieces like I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Used Cars, and it was a flick that studio executives thought would flop that jump started his career: Romancing the Stone. After that he was given permission to get started on his own project Back to the Future, a film that cemented his reputation. It also spawned two sequels that pioneered the digital composite shot, and premièred the VistaGlide motion control camera. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, resurrected legendary animated characters and stuck them in a live action noir, while Death Becomes Her and Forest Gump made twisted zombies of the rich and brought to life every notable deceased figure from the last half of the 20th century. The key to all of these films’ success was a masterful blend of cutting edge technology in the service of entertaining stories. With films like Cast Away, What Lies Beneath and even Contact he put special effects into more subservient roles, returning to more character based pieces. Recently his animated films A Christmas Carol and Beowulf could be seen as a total conversion to high technology, but if you look past the animation, they may just mark a return to his simpler character driven pieces.
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