THE ITALIAN JOB
F. GARY GRAY (Director)
solidified his place in Hollywood with the critical hits "The
Negotiator," starring Kevin Spacey and Samuel L. Jackson and "Set It
Oil." which featured Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Vivica A. Fox.
"The Negotiator," won the Best Film and Best Director Awards at the
Acapulco Film Festival. His most recent film before "The Italian Job"
was the action drama, "A Man Apart" starring Vin Diesel.
Gray's motion picture
directorial debut was "Friday," starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker,
which was produced for $2 million. The hit comedy was one of the most profitable
pictures in 1995 grossing more than 15 times its cost —and spawned an
extremely successful film franchise. For television, Gray executive produced and
directed the pilot episode of Fox Television's "Ryan Caulfield: Year
One," which debuted in May 1999.
Gray began his career
as a freelance cameraman and simultaneously directed short films with the money
he saved and with equipment borrowed from friends and associates. Reel in hand,
he segued into music videos where he quickly became a pioneer by introducing
storytelling into the genre. Gray earned more than 30 Billboard and MTV Awards
(and numerous Grammy nominations) for clips for top recording artists Whitney
Houston, Mary J. Blige and TLC, and helped provide mainstream exposure for such
artists as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Coolio. His credits include the landmark video
for TLC's "Waterfalls." a multiple MTV Video Music Award-winner:
Dr. Dre's "Keep Their Heads Ringin,"' MTV's Best Rap Video of
1995; and Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day." which was included in RoI1ing
Stone magazine's "Top 100 Best Videos of All Time." Gray was
also nominated for Grammy Awards for directing Stevie Wonder's and Babyface's
"How Come How Long" and Outkast's "Miss Jackson."
Gray helped launch the
careers of several of today's leading motion picture talents. He cast Chris
Tucker, Queen Latifah and Kimberly Elise in their first starring roles, and
featured Bernie Mac long before he became a household name. At 34, Gray has
established himself as a major talent in the film and music video worlds. With
each new project. he showcases his ability to tell captivating stories with
dynamic visuals, nuanced performances. warmth and humor.
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