Cameron Crowe
Academy Award-winning American writer and film director
Cameron Crowe
Cameron Bruce Crowe is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Before moving into the film industry, Crowe was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, for which he still frequently writes. Crowe has made his mark with character-driven, personal films that have been generally hailed as refreshingly original and devoid of cynicism. Michael Walker in The New York Times called Crowe "something of a cinematic spokesman for the post-baby boom generation" because his first few films focused on that specific age group, first as high schoolers and then as young adults making their way in the world. Crowe's debut screenwriting effort, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, grew out of a book he wrote while posing for one year undercover as a student at Clairemont High School in San Diego, California, where he met Geraldine Edwards, who was a student there while he was visiting mutual friends in 1975. He later based part of his Penny Lane character on her in Almost Famous after discovering that she had been going backstage to Rock and Roll concerts. Later, he wrote and directed one more high school saga, Say Anything, and then Singles, a story of Seattle twentysomethings that was woven together by a soundtrack centering on that city's burgeoning grunge music scene. Crowe landed his biggest hit, though, with Jerry Maguire. After this, he was given a green light to go ahead with a pet project, the autobiographical effort Almost Famous. Centering on a teenage music journalist on tour with an up-and-coming band, it gave insight to his life as a 15-year-old writer for Rolling Stone. Part of the dialogue was inspired by comments that were made by Bebe Buell in certain interviews. Also in late 1999, Crowe released his second book, Conversations with Billy Wilder, a question and answer session with the legendary director.
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How Young Reporters Can Help Revitalize Political Journalism In The Trump Era
Huffington Post - about 1 month
When Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in June of 2015, the typically divergent worlds of political punditry and data journalism were united in offering an unambiguous message to their viewers and readers: Do not take this man seriously. The self-assured media set in Washington and New York fell back on longstanding trends and assumptions about how elections are supposed to go. And they were bolstered by plenty of charts and algorithms from the data nerds, who joined in the conviction that Trump was more likely to give away his fortune and retire to a monastery than he was to win the 2016 Republican nomination, let alone the White House. But while just about no one saw a path to victory back then, the journalists who took a more considered approach to Trump had one thing in common: they spent most of their time on the front lines of the campaign and outside of the elite opinion bubble. Case in point: In a prescient dispatch that she filed from Manchester after ...
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Huffington Post article
The Eagles' '<em>Hotel California</em>' at 40, '<em>Buffalo Springfield</em>' at 50
Huffington Post - 2 months
Quick, what is the state anthem of California? If you answer 'California, Here I Come,' you are, like me, wrong. If your answer is 'I Love You, California,' you are an unusually well-informed career state employee. And if, like billions of people around the world, you answer 'Hotel California,' well, you are technically wrong but, oh so right. This month marks the 40th anniversary of the release of 'Hotel California,' both the song and the album it graces which is one of the most telling, and best-selling, albums of all time. The power and mystery of 'Hotel California' has tantalized and inspired, provoked and mystified ever since its exotic and evocative guitar figures and enigmatic lyrics were first heard 40 years ago. "It makes me want to go there and it makes me want to get away," said one tourist standing near a California street corner as a singer with a guitar gave the song a go. "Look at me," she said. "Here I am." December also marks the 50th anniversary of 'Buffal ...
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Huffington Post article
Neil Young: A Timely, and Timeless, Appeal
Huffington Post - 4 months
"The end of this war? The end of this war is when we solve the energy problem. This war is going on for a long, long time. This war will not go away until we figure out what we're doing here on the planet. This is a bad war." Neil Young 'The Charlie Rose Show' July 17, 2008 Even as his quirky yet essential place in the rock music pantheon was affirmed this month by his thunderously successful appearances at Desert Trip -- the massive, ultra-expensive mega-festival outside Palm Springs, California for classic rock aficionados, which also featured the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, and Bob Dylan -- recent events had also affirmed Young's sociopolitical relevance. Earlier in the year, Young, a staunch backer of Bernie Sanders, feuded ferociously with Donald Trump over the climate change denier and racism inciter's insistence on using Young's corrosively anti-corporate 'Rockin' in the free world' as his incongruous campaign song. Aft ...
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<i>Empire</i> is No. 1 With a Bullet, So Why Have All These Other Music Shows Failed?
Huffington Post - 5 months
For rock 'n' roll-based television shows, the hits don't seem to have kept on coming. Showtime announced last week that its backstage road crew dramedy Roadies has been cancelled, on the heels of similar shutdowns for HBO's '70s drama Vinyl and FX's comedy Sex&amp;Drugs&amp;Rock&amp;Roll (John Corbett and Elizabeth Gillies, above). Apparently viewers weren't as fascinated by the inner working of the rock 'n' roll biz as producers hoped they would be. In the longer historical perspective of television, that's not a surprise. Shows revolving around music - how that sausage is made - have never been a popular genre, despite the fact a huge percentage of TV viewers presumably have grown up listening to some kind of pop music. The producers of Roadies (above), Vinyl and S&amp;D&amp;R&amp;R may have hoped viewer interest was perking up a bit with the huge success of Fox's Empire, where music is woven prominently into every episode. They may have even been encouraged ...
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With ‘Roadies,’ Cameron Crowe Takes His Good Mood to TV
NYTimes - 8 months
The filmmaker has created his first television series.
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NYTimes article
Cameron Crowe goes backstage for Showtime's 'Roadies'
LATimes - 9 months
Filmmaker Cameron Crowe may be best known for such beloved big-screen teenage touchstones as "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Say Anything..." and hits like "Almost Famous" and "Jerry Maguire," but beneath his celluloid exterior the former Rolling Stone writer's heart is still pure vinyl. So...
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LATimes article
Imogen Poots Is 'Very, Very Happy' In Her Career, So It's Time You Know Her Name
Huffington Post - 10 months
For Imogen Poots, 2015 marked a new beginning. Across the better part of a decade, she'd scored noteworthy roles in movies like "28 Weeks Later," "Solitary Man" and "Jane Eyre" without ever quite transcending emerging-actress limbo. But as the 2010s inch forward, Poots has always been on the cusp of breaking through -- with the vampire horror-comedy "Fight Night," the rowdy bromance "That Awkward Moment" and the noisy Aaron Paul racing vehicle "Need for Speed."  But it's the movies that have struggled to secure much shelf life where Poots has found her true calling. She played Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener's daughter in 2011's "A Late Quartet" before starring as Linda Keith, one of Jimi Hendrix's lovers, in the under-appreciated 2013 biopic "Jimi: All Is By My Side" and as an earnest call-girl-turned-Broadway-hopeful in Peter Bogdanovich's 2015 screwball comedy "She's Funny That Way." This year alone, she's appeared in the Sundance drama "Frank &amp; Lola," Terrence ...
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Huffington Post article
Watch the trailer for Cameron Crowe's 'Roadies' and remember when 'Almost Famous' changed your life
LATimes - about 1 year
Showtime’s “Roadies” got an official trailer and debut date as announced by the cable network on Friday. The first original television series from director Cameron Crowe, “Roadies” centers on the committed group of roadies (individuals who travel with a band and are responsible for equipment setup...
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LATimes article
The Unbearable Whiteness of Hollywood
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The news that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will double it's number of female and minority members is a welcome and overdue change. Compelled by pressure, controversy and a threatened boycotts of the Oscar ceremony planned for February 28 by a growing list including Spike Lee, Jada and Will Smith and Quincy Jones the Academy had little choice but the act. It's one small step in the right direction but the diversity issues in Hollywood run far deeper than just this year's Oscars. The history of Oscar ignoring, snubbing or leaving out actors, directors and films focused on people of color is long and painful. The most glaring example in my lifetime was the total shut out of the Color Purple, one of the most exquisite and powerful films ever made. While nominated for 11 academy awards in 1986, it failed to win a single one and lost Best Picture that year to the decidedly mediocre Out of Africa (with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in the leads). Even then, the ca ...
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Huffington Post article
Watch Bruce Springsteen cover Take It Easy in honor of Glenn Frey
Yahoo News - about 1 year
While David Bowie and Glenn Frey’s deaths have hit music fans everywhere hard, the passing of the two icons is particularly significant to Bruce Springsteen. The Boss, who is just a year younger than Frey, tasted his first mainstream success in the early ‘70s — right around the same time as Bowie and Frey. In honor of the Glenn Frey’s passing, Springsteen performed a heartwarming, acoustic rendition of the Eagles’ 1972 hit Take It Easy  during his show in Chicago last night. Midway through the song, E Street Band violinist Soozie Tyrell joined him onstage to give a reflective tinge to the cover. A fan shot video (above) depicts the moving scene at Chicago’s United Center: fans singing along and raising their cell phones and lighters in tribute. Springsteen has actually covered the song before, according to Rolling Stone, at a September 2015 concert in Red Bank, NJ. Related : Eagles co-founder and guitarist Glenn Frey has died at age 67 The recorded version of the song, which Frey co-wr ...
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Yahoo News article
Cameron Crowe remembers David Bowie
LATimes - about 1 year
The death of David Bowie is something filmmaker and journalist Cameron Crowe is still trying to process.As a young journalist in the mid-’70s, Crowe followed the late rock icon for six months during his transition from the “Young Americans” (1975) to his persona of The Thin White Duke in “Station...
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LATimes article
Time to kill? Here are 130 riveting movies you can watch on Netflix right now
Yahoo News - about 1 year
This list is updated monthly to reflect recent availability and to showcase films currently streaming on Netflix, whether talking classics or modern gems. Netflix offers roughly a gazillion different movies available through its streaming platform — well, approximately a gazillion. However, while the landmark service might become surprisingly accurate with its suggestions once you’ve been using it for a while, it’s still often tough to find something worth watching amid the trove of terrible choices.That being the case, we’ve taken the time to wade through the ridiculous amount of content in order to bring you a list of some of the best films currently available on Netflix Instant. Planning your weekend has never been easier. Related: Here’s what’s new on Netflix in December, and what’s going away Choose a genre: Recent Additions Documentaries Comedies Dramas Thrillers &amp; Action Adventure Foreign Sci-Fi &amp; Fantasy Kids Horror Romance New for December 2015 A League of Their Own Pl ...
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Yahoo News article
Showtime picks up Cameron Crowe's 'Roadies'
LATimes - over 1 year
Not content to let HBO have all the music-inspired fun, Showtime has ordered “Roadies” to series with a 10-episode pickup. Written, directed and executive produced by Cameron Crowe, the one-hour comedy will follow the backstage lives of a group of roadies for a touring group called the Staton-House...
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LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Cameron Crowe
  • 2016
    Age 58
    On June 26, 2016, Crowe's comedy-drama series Roadies premiered on Showtime.
    More Details Hide Details The show, starring Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino and Imogen Poots, tells the story of a colorful road crew who work behind the scenes for a fictional rock band The Stanton-House Band. The pilot episode was written and directed by Crowe.
  • 2011
    Age 53
    Crowe changed the location to the U.S.A. The film received a wide release on December 23, 2011 by 20th Century Fox, and starred Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
    More Details Hide Details The film has received positive reviews. The music of the movie was composed by Jonsi. In an interview with Pearl Jam on March 9, 2009, bassist Jeff Ament said " our manager Kelly has had the idea to do a 20-year anniversary retrospective movie so he's been on board with director Cameron Crowe for the last few years." The band's guitarist Mike McCready also stated in March, "We are just in the very early stages of that,... starting to go through all the footage we have, and Cameron’s writing the treatment." Preliminary footage was being shot as of June 2010. A trailer for the movie, which featured Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder choosing between three permanent markers in a shop before turning to the camera and saying "Three's good... Twenty is better," was shown before select movies at the 2011 BFI London Film Festival. The film premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and also had an accompanying book and soundtrack.
  • 2009
    Age 51
    In November 2009, Crowe began filming a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the album The Union, a collaboration between musicians Elton John and Leon Russell produced by award-winning producer T-Bone Burnett.
    More Details Hide Details The documentary features musicians Neil Young, Brian Wilson, Booker T. Jones, steel guitarist Robert Randolph, Don Was and a 10-piece gospel choir who all appear on the album with John and Russell. Musician Stevie Nicks and John's longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin also appear. On March 2, 2011, the documentary was announced to open the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. With production on Aloha delayed, Crowe set his next feature, the family comedy-drama We Bought a Zoo, based on Benjamin Mee's memoir of the same name. Crowe collaborated with The Devil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna on the screenplay. The book's story follows Mee, who buys and moves into a dilapidated zoo (now Dartmoor Zoological Park) in the English countryside. Looking for a fresh start along with his seven-year-old daughter and his troubled fourteen-year-old son, he hopes to refurbish the zoo and run it and to give his children what he calls an "adventure".
  • 2008
    Age 50
    Crowe and Wilson separated in June 2008 and Wilson filed for divorce on September 23, 2010, citing "irreconcilable differences". The divorce was finalized on December 8, 2010.
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  • 2005
    Age 47
    In 2005, Crowe directed the romantic tragicomedy Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, which opened to mixed reviews again, scoring 45 on Metacritic, the same as his previous effort, Vanilla Sky.
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  • 2001
    Age 43
    He followed Almost Famous with the psychological thriller Vanilla Sky in 2001.
    More Details Hide Details The film starred Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz, the film received mixed reviews but still managed to gross $100.6 million at the US box office, making it his second highest grossing directorial effort behind only Jerry Maguire. Vanilla Sky is a remake of Alejandro Amenabar's 1997 Spanish film Abre Los Ojos (Open your Eyes). Sofia is played by Penélope Cruz in both Amenabar's original movie and Crowe's remake.
  • 2000
    Age 42
    In 2000, Crowe tapped his rock-writer roots to write and direct Almost Famous, about the experiences of a teenage music journalist who goes on the road with an emerging band in the early 1970s.
    More Details Hide Details The film starred newcomer Patrick Fugit as William Miller, the baby-faced writer who finds himself immersed in the world of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll, and Kate Hudson co-starred as Penny Lane, a prominent groupie, or, as the film refers to her, a "Band-Aid". Digging into his most personal memories, Crowe used a composite of the bands he had known to come up with Stillwater, the emerging act that welcomes the young journalist into its sphere, then becomes wary of his intentions. Seventies rocker Peter Frampton served as a technical consultant on the film. William Miller's mother figured prominently in the film as well (often admonishing, "Don't take drugs!"). The character was based on Crowe's own mother, who even showed up at the film sets to keep an eye on him while he worked. Though he asked her not to bother Frances McDormand, who played her character, the two ended up getting along well. Also in the film he showed his sister, portrayed by Zooey Deschanel, rebelling and leaving home, and in real life, his mother and sister Cindy did not talk for a decade and were still estranged to a degree when he finished the film. The family reconciled when the project was complete.
  • 1992
    Age 34
    By this point, Crowe was ready to leave teen angst behind and focus on his peers. His next project, 1992's Singles, centered on the romantic tangles among a group of six friends in their twenties in Seattle.
    More Details Hide Details The film starred Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon, where Fonda played a coffee-bar waitress fawning over an aspiring musician, played by Dillon. Kyra Sedgwick and Campbell Scott co-starred as a couple wavering on whether to commit to each other. Music forms an integral backbone for the script, and the soundtrack became a best seller three months before the release of the film. Much of this was due to repeated delays while studio executives debated how to market it. Singles successfully rode on the heels of Seattle's grunge music boom. During production, bands like Nirvana were not yet national stars, but by the time the soundtrack was released, their song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" had to be cut because it was too costly to buy the rights. Crowe had signed members of Pearl Jam, shortly before their burgeoning, nationwide success, to portray Dillon's fictional band 'Citizen Dick'. Crowe also appeared in this project, appropriately, as a rock journalist at a club. Tim Appelo wrote in Entertainment Weekly, "With... an ambling, naturalistic style, Crowe captures the eccentric appeal of a town where espresso carts sprout on every corner and kids in ratty flannel shirts can cut records that make them millionaires."
  • 1989
    Age 31
    Brooks executive produced Crowe's first directing effort, 1989's Say Anything, about a young man pining away for the affections of the seemingly perfect girl.
    More Details Hide Details Though it could have easily ended up a formulaic teen love story, Say Anything got glowing reception from critics. They applauded the way Crowe crafted an intriguing and insightful tale that also involved the girl's relationship with her father and how it is threatened when she discovers he is caught up in a shady business deal.
  • 1986
    Age 28
    Crowe married Nancy Wilson of the rock band Heart in July 1986.
    More Details Hide Details Their twin sons were born in January 2000.
  • 1984
    Age 26
    Following this success, Crowe wrote the screenplay for 1984's The Wild Life, the pseudo-sequel to Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
    More Details Hide Details Whereas its predecessor followed teenagers' lives in high school, The Wild Life traced the lives of several teenagers after high school living in an apartment complex. Filmmaker James L. Brooks noticed Crowe's original voice and wanted to work with him.
  • 1981
    Age 23
    His book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story, came out in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details Crowe focused on six main characters: a tough guy, a nerd, a surfer dude, a sexual sophisticate, and a middle-class brother and sister. He chronicled their activities in typical teenage settings—at school, at the beach, and at the mall, where many of them held afterschool jobs—and focused on details of their lives that probed into the heart of adolescence. This included scenes about homecoming and graduation as well as social cliques and sexual encounters. Before the book was even released, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was optioned for a film. Released in 1982, the movie version lacked a specific plot and featured no major name stars. The studio did not devote any marketing effort toward it. Nevertheless, it became a sleeper hit due to word of mouth. The reviews of Fast Times at Ridgemont High were positive, and the film ended up launching the careers of some of the previously unknown actors, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eric Stoltz, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Anthony Edwards, and future Oscar-winners Nicolas Cage, Forest Whitaker, and Sean Penn.
  • 1978
    Age 20
    Crowe appeared in the 1978 film American Hot Wax, but then returned to his writing.
    More Details Hide Details Though he would continue to freelance for Rolling Stone on and off over the years, he turned his attention to a book. At the age of 22, Crowe came up with the idea to pose undercover as a high school student and write about his experiences. Simon & Schuster gave him a contract, and he moved back in with his parents and enrolled as Dave Cameron at Clairemont High School in San Diego. Reliving the senior year he never had, he made friends and began to fit in. Though he initially planned to include himself in the book, he realized that it would jeopardize his ability to truly capture the essence of the high school experience.
  • 1977
    Age 19
    When Rolling Stone moved its offices from the West Coast to New York in 1977, Crowe decided to stay behind.
    More Details Hide Details He also felt the excitement of his career was beginning to wane.
  • 1972
    Age 14
    Crowe graduated from the University of San Diego High School in 1972 at the age of 15.
    More Details Hide Details On a trip to Los Angeles, he met Ben Fong-Torres, the editor of Rolling Stone, who hired him to write for the magazine. He also joined the Rolling Stone staff as a contributing editor and then became an associate editor. During this time Crowe interviewed Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, the Eagles, Poco, Steely Dan, members of Led Zeppelin and more. Crowe was Rolling Stones youngest-ever contributor. Crowe's first cover story was on the Allman Brothers Band. He went on the road with them for three weeks at the age of 16 and interviewed not only the whole band, but also the entire road crew. Because Crowe was a fan of the 1970s hard rock bands that the older writers disliked, he landed a lot of major interviews. He wrote predominantly about Yes and the band members, and also about Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagles, King Crimson, Linda Ronstadt, Rory Gallagher, Todd Rundgren, and more. In an interview with Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle, Fong-Torres remarked, "He was the guy we sent out after some difficult customers. He covered the bands that hated Rolling Stone."
  • 1957
    Born in 1957.
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