Spike Jonze

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Spike Jonze

Jonze holding a producer credit for The 1 Second Film in October 2004
Born Adam Spiegel
October 22, 1969 (1969-10-22) (age 39)
Rockville, Maryland
Spouse(s) Sofia Coppola (1999-2003)

Spike Jonze (born Adam Spiegel; October 22, 1969) is an American director of music videos and commercials, and an Academy Award-nominated director and producer in film and television, most notably the 1999 film Being John Malkovich and the 2002 film Adaptation., both written by Charlie Kaufman. He is also credited as a co-creator of MTV's Jackass. He is currently the creative director of VBS.tv. He is also part owner of legendary skateboard company Girl Skateboards with riders such as Eric Koston and Mike Carrol.


[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Jonze was born in Rockville, Maryland, and raised in Bethesda, Maryland and in Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania. His father, Arthur Spiegel III, was a distant relation of the Spiegel catalog family and founded APM Management Consultants. His mother, Sandy Granzow, is a writer, communications consultant in developing countries, and artist.[1] His brother Sam (aka Squeak E. Clean) is a producer and DJ. Jonze attended Walt Whitman High School.

Jonze fronted Club Homeboy, an international BMX club, with Mark "Lew" Lewman and Andy Jenkins, both co-editors of Freestylin' Magazine in the mid- to late 1980s. The three also created the youth culture magazines Homeboy and Dirt (the latter of which was described as "Sassy Magazine for boys," being published by the same company and distributed in cellophane bags with the landmark magazine for young women). Jonze was interviewed in Joe Kid on a Stingray, the 2006 documentary on the history of BMX.

[edit] Career

In 2006, he was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for "Outstanding Achievement in Commercials in 2005." He was nominated for a body of work that included "Hello Tomorrow" for Adidas, "Penguin" for Miller Beer, and "Pardon Our Dust" for The Gap. He was a producer and co-creator of MTV television series Jackass and Jackass: The Movie, also directing some of the segments. Jonze has acted in some videos and films; his most prominent role was in Three Kings as the sweet, dimwitted, casually racist Conrad, in which he was directed by friend David O. Russell.

Jonze was also a co-founder and editor of Dirt magazine along with Mark Lewman and Andy Jenkins, as well as an editor for Grand Royal Magazine and senior photographer for Transworld Skateboarding. In the past, Jonze shot skateboard videos, most notably Blind skateboard company's Video Days in 1991, and Lakai Footwear's Fully Flared in 2007. He also co-directed the Girl Skateboards film Yeah Right! and the Chocolate Skateboards video Hot Chocolate. In the closing credits montage of Yeah Right! Spike is shown doing a nollie heelflip in loafers. He is also co-owner of Girl Skateboards.

Jonze has many alter egos, which have included Richard Koufey (alternately spelled Coufey or Couffe), the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group, an urban troupe that performs in public spaces. The Koufey persona appeared when Jonze, in character, filmed himself dancing to Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" as it played on a boombox in a public area. Spike showed the video to Slim, who loved it. Jonze then assembled a group of dancers to perform to Slim's "Praise You," which was taped outside a Westwood, California movie theater. The resulting clip was a huge success, and 'Koufey' and his troupe were invited to New York City to perform the song for the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The video received awards for Best Direction, Breakthrough, and Best Choreography, which Jonze accepted, still in character. Jonze made a mockumentary about the experience called Torrance Rises.

He also has a speaking part along with Dave Eggers in a Beck song entitled The Horrible Fanfare / Landslide / Exoskeleton from his 2006 album, The Information. He appears in the "Exoskeleton" bit.

Currently, Jonze is directing Where the Wild Things Are, which is now in its post-production stages. An early cut of the film was screened in Pasadena in 2008, receiving mixed reviews. Rumors pointed to Jonze's dark interpretation of the story startling the test audience, and resulting in Warner Brothers' decision to re-cut the film. It is also speculated that the film received massive reshoots to make its central character more likable. At this point it is unclear whether Jonze or the studio has final cut over the movie, which could massively affect its tone.[2]

Since 2007, he has been the creative director at VBS.tv, an online television network supplied by Vice and funded by MTV.

[edit] Personal life

Jonze was an avid BMX freestyle rider in his youth. As part of the famous Rockville BMX crew he was known for making fast friends with touring BMX teams that came to town, befriending riders and often touring with them for short periods afterwards. He eventually landed a sponsored ride with Haro Bikes and received limited fame as a BMX personality appearing in many BMX publications such as Freestylin'. He was featured in an early-1990s "Spike-Needs-A-Girlfriend" contest in Christina Kelly's 'What Now' column in Sassy Magazine. His requirements for a girlfriend were: "short hair, clear skin, and good teeth."

He was known to be dating the Yeah Yeah Yeahs's lead singer, Karen O.

On June 26, 1999, Jonze married director Sofia Coppola, whom he had known for nearly ten years. On December 5, 2003, the couple filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." The character of John, a career-driven photographer (Giovanni Ribisi) in Coppola's Lost In Translation (2003), was rumored to be based on Jonze, though Coppola has vehemently denied this.

He is now dating Michelle Williams (former fiancée of Heath Ledger and mother of his daughter Matilda). Jonze and Williams publicly came out as a couple in October 2008.

[edit] Filmography

[edit] Recent documentaries

From the May 2005 coverage of "Dave Eggers and friends" held at Stanford University: Two short documentaries were presented, one of which was filmed and directed by Spike Jonze.

The first video, directed by Jonze, was a 10-15 minute documentary on Al Gore, filmed shortly before the 2000 election. Eggers insisted that if the video, which portrayed a day in the life of Al Gore and his family, had aired during the Democratic National Convention as it was supposed to, there would have been different results in the 2000 presidential election. As of January 2006, Untitled Al Gore Documentary[3][4] has been finally made available to the public.

The second video was another politically themed documentary, by Jonze's friend, director David O. Russell. The video was about the phenomenon of soldiers in Iraq raiding houses and stealing money or goods they found inside. The soldiers, who were arrested, wanted to give a full confession and Jonze was given the opportunity to create a short film about the subject.

He was the executive-producer of the 2007 rockumentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad.

Jonze will appear in the "making of" documentary that accompanies the credits of The 1 Second Film of which he is also a producer.

[edit] Music videos

[edit] Video

[edit] Film

[edit] Television

[edit] Skateboard videos

[edit] References

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

NAME Jonze, Spike
SHORT DESCRIPTION American film and video director
DATE OF BIRTH 1969-10-22
PLACE OF BIRTH Rockville, Maryland
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