Christopher Nolan (born Christopher Jonathon James Nolan 30.07.1970)
Christopher Nolan is an English born British-American film maker specialising in directing, screenwriting and producing, best known for his high budget, box office hits such as the 'The Dark Knight Trilogy' and 'Inception'.
Childhood Christopher Nolan was born in London to an English Father who worked as an Advertising copywriter and American mother who worked as a flight attendant. As a duel-citizen, Nolan grew up between Chicago and London. At the young age of seven Christopher was taken to Leicester Square by his father to view '2001: A Space Odyssey' in a move that would ultimately inspire him to get into the movie-making business. After meeting Academy Award nominated documentary director Roko Belic in Chicago, Nolan began collaborating on an 8mm short film, 'Tarantella' (1989) which was shown at an independent film and video showcase. Nolan was educated at British independent school Haileybury and Imperial Service College in Hertfordshire before going to read English Literature at University College London (UCL) which later became a landmark to be included in many of his film scenes. Christopher Nolan chose UCL due to its notable filmmaking facilities, as it supplied 16 mm cameras for students to work on and had its own Steenbeck editing suit. Nolan realised that reading literature also allowed him to manipulate and utilize author's narrative freedom for filmmaking. Whilst Nolan stayed at the university he was appointed president of the Union's Film Society (one of the oldest and most prestigious film societies in England). He would screen 35mm feature films during the school year and would use any money he earned to film 16mm films during the summers. Upon graduating he was announced an Honorary Fellow of UCL for his contribution and distinction in the arts. Nolan directed corporate videos and industry films before moving to Los Angeles and becoming a script reader.
Career: Nolan began his career in film making with a series of short films, which he, himself funded with equipment supplied by his film society. 'Larceny' (1995) consisted of restricted cast, crew and equipment and was shot over a period of a single weekend and was displayed at Cambridge Film Festival in 1996. It has been considered one of the best shorts produced by UCL in recent generations. Nolan wrote, directed, co-produced, edited and photographed 'Doodlebug', a short film about a single mans attempt to kill a 'bug' with a shoe in 1997. Nolan directed his first feature film, 'Following', in 1998 starring Jeremy Theobald who had previously been involved in 'Doodlebug'. The film was made on a small £3000 budget and shot over weekends as to not disrupt the cast and crews day jobs. Nolan was primarily working with friends whom he had met through the film society at UCL including film composer David Julyan who would later go on to work for Christopher Nolan on Memento, Insomnia and the Prestige. The film was shot in black and white in order to reduce costing of lighting. Due to the success of Following, Nolan was offered the opportunity to make 'Memento': an original film based on Christopher Nolan's brothers (Jonathon) short story about an individual (played by Guy Pierce) who suffers from anterograde amnesia, and therefore must use notes and his body tattoos to find his wife's killer. Following the success of 'Memento', Nolan went onto direct 'Insomnia' (recommended by Steven Soderbergh to Warner Brothers): a psychological thriller based on a Norwegian film of the same name, with major plot and character changes. The film obtained $113 million worldwide and became Nolan's first commercial success for Warner Brothers. In 2005 Nolan co-wrote and directed the fifth Batman reboot, 'Batman Begins' starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman and co-starring Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. Nolan and David S. Goyer convinced Warner Brothers to allow a commercially unknown director to direct the re-boot. The film relied on its realistic, human characteristics in the dark setting which Nolan understood and had previous success with. The film used stunt doubles and practical effects, aiming to avoid computer generated visual effects. The film received commercial and critical recognition becoming the 9th highest grossing film of 2009 and praise from previous Batman directors, Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. Wally Pfister was nominated for an Academy Award for best Cinematography for whilst the film achieved five BAFTA nominations. Nolan co-wrote, directed and co-produced 'The Prestige', starring Batman Begins stars Michael Caine and Christian Bale. The cast also included Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson and was based on a novel written by Christopher Priest about two rivalling magicians in the 19th century. Like Nolan's other films the narrative was carefully constructed into three stages to correspond with the film. The film achieved two Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Nolan returned to his Batman franchise in 2008 with the release of 'The Dark Knight' written by Christopher and his brother, based on a story devised by Christopher and Goyer. Heath Ledger co-starred alongside Christian Bale as the new villain, The Joker and won an Academy Award for best supporting actor. Ledger died 6 months before the release of the film due to a toxic combination of prescribed drugs which affected Warner Brothers marketing scheme out of respect for the actor. The film was nominated for another seven Oscars, which it also won best sound. The film achieved an impressive worldwide gross of $1,004,558,444. After the success of The Dark Knight, Warner Brothers signed Nolan on to direct 'Inception' for a seven figure salary. Nolan co-wrote, directed and co-produced 'Inception' which starred Leonardo DiCaprio alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page and Cillian Murphy (whom Nolan had previously worked with in both the Batman films). The film grossed over $800 million worldwide and won four Oscars out of the eight it was nominated for including best cinematography. Nolan returned to the Batman franchise to direct the third and final Batman instalment. 'The Dark Knight Rises' starred Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine as well as 'Inception' stars Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon Levitt being added to the cast. Like the previous films in the series the film achieved notable, critical and public success becoming the thirteenth film to achieve over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Nolan teamed up with Goyer to Produce 'Man of Steel': a Superman reboot to follow the same human approach to superheroes as the Batman franchise did. Zack Snyder was announced as director and was personally recommended by Nolan due to his visual and character style in '300' and 'Watchmen'. 'Man of Steel' performed well at the box-office, yet divided critics due to the reworking of the character and plot details. When director Steven Spielberg dropped out of the 'Interstellar' project, Nolan stepped in. The film starred Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, yet despite a good box-office turn-out and strong critical praise, the film was criticised for its scripting and direction. Nolan announced that he was serving as an executive producer on 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice': a sequel to 'Man of Steel', set for release in 2016.
Personal Life: In 1997 Nolan married long-time girlfriend who he met at UCL and long time working producer who owns shares Syncopy productions with him. Nolan has acknowledged that he does not see the requirements with mobile phones or e-mail addresses nor the need for computer visually effects and therefore avoids them if possible in his films.
Biography by Contactmusic.com