What You Need To Know: John Singleton

Who is John Singleton? 5 things to know about the director

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“John Singleton is a prolific, ground-breaking director who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighborhood in which he grew up,” his family said in an April 26 statement.

Here are some things to know about the director:

1. He’s the first African-American nominated for a directing Oscar.

Singleton’s first film, 1991’s “Boyz N the Hood,” propelled him into stardom and made him the first African-American to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards. He was also the youngest filmmaker to do so at age 24. The Californian born Jan. 6, 1968, in Los Angeles, his critically acclaimed film portrayed life in South Central LA.

2. He’s a college graduate.

Singleton honed in on his filmmaking skills while attending the University of Southern California. He graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts film writing program in 1990. His writing earned him three awards while at the college and, during his sophomore year, a contract with Creative Artists Agency. He returned to the school in 2006 to speak at the commencement ceremony that year.

3. He’s directed summer blockbusters.

In the 2000s, Singleton directed summer releases “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Four Brothers.” He worked with model and singer turned actor Tyrese Gibson in both. The 2003 car action film grossed more than $127 million in the U.S. “Four Brothers,” released in 2005, grossed more than $75 million domestically. Like other directors, Singleton has worked with a number of the same actors in different projects, including Taraji P. Henson, Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Regina King, Ice Cube, Michael Rapaport and others.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: John Singleton arrives to the premiere Of FX's "Snowfall" Season 2 at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 on July 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

4. He directed Michael Jackson’s star-studded “Remember the Time” music video

A year after “Boyz N the Hood,” the King of Pop enlisted Singleton to direct the short film, which not only starred Jackson, but Iman, Magic Johnson and Eddie Murphy. At the time, Jackson wouldn’t release the exact figures, but it’s estimated the music video cost millions to make.

5. He’s directed the Emmy-nominated series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”

Singleton’s skill as a director isn’t just for the big screen. He has directed an episode of Showtime’s “Billions,” the ESPN 30 for 30 film “Marion Jones: Press Pause,” and the Emmy-nominated anthology series “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.” The filmmaker also created the crime drama “Snowfall,” on which he is also an executive producer.

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