Alex Graves' directing career began the same way as many other young filmmakers of his generation: Seeing "Star Wars" as a boy in 1977. Graves made his way from small-town Kansas in the 1980s to follow in hero's footsteps, attending George Lucas's alma mater, USC film school. Graves seemed headed down his idol's auteur path with his first two projects, feature films he wrote and directed: the moody, restrained "The Crude Oasis" and the thriller "Casualties." Instead, Graves's path veered to television, where he directed a few episodes of the legal drama "Ally McBeal," followed by several episodes of "Sports Night," Aaron Sorkin's acclaimed but short-lived dramedy about a "Sportscenter"-like show. Sorkin tapped Graves to play a larger role in his next television project, "The West Wing," where Graves would serve as co-producer for most of the show's run; he would also direct over 30 episodes. Graves has described this acclaimed White House political drama as "the greatest graduate school you could go through." Since "The West Wing," Graves put his "graduate" education to use by increasingly directing TV pilots (often science-fiction themed) such as "Journeyman," the Steven Spielberg-produced "Terra Nova," and Fox's paranormal thriller "Fringe." In 2011, he completed "Poe," which reimagines the famous American poet of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, as a detective.