Growing up in Philadelphia, director Benny Boom was puzzled as to why old sitcoms looked different from the evening news, his curiosity eventually leading him to film school in his hometown's Temple University. After graduating, he relocated to New York and began climbing up the production ladder, interning for Spike Lee's production company and working as a production assistant on many Woody Allen films. Slowly, he moved into crewing on commercial shoots, then began working as a first assistant director on rap music videos. His mentors in that field include pioneering director Hype Williams, whose extravagance Boom often emulated when he began helming videos in 2000. Since then, Boom has regularly collaborated with top-selling artists, including multiple videos for R&B singer Keyshia Cole and rapper 50 Cent. In 2009, he finally made his feature film debut with the urban action-comedy "Next Day Air," which had the misfortune of opening the same week as that year's blockbuster reboot of "Star Trek" and failed to make an impact. While Boom's music videos continued to often be lavish--his promo for singer JoJo's 2011 single "Disaster" is typically full of motorcycle stuntwork and fiery spectacle--his next feature was the modest direct-to-video sequel "S.W.A.T.: Firefight."