Award-winning television director and producer Bruce Gowers was a pioneer in the music video industry, having directed over 350 music videos, and was best known for directing large-scale music events and award ... Read more »
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Award-winning television director and producer Bruce Gowers was a pioneer in the music video industry, having directed over 350 music videos, and was best known for directing large-scale music events and award ceremonies such as the Emmy Awards, The MTV Video Music Awards, the Billboard Awards and the American Music Awards. While it was his visionary music video for Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" that launched his career stateside, he was perhaps best known as the longtime director for "American Idol" (Fox 2002-), which earned him an Emmy Award in 2009.
Born in 1940 in England, Gowers began his career working as a cable puller, a cameraman and a production manager for the BBC by day, and making low-budget commercials by night. He soon moved into directing, where he specialized in doing talk shows and concert films such as "The Kenny Everett Explosion" (LWT 1970) and "Queen Live at the Rainbow" (1974). Gowers was a budding director during the time in which record companies started to rely on recording "promo videos" instead of sending bands to tour overseas. Gowers directed a number of videos for Queen, but it was his innovative video for "Bohemian Rhapsody," that brought him international attention and led to him relocating in the United States during the late '70s.
While music videos appear to be an American phenomenon due to the immense cultural impact of MTV, Gowers was one of the few people who was making them, along with his fellow producer and British expat, Paul Flattery. The duo ended up making videos for nearly every musical icon, including Prince, Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart, all the eighties hair bands and the Rolling Stones. While Gowers was an indispensible director for bands, he was equally sought out for television direction, working with the legendary interviewer David Frost on both "The Frost Programme" (LWT 1970-73) in the UK and later for his American-produced series, "Headliners with David Frost" (NBC 1978).
Gowers's jump across the pond brought him more than just professional success. After being scouted to direct a TV music documentary for Rod Stewart called "Tonight He's Yours" (1981), he met producer Carol Rosenstein and a creative collaboration was born. Soon after, they opened a Los Angeles music video company called Together Again Video Productions in 1983 and over the years produced hundreds of music videos and television specials. They eventually became more than just professional partners, and had a daughter together. As a father, Gowers saw a gap in children's entertainment and decided to make a program that utilized his expertise of music production leading to the creation of "The Kidsongs TV Show" (1985), which started out as home videos and then aired on The Disney Channel and PBS.
With a production credit list that could fill volumes, Bruce Gowers had a knack for capturing the raw talent of some of the biggest stars in entertainment. From directing comedy specials for the likes of Eddie Murphy, George Carlin and Jerry Seinfeld, worldwide events like "Live 8" (2005), presidential inaugural concerts, and countless award shows and music specials during his 40-year career span. If any big event happened or an award was given out, it was likely that Gowers was there behind the scenes, calling the shots. After spending his years as a director for hire, Gowers finally attached himself to a long-term project, overseeing the direction of "American Idol" from its inception in 2002 to the end of season 10 in 2011, garnering countless accolades in the process and further establishing himself in the industry.