With John Badham as a mentor and a degree in Television Production from Pepperdine University, D. J. Caruso went from directing television series to motion pictures that usually ended up being in the thriller genre. Daniel John Caruso got his first break out of school when Badham hired him as the second unit director for the 1993 action film "Point of No Return" after losing his original second unit director. Television became Caruso's entryway into regular directing work starting with the short-lived 1995 Fox sci-fi series, "VR.5." After padding his experience overseeing single episodes of "Martial Law," "Dark Angel," and "Smallville," the Connecticut native made his directorial feature film debut with the 2002 neo-noir motion picture, "The Salton Sea." Caruso followed this critically admired but commercially stilted effort with the 2004 Angelina Jolie psychological thriller, "Taking Lives." Only moderately successful at the box office, it nonetheless allowed the former television director to land more film projects. Aside from signing on to direct a handful of episodes of the gritty FX crime drama "The Shield," Caruso spent the remainder of the decade working as a movie director. His big break during that time came when Steven Spielberg hired him to direct the 2007 Shia LaBeouf thriller, "Disturbia," which grossed over $117 million and became Caruso's biggest hit. He reunited with LaBeouf on the action thriller "Eagle Eye" the following year.