In order to get over pre-teen shyness, Liz Allen was enrolled in a drama program by her mother, and the experience planted the seeds for her future interest in show business. After graduating from Cornell University, Allen moved to New York and tried to find a way to break into the film industry, lucking into a job as assistant to "Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead" producer Cary Woods. Allen then enrolled in the University of Southern California's film school, where she shot her name-making short film "Eyeball Eddie." The dark, offbeat story about a young wrestler who uses his glass eye to unnerve opponents proved that Allen could tackle subjects beyond those traditionally assigned to female directors. Her feature debut was the ill-received 2006 mermaid family film "Aquamarine," but her follow-up in 2010 was the more successful "Ramona and Beezus," an adaptation of Beverly Cleary's classic series about young girl Ramona Quimby. Allen had loved the books since reading them at age five while down with chicken pox, and this background helped her successfully answer Cleary's barrage of questions before shooting started. Allen's confidence and familiarity with the material finally convinced the reluctant author to let her work come to the screen. After completing the film, demand for Allen on television productions exploded, leading her to helm episodes of popular dramas like "Gossip Girl," the relaunched "90210" franchise, and supernatural teen fantasy "The Vampire Diaries."