F. Gary Gray
Having established himself as a talented music video director, F. Gary Gray was bound to make a successful transition to feature films. Gray made good on his creative promise when he directed the surprising hit comedy, "Friday" (1995), which earned ten times its small budget at the box office and generated two popular sequels. He continued to showcase his gifts with his sophomore effort, "Set It Off" (1996), which was a big earner at the box office. Gray made his first foray into big budget Hollywood filmmaking with the critically acclaimed thriller, "The Negotiator" (1998). Following a failed attempt at launching a regular television series, he found his biggest success to date with "The Italian Job" (2003), a gripping remake of the 1969 film which was a hit with both critics and audiences. Though he continued to helm music videos, most notably for Cypress Hill and Jay-Z, Gray kept his feet firmly planted in the feature world with the tense thriller "Law Abiding Citizen" (2009), which not only affirmed his skill at crafting compelling crowd-pleasers, but also kept him at the top of the Hollywood food chain as one of the industry's more reliable and gifted directors.