Following in the footsteps of such A-list directors as David Fincher and McG, young up-and-coming director Francis Lawrence also began his career helming music videos before taking the leap into features. Born in Vienna and raised in Los Angeles since he was three, Lawrence got his start making music videos nearly by accident. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Lawrence was naturally drawn to filmmaking. In addition to writing screenplays, Lawrence directed his own Super-8 movies in high school. From there, Lawrence attended Loyola Marymount University where he studied filmmaking and continued producing his own short projects. After graduation, Lawrence began shooting music videos in the mid-1990s for an independent label owned by a friend. Five years later, he was directing videos for some of the biggest artists in the business -- Aerosmith, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Will Smith, Sarah McLachlan and Gwen Stefani to name a few. As Lawrence's reputation in the music video community exploded, so too, did the director's hipness quotient in Hollywood. By the dawn of the new millennium, Lawrence's gifts as a visionary genius had attracted the attention of actress Jennifer Lopez, who at the time, was launching into her very public metamorphosis into the media icon known as J-Lo. By 2004, Lawrence had earned an established track record and a well-earned reputation as one of the most visually talented video directors around.