Growing up, director Liz Friedlander thought she wanted to be an actress, but two weeks of study at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh quickly proved she didn't have it in her to perform on stage. While there, though, she was allowed to direct a few one-act plays in class, which pointed her in a new career direction. After studying photography at the University of California at Santa Cruz and film at UCLA, she worked her way up the music video production ladder from assistant to producer. One day she was asked by her friend Fred Schneider--leader of New Wave band The B-52's--to direct a video for the Harry Nilsson tribute album "For The Love of Harry." When she doubted her ability to get the job without any previous directing experience, Schneider lied on her behalf to the record label, telling BMG executives that Friedlander was huge in Europe, but her tapes couldn't be converted from PAL. From there, Friedlander's career took off as she directed videos for bands like R.E.M., balladeer Michelle Branch, and pop-punkers Blink-182. This led to her film debut, the 2006 inspirational drama "Take The Lead," a commercial and critical flop despite star Antonio Banderas' enthusiastic participation. However, Friedlander soon transitioned into directing commercials and TV series, where she quickly became successful. Her TV work has leaned towards teen fare, including dramas "One Tree Hill," "90210," "Pretty Little Liars," and the supernatural series "The Vampire Diaries."