Fresh out of USC's film school, this assured director of features and TV captured the attention of Steven Spielberg with his student film, "Last Chance Dance". Joanou made his commercial directing debut with "Santa '85" (NBC, 1985), an amusing episode of Spielberg's fantasy anthology series, "Amazing Stories", about St. Nick's unfortunate arrest for breaking and entering. Joanou was invited back to the series to direct John Lithgow's Emmy Award-winning performance in "The Doll" (NBC, 1986), a sentimental romantic fantasy. He segued to features with "Three O'Clock High" (1987), a likable teen comedy that was greatly abetted by Joanou's manic and inventive camera movements and staging. Shifting to the reality mode, Joanou crafted "U2 Rattle and Hum" (1988), a technically assured if uninspired record of the Irish rock group's 1987 "Joshua Tree" tour of the US.