Vincenzo Natali is a talented writer-director who's had a difficult time finding his way in the film industry. After graduating from the film program at Ryerson University, Natali began his career as a storyboard artist, working on mostly in animation. In 1997, he made his directorial debut, the brainy low-budget science fiction film "Cube," about seven people stuck in a high-tech prison filled with deadly traps. "Cube" was a cult hit, but despite its success, Natali struggled to get his next project off the ground. Eventually, he was handed another smart, dark, high-tech script, "Cypher," written by his friend Brian King. The film starred Jeremy Northam as a suburban schlub who takes a dangerous job as a corporate spy for a tech company, and ends up uncertain of his own identity. As a screenwriter, Natali continued to be drawn to science fiction, and specifically to characters trapped in close quarters, as in his next film, "Nothing," a wry fantasy about housemates who decide to hide out from all their troubles, only to find that the world outside their home has disappeared. Neither "Nothing" nor "Cypher" had much success, though neither hurt Natali's reputation among science fiction fans. He directed a segment of the omnibus film, "Paris, je t'aime," and a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Terry Gilliam's "Tideland," before he finally had another high profile release, "Splice," about two geneticists who secretly invent a new lifeform, and see their relationship and their lives endangered as a result.