William Brent Bell
An American filmmaker, William Brent Bell toiled his way up from the cinematic trenches to become a horror director. During the mid-1990s, Bell broke into the industry as a production assistant, working on a number of low-budget films, including the 1995 thriller "Payback," starring C. Thomas Howell and Joan Severance, and "The Nature of the Beast," a horror outing featuring B-movie fixtures Lance Henriksen and Eric Roberts. Following his contributions to another Howell straight-to-video film, "Suspect Device," Bell had a stint as production coordinator on the erotica series "Women: Stories of Passion," and began working as a second assistant director. He served in this capacity on the slasher/fantasy flick "Pinocchio's Revenge" and moved to less genre-oriented fare with his work on Miguel Arteta's indie dramedy "Star Maps." Eager to establish himself as a filmmaker, he wrote, directed and produced the comedy "Sparkle and Charm," though it received little attention. After working on projects that weren't brought to fruition, Bell eventually penned and helmed the overlooked 2006 horror film "Stay Alive," a production that helped him to prepare for his 2012 follow-up, "The Devil Inside." This possession-themed supernatural fright-fest benefited from savvy publicity and wound up becoming an out-of-nowhere hit, even topping the American box office on its opening weekend, thereby making Bell a Hollywood contender.