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Debra Hill

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Also Known As: Died: March 7, 2005
Born: Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Haddonfield, New Jersey, USA Profession: producer, screenwriter, director, editor, assistant director, script supervisor, 2nd unit director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Her father had worked as an art director on many of the Hope/Crosby "Road" pictures and Debra Hill certainly paid her dues, first as a script supervisor on more than a dozen features before edging into editing and 2nd unit work. Her big break came when John Carpenter gave her the opportunity to produce "Halloween" (1978), a screenplay they had written together. She responded amazingly, managing to achieve a handsome look for under $400,000. Her next four producing projects were all with Carpenter ("The Fog" 1980, which she also co-wrote with him; "Escape from New York" 1981; "Halloween II" 1981, which she again co-scripted; and "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" 1982). Hill earned her first producing credit beyond the Carpenter sphere for David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone" (1983) and followed with "Head Office" and "Clue" (both 1985) before joining forces with longtime friend and colleague Lynda Obst to form the independent production company Hill/Obst Productions. Hill/Obst produced Chris Columbus' "Adventures in Babysitting" (1987), the CBS pilot based on that film (1989), "Heartbreak Hotel" (1988), also directed by Columbus, and Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King" (1991) before finally dissolving...

Her father had worked as an art director on many of the Hope/Crosby "Road" pictures and Debra Hill certainly paid her dues, first as a script supervisor on more than a dozen features before edging into editing and 2nd unit work. Her big break came when John Carpenter gave her the opportunity to produce "Halloween" (1978), a screenplay they had written together. She responded amazingly, managing to achieve a handsome look for under $400,000. Her next four producing projects were all with Carpenter ("The Fog" 1980, which she also co-wrote with him; "Escape from New York" 1981; "Halloween II" 1981, which she again co-scripted; and "Halloween III: Season of the Witch" 1982).

Hill earned her first producing credit beyond the Carpenter sphere for David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone" (1983) and followed with "Head Office" and "Clue" (both 1985) before joining forces with longtime friend and colleague Lynda Obst to form the independent production company Hill/Obst Productions. Hill/Obst produced Chris Columbus' "Adventures in Babysitting" (1987), the CBS pilot based on that film (1989), "Heartbreak Hotel" (1988), also directed by Columbus, and Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King" (1991) before finally dissolving their partnership.

In 1988, Hill signed an exclusive development and production deal at Walt Disney Pictures for her new company, Debra Hill Productions. She produced many short films for the Disney/MGM Studio Tour theme park in Orlando, FL, as well as the feature "Gross Anatomy" (1989) for Touchstone and "The Disneyland 35th Anniversary Special" for NBC. In 1994, Hill, along with Lou Arkoff, Willie Kutner and David Giler produced 10 remakes of 50s movies for Showtime's "Rebel Highway" series (i.e., "Girls in Prison", "Shake, Rattle and Rock"). The 90s also reunited her twice with Carpenter as executive producer for the sequel "John Carpenter's Escape from L.A." (1996) and the HBO Western "El Diablo" (1990).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 What Is a Producer? (2001) Interviewee
2.
 Masters of Fantasy: John Carpenter (1998) Interviewee
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Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Haddonfield, NJ
1978:
Received first big break producing "Halloween" for John Carpenter; co-wrote script with him
1983:
First producing credit outside Carpenter orbit, David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone"
1985:
Formed Hill/Obst Productions with friend Lynda Obst
1988:
Signed exclusive development and production deal at Walt Disney pictures for new company, Debra Hill Productions
1991:
Dissolved producing partnership with Lynda Obst
1991:
Reteamed with Obst to produce "The Fisher King"
1993:
Directed "Home Sweet, Home Boy" episode of HBO's "Dream On"
1996:
Reunited with Carpenter as executive producer of "John Carpenter's Escape from L.A."
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

On holding out to direct something more to her tastes, Hill said: "I don't want to become the 'Queen of Morbid Terror,' as John calls me. But I do have a natural feel for the genre. Anything that can touch the audience, get them involved-that is to me the excitement of the movies. It's bigger than life.

"I think I write horror well. Maybe it's just a sadistic streak in me. I remember I once said to John, thank God he can get his outlet killing women in a movie. Think if it was suppressed!" --Debra Hill in CINEFANTASTIQUE, Volume 10 No. 1

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
John Carpenter. Director, screenwriter, composer. Together in the late 1970s; Hill produced and co-scripted Carpenter's "Halloween" (1978) and "The Fog" (1980) and collaborated on five subsequent projects.

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