Gary Fleder made a smooth transition first from student films to television and then to features. His student short "Terminal Round," a 8-minute look into boxing, appeared at the Mill Valley (California) Film Festival in 1988 and his USC thesis project "Air Time" (1991) opened eyes to his talent at the 1992 Sundance Festival. A 48-minute thriller written by pal Scott Rosenberg, "Air Time" related the story of an ex-con threatening a late-night radio-talk-show psychologist. He returned to the world of boxing when he helmed "Animal Instinct" (1992), a 30-minute documentary detailing three years in the life of Brooklyn boxer Philip Paolina. Fleder cut his commercial teeth directing two episodes of HBO's popular "Tales From the Crypt" series ("Seance" 1992; "Forever Ambergris" 1993), both written by Rosenberg.
Fleder's rapid progress continued at the helm of the USA Network's sci-fi movie "The Companion" (1994), which centered on the tumultuous relationship between a successful romance novelist and her android companion. He then made his feature directing debut with Rosenberg's darkly comic "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" (1995). On the strength of the latter, Fleder signed a two-year, first-look development deal with New Line Cinema in April 1997. His second film, the dark, moody thriller "Kiss the Girls" (1997), followed in the footsteps of "Seven" and "Silence of the Lambs," but patterned much of its visual style after 70s movies like "The Exorcist" and "Klute." (Both "Klute" and "Kiss the Girls" employed the anamorphic format with its short depth of field and distorted optical image, which lends itself to thrillers, heightening the sense of being off-kilter).
Director (Feature Film)
Assistant Direction (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Feature Film)
Directorial debut, "Terminal Round", 8-minute short shown at Mill Valley (CA) Film Festival
Short film "Air Time" debuted at Sundance Festival; first collaboration with writer Scott Rosenberg
TV directing debut, the "Seance" episode of HBO's "Tales From the Crypt"; written by Scott Rosenberg
Returned to boxing (subject of "Terminal Round"), directing "Animal Instinct", a 30-minute documentary about Brooklyn boxer Philip Paolina (shown at 1993 Sundance Festival)
TV-movie directing debut, USA Network's "The Companion"
Directed feature "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead"; scripted by Rosenberg
Breakthrough feature, "Kiss the Girls", a dark and moody thriller that reflected the visual influence of 70s films like "The Exorcist" and "Klute"
Directed the impressive "The Subway" episode of the NBC drama series "Homicide: Life on the Street"
Helmed pilot for the CBS drama series "L.A. Doctors"
Directed the thriller "Don't Say a Word", with Brittany Murphy in a co-starring role
Produced (with star Gary Sinise) and directed the sci-fi film "Impostor"; originally made as a 40-minute short in 1998 to be included in an anthology film called "Light Years", the footage so impressed the executives at Dimension Films that Fleder was given the go-ahead to make a feature-length version