Like many future filmmakers, Morgan J Freeman began making home movies while still in his teens. In his case, these included shorts based on the popular 1980s NBC TV series "Miami Vice." The native California studied film at UC Santa Barbara where he got to make his first short films. A sojourn in Paris, which included courses in film theory at the Sorbonne and a stint as a production assistant for Why Not Productions, followed before Freeman landed at NYU. While in the graduate program, he wrote and directed six short films and also made the acquaintance of Todd Solondz, who hired him as second assistant director on 1996's "Welcome to the Dollhouse." Based on the success of his short "Boom" (1996), Freeman was able to find investors for his first feature, "Hurricane Streets/Hurricane" (1997), a coming-of-age tale about a Manhattan teen caught up in gang activities. When it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, it won three prizes, including two for its writer-director. Although it had a good buzz based on the festival screening, the film barely registered when it debuted theatrically nearly a year later. By then, Freeman had moved on to his second feature, "Desert Blue" (1999), an off-beat look at teenagers in a small California town.
Director (Feature Film)
Assistant Direction (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
First teaming with cinematographer Enrique Chediak, the short film "Boom"
Served as second assistant director to Todd Solondz on "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and Michael Bergmann on "Milk and Money"
Made feature writing and directing debut with "Hurricane Streets/Hurricane"; shot by Chediak (released theatrically in 1998)
Wrote and directed second feature, "Desert Blue"
Re-teamed with Chediak for the short film "The Cherry Picker"; co-starred Janeane Garofalo and Craig Bierko
Wrote and directed the feature length version of "The Cherry Picker" for Showtime"
Directed episodes of the teen hit "Dawson's Creek" for The WB
Directed the direct-to-video sequel "American Psycho 2"
Helmed the independent feature "Piggy Banks," starring Gabriel Mann and Tom Sizemore
Produced the groundbreaking MTV reality show "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County"
Debuted his film "Just Like the Son" at the Tribeca Film Festival
Created and executive produced the MTV reality series "Maui Fever"
Produced the MTV reality show "16 and Pregnant"
Directed the thriller "Homecoming," starring Mischa Barton