Joseph Kahn at the screening of "Detention" at the LA Film School, April 2012
October 12, 1972 |
Jersey Village, Texas
|Revised Romanization||An Jun-hui|
Kahn was born in Jersey Village, Texas, a suburb of Houston. He is of Korean ancestry. He spent part of his childhood growing up in Livorno, Italy until his family moved to Texas. After graduating from Jersey Village High School in 1990, Kahn went to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He later dropped out after one year to direct music videos.
Music video career
In 1999, Kahn started his own production company with Chris Lee, SuperMega Media, which is housed under HSI Productions. Kahn has worked with diverse artists such as Aaliyah, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, DMX, Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Jordin Sparks, Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent, Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, Kelly Clarkson, Ashlee Simpson, Muse, Ciara, Monica, Courtney Love, Rob Zombie, U2, The Chemical Brothers, Blink 182, Chris Brown, Eminem, TLC, Katy Perry, Moby, Kesha, George Michael, Korn, The Black Eyed Peas, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, BoA, Gwen Stefani, Brandy, AKB48, Pussycat Dolls, Sun Ho, Kylie Minogue, Maroon 5 and many more.
Kahn has collected multiple Music Video Production awards. He has won several MTV Video Music Awards with nominations for Best Video of the Year for Brandy & Monica "The Boy is Mine", Britney Spears "Toxic", Chris Brown "Forever", Pussycat Dolls "When I Grow Up", Eminem "We Made You", Britney Spears "Womanizer", and Eminem "Love the Way You Lie." In 2002 he won his first Grammy for Eminem's "Without Me" video which also won the MTV VMA's Best Video of the Year, as well as Best Direction. His video for Katy Perry "Waking Up In Vegas" won the MVPA 2009 Best Video of the Year.
Kahn's usage of Japanese pop culture in music videos first began with Janet Jackson's "Doesn't Really Matter" video. The video was also the most expensive video Kahn has directed and is among the most expensive of all time, costing over $2.5 million.
Kahn has directed commercials for Acura, Bacardi, BMW, Hewlett Packard, Gillette, Vodafone, Budweiser, ASICS, Renault, Mazda, Coors Light, NASCAR, Saab, Ford and PlayStation. His Fox/NASCAR campaign won a 2004 Clio for visual effects and most recently the seventh season promo of long running ABC show Desperate Housewives. In 2011, he launched an Old Navy music video style campaign which garnered over a million YouTube hits in the first week. He resurrected Bruce Lee with cgi in a Johnnie Walker ad.
Kahn also directed the 2004 action film Torque starring Ice Cube. In May 2007 it was announced that he would direct an adaptation of William Gibson's science fiction classic, Neuromancer for producer Peter Hoffman. On May 7, 2010 Fangoria reported that Vincenzo Natali, the director of Cube and Splice, had taken over directing duties and will also rewrite the screenplay. In 2010 Kahn directed the low-budget, self-financed horror comedy Detention.  After winning a number of audience favorite awards on the film festival circuit, Detention was picked up for theatrical distribution by Sony for a release in 2012.
- "Asia Pacific Arts: APA Top Ten: Joseph Kahn music videos". Entertainment Weekly. Diehl, Matt. 10-07-00. Retrieved 07-02-14.
- Gingold, Michael. "Natali takes "NEUROMANCER" for the big screen". Fangoria.com. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- "Celebrated Music Video Director Shows Up for 'Detention'".
- "Sony Pictures Worldwide Opts For 'Detention'".
- Director File Q&A
- Filmmaker Joseph Kahn on Music Videos, Commercials, and the Essential Art of Editing (avid.com)
- APA Top Ten: Joseph Kahn music videos (UCLA Asia Arts Institute)