Jonze at the 2013 New York Film Festival
October 22, 1969 
Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter, actor|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Sofia Coppola (m. 1999–2003)|
|Relatives||Sam Spiegel (brother)|
Spike Jonze (pronounced "Jones" //; born Adam Spiegel on October 22, 1969) is an American skateboarder, filmmaker, director, producer, photographer, screenwriter, and actor, whose work includes music videos, commercials, film, and television.
Jonze began his career as a teenager photographing BMX riders and skateboarders for Freestylin' Magazine and Transworld Skateboarding. Moving into filmmaking, he began shooting street skateboarding films, including the influential Video Days (1991). Jonze co-founded the skateboard company Girl Skateboards in 1993 with riders Rick Howard and Mike Carroll. Jonze's filmmaking style made him an in-demand director of music videos for much of the 1990s, resulting in collaborations with Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys, Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, Weezer, Björk, and Kanye West.
Jonze began his feature film directing career with Being John Malkovich (1999) and Adaptation (2002), both written by Charlie Kaufman; the former earned Jonze an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. He was a co-creator and executive producer of MTV's Jackass reality franchise. Jonze later began directing films based on his own screenplays, including Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013); for the latter film, he won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, while receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Song ("The Moon Song").
Early life and education
Jonze was born on October 22, 1969 in Rockville, Maryland, and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and in Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania. His father, Arthur H. Spiegel III, was a distant relation of the Spiegel catalog family, and founded APM Management Consultants. His mother, Sandra L. Granzow, is a writer, communications consultant in developing countries, and artist. His brother, Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel, is a producer and DJ. He also has a sister, Julia. His father was from a German Jewish family, while his mother has German, Scottish, and English ancestry.
While studying at Walt Whitman High School, Jonze spent time at a Bethesda community store, where owner Mike Henderson gave him the nickname "Spike Jonze" in reference to Spike Jones. A keen BMX rider, Jonze began working at the Rockville BMX store in Rockville, Maryland, at the age of 16. A common destination for touring professional BMX teams, Jonze began photographing BMX demos at Rockville and formed a friendship with Freestylin' Magazine editors Mark Lewman and Andy Jenkins. Impressed with Jonze's photography work, the pair offered him a job as a photographer for the magazine, and he subsequently moved to California to pursue career opportunities in photography.
Jonze fronted Club Homeboy, an international BMX club, alongside Lewman and Jenkins. The three also created the youth culture magazines Homeboy and Dirt, the latter of which was described as "Sassy Magazine for boys."
While shooting for various BMX publications in California, Jonze was introduced to a number of professional skateboarders who would often share ramps with BMX pros. Jonze formed a close friendship with Mark Gonzales, co-owner of the newly formed Blind Skateboards at the time, and began shooting photos with the young Blind team including Jason Lee, Guy Mariano and Rudy Johnson in the late 1980s. Jonze developed a signature photographic style, becoming popular for his use of a wide-angle fisheye lens, shooting photos at night with the creative use of a camera flash, and long-exposure techniques which had rarely been seen in action sports photography. Jonze became a regular contributor to Transworld Skateboarding, and was subsequently given a job at World Industries by Steve Rocco, who enlisted him to photograph advertisements and shoot promotional videos for his brands under the World Industries umbrella.
Jonze filmed, edited and produced Rubbish Heap for World Industries in 1989, having transitioned to the video format at the request of Rocco. His following video project was Video Days, a promotional video for Blind Skateboards which was released in 1991 and is widely considered the most influential skateboarding video of all time, partly due to Jonze's development of a video template which has been followed by almost every skateboarding film since. Mark Gonzales presented a copy of Video Days to Kim Gordon during a chance encounter following a Sonic Youth show in early 1992. Impressed with Jonze's videography skills, Gordon tracked down the young filmmaker and approached him to direct a music video featuring skateboarders, an idea the band had toyed with in the years prior. Jonze subsequently co-directed the music video for 100%, which featured skateboarding footage of Blind Skateboards rider Jason Lee, who would later become a successful Hollywood actor.
This section is missing information about most of Jonze's career. It jumps around a lot, but does not provide anything close to an organized narrative of his working career..(February 2015)
In 2006, he was nominated by the Directors Guild of America for "Outstanding Achievement in Commercials in 2005." He was nominated for a body of work that included Hello Tomorrow for Adidas, Lamp for IKEA, and Pardon Our Dust for The Gap. He was a producer and co-creator of MTV television series Jackass and Jackass: The Movie, also directing some of the segments. Jonze has acted in some videos and films; his most prominent role was in Three Kings as the sweet, dimwitted, casually racist Conrad, in which he was directed by friend David O. Russell.
Jonze was a co-founder and editor of Dirt magazine along with Mark Lewman and Andy Jenkins, as well as an editor for Grand Royal Magazine and senior photographer for Transworld Skateboarding. In the past, Jonze shot street skateboarding videos, most notably Blind's highly influential Video Days in 1991, and Lakai Footwear's Fully Flared in 2007. He co-directed the Girl Skateboards film Yeah Right! and the Chocolate Skateboards video Hot Chocolate. In the closing credits montage of Yeah Right!, Spike is shown doing a nollie heelflip in loafers. He is co-owner of Girl Skateboards.
Jonze has many alter egos, including Richard Koufey (alternately spelled Coufey or Couffe), the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group, an urban troupe that performs in public spaces. The Koufey persona appeared when Jonze, in character, filmed himself dancing to Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank" as it played on a boom box in a public area. Jonze showed the video to Slim, who appears briefly in the video around the 3:57 mark. Jonze then assembled a group of dancers to perform to Slim's "Praise You" outside a Westwood, California movie theater and taped the performance. The resulting clip was a huge success, and "Koufey" and his troupe were invited to New York City to perform the song for the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The video received awards for Best Direction, Breakthrough, and Best Choreography, which Jonze accepted, still in character. Jonze made a mockumentary about the experience called Torrance Rises. At the 2001 Grammy Awards, the music video for Weapon of Choice won Best Short Form Music Video.
Spike Jonze was part of the Detour-Moleskine project in New York in 2007. The project invites authors to compile and illustrate Moleskine notebooks to provide an intimate insight into the artists' creative process.
Jonze directed Where the Wild Things Are, which opened in the United States on October 16, 2009. It was arguably his most anticipated film to date, the product of an almost decade long collaboration with author Maurice Sendak. The film received generally favorable reviews, and appeared on many critics' end-of-the-year top ten lists.
In July 2009, Jonze acquired the rights to make a film adaptation of the Shane Jones novel Light Boxes. However, Jonze, in an interview with Times Online, said that Ray Tintori was no longer a director for that project as expected. In an interview with Interview Magazine in June 2010, Jones said the film option had been dropped.
In 2010, he made a 28-minute short titled Scenes from the Suburbs, inspired by the Arcade Fire album The Suburbs. Scenes from his short were used in the music video to the album's title song, "The Suburbs". A dystopian vision of suburbia in the near-future, the short was co-written by Jonze, Win Butler, and Will Butler. Expanding on the themes of nostalgia, alienation, and childhood, the short premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and saw its online premiere at MUBI on June 27, 2011.
In 2011, Jonze collaborated with the Beastie Boys for the release of their Santigold collaboration, "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win." In a similar fashion to Jonze's work with Arcade Fire, he directed both "short and epic-length videos" to partner with the single.
In 2011, Jonze directed the music video for "Otis" the second single from the album Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West. On November 3, 2013, Jonze directed the live music video for Arcade Fire's "Afterlife" and documented Lady Gaga's live performance of "Dope" with Chris Milk for the YouTube Music Awards.
Jonze's next theatrical project Her was released in late 2013. Her is a science fiction romance film starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, Rooney Mara, and Scarlett Johansson, and is Jonze's first feature-length original screenplay. The film follows a man (Phoenix) who develops a relationship with a seemingly intuitive and humanistic female voice, named "Samantha" (Johansson), produced by an advanced computer operating system. Jonze won the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for Her. Jonze was nominated for three Academy Awards for Her, as producer for Best Picture, writer for Best Original Screenplay, and lyric writer for Best Original Song. On March 2, 2014, Jonze won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, which marks his first win. In 2013, Jonze played a role in The Wolf of Wall Street.
On June 26, 1999, Jonze married director Sofia Coppola, whom he had first met in 1992. On December 5, 2003, the couple filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." The character of John, a career-driven photographer (Giovanni Ribisi) in Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003), was rumored to be based on Jonze, though Coppola commented "It’s not Spike, but there are elements of him there, elements of experiences."
Jonze began dating Michelle Williams in July 2008, after the death of Heath Ledger. They met on the set of Synecdoche, New York, which Williams starred in and Jonze produced. Williams called the timing of their relationship "impossible", and ended it in September 2009.
|1991||Video Days||Yes||Yes||Skateboarding video|
|1994||Mi Vida Loca||Yes||Teenage Drug Customer|
|1994||Ciao, L.A.||Yes||Short film|
|1996||Bed, Bath and Beyond||Cinematographer; short film|
|1997||How They Get There||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|1997||The Game||Yes||Airbag EMT Beltran|
|1997||Free Tibet||Cinematographer; documentary|
|1998||Amarillo by Morning||Yes||Himself||Documentary short|
|1999||Torrance Rises||Yes||Yes||Richard Coufey||Short film; co-directed with Lance Bangs|
|1999||The Chocolate Tour||Yes||Skateboarding video|
|1999||Three Kings||Yes||Private First Class Conrad Vig|
|1999||Being John Malkovich||Yes||Yes||Derek Mantini's Assistant|
|1999||An Intimate Look Inside the Acting Process with Ice Cube||Yes||Short film|
|2001||Keep Your Eyes Open||Yes||Officer Jonze|
|2002||Jackass: The Movie||Yes||Yes||Yes||Himself|
|2003||Yeah Right!||Yes||Yes||Skateboarding video|
|2003||What's Up, Fatlip?||Yes||Yes||Himself||Documentary short|
|2004||The Chocolate Tour||Yes||Yes||Skateboarding video|
|2004||The Mystery of Dalarö||Yes||Short commercial film|
|2006||Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow||Concert video; cinematographer|
|2006||The Krooked Chronicles||Yes||Skateboarding video|
|2006||Jackass Number Two||Yes||Yes||Yes||Himself|
|2007||Fully Flared||Yes||Yes||Skateboarding video|
|2007||Heavy Metal in Baghdad||Yes||Documentary|
|2008||The Final Flare!||Yes||Skateboarding video|
|2008||Synecdoche, New York||Yes|
|2009||We Were Once a Fairytale||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|2009||Where the Wild Things Are||Yes||Yes||Yes||Bob / Terry (voices)|
|2009||Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak||Yes||Himself||Documentary|
|2010||I'm Here||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|2010||Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life||Yes||Yes||Plant (voice)|
|2010||The Vampire Attack||Yes||Yes||The Vampire||Short film|
|2011||Scenes From the Suburbs||Yes||Short film|
|2011||Mourir Auprès De Toi||Yes||Yes||Yes||Macbeth||Short film|
|2013||Her||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Alien Child (voice)||Feature length film|
|2013||Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa||Yes||Yes||Yes||Gloria|
|2013||Choose You||Yes||Short film|
|2013||The Wolf of Wall Street||Yes||Dwayne||Uncredited|
|2014||Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5||Yes||Yes||Yes||Gloria|
|2016||Kenzo World||Yes||Yes||Short commercial film|
|2017||Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine||Yes||Himself||Documentary|
|2017||Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond||Yes||Documentary|
|1995||Double Rush||Yes||Opening titles only|
|2010–2012||The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret||Yes||Doug Whitney||8 episodes|
|2015||Girls||Yes||Marcos||Episode: "Home Birth"|
|2016||The Late Show with Stephen Colbert||Yes||Guest director of intro|
|1999||"Morning after"||Nike, Inc.|
|2007||"Pardon Our Dust"||GAP|
|2017||Changers: A Dance Story||Writer, director|
Awards and nominations
- "Spike Jonze". Biography.com.
- Spike Jonze on IMDb
- "THE DIRECTOR'S LABEL COLLECTOR'S EDITION BOX SET AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 16". Smells Like Music. Sperry Media. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Spike Jonze Biography (1969–)". film reference. Advameg, Inc. 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Obituary for Spiegel". Obits.abqjournal.com. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
- Encyclopedia of American Cinema for Smartphones and Mobile Devices - MobileReference - Google Books. Books.google.ca. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- O'Donnell, Kevin. "Hot Star Magnet: Sam Spiegel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
- NATE BLOOMContributing Writer (October 16, 2009). "Jewish Stars 10/16 - Cleveland Jewish News: Archives". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- "Spike Jonze". IMDb.
- Smith, Ethan (October 18, 1999). "Spike Jonze Unmasked". New York Magazine. New York Media. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
- "Spike Jonze - Epicly Later'd - VICELAND". VICELAND. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- Andy Jenkins; Mark Lewman (June–August 1984). "publications/Freestylin/1984". 23mag.com. Bob Osborn (Wizard Publications). Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- "Spike Jonze: Epicly Later'd".
- "Spike Jonze Epicly Later'd".
- "Total Recall - The Photography of Spike Jonze | GrindTV.com". GrindTV.com. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- Tony, Owen, (2010-04-10). "How One Man Changed Skateboarding Forever". Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- "World Industries - Rubbish Heap (1989) Soundtrack < Skately Library". skately.com. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- Classics: Guy Mariano Video Days, retrieved 2017-09-28
- "17 Essential Music Videos for Skate Fans". Vogue. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- "Jason Lee". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
- Awards for Spike Jonze on IMDb
- "Sneak peek: The monsters of where the wild things are". Slashfilm.com. January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Fatboy Slim (October 15, 2009). "Rockafeller Skank (Spike Jonze Audition Demo Version)". YouTube. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Landay, Vincent (Producer) Brown, Richard (Producer) (2003). The Work of Director Spike Jonze (DVD). New York City: Palm Pictures. Event occurs at Side A, Commentry Track of Praise You spoken by Normal Cook (Fatboy Slim).
- "Awards". GRAMMY.com. April 30, 2017.
- "Spike Jonze-Moleskine". Moleskine.com. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Business Wire (13 January 2009). "Vice Music Chooses The Orchard". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Chocolate "Easy Steady". Vimeo. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- "Spike Jonze On Where The Wild Things Are", Empire Online Fovember 19, 2008
- Saki Knafo (September 6, 2009). "Bringing 'Where the Wild Things Are' to the Screen". New York Times.
- "The Top Ten Chart For January 21, 2010". Movie City News. October 18, 1999. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Tim Teeman (May 15, 2010). "A cure for Aids? Spike Jonze is not joking". London: Times Online. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- Laura Van Den Berg (June 22, 2010). "Shedding Light on Shane Jones". Retrieved March 18, 2011.
- "Scenes from the Suburbs". MUBI. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Spike Jonze to direct 'epic' Beastie Boys video". London: The Independent. July 5, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Breihan, Tom (August 1, 2011). "Spike Jonze to Direct Jay-Z/Kanye "Otis" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- "Spike Jonze to direct live music videos for Arcade Fire and Lady Gaga at YouTube Awards". NME. IPC Media. October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- "Sony Picks Up New Spike Jonze & David O. Russell Movies". Screenrant.com. November 14, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Los Angeles Times (January 12, 2014). "Golden Globes 2014: The complete list of nominees and winners". latimes.com. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- "How Spike Jonze Ended Up in The Wolf of Wall Street". Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Frank Ocean had a legendary director film his first New York concert in 5 years". Business Insider France (in French). Retrieved 2017-08-01.
- "Jonze and Coppola Announce Divorce Plans". IMDb. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- "Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze to divorce". USA Today. December 9, 2003.
- "Sofia's Choice", Entertainment Weekly, October 3, 2003.
- "Michelle Williams Confirms Split From Spike Jonze". Us Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- Rinko Kikuchi: the interview, The Guardian, February 27, 2011.
- Awards for Being John Malkovich on IMDb
- Awards for Adaptation. on IMDb
- Awards for Where the Wild Things Are on IMDb
- Los Angeles Times (February 1, 2014). "'Her,' 'Captain Phillips' win top Writers Guild film awards". latimes.com. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- Waxman, Sharon, ed. (2005), Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System, HarperEntertainment.
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