Rob Bowman (director)

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Rob Bowman
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Rob Stanton Bowman

(1960-05-15) May 15, 1960 (age 59)
Wichita Falls, Texas, United States
Education University of Utah
Known forFilmmaking
Notable work
Star Trek: The Next Generation , The X-Files (TV series) , The X-Files , Castle , Reign of Fire
Spouse(s)Dusty Dawn Bowman (married October 5, 2006)

Rob Stanton Bowman ( /ˈbmən/ ; born May 15, 1960) is an American film director and producer. He grew up around film and television production, and developed an interest in the field because of the work of his father, director Chuck Bowman. Bowman is a prolific director for television, and has contributed to series such as Star Trek: The Next Generation , and The X-Files , for which he received four consecutive Emmy nominations as a producer. He was an executive producer and director for the comedy-drama Castle .

Chuck Bowman is an American actor, director, producer and writer of film and television.

<i>Star Trek: The Next Generation</i> American television series

Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. It originally aired from September 28, 1987 to May 23, 1994 on syndication, spanning 178 episodes over the course of seven seasons. The third series in the Star Trek franchise, it is the second sequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. Set in the 24th century, when Earth is part of a United Federation of Planets, it follows the adventures of a Starfleet starship, the USS Enterprise-D, in its exploration of the Milky Way galaxy.

<i>The X-Files</i> American science fiction drama television series

The X-Files is an American science fiction drama television series created by Chris Carter. The original television series aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox. The program spanned nine seasons, with 202 episodes. A short tenth season consisting of six episodes premiered on January 24, 2016, and concluded on February 22, 2016. Following the ratings success of this revival, Fox announced in April 2017 that The X-Files would be returning for an eleventh season of ten episodes. The season premiered on January 3, 2018, concluding on March 21, 2018. In addition to the television series, two feature films have been released: The 1998 film The X-Files, which took place as part of the TV series continuity, and the stand-alone film The X-Files: I Want to Believe, released in 2008, six years after the original television run had ended.


Bowman has directed four feature films: Airborne , The X-Files , Reign of Fire , and Elektra .

<i>Airborne</i> (1993 film) 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Rob Bowman

Airborne is a 1993 American comedy-drama film centered on inline skating, starring Shane McDermott, Seth Green, Brittney Powell, Chris Conrad, Jacob Vargas, and a then unknown Jack Black.

<i>The X-Files</i> (film) 1998 film by Rob Bowman

The X-Files is a 1998 American science fiction thriller film directed by Rob Bowman. Chris Carter wrote the screenplay. The story is by Carter and Frank Spotnitz. It is the first feature film based on Carter's television series The X-Files, which revolves around fictional unsolved cases called the X-Files and the characters solving them. Five main characters from the television series appear in the film: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, John Neville, and William B. Davis reprise their respective roles as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, Well-Manicured Man, and the Cigarette-Smoking Man. The film was promoted with the tagline Fight the Future.

<i>Reign of Fire</i> (film) 2002 film by Rob Bowman

Reign of Fire is a 2002 post-apocalyptic science fantasy film directed by Rob Bowman and starring Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale, with the screenplay written by Matt Greenberg, Gregg Chabot, and Kevin Peterka. The film also features Izabella Scorupco and Gerard Butler.

Early life and education

Bowman grew up around film and television production. His father, Chuck Bowman, is a filmmaker who became active in the industry when Rob was an adolescent. Bowman first became fascinated with the process of filmmaking when he saw The Wizard of Oz as a child. [1] Growing up, he watched his father make commercials and documentaries, often acting as an assistant crew member. Bowman said that conversations with his father enabled him to see how the hard work of a filmmaking crew becomes invisible when the film is made. He said, "what remains are the emotions and the drama of the story and the characters. What remains is the magic." [2]

<i>The Wizard of Oz</i> (1939 film) 1939 movie based on the book by L. Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Widely considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history, it is the best-known and most commercially successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Directed primarily by Victor Fleming, the film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr.

In his late teens, he moved to Utah, where he became a "ski bum", and worked as a bartender. After writing, producing and directing a story for a film production class at the University of Utah, Bowman knew he wanted to be a filmmaker. "It became as clear to me as a Fourth of July fireworks display that was where my passion was," he said. Bowman moved to Los Angeles, and got a job at Stephen Cannell Productions, starting in the mail room. He took film classes, and studied film directors, developing a sense of his own personal style. [1] He became fascinated with how each director used the same tools, but arrived at a unique aesthetic. He said, "I learned early on that to be successful as a director, you had to have your own signature. Otherwise, why hire one person over another?" [2] He worked for Cannell for over two years, observing the production of over 400 hours of television. Around age 20, he wrote a mission statement for himself, committing himself to strive for excellence in filmmaking. [1]

University of Utah public coeducational space-grant research university in Salt Lake City, Utah

The University of Utah is a public research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. As the state's flagship university, it offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 92 graduate degree programs. The university is classified among "Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity" with "selective, higher transfer-in" admissions. Graduate studies include the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the School of Medicine, Utah's first medical school. As of Fall 2015, there are 23,909 undergraduate students and 7,764 graduate students, for an enrollment total of 31,673.


Star Trek: The Next Generation and early work

Bowman started directing for television while doing second unit work for Stephen Cannell Productions in 1982. [3] After leaving Cannell's company in 1987, he sent out videos of his work, looking for a job. [1] Impressed by one of Bowman's Stringray episodes, producer Robert H. Justman hired him to direct for Star Trek: The Next Generation during its first season. Bowman was only 27 years old at the time, and in his first meeting with executive producer Rick Berman, Berman mistook him for the pizza delivery boy. [4] He was originally slated to direct the 10th episode of Star Trek's first season, but one of the series' directors, Dan Petrie, Jr., dropped out early to direct the film Mystic Pizza . This gave Bowman the opportunity to direct the fourth episode of the season, "Where No One Has Gone Before". [5] Bowman investigated the sets two weeks early to begin prepping the episode. Bowman told Starlog magazine, "Walking through those empty sets was very intimidating for me. I kept asking myself how I was going to do justice to these sets, tell the story and still get the performances from the cast." Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was so impressed with the dailies for the episode, that he made an appearance on set to praise Bowman in front of the cast and crew. Immediately following directing "Where No One Has Gone Before", Bowman directed an episode of the Fox Broadcasting Company's television series Werewolf . [4] Berman and Justman had planned to hire Bowman for only a single episode, but his agent worked out a two-episode deal, leading to Bowman directing the ninth Star Trek episode, "The Battle". [4]

Robert H. Justman American television director

Robert Harris "Bob" Justman was an American television producer, director, and production manager. He worked on many American TV series including Lassie, The Life of Riley, Adventures of Superman, The Outer Limits, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and Then Came Bronson.

Richard Keith "Rick" Berman is an American television producer. He is best known for his work as the executive producer of several of the Star Trek series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as several of the Star Trek theatrical productions, and for ultimately succeeding Gene Roddenberry as head of the Star Trek franchise until the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005.

Pizza delivery Pizzeria service

Pizza delivery is a service in which a pizzeria or pizza chain delivers a pizza to a customer. An order is typically made either by telephone or over the internet to the pizza chain, in which the customer can request pizza type, size and other products alongside the pizza, commonly including soft drinks. Pizzas may be delivered in pizza boxes or delivery bags, and deliveries are made with either an automobile, motorized scooter, or bicycle. Customers can, depending on the pizza chain, choose to pay online, or in person, with cash, credit card, debit card or cryptocurrency. A delivery fee is often charged with what the customer has bought.

1988 was a busy year for Bowman. In addition to directing five more episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation that year, he also directed episodes for Werewolf, Sonny Spoon , The Highwayman , Probe , and 21 Jump Street . [4]

<i>Sonny Spoon</i> television series

Sonny Spoon is a detective program aired in the United States on the NBC television network in 1988. The series was created by Michael Daly, Dinah Prince, Stephen J. Cannell, and Randall Wallace and produced by Stephen J. Cannell Productions.

The Highwayman is an American action-adventure themed television series starring Sam J. Jones, set in "the near future." It was created by Glen A. Larson and Douglas Heyes. The pilot aired in September 1987, and was followed by a short-lived series of nine episodes, with significant changes to the cast and format, that ran from March until May 1988. It was summed up by many reviewers as a cross between Mad Max and Knight Rider.

Probe is an American science fiction drama series, created by veteran television writer Michael I. Wagner and science fiction author Isaac Asimov as a sort of modern version of Jonny Quest or Tom Swift. It aired on ABC. Michael I. Wagner wrote the two-hour pilot, and became Executive Producer for the series. The pilot and series starred Parker Stevenson as Austin James, an asocial genius who solved high tech crimes, and Ashley Crow as James' new secretary Mickey Castle.

On the strength of his direction for the television series Parker Lewis Can't Lose , he was offered to direct his first feature film, [1] Airborne , a coming-of-age story involving teenage rollerbladers. [3]

The X-Files

After seeing a commercial for The X-Files pilot episode, Bowman called his agent and told him he wanted to direct for the series. [1] He was asked to direct the episode "Gender Bender" for The X-Files by executive producer R. W. Goodwin, who had previously worked with Bowman on the series Mancuso, F.B.I. . X-Files creator and executive producer Chris Carter invited Bowman to return and direct more episodes. Bowman was eventually made a producer on the series. [6]


Andrew Marlowe and Rob Bowman on the set of Castle. Andrew Marlowe and Rob Bowman.jpg
Andrew Marlowe and Rob Bowman on the set of Castle.

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) hired Bowman to direct the pilot for Castle, a television series about a crime novelist who consults with the New York City Police Department (NYPD). [7] The series was created by Andrew Marlowe, who served as executive producer along with his wife Terri Miller. When Miller stepped down as executive producer, Bowman took on the role. [8]


Bowman's signature visual style involves lighting contrasts within a scene, including framing actors as silhouettes. [3] The X-Files writer and producer Frank Spotnitz said that Bowman works very hard to make every "scene as beautiful and as complimentary to the story as possible". He said that Bowman's camera movements were never gratuitous and were deliberately planned to aid viewers in understanding what was happening in a scene. Spotnitz complimented Bowman's attention to lighting for mood, saying "You would think that on a television schedule you don't have time to compose and think thoroughly about all these issues, but Rob really does." [6]







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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Fisher, Bob. "KODAK: OnFilm Interview with Rob Bowman". OnFilm Interviews. Kodak.
  2. 1 2 Kodak (August 20, 2010). "The Cinema History Behind ABC's Castle". InCamera Online. Kodak.
  3. 1 2 3 James, Nick (December 25, 2002). "Rob Bowman". In Yoram Allon, Del Cullen and Hannah Patterson (eds.). Contemporary North American Film Directors: A Wallflower Critical Guide. The Wallflower Critical Guides to Contemporary Film Directors (2 ed.). London: Wallflower Press. p. 58. ISBN   1-903364-52-3.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  4. 1 2 3 4 Shapiro, Marc (November 1988). "On the Edge of the Universe". Starlog. 12 (136): 22–25, 43.
  5. Altman, Mark A. (September 1990). "Rob Bowman: Directing Auteur". Cinefantastique. 21 (2): 32–34, 58.
  6. 1 2 Vitaris, Paula (October 1995). "X-files: Rob Bowman". Cinefantastique. 26/27 (6/1): 83.
  7. Adalian, Josef (August 4, 2008). "'X-Files' vet is storming ABC 'Castle'". Daily Variety: N5.
  8. Rizzo, Carita (May 8, 2011). "Primetime drivers: Across broadcast and cable, these exec producers steer their shows to ratings and critical glory. Here's how they do it ...". Daily Variety: 16.