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Overview for Rob Bowman
Rob Bowman

Rob Bowman


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Also Known As: Rob Stanton Bowman Died:
Born: May 15, 1960 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Wichita Falls, Texas, USA Profession: Director ... director producer


When film and television director, producer and writer Rob Bowman was studying other directors in film school, he became convinced that a distinct point of view and an identifiable visual vocabulary were essential components to building a legacy in the industry. Some years later, while working on the noirish fantasy cult phenomenon "The X Files," Bowman decided to focus on lighting and shadows as a visual metaphor for the show's eccentricities. The moody lighting that became synonymous with the show proved groundbreaking enough to sustain a place for him on the television landscape, and he made good use of it in his later feature films.

Rob Bowman was born May 15, 1960, in Wichita Falls, Texas. Bowman's father, Chuck Bowman, began his career as a TV news reporter, and went on to direct and produce hit prime time television shows like "The Incredible Hulk" (CBS 1978-1982), "Alien Nation" (Fox 1989-1990), and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (CBS 1993-98). Growing up, Bowman hung out on set with his father, occasionally acting as an assistant crew member. But it wasn't until writing and directing his own project in a film production class at the University of Utah that Bowman realized filmmaking was his calling as well.

Bowman's first credit as associate producer came in 1985 on one episode of "Riptide" (NBC 1984-86), shortly before the series ended. He landed on his feet as associate producer on action hit "The A-Team" (NBC 1983-87). During that period, Bowman was also associate producer and director on the stylish crime drama "Sting Ray" (NBC 1986-87). This first stab at directing landed him a regular directorial gig on the syndicated sci-fi hit "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987-1994).

Bowman completed 13 episodes of the show between 1987 and 1990, and then found work directing one-offs for a variety of television series, including "21 Jump Street" (Fox 1987-1991) and "Baywatch" (NBC 1989-1999). By the early 1990s he continued his directorial forays within the sci-fi and supernatural genres on shows like "Midnight Caller" (NBC 1988-1991), a 1991 reheating of the 1960s Goth soap "Dark Shadows" (NBC 1991) and the hit "Quantum Leap" (NBC 1989-1993).

But Bowman is best known for his association with the cult favorite that set the tone for America's obsession with the paranormal, "The X-Files" (Fox 1993-2002). He was booked for his first episode by executive producer R. W. Goodwin, whom Bowman met while working on the series "Mancuso, F.B.I." (NBC 1989-1990). "X-Files" creator Chris Carter, subsequently offered more episodes to Bowman, and he eventually made him a producer on the show. Bowman received four consecutive Primetime Emmy nominations as a producer for Outstanding Drama Series during his 89-episode tenure between 1995 and 2000, and directed 34 episodes between 1994 and 2000.

In the middle of his successful run with the television series, Bowman helmed the first movie version of the sci-fi franchise, "The X Files" (1998). The film received generally positive notices and had a strong box office. The success of the film effectively wiped the slate clean of his first feature film, the poorly performing inline skating dramedy "Airborne" (1993).

Bowman followed "The X Files" with the post-apocalyptic "Reign of Fire" (2002), that opened at number 3 in the U.S. box office in spite of mixed reviews. Bowman's signature lighting elevated the film, which featured an earnest and contemplative Christian Bale and an over-the-top portrayal of an American dragon commando by Matthew McConaughey. Three years later, Bowman directed Jennifer Garner in the Marvel superhero saga "Elektra" (2005). In spite of the film's built-in audience, it was panned and performed poorly. Garner, however, won the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance that year, an indication that part of its natural fan base had been preserved.

Shortly afterwards, Bowman a director on the anthology series "Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King" (TNT 2006). He was also executive producer of "Day Break" (ABC 2006), a 13-episode sci-fi detective thriller starring Taye Diggs. His next project was as executive producer on the crime-based comedy-drama "Castle" (ABC 2009-16), for which he also directed several episodes.

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