Alex Proyas is an innovative and versatile filmmaker, with a penchant for large-scale science fiction productions. Maintaining prolific careers in both commercials and feature films, Proyas often uses the smaller venue as a testing ground for his big screen imagination, an inspired move that has rendered him a master of visual imagery.
Born in Egypt to Greek parents, Proyas moved to Sydney, Australia, when he was three years old. By 18, he was a distinguished freshman at the Australian Film and Television School, and a classmate of Jane Campion, for whom he composed the score to A Girl's Own Story. During his first year at school, Proyas wrote and directed Groping, the 1982 Best Short Film winner at both the Sydney and London Film Festivals. In his second year, he formed a production company along with two peers, called Meaningful Eye Contact. Dissatisfaction with school led Proyas to drop out in 1984, as he began directing music videos through the firm. The success of his video for the Crowded House single "Don't Dream It's Over" gained Proyas several video awards and brought the director to the U.S. in 1987. The next few years saw him directing videos for American artists, such as Fleetwood Mac and Yes, and returning to Australia to work with Crowded House and INXS.