Born and raised in working-class New York City, versatile Hollywood director Joel Schumacher started out as an art student. After graduating from Parsons School of Design, he worked for several fashion design firms and dressed window displays at a department store. He found work as a costume designer (Woody Allen's Sleeper and Interiors) and screenwriter (Car Wash and The Wiz) before turning to full-time directing. After a few TV movies, Schumacher made his feature-length directorial debut with the Lily Tomlin comedy The Incredible Shrinking Woman, followed by the Mr. T vehicle D.C. Cab.
Schumacher finally hit mainstream success in 1985 with the Brat Pack classic St. Elmo's Fire, kick-starting the careers of Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Emilio Estevez, among others. This was soon followed by the beloved teen vampire flick The Lost Boys, starring both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. Schumacher also directed music videos at the end of the '80s, including "Devil Inside" by INXS. With the exception of the Americanized romantic comedy remake Cousins, he seemed to cater almost exclusively to the youth market during this time.