A master craftsman notable for his almost Hitchcockian ability to create suspense and keep action moving at an exhilarating pace, director John McTiernan began his involved with theatrical arts early in life. His father was an opera singer, and McTiernan made his theatrical debut at age seven playing bit roles in his father's shows. After high school he became involved with summer stock, where he directed, acted, and designed until attended Julliard and New York University, where he studied film. He then became designer and technical director at the Manhattan School of Music.
McTiernan went on to make over 200 television commercials before making his feature film debut by directing the fantasy horror movie Nomads (1985). He followed that up with Predator (1987), a sci-fi action film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger that spawned a franchise.