Penelope Spheeris Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
Penelope Spheeris (born December 2, 1945) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. She is best known as a documentary film director whose works include the trilogy titled The Decline of Western Civilization. She has also directed feature films, including Wayne's World, her highest grossing film. Wikipedia
She was the oldest of four children. She often had to look after her siblings because her dad was killed when she was seven and her mom worked several jobs. She often chooses to interview musicians with troubled backgrounds because she feels her background was just as troubled.
She studied psychobiology (studying how the brain reacts to external forces) and film in college, eventually attending the film program at UCLA. After college, she produced short and feature length films directed by comic Albert Brooks, some of which were shown during the first season of Saturday Night Live (1975).
She admits that she has two distinct careers, one where she does mainstream Hollywood films like Wayne's World (1992) and the other, where she does independent music themed documentaries like the "Decline of Western Civilization" films.
[on Mike Myers] I hated that bastard for years. But when I saw Austin Powers, I went, 'I forgive you, Mike. You can be moody, you can be a jerk, you can be things that others of us can't be - because you are profoundly talented. And I forgive you.'
My whole career up until Wayne's World (1992) didn't produce any monetary funds. When I directed Wayne's World, I made close to $150,000 - the biggest payday I had to date. My percentage points from Wayne's World enabled me to pay off all of the debts from my previous works, but I only came up even in the end.
["After Wayne's World (1992), you directed a bunch of studio fodder including The Little Rascals (1994) and Senseless (1998). What steered you in this direction?") When someone offers you $2.5 million to direct a film, you just fucking take it. I took the money and made a bunch of movies - The Little Rascals (1994), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), Black Sheep (1996) and Senseless (1998). After I did Wayne's World (1992) - I tried like hell to direct movies I had written and books that I wanted to adapt for film. I tried so hard to do something beside television remakes but I couldn't get anything going. That is where the sexism in the film industry becomes all too apparent. If I was a guy, I swear to God I would have been able to get my own shit going after "Wayne's World".
[on why she does documentaries about metal and punk music] "I mean, look, you don't see me making documentaries on Britney Spears, you know what I mean? Sweetheart of a little girl, you know. Or Madonna. That's not my thing. I just like this harder edge stuff. That's just me."
I generally think about myself as someone who studies human behavior and is trying to figure out what the hell is going on in our current society. If I can leave any film that helps define a certain time after I'm dead then that's great.
The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) was financed by two businessmen from the Valley who wanted to finance films. They had no idea I was going in to pitch a punk rock movie.