|Writer, Producer, and Director DEBRA HILL is recognized as a trailblazer among women in the motion picture industry. She began her film career as a script supervisor, film editor, assistant director and second unit director before writing and producing the hit horror classic, Halloween, with John Carpenter. Made for only $300,000, it went on to become one of the most successful independent films of all time. She continued her association with Carpenter for five more films, including the Halloween sequels, The Fog, Escape From New York, and Escape From L.A..
Following her association with Carpenter, Debra produced the critically acclaimed David Cronenberg film, The Dead Zone. She followed that with the big-business satire Head Office, the comedy-mystery Clue and Big Top Pee Wee.
In 1985, Debra joined forces with longtime friend and colleague Lynda Obst to form the independent production company, Hill/Obst Productions. Together they produced the movie Adventures in Baby-sitting, as well as the CBS pilot based on that film. Hill/Obst also produced Heartbreak Hotel with Adventures director Chris Columbus.
In 1988, Debra signed an exclusive development and production deal at Walt Disney Pictures for her new company, Debra Hill Productions. Debra produced many short films starring Warren Beatty, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Pee Wee Herman, Mel Gibson, George Lucas, Alan Alda, David Letterman, Rick Moranis, Mel Brooks, and the Cosby family for the Disney/MGM Studio Tour Theme Park in Orlando, Florida and consulted EuroDisney with Disney-Imagineering. She also produced Gross Anatomy for Touchstone Pictures.
In 1991 Debra and Lynda Obst produced the Academy Award nominated film The Fisher King, directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Robin Williams (Golden Globe for Best Actor), Jeff Bridges, and Mercedes Ruehl, (Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress). The TriStar Pictures release was nominated for four Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and won the Silver Lion Award for best picture at the Venice Film Festival.
Debra co-executive produced a western titled El Diablo with John Carpenter for HBO in association with Kushner/Locke. She also produced The Disneyland 35th Anniversary Special for NBC.
She produced Attack of the 50 Foot Woman starring Daryl Hannah and directed by Christopher Guest. At the time, it was the highest rated original movie for HBO.
In 1994, she completed producing Rebel Highway, a series of movies for Showtime based on the AIP films of the 1950's, writing two of the films herself. The series received numerous Emmy and Cable Ace nominations. The episodes were directed by top directors including Joe Dante, John Milius, Walter Hill, Jonathan Kaplan, Robert Rodriguez, William Friedkin, Ralph Bakshi, Mary Lambert, John McNaughton, Uli Edel, and Alan Arkush. The series also won a Grammy for an original Sheryl Crow song.
Debra also produced Crazy In Alabama for Sony Pictures Entertainment, the directorial debut for Antonion Banderas, starring Melanie Griffith and written by Mark Childress. Debra recently executive produced and nurtured the talents of first time writer/director Gavin Grazer whose independent film, Chow Bella, came in second at the Austin Film Festival.
As an active environmentalist, (Debra is a Board Member of Women in Film), she is a Founding Board Member of the Earth Communications Office (ECO), whose environmental messages have reached over one billion people worldwide. She is also on the Producing-Development Advisory Board of the UCLA Extension Department of Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts, and the Mentor Board of the Pete Stark Producing Program at USC.
In addition to her many film and television projects in development, Debra is currently pursuing a career in directing. She completed her first directorial assignment, an episode of Monsters for Laurel Entertainment, and followed that with an episode of Dream On for HBO. She plans on directing Little Italy, a feature script by Kathryn McCullough, as well as the thriller Tales Not Told by Colin Paolo.