Alex Proyas is an Australian director, screenwriter and producer known for dark, atmospheric science-fiction films. Born on September 23, 1963 in Cairo, Egypt, Proyas attended the Australian, Film, Television and Radio School at the age of 17 before entering the business as a music video director. He moved to Los Angeles where he continued to work on commercials and music videos before making his directorial debut with the indie science fiction film Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Cloud. In 1994, his short film Book of Dreams: Welcome to Crateland was nominated for a Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He made his breakthrough with the film The Crow in 1994. Based on a comic book, The Crow made headlines due to the on-set death of its star Brandon Lee. Proyas finished the film without Lee and soon moved onto directing Dark City. Released in 1999, Dark City was critically acclaimed but something of a box office failure. It has since become a cult favorite. Proyas returned in 2004 with the film I, Robot. Based on the Isaac Asimov short story collection, I, Robot starred Will Smith and was a huge box office success. His follow-up, Knowing, was released in 2009 with Nicholas Cage in the lead role.