Gore Verbinski, one of American cinema’s most inventive directors who was a punk-rock guitarist as a teenager and had to sell his guitar to buy his first camera, is now the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) which made the industry record for highest opening weekend of all time ($135,600,000) and grossed over $1 billion dollars worldwide.
He was born Gregor Verbinski on March 16, 1964 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to Laurette Ann (McGovern) and Victor Vincent Verbinski, a nuclear physicist who worked at the Oak Ridge Lab. His paternal grandparents were Polish. In 1967, the family moved to California, and young Gregor grew up near San Diego. His biggest influences as a kid were Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality. He started his professional career as a guitarist for punk-rock bands, such as The Daredevils and The Little Kings, and also made his first films together with friends. After having developed a passion for filmmaking, he sold his guitar to buy a Super-8mm camera. Then Verbinski attended the prestigious UCLA Film School, from which he graduated in 1987 with his BFA in Film. His first professional directing jobs were music videos for alternative bands, such as L7, Bad Religion, and Monster Magnet. Then he moved to advertising and directed commercials for Nike, Canon, Skittles, United airlines and Coca-Cola. In 1993 he created the renowned Budweiser advertising campaign featuring croaking frogs, for which he was awarded the advertising Silver Lion at Cannes and also received four Clio Awards.
Verbinski made his feature directorial debut with Mousehunt (1997), a remarkably visual cartoonish family comedy. His next effort, The Mexican (2001), came to a modest result. However, Verbinski bounced back with a hit thriller The Ring (2002), grossing over $230 million dollars worldwide. His biggest directorial success came with the Disney theme park ride based Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), with a brilliant acting ensemble, grossing over $650 million dollars, and bringing five Oscar nominations and many other awards and nominations. Disney ordered two more films which Verbinski shot one after another on location in the Carribean islands, for which he had to endure both tetanus and typhoid immunization shots. After having survived several hurricanes, dealing with sick and injured actors, and troubleshooting after numerous technical difficulties of the epic-scale project, Verbinski delivered. He employed the same stellar cast in the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) and the third installment of the ‘Pirates’ franchise Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007).
Gore Verbinski does not like publicity. He has been enjoying a happy family life with his wife and his two sons. He resides with his family in Los Angeles, California.
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