Spike Jonze

Adam Spiegel (born October 22, 1969), known professionally as Spike Jonze (pronounced "Jones"), is an American filmmaker, photographer, and actor, whose work includes music videos, commercials, film and television.

Jonze began his career as a teenager photographing BMX riders and skateboarders for Freestylin' Magazine and Transworld Skateboarding, and co-founded the youth culture magazine Dirt. Moving into filmmaking, he began shooting street skateboarding films, including the influential Video Days (1991). Jonze co-founded the skateboard company Girl Skateboards in 1993 with riders Rick Howard and Mike Carroll. Jonze's filmmaking style made him an in-demand director of music videos for much of the 1990s, resulting in collaborations with Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys, Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, Weezer, Björk, Kanye West and Arcade Fire.

Jonze began his feature film directing career with Being John Malkovich (1999) and Adaptation. (2002), both written by Charlie Kaufman; the former earned Jonze an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. He was a co-creator and executive producer of MTV's Jackass reality franchise. Jonze later began directing films based on his own screenplays, including Where the Wild Things Are (2009) and Her (2013); for the latter film, he won the Academy Award, Golden Globe, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, while receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Song ("The Moon Song").

He has worked as an actor sporadically throughout his career, co-starring in David O. Russell's war comedy Three Kings (1999) and appeared in supporting roles in Bennett Miller's Moneyball (2011) and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), in addition to a recurring role in comedy series The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (2010–2012) and cameo appearances in his own films. Jonze co-founded Directors Label, with filmmakers Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry, and the Palm Pictures company. He is currently the creative director of Vice Media, Inc. and its multinational television channel Viceland.

Spike Jonze
Spike Jonze Her Premiere NYFF 2013 (cropped)
Jonze at the 2013 New York Film Festival
Adam Spiegel

October 22, 1969 (age 49)
Rockville, Maryland U.S.
OccupationDirector, producer, screenwriter, actor, photographer
Years active1985–present
Sofia Coppola
(m. 1999; div. 2003)
RelativesSam Spiegel (brother)

Early life and education

Jonze was born Adam Spiegel on October 22, 1969 in Rockville, Maryland,[1] the son of Arthur H. Spiegel III and Sandra L. Granzow.[2] His father was of German Jewish ancestry,[3] and is the great-great-grandson of Joseph Spiegel, founder of the Spiegel catalog and grandson of Arthur Spiegel.[2] Arthur H. Spiegel III was the founder of a healthcare consulting firm.[2][4] Jonze's parents divorced when he was a young child and his father remarried.[2][5] Jonze was raised by his mother in Bethesda, Maryland,[6] where she worked in public relations,[2] along with his brother Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel, who is now a producer and DJ,[7] and his sister Julia.[5] While studying at Walt Whitman High School, Jonze spent much of his time at a Bethesda community store, where owner Mike Henderson gave him the nickname "Spike Jonze" in reference to Spike Jones.[2]

A keen BMX rider, Jonze began working at the Rockville BMX store in Rockville, Maryland, at the age of 16. A common destination for touring professional BMX teams, Jonze began photographing BMX demos at Rockville and formed a friendship with Freestylin' Magazine editors Mark Lewman and Andy Jenkins.[8] Impressed with Jonze's photography work, the pair offered him a job as a photographer for the magazine, and he subsequently moved to California to pursue career opportunities in photography.[8] Jonze fronted Club Homeboy, an international BMX club, alongside Lewman and Jenkins.[9] The three also created the youth culture magazines Homeboy and Dirt,[10] the latter of which was spun off from the female-centered Sassy and was aimed towards young boys.[11]


1985–1993: Photography, magazines, and early video work

While shooting for various BMX publications in California, Jonze was introduced to a number of professional skateboarders who would often share ramps with BMX pros.[8] Jonze formed a close friendship with Mark Gonzales, co-owner of the newly formed Blind Skateboards at the time, and began shooting photos with the young Blind team including Jason Lee, Guy Mariano and Rudy Johnson in the late 1980s.[8] Jonze became a regular contributor to Transworld Skateboarding, and was subsequently given a job at World Industries by Steve Rocco, who enlisted him to photograph advertisements and shoot promotional videos for his brands under the World Industries umbrella.[12] Jonze filmed, edited and produced his first skateboarding video, Rubbish Heap, for World Industries in 1989.[13] His following video project was Video Days, a promotional video for Blind Skateboards, which was released in 1991 and is considered to be highly influential in the community.[14] The video's subject, Gonzales, presented a copy of Video Days to Kim Gordon during a chance encounter following a Sonic Youth show in early 1992.[15] Impressed with Jonze's videography skills, Gordon tracked down the young filmmaker and approached him to direct a music video featuring skateboarders. The video, co-directed by Jonze and Tamra Davis, was for their 1992 single "100%", which featured skateboarding footage of Blind Skateboards rider Jason Lee, who would later become a successful actor.[15] In 1993, Jonze co-directed the "trippy" music video for The Breeders song "Cannonball" with Gordon.[16]

Along with Rick Howard and Mike Carroll, Jonze co-founded the skateboard company Girl Skateboards in 1993.[17] The following year, he directed the video for the Weezer song "Buddy Holly", which featured the band performing the song interspersed with clips from the sitcom Happy Days.[18] The video became immensely popular and was shown frequently on MTV.[19] A 2013 Rolling Stone readers' poll ranked it as the tenth best music video of the 1990s.[20] Also in 1994, Jonze directed the videos for the Beastie Boys' songs "Sure Shot" and, more famously, "Sabotage".[21] The latter parodies 1970s cop shows and is presented as the opening credits for a fictional show called Sabotage, featuring the band members appearing as its protagonists.[20] As with "Buddy Holly", the video attracted great popularity and was in "near-constant rotation on MTV."[22] In the same year, Jonze also directed videos for the hip hop group Marxman, The Breeders, Dinosaur Jr., and another Weezer song, "Undone – The Sweater Song".[23] Jonze made his film debut in a bit part in the drama Mi Vida Loca (1994).[24]

1995–1999: On demand video director and Being John Malkovich

Jonze collaborated with Björk for the video for her 1995 single "It's Oh So Quiet", a cover of a 1951 Betty Hutton song. The video is set in an auto shop and sees Björk dancing and singing to the song in the style of a musical, inspired by Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.[25] He also directed the "rapid-paced" title sequence for the sitcom Double Rush and worked on videos for R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and Ween in the same year.[26][27] Jonze sole video directing credit of 1996 was for The Pharcyde's "Drop", which was filmed backwards and then reversed.[28] In 1997, Jonze made a short film called How They Get There, starring Mark Gonzales as a man who is playfully imitating a woman's actions on the other side of a sidewalk before running into danger.[29] Jonze worked with the electronic music duo Daft Punk on the music video for the instrumental song "Da Funk" in 1997. The clip, titled Big City Nights, follows an anthropomorphic "man-dog" wandering the streets of New York City.[30] His video for The Chemical Brothers's "Elektrobank" (1997) starred his future wife Sofia Coppola as a gymnast.[31] Throughout 1997, he also worked on videos for R.E.M., Pavement, Puff Daddy, and The Notorious B.I.G..[32][33][34] He made a cameo appearance in David Fincher's film The Game (1997).[1]

Jonze's filmed a short documentary in 1997, Amarillo by Morning, about two Texan boys who aspire to be bull riders.[35] He was also one of the cinematographers for the documentary Free Tibet, which documents the 1996 Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco.[36] Jonze developed an alter ego named Richard Koufey (alternately spelled Coufey or Couffe), the leader of the Torrance Community Dance Group, an urban troupe that performs in public spaces.[2] The Koufey persona appeared when Jonze, in character, filmed himself dancing to Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank" as it played on a boom box in a public area.[37] Jonze showed the video to Slim, who appears briefly in the video.[38] Jonze then assembled a group of dancers to perform to Slim's "Praise You" outside a Westwood, California movie theater and taped the performance.[39][2] The resulting clip was a huge success, and "Koufey" and his troupe were invited to New York City to perform the song for the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.[40] The video received awards for Best Direction, Breakthrough, and Best Choreography, which Jonze accepted, still in character.[40] Jonze made a short mockumentary about the experience called Torrance Rises (1999).[13]

The first feature film Jonze directed was Being John Malkovich in 1999. It stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, and Catherine Keener, with John Malkovich as himself. The screenplay was written by Charlie Kaufman and follows a puppeteer who finds a portal in an office that leads to the mind of actor John Malkovich. Kaufman's script was passed on to Jonze by his father-in-law Francis Ford Coppola and he agreed to direct it,[41] "delighted by its originality and labyrinthine plot".[42] Being John Malkovich was released in October 1999 to laudatory reviews; the Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert found the film to be "endlessly inventive" and named it the best film of 1999,[43][44] while Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly called it the "most excitingly original movie of the year".[45] At the 72nd Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Keener.[46] Jonze co-starred opposite George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube in David O. Russell's war comedy Three Kings (1999), which depicts a gold heist by four U.S. soldiers following the end of the Gulf War. Jonze's role in the film, the sweet, dimwitted, casually racist PFC Conrad Vig, was written specifically for him.[47] Jonze also directed a commercial for Nike called "The Morning After" in 1999, a parody of the hysteria surrounding Y2K.[48]

2000–2008: Adaptation. and Jackass

Jonze returned to video directing in 2000, helming the video for the song "Wonderboy" by the comedy duo Tenacious D.[49] Along with Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine, Jonze co-created, executive produced and occasionally appeared in the television series Jackass in 2000, which aired on MTV for three seasons until 2002.[50] The show featured a group of people performing dangerous stunts and pranks on each other. At the request of Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000, Jonze directed a short video about Gore at his home. The video was shown at the Democratic National Convention.[51] He collaborated with Fatboy Slim for a second a time in 2001, directing the video for "Weapon of Choice", starring Christopher Walken dancing around a deserted hotel lobby.[52] The video won multiple awards at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Music Video.[53][54] Jonze's second film, the comedy-drama Adaptation. (2002), was partially based on the non-fiction book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean and was written by Charlie Kaufman.[55] The metafilm starred Nicolas Cage in a dual role as Kaufman and his fictional twin brother as he attempts to adapt The Orchid Thief into a film and features dramatized events from the book. It co-starred Meryl Streep as Orlean and Chris Cooper as the subject of The Orchid Thief, John Laroche.[55] Adaptation. was met with widespread critical acclaim from critics, who praised it for its originality whilst simultaneously being funny and thought-provoking.[56]

Jonze holding a producer credit for The 1 Second Film in 2004

Jackass: The Movie, a continuation of the television show, was released in October 2002.[57] Jonze co-produced, contributed to the writing of the segments, and made a cameo appearance in the film.[57][58] Jonze directed a 60-second commercial called "Lamp" for the furniture store IKEA in 2002,[59] which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, considered a prestigious award in the field of advertising.[60] Also in 2002, Jonze directed the Levi's commercial "Crazy Legs"[60] and the videos for Beck's "Guess I'm Doing Fine",[16] Björk's "It's in Our Hands" (filmed in night vision), and one of two versions of Weezer's "Island in the Sun".[61] Jonze co-directed the Girl Skateboards video Yeah Right! in 2003, which featured a cameo by Owen Wilson.[62] Jonze co-founded Directors Label – a series of DVD's devoted to music video directors – in September 2003 with filmmakers Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry. Jonze's volume, The Work of Director Spike Jonze, was released in October and comprises his videos, as well as photographs, drawings and interviews.[63] Jonze made a faux documentary called The Mystery of Dalarö in 2004 as part of an advertising campaign for the Volvo S40. The film was credited to a fictional Venezuelan director named Carlos Soto, but was later revealed to have been directed by Jonze.[64] He directed a commercial for Adidas titled "Hello Tomorrow" in 2005, featuring the music of his brother Sam "Squeak E. Clean" Spiegel and Jonze's then-girlfriend Karen O of the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.[65]

After directing videos for Ludacris and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Y Control" (which caused some controversy over its graphic images),[66] Jonze collaborated with Björk for a third time on the playful music video for "Triumph of a Heart" (2005), in which her husband was played by a housecat.[25] The second Jackass film, Jackass Number Two, was released in 2006 and saw Jonze dress as an old lady whose breasts "accidentally" keep becoming exposed while wandering around Los Angeles.[67] He has a speaking part along with Dave Eggers in the Beck song "The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton" from his 2006 album, The Information. He appears in the "Exoskeleton" part.[68] In 2007, he became the creative director of VBS.tv, an online television network supplied by Vice and funded by MTV.[69] Jonze hosted his own interview show on the service.[70] He directed ads for GAP and Levi's,[71] and co-directed the skateboarding video Fully Flared with Ty Evans and Cory Weincheque in the same year.[14] Jonze directed the music video for Kanye West's single "Flashing Lights" in 2008. Filmed entirely in slow-motion,[34] the video stars West and model Rita G, and sees her driving around the Las Vegas, Nevada desert in a Ford Mustang before stopping to repeatedly stab West, who is tied up in the trunk.[72] Jonze produced Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York in 2008, which Jonze originally intended to direct.[73]

2009–present: Where the Wild Things Are, short films, and Her

Where the Wild Things Are (2009), a film adaptation of Maurice Sendak children's picture book of the same name, was directed by Jonze and co-written by Jonze and Dave Eggers, who expanded the original ten-sentence book into a feature film.[74] Sendak gave advice to Jonze while he adapting the book and the two developed a friendship.[75] The film stars Max Records as Max, a lonely eight-year-old boy who runs away from home after an argument with his mother (played by Catherine Keener) and sails away to an island inhabited by creatures known as the "Wild Things," who declare Max their king.[75] The Wild Things were played by performers in creature suits, while CGI was required to animate their faces.[76] James Gandolfini, Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, Forest Whitaker, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Dano, and Michael Berry Jr. provided the voices for the Wild Things, and Jonze voiced two owls named Bob and Terry.[77] The film's soundtrack was performed by Karen O and composer Carter Burwell scored his third film for Jonze.[78] Where the Wild Things Are was released in October 2009 to a generally positive critical reception, although some reviewers were unsure whether the film was intended for a younger or adult audience due to its dark tone and level of maturity.[79] Jonze himself said that he "didn't set out to make a children's movie; I set out to make a movie about childhood".[80] A television documentary, Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak, co-directed by Jonze and Lance Bangs, aired in 2009 and features a series of interviews with Sendak.[81] Jonze wrote and directed We Were Once a Fairytale (2009), a short film starring Kanye West as himself acting belligerently while drunk in a nightclub.[82]

Jonze wrote and directed the science fiction romance short film I'm Here in 2010, based on the children's book The Giving Tree. The film stars Andrew Garfield as a robot with a head shaped like an old PC who falls in love with a more sleekly-designed female robot, played by Sienna Guillory.[83] Jonze produced and provided his voice to a character in the short film Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life (2010), based on Maurice Sendak's book of the same name.[84] He co-directed the video for LCD Soundsystem's "Drunk Girls" with the band's frontman James Murphy[85] and directed the video for Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" in 2010, the latter being an edited version of Jonze's short film Scenes from the Suburbs (2011), a dystopian vision of suburbia in the near-future and an expansion of the themes of nostalgia, alienation, and childhood found in the song.[86][87] A third Jackass film, Jackass 3D, premiered in 2010.[88] He was part of the main cast for the black comedy series The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret as the supervisor to David Cross' character for the first two seasons in 2010 and 2012, before being replaced by Jack McBrayer in the third season.[89] Jonze resumed his longtime collaboration with the Beastie Boys in July 2011, directing the video for their song featuring Santigold, "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win", in which the band members are portrayed as action figures.[21] He then directed the video for Kanye West and Jay-Z's 2011 single "Otis", which saw the pair driving a customized Maybach 57 around an industrial lot.[90] Along with Simon Cahn, Jonze co-directed the stop-motion animated short film Mourir Auprès De Toi (2011), which is set in the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. Jonze voiced a skeletal Macbeth in the film.[91] Also in 2011, Jonze played a small supporting role in the sports drama Moneyball as the sleazy husband of Robin Wright's character, who is the ex-wife of Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt).[92] In 2012, Jonze co-directed the feature-length skateboarding film Pretty Sweet with his Fully Flared co-directors Ty Evans and Cory Weincheque.[93]

Spike Jonze
Jonze in December 2013

Jonze's fourth feature film, the romantic science fiction drama Her, was released in December 2013. The film was his first original screenplay and the first he had written alone, inspired by Charlie Kaufman by putting "all the ideas and feelings at that time" into the script.[94] It stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Scarlett Johansson. The film follows the recently divorced Theodore Twombly (Phoenix), a man who develops a relationship with a seemingly intuitive and humanistic female voice, named "Samantha" (Johansson), produced by an advanced computer operating system.[94] Samantha was originally voiced by Samantha Morton during its production, but was later replaced by Johansson.[94] Jonze provided his voice to a video game character in the film, Alien Child, who interacts with Theodore.[95] The film's score was composed by Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett.[96]

Her was met with universal acclaim from critics.[97] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter praised Jonze for taking an old theme "the search for love and the need to 'only connect'" and embracing it "in a speculative way that feels very pertinent to the moment and captures the emotional malaise of a future just an intriguing step or two ahead of contemporary reality."[98] Scott Foundas of Variety opined that it was Jonze's "richest and most emotionally mature work to date".[99] At the 86th Academy Awards, Jonze was nominated for three Academy Awards for Her, winning for Best Original Screenplay and receiving further nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Song for co-writing "The Moon Song" with Karen O.[100] Jonze won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay at the 71st Golden Globe Awards.[101]

Jonze co-wrote, co-produced, and appeared in Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013), a hidden camera comedy film starring Johnny Knoxville as the vulgar grandfather Irvin Zisman. Jonze played his wife late Gloria, but was cut from a majority of the film.[102] Jonze served as the creative director of the YouTube Music Awards on November 3, 2013. At the ceremony, he directed the live music video for Arcade Fire's "Afterlife", documented Lady Gaga's live performance of "Dope" with Chris Milk, and premiered a short film written by Lena Dunham that Jonze directed called Choose You.[103][104] Jonze had a small role in Martin Scorsese's 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street as a stockbroker who teaches Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) the ins and outs of penny stocks.[92] Jonze got the part as the film shared the same casting director as Her, who asked Jonze if he wanted to appear in the film.[92] He directed the video for Kanye West's "Only One" in 2015, which was filmed on his iPhone in a foggy field and featured heartfelt interactions between West and daughter.[105] Jonze made a guest appearance in the fourth season of Lena Dunham's television series Girls in March 2015.[106] Jonze directed the short commercial film Kenzo World to promote a fragrance by Kenzo in 2016. The film starred Margaret Qualley as a woman erratically dancing around a large mansion, with choreography by Ryan Heffington.[107] Jonze is the creative director of multinational television channel brand Viceland, which launched in February 2016.[108]

In 2017, Jonze directed Frank Ocean's summer festival tour, which included 8 shows which took place in different cities around the US and Europe. Jonze also produced and decorated, alongside Ocean and artist Tom Sachs among others, an elaborate stage with a runway and central platform for the same concert.[109] Jonze wrote and directed the stage show Changers: A Dance Story, starring Lakeith Stanfield and Mia Wasikowska. Featuring dance choreography by Ryan Heffington, the show premiered at an Opening Ceremony fashion week presentation in September 2017 before opening to the public for a four-night run at the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.[110] Jonze produced the documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017), which documents the production of the film Man on the Moon (1999).[111] The following year, Jonze directed the short commercial film Welcome Home for Apple's Homepod devices, starring FKA Twigs dancing inside her apartment as its transforms into a surreal space and engages in a dance off with her doppelgänger.[112] In 2019, Jonze directed a commercial and accompanying short film for the website building service Squarespace starring Idris Elba,[113] as well a short film titled The New Normal advocating for marijuana legalization in partnership with the cannabis company MedMen.[114]

Personal life

On June 26, 1999, Jonze married director Sofia Coppola, whom he had first met in 1992 on the set of the music video for Sonic Youth's "100%".[115][2] On December 5, 2003, the couple filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences".[115] The character of John, a career-driven photographer (played by Giovanni Ribisi) in Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003), was rumored to be based on Jonze, though Coppola commented "It’s not Spike, but there are elements of him there, elements of experiences."[116]

Jonze dated singer Karen O throughout 2005, although the couple broke up shortly after.[117] People magazine reported that Jonze dated actress Drew Barrymore in 2007.[118] Jonze began dating Michelle Williams in July 2008 after meeting on the set of Synecdoche, New York, which Williams starred in and Jonze produced. Williams called the timing of their relationship "impossible" and ended it in September 2009.[119] Jonze was reported to have began dating Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi in 2010 and the couple briefly lived together in New York, but have since broken up.[120][121]



Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1999 Being John Malkovich Yes Nominated- Academy Award for Best Director
2001 Human Nature Yes
2002 Jackass: The Movie Yes Yes
Adaptation. Yes Nominated- Golden Globe Award for Best Director
2006 Jackass Number Two Yes Yes
2008 Synecdoche, New York Yes
2009 Where the Wild Things Are Yes Yes Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Writing
2010 Jackass 3D Yes Yes
2013 Her Yes Yes Yes Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
Saturn Award for Best Writing
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Picture
Nominated- Academy Award for Best Original Song (For "The Moon Song")
Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Yes Yes

Short films

Year Title
Director Writer Actor Role Notes
1994 Ciao, L.A. Yes
1996 Pig! Yes Unknown
1997 How They Get There Yes Yes
1999 Torrance Rises Yes Yes Richard Coufey Co-directed with Lance Bangs
An Intimate Look Inside the Acting Process with Ice Cube Yes
2004 The Mystery of Dalarö Yes Short commercial film
2009 We Were Once a Fairytale Yes Yes
2010 I'm Here Yes Yes
The Vampire Attack Yes Yes The Vampire
2011 Scenes From the Suburbs Yes
Mourir Auprès De Toi Yes Yes Yes Macbeth
2013 Choose You Yes
2016 Kenzo World Yes Yes Short commercial film
2018 Welcome Home Yes Yes Short commercial film

Documentary films

Year Title
Director Producer Himself Notes
1998 Amarillo by Morning Yes Documentary short
2003 What's Up, Fatlip? Yes Yes Documentary short
2007 Heavy Metal in Baghdad executive
2009 Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak Yes
2010 The Lazarus Effect executive Documentary short
2017 Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine Yes
2017 Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond Yes

Acting roles

Year Title
Role Note
1994 Mi Vida Loca Teenage Drug Customer
1997 The Game Airbag EMT Beltran
1999 Three Kings Private First Class Conrad Vig
Being John Malkovich Derek Mantini's Assistant
2001 Keep Your Eyes Open Officer Jonze
2002 Jackass: The Movie Himself
Adaptation. Himself
2006 Jackass Number Two Himself
2010 Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life Plant Voice role
Jackass 3D Himself
2011 Moneyball Alán Uncredited
2013 Her Alien Child Voice role
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Gloria
The Wolf of Wall Street Dwayne Uncredited


Year Title
1996 Bed, Bath and Beyond Short film
1997 Free Tibet Documentary
2006 Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow Concert video


Year Title Director Executive
Actor Role Notes
1995 Double Rush Yes Opening titles only
2000–2002 Jackass Yes Yes Himself Also creator
2010–2012 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Yes Doug Whitney 8 episodes
2015 Girls Yes Marcos Episode: "Home Birth"
2016 The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Yes Guest director of intro
2016–present Viceland programs Yes

Music videos

Year Song Artist Notes
1992 "Hush" Wax
"High in High School" Chainsaw Kittens
"100%" Sonic Youth Co-directed by Tamra Davis
1993 "Cannonball" The Breeders Co-directed by Kim Gordon
Produced by Steve Reiss
"Country at War" X
"Daughters of the Kaos" Luscious Jackson
"Hang On" Teenage Fanclub
"Time for Livin'" Beastie Boys
1994 "All About Eve" Marxman
"Buddy Holly" Weezer
"Ditch Digger" Rocket from the Crypt
"Divine Hammer" The Breeders Co-directed by Kim Gordon, Richard Kern
"Feel the Pain" Dinosaur Jr.
"I Can't Stop Smiling" Velocity Girl
"If I Only Had a Brain" MC 900 Ft. Jesus
"Old Timer" that dog.
"Ricky's Theme" Beastie Boys
"Sabotage" Also writer
"Sure Shot"
"Undone - The Sweater Song" Weezer
1995 "California" Wax
"Car Song" Elastica
"Crush with Eyeliner" R.E.M.
"Freedom of '76" Ween
"It's Oh So Quiet" Björk
"The Diamond Sea" Sonic Youth
"Who Is Next?" Wax
1996 "Drop" The Pharcyde
1997 "Da Funk" Daft Punk
"Electrolite" R.E.M.
"Elektrobank" The Chemical Brothers
"It's All About the Benjamins" (Rock Remix) Puff Daddy
"Liberty Calls" Mike Watt
"Shady Lane" Pavement
"Sky's the Limit" The Notorious B.I.G.
1998 "Home" Sean Lennon
"Root Down" version 2 Beastie Boys
1999 "Praise You" Fatboy Slim A Torrance Public Film Production
2000 "What's Up, Fatlip?" Fatlip
"Wonderboy" Tenacious D As Marcus Von Bueler
2001 "Weapon of Choice" Fatboy Slim Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video
"Island in the Sun" (version 2) Weezer
2002 "Guess I'm Doing Fine" Beck
"It's in Our Hands" Björk
2003 "Big Brat" Phantom Planet
2004 "Get Back" Ludacris
"Y Control" Yeah Yeah Yeahs
2005 "Triumph of a Heart" Björk
2008 "Flashing Lights" Kanye West Co-directed with West
2009 "Heaven" UNKLE Co-directed with Ty Evans
"25" AsDSSka Co-directed with Crystal Moselle
2010 "Drunk Girls" LCD Soundsystem Co-directed with James Murphy
"The Suburbs" Arcade Fire Edited from the short film Scenes from the Suburbs
2011 "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" Beastie Boys featuring Santigold
"Otis" Jay-Z & Kanye West
2013 "Afterlife" (live, YouTube version) Arcade Fire Directed live for the YouTube Awards
"Dope" Lady Gaga Directed live for the YouTube Awards
2015 "Only One" Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney
2018 "I Love It" Kanye West & Lil Pump featuring Adele Givens Executive producer
2019 "Woman" Karen O & Danger Mouse Directed live for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Selected commercials

Year Title Subject Notes
1995 "Guerrilla Tennis" Nike
1997 "Bones" Wrangler
"Doctor's" Levi's
"Chair" Nissan
1998 "Sun Fizz" Sprite
"Car" Lee
1999 "Morning After" Nike
2002 "Crazy Legs" Levi's
"Lamp" IKEA
2005 "Hello Tomorrow" Adidas
"Pardon Our Dust" GAP
2006 "Auditions" Miller
2010 "Twizzler" Lakai
2016 "Kenzo's World" Kenzo Also a short film
2018 "Welcome Home" Apple Also a short film
2019 "Dream it with Idris Elba" Squarespace

Skateboarding videos

Year Title Director Producer Notes
1989 Rubbish Heap Yes
1991 Video Days Yes Yes
1993 Goldfish Yes
1995 Las Nueve Vidas De Paco Yes Executive
1996 Mouse Yes Executive Co-directed with Rick Howard
1999 The Chocolate Tour Yes Executive Co-directed with Rick Howard
2002 Harsh Euro Barge Executive
2002 Beware of the Flare Executive
2003 Yeah Right! Yes Executive Co-directed with Ty Evans
2004 Hot Chocolate Yes Executive Co-directed with Ty Evans & Cory Weincheque
2005 Super Champion Funzone Yes Executive Co-directed with Ty Evans & Cory Weincheque
2006 Krooked Kronichles Yes Segment
2007 Fully Flared Yes Executive Co-directed with Ty Evans & Cory Weincheque
2008 The Final Flare! Yes Executive Co-directed with Ty Evans, Cory Weincheque & Aaron Meza
2011 Unbeleafable Executive
2012 Pretty Sweet Yes Executive Co-directed with Ty Evans & Cory Weincheque
2014 Wet Dream: a skateboard tale Executive
2017 The Flare Yes
2018 Doll Executive


Year Title Function Notes
2017 Changers: A Dance Story Writer, director

Awards and nominations

Critics' Choice Movie Awards

Year Category Film Result
1999 Being John Malkovich Breakthrough Artist Won
2013 Her Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Category Film Result
1999 Being John Malkovich Best First Feature Won

Online Film Critics Society

Year Category Film Result
1999 Being John Malkovich Best Director Nominated
Best Breakthrough Filmmaker Won
2002 Adaptation Best Director Nominated
2009 Where the Wild Things Are Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2013 Her Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won

Other Awards

Year Film Awards and Nominations
1999 Being John Malkovich Deauville Film Festival – Critics Award
Deauville Film Festival – Grand Special Prize
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Newcomer of the Year
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Newcomer
London Critics Circle Film Award for Director of the Year
MTV Movie Award for Best New Filmmaker
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Director (2nd place)
Venice Film FestivalFIPRESCI Prize
Nominated – Bodil Award for Best American Film
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Nominated – César Award for Best Foreign Film
Nominated – Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Debut
Nominated – Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (shared with Charlie Kaufman)
Nominated – Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Award for Best Foreign Director
Nominated – Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
Nominated – Robert Award for Best American Film
2002 Adaptation. Berlin International Film FestivalJury Grand Prix
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Director (2nd place)
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Nominated – Berlin International Film FestivalGolden Berlin Bear
"Weapon of Choice" Grammy Award for Best Music Video (As videoclip director)
2009 Where the Wild Things Are Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
2013 Her Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay
International Online Film Critics' Poll Award for Best Original Screenplay
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Original Screenplay
National Board of Review Award for Best Director
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay[122]
Nominated – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Nominated – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Screenplay (2nd place)
Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated – New York Film Festival – Grand Marnier Fellowship Award
Nominated – Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture (shared with Megan Ellison and Vincent Landay)
Nominated – Rome Film Fest – Golden Marc'Aurelio Award
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay


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Further reading

  • Waxman, Sharon, ed. (2005), Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System, HarperEntertainment.

External links

100% (Sonic Youth song)

"100%" was the first single from Sonic Youth's 1992 album Dirty. It was released in 1992 on DGC. The song was dedicated to the band's friend Joe Cole, who was killed by a gunman in 1991. The lyrics were written by Thurston Moore.

Adaptation (film)

Adaptation. is a 2002 American comedy-drama metafilm directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman.The film stars Nicolas Cage as Kaufman and his fictional twin brother Donald, Meryl Streep as Orlean, and Chris Cooper as John Laroche, with Cara Seymour, Brian Cox, Tilda Swinton, Ron Livingston, and Maggie Gyllenhaal in supporting roles.

It is based both on Susan Orlean's non-fiction book The Orchid Thief and Kaufman's experience attempting to adapt the book into a screenplay while suffering from writer's block. Adaptation also adds a number of fictitious elements, including Kaufman's twin brother (also credited as a writer for the film) and a romance between Orlean and Laroche, and culminates in completely invented events including fictional versions of Orlean and Laroche three years after the events related in The Orchid Thief.

Adaptation received awards at the 75th Academy Awards, 60th Golden Globe Awards, and 56th British Academy Film Awards, with Cooper winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Kaufman winning the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was ranked in a British Film Institute poll as one of the thirty best films of the 2000s.

Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich is a 1999 American fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, both making their feature film debut. The film stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, and Catherine Keener, with John Malkovich and Charlie Sheen as themselves. The film follows a puppeteer who finds a portal that leads into Malkovich's mind.

Released by USA Films, the film was nominated in three categories at the 72nd Academy Awards: Best Director for Jonze, Best Original Screenplay for Kaufman, and Best Supporting Actress for Keener.

Cannonball (The Breeders song)

"Cannonball" is a song by The Breeders from their 1993 album Last Splash. It was released as a single on August 9, 1993, on 4AD/Elektra Records, reaching No. 44 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 40 in the UK Singles Chart. It was released in France in November 1993, where it remained charted for 30 weeks, peaking at No. 8.

Crush with Eyeliner

"Crush with Eyeliner" is a song by R.E.M., released as the fourth single from their ninth studio album Monster. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore provides background vocals.

Michael Stipe claims the song was inspired by the band New York Dolls, who, in his opinion, "knew how to exaggerate a song, to make it sound really sleazy and over the top." This was also one of the first songs that surfaced from Stipe after the writer's block that hounded him after the death of his friend, actor River Phoenix.The single's video, directed by Spike Jonze, shows a group of Japanese youths dancing and miming to the track at a party, while the band are shown briefly, looking on. It is available on the music video compilation Parallel.

Directors Label

Directors Label is a series of DVDs devoted to notable music video directors.

First released in 2003 by Palm Pictures, the series was created by Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham, and Michel Gondry, the subjects of the first three volumes. Four new volumes were released in 2005, this time featuring Mark Romanek, Jonathan Glazer, Anton Corbijn and Stéphane Sednaoui. A second volume of Gondry's work was released exclusively on his website.

Though another series has not yet been confirmed, other directors rumoured to be in future releases are Mike Mills, Shynola, Samuel Bayer, Jonas Åkerlund, Tarsem, David LaChapelle, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Roman Coppola, as well as a separate hip-hop and R&B series featuring Paul Hunter, Director X, and Chris Robinson. Although not released under the Directors Label name, a DVD of Hype Williams' work, as well as a second volume of Gondry's work, has been released.In 2010, several years after the last collection was released, Palm Pictures issued a DVD collection of videos by Hammer & Tongs exclusively in the United Kingdom.

Get Back (Ludacris song)

"Get Back" is a song by rapper Ludacris, from his album The Red Light District. It was released as the first single from the album and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2005.

Guess I'm Doing Fine

"Guess I'm Doing Fine" is a single by Beck from his fifth major-label album, Sea Change. The song was performed live several times before Beck recorded it, although he made the song drearier and bluesier in the studio.

Her (film)

Her is a 2013 American romantic science-fiction drama film written, directed, and produced by Spike Jonze. It marks Jonze's solo screenwriting debut. The film follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a man who develops a relationship with Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), an artificially intelligent virtual assistant personified through a female voice. The film also stars Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde.

Jonze conceived the idea in the early 2000s after reading an article about a website that allowed for instant messaging with an artificial intelligence program. After making I'm Here (2010), a short film sharing similar themes, Jonze returned to the idea. He wrote the first draft of the script in five months. Principal photography took place in Los Angeles and Shanghai in mid-2012. The role of Samantha was recast in post-production, with Samantha Morton being replaced with Johansson. Additional scenes were filmed in August 2013 following the casting change.

Her premiered at the 2013 New York Film Festival on October 12, 2013. Warner Bros. Pictures initially provided a limited release for Her at six theaters on December 18. It was later given a wide release at over 1,700 theaters in the United States and Canada on January 10, 2014. Her received widespread critical acclaim upon its release, and grossed over $48 million worldwide on a production budget of $23 million. The film received numerous awards and nominations, primarily for Jonze's screenplay. At the 86th Academy Awards, Her received five nominations, including Best Picture, and won the award for Best Original Screenplay. Jonze also won awards for his screenplay at the 71st Golden Globe Awards, the 66th Writers Guild of America Awards, the 19th Critics' Choice Awards, and the 40th Saturn Awards. In a 2016 BBC poll of 177 critics around the world, Her was voted the 84th-greatest film since 2000.

It's Oh So Quiet

"It's Oh So Quiet" is a song by American singer Betty Hutton, released in 1951 as the B-side to the single "Murder, He Says". It is a cover of the German song "Und jetzt ist es still", performed by Horst Winter in 1948, with music written by Austrian composer Hans Lang and German lyrics by Erich Meder. The English lyrics were written by Bert Reisfeld. A French title, Tout est tranquille, was performed in 1949 by Ginette Garcin and the Jacques Hélian Orchestra.

The song was covered by Icelandic musician Björk in 1995. It was released as the third single from her second album Post and remains her biggest hit, reaching number 4 in the UK and spending 15 weeks on the UK Singles Chart. Fuelled by the Spike Jonze-directed music video clip (see below), the single also shot Björk into the spotlight in Australia, where it reached number 6. In the United Kingdom the single has been certified as Gold, having sold upwards of 400,000 copies. Despite being her biggest hit among the general public, the song did not appear on Björk's 2002 compilation Greatest Hits, which includes singles chosen by fans via online survey. In an interview on BBC Radio 1 with Chris Evans in 1995, Björk said the song had been played on the bus she had used on a recent tour and she recorded it as a thank you to the team that worked with her on that tour.

In 2002, Brittany Murphy made a performance of this song joined by The Pussycat Dolls.

A version of "It's Oh So Quiet" was used in a Maybelline advertisement, and a version by Amanda Fondell was used in an advertisement for Candy Crush Saga.

Music video director

A music video director is the head of music video production. The director conceives of videos' artistic and dramatic aspects while instructing the musical act, technical crew, actors, models, and dancers. They may or may not be in collaboration with the musical act.

On November 8, 1992, MTV began listing directors with the artist, song, and record company credits, because music videos had increasingly become an auteur's medium. "The case for the director as music video author is strong. It is the music video director who has principal control of everything that is added to the pre-existing recorded sound text." Directors, including Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, and F. Gary Gray, have gone on to direct feature films, continuing a trend that had begun earlier with directors such as Lasse Hallström and David Fincher. The most expensive video of all time was directed by Mark Romanek: Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream" (1995), which cost $7 million to produce. In 2003, Spike Jonze, Chris Cunningham, and Michel Gondry founded the Directors Label.

Sabotage (song)

"Sabotage" is a 1994 song by American hip-hop group Beastie Boys, released as the first single from their fourth studio album Ill Communication.

The song features traditional rock instrumentation (Ad-Rock on guitar, MCA on bass, and Mike D on drums), turntable scratches, heavily distorted bass guitar riffs and lead vocals by Ad-Rock. A moderate commercial success, the song was notable as well for its video, directed by Spike Jonze and nominated in five categories at the 1994 MTV Music Video Awards.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Sabotage" #480 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at #46 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and was ranked #19 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s list. Pitchfork Media included the song at #39 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s list.

The Suburbs/Month of May

"The Suburbs"/"Month of May" is a single from Arcade Fire's third album The Suburbs. It was released on June 1, 2010. It reached number 94 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Torrance Rises

Torrance Rises is a 1999 mockumentary directed by and starring Spike Jonze.The film is based on a dance group in Torrance, California, and traces their journey to the MTV Video Music Awards presentation. The music video for Fatboy Slim's 1999 song "Praise You", also directed by Jonze, features a street performance by this group.

Torrance Rises also appears in the compilation The Work Of Director Spike Jonze (Palm Pictures).

We Were Once a Fairytale

We Were Once a Fairytale is a 2009 short film directed by Spike Jonze and starring hip hop musician Kanye West. It is the second collaboration between Jonze and West, since they co-directed the music video for West's single "Flashing Lights" in 2008.

Where the Wild Things Are (film)

Where the Wild Things Are is a 2009 fantasy drama film directed by Spike Jonze. Written by Jonze and Dave Eggers, it is adapted from Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's book of the same name. It combines live-action, performers in costumes, animatronics, and computer-generated imagery (CGI). The film stars Max Records and features the voices of James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, Forest Whitaker, Catherine O'Hara, and Chris Cooper. The film centers on a lonely boy named Max who sails away to an island inhabited by creatures known as the "Wild Things," who declare Max their king.

In the early 1980s, Disney considered adapting the film as a blend of traditionally animated characters and computer-generated environments, but development did not go past a test film to see how the animation hybridizing would result. In 2001, Universal Studios acquired rights to the book's adaptation and initially attempted to develop a computer-animated adaptation with Disney animator Eric Goldberg, but the CGI concept was replaced with a live-action one in 2003, and Goldberg was dropped for Spike Jonze. The film was co-produced by actor Tom Hanks through his production company Playtone and made with an estimated budget of $100 million. Where the Wild Things Are was a joint production between Australia, Germany, and the United States, and was filmed principally in Melbourne.The film was released on 16 October 2009, in the United States, on 3 December in Australia, and on 17 December in Germany. The film was met with mostly positive reviews and appeared on many year-end top ten lists. However the film flopped commercially at the box office, making $100.1 million from a budget of $100 million. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 2 March 2010.

Wonderboy (Tenacious D song)

"Wonderboy" is a song by American comedy duo Tenacious D. It was released in November 2002 as the second single from their self-titled debut album. The song peaked at number 36 in the UK and number 44 in Australia; the video, directed by Spike Jonze, was also well received.

Yeah Right!

Yeah Right! is a 2003 skateboarding video by Girl Skateboards (featuring Chocolate Skateboards), directed by Ty Evans and Spike Jonze. Yeah Right! is notable for its soundtrack, length, and the extensive use of never-before-seen (in a skateboarding video) special effects.

Films directed by Spike Jonze
Feature films
Short films
Skateboarding films
Key people
Cast and crew
Jackass films
Jackass Presents
Related shows
Related articles
Awards for Spike Jonze

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