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Vincent Jay Miller

Vincent Jay Miller

Vincent Jay Miller brings a new voice and original vision to the filmmaking scene. He grew up in the poor, working class community of El Monte, California. His father, David, grew up in poverty and was a gang member in the Bronx, but eventually broke away from the gang life and became a social worker. Miller's mother, Alyce, was nationally recognized for her descriptive, humanistic poetry.

Inspired by the movie Inherit the Wind, which is about famous defense lawyer Clarence Darrow, Miller always assumed he would be a crusading lawyer for the people. In fact, when he was twelve years old he visited the local library to study law books. "I was ready to take the bar exam right then and there," he says with a laugh. However, he had already started making movies on video at the age of eight and his passion for moviemaking eventually led him to enroll at USC Film School, where he directed his award-winning film, Lonely.

While at USC, he worked as a teacher at special schools for emotionally disturbed teenagers and gang members, and as a Social Worker in East Los Angeles for emotionally disturbed children and their families. He also worked as a Social Worker for troubled youth in South Central Los Angeles during the making of Gabriela.

Miller has had many experiences to draw from as inspiration for his filmmaking. At one point, Miller stepped between his gang member students and a rival gang who were about to square off, threatening to explode into violence outside the Imax Theatre. On other occasions, Miller and his students were chased by about twenty Crips, and bullets were fired into Miller's classroom. He repeatedly had to intervene with suicidal kids and once saved a student's life by pulling him over a ledge.

Miller feels that his humanistic film style is a reflection of his life experiences. "I've developed an ability to really connect and empathize with people. I can put myself into other people's shoes and feel what they are feeling. Writing real and dynamic characters is going to be one of my strengths."

Miller is currently writing the screenplay for his next comedy-drama, Prankster, which is inspired by his experiences as a teacher.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Vincent Jay Miller Facts

BirthdayMay 14, 1973 (49)

Selected Filmography

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