After attending Princeton University, he enrolled in the prestigious Directors Guild of America, East assistant director training program. He was accepted into the DGA as an assistant director, and began working in commercial production in NYC. Making the move to feature films, he soon became a production manager.
Mr. Holmes joined Spike Lee's filmmaking team for the production of the director's influential Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, and Jungle Fever, and was co-producer of the epic Malcolm X. The duo's collaboration has continued over the years, with projects such as Crooklyn, Sucker Free City, and She Hate Me (which Mr. Holmes produced).
In the early 1990s, he co-produced Juice, the directorial debut of Ernest Dickerson, which starred the late Tupac Shakur, and Mario Van Peebles' New Jack City. Reteaming with the latter filmmaker, Mr. Holmes subsequently produced both Posse and Panther.
In his stint as head of Def Pictures (working with Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan), he developed and executive-produced Vondie Curtis Hall's Gridlock'd (which reunited him with Tupac Shakur) and Lionel Martin's Def Jam's How to Be a Player.
Mr. Holmes' subsequent projects as producer included the award-winning telefilm Boycott, directed by Clark Johnson and starring Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; the Academy Award-nominated documentary feature Tupac: Resurrection (directed by Lauren Lazin); and (as associate producer) Craig Brewer's Academy Award-nominated Hustle & Flow.
He is developing, among other projects, a film on the life of African-American movie pioneer Oscar Micheaux; and Live 2 Tell, which will be based on a screenplay by Tupac Shakur and which Mr. Holmes will produce with Mr. Shakur's mother Afeni.
Mr. Holmes recently executive-produced Sanaa Hamri's acclaimed romantic comedy Something New, a Focus Features release.
Preston Holmes Facts
|Birthday||October 24, 1949 (69)|
|Ladies They Talk About|
|TV Compilations: TV's Greatest Detectives: "Adventure of Sherlock Holmes", Mr. & Mrs. North", "Sgt. Preston of the Yukon", Dangerous Assignment"|
|She Hate Me|
|I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang|
|Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle|
|The Stepford Wives|