Elders was born and raised in San Francisco. After completing a curriculum of Psychology and Business at UC Berkeley, he studied filmmaking at the Berkeley Film Institute.
After moving to Los Angeles in the early 80s, Elders landed a job at the then fledgling Ladd Company, started by former 20th Century Fox studio head Alan Ladd Jr. He was hired as a location production supervisor, and worked on six of the Ladd Company's twelve films. Elder's five years at the Ladd Company paved the way for him to work with filmmakers including Lawrence Kasden (on Body Heat), Michael Crighton (on Looker), Marshall Brickman (on Love Sick), and Bob Fosse (on Star 80). He also worked in various supervisory capacities on Peter Hyams' Outland, Phil Kaufman's The Right Stuff, Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time in America, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. In the mid-80s, Elder's was given full producing duties for the first time on Purple Hearts, a Vietnam war film shot in the Philippines and directed by Sidney Furie. After completing the film, he landed a job at Fox producing and preparing a big budget film for then-studio head Joe Wizan.
Elders left Fox for MGM to work on Rocky IV for Sylvester Stallone. During this period, he also started work on the screenplay for Iron Eagle, the first of four films in the highly successful franchise. Elders went on to executive produce the film and supervise all the aerial sequences. He then went on to write the next two films in the franchise for Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar at Carolco, directing and editing the aerial/action sequences.
Elders continued to write a series of screenplays for TriStar and CBS. His second spec screenplay, We the People, was bought by Mandalay and led to various other high-profile writing assignments at several major studios, including Columbia, Disney, and Interscope.
After working on 12 feature films and selling 11 original screenplays, Elders has decided to focus solely on his directing career.
Kevin Elders Facts