Life and career
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. (April 2018)
Lawrence was born to American parents in Vienna, Austria. His father is a Theoretical Physicist who taught at California State University, Northridge and his mother is V.P. Technology at a PR agency based in his hometown.
He moved to Los Angeles at the age of four. Lawrence worked as 2nd assistant camera on the feature Pump Up the Volume directed by Allan Moyle prior to earning his bachelor's degree in film production at Loyola Marymount University Film School. He went on to work as first AD on the feature Marching out of Time directed by Anton Vassil in 1993. Francis Lawrence then joined ex-classmate Michael Jason Rosen in co-directing music videos. Lawrence directed his first music videos for the San Jose band, A Western Front. Rosen and Lawrence made the two videos for a total of $3,000 with DP Jeffrey Michael Cutter, another ex-classmate, shooting for them. Lawrence, Rosen and Cutter also made a video for Michael Blakey, president of Atico Records and Tidal Force drummer for that band's single, A Man Rides Through. Soon, Lawrence became known for his original and imaginative music video scripts and visual directing style.
He eventually joined a major new production company and his successful career as music video director, having worked with stars like Rihanna, Green Day, Britney Spears, The Black Eyed Peas, Jay-Z, Avril Lavigne, Aerosmith, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Fastball, Lisa Marie Presley, Destiny's Child, Garbage, Gwen Stefani, Pink, Shakira, En Vogue, Monica and Missy Elliott. He has also directed numerous commercials for clients such as Coca-Cola, L'Oréal, Calvin Klein, Pepsi-Cola, Maybelline, , Bacardi, McDonald's, GAP, Bud Light, CoverGirl, Oldsmobile, Backstreet Boys and Disneyland. In 2005, his feature film debut was Constantine based on the Hellblazer comic book, starring Keanu Reeves.
In 2007, he directed I Am Legend (based on the Richard Matheson novel), with Will Smith. In 2011, he directed Water for Elephants. In 2012, Lawrence directed and executive produced the pilot episode of the Fox paranormal series, Touch. He is currently signed to DNA Inc. In 2011, he won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Short Form for directing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" music video.
In April 2012, Lionsgate Films announced that Lawrence had been selected to direct the film adaptation of the novel Catching Fire. The book and film were the sequel to the blockbuster hit, The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence (no relation). This film adaptation of The Hunger Games was directed by Gary Ross, and both novels were written by Suzanne Collins. Lawrence was officially confirmed as the director for the film on May 3, 2012.
He returned to direct the two final parts of the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Part 2 (2015). Lawrence is currently working on a film adaptation of the novel Survivor by Chuck Palahnuik.
He most recently directed Red Sparrow, based on a book by Jason Matthews, and featuring The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton. The film was released on March 2, 2018.