David Cronenberg was born in March of 1943 in Toronto to a journalist father and pianist mother. Early on, Cronenberg submitted fantasy and science fiction stories to magazines. Although none were accepted, he received encouraging letters from editors urging him to keep writing.
He entered the University of Toronto science faculty, but, after a year, switched to English language and literature, graduating in 1967. While at the university, he became interested in film and produced two shorts in 16 mm, Transfer and From the Drain. His first films in 35 mm were Stereo and Crimes of the Future, both shot in the late 1960s. In these works, Cronenberg established some of the themes and preoccupations that would characterize much of his later work.
In 1975, Cronenberg shot his first commercial feature, Shivers (aka They Came From Within, or The Parasite Murders), which became one of the fastest-recouping movies in the history of Canadian film. His next film, Rabid, starring Marilyn Chambers, went on to make $7 million on a production investment of little more than $500,000, providing Cronenberg with an impressive track record after just two pictures by 1977. He then directed the drag-racing film Fast Company, inspired in part by his own passion for cars and racing.
Cronenberg lives in Toronto and, when he can, prefers to make his films there.
Very often, directors step out of their involvement with the story through the course of the day of shooting. David never does. He keeps himself in utter isolation around the monitor. It's not a coffee klatch. It's not social. It's not a place where you read the paper. It's a place where he is involved exclusively in the story. He seems to have that level of involvement all day long, no matter whether we're in between shot or we're in between setups. For me as an actor that's a relief because I don't feel so alone.
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