Gary Yates

Gary Yates

Before Canadian director Gary Yates became a filmmaker, he was a magician for 10 years. While doing a show in Amsterdam, he visited a flea market, picked up a Super 8 camera and fell in love with the medium. Yates' 1992 debut was the surreal six-minute short "Made For TV," whose acclaimed premiere at the Berlin Film Festival was topped by his 1994 follow-up, "Without Rockets," which was nominated for an Academy Award. A decade later, after more shorts and television work, he was able to make his first feature film, "Seven Times Lucky," a Christmas crime movie starring actor Kevin Pollak, who's appeared in all of Yates' subsequent feature films. Despite a difficult five-week shoot during which temperatures ranged from negative 51 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, "Seven Times Lucky" premiered to acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. Though it took him four years to pull together his feature debut, its success made it easier for Yates to make his feature follow-up within two years, the play adaptation "Niagara Motel." In 2009, he returned to the crime genre with the '80s caper comedy "High Life." When not working on feature films, Yates has kept busy making journeyman television movies like the 2007 Gary-Busey-vs.-tiger thriller "Maneater."