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Marty Callner    

Award winning Director/Producer who has influenced pop culture for the last 40 years.

Director, Producer, Creator and Visionary Marty Callner has shaped and transformed pop culture through his work for the last 30 years. Winner of numerous MTV awards including “video of the year” Emmy Awards, Cable Ace Awards and DGA Awards, he is highly regarded within the industry and fans alike. Born in Chicago, Illinois and growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Marty began his career in show business at the age of 24 working at a small news channel. He was asked to fill in for a Director who called in sick and hasn’t left the directors chair since. He went from Cincinnati news, to Cleveland doing commercials and television shows, and was offered the chance to direct the Boston Celtics, which he jumped at, being an avid sports fan. After 3 years with the Celtics, he was offered a job with two networks. One was NBC to do all of their sporting events including Wimbledon and the Olympics, and the other was with an unknown network at the time called HBO. Marty, being the risk taker that he is, took less money and decided he would have more creative control and opportunity at HBO and joined the network as one of the first people hired.

Marty was responsible for the look and feel of the network, and made it a priority that HBO deliver higher quality entertainment, better then regular television of the time. The music that he chose is still being used by HBO and the principals that he set are still part of the network.

He did the first ever special for them, "An evening with Robert Klein" and very early HBO specials for the likes of Gladys Knight and Ray Charles, Fleetwood Mac and many others. He also was given the young comedians shows, which had him scour the United States looking for young, raw talent to showcase.

On those shows he exposed the talent of Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams, Howie Mandel and countless others. He also directed George Carlin’s specials and put the "seven dirty words” on TV, which almost cost him his job. He has worked with hundreds of comedians and musicians, and gained a wealth of knowledge in the process.

In the early 80’s, Marty saw a music video on the then Z Channel, and knew that it was time for him to take a new course in his career, where he could further express his creativity. His first music video was Twisted Sister “We’re Not Gonna Take It” which became iconic, as most of his other videos did as well. His second video was Pat Benatar “We Belong”. He ended up directing over 200 music videos including Cher “Turn Back Time” Poison “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” Whitesnake “Here I Go Again” nearly all the Aerosmith videos including “Sweet Emotion” “Lovin’ in Elevator” “Cryin” “Amazing” “Livin’ On the Edge” and “Crazy” and many more. In many ways, Marty was responsible for the look and feel of the 80’s just as much as he was for the look and feel of HBO.

The 90’s saw Marty make a return to HBO after he felt censorship had gotten out of hand at MTV. He returned to live directing, which some consider him to be the best in the world at, sometimes utilizing as many as 44 cameras. He directed comedy and music specials for The Rolling Stones, Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Will Ferrell, Bette Midler, Marc Anthony, John Leguizamo, Britney Spears, Garth Brooks, Whitney Houston and countless others.

In the early 2000’s Marty created HBO’s Hard Knocks. An NFL show about the preseason of football, which has become an HBO staple and is mandated by the NFL due to its popularity.

Marty is still working on specials, as recent as Whitney Cummings "I'm Your Girlfriend", and finding new entrepreneurial ways to keep pushing his creativity.

Marty lives in Malibu with his wife Aleeza, their dog Lucy, and has 6 children.

Marty’s lifetime of knowledge of how to put together huge concert specials, multi million dollar music videos and how to deal with the biggest stars in the world make his knowledge invaluable and an asset to anyone he comes in contact with. His knowledge of what it takes to be a great director and producer is second to none, and his ability to create a great atmosphere on his sets and specials has allowed to remain friends with everyone he’s worked with and given the entertainers arguably their best work.

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Speech Topics


One Man's Journey Through The World Of Pop Culture

Advice To Young Creatives

The Art Of Directing

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