As with many contemporary film directors, Kansas native Darren Lynn Bousman got his start by making short films. Later, after learning the basics of filmmaking at Full Sail film school in Orlando, FL, Bousman continued to create short films with his former classmates, and eventually graduated to directing music videos. Music videos led to commercials, and the next thing Bousman knew he was the driving force behind one of the biggest franchises in horror history.
Of course it wasn't quite that easy or direct -- before Bousman truly established himself as a filmmaker he did work as a production assistant on Van Wilder and a honey wagon attendant on The X-Files -- but to say that he had a fast rise wouldn't necessarily be an exaggeration, either. Faced with the prospect of picking up where Leigh Whannell and James Wan left off with the surprise 2004 horror hit Saw, Bouseman was understandably intimidated yet eager to keep the series fresh as the new co-writer and director. When Saw II hit stateside screens in October 2005 and grossed nearly twice the opening weekend take of the original right out of the gate, horror fans were abuzz and it was obvious that he had succeeded. While Bousman would hand writing duties on Saw III back to Wan and Whannell in order to focus on directing, it was obvious that he had become as much a part of the series' remarkable success as its two creators. Though initially hesitant to take the helm for Saw IV, Bouseman eventually signed on due in large to his commitment to the Saw "family" and his unexpected approval of the script -- which was penned by Feast duo Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton.
Subsequently seeking to branch out with something more original, Bousman used the influence he gained by working on the Saw series to bring a bizarre play he had previously directed in Hollywood to the big screen. Described by Bousman as a cross between The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Blade Runner, Repo! The Genetic Opera combined the filmmaker's mutual loves of horror and musicals (he's an admitted fan of Jesus Christ Superstar in particular) to explore a future in which a worldwide epidemic has caused mass organ failure and the public at large is forced to seek replacement organs if they hope to go on living. When some of the recipients fall behind on their payment plans, repo agents are sent to retrieve their organs by any means necessary.