John Howard Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, composer, and occasional actor. Although Carpenter has worked in numerous film genres in his four-decade career, his name is most commonly associated with horror and science fiction.
Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, the son of Milton Jean (née Carter) and Howard Ralph Carpenter, a music professor. He and his family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1953. He was captivated by movies from an early age, particularly the westerns of Howard Hawks and John Ford, as well as 1950s low budget horror and science fiction films, such as Forbidden Planet and The Thing from Another World and began filming horror shorts on 8 mm film even before entering high school. He attended Western Kentucky University where his father chaired the music department, then transferred to the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in 1968 and graduated in 1971.
At USC Cinema, one of his projects as a co-writer, film editor and music composer, The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970), produced by John Longenecker, won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. The short film was blown-up to 35mm, sixty prints were made, and the film was theatrically released by Universal Studios for two years in the United States and Canada.