Luc Besson (French pronunciation: [lyk bɛsɔ̃]; born 18 March 1959) is a French film director, writer and producer. He is the creator of EuropaCorp film company. He has been involved with over 50 films, spanning 26 years, as writer, director, and/or producer.
Besson was born in Paris to parents who were both Club Med scuba diving instructors. This had a profound influence on his childhood as Besson planned on becoming a marine biologist. He spent much of his youth traveling with his parents to tourist resorts in Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece. The family returned to France when Besson was 10. His parents promptly divorced and were remarried to other people. "Here there is two families, and I am the only bad souvenir of something that doesn't work", he said in the International Herald Tribune. "And if I disappear, then everything is perfect. The rage to exist comes from here. I have to do something! Otherwise I am going to die."
At the age of 17 he had a diving accident which left him temporarily unable to dive.
"I was 17 and I wondered what I was going to do. ... So I took a piece of paper and on the left I put everything I could do, or had skills for, and all the things I couldn't do. The first line was shorter and I could see that I loved writing, I loved images, I was taking a lot of pictures. So I thought maybe movies would be good. But I thought that to really know I should go to a set. And a friend of mine knew a guy whose brother was a third assistant on a short film. It's true", he said in a 2000 interview with The Guardian.
"So, I said: 'OK, let's go on the set.' So I went on the set ... The day after I went back to see my mum and told her that I was going to make films and stop school and 'bye. And I did it! Very soon after I made a short film and it was very, very bad. I wanted to prove that I could do something, so I made a short film. That was in fact my main concern, to be able to show that I could do one."
Out of boredom, he started to write stories, including the backdrop to what later became one of his most popular movies, The Fifth Element. Besson directed and co-wrote the screenplay of this science fiction thriller with the screenwriter, Robert Mark Kamen. The film is inspired by the French comic books Besson read as a teenager. He also reportedly worked on the first drafts of Le Grand Bleu while still in his teens.
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