October 13, 1971
Newark, New Jersey, United States
With his writing / directing partner Aaron Seltzer, Jason Friedberg launched a successful career in Hollywood making movie parodies, poking fun at current blockbuster movie trends with movies like "Meet the Spartans" (2008), "Disaster Movie" (2008), and "The Starving Games" (2013). Jason Friedberg was born on October 13, 1971 in Newark, New Jersey. Friedberg's father was Rick Friedberg, a television producer and director. The Friedberg son met his creative partner, Aaron Seltzer, at the University of California Santa Barbara. Both loved comedy, but neither majored in film school: Seltzer majored in art history, Friedberg in history. Yet they both wanted to give show business a shot after being inspired by taking a film class on Martin Scorsese. The Friedberg / Seltzer team wrote screenplays at night while doing their own entrepreneurial day gigs like making their own t-shirts, delivering food, and selling shoes. (Seltzer's family was in the shoe business.) The team's first big break came through a family connection. Rick Friedberg was directing Leslie Nielsen in a parody instructional video, "Leslie Nielsen's Bad Golf Made Easier" (1993), and his son had written a script called "Spy Hard" (1996). The team wrote the script just to have fun, not caring whether it got sold or not, but father Friedberg showed it to Nielsen, who liked it, and it became a film in 1996 with the elder Friedberg directing. Then Friedberg and Seltzer worked on "Scary Movie" (2000), one of the most outrageous and profitable spoofs in Hollywood history, launching a long-running franchise. They moved into the director's chairs themselves with "Date Movie" (2006). The team loved pushing the envelope with their humor, and preferred to work with outrageous R-rated humor instead of trying to tone down their brand of funny for a PG-13. While the spoofs created by Friedberg and Seltzer were panned by the critics and won numerous Razzie awards, the team had a long-running career in Hollywood making fun of the hot current trends in cinema, like vampire movies with "Vampires Suck" (2010), the "Hunger Games" series with "The Starving Games" (2013), and the "Fast and Furious" movies with "Superfast" (2014).