Award winning writer/director John Penney attended UCLA where he studied film and received a degree in English. In addition to his screenplays, John has written short stories that have won him an award from the Adelphi Academy in New York, and have been published in the “Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.”
In 2011 John wrote and directed the supernatural thriller “Hellgate” starring William Hurt and Cary Elwes. The film was awarded Best Film at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival as well as the Best Horror Film from the Fantasy Horror Awards in Italy, sponsored by Syfy Europe Universal. Prior writer-director credits include the thriller “Zyzzyx Road” starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore, and the family film “Magic” with Robert Davis and Christopher Lloyd.
John is currently an adjunct Directing Instructor at the Los Angeles Film School and is prepping his next feature film, “Truck Stop,” based on his novel.
In addition to his directing, John has written the screenplays for such films as “The Enemy” starring Roger Moore, Luke Perry, Olivia D’abo; “Contaminated Man” starring Peter Weller and William Hurt; “A Breed Apart” with Robert Patrick, Andrew McCarthy; “In Pursuit” with Daniel Baldwin, Claudia Schiffer , “Matter of Trust” with C. Thomas Howell. “The Kindred” with Rod Steiger, “Return of the Living Dead 3” with Mindy Clarke, “Past Perfect” with Eric Roberts, Laurie Holden and “Amphibious 3D” with Michael Pare.
John also served as a producer on his films “Zyzzyx Rd” ,”A Breed Apart”, “Matter of Trust” and “In Pursuit.”
In 2012 John wrote his first novel “Truck Stop” and followed that up in 2013 with his second novel, “Killing Time.” He is also featured in the newly released book on screenwriting by Jose Prendes, “The High Concept Massacre” along with fellow screenwriters Carl Gottlieb (“Jaws”), Amy Holden Jones (“Mystic Pizza” “Indecent Proposal”), and Doug Richardson (“Bad Boys” “Die Hard 2”).