Bryan Jay Singer is an American filmmaker. He is the founder of Bad Hat Harry Productions and has produced almost all of the films he has directed. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Singer directed his first short film, Lion's Den. On the basis of that film, he received financing for his next film, Public Access, which was a co-winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. In the mid-1990s, Singer received critical acclaim for directing the neo-noir crime thriller The Usual Suspects. He followed this with another thriller, Apt Pupil, an adaptation of a Stephen King novella about a boy's fascination with a Nazi war criminal. In the 2000s, he became known for big budget superhero films such as X-Men, for which Singer won the 2000 Saturn Award for Best Direction, its sequel X2, and Superman Returns.