[[quoteright:297:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/robert-zemeckis.jpg]]
Academy Award-winning director of the ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' trilogy, ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' and ''Film/ForrestGump'', Robert Zemeckis started off as a protégé of Creator/StevenSpielberg in TheSeventies. Zemeckis and his writing partner Bob Gale (they were collectively known as The Bobs) wrote several cult films which flopped during this time, including ''I Wanna Hold Your Hand'' (directed by Zemeckis), ''[[NineteenFortyOne 1941]]'' (directed by Spielberg) and ''Used Cars'' (directed by Zemeckis).

Zemeckis first hit it big in TheEighties directing the light-hearted adventure film ''RomancingTheStone''. He followed it up with ''Back To The Future'' (which The Bobs had written a few years before, but couldn't get made) and ''Roger Rabbit''. At the end of the decade, The Bobs made a couple ''Back To The Future'' sequels [[ExecutiveMeddling to please Universal's executives]]. Starting in TheNineties, Zemeckis went on to direct more "serious" fare such as ''Forrest Gump'', ''Film/{{Contact}}'' and ''CastAway''.

Nowadays, Zemeckis has taken to using [=CGI=] with [[MotionCapture performance capture]] technology, giving us ''ThePolarExpress'', ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'' and ''Film/AChristmasCarol2009''. While these films were generally well received and made just enough money to justify they keep getting made, they were all best known for being perpetually trapped in the UncannyValley. After the [[BoxOfficeBomb box office cataclysm]] that was ''Film/MarsNeedsMoms'' [[CreatorKiller caused his studio to shut down]], he then had to head back to live-action cinema. In 2012 he released ''Film/{{Flight}}'' starring DenzelWashington, his first live-action movie in 12 years (and his first R-rated movie as a director since 1980's ''Used Cars'' - The Bobs' script ''The Looters'', written in the pre-[=McFly=] era, was made by Walter Hill in 1992 as ''Trespass''). It was a critical and commercial success, and helped usher in a CareerResurrection. His next film ''The Walk'' starring Creator/JosephGordonLevitt and based off the famous 1974 Twin Towers tightrope walk that was detailed in ''Film/ManOnWire'' is due for release in 2015.

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!!Common tropes in his films:

* ActingForTwo
* HistoricalInJoke
* ItWillNeverCatchOn
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRoles: The two Christmas-set motion capture films do this with their principal actors.
* MotionCapture: From about 2004-2011, Zemeckis made nothing but Motion Capture movies which always proved to be commercial successes in spite of falling into the UncannyValley. After the abysmal failure of ''WesternAnimation/MarsNeedsMoms'' (which he didn't direct, yet had his production company behind it.) helped shut down his studio, he's back to making live action movies.
* TheOner
* PeriodPiece
* PlayingAgainstType: Often casts actors this way.
* StarringSpecialEffects: ''Many'' of his films, even the live-action ones, are quite the pioneers in special effects advancement.
* TimeTravel
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: Intentionally does this with his films (the one for ''Cast Away'' gives away [[spoiler: that he does get off the island]] while the one for ''What Lies Beneath'' [[spoiler: gives away Harrison Ford as the bad guy, which renders the first 90 minutes of the heroine trying to figure it out moot.]]) He says that the market research shows that people want to know everything before going in.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: The ''Back To The Future'' sequels and ''Forrest Gump''.
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