Cameron Bruce Crowe is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Before moving into the film industry, Crowe was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, for which he still frequently writes. Crowe has made his mark with character-driven, personal films that have been generally hailed as refreshingly original and devoid of cynicism. Michael Walker in The New York Times called Crowe "something of a cinematic spokesman for the post-baby boom generation" because his first few films focused on that specific age group, first as high schoolers and then as young adults making their way in the world. Crowe's debut screenwriting effort, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, grew out of a book he wrote while posing for one year undercover as a student at Clairemont High School in San Diego, California, where he met Geraldine Edwards, who was a student there while he was visiting mutual friends in 1975. He later based part of his Penny Lane character on her in Almost Famous after discovering that she had been going backstage to Rock and Roll concerts. Later, he wrote and directed one more high school saga, Say Anything, and then Singles, a story of Seattle twentysomethings that was woven together by a soundtrack centering on that city's burgeoning grunge music scene. Crowe landed his biggest hit, though, with Jerry Maguire. After this, he was given a green light to go ahead with a pet project, the autobiographical effort Almost Famous. Centering on a teenage music journalist on tour with an up-and-coming band, it gave insight to his life as a 15-year-old writer for Rolling Stone. Part of the dialogue was inspired by comments that were made by Bebe Buell in certain interviews. Also in late 1999, Crowe released his second book, Conversations with Billy Wilder, a question and answer session with the legendary director.