John Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father was the head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC film school in Los Angeles, not the University of South Carolina. While there, he made The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970) and started work on Dark Star (1974). He was also in a band called the Coupe de Villes while he attended USC, which included future directors Tommy Lee Wallace and Nick Castle.