A roadie and sound engineer in my teens, I began my film career as a runner on music videos for acts like Bronski Beat and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. I later found work in the art departments of British based feature films and progressed steadily from early Film On Fours onto bigger features at Pinewood Studios. I worked consistently through the second half of the eighties and my last art direction credit was to be as the Assistant Art Director on the period gangster feature The Krays.
I began directing by making music videos – lots of them: at first I made clips for friends but thanks to a chance meeting with the band The House of Love, their then manager Alan McGee gave me a job making a video for a band he'd signed called Ride. I then made the video for Primal Scream's 'Loaded' which, though cheap and decidedly low-fi, managed to capture something of what was going on culturally at that time - namely the DIY post acid-house world. Within a year I’d become one of the most in-demand directors working in the UK. At first I worked collectively with a small group of friends but as things got busier I signed to an established production company - Popata. I later moved to Partizan, Momentum and then Eclipse Commercials. In the US I was represented by New York studio Broadcast Arts.
I was known (initially at least) as an avant-garde director. I think this was actually a reflection of the acts I chose to work with. I always tried to make work that reflected their image rather than project myself on them. My best-known clips were for bands on Alan McGee’s Creation label including Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine but also The Farm’s Christmas number one, the anthem, Altogether Now.
I also made fashion promos with cutting edge designers and test commercials and won a string awards for my music work including, in 1991, Direction Magazine’s ‘Best New Director’.
In 1990 I also made my first documentary - A Short Film About Chilling - which captured the fledgling rave scene on Ibiza and became a massive hit for Channel Four at that time. The film has subsequently been cited as a seminal moment in British youth culture - "the point when underground dance culture first went overground".
Since then I’ve written and directed a wide range of highly regarded television including Hollywood Greats shows with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis and a film for Channel Four about Madonna’s early life. I made a film with Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty’s post KLF outfit the K Foundation which was screened at the riotous “Fuck The Millennium” event at the Barbican in 1997 and wrote and directed a dramatised account of the Hindenburg Disaster which was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland.
I have a small development company - Oblique Pictures - which owns the rights to several screenplays and novels and am currently developing a real-life drama. I'm also helping shape a new animation venture through which we aim to produce a slate of home grown CG features.
Outside of work, I write, paint and take photographs. I'd love to spend more time doing all of these things but...
I'm always particularly interested in getting involved in things which aren't run of the mill. If you have a project you'd like to discuss, please do get in touch using the contact form.