I was one of those weird, driven kids who directed their first short film at 13, dragging their friends into rip-offs and no-budget remakes of Star Wars, The X-Files and had an unhealthy obsession with Jurassic Park that continues to this day. It was the start of my unofficial ‘film school’ and I continued making as many shorts as possible to hone my skills as a filmmaker. I also had an early passion for the theatre which, later, provided an invaluable insight into working with and directing actors.
After writing and directing a short film for the BBC (aged 16), I fell into the commercials industry. After a chance encounter with a production manager who came to see my short and was shooting a commercial the very next day. I jumped at the chance to be a runner (I still make a mean cup of tea) and worked through the ranks from VT Op, Camera Assistant, 3rd Assistant Director, 1st AD, a diversion into being an assistant editor then editor of ads and then, finally, I had the opportunity to direct a low budget commercial. It won a Roses Advertising Award (I’m very happy to say the first of many) and I took the plunge into the big scary world of being a Freelance Director.
Ten years on from that first commercial, I now work for numerous advertising agencies and production companies across the world and have become known for being a very versatile director. Although my passion is in storytelling and performance, I’ve worked with kids, cars, comedy, crocodiles and everything in-between for national and international brands such as Sony PSP, Nike, Microsoft, Jet2, Teleflorist, Vauxhall, Sol, Bavaria and many more.
Meanwhile, I was elbowing my way into features. My first feature THE WOMEN OF TROY won Best Director at the New York Independent Film Festival and is on sale internationally on DVD. Philip Pullman’s THE BUTTERFLY TATTOO was my 2nd feature and won another award for Best Director at the same festival as well as Best Adaptation. The film also went onto win Best Film at multiple international festivals and had a limited theatrical release in the US and UK. After living in development hell for a few years after this movie, my third film BEING SOLD was born out of frustration. I decided to shoot a whole feature film in just two days! The comedy/drama starred a host of known actors and comedians and ended up winning Best Film at the London Independent Film Festival.
Recently, I wrote and directed the psychological thriller THE LAST SHOWING with a $2m budget and the film was released by Sony Pictures. The film starred Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) in a critically acclaimed role, Finn Jones (GAME OF THRONES), Emily Berrington (HUMANS), Keith Allen (TRAINSPOTTING) and was released in August 2014.
My latest feature is THE FOUR WARRIORS, an action-adventure family movie featuring Kristian Nairn (Hodor from GAME OF THRONES). The film has been sold worldwide, performed extremely well in the UK and was also released by Lionsgate in the US.
+ Ads Directed
Brands include... SONY PSP, MICROSOFT, TELEFLORIST, DREAMS, NIKE, VAUXHALL, SOL, BAVARIA, DREAMS, FASHIONWORLD, uSWITCH, LLOYDS PHARMACY, STAN JAMES, GROUPON, THE CAR SHOP, LOOK AGAIN, JET2, WWF, MUTV, POPPETS, CSL, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND... (Watch here)
FIFTH GEAR EUROPE
THE STREET THAT CUT EVERYTHING
As well as the countless short films I made in the early years, my passion for the short film format has not wained. Recently I have completed THE FLYING LESSON, an ambitious but emotional story featuring aerial stunts in a WWII biplane and A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BATHROOM MIRROR, a comedy starring Tim McInnerny (Blackadder, Notting Hill). My latest film BOOK ONE was a finalist in the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge.
"On The Lot"
That's right, I'm a Z-list reality television show star! I was the only filmmaker from the UK to appear on Fox/Dreamworks reality television show “On The Lot” for filmmakers. After being personally selected by Steven Spielberg to appear on the show how could I say no? My work on the show was praised by the likes of Carrie Fisher (I actually got to go drinking with Princess Leia... highlight of the whole experience as a Star Wars fan!), Brett Ratner, DJ Caruso and Gary Marshall. (I'm waiting for my invitation into the Washed Up Celebrity Big Brother house...)
In 2012 I launched The Philm Company, a features production company and it was set up to develop, raise finance and produce a slate of film projects by new and established writers aiming at theatrical release over the £1m budget range.
Produced projects include BEING SOLD, THE LAST SHOWING and THE FOUR WARRIORS under the sister company banner Philm Flicks which aims to produce a series of genre films under £1m every year.
As well as directing commercials for new and regular clients, I'm working on a number of feature projects including BAPTISM, a stylish action/thriller based on the critically acclaimed novel by Max Kinnings. The film will be produced by The Philm Company and Arnold Rifkin (Die Hard 4.0, Hostage).
Oh, and I have an O-1 Visa for work in the United States too.
I live on the south coast of England with my lovely wife Jess, our very excitable rescue puppy Molly and a rather eccentric cat called Bo.
A very visual filmmaker...D.J. Caruso, Director
Your work is some of the most distinctive we've seenCarrie Fisher, Actress/Writer
One of the best new and upcoming directorsSteven Spielberg, Director
I'm a big fan of your workBrett Ratner, Director