Richard’s first foray into filmmaking was a predictably troubling attempt to remake Alien using Playmobil and a plasticine effigy of the school librarian and was shot mute on his grandfather’s old 8mm cine camera. Luckily it didn’t put him off and thanks to a diet of rural isolation Roald Dahl books and a twin brother, fantasy became his friend.
Since then Richard’s done rather well – a fourteen year career in broadcasting at the BBC and freelance, which has sent him round the world and back; and recently four bold short films to his name that have led to screenings and awards at home and abroad. With a proven track record in creatively bringing great projects to screen, Richard’s passion is simple: to tell great stories.
In the last few years Richard has worked largely (though not exclusively) for US broadcasters, including making a one-hour drama-documentary for National Geographic about an American who was kidnapped and held hostage in Iraq for almost a year; and was one of three directors who made an eight-part documentary series about dwarfism for the same broadcaster. He went to Nepal and India for the Travel Channel and has written and directed episodes for multiple true-crime drama-documentaries for Investigation Discovery which have gone on to broadcast as season premieres.
Independently, Richard’s debut short film ‘Darklight’ (made with backing from Film London) was described as ‘a constantly surprising tale… that leads you eager for a sequel’. Directed and co-written by Richard the resulting film shines with ‘imagination and charm’ that has been described as his ‘hallmark’ as a director. ‘Darklight’ went on to be long-listed for a BAFTA and is currently being developed into a feature film.
Since then he’s made three more shorts including ‘Strings’, ‘Mingmong’ and ‘Sticky’ and in recent times his films have played in a host of high-profile international festivals – from the London Film Festival to Palm Springs; Cambridge to Washington DC and many more.
Richard describes his films as ‘suburban secrets’ – a glimpse into the sinister and strange happenings behind closed doors. Many of these have autobiographical content and he has a passion for period pieces, which he puts down simply to one fact: “modern life is rubbish”.
Photograph courtesy of Lucy Johnston Photography