Q&A with Writer/Director, David Skynner

Word of Mouth

In our latest Word of Mouth we talk to Writer/Director, David Skynner, about his career to date, including BAFTA wins, interviewing Gary Numan, and starting out on Aliens.

What was your first job in TV?
My first job in TV was also my first as a director, on The Bill for Thames TV, but by then I had already been working in the industry for ten years, partly in features and also making corporate films.

My first proper production job was after I left The London Film School, when on graduating, the school found me a two-week attachment to the AD dept. on James Cameron’s Aliens. I got on so well with them I ended up staying three months and moved on to the creature shop for another two months, when Stan Winston saw a painting I’d done for a film school production. It was a very exciting film to work on, very very long hours though as I’d be in at 6am to open the dressing rooms and as the film slipped behind schedule and the days got longer, I often wouldn’t leave until 11pm.

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TV & Me with Writer/Director Hugo Blick

TV & Me with Writer/Director Hugo Blick

This week, we catch up with 2012 BAFTA Television Craft Awards winner, Hugo Blick, as he discusses past success, Marion & Geoff, how he got his break starring in Batman, and winning that all important BAFTA for Director of BBC 2’s The Shadow Line, proudly sponsored by ProductionBase.

You’re career began as an actor and you famously starred in Tim Burton’s Batman, playing the young Jack Napier, who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents and later became the Joker. How did you’re career as an actor aid you in becoming a successful director?
Marshalling a film crew is quite a military sort of thing but acting in front of a camera and all those people is really quite delicate. If you haven’t experienced that exposure it’s easy to not recognise just how vulnerable an actor can feel.

Was it an easy transition to make, did people take you seriously?
A loaded question there! First thing, I take actors very seriously! But you’re right to the degree that acting and directing are very separate talents and one doesn’t necessitate ability in the other – although Clint Eastward appears to have made a pretty good fist of it!

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