film drama

Nuclear Race -
The Spy From Moscow

BBC2 - 2008 - Director/Writer

Oleg Penkovsky has long been regarded as the greatest spy of the Cold war. When I was at the BBC we negotiated unique access to never seen before KGB files & footage. It revealed for the first time the extent to which Penkovsky aided Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. But Penkovsky was under surveillance from the KGB, and to match their footage I looked for locations to recreate the settings in real life. We managed to shoot a lot of the drama in the actual KGB interrogation cells in Lithuania. I shoot all my films hand-held, on prime lenses, wide open for minimum depth of field, which really gives the film a 'cinematic espionage feel.' I cast Russian actors in key roles and used Mikhail Gorbachev's house to capture Russian grandeur.

"Really powerful... completely gripping... Earth shattering TV - the best I've seen in a long while."
Evening Standard
"Outstanding drama... rarely been as slick and engaging as this film on the culture of secrecy and espionage surrounding nuclear weapons"

Munich Air Crash -
The Busby Babes Story

BBC 1 / DISCOVERY - 2006 - Director/Writer

Based on transcripts from the remaining survivors, I wrote and directed a drama about the Munich air crash 6 Feb 1958 - one of the worst tragedies in sporting history. Eight of the 'Busby Babes' Manchester United football team and manager were killed or injured in the plane crash. The crash shocked the world and left Britain in mourning. Key to making this work on a £250k budget was taking the drama into the powerful inner connections between the star-studded players and their manager. I cross threaded a number of the players' personal narratives in the lead up to the crash to build a powerful portrayal of the teams inner dynamics. If I can keep away from CGI I will go to great lengths to shoot drama on authentic locations, so key was finding an original era Elizabethan plane (at an airport in Vilnius) We then made scaled models of the plane for the crash sequence and staged the drama on a reconstructed crash site.

"A terrific film... certainly gives history a sense of style..."
Evening Standard
"A compelling hour's viewing, tastefully scripted and directed"
© Matthew Wortman
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