Simon West

Director, Editor, Producer
British director Simon West was the guiding hand behind a string of highly polished action-thrillers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including "Con Air" (1997), "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001), and the popular TV ... Read more »
Born: 11/30/1960 in Hertfordshire, England, GB

Filmography

Director (14)

Tolkien & Lewis 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

Wild Card 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

Stolen 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

The Expendables 2 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

The Mechanic 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Human Target 2010 (Tv Show)

Director

Close to Home 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

When a Stranger Calls 2006 (Movie)

(Director)

Keen Eddie 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

The General's Daughter 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Con Air 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Protection (Movie)

(Director)

Thunder Run (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (4)

Tolkien & Lewis 2015 (Movie)

(Producer)

Night of the Living Dead: Origins 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Cape 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Black Hawk Down 2001 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Writer (1)

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2001 (Movie)

(Adaptation) (Screenplay)

Biography

British director Simon West was the guiding hand behind a string of highly polished action-thrillers in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including "Con Air" (1997), "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001), and the popular TV series "Human Target" (Fox, 2010- ). A former director of commercials and music videos, West brought the skills from those mediums to his feature film work, which resulted in fast-paced, visually striking movies that succeeded on purely visceral levels. Despite sometimes threadbare scripts, audiences rarely had time to breathe between action set pieces in "The Mechanic" (2011) or the barrage of shock effects in his 2006 remake of "When A Stranger Calls." West's streak of hits began to falter after "Stranger Calls," but the director, who also produced numerous TV-films and pilots, remained in demand for his numerous strengths: breakneck pace, jaw-dropping stunts and minimal plot to distract from the spectacular action West put on to brilliant display.

Milestones

2012

Directed Nicolas Cage in action thriller "Stolen"

2012

Helmed the action sequel "The Expendables 2," featuring Sylvester Stallone, Statham, and Jean-Claude Van Damme

2011

Directed Jason Statham in action thriller "The Mechanic"

2006

Directed the remake of the 1979 thriller "When a Stranger Calls"

2003

Directed episodes of "Keen Eddie" (Fox, Bravo)

2001

With Jerry Bruckheimer, served as producer on "Black Hawk Down," based on a 1993 battle involving U.S. forces in Somalia during an ill-fated humanitarian mission

2001

Helmed third film "Tomb Raider," based on the popular video game and starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft; also wrote adapted screenplay

1999

Directed second feature "The General's Daughter," starring John Travolta

1997

Feature directorial debut, "Con Air"; reteamed with director of photography Tattersall

1997

Formed Wychwood Productions

1995

Directed Pepsi and Budweiser spots seen on the SuperBowl XXIX (ABC) telecast

1993

Joined Satellite Films; directed TV commercials for AT&T, MCI, Sprint and Ford Motor Company

1991

Moved to the U.S. and worked out of Limelight's Los Angeles office

1990

Worked as an assistant cameraman on "The Russia House"

1985

Awarded grant from British Arts Council; directed and wrote short film "Dolly Mixtures"

1981

Began career as apprentice film editor at the BBC

Signed by Limelight London to direct music videos

Collaborated with director of photography David Tattersall on the star-studded "charity video" ("Life Aid Armenia") in Britain

Joined Pilot Pictures, made a series of successful award-winning TV spots for Little Caesar's pizza company, among others

Joined Propaganda Films

Bonus Trivia

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West won the Golden Lion from the International Advertising Festival in Cannes for Little Caesar's "Italian Feast" and a Clio for Little Caesar's "Airplane." A USA Today poll voted his Pepsi "Innertube" spot the most popular commercial of the 1995 Super Bowl. The ad also won the Cannes Golden Lion and the Clio Awards. In addition, his highly regarded Budweiser "Ants" spot won a Bronze in Cannes in 1995.

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About working with the talented actors assembled for "Con Air": "I never tried to make them all meld because they're all such different people. They all got along and had a really great time in this very male environment. They'd have competitions, who could do the most press-ups, who could run the fastest. Really childish boys' humor. I think they were clever enough to realize that as long as the work was good on the screen they were going to be well thought of, so they didn't have any interest in pushing their ego on the screen."John [Malkovich] was all right with me. He would do 20 takes and each one was completely different: he would do it in a child's voice, or he would sing. I kept thinking, 'no way is any of this going to get in the movie', but when I was editing more and more of those scenes when he's being more psychotic came in."

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