Director / Producer
Richard started making films at 13 years, shooting Super 8mm horror and sci-fi shorts and roping in his family as cast members for the various dramas. After leaving school he sidestepped college and begged, borrowed and blagged stock, cameras and people to make a 60-minute drama: A shoestring affair that made it to the ICA Good Video Guide and Edinburgh Fringe Film Festival.
In 1992 as war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Richard borrowed money for a small, domestic video camera, packed his bags and caught a plane to the nearest working airport. He spent the next few years working as a freelancer for Frontline News, which sold his video footage from the various conflict zones of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo to the world’s global news networks. Frontline defied the major news stations and uncovered corruption in the United Nations, an unattractive story to journalists who were significant consumers of these black market goods.
It was whilst filming for Frontline News that Richard met Vaughan Smith and the two have worked closely together ever since. On one occasion they were forced to dress as Croat soldiers and were smuggled to the front-line, lead tiptoe through the minefields and into a Muslim enclave. This was just one of the many harrowing moments of working in a war zone – after the Balkans Richard went on to cover conflicts in Nagorno Karabach, Chechnya, Zaire, Albania and the former Soviet Union.
In 1997 Richard turned his attention back to the UK and directed and shot ‘Generation E’ for Channel 5, looking at how ecstasy has affected British culture. The program flag-shipped the launch of the new Channel 5. Following on from that he made ‘Full Moon Party’ for Channel 5, about backpackers in Thailand then Channel 4’s ‘City Stories’, a 5-part series on the world of finance.
South West Nine (released in UK cinemas in 2001) was his first full-length feature film, as Director and Writer and was nominated for a BAFTA and 5 BIFA’s, amongst others – the film also picked up ‘best soundtrack’ and ‘best new director’ on the festival circuit.