Jamie started making films in 2000. He was drawn to complex stories that were happening in and around his hometown of Swansea to do with violence and poverty. Straight out of film school he was commissioned by the likes of the BBC & MTV to make documentaries on everything from amateur boxing to the British drug underworld.
As a commercials director, Jamie has worked with brands such as Virgin Media, British Airways, Clarks Shoes, M&S, Jaguar, Roche & Ford. High fashion magazines such as ELLE and Glamour routinely hire him to direct their editorial content.
Jamie has just shot his first feature, OBEY, set for release this year.
1. What movie inspired you to be a Director?
2. What other mediums do you draw inspiration from? (e.g. paintings, photographers, writers, etc)
Music is my other passion apart from film. I grew up within a hardcore punk scene in South Wales. Music is the most direct way of evoking emotion and my folks are old hippies so I've always been surrounded by great music from a young age. I'm pretty bad at playing though, which is why I focussed on film. Also, I don't want to taint my experience of music.
3. Who is your favourite Cinematographer?
At the moment it's Robbie Ryan. I think American Honey and Catch Me Daddy are perfectly shot films. And all the European guys shooting American movies back in the 70's were incredible.
4. Are you interested in making long form?
I'm editing my first feature at the moment.
5. What piece of advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
Make films that you want to see, don't be a slave to plot and don't compare yourself to other (younger) directors because it'll drive you crazy.
6. Do you still prefer to shoot on film?
I've only had the pleasure of shooting on film a couple of times. It's obviously still a superior medium and for the big exterior wide shots nothing really compares, but the most important thing is getting good movies out there which ever way you can. If it's a choice between a movie with a good script and great actors that was shot on an iPhone or a bad script and bad acting that was shot on 70mm then it's a no brainer for me. Obviously the ideal is to have both, but there's a kind of machoness that comes with all this whole film debate, which I try to avoid. Festen was shot on a handycam and it's one of my favourite films. If the Godard of the 60's had to make Breathless today with the same kind of budget he'd probably shoot it on a 5D. The ideas are what's important.
7. What is your favourite piece of kit to use in your work? (Camera, crane, etc)
It's not really a piece of kit, but I think the most powerful tool in filmmaking is sound design. Again if you watch American Honey, the sound design creates so much of the 360 world. As a director there is so much you don't have to show if you know how to work with sound.
View Jamie's Showreel here