SOLD OUT: “Directors and… Producers”, with director Gillies MacKinnon and producer Willy Wands (11 Feb)


Run by Northern Film & Media and Creative Skillset, “Directors and..” is a series of half day sessions aimed primarily at early career TV and film directors. Led by practitioners, the series is designed to help prepare attendees to take their careers to the next professional level by improving their understanding of how directors work successfully with and get the best out of HoDs, actors and other key colleagues.

Drawing on MacKinnon and Wands’ collaboration on the forthcoming feature Whisky Galore (starring Eddie Izard, Gregor Fisher, James Cosmo and John Sessions), as well as an extensive back catalogue of other feature collaborations, 'Directors and... Producers' will cover all aspects of the relationship between director and producer in the life-cycle of a mid-budget UK feature. As well as scanning all stages of production from pre-production to release, the session will also focus on complex issues like difficult builds, work on water, CGI, and other complex production problems. Illustrated generously with clips from the productions under discussion, “Directors and… Producers”will provide an invaluable introduction to what you need to know as a director to ensure that these absolutely keys roles work fruitfully at an advanced professional level.


Class Outline:

  • Introductory overview of the Director’s and Producer’s roles and responsibilities – misconceptions and realities
  • Case studies of Whisky Galore andother features on which the presenters have worked together
  • The dos and don’ts of how to manage the director/producer relationship
  • How the roles interact: the practicalities of the producer’s and director’s role, and what they mean through the production lifecycle:

               - Pre-production

               - Story development

               - Financing

               - Casting

               - Making the most of rehearsals

               - Production design, and the director and producer’s input and interactionThe shoot

               - Budget control

  • Practical exercise for the group to work on
  • Q&A – a chance to put your questions to the presenters


Who’s this class for?

“Directors and…Producers” is open to up to 15 ambitious early career directors and producers aiming to work in either film or network television drama.

You should have worked in appropriate roles on at least two productions – self-financed or commissioned, of any length - and have some basic experience of how to work with professionals on set, but want to learn more and move your career to the next level. If in doubt about whether you are eligible to register please contact the organisers.


When: Thursday 11 February, 12.30pm – 5.30pm. (Registration from 12.15pm.)

Where: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Level 1), Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA

Places for “Directors and… Producers” are priced £5. Refunds canot be made within one week of the event.

Please note that this event has now sold out. To add yourself to the waiting list please click here.


About the presenters

Gillies MacKinnon

Director Gillies MacKinnon has assembled one of the most impressive bodies of work in recent British cinema. Among his many notable works are WHISKY GALORE, SMALL FACES, REGENERATION, HIDEOUS KINKY, and CASTLES IN THE SKY. His work is marked by its subtlety and integrity and by a desire to take a story or situation and get it right, regardless of convention or commercial cliché.

An almost impressionistic approach to narrative aligns him more closely with Europe filmmaking than with Hollywood or the British mainstream. MacKinnon, who has also made a distinguished body of fine art, is a fine visual stylist who always conceives meaning in terms of imagery: the camera is consistently in the right position to draw our gaze to some small, significant detail; his careful framing and camera movement are unobtrusively eloquent.

He is also noted for his work with actors and has elicited superb performances from established stars including Albert Finney, Stephen Rea, Richard Harris, Kate Winslet and Jonathan Pryce. He has also worked fruitfully with (at the time) lesser known talents like Mark Rylance, Ewen Bremner, Robin Wright, Brendan Gleeson and Jonny Lee Miller. MacKinnon prides himself on making films that satisfy the eyes, the heart, and the mind. For more on Gillies and his work please click here.

Willy Wands

Alan “Willy” Wands has an extensive and distinguished record in television and film drama ranging over more than three decades. He has primarily worked as a producer, line producer and exec producer, on work such as WHISKY GALORE; JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL; GUNPOWDER, TREASON AND PLOT; REBUS and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES. He has worked with Gillies Mackinnon on THE ESCAPIST and TROJAN EDDIE, as well as WHISKY GALORE and GUNPOWDER... For his IMDB profile, click here.


Other events in the series

“Directors and… Producers and Actors”, with director David Leon, producer Daisy Allsop and actor Giacomo Mancini (28 January). Click here for more info.

“Directors and… Production Managers”, with director Nicky Higgins and production manager Addie Orfila (29 January). Click here for more info.

“Directors and… DOPs”, with director Roger Simonsz and DOP Sue Gibson BSC (03 February). Click here for more info.


'Directors and...' is supported by Creative Skillset


Northern Film & Media | BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art | South Shore Road | Gateshead | NE8 3BA | | 0191 4404940

All content © 2017 Northern Film & Media | Designed by Supanaught | Built by band-x Media