As a teenager inspired by the films of Gus Van Sant and Wim Wenders, Mike’s career began in the camera department working alongside iconic directors such as Derek Jarman, Ken Russell and many of the early films at Working Title.
At 21 he wrote, directed, and produced “The Jumper” a complex portrayal of an institutionalised woman who had never owned anything of her own before. The film won Best New Director at the British Broadcast awards and the BBC hired Mike to make a series of documentaries, Artragious following the lives of street artists living and working in New York’s subway tunnels and The Last American Freak Show, about the last working freak show family in America. AA Gill reviewed the show as one of the best documentaries he had seen for its honest approach to its subjects. Eschewing traditional documentary format, Mikes cinematic approach to these films led to his first BBC drama film Go Back Out and connected him with Andrew Eaton and Michael Winterbottom’s company Revolution to direct the Feature Film The James Gang. Shot by longtime collaborator Ben Seresin, the film is a story of a woman and her children caught in the trap of poverty who become inadvertent bank robbers. Staring Helen McCrory and Toni Collette it became a critical success which caught the attention of Laura Ziskin at Fox 2000 and producer Chris Moore who hired Mike to direct the feature film Best Laid Plans with Reese Witherspoon and Josh Brolin.
This was followed by A Good Woman starring Scarlet Johanssen and Helen Hunt. Mike brought his character driven story telling and cinematic style to the BBC’s Bronte Miniseries The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. This feminist series revolutionized the traditional shooting style of British historical dramas, modernising the aesthetic and paved the way for many directors to shed the stuffy claustrophobic confinement of traditional literary led stories.
Mike became interested in the television format with its longer content opportunity for character development and to experiment with cinematic language. Mike’s reputation as a filmmaker led to first season episodes of many seminal UK dramas – Silent Witness,The Tunnel, Smoke, Broadchurch, Outlander.
A frequent collaborator with producer Jane Featherstone formerly of Kudos and now Sister TV, they are developing On The Run, a series based on an original idea of Mikes about a woman caught between the law and the outlaws. He is also developing the movie Perhaps written by Joshua St Johnston, about a woman who discovers that life after divorce is perhaps just the beginning. His first US television work was on Amazon’s Z:The beginning of Everything which led to a collaboration with Exec Producer Warren Littlefield on the first season of Handmaids Tale and the critically acclaimed Season 3 of Fargo. Mike has since become an Executive producer and lead director for the last two seasons on Handmaids Tale and is very much part of the multiple Emmy winning team.
His episodes of Handmaids Tale exemplifies Mikes character and story driven directing style which has contributed to the shows critical success as a groundbreaking television series.
Mike works very closely with his actors and in particular fellow Executive producer Elisabeth Moss with whom he has a close working relationship. Together they delve deeper into a scene, to get under the skin, to find more texture and complex subtexts.
Based on his work on Handmaids Tale, Steven Spielberg invited Mike to direct THE TALISMAN based on Stephen King and Peter Straub’s book of the same name. The movie will be produced by Amblin.
Mike has also joined the team at Lionsgate and Made up Stories to direct Jessica Knoll’s NY Times best selling novel THE LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE. Set in NY, the story follows a young woman who has sought to reinvent herself in her adult life after a series of horrifying events during her teen years.
- DateProduction (role)CompanyProject details
- Date: 2017Production (role): THE HANDMAID'S TALE 2Company: MGM Television/ HuluProject details: Director and executive producer
- Date: 2017Production (role): FARGOCompany: MGM/ FXProject details:
- Date: 2016Production (role): THE HANDMAID'S TALECompany: MGM Television/ HuluProject details:
- Date: 2016Production (role): Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHINGCompany: Amazon StudiosProject details: Lead director
- Date: 2016Production (role): VERSAILLESCompany: Capa Drama/ Canal +Project details:
- Date: 2015Production (role): OUTLANDERCompany: Starz / Sony / Leftbank PicturesProject details:
- Date: 2015Production (role): TUNNELCompany: Canal + / Kudos Film & TV (Series 2)Project details:
- Date: 2014Production (role): BROADCHUCHCompany: ITV /Kudos Film & TV (Series 2)Project details:
- Date: 2014Production (role): OUTLANDERCompany: Starz / Sony / Leftbank PicturesProject details:
- Date: 2013Production (role): ROGUECompany: Direct TV (Episode 1)Project details:
- Date: 2013Production (role): THE SMOKECompany: Sky One / Kudos Film & TVProject details: Blocks 1 and 4
- Date: 2012Production (role): PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS “THE OTHER WOMAN”Company: Sky ArtsProject details: Starring Hayley Atwell and Rebecca Front
- Date: 2011Production (role): SILENT WITNESSCompany: BBCProject details:
- Date: 2010Production (role): MOBY DICKCompany: RHI EntertainmentProject details: Starring Ethan Hawke, Gillian Anderson, Donald Sutherland and William Hurt
- Date: 2010Production (role): SEA WOLFCompany: RHI EntertainmentProject details: Starring Sebastian Koch and Neve Campbell
- Date: 2000Production (role): LORNA DOONECompany: A&E TV Networks (TV Movie)Project details: Starring Martin Clunes, Richard Coyle, Aidan Gillen and Amelia Warner
- Date: 1996Production (role): THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALLCompany: BBCProject details: Starring Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald and Rupert Graves
- Date: 1996Production (role): SILENT WITNESSCompany: BBCProject details: Starring Emilia Fox and Amanda Burton
- Date: 1995Production (role): GO BACK OUTCompany: BBCProject details: Starring Andrew Lancel and Nicola Stephenson
- DateProduction (role)CompanyProject details
- Date: 2009Production (role): SHATTEREDCompany: Icon ProductionsProject details: Starring Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello and Gerard Butler
- Date: 2004Production (role): A GOOD WOMANCompany: Meltemi EntertainmentProject details: Starring Scarlett Johansson and Helen Hunt
- Date: 2003Production (role): TO KILL A KINGCompany: FilmFourProject details: Starring Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Olivia Wiliams and Rupert Everett
- Date: 1999Production (role): BEST LAID PLANSCompany: Fox 2000 PicturesProject details: Starring Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon and Alessandro Nivola
- Date: 1997Production (role): THE JAMES GANGCompany: BBCProject details: Starring John Hannah, Helen McCrory, Jason Flemyng and Toni Colette
- DateProduction (role)
- Date: 1994Production (role): WHEN THE FAT LADY SINGS
- Date: 1993Production (role): THE RONSON MISSION
- Date: 1992Production (role): EDDIE AND THE EAST COAST BOUFFANTS