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Mike Barker

Director

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.

 

 

 

 

Credits

TELEVISION
Date: 2017
Production (role):
THE HANDMAID'S TALE 2
Company:
MGM Television/ Hulu
Project details:
Director and executive producer
Date: 2017
Production (role):
FARGO
Company:
MGM/ FX
Date: 2016
Production (role):
THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Company:
MGM Television/ Hulu
Date: 2016
Production (role):
Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING
Company:
Amazon Studios
Project details:
Lead director
Date: 2016
Production (role):
VERSAILLES
Company:
Capa Drama/ Canal +
Date: 2015
Production (role):
OUTLANDER
Company:
Starz / Sony / Leftbank Pictures
Date: 2015
Production (role):
TUNNEL
Company:
Canal + / Kudos Film & TV (Series 2)
Date: 2014
Production (role):
BROADCHUCH
Company:
ITV /Kudos Film & TV (Series 2)
Date: 2014
Production (role):
OUTLANDER
Company:
Starz / Sony / Leftbank Pictures
Date: 2013
Production (role):
ROGUE
Company:
Direct TV (Episode 1)
Date: 2013
Production (role):
THE SMOKE
Company:
Sky One / Kudos Film & TV
Project details:
Blocks 1 and 4
Date: 2012
Production (role):
PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS “THE OTHER WOMAN”
Company:
Sky Arts
Project details:
Starring Hayley Atwell and Rebecca Front
Date: 2011
Production (role):
SILENT WITNESS
Company:
BBC
Date: 2010
Production (role):
MOBY DICK
Company:
RHI Entertainment
Project details:
Starring Ethan Hawke, Gillian Anderson, Donald Sutherland and William Hurt
Date: 2010
Production (role):
SEA WOLF
Company:
RHI Entertainment
Project details:
Starring Sebastian Koch and Neve Campbell
Date: 2000
Production (role):
LORNA DOONE
Company:
A&E TV Networks (TV Movie)
Project details:
Starring Martin Clunes, Richard Coyle, Aidan Gillen and Amelia Warner
Date: 1996
Production (role):
THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL
Company:
BBC
Project details:
Starring Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald and Rupert Graves
Date: 1996
Production (role):
SILENT WITNESS
Company:
BBC
Project details:
Starring Emilia Fox and Amanda Burton
Date: 1995
Production (role):
GO BACK OUT
Company:
BBC
Project details:
Starring Andrew Lancel and Nicola Stephenson
FEATURE FILM
Date: 2009
Production (role):
SHATTERED
Company:
Icon Productions
Project details:
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello and Gerard Butler
Date: 2004
Production (role):
A GOOD WOMAN
Company:
Meltemi Entertainment
Project details:
Starring Scarlett Johansson and Helen Hunt
Date: 2003
Production (role):
TO KILL A KING
Company:
FilmFour
Project details:
Starring Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Olivia Wiliams and Rupert Everett
Date: 1999
Production (role):
BEST LAID PLANS
Company:
Fox 2000 Pictures
Project details:
Starring Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon and Alessandro Nivola
Date: 1997
Production (role):
THE JAMES GANG
Company:
BBC
Project details:
Starring John Hannah, Helen McCrory, Jason Flemyng and Toni Colette
DOCUMENTARY
Date: 1994
Production (role):
WHEN THE FAT LADY SINGS
Date: 1993
Production (role):
THE RONSON MISSION
Date: 1992
Production (role):
EDDIE AND THE EAST COAST BOUFFANTS

Credits

  • Date
    Production (role)
    Company
    Project details
  • Date: 2017
    Production (role): THE HANDMAID'S TALE 2
    Company: MGM Television/ Hulu
    Project details: Director and executive producer
  • Date: 2017
    Production (role): FARGO
    Company: MGM/ FX
    Project details:
  • Date: 2016
    Production (role): THE HANDMAID'S TALE
    Company: MGM Television/ Hulu
    Project details:
  • Date: 2016
    Production (role): Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING
    Company: Amazon Studios
    Project details: Lead director
  • Date: 2016
    Production (role): VERSAILLES
    Company: Capa Drama/ Canal +
    Project details:
  • Date: 2015
    Production (role): OUTLANDER
    Company: Starz / Sony / Leftbank Pictures
    Project details:
  • Date: 2015
    Production (role): TUNNEL
    Company: Canal + / Kudos Film & TV (Series 2)
    Project details:
  • Date: 2014
    Production (role): BROADCHUCH
    Company: ITV /Kudos Film & TV (Series 2)
    Project details:
  • Date: 2014
    Production (role): OUTLANDER
    Company: Starz / Sony / Leftbank Pictures
    Project details:
  • Date: 2013
    Production (role): ROGUE
    Company: Direct TV (Episode 1)
    Project details:
  • Date: 2013
    Production (role): THE SMOKE
    Company: Sky One / Kudos Film & TV
    Project details: Blocks 1 and 4
  • Date: 2012
    Production (role): PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS “THE OTHER WOMAN”
    Company: Sky Arts
    Project details: Starring Hayley Atwell and Rebecca Front
  • Date: 2011
    Production (role): SILENT WITNESS
    Company: BBC
    Project details:
  • Date: 2010
    Production (role): MOBY DICK
    Company: RHI Entertainment
    Project details: Starring Ethan Hawke, Gillian Anderson, Donald Sutherland and William Hurt
  • Date: 2010
    Production (role): SEA WOLF
    Company: RHI Entertainment
    Project details: Starring Sebastian Koch and Neve Campbell
  • Date: 2000
    Production (role): LORNA DOONE
    Company: A&E TV Networks (TV Movie)
    Project details: Starring Martin Clunes, Richard Coyle, Aidan Gillen and Amelia Warner
  • Date: 1996
    Production (role): THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL
    Company: BBC
    Project details: Starring Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald and Rupert Graves
  • Date: 1996
    Production (role): SILENT WITNESS
    Company: BBC
    Project details: Starring Emilia Fox and Amanda Burton
  • Date: 1995
    Production (role): GO BACK OUT
    Company: BBC
    Project details: Starring Andrew Lancel and Nicola Stephenson
  • Date
    Production (role)
    Company
    Project details
  • Date: 2009
    Production (role): SHATTERED
    Company: Icon Productions
    Project details: Starring Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello and Gerard Butler
  • Date: 2004
    Production (role): A GOOD WOMAN
    Company: Meltemi Entertainment
    Project details: Starring Scarlett Johansson and Helen Hunt
  • Date: 2003
    Production (role): TO KILL A KING
    Company: FilmFour
    Project details: Starring Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Olivia Wiliams and Rupert Everett
  • Date: 1999
    Production (role): BEST LAID PLANS
    Company: Fox 2000 Pictures
    Project details: Starring Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon and Alessandro Nivola
  • Date: 1997
    Production (role): THE JAMES GANG
    Company: BBC
    Project details: Starring John Hannah, Helen McCrory, Jason Flemyng and Toni Colette
  • Date
    Production (role)
  • Date: 1994
    Production (role): WHEN THE FAT LADY SINGS
  • Date: 1993
    Production (role): THE RONSON MISSION
  • Date: 1992
    Production (role): EDDIE AND THE EAST COAST BOUFFANTS
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