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Nick Willing

Writer / Director

Writer/Director Nick willing has a very varied filmography. Although he is perhaps best known for his popular sci fi and fantasy television shows he’s also made theatrically released movies, thrillers and social realist dramas. The one common thread is his fascination with how the dark side of human is nature is expressed in fairy tales, myths and archetypal story telling.

After an early career in the golden era of music videos he wrote and directed “Photographing Fairies” ( starring Ben Kingsley, Toby Stephens and Frances Barber ) which was released in cinemas in 1997 and won 5 awards including the Melies D’Or. This led to a lavish television production of “Alice in Wonderland” a faithful adaptation which is often used in schools and colleges and still regularly appears on NBC and Channel 4 at Christmas. The all star cast included Miranda Richardson, Martin Short, Gene Wilder, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane, George Wendt, Peter Ustinov, Pete Postlethwaite, Tina Majorino and Whoopi Goldberg, and drew 25 million viewers to its first broadcast on NBC and won 4 Primetime Emmys and an RTS award. This led to a run of grand television mini-series – the epic Greek Myth “Jason and the Argonauts” ( starring Dennis Hopper, Frank Langella, Olivia Williams, Adrian Lester and Derek Jacobi ) “The Infinite Worlds of HG Wells” ( 6 part ), the pilot episode of BBC’s “Sea of Souls” ( which spawned 4 seasons ) and the Christmas special to commemorate 50 years of Jackanory “The Magician of Samarkand” and “Muddle Earth” – the latter of which established a long running series.

Two theatrical feature films followed – “Close your Eyes” and “The River King” – before the ground breaking Wizard of Oz homage “Tin Man” a 6 part series starring Zooey Deschenel, Richard Dreyfuss and Alan Cumming which first coined the term ‘a reimagining’ and ushered in a string of reimagined fantasy shows in the US. It is still the highest rated show in the history of the Syfy network and most watched Cable mini series of 2007. It was nominated for 9 primetime Emmys. Syfy ordered two more ‘events’ from Nick which he wrote and directed – “Alice” starring Kathy Bates, Colm Meaney, Tim Curry, Harry Dean Stanton, Matt Frewer, Andrew Lee Potts and Caterina Scorsone – and – “Neverland” which also aired on SKY UK and starred Rhys Ifans, Anna Friel, Bob Hoskins, Charles Dance and Charlie Rowe. Neverland was the second highest rated mini series in the history of Syfy, after Tin Man, and Alice the third. Nick spent the following year researching and shooting “Baby Sellers” in India and Brazil – a docu-drama style exposé of the world of baby trafficking – which was invited to premiere at the United Nations in New York in front of 500 ambassadors and NGOs. It was the highest rated cable program of the night with 2.6 million viewers for Lifetime and nominated for 7 Canadian Screen Awards.

Last year he made the feature film “Altar” ( aka “The Haunting of Radcliffe House” ) starring Michael Modine and Olivia Williams which explores his fascination with the Uncanny ( Das Unheimliche ) and uses the cinematic language of British psychological horror movies of the 70’s. Nick then went on to create, produce, write and direct the 13 x 1 hour series “Olympus” which gets under the skin of the world of Greek Tragedy, gods and monsters.

He is now making a feature documentary about his mother, the painter Paula Rego.

Credits

IN DEVELOPMENT
Production (role):
OPIUM (Writer / Director)
Company:
Reunion
Project details:
8 x 60 min series
TELEVISION
Date: 2015
Production (role):
OLYMPUS (Writer / Director / Showrunner / Exec Producer)
Company:
Halmi / Syfy NBC / Spike TV
Project details:
13 x 60 mins

Writer of 11 Episodes

A series set in Ancient Greece - a world of violence, lust, intrigue, gods and monsters. He show-ran season one, wrote 11 of the 13 episodes, directed the first and last blocks and Executive Produced.
Date: 2014
Production (role):
ALTAR (Writer / Director)
Company:
Halmi / Screen Yorkshire / Content Film
Project details:
Single Film

Starring Olivia Williams and Matthew Modine
Date: 2013
Production (role):
BABY SELLERS (Director)
Company:
Reunion / Lifetime
Project details:
Single Film

Exposing the international trade in baby trafficking. Premiered at the United Nations in 2013 before its TV US airing on Lifetime where it rated highest of all cable networks.

Nominated for 7 Canadian Screen Awards including Best TV Mini Series or Movie and Best Director. Won for best screenplay.

Nominations for The Canadian Screen Awards:
Best Mini Series or Movie
Best Leading actress
Best Screenplay
Best Director
Best Editor
Best Costume
Best Music
Date: 2011
Production (role):
NEVERLAND (Writer / Director)
Company:
Parallel / Syfy / Sky Movies
Project details:
2 x 90 mins

Starring Anna Friel, Rhys Ifans and Bob Hoskins
Date: 2009
Production (role):
ALICE (Writer / Director)
Company:
RHI / Reunion / SyFy
Project details:
2 x 120 mins

Starring Caterina Scorsone, Tim Curry and Kathy Bates
Date: 2007
Production (role):
TIN MAN (Director)
Company:
Halmi / Syfy
Project details:
3 x 90 mins

Starring Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming and Richard Dreyfuss

9 Primetime Emmy Award Nominations
Date: 2006
Production (role):
JACKANORY (Director)
Company:
BBC
Project details:
2 x 60 mins
Date: 2004
Production (role):
SEA OF SOULS (Director)
Company:
BBC Scotland
Project details:
2 x 60 mins
Date: 2001
Production (role):
THE INFINITE WORLDS OF HG WELLS (Writer / Producer)
Company:
Hallmark Channel
Project details:
4 x 60 mins

Starring Tom Ward and Katy Carmichael
Date: 2000
Production (role):
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (Director)
Company:
Hallmark / NBC
Project details:
Single Film

2 Emmy Award Nominations
Date: 1999
Production (role):
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Director)
Company:
Hallmark / NBC
Project details:
Single Film

Starring Miranda Richardson, Martin Short, Gene Wilder, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane, Peter Ustinov, Pete Postlethwaite and Whoopi Goldberg

Winner of 4 Emmys
FEATURE FILM
Date: 2005
Production (role):
THE RIVER KING (Director)
Company:
Movision / Myriad Pictures
Date: 2002
Production (role):
CLOSE YOUR EYES (Writer / Director)
Company:
Kismet Films
Project details:
Starring Goran Visjnic, Miranda Otto, Shirley Henderson and Corin Redgrave

Winner of 5 Awards including the Grand Prix for 'Best Film' at Paris Film Festival.
Date: 1997
Production (role):
PHOTOGRAPHING FAIRIES (Writer / Director)
Company:
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment / British Screen
Project details:
Starring Ben Kingsley, Toby Stephens and Emily Woof

Winner of 5 awards including the Melies d’Or
DOCUMENTARY
Date: 2019
Production (role):
UNSTOPPABLE
Company:
Kismet Film Company
Project details:
Aired on BBC Two

A year in the life of abstract artist Sean Scully as he flies around the world to open 15 major museum exhibitions - a journey that also reveals his extraordinary life story.
Date: 2017
Production (role):
PAULA REGO, SECRETS & STORIES (Director / Editor)
Company:
Kismet / BBC
Project details:
Released in cinemas in Portugal April 2017.

A unique insight into the life and work of celebrated painter Paula Rego directed by her son, the film maker Nick Willing. Notoriously private and guarded, Rego opens up for the first time surprising her son with secrets and stories of her unique life, battling fascism, a misogynistic art world and manic depression.

Credits

  • Production (role)
    Company
    Project details
  • Production (role): OPIUM (Writer / Director)
    Company: Reunion
    Project details: 8 x 60 min series
  • Date
    Production (role)
    Company
    Project details
  • Date: 2015
    Production (role): OLYMPUS (Writer / Director / Showrunner / Exec Producer)
    Company: Halmi / Syfy NBC / Spike TV
    Project details: 13 x 60 mins

    Writer of 11 Episodes

    A series set in Ancient Greece - a world of violence, lust, intrigue, gods and monsters. He show-ran season one, wrote 11 of the 13 episodes, directed the first and last blocks and Executive Produced.
  • Date: 2014
    Production (role): ALTAR (Writer / Director)
    Company: Halmi / Screen Yorkshire / Content Film
    Project details: Single Film

    Starring Olivia Williams and Matthew Modine
  • Date: 2013
    Production (role): BABY SELLERS (Director)
    Company: Reunion / Lifetime
    Project details: Single Film

    Exposing the international trade in baby trafficking. Premiered at the United Nations in 2013 before its TV US airing on Lifetime where it rated highest of all cable networks.

    Nominated for 7 Canadian Screen Awards including Best TV Mini Series or Movie and Best Director. Won for best screenplay.

    Nominations for The Canadian Screen Awards:
    Best Mini Series or Movie
    Best Leading actress
    Best Screenplay
    Best Director
    Best Editor
    Best Costume
    Best Music
  • Date: 2011
    Production (role): NEVERLAND (Writer / Director)
    Company: Parallel / Syfy / Sky Movies
    Project details: 2 x 90 mins

    Starring Anna Friel, Rhys Ifans and Bob Hoskins
  • Date: 2009
    Production (role): ALICE (Writer / Director)
    Company: RHI / Reunion / SyFy
    Project details: 2 x 120 mins

    Starring Caterina Scorsone, Tim Curry and Kathy Bates
  • Date: 2007
    Production (role): TIN MAN (Director)
    Company: Halmi / Syfy
    Project details: 3 x 90 mins

    Starring Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming and Richard Dreyfuss

    9 Primetime Emmy Award Nominations
  • Date: 2006
    Production (role): JACKANORY (Director)
    Company: BBC
    Project details: 2 x 60 mins
  • Date: 2004
    Production (role): SEA OF SOULS (Director)
    Company: BBC Scotland
    Project details: 2 x 60 mins
  • Date: 2001
    Production (role): THE INFINITE WORLDS OF HG WELLS (Writer / Producer)
    Company: Hallmark Channel
    Project details: 4 x 60 mins

    Starring Tom Ward and Katy Carmichael
  • Date: 2000
    Production (role): JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (Director)
    Company: Hallmark / NBC
    Project details: Single Film

    2 Emmy Award Nominations
  • Date: 1999
    Production (role): ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Director)
    Company: Hallmark / NBC
    Project details: Single Film

    Starring Miranda Richardson, Martin Short, Gene Wilder, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane, Peter Ustinov, Pete Postlethwaite and Whoopi Goldberg

    Winner of 4 Emmys
  • Date
    Production (role)
    Company
    Project details
  • Date: 2005
    Production (role): THE RIVER KING (Director)
    Company: Movision / Myriad Pictures
    Project details:
  • Date: 2002
    Production (role): CLOSE YOUR EYES (Writer / Director)
    Company: Kismet Films
    Project details: Starring Goran Visjnic, Miranda Otto, Shirley Henderson and Corin Redgrave

    Winner of 5 Awards including the Grand Prix for 'Best Film' at Paris Film Festival.
  • Date: 1997
    Production (role): PHOTOGRAPHING FAIRIES (Writer / Director)
    Company: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment / British Screen
    Project details: Starring Ben Kingsley, Toby Stephens and Emily Woof

    Winner of 5 awards including the Melies d’Or
  • Date
    Production (role)
    Company
    Project details
  • Date: 2019
    Production (role): UNSTOPPABLE
    Company: Kismet Film Company
    Project details: Aired on BBC Two

    A year in the life of abstract artist Sean Scully as he flies around the world to open 15 major museum exhibitions - a journey that also reveals his extraordinary life story.
  • Date: 2017
    Production (role): PAULA REGO, SECRETS & STORIES (Director / Editor)
    Company: Kismet / BBC
    Project details: Released in cinemas in Portugal April 2017.

    A unique insight into the life and work of celebrated painter Paula Rego directed by her son, the film maker Nick Willing. Notoriously private and guarded, Rego opens up for the first time surprising her son with secrets and stories of her unique life, battling fascism, a misogynistic art world and manic depression.