Phil Hawkins - Director


Ever since an unhealthy obsession with JURASSIC PARK aged 8, I’ve always known I wanted to direct. So, after an improvised film school making countless short films shot on VHS I eventually landed in the commercials world. My first ad won a bunch of awards and now, 19 years later, I’ve made commercials all over the world, directed Oscar-winners (a particular highlight being working with Christopher Walken) and sort of lost count at the total. I should have kept a full list.

Film wise, I’ve directed six rather eclectic feature films including a comedy satire (shot in just two days), a psychological thriller with a horror legend and even an YA adaptation of a Philip Pullman novel. The movies have been released by the likes of Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and Netflix.

My first studio movie was for Universal Pictures and Sky Studios. As someone that has unashamedly always aspired to make big movies full of heart and wonder, that one certainly ticks the boxes. PRANCER: A CHRISTMAS TALE, a reimagining of the late 80’s American classic, e starred Oscar-nominee and Emmy award-winning legend James Cromwell (LA CONFIDENTIAL, BABE). Who doesn’t love a Christmas movie with a bit of magic?

I’m currently in post-production on ROBIN AND THE HOOD, an action adventure family movie for Sky. It’s GOONIES meets GAME OF THRONES! The film stars another Oscar-nominee Naomie Harris (Bond, Moonlight), Gwendoline Christie (Game Of Thrones, Star Wars), Mark Williams (Harry Potter) and reunites me with Darcey Ewart in a leading role.

And, yep, I’m that crazy geek/fool that spent three years of his life making what is arguably the world’s most expensive Star Wars fan film STAR WARS ORIGINS. The ambitious project was shot on location in the Sahara Desert and has now been viewed over two million times. Even Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker himself!) praised the film which also has picked up many awards at festivals and been critically acclaimed as an “epic masterpiece”… their words, not mine! 

I always bring my sense of cinematic storytelling to all of my work whether for the big screen or small. I’m passionate about drilling down to the essence of story on both a plot and emotional level. I always see myself the first audience member and strive to serve the audience to tell that story in the most cinematic way possible. Visuals are extremely important to me but always motivated by story and performance… it’s not just about anamorphics, backlight and smoke! I love working with actors and performances are everything.

I love to create a fun, supportive and collaborative environment on set so that actors can do their best work whether that’s Oscar winning talent or a day player. I especially like working with young actors… maybe that’s the Spielberg obsession setting in again!

my ramblings

As someone who broke into this industry without any contacts and (and way before YouTube) I love to share knowledge and my experiences to other up and coming filmmakers. I’m one of the co-hosts on the very popular Filmmakers Podcast (available wherever you get yours) and below are a selection of interviews and insights if you’d like to hear me witter on… 

GET IN TOUCH… The ways and means are here

Photo by YellowBelly