John McKay (director)


John McKay (director)

John McKay is a British film director and television director. From Scotland,cite web|url=http://iparenting.com/dad/0802.htm|title=Dad of the Month: John McKay|first=Elisa|last=Ast All|publisher=iParenting.com|date=August 2002|accessdate=2007-01-07] his initial career was as a playwright,cite web|url=http://www.filmfreakcentral.net/notes/mckay.htm|title=McKay While the Sun Shines|first=Walter|last=Chaw|publisher=Film Freak Central|date=2002-04-17|accessdate=2007-01-07] before he began his film career by directing the short films "Doom and Gloom" (1996) and "Wet and Dry" (1997).

These short films gained McKay some notable acclaim — "Wet and Dry" was nominated in the "Best Short Fiction" category at the Molodist International Film Festival in Kiev in 1997.cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0563814/awards|title=Awards for John McKay (IV)|publisher=Internet Movie Database|accessdate=2007-01-07] "Doom and Gloom" was also critically recognised, winning a "Special Mention" in the "Youth on Youth Award" category at the 1998 Locarno International Film Festival, and the "Best European Short Film" prize at the 1999 Brussels International Film Festival.

After working on the television series "Psychos" for Kudos and Channel 4 in 1999, he directed his first full-length feature film, "Crush", starring Andie MacDowell, Imelda Staunton and Anna Chancellor, for which he also wrote the screenplay. Released in 2001, "Crush" was originally to have been titled "The Sad Fuckers Club",cite news|url=http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,720778,00.html|title=Filming and f***ing|first=John|last=McKay|publisher=The Guardian|date=2002-05-24|accessdate=2007-01-07] but this was changed after resistance from the producers and distributors and uneasiness on the part of test audiences. "Crush" met with a generally negative critical reaction,cite web|url=http://film.guardian.co.uk/Film_Page/0,,540874,00.html|title=Crush|publisher=Guardian Unlimited|accessdate=2007-01-07] and a second feature that McKay had written and was planning to direct at the time, the World War II-set "Knickers", never eventually saw production.

Following "Crush" McKay returned to television work, in 2003 directing "The Miller's Tale" and "The Sea Captain's Tale" for BBC One's updated versions of Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales", where the events of the stories were transposed to contemporary settings.cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/08_august/06/canterbury_tales.shtml|title=BBC - Press Office - The Canterbury Tales|publisher=bbc.co.uk|date=2003-08-06|accessdate=2007-01-07] "The Miller's Tale", which opened the series, proved to be a particular success, with an audience of 7.6 million viewerscite web|url=http://media.guardian.co.uk/overnights/story/0,,1040731,00.html|title=Miller's Tale is a success story for BBC1|first=Claire|last=Cozens|publisher=Guardian Unlimited|format=Requires free registration|date=2003-09-12|accessdate=2007-01-07] and a mixed but generally favourable critical reaction.cite web|url=http://media.guardian.co.uk/firstnight/story/0,11131,1040677,00.html|title=The Canterbury Tales|publisher=Guardian Unlimited|format=Requires free registration|date=2003-09-12|accessdate=2007-01-07] In 2004 McKay returned to the cinema with his second full-length feature, directing Academy Award-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes's adaptation of P. G. Wodehouse's novel "Piccadilly Jim".cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371878/|title=Piccadilly Jim (2004)|publisher=Internet Movie Database|accessdate=2007-01-07]

McKay then returned once more to television work, and in 2006 directed episodes of two of BBC One's highest-profile new drama series. He helmed the third and fourth instalments of the time travel / police drama series "Life on Mars",cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2005/12_december/08/mars.shtml|title=BBC - Press Office - Life on Mars press pack|publisher=bbc.co.uk|date=2005-12-08|accessdate=2007-01-07] and later in the year directed the opening two episodes of the channel's new "Robin Hood" series.cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0787985/|title=Robin Hood (2006)|publisher=Internet Movie Database|accessdate=2007-01-07] "Life on Mars" gained particular critical and popular acclaim, with reviewer Nancy Banks-Smith of "The Guardian" describing McKay's second episode, the series' fourth, as "an inspired take on the usual formula of Gruff Copper of the old school."cite news|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv_and_radio/story/0,,1698510,00.html|title=Last night's TV|first=Nancy|last=Banks-Smith|authorlink=Nancy Banks-Smith|publisher=The Guardian|date=2006-01-31|accessdate=2007-01-07]

His most recent work has been directing "Reichenbach Falls", a 75-minute one-off drama for digital television channel BBC Four, adapted by James Mavor from a short story by Ian Rankin. This was transmitted in March 2007.cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/09_september/06/acid.shtml|title=BBC - Press Office - The Acid Test|publisher=bbc.co.uk|date=2006-09-06|accessdate=2007-01-07]

McKay is married, with children.

References

External links

*imdb name|id=0563814|name=John McKay
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/08/22/john_mckay_interview.shtml "Crush"-related interview from 2001] at bbc.co.uk


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