Richard Heslop

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For the Special Operations Executive agent, see Richard Henry Heslop.

Richard Heslop (born 1961 in London) is a British director of music videos and films. He has produced videos for artists including Queen, The Cure, and New Order, as well as programmes on Channel 4 and the BBC. He is also a cameraman, writer, editor and artist, often shooting and editing his own work.


Richard bought his first super 8mm camera aged 10 before becoming a director, Heslop operated a live multi-projection for 23 Skidoo on their travels through Europe in 1979 and took part in The Final Academy multi-projection performance with 23 Skidoo, William Burroughs and friends

In 1981 he documented the Brixton riots and began a foundation course at the London College of Printing. There, he released his 7 Songs video (1983) with the music of 23 skidoo. He graduated in 1984 from Saint Martin's School of Art with a BA honours in film/fine art. He released his graduation film " The child and the saw" as a boxed VHS tape (made in collaboration with Daniel Landin) . In the film, a nine-year-old girl receives a giant bandsaw for her birthday and plays innocently and gleefully as it twists around her bedroom, it leads her on a dark and surreal journey of discovery. The film won first prize at the Huesca short film festival in Spain and was shown at Edinburgh Film Festival and ICA "Synchronization of the Senses Festival."

Heslop became known for his manipulation of film speeds that gave his images an alternative edge and unique feel and an alternate perspective of reality.

In 1984, he was camera operator for Derek Jarman's experimental film Imagining October, filmed on super 8 mm. Two years later he directed his first music video The Queen is Dead by The Smiths and modelled in a Paris fashion show for Yohji Yamamoto and travelled to India to make documentary about the "Kumba Mela."

In 1986 he made the film Procar (16 mm, black and white, 19 mins.) in collaboration with Daniel Landin and Herbert Verhey with his Car Ensemble of the Netherlands ("Nederlands Auto Ensemble") for live performances in Amsterdam during the Romantic Aesthetics Festival. For this project, a two-day drive-in cinema was built in the centre of the city. The film was shown later that year at the Berlin Film Festival and released as part of a compilation of British short films 1984-1987 called FAT OF THE LAND which also included an early Tilda Swinton short "The Sluggard" by Joy Perino and work by Cerith Wyn Evens.

That year (also with Daniel Landin) he filmed the performance of Laibach and Michael Clark in London: No Fire Escape In Hell (1986) and shot the music video for Laibach's 'Life is Life' (16 mm, released in 1987) on location in Slovenia.

In the late nineteen-eighties he started to create photo-montages that were exhibited in The London Gallery. He also continued his career as director of music videos, including clips for New Order, Happy Mondays ("wrote for luck" "24 hour party people" and "Hallelujah"), Pop Will Eat Itself and The Mighty Lemon Drops(A certain ratio)(sugar cubes). During the same period he started Trigger Happy Films (that would produce many videos including Unbelievable by EMF) and apart from beginning to document the rave scene in England he became cameraman on Derek Jarman's arthouse feature film The Garden (1990) and " The last of England". For Channel 4, he directed in 1991 Floating, a 39 min. movie about a Docklands bus driver on the verge of a nervous breakdown, starting to have visions of a second "Great Flood", who finally destroys his house to build an ark in his living room. This film was awarded 'Best Short Film' in the Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992.

In 1996 he was commissioned by Queen to direct a film for the track "I Was Born to Love You" on the 'Queen-Made In Heaven' compilation which was co-produced by the British Film Institute and Janine Marmot at Hot Property Films.

In July 2013 Heslop donated a work to Chris McMuck's charity art auction at the Brick Lane Village Fete and Art Auction.[1][unreliable source?]

In December 2014 Richard directed 'Pour It On' an 8 minute short film piece, serving also as a music video for New Build. The film featured a performance of 'Second Skin' by London performance artist Rachel Gomme. The film premiered in the New York Time Style magazine in a review of the album 'Pour It On', by Ilana Kaplan :

Richard is currently in production on Raft Of The Medusa.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brick Lane Village Fete & Art Auction. Accessed August 2013.

External links[edit]