|Born||1961 (age 52–53)
Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England
Simon West (born 1961) is an English film director. West started as a film editor with the BBC, then directed documentaries and commercials including many for Budweiser. His film directing career started when he directed Con Air in 1997.
Early life and career
Born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, West began his career in 1981 when he became a film editor with the BBC in London. During a four-year tenure at the BBC, West was involved with a number of award-winning productions including the documentary series Strangeways Prison and the drama series Bleak House both of which won awards from the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
West's career took off in 1985 when he began freelancing as a director and he was awarded a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain to write and direct the film entitled Dolly Mixtures. He was subsequently signed to Limelight London to direct music videos and commercials. In 1987 he won Best Video at the Montreux Music Festival for Mel and Kim's Respectable. He also directed the video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" in the same year.
With a flourishing commercial career, West relocated to Los Angeles offices of Limelight in 1991. Moving to Pilot pictures in 1992, he received a Clio Award for Little Caesar's Airplane and a Golden Lion Award for Little Caesar's "Italian Feast."
West joined Propaganda Films in 1993 with a roster of credits including McDonalds, Sprite, AT&T, Ford, Miller Beer and Budweiser. His most famous commercial was a spot for Pepsi where a little boy sucks himself into a Pepsi bottle. The ad ran during the Super Bowl and was USA Today's highest rated commercial for that year.
1990s to today
In 1997, he directed the international blockbuster Con Air for Jerry Bruckheimer starring Nicolas Cage and John Malkovich and followed that up in 1999 with The General's Daughter starring John Travolta.
2001. West originated the project "Black Hawk Down" after reading Mark Bowden's newspaper articles on the failed US mission in Somalia. West pitched the idea to his old collaborator Jerry Bruckheimer and spent 2 years developing the script with the writer Ken Nolan. Due to scheduling conflicts with West's other film "Lara Croft Tomb Raider" and a threatened SAG strike he was not able to direct the movie but served as an executive producer on the Oscar nominated Black Hawk Down.
West is developing the movie titled Protection starring Dwayne Johnson. It is slated for a 2012 release. It is scheduled to shoot this fall in New Mexico. The screenplay is by Brandon Noonan. Produced by Stuart Ford and Robert Lawrence, along with Gordon Gray and Marc Ciardi of Mayhem Pictures. Brian Kavanaugh Jones will executive produce and Jib Polhemus will act as co-producer.
West directed The Expendables 2 (2012), replacing the first film's director, Sylvester Stallone, with Stallone focusing on acting in and writing the film. Filming began in summer 2011. West directed Nicolas Cage in the film Stolen in 2012. Currently West is directing a crime thriller film Heat with Jason Statham in New Orleans, a remake of 1986 Heat. Film will be released on August 7, 2014, based on a novel Heat by William Goldman.
- Thunder Run (2015)
- Heat (2014)
- The Expendables 2 (2012)
- Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box (2012)
- Stolen (2012)
- The Mechanic (2011)
- When a Stranger Calls (2006)
- Keen Eddie (executive producer) (2003)
- Black Hawk Down (executive producer) (2001)
- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
- The General's Daughter (1999)
- Con Air (1997)