Richard Heslop

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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 Heslop 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.

Heslop 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."

In 1984, Heslop was the 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'[1] 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 80's 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"[2] and "Hallelujah"), Pop Will Eat Itself and The Mighty Lemon Drops. During the same period he started Trigger Happy Films that would produce many videos including Unbelievable by EMF.

In the late 80's, apart from beginning to document the rave scene in England, Heslop became cameraman on Derek Jarman's arthouse feature film The Garden (1990) and "The last of England".

In 1991 for Channel 4, Heslop wrote and directed "Floating",[3] a 39 min film about a Docklands bus driver who, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, 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 Heslop was commissioned by Queen to direct a film for the track "I Was Born to Love You" on the 'Queen Made In Heaven'[4] compilation which was co-produced by the British Film Institute and Janine Marmot at Hot Property Films.

In 1997 Heslop directed commercials for Oil Factory Films[5] which included the rebranding campaign of Fox's Biscuit's for St Lukes in 1997. He also did promos for HSBC, Kodak, Kodak, and X-AM jeans.

Starting in 2000, Heslop directed shows for the BBC and Channel 4, including the TV series 'The Residents'[6] an 8 x 30min black comedy and began shooting a 35mm feature film 'State of the Party', a contemporary drama set in and about the dance culture scene, adapted from the book 'Disco Biscuits' by Sarah Champion and Irvine Welsh. This project sadly did not complete.

In 2010, after making a music video for Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius PIP called "Get Better"[7] Heslop set up I Like Films, Me Ltd with producers Ciska Faulkner and Philip Shotton to produce the feature film 'FRANK' which he both wrote and directed. The film was shot in the north of England and was completed in March 2012. It premiered at the Cambridge Film Festival[8] and was nominated for BIFA's Raindance Award[9] in 2012.

In March 2014 Heslop showed his live multiple projections[10] for 23 Skidoo as part of the BFI THIS IS NOW: FILM AND VIDEO AFTER PUNK.[11] It covered underground film from 1979-1985. It ended with 23 Skidoo playing live at the BFI Southbank as a tribute to Heslop's '7 Songs' experimental music Video.

In December 2014 Heslop directed "Pour It On",[12] 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.[13] The film premiered in the New York Times Style magazine in a review of the album "Pour It On"[14] by Ilana Kaplan.

Richard Heslop's experimental 'The Raft Of The Medusa' was completed for BBC Radio 4 and aired April 12, 2015. Medusa is a tribute to the late Derek Jarman.[15] Richard Heslop's interview can be seen online.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fat Of The Land, Selected British short films 1984/1987".
  2. ^ "Happy Mondays, 24 hour Party People, Directed by Richard Heslop and The Bailey brothers, Madchester 1987".
  3. ^ "Floating, Written and Directed by Richard Heslop. 1992".
  4. ^ "Queen: Made in Heaven". 5 June 1997 – via IMDb.
  5. ^ "NEWS: Oil Factory sets up Soho commercials production facility".
  6. ^ "The Residents". 9 May 2001 – via IMDb.
  7. ^ lesacvspip (22 December 2009). "GET BETTER - dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip (OFFICIAL VIDEO)" – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "Frank: Interview with Richard Heslop - TAKE ONE - -".
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  10. ^ "23 SKIDOO Southbank Final".
  11. ^
  12. ^ "New Build, " Pour it on" .Film by Richard Heslop, Performance devised and performed by Rachel Gomme. . 2014".
  13. ^ "Rachel Gomme".
  14. ^ Kaplan, Ilana. "An Artistic Video from the Hot Chip Spinoff New Build".
  15. ^ "The Raft of The Medusa - BBC Radio 4".
  16. ^ "The Raft of the Medusa, Drama - The Raft of the Medusa: A Film Maker's View - BBC Radio 4".

External links[edit]