Russell Mulcahy

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Russell Mulcahy
Born (1953-06-23) 23 June 1953 (age 62)
Melbourne, Australia
Occupation Film director, screenwriter

Russell Mulcahy (born 23 June 1953 in Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian film director.[1][2] Mulcahy's work is recognizable by the use of fast cuts, tracking shots and use of glowing lights as well as being one of the most prominent music video directors of the 1980s. He has also worked in television since the early 1990s, and is currently working as a director on episodes of MTV's Teen Wolf.

Music videos[edit]

Russell Mulcahy's career began as a film editor for Australia's Seven Network. After relocating to the UK around 1976, Mulcahy joined Jon Roseman Productions International and made successful music videos for several noted British pop acts—his early UK credits included XTC's "Making Plans for Nigel" (1979), The Vapors' hit "Turning Japanese" and his landmark video for The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" (1979) which became the first music video played on MTV in 1981.[3] In 1978, he went to the United States (for Roseman) and directed videos for The Cryers and Candi Staton - where he first used the "jump cut" - under producer Paul Flattery. Other Mulcahy innovations included spot color, body painting, glass matte shots and faux widescreen aspect ratio (first used on his Ultravox and Rod Stewart videos) which have all become standards for the genre.

By the mid-1980s Mulcahy was directing videos for some of the most successful pop-rock acts of the period including The Human League, The Tubes, Elton John, Ultravox, most of the major hits of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Kim Carnes, Bonnie Tyler, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, The Motels, Supertramp, Kenny Loggins and The Rolling Stones.[4]

Music videography[edit]

He also directed videos for Def Leppard, Boy George, Kenny Loggins, Arcadia, Falco, Go West, Cliff Richard, Supertramp, The Motels, Talk Talk, The Stranglers, 10cc, The Human League, XTC, and AC/DC.




  • Tales from the Crypt (1991–1996): "Split Second", "People Who Live in Brass Hearses", "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime", "Horror in the Night"
  • Perversions of Science (1997): "Planely Possible", "People's Choice"
  • The Hunger (1997–2000): "Necros", "The Secret Shih-Tan", "I'm Dangerous Tonight", "Nunc Dimittis", "Wrath of God", "The Sacred Fire"
  • Queer as Folk (2000): "Premiere", "Queer, There and Everywhere", "No Bris, No Shirt, No Service", "Surprise Kill", "The King of Babylon"[2]
  • Jeremiah (2002): "The Long Road, Part One"
  • Young Lions (2002): "The Navy: Part 1", "The Navy: Part 2"
  • Skin (2003–2004): "Pilot"
  • Teen Wolf (2011–present): "Pilot", "Second Chance at First Line", "Pack Mentality", "Co-Captain", "Formality", "Code Breaker", "Omega", "Shape Shifted", "Frenemy", "Restraint", "Raving", "Master Plan" (with Tim Andrew), "Tattoo", "Chaos Rising", "Currents", "Visionary", "The Overlooked", "Lunar Ellipse", "Anchors", "Illuminated", "Letharia Vulpina", "The Divine Move", "The Dark Moon"
  • The Lizzie Borden Chronicles" (2015) "Welcome To Maplecroft", "Flowers"

Highlander series[edit]

In 1986, Mulcahy became well known after directing the cult classic film Highlander, starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, featuring music from Queen.[2] He later directed the sequel, Highlander II: The Quickening, but disowned it after the producers interfered with production. Reportedly he wanted to have his credit changed to Alan Smithee, but as he was not a member of the Directors Guild of America, he had no way of forcing the producers to change the credit. He eventually took the opportunity to restore his vision for the film, to a large extent, with the video release of Highlander II: The Renegade Version.

Personal life[edit]

Mulcahy is lives with his partner in Sydney.[2]


External links[edit]