Birth Name: Sir Ridley Scott
Age: 75, born 30 November 1937
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Height: 5' 8"
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
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About: Sir Ridley Scott Kt.(born 30 November 1937) is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists (1977), Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Legend (1985), Black Rain (1989), Thelma & Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Hannibal (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and American Gangster (2007). Scott has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Directing, as well as Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. He was knighted in the 2003 New Year H Sir Ridley Scott Kt.(born 30 November 1937) is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists (1977), Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Legend (1985), Black Rain (1989), Thelma & Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Hannibal (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and American Gangster (2007).
Scott has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Directing, as well as Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. He was knighted in the 2003 New Year Honours. In 2011, Scott received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is the older brother of film director Tony Scott
Scott was born in South Shields, England, the son of Elizabeth and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. He was raised in an Army family, meaning that for most of his early life, his father — an officer in the Royal Engineers — was absent. Ridley's older brother, Frank, joined the Merchant Navy when he was still young and the pair had little contact. During this time the family moved around, living in (among other areas) Cumbria, Wales and Germany. He has a younger brother, Tony, also a film director. After the Second World War, the Scott family moved back to their native north-east England, eventually settling in Teesside (whose industrial landscape would later inspire similar scenes in Blade Runner). He enjoyed watching films, and his favourites include Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane and Seven Samurai. Scott studied in Teesside from 1954 to 1958, at Grangefield Grammar School and later in West Hartlepool College of Art, graduating with a Diploma in Design.
He went on to study at the Royal College of Art, contributing to the college magazine, ARK, and helping to establish its film department. For his final show, he made a black and white short film, Boy and Bicycle, starring his younger brother, Tony Scott, and his father. The film's main visual elements would become features of Scott's later work; it was issued on the 'Extras' section of The Duellists DVD. After graduation in 1963, he secured a job as a trainee set designer with the BBC, leading to work on the popular television police series Z-Cars and the science fiction series Out of the Unknown.
He was assigned to design the second Doctor Who serial, The Daleks, which would have entailed realising the famous alien creatures. However, shortly before Scott was due to start work, a schedule conflict meant that he was replaced on the serial by Raymond Cusick.
In 1968, Ridley and Tony Scott founded Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), a film and commercial production company. Five members of the Scott family are directors, all working for RSA. Brother Tony has been a successful film director for more than two decades; sons, Jake and Luke are both acclaimed commercials directors as is his daughter, Jordan Scott. Jake and Jordan both work from Los Angeles and Luke is based in London.
In 1995, Shepperton Studios was purchased by a consortium headed by Ridley and Tony Scott, which extensively renovated the studios while also expanding and improving its grounds.
Working with Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson, Hugh Johnson at RSA during the 1970s, Scott made television commercials in the UK including most notably the 1974 Hovis advert, "Bike Round" (New World Symphony), which was filmed in Shaftesbury, Dorset.
Main article: The Duellists
The Duellists of 1977 was Ridley Scott's first feature film. It was produced in Europe and won a Best Debut Film medal at the Cannes Film Festival but made limited commercial impact in the US. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, it featured two French Hussar officers, D'Hubert and Feraud (played by Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel). Their quarrel over an initially minor incident turns into a bitter, long-drawn out feud over the following fifteen years, interwoven with the larger conflict that provides its backdrop. The film is lauded for its historically authentic portrayal of Napoleonic uniforms and military conduct, as well as its accurate early-19th-century fencing techniques recreated by fight choreographer William Hobbs. It is also lauded for the stunning cinematography of the Dordogne.
Main article: Alien (film)
Scott's box office disappointment with The Duellists was compounded by the success received by Alan Parker with American-backed films — Scott admitted he was "ill for a week" with envy. Scott had originally planned to next adapt a version of Tristan and Iseult, but after seeing Star Wars, he became convinced of the potential of large scale, effects-driven films. He therefore accepted the job of directing Alien, the ground-breaking 1979 horror/science-fiction film that would give him international recognition.
While Scott would not direct the three Alien sequels, the female action hero Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver), introduced in the first film, would become a cinematic icon. Scott was involved in the 2003 restoration and re-release of the film including media interviews for its promotion. At this time Scott indicated that he had been in discussions to make the fifth and final film in the Alien franchise. However, in a 2006 interview, the director remarked that he had been unhappy about Alien: The Director's Cut, feeling that the original was "pretty flawless" and that the additions were merely a marketing tool.
Main article: Blade Runner
After a year working on the film adaptation of Dune, and following the sudden death of his brother Frank, Scott signed to direct the film version of Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Starring Harrison Ford and featuring an acclaimed soundtrack by Vangelis, Blade Runner was a disappointment in theatres in 1982 and was pulled shortly thereafter. Scott's notes were used by Warner Brothers to create a rushed director's cut in 1991 which removed the voiceovers and modified the ending. Scott personally supervised a digital restoration of Blade Runner and approved the Final Cut. This version was released in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto cinemas on 5 October 2007, and as an elaborate DVD release on 18 December 2007. Today, Blade Runner is often ranked by critics as one of the most important and influential science fiction films of the 20th century and is usually discussed along with William Gibson's novel Neuromancer as initiating the cyberpunk genre. Scott regards Blade Runner as his "most complete and personal film".
"1984" Apple Macintosh commercial
Main article: 1984 (advertisement)
In 1984 Scott directed the television commercial 1984, written by Steve Hayden and Lee Clow, produced by Chiat/Day, and starring Anya Major as the unnamed heroine and David Graham as "Big Brother". It was released for a single airing in the United States on 22 January 1984 during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. It introduced the Macintosh for the first time and is now considered a "watershed event" and a "masterpiece".
1984 used the unnamed heroine to represent the coming of the Macintosh (indicated by her white tank top with a Picasso-style picture of Apple’s Macintosh computer on it) as a means of saving humanity from "conformity" (Big Brother).
These images were an allusion to George Orwell's noted novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a fictional "Big Brother".
Main article: Legend (film)
In 1985 Scott directed Legend, a fantasy film produced by Arnon Milchan. Having not tackled the fairy tale genre, Scott decided to create a "once upon a time" film set in a world of fairies, princesses, and goblins. Scott cast Tom Cruise as the film's hero, Jack, Mia Sara as Princess Lily, and Tim Curry as the Satan-horned Lord of Darkness. A series of problems with both principal photography, including the destruction of the forest set by fire, and post-production (including heavy editing and substitution of Jerry Goldsmith's original score with a score by Tangerine Dream) hampered the film's release. Legend received scathing reviews.
Scott made Someone to Watch Over Me, a romantic police drama starring Tom Berenger, Lorraine Bracco and Mimi Rogers in 1987, and Black Rain, a 1989 cop drama starring Michael Douglas and Andy García, shot partially in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. Both achieved mild success at the box office.
Thelma & Louise (1991) starring Geena Davis as Thelma, and Susan Sarandon as Louise, was successful, and revived Scott's reputation. However, his next project—an independent movie, 1492: Conquest of Paradise—was less successful. It is a visually striking film telling the story of Christopher Columbus. However, it was a box office failure, and Scott did not release another film for four years.
In 1995, with his brother Tony, Scott formed the film and television production company, Scott Free Productions in Los Angeles. All his subsequent feature films, starting with White Squall and G.I. Jane, starring Demi Moore and Viggo Mortensen, were produced under the Scott Free banner. Also in 1995 the two brothers purchased controlling interest in Shepperton Studios, which later merged with Pinewood Studios. Scott and his brother have produced the CBS series Numb3rs (2005–2010), a crime drama about a genius mathematician who helps the FBI solve crimes, and The Good Wife (2009–), a legal drama concerning an attorney continuing her law practice while coping with her husband, a former state attorney trying to rebuild his political career after a major scandal.
The huge success of Scott's film Gladiator (2000) has been credited with reviving the nearly defunct "sword and sandal" historical genre. Scott then turned to Hannibal, the sequel to Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs. In 2001, Scott released the war film, Black Hawk Down, which further established his position as a critically and financially successful film maker. The film won two Oscars.
In 2003 Scott directed Matchstick Men, adapted from the novel by Eric Garcia and starring Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell and Alison Lohman. It received mostly positive reviews and performed moderately at the box office. In 2005 he made the modestly successful Kingdom of Heaven, a movie about the Crusades which consciously sought to connect history to current events. The Moroccan government sent the Moroccan cavalry as extras in the epic battle scenes.
Unhappy with the theatrical version of the film (which he blamed on paying too much attention to the opinions of preview audiences), Scott supervised a director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven, which was released on DVD in 2006. In an interview to promote the latter, when asked if he was against previewing in general, Scott stated: "It depends who's in the driving seat. If you've got a lunatic doing my job, then you need to preview. But a good director should be experienced enough to judge what he thinks is the correct version to go out into the cinema."
Scott teamed up again with Gladiator star Russell Crowe, directing the movie A Good Year, based on the best-selling book. The film was released on 10 November 2006, with a score by Marc Streitenfeld. Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp and Subsidiary studio 20th Century Fox (who backed the film) dismissed A Good Year as "a flop" at a shareholders' meeting only a few days after the film's release.
Scott's next directorial work was on American Gangster, the story of real-life drug kingpin Frank Lucas. He was the third director to attempt the project after Antoine Fuqua and Terry George. Denzel Washington and Benicio del Toro had been cast in the initial Steven Zaillian-scripted project under the working title Tru Blu, both actors having been paid salaries of $20 m and $15 m respectively without doing any production on the film. Following George's departure, Scott took over the project in early 2006. He had Zaillian rewrite the script to focus on the dynamic between Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts. Washington signed back on to the project as Lucas, and Crowe signed on to play Roberts. The film finally premiered in November 2007 to positive reviews and good box office. In late 2008 Scott released the espionage thriller Body of Lies starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Crowe once again which opened to luke-warm ticket-sales and mixed reviews.
Scott directed an adaptation of Robin Hood titled Robin Hood, which starred Russell Crowe as Robin Hood and Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian, and which was released on 13 May 2010 in Australia and 14 May 2010 in America. The film also starred Max von Sydow and Mark Strong.
Scott and his brother Tony produced the film adaptation of the 1980s TV cult classic The A-Team, which was directed by Joe Carnahan and released on 11 June 2010.
On 31 July 2009, news surfaced of a two part prequel to Alien, developed by 20th Century Fox. with Scott attached to direct.. The project, ultimately reduced to a single film called Prometheus, which Scott describes as sharing "strands of Alien's DNA" while not being a direct prequel, is scheduled for release in June 2012.
On 6 July 2010, YouTube announced the launch of Life In A Day, an experimental documentary that was to be executive produced by Scott. Released at the Sundance Film Festival on 27 January 2011, it incorporates footage shot on 24 July 2010 that was submitted by YouTube users from around the world.
In April 2008, Scott announced his new project, The Kind One, a period drama set for release in 2012. The film will star recent Academy Award nominee Casey Affleck. It is based on the novel of the same name by screenwriter Tom Epperson.
On 12 October 2008, Scott confirmed that after a 25 year wait for the rights to become available, he is making a return to science fiction with a film adaptation of the book The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. He was looking for a script writer. In March 2009, Scott confirmed that the film would be in 3D citing James Cameron's Avatar as an inspiration for doing so. "I'm filming a book by Joe Haldeman called Forever War. I've got a good writer doing it. I've seen some of James Cameron's work, and I've got to go 3D. It's going to be phenomenal."
Another science fiction project to which Scott has been attached is an adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, with Leonardo DiCaprio also attached.
In August 2011, information leaked about production of a sequel to Blade Runner by Alcon Entertainment, with Alcon partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Scott announced on 15 October 2009 that he will direct a film adaptation of the Red Riding trilogy.
As of 1 February 2012, Ridley Scott discussed a project based on a screenplay called The Counsellor by Cormac McCarthy with the producers of The Road, Nick Wechsler and Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz. 
Ridley Scott was married to Felicity Heywood from 1964 to 1975. The couple had two sons, Jake and Luke, both of whom work as directors on Scott's production company Ridley Scott Associates. Scott later married advertising executive Sandy Watson in 1979, with whom he had a daughter, Jordan Scott, and divorced in 1989.
His current partner is the actress Giannina Facio, whom he has cast in all his movies since White Squall except American Gangster. He divides his time between homes in London, France, and Los Angeles.
Approach and style
Scott was not initially considered an actors' director, but has become more receptive to ideas from his cast as his career has developed. Examples include Susan Sarandon's suggestions that the character of Louise pack shoes in plastic bags in one scene of Thelma & Louise, and another where her character exchanges jewelry for a hat and other items— and Tim Robbins' collaboration with Scott and Susan Sarandon to rework the final scene with a more upbeat ending. Russell Crowe commented, "I like being on Ridley's set because actors can perform [...] and the focus is on the performers." Paul M. Sammon, in his book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner, commented in an interview with Brmovie.com that Scott's relationship with his actors has improved considerably over the years.
On the other hand, he can be a demanding and difficult director to work for. He was nicknamed "Guvnor" in the Blade Runner production. Several crew members wore protest t-shirts with slogans such as "Yes Guvnor, my ass" and "Will Rogers never met Ridley Scott" in reference to Will Rogers' most famous quotation, "I never met a man I didn't like". This was mainly in response to the way that Scott directed his first American crew, which some considered too harsh.
His striking visual style, incorporating a detailed approach to production design and innovative, atmospheric lighting, has been influential on a subsequent generation of filmmakers — many of whom have imitated his style. Scott commonly uses slow pacing until the action sequences. Examples include Alien and Blade Runner; the LA Times critic Sheila Benson, for example, would call the latter "Blade Crawler" "because it's so damn slow". Another technique he employs is use of sound or music to build tension, as heard in Alien, with hissing steam, beeping computers and the noise of the machinery in the space ship.
Scott has developed a method for filming intricate shots as swiftly as possible:
"I like working, always, with a minimum of three cameras. [...] So those 50 set-ups [a day] might only be 25 set-ups except I'm covering in the set-up. So you're finished. I mean, if you take a little bit more time to prep on three cameras, or if it's a big stunt, eleven cameras, and — whilst it may take 45 minutes to set up — then when you're ready you say 'Action!', and you do three takes, two takes and is everybody happy? You say, 'Yeah, that's it.' So you move on."
Although Scott is often known for his painterly directorial style, other techniques and elements include:
Strong female characters.
Some of his movies feature strong conflicts between father and son that usually end with the latter killing the former (Blade Runner, Gladiator) or witnessing the event (Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood). The Lord of Darkness in Legend also mentions his "father" on a few occasions. As part of the conflict between father and son there are some repetitive scenes: in Gladiator, the son hugs the father seemingly as an expression of love but this embrace turns into the suffocation and death of the father. There is a similar sequence in Blade Runner.
Scott utilises cityscapes as an emphasis to his storytelling (i.e., a futuristic Los Angeles in Blade Runner, Tokyo in Black Rain, Jerusalem in Kingdom of Heaven).
In Gladiator, Blade Runner and Kingdom of Heaven, a son gets to know his father when he is grown up. Other common elements are that the mother is not seen, and that the son or father is seen performing his last actions. For example, Roy Batty is dying when he saves Deckard, Maximus dies after killing Commodus and Godfrey of Ibelin kills some enemies after he has been mortally wounded by an arrow. In addition, the hero is saved from death before attaining his greatest deeds: Deckard is saved by Rachel, Maximus is saved by a slave and Balian is saved by a Muslim enemy. Similar situations can be seen in Tony Scott's Man on Fire.
Military and officer classes as characters reflecting his father's career, such as in G.I. Jane and Black Hawk Down and Kingdom of Heaven.
Storyboarding his films extensively. These illustrations, when made by himself, have been referred to as "Ridleygrams" in DVD releases.
Scott was once known for requesting a great many takes. This was evident on Blade Runner: the crew nicknamed the movie "Blood Runner" because of this.
He often makes use of classical music (the Hovis advertisements, Someone to Watch Over Me).
Extensive use of smoke and other atmospheres (in Alien, Blade Runner and Black Rain), plus fans and fan-like objects (Blade Runner, Black Rain and the large Boeing jet engines in the 1984 TV advertisement). Fans are also used in Hannibal, for symbolic purposes.
Consistency in his choice of composers, using Jerry Goldsmith (Alien and Legend), Vangelis (Blade Runner and 1492: Conquest of Paradise), Hans Zimmer (Black Rain, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down and Matchstick Men) or Marc Streitenfeld (A Good Year, American Gangster, Body of Lies, Robin Hood and Prometheus). Scott has also twice used songs by Sting during the film credits ("Valparaiso" for White Squall and "Someone to Watch Over Me" for the movie of the same title).
DVD format and director's cut
Scott is known for his enthusiasm for the DVD format, providing audio commentaries and interviews for all his films where possible. In the July 2006 issue of Total Film magazine, he stated: "After all the work we go through, to have it run in the cinema and then disappear forever is a great pity. To give the film added life is really cool for both those who missed it and those who really loved it."
Running alongside his enthusiasm for DVD, Scott is sometimes considered the "father" of the director's cut, though the impetus to produce such versions has sometimes begun with other parties. The positive reaction to the Blade Runner Director's Cut encouraged Scott to re-cut several movies that were a disappointment at the time of their release (including Legend and Kingdom of Heaven). Today the practice of alternative cuts is more commonplace, though often as a way to make a film stand out in the DVD marketplace by adding new material.
Awards and honours
Scott has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Directing: for Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, as well as a Golden Globe, BAFTA and Emmy Award. He has won 3 British Academy Awards for the film Blade Runner. He was knighted in the 2003 New Year Honours ... (more) (less)
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