My name is Jon Wright and I’m a film and television director based in the UK.
I was born in Belfast in the seventies but my family left for Dublin, and later England, to escape “The Troubles”.
At the age of eleven I had an epiphany, a magic moment, watching RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK at my local cinema. I thought it was the best film I’d ever seen, and decided I wanted to become a film director.
I made my first film, a short horror slasher, when I was 12. My mother claims she is still traumatised by the scene where I was stabbed to death in the bath. ;-)
I went on to study Film and English Literature at The University Of East Anglia and became a runner (and later an editor) at Saatchi & Saatchi’s video facilities company. I would shoot short films during termtime and edit them while working during my holidays.
After graduation I directed pop promos, commercials and corporate videos, while making short films with the crew I’d met on those shows. The shorts got better every year. I also wrote music for commercials with a friend for some huge clients including Pepsi and Smirnoff. Neither of us could play a musical instrument, we used to Frankenstein our songs together in a computer.
My last short film, THE LIBRARIAN’S DREAM, a Faustian fable about a deaf librarian tempted by the devil, won the BBC Talent Competition and was screened in film festivals around the world. I also co-wrote the score with the same friend I wrote music for ads with.
After years of determined development hell I finally directed my first feature film, TORMENTED, a gory comedy horror about a murderous zombie ghost. It’s a mixed bag with some great moments that caught various excellent British actors on their way up: Tuppence Middleton, Tom Hopper, James Floyd, Alex Pettyfer and Olly Alexander. I also worked with Paul Hartnoll of Orbital fame on the soundtrack, one of my musical heroes.
Since then I have worked regularly as a film director on more personal projects I’ve generally helped develop and bring to the screen, and as a gun for hire on a wide variety of television shows in a variety of genres. I really enjoy both types of job.
I’ve had the great pleasure of working with fantastic actors like Ben Kingsley, Martin Freeman, Hannah John Kamen, Tuppence Middleton, Dominic West, Gillian Anderson, Joe Gilgun, Colm Meaney, Geraldine James and Bertie Carvel. I love actors and have boundless admiration for their ability to reveal their innermost, most emotional selves in a public setting. I could never do what they do, which is where I think the admiration stems from.
UNWELCOME, an Irish creature feature and my latest movie, was released in UK cinemas by Warner Brothers earlier this year. DALGLEISH, a murder mystery for Channel 5 and AMC was broadcast in May. I directed episodes 5 and 6 which together form an adaptation of the PD James novel THE MURDER ROOM.
A Handful Of Random Facts
I live in a beautiful seaside town in Kent with my teenage son. I like swimming in the sea (when it’s warm enough!) and cycling in the woods.
I am NOSM — “not on social media”, though I enjoyed the glory years of Twitter and Instagram, and love computers and all things digital.
My favourite drama of recent years is SEVERANCE (on Apple TV) – endlessly thought provoking, and Ben Stiller is a brilliant director. I also loved I MAY DESTROY YOU (BBC), it was beautifully structured and edited. And STRANGER THINGS (Netflix) is great fun for a Spielberg/ Stephen King nerd like me.
As a boy I had a long holiday in Ireland every Summer, and have worked very happily there many times since. I’m the proud bearer of an English and an Irish passport.
Recently I scored very highly on a “visual thinking” test. Over the years I’ve gradually figured out that most people don’t imagine things in the same vivid way I do – that’s my superpower.
Like everybody in the industry, I have a Tom Cruise story. Not one, not two – but three. The first is definitely true, it actually happened to me. The second is very likely true, it happened to a friend of a friend. And the last one is probably bollocks… but people like to believe it anyway. ;-)