PAUL WILMSHURST

freelance director, producer & writer


Paul Wilmshurst is an Emmy-winning, BAFTA-nominated director, specialising in high-end drama - with a background in documentary film-making



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Drawn to formal challenges, ambitious projects and difficult subjects, Paul started his career in documentary and has evolved into a director who is comfortable and equally at home working on period stories, in contemporary worlds and handling science fiction/fantasy - whether on high-end, large-scale, epic productions or on more intense, focused, intimate projects.


He has recently directed three episodes of the vastly popular final season of The Last Kingdom for Netflix/Carnival Films, managing the emotional deaths of several well-loved characters and an epic Ice Battle staged at dawn in a tented camp on the banks of a frozen lake. He also directed the final four episodes of Indian Summers for New Pictures/Channel 4, as well as shooting five seasons of the ground-breaking action-adventure series Strike Back for Left Bank Pictures and Sky/HBO/Cinemax, working in South Africa, Hungary, Malaysia and Croatia. 

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Through all these experiences Paul has developed the technical skills and experience to manage complex and epic set-pieces (historic battles, bank heists, riots, sieges, train robberies, multiple shoot-outs and explosions) as well as more intimate and emotional material. He is always searching for projects that combine ambitious action with well-scripted insightful and psychological drama.

Paul was thrilled to be one of the directors on series eight of Doctor Who, shooting three episodes, including fan favourite episode “Mummy on the Orient Express” and the 2014 Christmas special starring Nick Frost as Santa Claus - which featured face-hugging dream crabs, multiple levels of reality, and nested layers of memory on a polar base - and which got 6.3m viewers when it was broadcast in primetime on Christmas Day.

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Paul also directed the final block of A.D. - The Bible Continues in Morocco for Lightworkers Media/NBC; worked on two series of Sky's Jamestown for Carnival Films in Budapest - kicking off the second season; and shot two episodes of the David S. Goyer-scripted historical fantasy Da Vinci’s Demons in Swansea for StarZ and BBC America in its first season.

Paul wrote and directed the critically-acclaimed drama Forgiven for Channel 4, which covered the tricky subject of child abuse and rehabilitation, listed by The Times as one of the best 50 programmes of its decade, and for which lead actress Lucy Cohu won an International Emmy for her performance. He also wrote, produced and directed the feature-length BBC drama documentary Hiroshima, which won a BAFTA and an International Emmy, and has been on Netflix ever since. Paul always brings a committed, intelligent and passionate approach to his work. 

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Paul has directed a number of crime and children’s dramas, and has also written and directed one-off dramas about child runaways and child abuse, as well as writing and directing drama-documentaries about alcoholics, pseudocides, cocaine smugglers, the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the bombing of Hiroshima; previously he made documentaries on a range of subjects (particularly crime, chance, race, weapons, psychology and identity). He produced and directed the BAFTA-nominated children’s drama, COMBAT KIDS, and he has also directed episodes of Silent Witness, Trial & Retribution and Law & Order: UK.




Paul has a double first in English from Cambridge and a post-grad Diploma in Journalism from City University. He lives in North London.


IMDB resume
Wikipedia
client page at Curtis Brown

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...not that lists and polls should matter, but...
FORGIVEN came 32nd in The Times’s critics’ poll of the best tv of the decade

download a current copy of Paul's CV