Mike Christie is a British director with a reputation for bold and striking films and television. Principally, his work for BBC, Channel 4 and Sky has been in specialist factual and arts programming, but he’s also defined a genre of spectacular action sports filmmaking uniquely as his own.
His eclectic body of work includes these acclaimed sports films - such as Jump London, Concrete Circus and Inside Incredible Athletes - alongside series for Channel 4 including The Secret Life Of Buildings and the award-winning Body Talk. His work for the BBC includes the series The Art Of China, Darcey's Ballet Heroes, Sir Alex Ferguson: Secrets of Success, Lives Less Ordinary, and Little Britain Down Under.
He’s also responsible for commercials and content for agencies including DDB, AMVBBDO, Publicis and Universal McCann, and films for the London 2012 Ceremonies and major brands including Red Bull and Apple.
THE ART SHOW (8x60) Sky Arts, 2017
Series Director, Infinity Creative Media
The first series of a brand new arts magazine show - with a difference. Shot around the globe, it’s a beautiful, compelling, intelligent and - most importantly - accessible set of programmes. Each episode contains four strands that give a truly colourful and stimulating glimpse into global artists and art stories, shot in nearly twenty countries over the course of a year. TX Spring 2017.
FOOTBALL: A BRIEF HISTORY BY ALFIE ALLEN (2x60’) History, 2017
Series Producer / Writer / Director,Woodcut Media
Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen undertakes his first documentary series - insightful yet entertaining, it explores the roots of football in the UK.The first programme explores the origins of the industry and the second charts the power struggle within the game in the 20th century. Featuring Greg Dyke, Andy Cole, Sol Campbell, Cyrille Regis, Jake Humphrey, as well as Alfie’s father Keith Allen. TX early 2017.
DARCEY’S BALLET HEROES (1x60’) BBC2, 2015
Writer and Director, Leopard.
A Christmas Day special saw Darcey Bussell undertake a very personal journey to meet the heroes and dancers who transformed male ballet. Rich in archive, insightful commentary, personal anecdotes, and uniquely intimate access that few - other than a former Royal Ballet Prima Ballerina - would be able to secure.This is the history of men in ballet told first hand by the best male dancers in the world.
SIR ALEX FERGUSON: SECRETS OF SUCCESS (1x60’) BBC1, 2015
Director, Juniper TV.
The BBC’s political editor for the past decade, Nick Robinson, who has analysed leaders for a living for many years, gets up close and personal with Sir Alex to uncover the secrets of his success. Also features contributions from notable leaders and sportspeople including Lord Alan Sugar,Tony Blair, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Paul McGinley, David Gill, and Sir Mike Moritz.
THE ART OF CHINA (3x60’) BBC 4 co-pro with ARTÉ and CCTV, 2014
Series Director/Producer, Renegade Pictures
The striking new series in the BAFTA nominated ‘Art Of’ franchise told the story of 4,000 years of Chinese art. It’s a gripping journey. Much of the early part of the tale is told through a journey across an incredible array of recently discovered sites across the vast land. Presented by the inimitable Andrew Graham-Dixon, and critically praised for its visual style and unprecedented (and cheeky) access.
I AM THE FLAME - PARALYMPIC GAMES OPENING CEREMONY, SOCHI 2014 (1x5’) IPC, 2014 Writer/Director, ChristieHQ
I was asked to write and direct the film for the opening ceremony in Sochi that preceded the arrival of the flame into the stadium.The brief was to tell the story of the flame but the result was something far more stirring: a powerful script evoking the spirit and values of the Paralympic Games, narrated by Sir Ian McKellen and scored by Massive Attack collaborator Dan Jones.
SELECTED WORK 2013-2009
DANNY MACASKILL’S IMAGINATE (1x8’, 6x15’ & 1x60’) Red Bull, 2013 Producer/Exec/Supervising Director, ChristieHQ
This was big in every way: 18 months in the making, the riding film alone has amassed nearly 30 million views since its release in Summer 2013. I was in charge of the whole project: from producing the riding film on a 160 metre long set in Glasgow, filmed over 65 days, to the production of a six part online series and a TV special to accompany it. Amazing and challenging.
LONDON 2012: THE CEREMONY FILMS (9 x various) LOCOG/Channel 4, 2012 Writer/Producer/Director/Executive Producer, ChristieHQ
I was responsible - in different capacities - for a volume of work for London 2012 Ceremonies, including writing/directing the opening films for both Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games. I also produced a number of other ceremony films along with the official behind the scenes of the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
APPLE: TEN YEARS (1x6’) Apple Inc, 2012
A major event film for Apple told the story of the success and growth of Apple’s EMEIA territories over the last decade, and project the shape of the future ten years. Shot across 14 countries, the production was intense.The final film was hugely popular with Apple’s senior figures and is still in use to date.
DAREDEVILS: LIFE ON THE EDGE (60’ and 12x2’) Channel 4, 2012
A Channel 4 Education commission for primetime.The film explores the thrills of actions sports and the science of risk taking, and stars Danny MacAskill and Guy Martin. Filmed in death defying situations, the film gets to the root of what leads them extreme sport stars to so spectacularly risk life and limb. Accompanied by an online series of twelve short films.
SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS (1x60’) Channel 4, 2011
Director,Two Four Television.
A hilarious and often surreal journey into Christmas past and present with the pick of the best young comedians in Britain. Commissioned by Channel 4’s Comedy department, and shot in a former orphanage in London, completely redesigned to time travel through decades of Christmas chintz and Yuletide disaster.
CONCRETE CIRCUS (1x90’) Channel 4, 2011
Commissioned for C4 Arts Street Summer season, I conceived this feature length film to bring together the “stars” of action sport disciplines Parkour, Skateboarding, BMX and Urban Trials for the first time. It’s definitive and spectacular.The films within Concrete Circus went viral, amassing over12 million views. Narrated by Dominic West.
SELECTED WORK 2010–2003
THE SECRET LIFE OF BUILDINGS (3x60’) Channel 4, 2011
It took me many years to get this series exploring the relationship between psychology and the design of space commissioned.The resultant three-part series was both popular and RIBA policy affecting. Architecture critic Tom Dyckhoff explored - for the first time - the psychological and behavioural response to architecture at home, work and in ‘play’ spaces.
INSIDE INCREDIBLE ATHLETES (1x90’) Channel 4, 2010
Producer/Director, Renegade Pictures.
This major doc launched C4 Paralympics 2012 campaign. It married intimate profiles and revelatory science with five ‘performance’ films uniquely re-framing the sports. The Telegraph found it“visually beautiful and scientifically fascinating” while Heat said “awe inspiring ******”. Narrated by Tom Hardy. Nominated for Broadcast’s Best Popular Factual Programme Award 2011.
JO BRAND’S LITTLE CRACKER (1x12’) - Sky 1 Comedy Drama, 2010
Director, Renegade Pictures
Comedy drama written by Jo Brand as part of Sky’s first Little Cracker series. A great script - set in 1972 - loosely inspired by Jo’s teenage years. After the accidental death of Jo’s cat, Fluff, events get rapidly out of hand, culminating in a mad comic finalé. Jo Brand’s younger self played by Dani Harmer supported by the amazing Amelia Bulmore and Elizabeth Berrington
YESTERDAY WE WERE IN AMERICA (1x60’) Aquarius Films, 2009
Director, Carbon Media
A complex period drama-documentary telling the amazing story of Brits Alcock and Brown - who, in 1919, became the first men to fly non-stop across the Atlantic ocean, some 8 years before Charles Lindbergh. Shot on location in UK and Newfoundland, it’s a truly amazing story about two near forgotten British Pioneers. Narrated by Rosamund Pike.
WAYNE ROONEY'S STREET STRIKER (3x60) Sky 1, 2008
Series Director, Plum Pictures
The first series of the hit TV show for Sky 1. Britain's finest footballer takes - quite literally - to the streets, to find a champion of street football. Urban and gritty, the style of this series was a refreshing antithesis to the usual run of celebrity talent shows of the time. Multi camera and fast turn around, I made the series of three programmes in just 16 weeks.
THE SECRETS OF THE 12 DISCIPLES (1x120') - Channel 4, 2007
Studio Director, Carbon Media
I created and filmed the anchoring sequences for this C4 Religion commission: a highly-stylized studio recreation of The Last Supper on a grand scale by commissioning it’s repainting onto 14 canvasses stretching nearly 30 feet. Hung at the centre of a studio space, they formed the back bone of Dr Robert Beckford’s major two-hour Xmas C4 feature.
SELECTED WORK 2005–2004
LITTLE BRITAIN DOWN UNDER (1x60') BBC1, 2007
Producer/Director, Little Britain Productions
Originally commissioned as a 'video diary' for BBC3, this film grew to become a surreal hybrid of performance, documentary and occasional mocumentary, earning a place on BBC1 primetime. Little Britain duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams starred, with a host of Little Britain’s characters, plus Kath & Kim, Dame Edna,“Harold Bishop” and the cast of neighbours. Narrated by Rob Brydon.
JUMP BRITAIN (1x60’) Channel 4, 2005
Writer/Director, Carbon Princess
The sequel to film Jump London, this film charted the explosion of Parkour in the UK as Sebastien Foucan returned to it’s shores for another journey. He and a select group of British Free Runners scaled landmarks including the Forth Rail Bridge, the Millennium and Stadium. Directly inspired both the opening scene of Casino Royale and a song and video by Madonna.
JUMP LONDON (1x60’) Channel 4, 2003
Director, Optomen Television.
This C4 film was shown in 70 countries and launched Free Running on a global level.The Guardian said "Mike Christie's film... bathed London in a bright new light.... a mesmerising bit of television.You could use adjectives like balletic, acrobatic or gymnastic to describe it, but nonewouldquitedoitjustice." Finalist,RTSawards,BestArtsProgramme2004.
BODY TALK (2x60') Channel 4, 2004
Series Co-Producer Director, ITN Factual
Award-winning two-part series for prime time exploring body language with Professor Peter Collett in an entirely new way. Prog 1 - Power - looked at politicians (and had consequences!) and prog 2 - Sex - looked at the body language of lust and love. Revelatory stuff. Co- produced and directed with Mike Smith.