Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
I’m a film director / writer and acting coach. I’m known for writing and directing the feature film Matriarch.
I received a lot of attention with Matriarch because it was bought by Lionsgate even though I made it on micro-budget. Lionsgate’s lawyers added a zero on the budget in the contracts because they assumed the budget stated in the contract was a typo! HAHA, that was very satisfying.
Matriarch was a game-changer for me. It won best film at Glasgow Horror Fest, had a theatrical release in UK and LA and I was featured in Screen Daily at the European Film Market. The president of 20th Century Fox was quoted saying “Scott is an exceptional talent with a highly unique and daring vision.”
A month into Matriarch’s release I was signed by 3Arts Entertainment in the USA and moved over to the States for a time to work on my next feature.
Before I became a professional director I was a screen actor in TV drama and completed over 250 episodes. I spent 4 years on a BBC drama called River City where I played a cop called DC Will Cooper.
Before that I was in theatre and my most notable achievement was Chicago the musical on the West End. So I’ve been very blessed with some great successes in the industry to which I’m very grateful.
During Covid I began coaching and mentoring actors and I now have a clients all over the world. I’m a guest teacher at Studio Talent LA and soon to be lecturing at the Beijing Film Academy in China.
I love supporting actors to be at their best and much of my support is around Mindset training as well as passing on knowledge from my 26 years of professional work in the industry.
I bring a lot of the teachings from Sir Laurence Olivier into my coaching and I have direct acting lineage to him as my acting mentor Paul Gregory was mentored by Sir Laurence Olivier himself.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I’ve been incredibly blessed and had some great successes in very different spaces within the industry. I’ve walked the boards of West End Theatre in London, held a lead acting role in TV drama and landed a Lionsgate feature film as writer / director. I’ve auditioned hundreds of times (with lots of failures a long the way) and held hundreds of auditions as a director. I live and breathe the art of acting and storytelling. My combined experiences and perspectives through working at a high levels in different areas of the industry offer me a unique perspective when it comes to supporting and coaching actors, and I love to support actors and help them become the actor they know they can be.
I’m also a mindset coach, trained in a very powerful discipline that is relatively unknown to the public, I’m slowly bringing it into the acting space. The practice was introduced to me by my wife Nicola Vickers who is a director at the company The Mind at Work in London. They developed a very specific psychological discipline that involves deep work in mindset, purpose and state. It is so affective that they only work with CEO’s and board members in big business. I bring the work into my directing and acting coaching.
I’ve helped hundreds of actors from all over the world get cast in some incredible roles. Recently Myreon Arslan of MJB Talent in the USA thanked me in a video testimonial online for helping many of his clients land roles, such a satisfying testimonial to receive. Incredibly he said [quote] “Scott is one of the best acting coaches in the world.” I was both amazed and humbled to hear that, I never set out to be an acting coach but here I am and loving it.
Recently I’ve been coaching a lead actress who is about to appear in the latest season of The Crown. As with so many actors they can experience limiting mindsets and become their own worst enemy. The mindset work I teach allows actors to experience true freedom in their acting and start experiencing the success they dream of.
I also developed a technique called Line Learning Superpower. It’s now an online course that has been downloaded thousands of times in over 20 countries. So many actors struggle to truly get off-book and it impacts their career. I originally developed the technique myself when I struggled at first after landing a regular on TV. I had to learn dozens of scenes a week all at the same time as filming 6 days days a week, so I developed this technique that allows actors to learn incredibly fast and it has help many actors to be at their best on set and in the audition process.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
Shooting Matriarch. There was a particular scene where a shotgun gets thrust into my belly and my guts get blown out of my back (I played a supporting role in the film). It was a technically challenging scene and we were up against it time wise and because I was also acting in the scene there was a lot to do but I knew in my bones every single detail about the scene, the process, the actions and what we needed to achieve. I was where I was meant to be. Directing, screenwriting and working with actors is what I was born to do..
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
My greatest challenge was getting investors to back me for my first feature. It didn’t help that I was coming off a long gig as a screen actor There’s a bit of a stigma around it, “Oh no, another actor thinking they can direct” (is what many producers were saying). There’s a lot more to directing than meets the eye, it’s understanding story structure, camera, lighting, leadership and editing and probably much more. So even though I had been directing for over a decade and had many shorts and commercials under my belt, many in the industry saw me a screen actor. I managed to raise money for an action thriller feature film, but about a month prior to pre-production an investor dropped out. We still had a little bit of budget so I decided to write something that fitted the budget, I wrote Matriarch. It is amazing how apparent failures and blocks offer opportunities. We would never had made Matriarch if the investor hadn’t dropped out.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Robert Rodriguez – huge impact on me after reading ‘A Rebel Without A Crew’ and following his work. I would love to work with him.
David Fincher – his films inspired me to write and direct.
Daniel Abraham & Mark Fergus – the creators of my all time favourite TV show The Expanse. I would love to work with them.