Ridley Scott is a famous English director and producer. The 40-year-old man came in the world of cinema, leaving behind his successful advertising business. His debut movie The Duellists (1977) became a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival.
Ridley Scott as a director
It can be said that Ridley, a man, who shot Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Hannibal, The Martian and good three dozen of other outstanding movies, is an authority in the cinema business.
Ridley Scott's Childhood and Family
The future world-famous movie director and producer was born on November 30, 1937, in South Shields. His father was an officer, so he was often absent from home. In addition, the service required frequent traveling, and the family had to move around the country. Ridley’s mother, Elizabeth Scott, was an actress, and it also affected their residence.
Young Ridley Scott
Ridley had the elder brother, Frank, who joined the navy when Ridley was little. When he was 7 years old, his younger brother, Tony, was born. At that time, the family lived in Germany, and after the war, it decided to leave the country forever and move to England. By the way, growing up, Tony Scott, like his elder brother, became a director and producer.
After receiving a certificate, the young man decided to enter West Hartlepool College of Art. He graduated from it at the age of 21 with a diploma in design. Then, Ridley thought that he had little education, so he entered the Royal College of Art.
Ridley Scott has decided to make movies since his childhood
He had already known many subjects, so he did not waste time and organized a club for talented students, who were ready to create. The guys spent a lot of time, making movies. Then, in 1963, Ridley made his first short movie Boy and Bicycle. The young director did not have money for eminent (but little-known) actors, so his younger brother Tony and his father starred with pleasure in the movie.
After receiving the second diploma, Ridley did not intend to become a painter. He did not like the absence of any working, disciplining schedule for painters, so he decided to become a designer and got a job on the BBC, where he was responsible for the scenery for the TV series. After a while, the guy’s potential was noticed, and he was entrusted to make the artistic staging of the popular TV series Doctor Who, but because of disagreements among the leaders, he could not work on this project.
His Advertising Business
In 1968, Ridley Scott's life changed dramatically - he and his brother founded their own advertising agency Ridley Associates. Young people were engaged in shooting commercials - at that time it was almost a new activity, so their company had no serious competitors. For several years, the man was improving his directing skills on short selling videos. Over time, the company's management included Ridley’s sons, Jake and Luke, and a bit later his daughter Jordan.
Ridley Scott: the commercial of Hovis bakeries (1973)
Much later, when Ridley Scott was accused of starting with the shooting of commerce, he answered his offenders as follows: A commercial, that I have shot, has nothing to do with business. It is creativity, it is a small film, just very short.
Ridley Scott’s First Movie
In 1977, it was Ridley Scott’s directorial debut - the feature movie The Duellists. It tells about French officers, who have changed the course of events during the Napoleonic Wars. At that time, the roles of the main characters were perfectly played by such well-known actors as Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine. This movie won an award for Best Debut Movie at the Cannes Film Festival.
The scene from the movie The Duellists (1977)
Alien: the Phenomenal Success
In parallel, the director was inspired by Star Wars and decided to make something similar, fantastic and surprisingly interesting. After working on The Duellists, the man began shooting a new masterpiece called Alien, which was released in 1979.
Young Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver
The movie told about the brave astronauts who had faced with a terrible and incredibly bloodthirsty monster. Caught in a trap on their ship, the characters were forced to find a way to get rid of the monster, otherwise, everybody would die. In the future, this film brought the director and actress Sigourney Weaver worldwide fame.
Ridley Scott on the set of the movie Alien
It is noteworthy that working on Alien, Ridley Scott has used his artistic skills. Initially, the Fox movie studio contributed $4 million for the shooting, but when the producers saw the storyboard of the script, drawn personally by the director, they increased the budget by $7 million. They did not make a mistake – the box office was 10 times higher than the budget of the movie. It was an incredible amount for the late 70s!
Interesting facts about Ridley Scott's movie Alien
In 1982, it was released Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, a movie version of the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The lead role was played by the star of Indiana Jones and Star Wars Harrison Ford, but this movie did not attract enough attention - with a budget of $28 million the box office barely exceeded $32 million. This movie was one of the first in the history of cinema that had considered the relationship between a person and artificial intelligence. But the commercial failure did not prevent it from becoming a classic of cinema.
Blade Runner is a classic of sci-fi movies
In 1984, Ridley shot a commercial for Steve Jobs's innovative invention of the Macintosh computer. At that time, the video spent almost $1 million. Many people still believe that it is a real masterpiece.
Apple Mac ad by Ridley Scott (1984)
In 1985, it was released another fantastic movie, Legend, where Tom Cruise played the lead role. The movie did not impress the public. Perhaps it is connected with an unusual story about unicorns, demons, and fairies.
Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford
Resigned to failure, Ridley decided to change his preferences and made the thriller Someone to Watch Over Me and action movie Black Rain. In 1991, it was released the intriguing melodrama Thelma & Louise, which impressed all women. This movie won the Oscar, not in the nomination for Best Director (Jonathan Demme and The Silence of the Lambs got this statuette), but for Best Screenplay.
Ridley Scott on the set of Thelma & Louise
In 1995, Tony and Ridley founded another large company - Scott Free Productions. It was thanks to its work, such movies as White Squall and G.I. Jane were produced.
G.I. Jane behind the scenes
In 2000, the historical drama Gladiator, which conquered the world, was released. The story of the brilliant military leader, who had become a victim of the palace coups and took the place of a slave in the pit of gladiators, touched the hearts of millions, earned at the box office $450 million and won five Oscars. However, the director was again left without a reward, which went to Steven Soderbergh, the director of Traffic. But Russell Crowe, who played the lead role of General-Gladiator Maximus, received his share of honors from the American Academy.
Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe on the set of Gladiator
The scale of shooting was impressive: initially, Ridley Scott planned to create a model of the Colosseum. However, having personally visited Rome, he noted that the main Roman sights did not suit him with the size. The model of the Colosseum for Gladiator surpassed the real one 2 times. A group of decorators had created it for 19 days.
The scene from Ridley Scott's Gladiator
In 2001, there were the premieres of Hannibal (a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs), where unsurpassed Anthony Hopkins starred, and Black Hawk Down, an action movie about the special operation in Vietnam. 2 years later, the talented director suggested Nicolas Cage to play the lead role in the comedy Matchstick Men. In 2005, it was released a historical movie about the Third Crusade (Kingdom of Heaven).
Ridley Scott is a versatile director, capable of shooting on any subject. A year later, he resumed his cooperation with Russell Crowe and shot the romantic comedy A Good Year. In 2007, he released the thriller American Gangster, where Denzel Washington shared the set with the Gladiator.
Further cooperation between the director and Australian actor continued. In 2008, Russell’s filmography was replenished by the dynamic thriller Body of Lies. This time Leonardo DiCaprio was his partner. In 2010, Crowe played the lead role in Robin Hood.
In 2012, all fans of Alien finally waited for the prequel. This movie was called Prometheus, but it did not attract the critics, who said that the movie was unfinished.
In 2015, Ridley made the science fiction movie The Martian, and this time he invited talented and charming Matt Damon to play the lead role. This movie completely rehabilitated the director after Exodus: Gods and Kings, which the critics recognized failed. The movie was commercially successful, and the audience liked it very much.
The working process
Personal Life of Ridley Scott
The first girlfriend of the director, and at the time of their acquaintance the decorator on the BBC, was a girl named Felicity Heywood. The couple married in 1964, but by 1975 their relationship was broken up. Ridley had two children - Jake and Luke, the successors of their father's advertising business.
4 years later, the man got acquainted with Sandy Watson. Without thinking for a long time, he decided to marry. Their marriage lasted a little more - as much as 10 years. They had a wonderful daughter, Jordan, who later followed her father and became a director.
Divorced for the second time, Ridley plunged into his work, but on the set of the movie White Squall, in 1996, he met with actress Giannina Facio. The passion immediately broke out between them, and they decided to legalize their relationship. The couple is still happy together.
Ridley Scott and Giannina Facio
Ridley Scott Now
In 2017, the director released a sequel to Prometheus called Alien: Covenant with Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston in the lead roles. Unfortunately, this movie did not impress the audience and failed at the box office, receiving low ratings.
The crime drama All the Money in the World was more successful work of Ridley Scott. In this movie, based on real events, Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg and Timothy Hutton starred. Christopher Plummer was nominated for his role in this movie at the Academy Awards.