Chris Hartwill’s early life was spent travelling the world with the rest of his family. His father was in the Royal Navy and his far-flung postings took them to live in such divers places as Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland. They finally settled in London, England where Chris finished his education and where has been based ever since. Between graduating from Grammar School and starting Art College, Chris set off again on his travels. For two years he explored Europe and Canada. And it was there, in Canada, that he lucked into what was going to become the start of a career in films.
He joined the Art Department of Robert Altman’s “Buffalo Bill” with Paul Newman. After six hugely enjoyable months shooting on location in the Canadian Rockies he returned the UK to take up his place at the London College of Printing. He spent the next four years studying graphic design, photography and film.
Pop Promos were just beginning to take off in London at that time and Chris spent much of his after hours shooting bands, fashion shows and art installations. He also freelanced for the BBC camera department, working on current affairs programs such as Panorama, including a program about Northern Ireland politics with Jeremy Paxman. Chris eventually graduated with a BA in Photography and Film.
Chris then set about getting established in the UK film industry. At the time the industry was heavily unionised and getting into the industry depended on also getting into the union. After several months working as a runner (gofer) Chris got his break working for a postproduction company in Soho, London. The job got him his vital union card and he spent the next three years assisting, then editing in his own right. The company specialised in editing TV commercials and it would be in that branch of the film industry that Chris worked for most of his career. In the mid 1980’s, while still working as an editor, Chris wrote and directed a short promotional film, “The Cat”. It went on to win the Best Newcomer award at the Creative Circle awards in London and as a result came to the attention of Ridley and Tony Scott. Chris was then invited to join their production company, RSA Films.
As a young director at RSA, Chris was privileged to watch Ridley and Tony Scott shoot some of the greatest TVC’s of the time. Quite an apprenticeship! Since then Chris has gone on to direct numerous award winning TVC’s of his own. A list of which is available in a Filmography on request. In the last few years, Chris has added Drama Director to his CV. He has directed episodes of CBS Television’s highly successful “Num3ers” series and has just completed his first full-length feature film "Ghost Machine", due out in 2010.