Aged 16, Livesey went straight to art school in the north of England where he grew up. After moving to Somerset Art College a lecturer advised him to apply to the Royal College of Art in London for the MA course even though he didn't have a degree and he was only 19. It paid off and Nick graduated successfully making him the youngest graduate of the college in recent times. Although the MA was in Graphic Design & Art Direction he spent most of his time in the other RCA faculties beginning to learn the craft of film making.
Whilst at the RCA he reignited the weekly cinema screenings, which meant he had the keys to the projection theatre. It was here where he experimented by projecting all kinds of tests and ideas, sometimes sleeping there when he was locked in late at night. Splicing classic film print reels together on 16 & 35mm gave Livesey the bug.
After graduating Livesey took a design position in New York for a year but he decided to return to London to find his feet in production.
After a stint of running and camera operating around Soho, his first break came from director Tony Scott who had managed to see Livesey’s sketchbook showreel. The commission was a 15 minute ‘wraparound’ sequence for a U.S. Showtime series called ‘The Hunger’. This was nominated for an Emmy in 1997 and Livesey was thus signed as a director at Ridley Scott Associates. He has been represented by RSA ever since.
Winning best New Director in Cannes in 1999 for ‘The Good Friday Agreement’ Livesey has notched up many awards and nominations, from a D&AD Pencil (Paul Smith), to the Best Irish Language TV Advert in the past ten years (Club Energise 2005) to the most awarded commercial in Australia in 2005 (Spider) - Cannes Lions/Asia Pacific/ATV.
He designed and directed three sequences for Ridley Scott, the Opening Title Sequence to HANNIBAL (which won the Soho Short Films Festival that year), the opening to GLADIATOR, and a mid-film sequence in BLACK HAWK DOWN.
Livesey gained a second Emmy nomination in 2005 for ‘Queen X’ about the historically controversial remains of Queen Nefertiti in Egypt. This became the most viewed programme in Discovery’s history.
Since then he has been filming a wide range of commercials through RSA in all territories. He has also made numerous short films including HIDE & SEEK to mark the 5th Anniversary of Russian Vogue, A Throw of The Dice for RAPHA, and a recent film about the painter Billy Childish.
His Solo Photography Show ‘Patagonia Through A Pinhole’ - exhibited at The Royal Geographical Society, Kensington, London - generated record visitor numbers for the RGS in 2010. Along with the huge landscape prints, there featured an ancient ‘Giant Sloth’ skin especially on loan from The Natural History Museum, and Charles Darwin’s Pocket Sextant.
In 2001 he co-founded ‘The Fireflies Ride’ (1000km over the high french alps in 8 days) which has since gathered huge momentum, arriving in the festival in Cannes every June. The RSA backed ride has raised over £1m for Leukaemia and is attracting more riders than ever.
In 2009 Livesey documented the ride with his pinhole camera, this was published by Rapha in a Hardback Edition. 2010 was the tenth year of The Fireflies, and long may it continue to grow.