Peter Webber has had a diverse career as a director of film, television and documentaries including the critically renowned ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and the HBO series ‘Six Feet Under’. Peter is perhaps best known for his film directorial debut ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’, the film adaptation of Tracey Chevalier’s bestselling novel. The film tells the story of the creation of the famous painting by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer of the same name. The film saw Peter directing Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth as the films leads. Released in 2004 the film went on to be nominated for no less than 3 Academy Awards for Art Direction, Costume Design and Cinematography, 10 BAFTA nominations as well as numerous other honours.
Peter’s most recent offering is the prequel to the Silence of the Lambs saga ‘Hannibal Rising’ released early 2007. Starring Gaspard Ulliel, Rhys Ifans and Gong Li the film tells the story of the early life of Hannibal Lecter and the tragic death of his baby sister which torments the young man to become the tortured soul we meet in the later film. Starting his television career in the early nineties Peter directed ‘The Zebra Man’ starring Minnie Driver and Duncan Bell. Following this success he also directed ‘The Double Life of Franz Schubert’ and ‘Underground’. Peter’s 2001 TV drama ‘Men Only’ gained him the prestigious Royal Television Society Award for best cinematography. Peter went on to direct the BBC drama ‘The Stretford Wives’ starring Fay Ripley before moving on in 2004 to his work on the HBO drama ‘Six Feet Under’.
Where have you heard about Scripteast?
I heard about it from Richard Kwietniowski who attended a few years ago. My first professional job in the industry was cutting one of his early short films about 20 years ago.
What made you interested in this program?
The Polish Film Academy had very kindly awarded me a Golden Eagle for Girl with a Pearl Earring so I thought I should return the favour in some way.And there is always the hope of meeting an amazing young writer I can steal away!
What do you expect from this year edition of scripteast?
Imagination and pierogi.
Do you have previous experience as tutor and advisor at similar workshops?
No experience. I hope to learn more from the writers than they learn from me.
What is your personal defintion of a good scrtipt and what – the most- makes it succesful?
A good script needs a compelling story, fascinating characters, a distinctive way of looking at the world, and most of all the ability to inspire and provoke me to go through the hell that is making a movie. A good script is the blueprint, the battleplan, but it is not the bible.