Mike Figgis is an artist who combines various disciplines. After studying music and playing with several ensembles Mike joined the experimental performance group People Show and toured extensively for ten years. After forming his own group Mike began to experiment with film and sound, combining these elements with live theatre and opera.
His first film, a one hour political fantasy for Channel 4 called The House, brought him into the domain of cinema.
Stormy Monday, set in the gritty crime world of Newcastle combines British and American actors and its success in the USA was followed by an extended period of mainstream feature filmmaking with Mike resident in Los Angeles.
Leaving Las Vegas, financed by an independent French company, was made on a very low budget and shot on Super 16mm film (in 24 days) and was a huge success, nominated for four Academy Awards, one for each of the actors and two for Figgis as both writer and director. Figgis also composed the score for the film. Nicolas Cage won the Oscar for best actor.
Encouraged by the success of a more experimental and minimal approach to filmmaking, Figgis continued to push boundaries and Timecode (2000) was the first real-time digital film ever made, preceding Russian Arc by a few years.
Since 2000 Mike Figgis has been at the forefront of the digital revolution. The Fig-Rig was designed by Figgis specifically for the new generation of smaller digital cameras and this innovative camera support system has spawned countless variations.
Mike Figgis devotes considerable time to teaching and writing books and articles on cinema techniques. Digital Film and The 36 Dramatic Situations for Cinema have both addressed the challenges of the new cinema and have become text books for young filmmakers.
He presents Capturing the Sound of My Experience: “Sound continues to dominate my creativity. I have 50 years of audio memoire. It’s what drew me to cinema.”