January 2, 2017


Mark Herman (1954-) b. Bridlington, East Yorkshire, England.

Mark Herman

Mark Herman was later entering the film industry; at 27 he was making cartoons at art college before then getting involved in drama by studying film at Leeds college. Then he trained as an animator at the National Film School in London, where at his first lecture he found himself being introduced to a nervous looking kid called Nick Park. Realising he could never compete with such a genius Herman fortuitously moved away from animation, and via writing lyrics for The Christians, entered into filmmaking. Herman’s first feature-length project was Blame it on the Blame it Bellboy (1992), a lamentable comedy of mistaken identity starring Dudley Moore. Next, Herman wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Brassed Off (1996), following the members of a colliery brass band – still struggling to survive a decade after the miners’ strike. Handsomely shot, and well-performed by a cast of familiar faces, it remains Herman’s best film to date. In Little Voice (1998), adapted by Herman from Jim Cartwright’s play ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’, he took over the director’s role from Sam Mendes who had tired of Miramax and walked off; departing to direct American Beauty – a good career move. Jane Horrocks reprises the title role of a harried young woman whose only escape lies in the memory of her father and in imitating the singers he admired. Purely Belter (2000), adapted by Herman from Jim Tulluch’s novel The Season Ticket, is the clichéd story of two teenage boys trying to get together enough money for a couple of Newcastle United season tickets.

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