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Chester Dent
Producer/Director


Chester Dent is a top producer/director from the UK with prime-time credits for the BBC, Channel 4 and DCI.

Chester's core strength is finding intimate character-led stories and following through those narratives in post. A superb self-shooter and a sharp editorial mind with casting, structuring and writing skills.

With his wide experience in drama, actuality and authored docs, Chester is familiar with working with teams large and small and brings clear well thought-out leadership built on solid experience and expertise.

Notable Credits:


Series Director The Monastery

US version of the BBC2 hit series. A critcally-acclaimed observational documentary following five non-believers as they spend 40 days and 40 nights in a Benedictine monastery in New Mexico. More...
Tiger Aspect for TLC (DCI (Discovery).
(5 x 60mins, Self-shot DVCPRO50 SDX900)



Watch now...

"I've never seen a TV show explore spiritual issues in such compelling fashion." Andrew Wallenstein - NPR


Producer/Director Trouble at the Top: Hey Jo

Authored observational-documentary for the prime-time BBC2 strand following bumptious millionaire Dave West on his quest for love and happiness. More...
BBC2 (1x 39mins, Self-shot DigiBeta)


“Witty, and very stylish…. the most enjoyable thing I’ve seen in a long while” Robert Thirkell


Producer/Director Trouble at the Top: Terry & Liz

Highly regarded, documentary classic about shoe designer Terry de Havilland’s big comeback: his surprise return to the world of high fashion decades after most people thought he was dead. More...
BBC2 (1x 39mins, Self-shot DigiBeta)


"A touching documentary with much to say about the contentious interface of art and commerce..." The Sunday Times

"Bitter-sweet and full of humanity writ small" The Scotsman


AIDC Masterclass - Casting Characters for Documentary


A talk given at the invitation of the Adelaide International Documentary Conference including video clips from various of Chester's documentaries. You can see complete episodes and the full-length BBC documentaries here.



Education

National Film & TV School, Beaconsfield, UK
Direction Graduate
Mentors: Stephen Frears, Mike Leigh, Mike Newell.

University College London
BA Hons. English Literature
Tutors: Dan Jacobson, Karl Miller, John Sutherland

Northgate Grammar School, Ipswich, UK


Selected Work History - Film & Television

2012 Producer/Director Boom Town Electric Pictures for ABC1
Observational documentary following millionaires in the world's most isolated city Perth, Western Australia
(6 x 30 mins Self-Shot Sony EX3 Full-HD)


2011 Producer/Director Vet School Prospero Productions for ABC1
Observational documentary following student veterinarians at Murdoch University in Perth, WA
(6 x 30 mins Self-Shot Sony HDW-F900 Full-HD)


2009 Series Director Angels in New York for SBS
Observational documentary following the staging of a new Australian-produced musical on Broadway
SBS (4 x 30 mins self-shot HDX900 DVCPRO
Full-HD)

2008 Producer/Director The Nest - The Wilkinsons.

Freehand Productions for SBS
Formatted documentary about Australian families with adult children living at home
SBS (6 x 60 mins, self-shot DSR570)

2007 Producer/Director Honey We're Killing the Kids - The Bainbridges. BBC3
Intimate ob doc access for the life-changing BBC family format.
TX BBC3 August 20th 2007 (1 x 60 mins, self-shot DSR570 and Z1)

2006 Producer/Director The Monastery, US. Tiger Aspect for TLC
Highly-regarded observational documentary following five non-believers as they spend 40 days and 40 nights in a Benedictine monastery in New Mexico. Produced by Tiger Apsect for DCI.
TX TLC/Discovery Oct/Nov 2006. (5 x 60mins, Self-shot on DVCPRO50 SDX900)


2005 Producer/Director Demolition - Housing Oxford Film & TV for Channel 4
C4 series hosted by presenters Kevin McCloud and Janet Street-Porter about Britain’s most unpopular buildings.
TX C4 November 27th 2005. (1x60mins, Self-shot on DSR570)

2004 Producer/Director Trouble at the Top: Hey Jo. BBC2
Mould-breaking actuality with bumptious millionaire Dave West and his quest for love and happiness.
TX BBC2 February 8th 2005. (1x39mins, Self-shot on DigiBeta)

2003-2004 Producer/Director Trouble at the Top: Terry & Liz BBC2
Classic three-act ob doc story about shoe designer Terry de Havilland’s comeback. Intimate observational documentary for BBC2.
TX BBC2 March 11th 2004. (1x 39mins, Self-shot on DigiBeta)




Revolver - Liam Neeson 1991 Writer/Director"REVOLVER"

Short Film with Liam Neeson,
Winner of a dozen awards, including Critics' Week Cannes, Aix, Chicago, Tokyo, Brest, Munich and the Kino award in Melbourne. Shown at more than 40 festivals world-wide, sold in 15 territories. (NFTS, 35mm Panavision)


1990 Series Director "Magic"
Shot in English and set in Hamburg, $6 million dollar mini-series “Magic” for NDR International told the backstage stories of the cast of a fictional musical, loosely based on the German production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's 'Cats'. The musical 'show-within-the-show' was shot on one of Germany's largest sound stages and was composed, designed, constructed, choreographed, and staged in parallel with pre-production and the first weeks of location filming. Principle photography on the series was completed in just 75 shooting days with a full 35mm crew. All episodes were directed by Chester Dent. Script by television veteran Paul Wheeler.
Represented by William Morris in London and Los Angeles.
NDR International (6 x 52mins, 35mm Arriflex)




1988-1992 Commercials Director:
Numerous commercials for agencies, among others Bates Dorland, Saatchi and Saatchi including Clio Award winning Starlight Express commercial.




Technical Training

2001 Open University
Interface Design (HCI) and Relational Databases

as part of MSc. in Computing for Commerce and Industry

1995 Apple Developer University, San José, California
Multimedia Development with QuickTime VR

Technical Skills

Full-HD Self-Shooter
Canon C300
Panasonic HDX900, Sony HDW-F900
Sony EX3, JVC GY-HM700, Canon XF305

Working knowledge:
Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer,

Canon DSLR 5D MkII

Health & Safety Accreditation

BBC Safe Management of Productions Part 1
BBC Safe Management of Productions Part 2
BBC Safe Manual Handling Techniques for Camera and Sound Operators
BBC Interactive Health & Safety Training

Memberships

Director’s Guild of Great Britain
Directors UK

Working Visas

UK

USA (I-Visa)
Australia



References

Peter Abbot
Executive Producer
Freehand
+61 2 8514 5400
peter@freehandtv.com.au

Bill Grist
Executive Producer
BBC Popular Features & Business
+44 -7843 - 435 100
bill@gristcommunications.com

Sara Woodford
Series Producer
Tiger Aspect
+44-7932 – 972 624
sarawoodf@aol.com