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Mike joined BBC TV’s film unit at Ealing Studios and travelled the world on news, music and arts, documentaries and drama productions.
Recognition of his work first came with seven documentaries shot in Bolton England about the inner workings of a large hospital. The series won many prizes including the prestigious Prix Italia. He was principal cinematographer on BBC2’s ARENA which won five BAFTA’s in a row. He also worked on Omnibus photographing documentaries with The Royal Ballet and Ballet Rambert. He gained a reputation for working on “difficult” subjects including films about Sex Change and Remand.
Mike left the BBC to freelance. He quickly made his mark in music videos for artists such as U2, Prince , GEORGE MICHAEL, TORI AMOS, SEAL, MICHAEL BOLTON, DEPECHE MODE, winning two best photography awards for his MTV work for FREEDOM (George Michael) and NOVEMBER RAIN (Guns & Roses).
He has shot and occasionally directed award winning TV commercials for clients and companies around the globe.
Mike has photographed many features including, NUTCRACKER 3D for director, Andrei Konchalovsky, ST. GEORGE'S DAY for director Frank Harper, GOTHIC and PRISONER’S OF HONOR for Ken Russell. PAPERHOUSE for Bernard Rose, Universal’s KISS BEFORE DYING for James Dearden, Orion’s LITTLE MAN TATE for Jodie Foster, Castle Rock’s RUN OF THE COUNTRY and Interscope’s ROOMMATES for Peter Yates, Paramount’s EMILY BRONTE’S WUTHERING HEIGHTS, Interscope’s SNOW WHITE - A TALE OF TERROR for which he received 19th Annual CABLEACE Nomination for Best Cinematography and an ASC Nomination for Best Cinematography for a Mini Series made for Television Movies. Su Armstrong and Tony and Ridley Scott produced RKO 281 which was directed by Ben Ross and received a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture made for Television. He works regularly with director Jamie Payne on one-off TV dramas , Lifeline, Little House, U B Dead and most recently Dr who.
In addition to his cinematographer duties Mike has directed the feature film Air Bud Strikes AIR BUD STRIKES BACK for Disney and BUBBLES a short film for producer Peter La Terriere
He has just completed two screenplays, “Improperly Dressed” adapted from the novel The Antique Collector” by Glynn Hughes.
and “The Third Land” a ghost story set against the fall of Saigon.
He is at present producing & directing "The Millinery Lesson", a documentary film about 90 year old Royal Milliner, Marie O’Regan.
He also directs & shoots fashion films for fashion labels, his latest being “To Live Without Hope” for the Ethologie labels AW16 collection.
Recent cinematography work includes:-
DR WHO - HIDER IN THE HOUSE;TV director Jamie Payne
ST GEORGE’S DAY :feature : director Frank Harper / Metrodome.
SPOOKY BUDDIES :feature :director Robert Vince / Disney
GEORGE MICHAEL “Where I Hope You Are” music video
THE COLLECTIVE “Teardrop” music video.
A full list of credits & examples of his work can be found on his website www.mikesouthon.biz as well as contact details.
Mike is a Past President of the British Society of Cinematographers.
He has run lighting, lens and composition workshops at Camerimage, Poland and at The London International Film School in London where he also a mentor to past graduate Reem Morsi.