RTS East welcomed director Chloe Thomas to a packed-out event in Cambridge in mid-February.
Thomas has had a busy few years filming Daisy Goodwin’s period drama Victoria for ITV, Harlots for Hulu – and, more recently, Lisa McGee’s (Derry Girls) new thriller, The Deceived, for Channel 5 in Northern Ireland.
The director shared her experiences of working on a mix of documentaries, light entertainment and drama in conversation with Anglia Ruskin University senior lecturer and film-maker Hans Petch.
Her first comedy, Angelo’s, starred Sharon Hogan and Miranda Hart, and she went on to direct the CBBC programmes Horrible Histories and Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather.
Between shooting Hetty Feather and Victoria, Thomas moved from London to Cambridge.
Thomas’s passion for storytelling underpins everything she does. Sharp and insightful in conversation, the director discussed her enjoyment of filming larger-scale dramas such as Victoria and working with the highly creative cinematographer Nicola Daley on the sumptuous Harlots, which tells the story of 18th century sex workers in London.
She also discussed the challenges facing a new director brought on board an established series and how she tries to make her own mark.
As well as shooting TV dramas, Thomas has continued to make innovative films, including Keyed Alike a 360-degree virtual reality project, produced by Alex Rühl and starring Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones). She also worked with Cambridge University and the Wellcome Trust to produce Dish Life, a film based on stem cell research, which was subsequently made into an App game.
StoryLab, an award-winning research institute that experiments with different forms of storytelling, hosted the RTS East event.