The Hippopotamus



Fresh out of film school in LA, John moved back to the UK in 2008 to set up The Electric Shadow Company with Jay Taylor and Alexa Seligman. One of the first things they did was option Stephen Fry’s novel ‘The Hippopotamus’, which John had wanted to make as a film for over 10 years. Meanwhile, John won prizes for his comedy shorts, including the Shooting People Comedy Award for ‘Go Away, Please!’ at LSFF (2010), and worked on developing ‘The Fold’, his first feature. UK drama ‘The Fold’ stars Catherine McCormack and was released in cinemas in March 2014.


Famously embarrassed to be described as a ‘national treasure’, Stephen Fry is a writer, actor, comedian and activist. His career began with the broadcasting of the 1981 ‘Cambridge Footlights Revue’, which he wrote with friends including Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson. His work as film actor spans three decades and includes such titles as ‘A Fish Called Wanda’, ‘Gosford Park’, ‘Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story’ and ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’. Stephen is a beloved broadcaster, his contributions on Twitter are enjoyed by 8.6 million people and his many books have become international best-sellers. ‘The Hippopotamus’ alone has been translated into 15 languages.


Tom Hodgson began his career as a development executive at David Heyman’s Heyday Films (‘Harry Potter’) where he worked on films including ‘Yes Man’, ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ and ‘Is Anybody There?’ He has several screenplays in development in the UK and US, including the screwball comedy ‘Always on my Mind’ (the tale of an Indian Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas) for producer Stephen Evans (‘Henry V’, ‘The Madness of King George’). ‘Seve’, a feature biopic of the legendary golfer Seve Ballesteros, was released theatrically in the UK and Spain in 2014. In addition to his film and TV work, Tom has written and produced content for brands including HTC and Red Bull. Tom was educated at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge and Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow.

Blanche McIntyre is a theatre director and a writer for stage and screen. Blanche was named Best Director at the 2013 TMA UK Theatre Awards for ‘The Seagull’, was the winner of the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer and the Off West End Theatre Award for Best Director in 2012, and the inaugural winner of the Leverhulme Bursary for Emerging Theatre Directors in 2009. Blanche is currently an Associate Director at Nuffield and this year will direct ‘As You Like It’ at Shakespeare’s Globe. Her screenwriting credits include ‘The Salamans’, a 13-part TV series commissioned by Mike Wallis and ‘The Hippopotamus’, an adaptation of Stephen Fry’s best-selling novel for The Electric Shadow Company. Blanche studied Directing at Drama Studio London following a Double First in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.


Jay’s professional career began in 1996 in commercial production/ post-production companies such as Glassworks and Stark. He transitioned to multimedia teen brand Popworld, producing over 200 programmes with musicians such as Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. He subsequently assisted on productions for companies including The Weinstein Company and Working Title and set up The Electric Shadow Company with John Jencks and Alexa Seligman in 2008. Following the launch of ESF in February 2014, Jay serves as an executive or associate producer on many of the company’s investments.


Trained at the National Film and Television School, Alexa set up The Electric Shadow Company with John Jencks and Jay Taylor in 2008 and went on to develop their slate of features. Alexa is a producer of ‘The Fold’, which won Best Screenplay at the Women’s Independent Film Festival, as well as Electric Shadow’s 2015 comedy ‘The Hippopotamus’, adapted from the novel by Stephen Fry. She is an Executive Producer of ‘Jackie & Ryan’, ‘The Blunderer’ and ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and Associate Producer of ‘The Trust’. Alexa has a BA in Philosophy and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford.


From blockbusters such as ‘Sherlock Holmes’ to indies like ‘Calendar Girls’ and ‘Set Fire the Stars’, BAFTA winning British producer Steve Clark-Hall has an enviable career that spans 50 years. His upcoming credits include ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E’, starring Henry Cavill, and ‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’, starring Jude Law and Eric Bana. Clark-Hall also frequently speaks at London’s National Film and Television School and in 2014 received the Production Guild Mentor Award in recognition of his dedication to further enhancing the UK’s world-class crew through his mentoring of up-and-coming talent.


Angus Hudson’s career began in 1981, when at just 17 he joined commercial production company Studio Lambert as a runner. Moving to the camera department, he learned his trade on films including ‘The Fifth Element’, ‘Rob Roy’ and ‘The Jackal’. He worked extensively in India and Asia before returning to the UK to shoot British black comedy ‘Cashback’ directed by Sean Ellis. Angus and Sean Ellis teamed up again for ‘The Broken’, which won the award for Best Cinematography at the Sitges International Film Festival. Angus went on to shoot the ambitious British thriller ‘Last Passenger’, starring Dougray Scott. In June 2015, Angus was invited to the British Society of Cinematographers.


Stéphane Collonge studied Design at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Appliqués before moving to the UK where he completed his education at the National Film and Television School. Since graduating in 1998, Stéphane’s prolific work has included music videos, TV and commercials for clients such Nokia, Microsoft and Honda. His fiction work includes short film ‘The Separation’ which won 15 international awards, ‘Lisa Et Le Pilote D'avion’ starring Eric Cantona, British indie ‘My Brother the Devil’ and ‘Bypass’, from the critically acclaimed writer/director Duane Hopkins. Stéphane also has an ongoing collaboration with lauded British director Joanna Hogg, working with her on her films ‘Archipelago’ and ‘Exhibition’. In 2002, wishing to share his knowledge and passion and to expand his professional network in France, he co-founded, now the largest online community of French speaking filmmakers with over 52,000 members.


Welsh editor John Richards started his career at the BBC, editing a number of network documentaries before moving to fiction with S4C’s BAFTA winning adaptation of ‘William Jones’. John’s multi- award winning first feature project was 1995’s ‘Stonewall’, a chronicle of the birth of the gay rights movement in Greenwich Village in 1969. Since then, John has worked on feature comedies including ‘It’s a Boy Girl Thing’ and ‘Little Black Book’ and TV series including ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Doctor Who’. John has vast experience in dealing with visual effects, CGI, digital post production and all formats of film and digital cinematography. John has lived and worked all around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Cape Town, Ireland, Romania, Hungary and Morocco.


Robin Hill is an award-winning editor, writer and actor, known for his work on diverse TV and film projects. From the BAFTA-winning comedy “Twenty Twelve” to the hard-edged horror of “Kill List” and the lush romanticism of TV’s “Poldark”, Robin’s career as an editor has spanned formats and genres for nearly two decades. Since writing and starring in the cult independent feature “Down Terrace”, his latest screenplay is currently in development with Sony Pictures International.


In a career spanning thirty years, veteran makeup designer Aileen Seaton has lent her talents to a broad range of projects, from period drama classics like ‘Where Angels Fear To Tread’ starring Helena Bonham Carter to Hollywood blockbusters like ‘The Mummy’, via work with acclaimed directors such as Terrance Davies on his classic ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’. Aileen has worked with myriad top actors, including Owen Wilson, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Cusack, Nicolas Cage and Rachel Weisz. Aileen has won two Primetime Emmys for her work on TV series ‘Merlin’ and ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.


Top British Costume Designer Annie Hardinge has worked with a slew of A-list stars, including Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, Kirsten Dunst, Gillian Anderson, David Bowie and Sir Ian McKellen. With an enviable track record in hit comedies, her credits include ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Ali G Indahouse’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ alongside cult TV series ‘Episodes’, ‘The IT Crowd’ and Ricky Gervais’s ‘Extras’. Twice BAFTA nominated and a veteran of the scene, there is barely a British comedy star Hardinge hasn’t dressed; among them Olivia Coleman, Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman, Hugh Laurie, Tamsin Greig and Tom Hollander. Hardinge’s next projects include a biopic of ‘Eddie the Eagle’ produced by Matthew Vaughn (‘Kick-Ass’) and comedy ‘The Hippopotamus’, adapted from the best-selling novel by Stephen Fry – with whom, of course, Hardinge has also worked.


Vicki Williams began her career at Working Title Films as music coordinator on the company’s hit comedies ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘Definitely Maybe’ and ‘The Boat That Rocked’. Since setting up on her own company, Vicki has brought her knowledge of music to comedies including ‘Johnny English Reborn’, Richard Curtis’s ‘About Time’, and Matthew Warchus’s BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated ‘Pride’. With over forty films behind her, among Vicki’s other credits are Ron Howard’s box office smash ‘Rush’, Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ and BAFTA Outstanding British Film winner ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy’. In 2014, Vicki was nominated for Music Supervisor of the Year in Film at the Music Week Synch Awards.


Four time Grammy Award winner Antonio Sanchez is considered by many critics and musicians alike as one of the most prominent drummers, bandleaders and composers of his generation. Born in Mexico City in 1971, he started playing drums at the age of 5 and began performing professionally early in his teens. Antonio pursued a degree in classical piano at the National Conservatory in Mexico and in 1993 he moved to Boston to enroll at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory. Since his move to New York City in 1999, Antonio has become one of the most sought after drummers in the international jazz scene. His playing is featured in over a hundred albums and has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz including Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Charlie Haden, Gary Burton and Toots Thielmans. Antonio has also released four critically acclaimed albums under his name. In 2013 Antonio wrote the highly acclaimed score for Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu’s ‘Birdman’, winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture.


Samuel Karl Bohn's skills as a classical composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist have given him the opportunity to produce a diverse body of work. Bohn's orchestral arrangement of the Foxes song "Youth" is featured on the 2013 Debenhams Christmas advertising campaign. His music can be heard throughout the Inbetweener's spin-off series Drifters and he is currently working with the composer Matthew Herbert on music for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Bohn got his start in film by assisting composer Christian Henson, their work together includes Bunch of Amateurs, Consuming Passions, Malice in Wonderland and Triangle. Most recently, Bohn composed the score for the horror feature Don’t Let Him In. His work in television includes Parents, Theatreland, Poirot and Super-Sized Earth.