Leigh at the 83rd Academy Awards
|Born||February 20, 1943|
|Brocket Hall, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, England, UK|
Mike Leigh is a British writer and director of film and theatre. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s his career moved between work for the theatre and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterized by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. Leigh begins his projects without a script, but starts from a basic premise which is developed through improvisation by the actors. Leigh works initially one-to-one with each actor, developing a character who is based, in the first place, on someone he or she knows. It is only after months of rehearsal, or 'preparing for going out on location to make up a film', that Leigh writes a shooting script, a bare scenario. Then, on the shoot, on location, after further 'real rehearsing', the script is finalized.