Director of Channel 4 hit sci-fit hit Humans reminisces about Solihull childhood - The Solihull Observer

Director of Channel 4 hit sci-fit hit Humans reminisces about Solihull childhood

Solihull Editorial 30th Oct, 2016   0

GROWING up behind Elmdon Park, Solihull-born filmmaker Lewis Arnold knew from a young age he wanted to be a director.

Inspired by the cinematic genius of Steven Spielburg, the 31-year-old, who has a particular soft spot for Jaws, never imagined he would one day be behind the lens directing some of the country’s most popular television shows.

Since graduating from the University of Gloucestershire with a degree in video production, Lewis has found himself at the helm directing episodes of Channel 4 hits Humans and Misfits, E4’s LGBT series Banana, and an episode of ITV’s crime drama Broadchurch – starring David Tennant.

But it was at Lyndon School, in Wells Green, that he caught the ‘filmmaking bug’.




“Funnily enough I stole the idea of becoming a director off one my best friends at school, David Tomlin,” Lewis said.

“He’d wanted to be a director since he was a kid and he’d make me help him in his creative endeavours, making animations and little movies whilst we where at school.


“However it wasn’t until I was at the Sixth Form College that I started making my own skit and skateboard videos, and decided it was something I was keen to explore further as a career.”

He started at the bottom – working at the cinema in Solihull while at college in order to surround himself with film enthusiasts and see as many films as he could.

From there completed a one year course at Birmingham City University in Art and Design before heading off to university.

“For me, going to university was of massive importance,” Lewis said.

“It was tough as there was no one in my family in the industry and it wasn’t something at school or college people did, so it felt like an impossible dream at the time.

“But I went before the fees went up and it’s since become harder for people to go to university.”

26-10-16-lewis-arnold

Lewis Arnold.

After graduation, Lewis continued to find his ‘voice’ – making a few short digital films under the name Screen West Midlands before moving on to assistant direct adverts, music videos.

And it was off the back of his short films Echo and Charlie Says, which he shot while at the National Film and Television School in Buckinghamshire, he secured an agent and start working professional as a director.

More recently, Lewis has been focused on Channel 4 sci-fi drama Humans – directing the last two episodes of series one and the first two episode of the hotly anticipated second series.

Set in a near future where anthropomorphic robots called ‘synths’ have become part of every home and workplace, the show asks questions about what it means to human in a world of artificial intelligence.

Explaining its widespread appeal with audiences, Lewis said: “I think with Humans, yes it’s a genre shows but it’s also a drama with very relatable characters and themes.

“And it’s these things you have to make ring true to the audience – if they believe the human drama, they’ll go with you on the genre front.”

As for his advice for budding filmmakers, Lewis argues anyone with access to the internet and a mobile phone with a camera is well on their way to being able to make and distribute their work.

“It sounds like a cliché but my advice to anyone who aspires to become a director is to go out there and make films, anyway you can.”

Humans returns to Channel 4 tonight (October 30) at 9pm.

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