Photography by Ella Chester and Katie O'Neill
Jason Wingard is a multi-award-winning film director, producer and writer. Born in Chorlton, Manchester in 1971, his most recent film, the comedy ‘Eaten by Lions’ - which he co-wrote and directed- aired in cinemas nationwide in 2019 and starred Johnny Vegas, Jack Carroll and Asim Chaudhry. Jason filmed parts of the feature on Daventry Road in Chorlton where he grew up after convincing his childhood neighbours to let the cameras into their living room. The Guardian called it a 'comedy treat' ★★★★
The former Chorlton High School pupil Jason went on to study Multimedia at Arden College in Northenden and started to make films whilst working as a stand-up comic in 1998 - making super 8 silent films. Working with stand-up comedians as acting performers, he quickly developed a style of shooting which allowed comedians the space to be creative in front of the camera.
"My passion for film came at an early age - I loved horror films and my earliest memories are of watching King Kong on TV - I cried when Kong died."
Credit - Screen & Film School
Jason's first feature ‘In Another Life’ won Best UK Feature at Raindance Film Festival 2017 and picked up the prestigious British Independent Film Discovery Award. The picture - which is based on the stories and testimonies of refugees living in the camp - was filmed on a shoestring budget in the Calais Jungle. Jason got a group of friends together and travelled to the area of Calais to deliver aid and shoot the drama. In 2013 he directed and co-wrote the short film ‘Going to Mecca’ with David Isaac which won the Virgin Media Shorts Award that year. The film was made using the 30k prize money from his 2011 Virgin Media shorts winning film '2:20'.
Jason is involved in a number of exciting new projects, including directing episodes of Coronation Street, TV work with the BBC and a feature based around an extraordinary true life Manchester crime story.
THE SHOOT: HOME Manchester
The city's centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film - One of Jason's favourite spaces
Student reflection: Ella Chester
A Sunday morning shoot at HOME, the centre for Manchester’s contemporary arts, was the ideal location to shoot portraits of Jason Wingard, the British film director. Jason was friendly and relaxed during the shoot and was open to direction when I was trying to get the shots I wanted.
The cinema location was a dimly lit space which posed a number of technical photographic challenges. On the other hand, the bright direct sunshine in open areas of the building was equally as challenging. However these turned out to be some of my favourites. My final images show Jason in a mixture of posed and natural shots and I think they capture his relaxed and creative personality perfectly.
I thoroughly enjoyed the shoot, it was a perfect opportunity to stretch and challenge my photographic skills.