skip navigation
David Yates

David Yates

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part... Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to... more info $9.99was $19.94 Buy Now

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince... As Lord Voldemort tightens his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds,... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince... As Lord Voldemort tightens his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds,... more info $7.99was $14.98 Buy Now

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince:... As Lord Voldemort tightens his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds,... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix... The world's most beloved teen wizard, Harry Potter as played by Daniel... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix... Lord Voldemort has returned, but few want to believe it. In fact, the Ministry... more info $7.99was $14.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: David James Yates Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Merseyside, England, GB Profession: director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A skilled director with a strong visual style and a flair for realism who crafted stories of modern intrigue and corruption, David Yates made the rare jump from working on edgy television projects in his native England to overseeing one of the world's most lucrative film series. After a decade-long journey which brought him to the forefront of small screen drama, Yates hit his stride with the arresting political dramas "State of Play" (2003) and "Sex Traffic" (2004), both of which lead to BAFTA Awards recognition and the unlikely assignment of taking over the blockbuster "Harry Potter" franchise. Of course, his British roots may have explained a bit of why he was brought to Hollywood to begin work on "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007), but his penchant for rather bleak material in the past might not have put him on top of the list for desired directors. It was, however, his work on British television that caught the attention of producers, allowing Yates to settle in to direct the final four installments to the series. Following "Order of the Phoenix," he directed "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009), and the highly anticipated finale "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:...

A skilled director with a strong visual style and a flair for realism who crafted stories of modern intrigue and corruption, David Yates made the rare jump from working on edgy television projects in his native England to overseeing one of the world's most lucrative film series. After a decade-long journey which brought him to the forefront of small screen drama, Yates hit his stride with the arresting political dramas "State of Play" (2003) and "Sex Traffic" (2004), both of which lead to BAFTA Awards recognition and the unlikely assignment of taking over the blockbuster "Harry Potter" franchise. Of course, his British roots may have explained a bit of why he was brought to Hollywood to begin work on "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007), but his penchant for rather bleak material in the past might not have put him on top of the list for desired directors. It was, however, his work on British television that caught the attention of producers, allowing Yates to settle in to direct the final four installments to the series. Following "Order of the Phoenix," he directed "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009), and the highly anticipated finale "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" (2010) and "Part 2" (2011), each of which earned widespread critical praise while smashing box office records. Because of a certain young wizard, Yates was suddenly an in-demand filmmaker who had virtual carte blanche to direct anything he wanted.

Born on Nov. 30, 1963 and raised in St. Helens, Merseyside, England, Yates and his brother, Andrew, lost their parents when he was very young. From an early age, he was already gravitating towards his future profession, fascinated by the movies of ambitious film directors like David Lean, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Ken Loach, with Spielberg's "Jaws" (1974) and Christian Nyby's "The Thing from Another World" (1951) being two particular favorites. In fact, Yates saw repeated viewings of "Jaws" in the theater, where at least a dozen of his subsequent 35 viewings took place. While at the theater, Yates attempted to gleam insights into the production and story elements, observing the characterization, pacing and suspense and with each viewing, surveying the reactions of the audience. He began pulling friends and family into the cast of short films at the age of 14, but when older Yates followed a more academic track, taking up the sociology, political studies, and literature at St Helens College before moving onto the University of Essex.

Living in Swindon in the late 1980s, Yates became a freelancer for Create Studios, whose facilities helped him make his first serious short film, "When I Was a Girl" (1988). The short - a story of a young girl trapped in an unhappy family life and on the cusp of sexual discovery following World War II - made the festival circuit and helped with his acceptance into the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, where he studied under its directing program. "When I Was a Girl" also marked Yates' entry into the U.K.'s entertainment industry as his skilled handling of the material won him an audience with BBC, which before he had even graduated, hired him to make the dramatic short "Oranges and Lemons" (1991). From 1994-95, Yates cut his teeth on the gritty cop show "The Bill" (ITV, 1984-2010), which took a serious look into the day-to-day lives of both the uniformed officers and detectives of London's Metropolitan Police Department. He directed several episodes of the long-running series before moving into directing his first feature, "The Tichborne Claimant" (1998). Shot in Merseyside and on the Isle of Man, the small indie was an account of the real story of Andrew Bogle, a servant in Victorian England who is given the task of finding the missing Tichborne heir that had allegedly washed up on Australian shores.

Yates soon returned to television to helm several episodes of BBC's miniseries, "The Sins" (2000), a drama about a retired thief-turned-family man tempted by an easy chance to return to crime. He went on to helm a faithful adaptation of Anthony Trollope's satire "The Way We Live Now" (2001), a BAFTA-winning miniseries featuring David Suchet as the shady businessman Melmotte, whose arrival and rise in London high society soon stirs both optimism and suspicion. The following year, Yates tapped into the London Production Fund to direct "Rank" (2002), a searing drama examining the racial and cultural divide in Scotland between Somalian refugees and street kids from Glasgow. With the BBC miniseries "State of Play" (2003), Yates' mastery of craft was emerging at its most dynamic. His ability to weave suspense and tension together produced a six-part thriller, scripted by veteran writer Paul Abbott, about the unraveling of a politician (David Morrissey) after a series of murders - one of a random criminal, the other of his own research assistant. Starring Kelly Macdonald as the investigative reporter and Bill Nighy as her editor, the taut series captivated critics and audiences of the genre, as numerous BAFTA-awards voters.

"State of Play" became a major turning point for Yates' career prospects, propelling him forward into a series of other well-made, critically-acclaimed efforts. Actor Jim Broadbent himself received a BAFTA nomination under Yates' direction of "The Young Visiters" (2003), based on the Daisy Ashford short story of a bumbling man trying to improve his social graces for the love of a high society woman. Yates followed up with the two-part series "Sex Traffic" (Channel 4, 2004), a carefully-plotted, intertwined set of stories about two Romanian women sold into a sex slavery operation spanning Eastern Europe and London. Told in a stark manner, the project earned widespread acclaim and Yates' second BAFTA Award. By 2005, Yates' prestige projects continued to move him beyond the U.K. market and he earned an Emmy Award nomination in 2006 for his helming of "Girl in the Café" (BBC/HBO, 2005), a gentle romantic comedy that saw an older political researcher (Bill Nighy) strike up a strange coffee shop connection with a young woman (Kelly Macdonald), which blossoms into a tentative romance during the G-8 Summit in Iceland. Because of these successes, Yates finally caught Hollywood's attention and found himself on the short list for directing studio projects.

Yates was brought to Hollywood to develop a version of Evelyn Waugh's novel, Brideshead Revisited for the studio's art house division with Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly negotiating to play the leads. He was instead tapped to direct the fifth film of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007), which proved to be a perfect vehicle for Yates to flaunt his strong visual style and penchant for realism even within the realm of fantasy. His first order of business was to read though all the books - he had not done so previously - before diving into production. A task master bordering on perfectionist, Yates squeezed as much as he could from his actors both young and old, resulting in one of the finer installments of the series. A ready-made international franchise with high expectations and a cost well over $100 million, "Order of the Phoenix" was hailed by critics and was one of the highest grossing films of all time. Unlike previous "Potter" directors, Yates' services were retained again and he was allowed to wrap up the series with "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009), and the highly anticipated finale "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" (2010) and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" (2011). The final two were shot back-to-back, with the second part smashing records and earning near-universal acclaim. Following four consecutive big budget shoots, Yates took some deserved time off before working on his next project.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Became a freelancer for Create Studios
1988:
Filmed first short "When I Was a Girl"
1991:
Directed the dramatic short "Oranges and Lemons" for the BBC
1994:
Directed several episodes of the British police series "The Bill"
1998:
Debuted as a feature director with "The Tichborne Claimant"
2000:
Returned to television to helm several episodes of the BBC miniseries, "The Sins"
2001:
Directed the adaptation of Anthony Trollope's satire "The Way We Live Now"
2002:
Directed the BAFTA nominated short film, "Rank"
2003:
Helmed the BBC miniseries "State of Play"; earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Drama Serial
2003:
Directed Jim Broadbent in "The Young Visiters"
2004:
Helmed the two-part British series "Sex Traffic"
2005:
Directed Richard Curtis' Emmy Award-winning script "Girl in the Café" for the BBC and HBO; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries
2007:
Hired to direct the fifth Harry Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"
2009:
Returned to direct the sixth Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
2010:
Directed the seventh and final instalment in the Harry Potter film series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"; film released in two parts, Part 1 in November 2010 and Part 2 in July 2011
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

National Film and Television School: -
St. Helens College: -
St. Helens College: -
St. Helens College: -
University of Essex: -

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute