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Sit Down with Josh Thomas, Director of 'Tales of The Tardis' - start of article

Sit Down with Josh Thomas, Director of 'Tales of The Tardis'

We met Josh a few years back when he first joined His Dark Materials, he is now an Executive Assistant on Doctor Who as well as taking on his big debut Directing role on 'Tales of the Tardis' now streaming on BBC iPlayer.

After the premier of 'Tales of the Tardis' Josh sat down with us to discuss the journey so far...

SAW: Hey Josh, congratulations of Tales of the Tardis! It's been brilliant to see your journey and to see how far you've come! Can you tell us a little about Tales of the Tardis and what got you to this point?

JT: I was an assistant for the head of a production company before becoming the 'Producer's Assistant' on His Dark Materials and then moving my way to 'Director's Assistant' on HDM [His Dark Materials], which was great. I moved over from HDM to Doctor Who as the Executive Assistant to Russell T Davies, Phil Collinson and Joel Collins.

I then Directed my short film on 'It's My Shout' which led to Russell, Phil and Joel saying 'Hey, we've got this project and we actually think that if you want it, we'd like you to direct it,” which was Tales.

So based on all of that work, all of the short films that I was making, if I got an opportunity to do a commercial or some branded content, all of it is training. You learn so much from every shoot and every experience that it builds your skillset over and over again.

And I think for all of those experiences leading up to my short for It’s My Shout, working hard in the job that I had as an assistant, being good to everybody across the board, not just the right people, it paid off and I got to direct Tales which I’m very proud of.

SAW: That's brilliant Josh. Tell us, what made you want to become a Director?

JT: I like to get stuck into everything. What's great about directing is that you're not limited to one department - you're in the thick of everything. You get to collaborate with every head of department and listen to ideas.

From working with actors, working with HoD’s, or in post with the editors, it's the entire spectrum of work that makes directing just the best job in the world. What makes a good director is listening to everybody's ideas and then saying, “I like that, that works. That's better than what I thought.” And that level of collaboration is why I wanted to direct.

SAW: Can you share with us a moment on Tales that you loved and would like to share?

JT: I was looking at the monitor in the middle of a take and Scott Hancock (Producer) was stood next to me tapped me on the shoulder and said “look at this” - we looked over our shoulders and at the monitor across from the set was Russell T Davies, Pete McTighe, Peter Hall and Phil Collinson all stood at the monitor and as the camera's pushing in, you could see all of them moving towards the monitor with the camera. It was just a magical moment to watch all of these people who supported me getting here, just lean into the moment. I thought that was magic. That's one of my fondest memories.

One of my main memories from Tales was just when the crew would break out in laughter based on a performance. When an actor breaks and the entire crew laughs, that's a moment that stays with you because it gives you that community feel, and if you can foster that as a director on set, if you can allow people to have those moments where they can laugh because there's been a mistake or someone's done something, you're doing the right thing.

SAW: That sounds incredible! Any advice that you'd like to share with any aspiring Directors, or anyone looking to get into the industry?

JT: Believe in yourself, work on your craft, surround yourself with the right people, be consistent, and ultimately be honest with yourself about what you want to make. Do something that you're driven to do and that you’re kind of obsessed with, especially when you're making shorts and building your portfolio. Do the stuff that excites you, that keeps you up at night because you just want to get back to final draft and keep typing. Do those do those stories while you can because otherwise what else are you doing it for?

This is a hard is industry so surround yourself with people who believe in you. Even in those moments where you feel like you don't believe in yourself, if you're surrounded by the right people, they're going to pick you up and you're going to move forwards.

SAW: Thank you so much Josh, it's been brilliant talking with you. We can't wait to see what you get up to next.

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