Sir Ridley Scott is a British film producer and a director. He hails from South Shields in South Tyneside, North East England to Colonel Francis Percy Scott and Elizabeth. His father Francis Percy was an officer in the Royal Engineers and was mostly away most of the time. When Ridley was young, his older brother Frank joined the Merchant Navy. His brother’s job was the reason that the duo had little contact. His younger brother Tony Scott also became a film director. The family moved around a lot owing to the army job of the father. They travelled and lived in Cumberland, Germany, Wales, and many other places before settling finally in Teesside (Hartburn, County Durham). They went back to their native place in North East after the World War II.
Ridley did his schooling from Grangefield Grammar School, Stockton. Like his elder brother, Ridley also wanted to join the army. But, his father opposed the decision, saying that Ridley should instead polish his artistic skills/ talents. So, he obtained a diploma in design in 1958 from West Hartlepool College of Art. Afterward, he went to London’s Royal College of Art. In the college, he contributed to the ARK magazine and helped in setting up the film department too. For his final performance in the college, he prepared a short film (black and white) 'Boy and Bicycle'. 'Boy and Bicycle' featured Ridley’s father and his younger brother. After his graduation, he was granted a scholarship (travelling) to the Unites States. Over there, he worked with various award-winning documentary filmmakers. Then, he was hired by the BBC as a trainee set designer.
In the February of 1963, BBC named Ridley in its credits of the TV programme Tonight. He was credited as the Designer of the show, which depicted the 1963’s severe winter. After that, he worked on various television series like 'Out of the Unknown' (science fiction), and 'Z- Cars' (police series). He was initially a part of 'The Daleks' (second part of Doctor Who serial), but Raymond Cusick replaced him following a schedule conflict. He started directing episodes for BBC television series in 1965. Only one episode of his direction, ‘Adam Adamant Lives!’ is commercially available now. The rest was wiped off.
In the year 1968, Ridley along with his younger brother established a film and commercial production firm- RSA (Ridley Scott Associates). In the 1970s, Ridley made many commercials at RSA with some of the leading names like Hugh Johnson, Alan Parker, and Hugh Hudson. One such advertisement was the Hovis ad in 1973 ‘Bike Round’ which became all – time favorite commercial (of the United Kingdom) in a poll of 2006. It was filmed in Gold Hill, Shaftesbury in the county of Dorset. It captured the public imagination. In 1970 and 1980s, the commercials of Chanel were directed by Ridley. They were creative mini- films with production parameters like surreal imagination and appeal which “played on the same visual imagery, with the same silhouette of the bottle". In 1995, Ridley and Tony purchased the Shepperton Studios, and they renovated it considerably while expanding and upgrading its grounds. In 1984, Scott directed a big budget TV commercial of the launching of Apple Macintosh computer.
His debut film as a director was 'The Duellists' based upon the novel by Joseph Conrad with the same name in 1977. The Duellists got nominated at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Best Film award. Subsequently, Ridley directed many films including a science- fiction '
', 'Blade Runner', '
', 'Someone to Watch Over Me', 'Thelma & Louise', 'Black Rain', and historical epic '1492: Conquest of Paradise'. Ridley and Tony formed another production company in Los Angeles, Scott Free Productions. His succeeding films were all produced under the Scott Free Productions banner. His next directions were 'G. I. Jane', 'White Squall', '
', 'Black Hawk Down', 'Kingdom of Heaven', director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven, 'Matchstick Men' (adapted from Eric Garcia’s novel). Other movies to his credit are 'A Good Year', 'American Gangster', 'Robinhood', 'Body of Lies', '
', 'Killing Jesus', 'Gettysburg', 'The Gathering Storm', 'Into the Storm', 'The Pillars of the Earth', 'Killing Kennedy', '
', and 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'. He also produced documentaries including 'Life in a Day', and ''. 'A Good Year' is based on the book of Peter Mayle.
Ridley Scott has also been a producer of television projects comprising of 'Numb3rs' (a crime drama series about a mathematician who assists the FBI in crime solving), 'The Good Wife' (legal & mystery show), 'The A- Team' (TV film), and 'The Man in the High Castle' (an American TV series adapted from a novel by Philip K. Dick). Ridley is currently working on the adaptation of The Forever Way book by Joe Haldeman. He is also producing a sequel to 'Blade Runner'. The second instalment of 'Prometheus' is also due. In 2016, he was seen negotiating to direct the 1968 British TV series 'The Prisoner' in the film version.
Ridley married Felicity Heywood in 1964. The duo has two sons Jake Scott and Luke Scott. Both, Jake and Luke are presently working as directors in RSA- Ridley Scott Associates, Production Company. Ridley separated his ways from Felicity in 1975. He then remarried an advertising executive Sandy Watson in 1979. The couple is blessed with a daughter, Jordan Scott. They got divorced in 1989. Jordon is also a director with RSA, working from Los Angeles. Ridley’s current companion is the actress Giannina Facio. Facio has been a part of all the movies of Scott since 'White Squall' leaving 'The Martian' and 'American Gangster'.
Ridley has dedicated many of his movies to the memory of his family members. 'The Counselor' and 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' were dedicated to his younger brother Tony, 'Blade Runner' to his elder brother Frank, and 'Black Hawk Down' to his mother, Elizabeth. Scott got nominated for numerous awards and had also won many of them. His awards include the Best Debut Film Award at Cannes Film Festival, Saturn Award for Best Director, Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, Emmy Award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special, Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Visual Effects Society, and the award for Best Director by National Board of Review. He is also an honorary doctorate by the Royal College of Art, London.