Hackney director watches his first feature hit big screen

Film director Julian Jones

Film director Julian Jones - Credit: Archant

A film director will soon see his dream come true when his first feature – starring the new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi – hits big screens across the world.

But first Julian Jones, from Clapton, will be premiering his documentary, Inside the Mind of Leonardo, on home turf at the Hackney Picturehouse next week.

The film, which uses 3D photography and motion graphics, delves into the mind of the renowned Mona Lisa and Last Supper artist Leonardo da Vinci – and stars the Scottish actor who was recently announced as the new Doctor Who but is best known for his role as Malcolm Tucker in BBC series In the Thick of It.

Mr Jones, 41, of Durlston Road, worked as a trader at Camden Market after graduation before finding that his forte lay in television. He has now been in the business for some 14 years.

But seeing his first film hit the silver screen represents a personal dream come true.

He said: “It’s really nice. It’s always been an ambition of mine to direct a film.

“This is a story about one of mankind’s greatest icons and geniuses. I came to this as a novice about Leonardo. I did not realise he had done so much writing. Everyone knows about his amazing paintings. What people do not realise is that there’s a lot of writing as well.

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“More than 3,400 of Leonardo’s notebooks survived. They are split into different codices and are scattered all over the world. We used material from all the different codices. The Royal Family and Bill Gates are some of the people who own them.”

The film uses 3D photography and 3D motion graphics to give an insight into the famous artist’s life.

Mr Jones added: “The broadcasters wanted to do something experimental, which is rare. The idea was to bring Leonardo’s notebooks to life in 3D.

“This is 100 per cent Leonardo’s words and gives an insight into his life.

“Leonardo is not what you expect him to be. I always imagined him as having this long grey beard and being a sage. He was a man who had the same dreams and thwarted ambitions as everyone else has. He was quite edgy.”

Mr Jones said Peter Capaldi was ideal for the role of Leonardo, adding: “We wanted someone to portray someone who’s believable as a genius. Peter is a really great actor. I really wanted him from the beginning.

“He reads from Leonardo’s notebooks. I was keen to avoid the traditional dramatised documentary, so Peter appears as a voice of the notebooks.“

Mr Jones plans to attend the premiere with his wife and several colleagues, who all live in Hackney. Mr Capaldi is unable to attend because of his work commitments for Doctor Who.