This article is about the film director. For other people of that name, see Simon West (disambiguation).
Simon West (born 1961) is an English film director. Born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, Simon West originally directed adverts, including a commercial for Budweiser. His film directing career started when he directed Con Air in 1997.
West began his career in 1981 as a film editor with the BBC in London. During a four year tenure at the BBC, West was involved with a number of award-winning productions including the documentary series Strangeways Prison and the drama series Bleak House both of which won awards from the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Mr. West's career took off in 1985 when he began freelancing as a director and he was awarded a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain to write and direct the film entitled Dolly Mixtures. He was subsequently signed to Limelight London to direct music videos and commercials. In 1987 he won Best Video at the Montreux Music Festival for Mel and Kim's Respectable.
With a flourishing commercial career, West relocated to Los Angeles offices of Limelight in 1991. Moving to Pilot pictures in 1992, he received a Clio Award for Little Caesar's Airplane and a Golden Lion Award for Little Caesar's "Italian Feast."
West joined Propaganda Films in 1993 with a roster of credits including McDonalds, Sprite, AT&T, Ford, Miller Beer and Budweiser. His most famous commercial was a spot for Pepsi where a little boy sucks himself into a Pepsi bottle. The ad ran during the Super Bowl and was USA Today's highest rated commercial for that year.
In 1997, he directed the international blockbuster Con Air for Jerry Bruckheimer starring Nicolas Cage and John Malkovich and followed that up in 1999 with The General's Daughter starring John Travolta.
In 2001, he directed Lara Croft : Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie and served as an executive producer on the Oscar nominated Black Hawk Down.
In 2003, he executive produced the critically acclaimed Fox show, Keen Eddie, also serving as director for the pilot and second episode.
In 2005, he directed the pilot for the Jerry Bruckheimer produced CBS show Close to Home, which he followed in 2006 with the Screen Gems thriller, When a Stranger Calls