Female Filmmaker Friday: S.J. Clarkson, First Female Director in Star Trek Film Franchise

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"If it really is a great idea, it will get made."

SJ Clarkson is a British director and writer known for her vast resume in television in America and the UK.

Clarkson got her start in theater as a stage manager that set her up for her true passion, a director in the entertainment industry. Her break came while she was working as a secretary and researcher at the BBC when a director was needed and Clarkson volunteered to fill the position.

Her feature film debut came in 2010 as the writer/director of Toast, starring Helena Bonham Carter, about the cookery writer Nigel Slater. What Clarkson is truly known for is the countless television shows she has directed. She directed and created the British show Mistresses in 2008. She has also directed episodes of Dexter, Casualty, Doctors, Heroes, EastEnders, Ugly Betty, Jessica Jones, Vinyl, and all five episodes of British comedy Love, Nina.

Her most recent project, Collateral, a four-part British serial drama, stars Carey Mulligan as a detective inspector on murder case that takes interesting turns as the cast of characters expand this simple murder mystery into much darker waters. The series aired on the BBC in February 2018 and can currently be seen in the US on Netflix.

The biggest news surrounding SJ Clarkson is that she has been in talks to be the next director of the Star Trek franchise, which would make her the first female director to do so. The decision comes at an interesting time for women in the industry. More doors are being opened, especially to people with Clarkson’s resume. She has a keen understanding in telling stories and a true sense of how people think, react, and try to live their lives.

Hear more about her start and direction style in this joint interview with director Peter Kosminsky: