Director Julian Richards has dedicated the UK release of his latest crime thriller SKIN COLLECTOR to its editor Mark Talbot-Butler, a long-time friend and colloborator who sadly died of cancer on December 30th aged 55.
“I met Mark at film school in 1987 where he cut my graduation film Queen Sacrifice” said Richards “It won Best Fiction Film at the British Short Film Festival and forged a director/editor relationship that would last 30 years”.
Mark joined Richards as editor on his debut feature DARKLANDS which won the Melies D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film, and coming-of-age thriller SUMMER SCARS which won two BAFTA Cymru awards. In 2012 the pair travelled to Hollywood to work on SKIN COLLECTOR starring Danielle Harris, John Jarratt and Casper Van Dien. They returned in 2018 for paranormal horror REBORN starring Barbara Crampton, Michael Pare and Rae Dawn Chong.
“Mark’s passion and enthusiasm for film was unrivalled and his editing skills were bordering on genius” said Richards. “No matter what compromises or mistakes were made during production, Mark always found a way to fix them in post. He was largely responsible for the hypnotic pagan dance sequences in Darklands and when cutting performances his timing was perfect. With Reborn we had limited resources during the shoot so needed to add value in post. Mark scoured the internet for storm chaser footage and created a terrific credit sequence that opens the film.”
Mark’s other feature credits include Sci-Fi thriller EXAM directed by Stuart Hazeldine which won the Spirit Award at Santa Barbara Film Festival and supernatural horror FIRSTBORN directed by Nirpal Ghobal which sold to Netflix. His TV credits include TOP GEAR, DYNAMO and the closing ceremony of the 2012 PARALYMPIC GAMES.
“Mark’s favourite film was Planet Of The Apes for which he amassed a collection of 2,400 behind-the-scenes stills, so if you search for him on Google, the only images you are likely find are of Apes” said Richards. “Whilst editing Skin Collector, we drove to Point Dune in Malibu, the beach used for the iconic last scene. This was like a pilgrimadge for Mark who dropped to his knees, looked up at the sky and shouted “You finally did it, you maniacs! You blew it up”! Editors are like drummers in a band, in that they never get the attention they deserve, so I wanted to take this opportunity to let the genre community know what a terrific guy Mark was and what a terrific contribution he made to the art”.