"I wanna salute my man Don Letts whose well crafted documentary works have opened and freed many souls here in the Dark Ages of Distraction"
- Chuck D (Public Enemy)
Grammy award winning film maker Don Letts first picked up a movie camera during punk rock explosion of the late nineteen seventies. Inspired by its D.I.Y ethic he made his first film 'The Punk Rock Movie'. Shot on Super-8mm it is the only documentary on the U.K punk scene w/ Sex Pistols-The Clash and many others. This led to a period directing hundreds of music videos for an eclectic mix of artists ranging from Public Image to Bob Marley. He then moved into documentary film making which he continues to do to this very day:
2017: 'Two Sevens Clash': Dread Meets Punk Rockers (50 mins SkyArts) shot, directed and narrated by Don this archive based film looks at the myth and the reality of the 'punky-reggae party' - using unseen footage shot on Super-8mm 40 years ago and as such is probaly the only untold punk rock story includes: The Sex Pistols - Big Youth - The Clash - Culture - The Slits - Linton Kwesi Johnson and many more.
2016: ‘Skinhead’ (60 mins. BBC4) written, directed and presented by Don this is a first-hand account of the skinhead movement - tracing its multicutural origins in the late 1960′s and its evolution through the 70′s and 80′s into a “threatening and bigoted subculture steeped in far-right politics - w/ Kevin Rowland, Pauline Black, Jimmy Pursey and Gary Bushell.
2014 ‘Something New’ (45 minute doc) aired globally to promote Sir Paul McCartney’s latest album ‘New’. Produced by four producers Mark Ronson – Paul Epworth – Giles Martin and Ethan Johns it’s an insiders view on the making of the record and the events that took place during the year in which it was made.
2013 ‘Royalty Close Up’ (4 x 30 min series SKY 1/Sky Arts) A look at the Royal Family through the photography of Royal photographer Kent Gavin. Features Piers, Anne Robinson and Alastair Campbell.
2012 'Subculture' (6 x 10 min series CH4) a look at British youth sub-culture from Teddy Boys to the Rave generation.
2012 ‘Celebrity Exposed’ (4 x 30 series Sky Arts) The second in this series looks the life and times of the king of the paparazzi Richard Young features Kate Moss, Elton John, Vivienne Westwood, Steven Berkoff and
2011 ‘Rock n’ Roll Exposed’ (4 x 30 min series Sky Arts) this series looks at the life and work of legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen who as well as documenting the story of rock n’ roll was also John Lennon’s personal photographer for ten years. Features Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Iggy Pop, Deborah Harry, Alice Copper and Tommy Ramone amongst others.
2010 ‘Strummerville’ (60 mins/Sky Arts) premiered at SBSW film the looks at the work being done by The Joe Strummer Foundation ForNew Music. Featuring unseen archive of the man himself and contributions by Billy Bragg and Damien Hirst.
2009 ‘Carnival!’ (60 mins) A look at the multi-cultural journey of London’s Nottinghill Carnival now in its 50th year. Featuring Sir Trevor Mcdonald, Andrea Oliver, Norman Jay MBE, Paul, Trevor Philips OBE, Rudolf Walker and Jazzie B. OBE.
2009 ‘Made in Sheffield’ (30 mins Channel 4). The making of Tony Christies new album produced Hawley and featuring songs by famous Sheffield artists like The Artic Monkeys, The Human League and Pulp.
2008 ‘The Clash: Revolution Rock (60 mins BBC3) A look at the history of the Clash through their live performances.
2007 ‘Soul Britannia’ (60 mins BBC). The final episode of a three part series looking at the impact of black music on the U.K and it’s part in changing the cultural identity. Features Soul to Soul’s Jazzie B, Norman Jay, Amy Winehouse, Massive Attack’s Daddy G, Mica Paris, Omar, Roots Manuva, Goldie, Joss Stone and Trevor Nelson amongst others.
2007 ‘Still Burning: Stiff Little Fingers’ (90 mins) a definitive history of Belfast’s seminal punk band.
2006 ‘The Good The Bad and The Queen’ (50 mins) Concert film of Damon Albarn’s new project with Paul Simonon ex-Clash, Simon Tong ex- Verve and Tony Allen. Shot at The Tabernacle in West London.
2006 ‘Tales Of Dr. Funkenstein’: George Clinton (60 mins BBC4). A look at the master of P-Funk, features George Clinton, Andre 3000 and Macy Gray.
2006 ‘Rock It To Rio’: (60 mins Ch4/Sky Arts) On tour with Franz Ferdinand in Chile, Argentina and Brazil w/ Bono.
2006 ‘All Mod Cons’ (40 mins) The story of the making of The Jam’s album of the same name w/ Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Butler.
2005 ‘PUNK: Attitude’ (90 min Sky Arts) from Jerry Lee Lewis to Nirvana the film puts punk in the context of an on going counter-culture. Premiered on the IFC Channel in America it also won best the documentary prize at the Melbourne Film Festival and London’s Raindance.
2005 ‘The Brother From Another Planet’ the story of Sun Ra (60min. BBC2) A look at one of the strangest characters to emerge from the jazz scene.
2003 ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: The Story of Gil Scott-Heron (BBC2 60 min. doc). Critically the documentary also featured The Last Poets, Chuck D and Mos Def.
2002 ‘Downtown To Worlds End’ (30 min. doc). A look at the roots of Punk Rock in New York City. Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), John Holstrom (Punk Magazine), Jayne County, Bob Gruen and Richard Lloyd of Television.
2001 ‘The Hundred Greatest Number One’s’ (Ch4, 4hrs doc). A lighthearted look at 100 of the best number one singles from the late fifties to date. Viewed by 6 million it was Channel 4’s highest rated program that year.
2000 ‘Smile’ (45 min doc.) A portrait of Marti Pellow (of Wet Wet Wet fame) as he embarks on a journey back to Tennessee. Features Willie Mitchell (Al Green’s producer).
1999 'Westway To The World’ (82 min. doc BBC2). This Grammy winning documentary looks at the story of the Clash, one the most influential punk bands of the 70's, from their roots in the U.K to their conquest of America.
1998 ‘Return of the Super Ape’ (Ch4/30 min doc). Featuring the legendary work of Jamaican recording artist/producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry.
1996 'Planet Rock' (BBC 60 min. doc) the final episode in the B.A.F.T.A nominated series 'Dancing in the Street'. Aired in 26 countries around the world, the program examined the effect of black music in the Eighties. Features Grandmaster Flash-Africa Bambatta- Run DMC-De La Soul-Public Enemy-Frankie Knuckles-The Beastie Boys-Derrick May.
1977 ‘ The Punk Rock Movie’ 90 mins. Shot entirely on Super-8mm it is the first documentary of the UK punk explosion w/ The Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Clash, The Slits and many others.
BRANDED CONTENT INCLUDES:
2010 ‘Chase The Devil’ (4 mins) animated music video performed by N.A.S.A and commissioned by Doctor Martens for their 50th anniversary.
2010 ‘Strummerville Sessions’ (3 x 15 min / C4) a three part tv series presenting the best of the foundations up and coming artists presented by Jamie Winston.