"I guess I've always been a movie buff, but it wasn't until my third year of high school (an amazing art- enriched school here in Toronto, called Wexford C.I.) that I got the opportunity to make a short film as part of a film arts class. The actual experience of making a film was incredibly frustrating, exciting and rewarding all at the same time. The fact that it incorporated so many different disciplines fascinated me, and I knew right there I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.
After graduating from high school, I was turned down by every film school I applied to. I took it as a huge blow at the time, but luckily, and with some outside help I was able to land my first job on a film set very early on. At that time, I worked mostly as a lighting technician, but also dabbled as a grip, set dresser and set painter. I spent about 10 years learning to 'wax on and wax off,' not really realizing that I was building a varied and broad set of skills that would eventually make me the type of DIY filmmaker I am today."
Toronto native Ken Simpson has worked in film continuously since leaving art school. Over the past seventeen years as a filmmaker, he has become known for his distinct and complex visual style with an innovative fusion of technology and creativity. His passion for trick photography and visual effects has made Simpson a sought-after compositor for film, television and the web.
Over the last several years, Simpson has received much acclaim as a director for his narrative short film work, including, Happenstance (2009) which according to smartmoviemaking.com is the world's first narrative short film ever to be shot using the iPhone, [Ri-sip-ruh-keyt] (2009) and his epic 20-minute mini-feature, The Fall and Rise of Mickey (2011). His most popular short, Worked for Me (2009) is a touching and funny look at a young man dealing with a devastating breakup, and has garnished awards and various accolades internationally.
In the summer of 2013, Simpson premiered his ambitious $50,000 feature film directorial debut, Headcase, at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival which was then followed by a very successful ten day run in Toronto. In early 2014, Simpson directed the hour-long documentary, The Trouble with Dying about the controversial topic of assisted suicide & euthanasia and its socio-political implications in Canada. The Trouble with Dying was narrated by the Academy award winning actor Christopher Plummer, and aired nationally on Vision TV.
In 2015 Simpson was hired to direct and edit a five part miniseries as part of a co-production between CTN (Cambodia) and GMA Network (Philippines). The series "Blood in Dispute" stars Mikael Daez, Andrea Torres and is co-written by Simpson and Romilly Belcourt based on an outline by Phum Pitch films. The series will air in late 2015.
*All credits as director unless otherwise noted.
- Blood in Dispute (5 x 28 minute mini-series co-production for CTN Cambodia and GMA Philippines)
- Unifor: The First Year (20 minute documentary)
- In Canada (Music video staring Commander Chris Hadfield)
- The Trouble with Dying (Hour long TV documentary)
- D.B.K.S. (Ongoing web series)
- Headcase: A Look Inside (12 part web series - 5 hours total)
- Headcase (Feature film)
- From the Archives of Castro's Lounge (Web series)
- Birthday Girl Blues (Short documentary)
- TIFVA (*Festival Judge)
- Canada's Got Talent (22 x 30 minute Reality TV series *as Camera Operator)
- The Polar Explorer (Feature documentary *as editor / compositor)
- The Fall and Rise of Mickey (Short film)
- Gadget Girlz (Lifestyle 26 x 22 minute Informational TV series *as post production supervisor)
- Worked For Me (short film)
- Ri-sip-ruh-keyt (short film)
- Happenstance (short film)
- Body Fuel (13 x 22 minute Cooking TV series *as post production supervisor)
- Positive Living TV (10 x 22 minute Lifestyle TV series *as post production supervisor)
- Soccer Dreams (10 x 22 minutes Sports Reality TV series *as 2nd unit director)