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Biography #2British born Simon West began his award-winning career in 1981 as a trainee film editor with the BBC in London. During an impressive four year tenure, he was involved with a number of award-winning productions, including the docu mentary series Strangeways Prison and the dramatic series Bleak House, both winning BAFTA awards. He also worked on the documentary Fighter Pilot, the feature film Grown Ups and the flagship news program 'Newsnight.
In 1985, West began freelancing as a director and won a grant from the Arts Council to write and direct the film Dolly Mixtures. Limelight London, one of the country's fastest growing pop video and commercial production companies, invited him to join their rapidly increasing roster of young directors. In 1987, he won Best Video at the Montreux Music Festival for Mel and Kim's Respectable.
One of the most sought after commercial directors on both sides of the Atlantic, West moved to the Los Angeles offices of Limelight in 1991, and to Pilot Pictures a year later, winning a Clio award for Little Caesar's Airplane, and a Golden Lion Award in Cannes for Little Caesar's Italian Feast.
He joined Propaganda Films in 1993, directing a string of successful commercials for McDonald's, Sprite, Ford, Miller Beer and Budweiser. USA Today voted his creative Pepsi spot (Boy in the Bottle) the most popular commercial of the 1995 Super Bowl.
West launched into the Hollywood mainstream with the 1997 action blockbuster Con Air. Two years later he directed The General's Daughter, starring John Travolta. Each of these movies passed the $ 100 million domestic box-office watershed.