Award winning filmmaker Mark Atkins, began his career working on blue chip natural history films for the BBC and National Geographic as an assistant cameraman for his aunt and uncle, acclaimed natural history filmmakers
Paul Atkins and Grace Niska Atkins of Moana Productions. Working with Paul and Gracie, Mark was
part of the camera team on Moana Productions’ National Geographic specials SECRET KILLERS OF
MONTEREY BAY which won a CINE Masters Series Award. Mark received additional photography
credit on Moana Productions GREAT WHITE SHARK which won an Emmy Award and Cine Golden
Eagle for cinematography.
Atkins was accepted into the University of Central Florida’s Motion Picture Program from which he
graduated in 1995 with a B.A. in Motion Picture Production. While still an undergraduate, Atkins wrote,
directed and produced his first feature film, the 35mm Southern Gothic mystery, NIGHT ORCHID —
Winner of Best First Feature Film at the New Orleans Film Festival and Golden Medallion for Best
Feature and Golden Lion for Best of Show at the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival. NIGHT ORCHID
was picked up for distribution as part of then fledgling distributor, the Asylum’s First Rites Program.
Subsequent to NIGHT ORCHID, Atkins became one of The Asylum’s most in-demand writer-directors
and cinematographers, directing fourteen features and serving as cinematographer on over thirty since
2004. According to Christopher Mills of DVD LATE SHOW “Atkins is no Peter Jackson… but he might
be, someday.” His feature film, DRAGON CRUSADERS won a Silver Telly Award for Best Visual Effects
and Bronze for Best HD feature film. In 2011, Atkins directed the horror comedy SAND SHARKS for
American World Pictures. He followed that with the medieval epic KNIGHT OF THE DEAD for Automatic
Entertainment. To date, Atkins has written thirteen screenplays which have been successfully produced.
He served as screenwriter on the television movie DRAGON WASPS. He served as cinematographer
on Mark Lester’s (Commando, Firestarter) recent project DRAGONS OF CAMELOT.
AWAKEN is Atkins third collaboration with Archstone distribution beginning with Scott Martin’s BATTLE
FORCE, and more recently P-51 DRAGON FIGHTER on which he served as writer/director. To date,
Atkins has directed eighteen features with subjects ranging from fantasy (MERLIN and the WAR OF THE
DRAGONS) to horror (HAUNTING OF WINCHESTER HOUSE), comedy (SAND SHARKS), science
fiction (ANDROID COP), action adventure (ALLAN QUATERMAIN) and thrillers (EVIL EYES). His work
has taken him across the globe from Rapa Nui, Egypt, Figi, South Africa, Belize, Iceland, Burma and
Tierra del Fuego. He shot his first 3D feature film in 2009. Atkins served as underwater
cinematographer for 30K LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, the documentary feature INTO THE AIR, and
AWAKEN. Atkins also served as cinematographer on DISNEY’s animation live-action hybrid, TAKE 2
with PHINEUS and FERB.
Atkins’ films have been successful in television and film markets worldwide. His Syfy Original Movie,
BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES was the third movie of 2011 with over 2 million viewers and the most
popular with the 25 to 54 demographic. Many of his films have been the top renters including MERLIN
AND THE WAR OF THE DRAGONS ( #41 video rentals in Germany for 2009). In 2010, FIRE DRAGON
CHRONICLES: Dragon Quest (#3 in Blu-ray Rental ranking for its German distributor). SAND SHARKS,
the #1 title for its German distributor in 2012. Atkins films are consistently top market performers. From
Jonathan Poritsky of THE CANDLER BLOG — “Atkins’ auteur-istic tendencies (in the comparison with
someone like Lucio Fulci or William Castle) should not be over looked — especially in today’s cinematic
landscape overtaken by ‘Fincher’s and ‘Anderson’s.”
In 2012, Atkins and his partner Erica Steele launched visual effects and production company, Artemisia
Productions which has since provided visual effects and post production on numerous feature films including Knight of the Dead, Awaken, Road Wars, and In the Name of Ben Hur.
His most recent projects as director have been a slate of films for Syfy Channel’s Shark Week, including “Planet of the Sharks”, “Empire of the Sharks” and “Six Headed Shark Attack”, all shot on location in South Africa.
Erica brings a unique combination of business organization and accounting skills, as well as creative/art expertise to over fifteen years of professional experience in filmmaking.
Ms. Steele has produced and line produced numerous music videos and twelve feature films, the most recent projects being Don’t Kill It starring Dolph Lundgren, and Empire of the Sharks, with John Savage, and Big Kill with Danny Trejo, Lou Diamond Philips & Jason Patric, and is attached to the upcoming Unhinged with Mickey Rourke.
She also has worked as editor on numerous features including two films for Syfy Channel’s Shark Week, “Planet of the Sharks” and “Six Headed Shark Attack”.
She is currently producing and editing a documentary called Sound & Vision, with filmmaker Jean Phillippe Meli as director.
She has worked in nearly every capacity as a filmmaker, from director, producer/line producer, and casting director to editor, and visual effects artist on nine feature films.