Life on the Line Director David Hackl - Cinema Village
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Life on the Line Director David Hackl

DIRECTOR'S PROFILE | Starts on November 18th at Cinema Village!


David Hackl began his film career in Toronto in 1986 production designing countless music videos and commercials for some of Canada’s top recording artists and world renowned directors. 

In 1989 Hackl made the leap to directing music videos and commercials, where he was busy until 1996, when he returned to production designer on Actor/Director Saul Rubinek’s directorial debut Jerry and Tom (starring Joe Mantegna and Sam Rockwell).

For the next decade, Hackl’s production design credits included Sci-Fi Channel series LEXX-the Dark Zone and Starhunter, the independent features Clubland (Director Saul Rubinek, starring Steven Webber and Alan Alda), the television films Zebra Lounge (Kari Skogland directing, starring Stephen Baldwin), REDEMPTION-The Stan Tookie Williams Story (Vondie Curtis Hall directing, starring Jamie Foxx) and The River Man (Director Bill Eagles, starring Cary Elwes) and the 2003 miniseries The Grid (Mikael Salomon directing, Starring Dylan McDermott, Julianna Margulies, for Fox Network).

In 2005 Hackl joined the Saw franchise as production designer, then as the second unit director on Saw II (2006), Saw III (2007) and SAW IV (2008). He designed many of the famous Saw traps and established the dark world of Jigsaw, helping to make Saw one of the most successful horror franchises in history.

Between Saw films, Hackl production designed the werewolf update Skinwalkers with director Jim Isaac for Don Carmody Productions and Germany’s Constantin Film Produktion. He also designed the epic Viking/Alien feature Outlander starring Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Ron Perlman and John Hurt and in 2007 Hackl designed and second unit directed the futuristic rock opera Repo The Genetic Opera starring Paris Hilton, Alex Vega, Anthony Head for director Darren Lynn Bousman.

In 2007 Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate hired Hackl to direct Saw V, his first feature film. The films debut saw an opening weekend box office of $30.5MM and it went on to gross $113MM Worldwide.

Hackl continued on the Saw franchise in 2008, as Visual Consultant on Saw VI and in 2010 later he worked on Saw 3D through pre-production and development.

In 2012, Hackl directed the action thriller Into The Grizzly Maze, staring James Marsden, Thomas Jane, Piper Perabo, Scott Glenn and Billy Bob Thornton and 9 foot tall Bart The Bear. The film was released in May 2015 through Sony and is currently on Netflix.

Investigation Discovery recruited Hackl in 2015 to direct the first three episodes of the new drama series Real Detectives staring Devon Sawa, Michael Madsen and Curtis Caravaggio. The shows aired in January 2016, taking #1 spot on the network.

Through his Toronto film company Skyrocket Films, Hackl is currently developing the paranormal-thriller Here After and adapting the horror novel trilogy Cappawhite, writing Sci-Fi thrillers Humanity and Self Drive, as well as Television series Dead Man’s Island, Carrowholly and Undead Mom.

In 2017 Hackl is attached to direct The Witching Hour through Radar Films and the action/thriller Jetman through Das Films.

Hackl is represented by David Saunders at APA (Agency for the Performing Arts).