After a 10 year career as a stills photographer (A Town Like Alice, The Man From Snowy River, Phar Lap, Burke and Wills, High Tide and Kangaroo), in 1984 Parker was asked to shoot the low budget feature Mr B Says No, which won a Golden Camera Award at the Chicago Film Festival. Malcolm was the first feature film, which Parker wrote, shot and produced with director Nadia Tass.
Malcolm won eight Australian Film Institute awards and numerous international awards, and Parker was awarded the Premier’s Literary Award in NSW as well as the Australian Film Critic’s Circle Award for Best Screenplay. Following the success of Malcolm, Parker wrote and filmed Rikky and Pete with Tass in 1987. In 1989 he shot The Outsiders for Francis Ford Coppola, the pilot for the television series on the Fox Network. Parker then wrote, produced and shot The Big Steal with Nadia Tass. The Big Steal won local audiences and nine Australian Film Institute nominations, winning Parker the award for Best Screenplay.
In 1991 Parker shot his first feature in the United States Pure Luck for Universal Studios. The following year he produced and shot the three hour mini-series Stark for the BBC based on Ben Elton’s novel with Tass directing. Parker’s work on Stark won him the Australian Cinematographer’s Society Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography in 1993.
David Parker shot Nadia Tass’ Mr Reliable in late 1995 for which he also won a gold ACS award. Early the following year he produced Hotel de Love for director Craig Rosenberg. In 1997 Parker returned to his role as Writer, Producer, and Cinematographer on Amy for Cascade Films.
David Parker has directed two feature films, Diana and Me in 1996 and Hercules Returns in 1993. Hercules Returns was invited to both Venice and Sundance Film Festivals. More recently Parker produced Irresistible (2005), starring Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill and Emily Blunt, and The Gates of Hell (2007).
Parker has also directed commercials, notably the Vodafone campaign with Michael Richards (Kramer) and the AFL “I’d Like To See That” campaign with Ray Charles, Shaquille O’Neill, Elton John & Christy Turlington.
He continues to shoot movies for Nadia Tass (The Miracle Worker, Child Star, Undercover Christmas, Samantha: An American Girl Holiday, Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, Custody) as well as producing movies under the Cascade banner. In 2010, he was Executive Producer on the highly acclaimed Network 10 movie Hawke.