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John Thomson John Thomson i(A16633 works by)
Born: Established: 1953 ;
Gender: Male
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BiographyHistory

John Thomson and long-time collaborator Mark Shirrefs met while undergraduates at the Victorian College of the Arts Drama School in 1976. They worked separately in the performing arts for some years, specialising as comedy directors and writers. Thomson worked (with American script-writer Gerry Wollery) on the initial adaptation for large ensemble comedy film Scavenger Hunt (1979) and both directed and wrote (with script-writers Lance Curtis, Neill Gladwin, Stephen Kearney, Geoff Kelso, and Mark Little) the skit-based short film Tennis Elbow (1982).

Shirrefs and Thomson completed the Swinburne Institute of Technology postgraduate film course in 1982 and 1986 respectively. Their first collaboration was 1990's Let The Blood Run Free, a satire of day-time hospital soap operas, which had begun life as an improvished stage show in Melbourne but was brought to television after the intervention of Ian McFadyen. Thomson and Shirrefs are, however, best known for their extensive body of work in children's science-fiction and fantasy television, which began in 1989 with The Girl from Tomorrow for Channel 9. It won an AWGIE Award for best original children's script and sold in over sixty countries. The 1991 sequel series, Tomorrow's End, won an ATOM Award and had similar commercial success. Both series were novelised and published by Hodder and Stoughton.

In 1995, Thomson and Shirrefs developed Spellbinder, another children's science-fiction/fantasy series, for Channel 9. A co-production between Film Australia and Polish Television, it won two ATOM awards, an AWGIE award, and an AFI award. Two Spellbinder novels were published in 1995. Spellbinder was followed by a sequel, Spellbinder II: Land of the Dragon Lord.

Their subsequent collaborations include scripts for Mission: Top Secret, Pig's Breakfast, and Scooter: Secret Agent.

Thomson has written scripts independently of his long-time collaborator, including for The Sleepover Club and Outriders.

Thomson has also continued to work as a director, including on American film Candy the Stripper (a romance set in New Orleans) and Australian TV series Bingles, his own Let The Blood Run Free, Wedlocked, and Full Frontal. In Bingles, he was continuing the association with Ian McFadyen that had begun with Let The Blood Run Free. He also worked as script editor for the Australian film Crackers.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

form y separately published work icon The Sleepover Club ( dir. Arnie Custo et. al. )agent Australia : Burberry Productions Nine Network , 2003-2007 Z1883334 2003-2007 series - publisher film/TV

'Based on the popular books by Rose Impey, this comedy-drama series features five 12-year-old girls on their quest for identity, individuality, belonging, family, friendship and how to have the most fun while trying to deny the existence of boys.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 3/12/2013)

2007 nominated AFI Awards Australian Film Institute Awards Best Children's Television Drama
form y separately published work icon Don't Blame the Koalas Don't Blame Me ( dir. Kevin James Dobson et. al. )agent Australia : Southern Star Entertainment , 2002-2003 7392193 2002 series - publisher film/TV children's

'In England a recently bereaved widow and her two children discover that they've inherited a property in Australia. With some reluctance they head to Australia to claim their inheritance only to discover that the profitable sheep station they've imagined is in fact a rather out of the way wildlife park full of Australian native animals. What's more it has human occupants as well - a distantly related trio of grandchildren who have been bequeathed lifelong rights to live on the property. As well, there's an Australian born Vietnamese animal handler who's somehow the only one who has real expertise in dealing with native Australian animals.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 23/5/2014)

2003 nominated BAFTA Awards International Awards British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards Best International Children's
2003 nominated Australian Film Institute Awards Best Children's Television Drama
form y separately published work icon Spellbinder II : Land of the Dragon Lord ( dir. Noel Price ) Australia Poland China : Australian Children's Television Foundation Telewizja Polska Shanghai Film Studios , 1997 Z1845798 1997 series - publisher film/TV children's fantasy young adult

Spellbinder II: Land of the Dragon Lord is something of a sequel to the earlier Spellbinder, also written by Mark Shirrefs and John Thomson. However, the only recurring characters are Spellbinder's antagonist Ashka and her offsider.

In this series, teenager Kathy Morgan is, like Paul in the original series, pulled into a different world: however, where Paul is pulled into an alternative Europe in which the Industrial Revolution never happened, Kathy is pulled into an alternative China (the land of the Dragon Lord), in which the empire is controlled by advanced technology. She finds enemies not only in the land of the Dragon Lord, but also in Ashka's world (the original world of the Spellbinders).

Spellbinder II was the last major collaboration (thus far) between Mark Shirrefs and John Thomson, who had previously collaborated on such important Australian science-fiction and fantasy children's television programs as The Girl from Tomorrow, The Girl from Tomorrow Part II, and Spellbinder.

1998 winner Ditmar Awards Dramatic Presentation
Last amended 6 Sep 2012 11:13:10
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