THE FILMMAKERS

JULIE M. THOMPSON was born in Woodstock, Illinois.  This small northern Illinois town was already known in the film world as the home of the Todd School for Boys, where Orson Welles got his early schooling. It was later to become famous as the location for Groundhog Day.

Julie came to California at sixteen to study film and television and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from San Diego State University.  To help pay for her schooling, she performed in bars and coffeehouses throughout the state.  In San Diego, she worked at the famous Heritage Coffee House, with Tom Waits, Jack Tempchin, and various early incarnations of the Eagles and Flying Burrito Brothers.  Her exposure to this fertile venue for California singer-songwriters had a lasting effect on her in recognizing the power of music.

After moving to Los Angeles, she helped run a recording studio for producer/musician Alex Hassilev of the Limeliters. Her first project as a record producer was for activist /singer-songwriter, Holly Near.  Julie worked with Holly for a number of years, both as her manager and co-producer of three of her record album.  She also produced records for folk legend Malvina Reynolds, who was an early mentor.

In the early l980's she co-produced a number of large political concerts at the Hollywood Bowl featuring Peter Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, George Carlin, Bonnie Raitt and the Eagles.  Concurrently, Julie resumed her work in her first love, documentary filmmaking.  Along with Mary Beth Yarrow, she produced an award winning film, THE WILLMAR 8.  The film told the story of a group of women in a small Minnesota town who stood up to their employer, the town bank, when they were past-over for promotion and instead, asked to train young male business school graduates who would be taken on at the bank for higher salaries and fast track positions. The project was later made into a television movie, directed by Lee Grant.

During this time Julie got to know three pivotal influences, Allard K. Lowenstein, Peter Yarrow, and actor/activist Mike Farrell.   When the former Congressman and UN Under-Ambassador Lowenstein was shot and killed in his office in New York City, Farrell and Thompson joined forces to make a documentary about Lowenstein's political life entitled CitizenThe Political Life of Allard K. Lowenstein. It aired on national PBS in 1984.  The film was also produced and edited by Brogan de Paor. Mr. de Paor and Ms. Thompson married in 1986.  Citizen earned honors and awards at festivals.

Throughout the late 1980's and early 1990's, Julie combined filmmaking and event production with media consulting, working for a disparate group of organizations and media outlets, including the LA WEEKLY, where she created and/or produced two radio programs REAL POLITICS, with Harold Meyerson, for KCRW, and "FILM TALK," still running on KPCC.  She is also extremely proud of a live show she Co-Produced at the Wiltern Theatre to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the War in El Salvador.

Concurrently, she began producing 6 years of Liberty Hill Foundation gala dinners, helping in her small way to establish the foundation as a nexus for social change and support of grassroots organizing in Los Angeles.  She has served on the Advisory Board of Liberty Hill for many years.

In the 1990s, she turned her attentions to television movies, working for CBS-TV, and Dan Wigutow productions, either as co- producer (GUILTY HEARTS- MINISERIES, CBS) , associate producer (RAISING WAYLON, COLOR OF LOVE, DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN-) , or post production supervisor (MONDAY AFTER THE MIRACLE, BEFORE SHE WAKES, STOLEN WOMEN, MURDER AT 75 BIRCH).  At CBS, she was mentored by producer Vanessa Greene.

In 2002 Julie was the series producer for a PBS Series, EYES OF NYE, produced for KCTS-TV, Seattle.  In 2004 she produced the independent feature film, THE NORTHERN KINGDOM, directed by Dorothy Lyman.   

Julie is the Executive Producer of Alexander Payne's new film, NEBRASKA, from a script by Bob Nelson.  Nebraska will be released in November, 2013 by Paramount Pictures.

Whenever possible, Julie uses her filmmaking skills to help grassroots groups working on social issues to get their message out.  Julie is former Board President of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, based in Los Angeles and continues to serve on their fundraising committee. 

In 2009, Julie and Brogan started the Los Angeles Activist Video Archive


BROGAN DE PAOR
was born in Waterford, Ireland.  He received his Bachelor's degree and a Masters Degree in Mathematical Physics at University College Cork , National University of Ireland.  While there, he co-founded a local branch of the Irish Film Society.  From early on, Brogan was immersed in the cultural and political history of his country and that legacy helped set the course of his intellectual life.

 Brogan came to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in late 1967 to complete a Ph. D in Applied Mathematics.  In 1968, on college campuses across America, the university curriculum was over-shadowed by resistance to the War in Vietnam, and cultural changes that were rampant throughout the society.  Already a firm opponent of the Vietnam War before he arrived , Brogan found life on the conservative Cal Tech Campus a challenge.

 In the U.S., he also discovered the existence of film studies and filmmaking in Universities, and eventually decided to change disciplines. He was accepted in the MFA program in film production at UCLA.   Among the films he made there are two fine short films, Because it Changes and Another Life, both awarded prizes and commendation in film competitions. The invasion of Cambodia, early in his time at UCLA, shut down the campus.  Many film students used their craft to aid in the unrest, and one of Brogan's early experiences as a film student was as a cameraman for a French film being made about Angela Davis.

After graduating with an MFA, Brogan became a "jack of all film trades" to support himself and gain experience in the film industry, working as a camera person, sound person, and most often as an editor or editorial assistant.  He worked on various low budget features and for two seasons on  " ....In Search of...."  at Alan Landsburg Productions, as an editor and assistant supervising editor.

While working as a camera man on an educational series, he met Julie Thompson and they forged their first project partnership on Citizen: The Political Life of Allard K. Lowenstein, which Brogan Co-Produced and Edited.  The film was Executive Produced by Mike Farrell and the documentary production took up residence on the 20th Century Fox lot during the last season and a half of M*A*S*H.

Brogan continued to edit films including "Bread and Salt," a feature documentary by Jeanne Collachia  set during the fall of the Soviet Union.  He also joined Julie in working for the Liberty Hill Foundation, crafting tribute films for those prominent film industry activists who were honored by the foundation for their work. Brogan produced, edited and sometimes shot footage for film compilations about Haskell Wexler, Oliver Stone, Harry Shearer and Alfre Woodard.

In the 1990's Brogan worked on television movies for CBS as a post production supervisor. Shortly thereafter, Brogan and Julie formed their video production company, Sundays Well Productions. The name Sundays Well refers to a part of Cork City where Brogan lived while a student in Ireland.

Sundays Well clients have included The Liberty Hill Foundation, The Nation Institute, Rabbi's for Human Rights, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, Wally and Suzy Marks,  Center for the Study of Political Graphics and Physicians for Social Responsibility, to list but a few.

In 2008, Brogan spent six months in Joshua Tree, California, editing a feature length documentary about new music composer Lou Harrison entitled Lou Harrison: A World of Music.

Recent editing work includes additional editing on The Wonder of It All, a feature documentary about astronauts who walked on the moon.  Brogan has recently finished editing an educational film, for which he also provided principle photography, Never Give Up! Ama's Journey to Freedom on the Underground Railroad.

His work on the Activist Video Archive, as Co-Founder, includes producing, camera work and editing selection for the web site.



 

For more information contact us at info@activistvideoarchive.org or 310-452-2881