Thompson has seen many twists and turns on his path as a filmmaker,
playwright and entrepreneur. His interest in filmmaking goes back
to his high school days, when he first acted in his brother's 8mm
productions and then subsequently produced and wrote, in junior
college, a 16mm short film.
Don applied to and was accepted into UCLA's film school. There he
wrote, directed and acted in his first short film and developed
a full length screenplay which went on to be a finalist in the Samuel
Goldwyn screenwriting awards. Don was later mentored by UCLA screenwriting
chair Richard Walter.
Always a theater
lover and playwright, Thompson acted in several theater productions
when he was younger (including playing the lead role in a production
of Simon Grey's BUTLEY), and wrote plays and short novels until
his first produced play, L.A. BOOK OF THE DEAD, premiered with the
Ensemble Studio Theater (Los Angeles) in the early 80's. Lauded
by several critics, including Dan Sullivan of the LA Times, BOOK
OF THE DEAD went on to several subsequent productions at community
and regional theaters. The play continued to be performed as a reader's
theater piece throughout the 80's and 90's. Thompson also wrote
a stage adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic sci-fi novel DUNE
MESSIAH which was performed in Los Angeles in the mid-80's.
In 1995 Don's
DOES NOT EXIST premiered off-off Broadway, and then subsequently
off-Broadway in 1997. The off-Broadway production received numerous
endorsements and support, including 3 Nobel Laureates and celebrities
such as Richard Gere and Patrick Stewart. In attendance at the opening
were such notables as Philip Glass, Ellyn Burstyn, Robert Thurman,
and Bianca Jagger. Critics from The New York Times, Villager,
CurtainUp and others responded well to TIBET and it was subsequently
published in paperback in 1998 and made available through Barnes
and Nobel and amazon.com.
In the late
90's Don turned his attention to film, and produced/directed and
wrote CLOUDS, based
on a screenplay he first developed while at UCLA. CLOUDS went on
to receive awards and special recognition at 6 film festivals, including
Best New Director at the Williamsburg Brooklyn Film Festival and
Juror's First Choice (narrative category) at the 33rd International
Brooklyn Arts Council film festival. The film also won Best B&W
Feature at the New York International Independent Film Festival
and 2nd place at the Hollywood.com/ ALWAYSi 1st online film festival.
The film garnered a limited theatrical deal through IN Pictures
and after its world theatrical premiere at New York's Walter Reade
theater at the Lincoln Center, was released in theaters in 2000.
CLOUDS is now available on video and DVD.
is an interview Thompson conducted with Mike Neff of WebDelSol,
where he talks about his career and plans for the future.