My name is John Thompson and I am an independent film producer based in Garvagh,Co. Derry, Northern Ireland. I produced my first video in 1987 - a 46 minute documentary called Tight Lines on the Agivey a salmon fly fishing film with top Irish angler Bert Atkins. Tight lines was advertised in various fishing magazines and attracted enough attention to promote the making of Angler's Paradise and Fly tying for Beginners in 1988. Bert Atkins again played the lead roll in both these productions.
In early 1988 I met Ballymoney man Stuart McDonald who persuaded me to make a film of the North West 200. The North West 200 is a motorcycle race held each May in Northern Ireland, using public roads and is considered among the fastest in the world with speeds topping 200mph on occasion. Together we assembled seven camera crews and covered the '88 race, we called that video Wheels on the Triangle. With the help from two local businessmen P.J. O'Kane (Garvagh), James Reid (Ballymoney) we continued to cover the race for the following three years. These DVD's include exclusive footage and interviews with the late Dunlop brothers (Joey and Robert) and Dick Creith (North West 200 winner in 1964 and 1965 on a Joe Ryan Norton).
In 1991 I produced the first of my vintage farming videos which were to become my trademark. Farming down the Years featured Tommy Doherty, Willie Turner and the late Michael McNamee. Narrated by local G.P. Dr. John Kerr, Farming down the Years was an instant success having an appeal not only to farmers but to schools as well.
In July ' 91 I was introduced to Singing Farmer - John Watt and together with country singers Victor Gregg and Henry Gaile we produced The North West Country Collection a two hour video featuring the cream of local talent from around the North West of Ireland.
In 1992 I released Lint and Linen the story of the flax industry in Ulster during the 1950s, followed in 1993 with bestseller Days of Hunger (the famine years 1845 - 1849). These two films are part of a package of 8 of my DVDs which are used in many schools throughout Ireland.
In 1994 I made A Taste of Farming Life which is still my favourite farming video. Also in ' 94 I again teamed up with John Watt ands made a video for Trevor Smyth productions of Ballymoney called Watt's About. The Ferguson Record Breakers followed in 1995, The Hiring Fairs in ' 96 and The History of Farming 1997. In 1998 The Singing Farmer and myself got together again and produced The Oul Turf Fire funded and marketed by John Watt himself. The Thompson, Watt partnership survived until the present day with a string of successful videos:
My Own North Antrim Shore (1999) The Place That I Call Home ( 2000 ) Around the Country Roads ( 2001 ) A Wee Bit O' Farmin' ( 2002 ) Farmin'Folk and Country Craig ( 2003 ) Beauty of the Old Homeland (2004 ) Mountains, Glens and Vallys (2005 ) The Oul Lammas Fair in Ballycastle ( 2006 ) Singing FARMER Favourites (2007 )
In 1999 I produced The War Years, a look at country life during World War 2. In 1999 I also produced Wildfowling and Rough Shooting in Ireland hailed by many sporting gentlemen as the best shooting video ever made.
In 2000 Preserving the Past looks at farming in the 1930s, before the advent of electricity and when most farm work was carried out by men, women and horses. This best selling film covered the complete farming year of 1930. In 2001 I made a one hour documentary about the history of my own home town, Images of Garvagh, this has since been followed by vol 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
In 2001 I produced another successful video The All Ireland Vintage Rally
In 2002 The Good Old Irish Harvest and Days of the Thresher came unto the market.
In 2003 another of my most successful films was THOSE DAYS ARE GONE ( The story of peat cutting in Ireland)
The Golden Years of Farming ( 2006 ) Deals with the changing face of Farming life during the 1960s.
Ways of Old ( 2008 )