Candidate Profile
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Extraordinary Lives & Famous People
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Theatre & Drama
Thomas has worked 45 years in Hollywood, including the production of nearly 40 documentaries, shorts and commercials followed by seven feature films as producer/director/writer and editor. He has also been the behind-the-scenes “doctor” of numerous movies for other producers and studios. He has worked at the major Hollywood studios, (Warner Bros. for five years) and directed many well-known stars including “Spiderman’s” Tobey Maguire. John’s films have screened at important U.S. and international film events including the Cannes Film Festival.

John is a graduate from University of Southern California’s Cinema Department, the world’s first and most famous film school. The historic training ground of other fellow filmmakers such as John Carpenter, Ron Howard, Judd Apatow, Robert Zemeckis and George Lucas. In later years, John earned advanced MA and MFA degrees.

As an enrichment speaker, John has made enjoyable presentations to audiences of all kinds, including groups well over 2,500 in size. He currently lives in Houston, Texas and teaches at Houston area universities. Recent comments, (October 2019) include: (John's) "...presentations were a gift to us," "Got up early so we wouldn't miss the morning presentation," and "The most enjoyable presentations of any cruise we've ever been on."

As a stand up comedian who appears at local comedy venues, John peppers his always-entertaining movie presentations with his trademark, easy-going and unassuming observational humor which appeals to audiences of all ages. Unlike other speakers who just talk about movies, John is an actual movie maker who can authoritatively answer audience questions from the inside out.

(Movies are everywhere! There are few places in the world which do not have their own nascent film industry. So, some or all of the topics below can be destination oriented.)

George Clooney auditioned FIVE TIMES and still didn't get the part: Movie Secrets and Trivia
A 35 year old carpenter, was installing a door at a movie studio when they needed someone to read lines with actresses who were testing for a new film. The carpenter was Harrison Ford and the film was Star Wars! A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Hollywood you never knew.

50ft Women, Radioactive Ants and Zombies: Classic Science Fiction
Many consider the 1950’s through the 1970’s to be the Classic Period of science fiction films. Flying saucers, "Robby the Robot," giant radioactive insects and zombies filled movie seats around the world.

John Wayne, John Ford and Spaghetti: Hollywood and Westerns
No genre has been more important to Hollywood than the western - nearly a fifth of all feature films from the silent era through the 1950s were westerns! We’ll sample the very best of all time.

"Like Being Hit With a Bagful of Valentines": Hollywood Musicals
From “Singing in the Rain” to at least four remakes of “A Star is Born,” musicals emerged thanks to the addition of sound in the late 1920’s. These extravaganzas became popular by creating a fantasy world to satisfy depression-era audiences seeking escapist entertainment.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of: Film Noir
These often dark and stylish Hollywood crime dramas, emphasized cynical attitudes and sexual innuendo. Included are such classics as, “Double Indemnity,” and “...the stuff dreams are made of,” in “The Maltese Falcon.”

From the Bronx to Jupiter: The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey
2020-2021 is the 50th anniversary of this visual masterpiece that makes every top ten list. (And 20 years since 2001) This is a presentation about the making of "2001" including rare behind-the-scenes videos and photos from the production and recollections of the actors who helped bring Kubrick's vision to life.

The Top 20 Greatest Films of All Time. Noël Coward said, "Any prettier and they'd have to call him Florence of Arabia.“
What are your favorite films? Which are favorites of the critics? Which films made the most money? Vote for your all-time favorites and see how your choices stack up against the Super List of the best films ever made. (In two parts: 1-10 & 11-20)

Nanook and Mickey Mouse: Documentaries
The first films ever made were documentaries. How did these unusual filmmakers get started and what motivated them? Some of the most important contributions came from the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and surprisingly, Walt Disney.

Sharks, Mrs. Robinson and Whitney Houston: Movie Music
Who are the well-known musical artists we love to hear, but never see? Learn about the tricks that composers use with music to identify a character, create suspense and so easily manipulate our emotions? Do you know "The two most important musical notes of all time?"

"There will be no fighting in the War Room!": The Best Movie Comedies
What’s your favorite funny film? Why does one film make you laugh, but not another? We’ll look at scenes from the best films by the directors and writers who always know what makes us laugh out loud.

"I'm not bad, she said, I'm just drawn that way": Animation
Did you know that animated films are made backwards? First the sound track, then the pictures! Why have famous animators said that “Disney set animation back 30 years?” We’ll look at how animation has changed over the years and the new revolution in computerized animation.

Green Screens & Blue Screens: Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)
How DO they create those impossible visual effects? What is a green screen and how does Motion Capture work? Why didn't any of the characters in the first all-CGI feature film, "Toy Story," have hair? All you really need to know about CGI in only 45 minutes.
I've been speaking before crowds from 10 to 2,000 for many years. I have literally dozens of different presentations available - all are presented with the actual movie clips. (All talks can be modified to fit the specific cruise nationalities) My talks are always funny and full of surprising behind-the-scenes trivia. Having cruised a lot myself, I know exactly what the typical boring sea day lecture is like. Not me.
Have current visas for Brazil, New Zealand, Russia and Australia.
Bermuda Seamen's Discharge Book
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Golden Princess 5935 Sector Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific Crossing 13 Papeete, Tahiti Friday, October 11, 2019
Pacific Princess K905 World Cruise Sector - Africa & South America 24 Cape Town Wednesday, April 3, 2019