A Bit About Maxim Thompson

Maxim Thompson looking at the camera

Maxim Thompson is a filmmaker, writer and performer working in short films, documentaries and feature films. He was born and grew up in Cambridge, where he is currently based, and works on the River Cam to support his filmmaking activity. He studied Film and Television at London Metropolitan University.

While at school and college Max and a group of friends made many short films using whatever technology came to hand, including the first generation of Flip cameras and early mobile phones, before moving on to digital SLR and more advanced production tools at university and since.

Maxim and director Terry Gilliam
Maxim and director Terry Gilliam

A film obsessive, he has had a close association with the Cambridge Film Festival  since his childhood, meeting and interviewing directors and actors including Mike Figgis, Nick Roeg, and Terry Gilliam. He was inspired by time spent with Canadian actor and filmmaker April Mullen when she brought her first feature, Rock, Paper Scissors: Way of the Tosser, to CFF in 2007, and has pursued his own independent artistic vision since. He is one of the panel that selects films for the festival, and directed videos for the CFF website.

In his second year studying film and media at London Metropolitan University he raised £1000 on Kickstarter to fund his first feature, IMMORTAL JELLYFISH PORN, a disturbing examination of the psychological decay of an isolated undergraduate. Filmed entirely from the viewpoint of the main character’s laptop screen in his increasingly squalid room the film anticipated UNFRIENDED and SEARCHING by portraying a life lived online through a screen.

Maxim is also an accomplished writer and poet. He self-published a book of poems in his first year at university and continue to write poetry and scripts. As a performer he appeared in several musicals while part of Sawston Youth Drama (SYD) and acts and performs in his own films and those of his friends. He is currently in rehearsals for a production of AMERICAN IDIOT to take place at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge in March 2019. In his second year at LMU he wrote, performed and made videos for an album of ‘barbershop rap’ music, Basic TypoS II Men, and has released two ‘lockdown’ albums of songs written and recorded during the UK lockdown between March and December 2020.

He has made several promotional films for his current employer, Rutherfords Punting, and also filmed events for organisations including the Open University and Working for an MP. He has made a range of music videos for bands including For the Hornets and the von Nitros.

His short film on life in an independent london DVD shop, UP THE VIDEO JUNCTION, has been very well received. His most popular film on YouTube still remains ‘How to Drink Scorpion Vodka’, recorded on his 18th birthday.

Since 2016 Maxim has worked with film composer and writer Neil Brand (Sound of Cinema, BBC Four) to create the popular YouTube channel NEIL’s BELLS AND WHISTLES, exploring how film music works.

In 2017 Maxim worked with Professor Amelia Oldfield of Anglia Ruskin University, to record a series of meetings that she held with families who had received music therapy in 2000-2002. Although the original intention was to document these sessions for teaching purposes the project turned into the successful and groundbreaking OPERATION SYNCOPATION, a feature-length documentary about the effectivess of music therapy for young children with autism.

OPERATION SYNCOPATION screened at the 2017 Cambridge Film Festival and won the Silver Punt Audience Award for best Feature Documentary, and has since been screened at music therapy conferences in London, Cambridge, Dallas and Wurzbug, with future screenings planned in France and the UK. A one-hour version has been prepared for potential television screening.

In 2020 he worked with the team at Epic Tales to move their storytelling service online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and has edited many stories for the site, to very tight deadlines in order to provide online children’s stories to schools and families.