Michael Pattinson - director - biography


Michael Pattinson has directed 7 feature films, 11 movies for television and approximately 250 hours of television drama. Best known in Australia for the award winning films,  Ground Zero   and  Moving Out,  Pattinson lived in Los Angeles for 9 years where he directed film and television drama for most of the US studios and networks.  

He returned to Australia in 2001 and has since directed 40 television and movie projects, based at the Gold Coast’s Warner Roadshow Studios for producers Coote Hayes, Newline Pictures, Alliance Atlantis, Paramount, MGM, Telescene, BBC and Disney.   In 2002, Pattinson directed the cult series  Farscape’ for the US Sci Fi Network and in 2005, the multi award winning childrens’ series.  Mortified ’.  In 2006, he directed segments for the BBC comedy series, ‘Comedy  Shuffle’. He is presently based in Melbourne where he has been directing one hour TV series  ‘ Rush’ and  City Homicide ’. He is presently developing the feature film comedy ‘Lilibet’ .

Pattinson completed his secondary school education in 1974 and enrolled at the original Swinburne College School of Film & Television where he graduated in 1977 with a Diploma of Art. His graduate film, 'The Importance Of Keeping Perfectly Still' starring Frank Thring was a landmark student production and was picked up by United Artists and played internationally with Woody Allen’s  Annie Hall and also Sean Connery’s The Great Train Robbery.  He began his professional career directing television commercials for Zoetrope Productions  and was   hired as a trainee director at Reg Grundy Productions and went on to direct many episodes of popular TV series of the time like  ‘The Young Doctors’ and ‘Prisoner’

In 1982, Pattinson and Jane Ballantyne formed Pattinson Ballantyne Productions. He directed and co-produced his first feature film; Moving Out, written by Jan Sardi and  introducing actor Vince Colosimo. Moving Out’  won the Best Film Award from the Film Critics Circle and Pattinson was also nominated Best Director by the AFI. The film played for 27 weeks in Australian cinemas and was distributed in 65 countries.

Pattinson’s directing career was launched and offers of movie projects from home and abroad began to flow - although he was not to leave Australia for another 10 years.  In this time he produced and directed many Australian movies including ‘Secrets’ starring Noah Taylor & Dannii Minogue. Secrets featured original songs of The Beatles which Pattinson secured in a landmark deal with Apple and EMI Music. In 1986, he formed Victorian International Pictures with partners Jan Sardi, Mac Gudgeon, Jon Stephens and Bruce Myles and he produced and directed the multi award winning thriller, Ground Zero’ starring Colin Friels, Jack Thompson & Donald Pleasance Ground Zero’ was nominated for 9 AFI awards including Best Film and Best Director for Pattinson and Myles.  Ground Zero was a finalist in the prestigious Berlinale, Berlin Film Festival in 1987. Pattinson went on to develop a broad base of industry contacts throughout the world. He is a regular attendee of international festivals and events such as Cannes, Venice & AFM and continues to conduct business, participating in creative forums and engaging in the process of pitching, producing and selling motion pictures.

In 1992, Pattinson    left Australia with his family and moved to Hollywood. He spent the next nine years directing and developing projects for producers and studios including Michael Douglas, Frank Mancuso Jr, Dustin Hoffman’s Punch Productions, Touchstone Pictures, MGM, Chris Carter, Twentieth Century Fox and   NBC in destinations such as USA, Japan, Canada and the UK.

In 1995, Pattinson directed 'The Last Bullet starring Koji Tamaki and Jason Donovan which was the first high definition full length movie made in the world in conjunction with Sony, NHK Japan and the Nine Network Australia.  The Last Bullet won first prize in the Amsterdam International Film Festival and also first prize in the Tokyo High Vision Awards.

In 2001, Pattinson returned to Australia to co-write a feature film project. Between then and now, he has directed over 40 television and movie projects, principally for US studios out of the Gold Coast’s Warner Roadshow Studios for producers Coote Hayes, Newline Pictures, Alliance Atlantis, Paramount, MGM, Telescene, BBC and Disney. In 2002, Pattinson directed the cult series  Farscape’ for the US Sci Fi Network and in 2005, the multi award winning childrens’ series.  Mortified’.   In 2006, he directed segments for the BBC comedy series, ‘Comedy Shuffle’.

Pattinson has taught at film schools including USC, Griffith University and Bond University where he   has lectured and convened courses in production, advanced directing, directing actors, scriptwriting & producing.  In 2009, he was appointed Senior Lecturer at Melbourne University's Victorian College of the Arts School of Film & Television where he convened a Masters course in writing and directing. He has sat on numerous industry advisory panels and associations consulting on film policy and has witnessed the evolution of Australian film funding from the original AFDC through Australian Film Commission, the introduction of 10BA and he also participated in industry organisations and guilds advising on the establishment of the Australian Film Finance Corporation. He has produced films, managed production companies and engaged in business with government screen agencies spanning three decades of changing film financing models.

Pattinson is a board member of  Brake Driver Awareness Ltd which is a non-profit community organisation providing driver education to year 11 and 12 students in Queensland schools. He is also presently a director of Melbourne based production company Little Italy Productions and has numerous film and television projects in active development with both domestic and international partners.