Veteran director accuses A Place To Call Home writer Bevan Lee of being part of ‘the sickness that prevails’

Michael Thornhill

Michael Thornhill | Supplied by ADG

The newest lifetime member of the Australian Directors Guild, Michael Thornhill, used his acceptance speech to attack Packed to the Rafters and A Place to Call Home creator Bevan Lee for disrespecting the director’s craft.

Thornhill was best known for a slew of films in the 70s and 80, including The F.J Holden and Hoodwink.

During his acceptance speech on Friday night, Thornhill made pointed remarks about an interview that writer Lee gave to The Age about A Place to Call Home last month. In it, Lee revealed that he used a box set of 1950s Douglas Sirk movies to explain to the show’s director what he had in mind. He told The Age: “I went in with the box set of his movies to the director of the first episode. I love Douglas Sirk movies and I said, ”OK, apart from anything else there’s the colour palette.'”

Holding a glass of wine as he gave the acceptance speech, Thornhill said: “Since when does the series producer and writer talk about the color palette as if the director doesn’t exist? That is the sickness that prevails.”

Lee told Mumbrella that he believed that as creator of the show he was well within his rights to explain his vision for it to the director. He said: “A Place To Call Home is my project, creation and vision, but it’s also a collaborative relationship with the director. I find it very odd that Michael would say the creator of the series can’t form a bond with the director and discuss things like the colour palette.

“I’m fine with him to say that, but as far as I’m concerned it’s better to collaborate than to have auteurism. It’s also a bit foolish to call me just a producer  – this show is a creature of my soul.”

A Place To Call Home rated 1.768m on it’s debut according to OzTAM and maintained strong numbers last night, with just over 1.3 million people tuning in last night.

Lee took part in a live video Hangout with Mumbrella earlier this year:


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