• Television
  • History
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Development
  • C.V.
Television
If you watch The Discovery Channel, National Geographic or Canada’s History Television, chances are you’ve seen one of Stephen’s Milton’s shows. He’s been working in the documentary field for twenty years, starting his career as a researcher on expensive international series like Patrick Watson’s The Struggle for Democracy and Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World. Since then he has become a writer and producer, and often creator, of documentary specials and series.

Most of his work concentrates on science and history, and many examples of his work can be found here. The films tend to be expensive, with lots of special effects like computer animation. These visual effects were particularly prominent in the Aftermath films, which have been wracking up top ratings on National Geographic and History Television. These films are as much science fiction as documentary, chronicling events that haven’t happened ( what if the world stopped spinning?) but are fascinating and very popular. In history, Stephen has done quite a few films lately about the world wars, an enduring interest for viewers.
  • Museum Secrets
  • Convoy
  • Underground War
  • Great 'Quake
  • Cleopatra's Palace
History films have been an important part of Stephen’s career from the beginning. His first job in television was to check the facts on the history of Democracy for a Patrick Watson series ( which resulted in some standups being re-recorded to become accurate).

Since then, Stephen has written and produced many films about the first and second World Wars, the history of science, and even Cleopatra’s lost palace. Stephen is comfortable in ancient history, as well as more modern eras.

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Museum Secrets, Season II
In 2011, Stephen produced five of the eight programs in History Television's popular series, Museum Secrets. Each episode features a famous museum from around the world, and six stories of artifacts which harbour secrets no casual visitor could ever guess. Stephen worked with directors, writers and museums to form the stories, set up the shoots, and oversee the programs as they went through post-production. To see selections from the episodes, please visit the Museum Secrets website.The second season premiered on History Television in Canada in January of 2012. The series is also broadcast on the Yesterday Network in Britain.

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Convoy.
In 2010, Stephen co-produced a four hour series about the Battle for the Atlantic during World War Two. Stephen wrote the final episode, and supervised the entire series’ progress through the online and mixing process. The series tells the story of the U-boat campaign to isolate Britain from the rest of the world, attacking American and Canadian convoys which brought supplies across the Atlantic. The series was produced by Cream Productions and Darlow-Smithson of the U.K.. It aired on Canada’s History Television, Britain’s Channel 4 and the Smithsonian Channel.

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Passchendaele: The Underground War.
This two-hour special chronicles the extraordinary excavation of the Vampire dugout, created in 1918 by British tunnellers, and unseen since the end of World War One. In 2007, an international team of historians, engineers and archaeologists arrive at a cornfield in Flanders Fields, Belgium, to find and explore this perfectly preserved relic of the war, 12 meters under ground. Stephen wrote and produced this special for Canada's History Television and Britain's Channel 4. Produced by Cream Productions.
The Great 'Quake.
In 2006, National Geographic asked for a television special that could explain the science behind the 1906 San Franscisco earthquake. Stephen wrote a one-hour documentary about how this earthquake enabled a team of scientists in 1906 to make revolutionary discoveries about how earthquakes occur. To help explain the science, special effects were used to insert a modern expert into photographs taken in 1906. The expert was able to stand beside cracks and damaged buildings to explain how the shaking and ruptures worked.

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Cleopatra's Palace.
In 1999, the Discovery Channel launched its first global simulcast with this special, Cleopatra's Palace. Seen in 33 countries over 24 hours, the special chronicled the historic expedition to find the ruins of Cleopatra's summer palace underwater in Egypt's Alexandria Bay. Produced by CineNova, Stephen wrote the special, and even did some of the camera work.
  • Science
  • Aftermath
  • Aftermath: The Series
  • Animal House
  • Nobel Legacy
Few people would choose to take a science course, but millions of people love watching science specials, provided they are sexy and interesting. Translating hard science facts into entertaining television has been Stephen’s job for over twenty years. He has worked with Nobel Prize winning scientists, planet-hunting astronomers, and numerous computer animators all in the name of creating visually stunning and factually accurate science specials.

In this section, you can get a sense of the kinds of science films Stephen has made. Most involve something unusual happening, often with some special effects. Stephen’s credo is that a special is a film that takes you somewhere special, or allows you to look at something familiar in a new way. It isn’t easy making science specials, but when they work, they can amaze and fascinate in a way few other films ever accomplish.

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Aftermath: Population Zero
The highest rated program on National Geographic Channel in the United States in 2008. This two-hour special explored what would happen if the entire human population disappeared – tomorrow. The special uses copious special effects to show how skyscrapers, nuclear power plants and even monuments like the Eiffel Tower collapse when no one is there to tend to them. Stephen wrote and produced the special fro Cream Productions, developing it from the basic idea ‘ what if there were no humans?’ to the final film. The special did so well, four sequels were ordered, of which Stephen developed three ( see development section for more details) To see clips and more material on Aftermath, please visit the National Geographic web site.

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Aftermath: The Series
After the success of Aftermath:Population Zero on National Geographic and History television, Stephen was asked to develop shows for a follow up series. The four programs began to air in April 2010. Stephen conceived three of the four: The World Without Oil, When the Earth Stops Spinning and Red Giant. Stephen co-wrote “Red Giant” and “Population Overload”. The series was broadcast in April 2010, and received high ratings in Canada.
Animal House
Canadian Geographic’s Animal House was a quirky look at the day in the life of a normal schmoe seen through the eyes of the animals and insects who live in his house and yard. Cats, dogs, mosquitoes, fish – the show uses special effects to show what our critters see when they watch us. Who knew that dogs can’t see a red ball in green grass ( it’s all green to them), or that mosquitoes can smell us from half a kilometer away?
The Nobel Legacy.
A three-hour series produced for PBS by IMG International, The Nobel Legacy showcased the three Nobel science awards: Physics, Chemistry and Medicine. Each program was hosted by a Nobel Prize winning scientist, and co-hosted by acclaimed Canadian poet, Anne Carson. Stephen wrote the series ( learning a lot of science along the way), and it was directed by Adrian Malone, executive producer of The Ascent of Man and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series.
Mean Machines
Produced for Discovery Canada, this popular series ran for three seasons, showing off the hottest big machines to the delight of boys and men all over. Stephen co-produced the first two seasons, and wrote episodes in each season.
  • Development
  • Aftermath 2
  • The Truth about the Sexes
  • Humans: Who are We?
  • The Coming Disasters
Before there’s a film, there’s an idea. The television industry calls this conception work ‘development’. New ideas are written up as one pagers or as short treatments that imagine a new film out of nothing, hopefully in prose catchy enough to fire the imagination of a broadcaster with some money. Most pitches are rejected as either too similar to what everyone else is proposing, or not interesting enough. Many called are called, few are greenlit.

Over the years, Stephen has dreamt up many, many series, and a few have been made into series. and this section provides an overview of the shows that actually got produced. In each case, Stephen came up with the idea and wrote the development documents.

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Aftermath: The Series
After the success of Aftermath:Population Zero on National Geographic and History television, Stephen was asked to develop shows for a follow up series. The four programs began to air in April 2010. Stephen conceived three of the four: The World Without Oil, When the Earth Stops Spinning and Red Giant. Stephen co-wrote “Red Giant” and “Population Overload”. The series was broadcast in April 2010, and received high ratings in Canada.
the truth about the sexes
The Truth about the Sexes
In 2005, Stephen dreamt up a new series about how we know about sex. Scientists traditionally do sex research by asking college students questions, or get them to do some pretty whacky things, all in the same of research, and students getting credits in their psychology courses. In The Truth about the Sexes, normal singles were asked by the show's hosts to make discoveries about their own sexual desire by redoing the experiments, but in the real world instead of the lab. Produced for the W Network and Discovery Health in 2006 by Telefactory.
Humans: Who are We?
In 2000*, Stephen conceived a two-hour special about the evolution of the human brain. He wrote the twenty page treatment with sold the series. Produced by Cinenova, Stephen wrote and produced the special, which appeared on the Discovery Channel in the United States, and on The Nature of Things in Canada. The special employed special effects and prosthetics to show how brain size and human behavior have changed together over the last four million years. Ancient human ancestors such as Australopithecines and Homo Erectus were recreated and viewers were shown how they lived in the wild, equipped with brains much smaller than our own.
The Coming Disasters
In 1997*, Stephen conceived the series,The Coming Disasters, a three-hour series for The Learning Channel. The series was produced by CineNova. The series featured three plausible future disasters: a major volcano in the Western United States, a pandemic illness that sweeps across the world, and an asteroid strike. Well known stories now, but at the time, using dramatic re-enactments to show what might happen was fairly rare.
C.V.
Creative Producer/Writer, The Great Canadian Dinosaur Hunt, Cream Productions, Inc.
2013-4. I wrote development documents, then produced and wrote this four hour series for History Television. The series follows six teams of Canadian palaeontologists in the summer of 2013, as they searched for dinosaur fossils all over Canada. Responsible for all creative, including writing, overseeing story editors, editors and working with animators and production designers for practical dinosaur models.

Producer, Museum Secrets, Season 2, Kensington Communications, Inc.
2011. In charge of producing five of the eight shows in season two of History Canada's popular series about world famous museums.Shows will air in 2012. The shows feature museums in Turkey, New York, Russia, Vienna and Athens. To see last year's season, click here for the series website.

Creative Director of Science and History: Cream Productions, Toronto.
April 2005- 2010. Responsible for developing, producing and writing science and history specials produced by Cream. Each year, specials appear on National Geographic, Discovery and History Canada.

Among the specials Stephen has produced and written are last year’s Convoy series on History and National Geographic’s Aftermath: Population Zero specials ( their best rated program of the year). For more info, please go to www.creamproductions.ca

Head of Development : Telefactory, Inc. 2004
Stephen conceived, wrote and pitched numerous projects to broadcasters in the United States and Canada, at Banff and Washington D.C. “The Truth about the Sexes” series greenlit by Discovery Health US and W Network. Projects ranged from lifestyle series to hard science and history programs. April 2004-March 2005.

Producer/Writer: Summerhill Entertainment. 2003-4
Canadian Geographic Presents: Produced three one-hour documentaries. Came up with idea for each show, hired directors, editors, supervised shooting, steered shows through editing, wrote all scripts. Films included one shot on HD showing how animals and insects in a common house see and hear us, using lots of special effects. Also, a forensics show about bear attacks. Airdate: Sunday night, Canada Day, 2004.

Producer: Nomad Films. 2002
In the Shadow of a Saint. A one-hour documentary chronicling the life of Ken Wiwa, son of executed Nigerian freedom fighter, Ken Saro-Wiwa. I put the deal together, all Telefilm financing, etc... as well as steered the film creatively, oversaw edit in Manchester, England. Nomad Films. Nominated for Donald Brittain Award, Best Social and Political Documentary of 2001. BBC, CBC.

Co-Producer/Writer: Cinenova Productions, 1995-2001.
For six years, Stephen wrote and produced series and specials for the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Among the projects he worked were:

National Geographic Adventures. A six-hour series of historical stories featuring dramatic re-enactment and archival material of famous National Geographic explorers. Oversaw production and writing, working with directors, client and budgets. 1999 for National Geographic Television. Cinenova Productions.

Humans: Who Are We? A two-hour special exploring how the human mind evolved from apes to modern Homo-Sapiens. Conceived the project, wrote the development documents, steered the project creatively and through the editing room. 1999. Discovery U.S., CBC Nature of Things, Canal +. CineNova

Cleopatra’s Palace : One-hour special chronicling diver Franck Goddio’s discovery of the sunken remains of Cleopatra’s palace in Alexandria harbor. Fifth-highest rated program in Discovery Channel history, watched by 33 million people world-wide in Discovery Channel's first global-cast. Wrote script, conducted interviews, steered cut through editing. CineNova

Education
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Social and Political Thought, York University. Studied the history of ideas and the social history of the family, with a special interest in the history of aging in the English-speaking world, 1985-1990

Master's Degree in Political Science, University of Toronto. Fall 1984- Summer 1986.

B.A. Honours ( with Honours) , Political Studies and English, Queen's University, Fall 1979-Spring 1983.