Tom Romita [tomr]
What is your specialty? Production, direction, something else?
Directing and producing non-scripted telelvision.
Is there a link to a site where we can see references to your work?
How did you begin in this field? Who introduced you to it?
I started in/on the radio after receiving BAs in Psychology, Politcal Science and Elementary Education. A career in the entertainment business was always a dream I never thought I would actually fulfill. Now 15 years later- still working!
Which have been the most symbolic works of your career?
Blind Date, Wife Swap, What Not to Wear.
Do you work for a client, for the audience, or for your own creative adventure?
All three really- but I focus on the audience.
What should a good script have in order to interest you?
Drama and surprises.
Name three contemporary directors or producers that you admire.
Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Seth McFarlane
What movies or television shows inspired you to work in this field?
ET, The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, The Real World.
If an actor delivers the lines but is not believable, how do you direct him/her?
I tell him to deliver his lines so they are believable.
What actor would you love to work with and what type of character would you propose to him/her as a challenge?
Alec Baldwin- Boss Tweed
Are you the type who instantly knows when a take is good, or one who does another three takes to be safe?
After we've "got it" I do one more for safety
What type of direction are you used to giving the director of photography?
I like to trust and delegate. I bring on people that I trust to make my job easier. 90% of the time I let them pick the shot and I'll adjust or change it.
How interested are you in image technologies such as robotized cameras, special effects, etc.?
Haven't had the budget to think about it yet
Which has been your experience with conflicts between direction and production?
Assuming that is the "creative vs. financial" battle- its constant. But running my own production company has taught me to respect the financial side.
Do you enjoy post-production, or do you prefer to leave that in the hands of other professionals?
I mostly work in post these days and love it.
Do you approach an editing session with a clear idea of what you want to do or with an attitude of experimentation?
Depends on the project- and the editor.
What magazines or websites of the sector do you follow regularly?
Variety, Entertainment Weekly, American Cinematographer, IMDB, Yahoo Movies.
What is the best movie than you have seen in the last year, and why did it seem especially good?
Iron Man. I love a quality blockbuster. Unlike many "film" people I think special effects and "how'd they do that?!" moments are a vital part of the movie viewing experience.
Do you eat popcorn at the movies?
Depends on if I've had time for dinner. I go to a lot of free screenings so there usually isn't any.
What do you think of public subsidies for cinema?
Awful. This ain't France.
What respect does the reality phenomenon deserve? What experiences have you had with this genre?
It's a phenomenon because its a money making machine. Why spend $2 million an episode of a scripted drama when "The Biggest Loser" probably costs 1/8 of that and gets more viewers? Respect it in that its part of the business that's not going away. Its paid my bills for 15 years. Its been fun for me and hopefully the audience.
What works best for you when selecting an actor: an audition, seeing some of his/her previous work or having a long conversation with him/her?
Seeing previous work.
Do you like to have a second unit or do you prefer to control every still of a production?
Second Unit? I'm in cable! ( ;
Do you change the dialogue after selecting the actors in order to adapt the characters to them?
Which do you like more, large budget or small independent productions?
The bigger the better.
Do you like to experiment with new technology immediately or do you prefer to wait for it to develop?
Experiment yes- pay for- no.
Is the future of cinema the Internet? Mobile phones?
Big home screens with internet feeds are the future in that they will replace VHS and DVDs. Kids will watch on phones and PCs. Adults will want a big screen experience.
Does the concept of interactive video stir up creative thoughts for you, or does it leave you cold?
Creative money making ideas- that's all.
What recommendations do you have for someone who wants to break into in the industry?
Work for free and make friends. Get the job done but be nice. Your Production Assistant will someday be your boss.