Tom in the Hollywood Press
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“Tom Silvestri has an incredibly astute understanding of movie material and of the mechanics of good screenwriting. His insights, combined with his years of experience, make him an invaluable resource to anyone trying to successfully develop a screenplay.” – Hutch Parker, former Vice-Chairman, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. and former Chairman, New Regency Productions
“Tom Silvestri is a master at critiquing a screenplay’s storyline and characters, ultimately providing insights that are both artful and commercial.” – Roger Towne, screenwriter, The Natural, The Recruit
“I relied on Tom extensively in the development of projects at Chickflicks. His expertise in developing concepts and characters helped me to get my films made.” – Sara Risher, President, Chickflicks and producer, In Love and War, Raise Your Voice, The Politician's Wife
“Tom’s read a lot of scripts for us over the years, and he has a great nose for what makes a story work, and what doesn’t.” – Toby Emmerich, President and CEO, New Line Cinema and producer, Elf, The Butterfly Effect, Wedding Crashers
“He's my idea of a real pro in this industry.” – Raymond Wagner, former VP, MGM and producer, Petulia, Turner and Hooch, Snow Day
“For more than a decade, New Line depended on Tom to separate the quality from the chaff. Some of the company’s best projects were brought to our attention by Tom, a true movie lover and fan.” – Richard Brener, President of Production, New Line Cinema and producer, The Wedding Singer, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Final Destination series
“We’ve known him for many years and it continues to be a pleasure to work with him. He’s professional and enthusiastic. His ability to analyze and develop screenplays is an important asset to any writer, producer, or director.” – Jennie Lew Tugend and Lauren C. Weissman, producers, Free Willy series, Dance with Me, One Missed Call
“Fast and completely reliable, Tom was a staple of the New Line script department for years. His ability to recognize and recommend the types of scripts that matched our taste was second to none.” – Michael Disco, VP Production, New Line Cinema and producer, He's Just Not That Into You, Four Christmases, Valentine's Day
“Tom has the rare ability to recognize when a script shows promise and how to maximize that promise into something that’s truly good – and worthy of a potential buyer’s attention.” – Richard Waltzer, former Exec. VP, HBO Pictures and producer, Mayday, Coast to Coast, Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of "Smile"
“He’s like a surgeon, keen eye and steady judgment. He’s so professional and free of ego that he recommended me for a movie, which I wrote and which got made, because he felt I was more suited to the assignment than he was. He’s a writer’s writer and a friend to all writers, which is why I always turn to him for a fair and even-handed evaluation of material.” – Brian Taggert, screenwriter, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Poltergeist III, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
“Tom Silvestri’s command of concept, story, and character makes him an invaluable part of the development process.” – Amy Adelson, former Sr. VP, ABC Productions and producer, Murder She Purred: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery, You Know My Name
“Tom knows movies and their history inside and out. His personalized approach to conceiving and developing them with an eye fixed clearly on the market is a sure winner.” – Michael Radiloff, Exec. VP Production & Acquisitions, Genius Products
“He's a great resource for anyone looking for professional guidance on their screenplay. He knows his way around story and has refined his commercial instincts to anticipate the marketplace before the buyers do. He is also fun to work with and has a fresh perspective, which helps in this crazy business.” – Bill Straus, producer, The Man, Weapons, Red
“He's a voice of great reason and experience in an industry where almost everybody seems to be a ‘story expert.’ If you don’t talk to Tom, you could very well end up sleeping with the box office fishes.” – Larry Katz, former Sr. VP, Development, Morgan Creek Productions
What I Do
Silvestri Storyworks advises writers, producers, directors, and other filmmakers on how to conceive, develop, and execute screenplays with a serious emphasis on positioning them in the theatrical feature and television film marketplace.
I assist professional and nonprofessional filmmakers in creating artistically and commercially notable screenplays, tailored to the interests and needs of today’s film industry producers, directors, actors, movie studios, and story development executives.
I work in all genres and styles for both independent and mainstream filmmakers. And drawing on an extensive knowledge of the history of world cinema, I’m equally at home with action movies made in the U.S. or Hong Kong, surrealist films from Europe or South America, classic Italian neorealism or the recent Iranian variety.
I offer more than twenty-five years of experience at almost forty motion picture and TV companies and my commitment to ensure that every screenplay achieves its highest potential within the writer or filmmaker’s overall vision. And my consulting capacity lends itself to larger business ventures as well, whether it's developing a diverse slate of promising movie, TV, and new media projects or designing and supervising a production company’s story department.
We’ve all seen people lined up for blocks and blocks, waiting to buy tickets to see a new movie. And those of us who make or want to make movies ourselves have often wondered: How do you get people so curious, so interested, so excited about a movie that they’ll stand for hour after hour, sometimes in the rain or snow, just to see it?
People often say to me “You must have read a lot of bad screenplays in your career” and yes, I’ve read many scripts that didn’t work on one level or another, for whatever reasons. But much more often, the problem isn’t that the scripts are simply “bad,” it’s that they haven’t been designed to appeal to any particular sector of the motion picture marketplace, which today spans the entire world.
Sometimes screenwriters don’t recognize what’s best in their own work. In that case, all I have to do is encourage them to emphasize certain aspects of their script and downplay or eliminate others. But if filmmakers don’t get the maximum help from their support group – whether that group is composed of friends, instructors, business partners, or whoever – they run the risk of reducing the artistic and commercial potential of their own projects. Many times I’ve listened to a writer describe a proposed screenplay and said to myself, “Yeah, that should work pretty well” – only to read the completed script later or, even worse, see the finished film and say, “Oh no, they left out everything that was good about the movie!”
Everyone wants their screenplay to be “good,” but it must also be good for the right audience. And so it’s never too early for a writer, producer, or director to start thinking about just who is the ideal audience for his movie. Having worked in story development for dozens of motion picture and TV companies over the years, my goal is to help you determine the best market for your movie and then write your screenplay so as to win over your target audience as completely and successfully as possible. If you and I do our jobs well, people will line up to see your movie…even in the rain and snow.
Consulting Story Analyst History
Alexander/Enright & Associates
Amy Adelson (at NBC, ABC Prods., and Psammead Productions)
Bob Kosberg (at Bungalow 78 Productions)
Craig Anderson Productions
The Donners’ Company
Fox Family Channel
The IndieProd Company
The Larry Thompson Organization
The Mount Company
New Line Cinema
New Line TV
New Regency Productions
Once Upon a Time Films
Paragon Entertainment Corporation
Steve Krantz Productions