Author Archives: Tom Sawyer


In 1969, shortly after I’d become hooked on filmmaking, Gerry Matthews, a New York actor-friend, tossed me an irresistible proposition: that we shoot a documentary short about his actress-wife, Freddie Weber’s return to Beardstown, IL, for her High School reunion. What follows is a brief account of yet another unexpected journey, and of lessons learned – especially about listening. We went to Beardstown with a pair of 16mm Arriflex cameras, where we shot 4 hours of grainy B&W – to obviate the need to light Continue reading →


My Producer-partner and I arrived early for our pitch meeting at the sprawling complex on L.A.’s Fairfax Avenue known as CBS Television City. And when we reached the second-floor reception area, we were told that the party we’d come to see was running late, everything on his schedule delayed a half-hour. My partner crossed to a side door in the wall opposite the receptionist and, his hand on the doorknob, said something on the order of “Wanta go get some juice?” “You mean at the Continue reading →

MORE RE: Shameless, Blatant, Relentless Self-Promotion!

It hit me recently while trying to offer some requested advice to a writer-friend. In that case it was about how he should go about trying to sell his novels as movies or TV shows. But what struck me covers far-wider territory. Reality Time! For starters: Google yourself! Why? Because – count on it – in Today’s World, unless you’re a flat-out, self-professed beginner, that is the first thing a producer, reader, agent, actor or anyone else is gonna do! Same goes in other businesses, Continue reading →

My Nearest Miss

In case I have doubted the extent to which luck has played a major role in my life, it was fully illustrated one sunny afternoon a couple of Novembers ago. It was also perhaps the most eerie, surreal thing that has ever happened to me – a description of which I’d like to share with you. I was in lane two of the jammed, slow-and-go 101 Freeway, alone in my classic 30 year-old car, traveling at about 50 mph. A relatively safe four or five Continue reading →