Tommy Oliver

Tommy Oliver

CEFF’s version of the Proust questionnaire

1. What is your favorite movie theater and why?
That’s easy: the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood. It’s an incredible theatre, with a pristine projection, amazing sound, great seats and it all adds up to a terrific experience. They really care to the filmgoer. You can’t go to movies late, they don’t allow for interruptions. They protect the theatre-going experience.

2. Your favorite movie rant.
Edward Norton in the 25th Hour, an amazing rant into the mirror.

3. The death scene you will never forget.
The Red Wedding in Game Of Thrones.

4. The first movie poster that you hung on your walls.
The Godfather.

5. What movie character do you identify with the most?
Simba from The Lion King.

6. Which look to camera struck you the most?
Kevin Spacey in House Of Cards.

7. What movie made you travel the most?
The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

8. If you had to live in a film, you would choose…
What Dreams May Come, with Robin Williams.

9. The movie that scared you the most.
I’ve never been scared by a movie. Never, even as a kid. I would love to but it hasn’t happened yet.

10. The movie that made you laugh the most.
I can’t think of a funniest movie of all time. Let’s say that in the last year the funniest movie I’ve seen would be Last Vegas.

Portrait of Tommy Oliver

Tommy Oliver grew up in Philadelphia. He attended Carnegie Mellon University where he double majored in Economics and Digital Media. He always felt drawn to telling stories that get people thinking and talking, quoting the screening of American History X as a decisive experience.

After graduating he spent some time working for Corporate America, before moving on to be a producer and cinematographer on various projects. A self-taught man, Oliver feels having worked for Fortune 500 companies proved to be an advantage. “They work in a certain way and being able to take those practices and that mentality to an indie film has served me pretty well”. He also made sure to surround himself with the right people: for 1982 the resourcefulness of his production designer, prop master and costume designer proved life-saving, allowing the film to be a period piece while still working with an indie’s budget. Raising the budget needed proved difficult, the film entering production while still searching for funds. Ultimately though Oliver describes the shooting as one of his best memories, a rewarding time after the hard work of pre-production.

Among his influences he quotes 12 Angry Men by Sidney Lumet, the cinema of Kubrick and lately the films by Ron Howard, Paul Greengrass and James Cameron. He aspires to make movies that have something to say, that stay open to he human experience, all the while reconciling the business side with the creative aspirations.

Today Tommy Oliver lives in Los Angeles, where he continues working on films as a producer, writer and director. He’s producing two movies, an independent and a studio one, while working on his scripts on the side.


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