User:Tbrodek/Thomas h. brodek

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BIOGRAPHY OF THOMAS H. BRODEK


Tom was born in Hollywood within a one-mile radius of where his father and grandfather had each been born. So, because of social immobility, he is a third generation native Californian. He is an Eagle Scout with two Palms and an Explorer Silver Award with three Palms. During his high school years he took evening and weekend courses at the Pasadena Playhouse, and worked as a sports announcer for radio stations KWKW and KXLA.

Tom attended the University of Southern California, majoring in Television with a minor in Cinema. In those four years he was actively involved in KUSC-TV (later to become KCET, PBS’ channel 28) and KUSC-FM. He worked as a staff television director KUSC-TV and later became the Executive Producer for the station and had numerous KUSC-FM daytime and evening radio shows heard throughout Southern California. His extracurricular activities included an internship from ABC where he worked as an apprentice on a number of local and network television shows including “Ozzie and Harriet” and “The Lawrence Welk Show” to name a few.

While attending USC, Tom met Lorraine Holnback, also a Television major, and first woman Station Manager of KUSC-TV. They were married two years after Tom’s graduation in 1960. That same month, he accepted a position in the training program of Young and Rubicam Advertising in New York and six months later was transferred to the Los Angeles office of the agency. Within a year, he was made a Television Account Executive, responsible for bringing regional and national advertisers into network television sponsorship (specifically, Hunt Foods and the Union Oil Company). Also, during this time, Tom became the Account Executive for Subscription Television, Inc., the ill-fated, California’s first effort at pay-cable television.

In 1965, Tom was made the Manager for The Petersen Company in Hollywood; what was then the oldest and largest television commercial and industrial production company in the United States. He became a member of the Director’s Guild of America as a Unit Production Manager. Later, in 1965, with his wife, Lorraine, they moved to Hamburg, Germany to become Vice President for The Petersen Company of the European operation, opening offices in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Geneva, Zagreb, Belgrad, Prague, Warsaw and Rome. Their first daughter, Kristin, was born in Hamburg in 1966.

Returning to the United States in 1967, Tom was made Executive Producer of The Petersen Company where he was responsible for all the production and post-production efforts for worldwide television commercials and industrial/sales films.

The next year, 1968, their second daughter, Kerri, was born in Pasadena (making her a 4th generation Californian). Then, in 1971, Tom was offered the position of President of Southwestern Productions Inc., which owned a very large motion picture and television facility in Carefree, Arizona, known as Southwestern Studio. The production company and studio were responsible for the production of “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” and, with support from the parent company, developed a plan to take the company and studio into co-production ventures. Tom ran the studio until 1975. During that time, he was responsible for co-venturing a number of theatrical and television projects, including Bob Hope’s theatrical motion picture, “Cancel My Reservation”; Hugh Downs’ “4-Some” (a pilot-special) for syndication; and “McMasters of Sweetwater” (a one-hour TV pilot for CBS, starring Jack Cassidy).

While in Arizona, Tom and Lorraine were instrumental in starting the “Friends of Channel 8” for the PBS station KAET in Phoenix. Tom served as Chairman and Lorraine as Chairman of the Volunteers for over five years. Enough money was raised to increase the broadcasting schedule from 8 hours a day to a full 24 hours.

Leaving Southwestern Studio in 1975, Tom helped gather together a group of co-venturers to form the fifth commercial television station in Phoenix, KNXV, Channel 15 (now the ABC affiliate!). In 1976, upon receiving a “help!” phone call from a writer/director friend, Tom started commuting back to Los Angeles and working for Alan Landsburg Productions as a Production Executive for a weekly children’s television series on NBC entitled “Kids from C.A.P.E.R.”. At the end of that season, he then moved on to a major 3-hour movie at Landsburg, “The Savage Swarm”, produced and directed in Louisiana by Bruce Geller.

It was after that production that Tom was approached by The Petersen Company to return as President of the Television Division, in charge of all the company’s television activities, including movies, series, commercials and specials.

Over the years, Tom developed a fondness for Business and Legal Affairs and had become actively involved in continuing education courses at USC and UCLA. In late 1979, Mace Neufeld Productions was going through a tremendous amount of production activity and the organization needed someone who could oversee all of the film/tv projects and organize a small company into a very large and active production organization.

Tom joined Mace Neufeld in February of 1980 as Executive Vice President in charge of Production and Administration. It was during that time that the company produced: the ABC 8-hour mini-series, “John Steinbeck’s East of Eden”; a 2-hour movie for ABC entitled “Angel on My Shoulder”, starring Peter Strauss and Barbara Hershey; an ABC 2-hour movie/pilot entitled “The American Dream”; a theatrical motion picture for Universal entitled “The Funhouse”, and with Tom and Mace as producers, “The Aviator”, starring Christopher Reeve, Rosanna Arquette and Jack Warden for MGM (filmed in Yugoslavia) and, for New World Pictures “Transylvania 6-5000”, starring Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley Jr. (also filmed in Yugoslavia).

In January of 1986, Tom and his partner, Richard Soames, formed Doric Productions, to produce studio developed theatrical films as negative pick-up projects with difficult budgets. Their first project was titled “The Boss’ Wife” for Tri-Star Pictures starring Daniel Stern and Christopher Plummer. Their second project for Tri-Star, “The Principal”, starred Jim Belushi and Lou Gossett, Jr. and released in the Fall of ’87.

Doric Productions was also involved with “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” for Buena Vista Distribution, and filmed in Mexico City. In addition, Doric delivered to Tri-Star the feature film “Tap” starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr. Doric also produced a number of action films for DisneyWorld, Epcot and the Disney-MGM Studios. Among them was the George Lucas created “Body Wars”, a flight-simulator ride film starring Tim Matheson and Elisabeth Shue and directed by Leonard Nimoy.

Tom joined ABC Productions in July, 1990, as Senior Vice President of Production and Post-production. This was a wholly owned subsidiary of Capitol Cities/ABC, producing not only for the ABC Television Network but for other networks as well. During this time, he was responsible for over half-a-billion dollars of production for sit-coms, one-hour series, mini-series, two-hour movies and theatrical release films. These were filmed, not only in Los Angeles, but Canada, many European countries, Australia and New Zealand as well.

In 1996, Disney purchased Cap/Cities ABC and Tom left the company to spend sometime on Maui remodeling their second home there. Upon his return to L.A., ABC called asking him to produce the six-hour mini-series “Stephen King’s Storm of the Century”, it aired in February 1999. Filmed in Toronto, Maine, Arizona and San Francisco, it is one of the biggest filmed productions for ABC in over a decade. Tom consulted with ABC on many of their ‘in-house’ productions, as well as Turner Broadcasting Service, MTV & VH1 and The WB Cable Network. He then produced the next Stephen King miniseries for ABC, ‘Rose Red’, filmed in Seattle/Tacoma, aired in February, 2002. Later that year he started producing a two-hour prequel ‘The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer’ in Seattle as well. This aired on ABC in April, ’03. Continuing with ABC and Steven King, Tom produced the first 13 episodes of the series ‘The Kingdom Hospital’ filmed in Vancouver. He spent six months in Ireland supervising the second season of Showtime’s ‘The Tudors’ and produced the last four of that season.

On the personal side, both of their daughters are successful at life. His wife, Lorraine, is an award winning and published Landscape Designer, guesting on many gardening shows and in magazines. She also is a successful author having published 'Peeky Peepers' and 'A Nobody in a Somebody World'. Among their many outside interests is a passion for turn-of-the-century American antiques. Over the years they have acquired a vast collection of Americana. Their homes in L.A. and on Maui attest to this. His favorite acquisition is a complete collection of early Eastman Kodak cameras. Tom is also active in the Producers category of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, member of the Directors Guild of America, past Co-Chair of the California Film Commission and an advisor to the Northern England Film Commission.

Having produced films in so many countries, Tom is conversational in French, Italian, German, and comfortable with Serbo-Croatian.

December, 2012

Contact:

Thomas H. Brodek

e-mail-tbrodek@mac.com tombrodek.com website