Tom Kennedy dies at 63

Produced trailers for high-profile films

Tom Kennedy, an editor, author and prominent producer of film trailers, died Wednesday, Dec. 7, in West Hills, Calif. He was 63.

After serving as an editor on PBS children’s show “The Big Blue Marble” for several years, the New York-based Kennedy moved in 1977 to Los Angeles, becoming senior editor, producer and project director at Kaleidoscope Films, one of the major players in the film trailer industry, where he oversaw the audiovisual creative advertising for film campaigns. He wrote and produced trailers, TV spots and product reels for the major studios, working on campaigns for movies including “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “The Terminator,” “The Year of Living Dangerously” and the first four “Star Trek” films.

Kennedy also directed a feature, 1982 sci-fier “Time Walker,” produced by Roger Corman’s New World Entertainment.

After 15 years at Kaleidoscope, Kennedy moved over in 1992 to Cimarron/Bacon/O’Brien, where, as exec producer and partner, he oversaw audiovisual ad campaigns for movies including “Basic Instinct,” “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2,” “Unforgiven,” “The Mask,” “Get Shorty,” “True Lies” and “Broken Arrow.”

In 1997, Kennedy became senior VP of creative advertising at MGM/UA, where he oversaw the revamp of the James Bond franchise. In 2000, Kennedy started Technical Knock Out Pictures.

In addition to his efforts as a producer of trailers, Kennedy did a great deal of voiceover work, recording promos for ABC and Showtime, as well as dozens of trailers and teasers.

Kennedy was a native of the Bronx and studied film at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

He is survived by three children, Jesse, a film producer; Shane, a musician; and Samantha, an actress; and his three grandchildren.

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