10 Producers to Watch 2012: Tom Thayer
Tom Thayer spent nearly a decade developing his first feature, “Hitchcock,” which debuted last month with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren in the roles of the famous director and his wife.With extensive experience in TV he has learned to trust his creative instincts. “There isn’t anything that I’ve ever done where somebody hasn’t said to me, ‘This will never happen,’ ” Thayer says. “But if you trust in your taste, your commitment to the property and if the material is good, I firmly believe that it will ultimately realize daylight.” He is working on several feature projects with “Hitchcock” scribe John J. McLaughlin: a coming-of-age rock fable called “Fresh Tears” with Victoria Pearman and Mick Jagger, and a series of biopics about Harry Houdini, Johnny Carson and Charles Lindbergh. Prior to forming Traveler’s Rest Films in 1997, Thayer served as the founding president of MCA Television Entertainment and prexy of Universal Television. After leaving Universal, he developed and produced television projects including A&E’s “The Great Gatsby,” the HBO adaptation of Dee Brown’s seminal 1970 book, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and A&E’s four-hour adaptation of Michael Crichton’s bestseller “The Andromeda Strain.” He serves as exec producer on Syfy’s reality series “Ghost Hunters” with Craig Piligian and Pilgrim Films. He is also working on a nonscripted programming venture with Dick Wolf. “I’m a bit all over the map,” says Thayer. “But I think you have to be.” No matter what medium he’s working in, day or night, he doesn’t take no for an answer. “Everything takes years, so you really have to believe what you’re pushing up hill,” Thayer says. “It’s such a horrible gantlet that you have to be in love with the process and product.”
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