This past week, multi-hyphenate entertainment professional Paul J. Salamoff joined our Business of Screenwriting class to explain how this kid from Natick, Massachusetts went on to work on more than 50 films, TV shows, video games, comic books, and commercials, wearing practically every creative hat imaginable — writer, producer, director, executive, and yes — make-up artist.
Salamoff originally began his career as a Special FX/Make-Up Artist, working for years on such iconic films as “Critters 3-4,” “Ed Wood,” “Escape from LA,” “Batman & Robin,” “Doctor Dolittle,” “There’s Something About Mary,” “Dogma,” and “Me Myself and Irene.”
But, Salamoff was also bitten by the writer bug, and before long his career as a TV and film writer took off as well, with credits including “The Dead Hate the Living” (co-written with Dave Parker), “The St. Francisville Experiment” and “Alien Seige” for the SyFy channel. He was also recently named one of The Tracking Board’s Top 100 Up & Coming Screenwriters and has developed projects with Blumhouse Prod., Ritchie/Wigram Prod., Mosaic Media Group, Hollywood Gang, Silver Pictures, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Vertigo, Unstoppable Entertainment (UK) and Eclectic Pictures.
Salamoff is also author of the novel “The Silent Planet” and two non-fiction books: “On the Set: The Hidden Rules of Movie Making Etiquette” (which is in its 3rd Edition), and “The Complete DVD Book.” His short stories have been included in acclaimed anthologies including “Midian Unmade: Tales From Clive Barker’s Nightbreed,” and he is a two-time Bram Stoker Award Nominee.
As a comic creator, Salamoff is the writer of a number of comic book series including “Vincent Price Presents Black Scorpion” and the critically acclaimed “Logan’s Run:Last Day,” “Logan’s Run: Aftermath,” “Logan’s Run: Rebirth,” written with William F. Nolan. He is also the creator of the original graphic novel “Discord” and its prequel “Tales of Discord.”
In 2005 Salamoff became Vice President of Production for David Lancaster Productions working on Wes Craven’s “The Breed” and “Hollow Man 2.” After a successful merge with Bold Films, he became their Vice President of Production and worked on such films as “Legion,” “Bobby,” and Starship Troopers: Marauders.”
Having been involved with The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films for over twelve years; he produced the 22nd, 23rd, 33rd, 34th and 35th Saturn Awards. Salamoff has also produced Video Game TV/Web Development Diaries and Trailers working on such high-profile projects as “Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur,” “The Adventures of Tintin, Bulletstorm,” Mass Effect 2,” “Gears of War 2,” and “Dead Space.”
Salamoff answered a diverse range of questions from students ranging from how one gets into the comic book and video game writing arenas, to his process when he writes his screenplays (he sees the whole movie in his head before he begins, and bangs out the first draft in a mere 4-5 days!), to what it was like working on some of the more racy puppeteering and animatronics scenes for some of the most famous Farrelly Bros. movies.
A treasure trove of knowledge, as is evidenced by his many successes, the students thoroughly enjoyed his warm energy, breadth of Hollywood experiences, and hilarious anecdotal stories.
Next up for Salamoff, (amongst other things – no surprise), he is working steadily on his original horror screenplay “Beyond Repair,” currently being produced by Closed on Mondays Ent. (“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”) and is directing a Sci-Fi/horror drama (which he co-wrote with Actor/Producer/Director Noel Clarke) for the UK’s Unstoppable Ent.