Thursday, September 22, 2005
Jon Silberg: Hollywood Renaissance Man
Writer. Photographer. Editor. Film, TV & Live Events Producer. Film Historian. Humorist. Storyteller. Intellectual. Friend. I first met Jon Silberg in 1987, while working as the Editorial Researcher at American Film magazine in NY. He had come to NY, from a small town in PA, to work in independent films and had joined the publication as an intern for further exposure to the film industry (while he produced short pieces for PBS and HBO). Working close together on many projects, we discovered a shared love for cinema and began to build a friendship I treasure to this day. (Jon is simply the best storyteller and funniest person I know.) When American Film was purchased from the AFI and MD Publications by Billboard Publications, Inc (BPI) Jon and I cut deals with the new management and soon were running the magazine from BPI headquarters in Times Square (at 1515 Broadway). That lasted only a few months before BPI decided to move American Film to Los Angeles to synergize it with another recently purchased property, The Hollywood Reporter. I remember the day we got the news: Silberg and I walked around Manhattan for a while until we ended up at the bar in a TGI Fridays restaurant in Rockefeller Center. Silberg downed shots of Tequila and I drank Screwdrivers as we talked about what to do next. Eventually, Silberg moved to Los Angeles and freelanced for American Film (until it folded) and numerous other publications covering film and television. He joined Boxoffice and Millimeter magazines for a while and soon began carving a name for himself as one of the leading and most prolific film journalists in the region. His bylines began to appear regularly in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Silberg soon became a recognized face around the country at industry parties, conventions and seminars, where he occasionally moderated panels on film discussion. For two years, he produced The DVD Awards in LA (giving us another opportunity to work together, as I was writing copy for and marketing that awards show at the time). A love for photography eventually had Silberg documenting activities on the film sets and at industry events. I was overjoyed when I learned that he was lined up to produce his first major motion picture, 9/Tenths, starring the beautiful Gabrielle Anwar and directed by Bob Degus (producer of Pleasantville). I eagerly await the release of that film and look forward to the next chapter in my friend's career.