About Phil



Over a 35 year span as a writer-producer, Phil Savenick created many of television's most highly regarded compilation documentaries dealing with TV and its history. He produced CBS's “50 Years of Television: A Golden Celebration,” “ABC's 40th Anniversary Show,” “HBO's 20th Anniversary,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show's 20th Anniversary,” and “Rick Nelson: A Brother Remembers”. He served as co-producer of the specials “The Museum of Television and Radio presents The Funny Women of Television”, “M*A*S*H: Our Finest Hour”, “Phil Donahue’s 25th Anniversary Special”, “The Best of Disney’s 50 Years of Magic”, and HBO’s “Monty Python Reunion Tribute” in 1998. His film clip tributes have appeared on the Emmy, Oscars, Grammys, Comic Relief, specials for Bob Hope, Jacques Cousteau, and dozens of others.

Rock n Roll:

At the tender age of 20, Phil was hired out of UCLA by legendary filmmaker Robert Abel to do research for Elvis Presley’s last movie “Elvis On Tour”. By 23 he had co-directed a camera unit on a Rolling Stones concert video and produced films for Bob Dylan and Chaka Kahn. Later, Phil’s montage sequences were featured in the movie biographies “This is Elvis,” “Imagine: John Lennon”, and the TV specials “Heroes of Rock n Roll” and “Motown 30: What’s Going On”. In 1990, he produced the Grammy lifetime achievement tribute film for Paul McCartney. Back when vinyl was king, Phil was awarded gold records for his music videos with Elton John “Candle In The Wind”, Billy Joel “All Shook Up”, and Tom Petty “You Got Lucky”. Phil produced Petty’s first MTV special “Heartbreakers Beach Party” in 1983, co-directed with rock journalist and future Oscar winner Cameron Crowe.


He has thrice been Emmy-nominated, as co-producer of “Donald Duck's 50th Birthday” and “Great Moments in Disney Animation,” and again for his editing on the 75th Annual Academy Awards. In 1996, Phil produced the Emmy winning “20 Years of Comedy on HBO”, which won him the CableAce for Best Comedy Special. His special “100 Years of the Hollywood Western” garnered the Cine “Golden Eagle” award, a Film Advisory Board award, and the western writers “Spur” award for best documentary. He also won first prize in a “draw your dad” contest in the second grade.


Phil and his production company TV IS OK Productions were always at the forefront of new media innovations. He helped create the electronic press kit in 1982, produced music videos before there was MTV, and starting in 1985, created unique programs for videocassette, later laserdisc and DVD. To the endless gratitude of parents everywhere TV IS OK created and produced “Disney Sing-Along Songs”, the most successful made-for-home-video “kid-vid” series of the 20th Century. They then pioneered programming for the new medium of DVD, creating unique thematic, historic and interactive segments for Disney, Pixar, Sony, and Warner Brothers. Phil is most proud of the supplementary programming for DVD editions of “Fantasia”, Monsters Inc.”, “The Sixth Sense”, “Some Like it Hot”, as well as the award winners of the prestigious best DVD Of The Year Award for both “Toy Story’s Ultimate Toy Box” in 2000, and original “King Kong Special Edition” in 2006.


A graduate of the UCLA school of Fine Arts, Phil never gave up his love of creating paintings, sculptures and photocollage. In 2001, Phil had a one-man career retrospective called “Televisionary Artist” at the now-defunct Hollywood Museum. It is viewable here on YouTube. In 2009, Phil embarked on an adventure to track down the ghosts of his favorite artists and paint with them. He recorded his antics in a series of short films called “Painting With Ghosts”. So far, Phil has haunted the studios of Picasso, Matisse, Dali, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh. His film “Van Gogh Adventure: Vincent’s Ghost and Me” was an official selection of the Los Angeles ShortsFest, The Fine Arts Film Festival, and the Laguna Art Festival. It is viewable here on YouTube.


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