praise for the Big picture:


“This book is full of wisdom, insight, and practical filmmaking experience. It’s really what goes on day to day in the trenches. Where was this book when I was starting out?” 


“Every page is packed with such practical tips and insider information...this is a book that could well become a bible and standard reference text for aspiring filmmakers.” 
—Publishers Weekly


“A veteran of over 40 films, Reilly earned his chops on the set and here delivers sage advice with the patient tone of a mentor. He uses real movies and contexts to exemplify real solutions to real problems; this could also be viewed as a primer in applied analytical thinking. This should be considered a valuable supplement to textbook instruction. Highly recommended.” 
—Library Journal

ERIC LAX Woody Allen Biographer

“This is the best book on the nuts and bolts—and art— of filmmaking I’ve read. Tom Reilly is a consummate pro. His insightful practical instruction and explanation will rivet anyone who cares about movies and wants to know how sometimes mundane but often astonishingly difficult work on the set ends up as magic on the screen. Reilly’s vivid behind-the-camera descriptions of great directors and cinematographers at work will enlighten and entertain you. If this were a movie, I’d say to see it twice.” 
Woody Allen Biographer


Tom Reilly has spent three decades making movies, working with some of the best filmmakers in the world. In The Big Picture he uses fifty short, entertaining essays to share what he has learned on the sets of critically acclaimed films and commercial blockbusters. He illuminates the craft and the personalities that go into making a great movie. 

The Big Picture is a must-have book for any aspiring filmmaker who wants to know the secrets of the pros, or for movie buffs who want to know what really happens on the sets of their favorite films. 

The veteran of more than forty films, Tom Reilly worked with Woody Allen on classics such as Husbands & Wives, Bullets Over Broadway, Hannah & Her Sisters, Zelig, and Manhattan Murder Mystery. He has also been the Assistant Director on major motion pictures such as Big, The Prince of Tides, Glengarry Glen Ross, Hide and Seek, and Evening


Tom Reilly is a manager and leader with over 30 years of feature film production experience working for every major studio and network, including 20th Century Fox, Columbia, Warner’s, Paramount and Disney. He has filmed throughout the United States and Europe, helped oversee pro-rated budgets totaling in excess of $2 billion, managed over 100,000 people and was nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award for Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors and The Prince of Tides. Over his career, Reilly has more than 50 A-level feature films to his credit as well as an extensive background in pilots, episodic television and MOWs.

Reilly has collaborated with directors Woody Allen (18 films), Sydney Pollack, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Hackford, and Irwin Winkler, among numerous others. Cinematographers worked with include Gordon Willis, Carlo Di Palma, Giuseppe Rotunno, John Seale, Michael Ballhaus and Sven Nykvist. He has done films with more than 75 Academy Award winners and worked with such actors as Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Vanessa Redgrave, John Huston, Alec Guinness, Diane Keaton, Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, Keanu Reeves, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.

Reilly is the Distinguished Lecturer on Film at Brooklyn College and the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. He is a graduate of Harvard College and has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1979.

He is the author of The Big Picture: Filmmaking Lessons From a Life on the Set (Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2009; also published in the United Kingdom by Old Street Publishing and in Spain by Ediciones Jaguar).