Postproduction Vet Ron Silveira Remembered by Colleagues and Friends

The highly regarded industry veteran died June 20 after a battle with cancer.
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Ron Silveira

This past week, numerous members of the Hollywood community wrote to The Hollywood Reporter's Behind the Screen, remembering Ron Silveira, a highly regarded postproduction industry vet, who passed away on June 20 after a battle with cancer.

He most recently served as vp of Universal Studios Digital Services for NBC Universal, which he joined in 2004. During that time, he worked on many series, including those from Dick Wolf (Law and Order, Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire), The Office and Parenthood.

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Arthur Forney, co-exec producer on Wolf series such as Law & Order: SUV, described Silveira as "a great man who was a major force in our industry moving forward in the digital age. When things started to get out of hand, he was always the one who calmed everyone's emotions and solved our problems.

"Ron also was my friend. We shared our family stories, talked about his mountain climbing and shared our enthusiasm about cars. Ron was somebody you could trust. I'll miss his love of life, his quiet control, knowledge and vision."

"He has been key to the growth and success of UDS from a distribution facility into a client-focused full service post house," wrote Richard Winnie, vp postproduction at Universal Television, who described Silveira as "a strong and dedicated presence in the industry for many years. Always calm, focused and cheerful, even in the most chaotic of times.

"Watching him go through this last most difficult part of his life has taught me so much about the depth of courage, persistence, nobility and grace some very unique humans are capable of in the face of dire adversity. We are losing an invaluable member of our Universal family and our post community."

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During his career, Silveira ran post houses, including The Post Group, Unitel and Compact Video/Image Transform.  "Ron was an excellent businessman, a politician (in the best meaning), and a great friend. … He treated all with great kindness and respect, and in return he was admired by all," John H. Radulovic, producer on Ray Donovan, wrote, adding that Silveira was also an avid mountain climber who "managed to climb to the top of every mountain peak over fourteen thousand feet on the West Coast."

Film editor and Ediflex nonlinear editing system pioneer Herb Dow remembered Silveira as a "pioneer in postproduction … from the early days of nonlinear editing through the advances in digital production, he helped us grow and understand the technology that transformed our industry, and he did it with grace and style. A true gentleman and friend to all, he will be sorely missed."

"He was loved," said writer, producer and director John Strong, who worked on one of the earliest films to be cut with an Ediflex at 24fps at the former Unitel, where Silveira at the time served as president. "From the day I met him, I did my business exclusively with him," Strong said. "He was the most rare human being in the film business — someone you could always count on, always told you the truth. … He cared, and he made everything work."

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"In 22 years, I have never seen him raise his voice, lose his cool, or say an unkind word about anyone," said friend and former colleague Ralph Horan. "He had a quiet confidence about all that he did. I have often said, if there is ever an emergency situation, fire, earthquake, or flood, I want to be standing next to Ron Silveira at the time. He will be calm and know what to do."

Wrote producer Jules Rask, who worked with Silveira at UDS as it was being created in 2004, "Ron fought his cancer with all the gusto he committed to his passion of mountaineering. He had tried everything and exhausted all of his options in trying to beat pancreatic cancer. As a 10-year cancer survivor and stem cell recipient, Ron and I had a number of talks about his condition, and he was always upbeat and a fighter. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the way that Ron conducted his life — as an executive, a husband, a colleague, mountaineer and friend."

Twitter: @CGinLA