A teenager who showed maturity above his years, Salerno was known for donning conservative suits and displaying a reserved and polite manner. Even at this young age, Salerno was determined to get on t...
|UC: Undercover (2000-2001)||Executive Producer||n/a||2000||3000005|
|Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau (Until the End is Near)||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Kai e'e (Tidal Wave)||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Ho'opa'I (Close to Heart)||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Ho'ohuli Na'au (Close to Heart)||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Powa Maka Moana||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Loa Aloha||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Ma Ke Kahakai (Shore)||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|He Kane Hewa'ole (An Innocent Man)||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Na Me'e Laua Na Paio (Heroes and Villains)||Consulting Producer||n/a||3000008|
|Po'ipu (The Siege)||Teleplay||n/a||4000005|
|Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem||Screenplay||n/a||4000005|
|Ho'opa'I (Close to Heart)||Story By||n/a||4000005|
|Po'ipu (The Siege)||Story By||n/a||4000006|
|E Malama (To Protect)||Teleplay||n/a||4000007|
|Ho'opa'I (Close to Heart)||Teleplay||n/a||4000007|
|UC: Undercover (2000-2001)||Writer||n/a||2000||4000008|
|UC: Undercover (2000-2001)||Creator||n/a||2000||4000011|
|UC: Undercover (2000-2001)||From Story||n/a||2000||4000017|
|UC: Undercover (2000-2001)||Music Supervisor||n/a||2000||8000010|
|Began unpaid internship on the set of "NYPD Blue" (ABC)|
|Sold "Thunder Blow" to Dino DeLaurentiis for $600,000 and adapted "A Season in Hell" for Steven Spielberg and the newly formed Dreamworks Pictures|
|Established his own production company, Chasing Time Pictures|
|Signed a three-year deal with Universal television and producer Dick Wolf to write for "New York Undercover" (Fox); clashed creatively with producers and other writers|
|Wrote the screenplay for "Aliens vs Predator: Requiem"|
|Moved to Los Angeles|
|Executive Produced (also wrote) "UC: Undercover" (NBC)|
|Created pilot "UC: Undercover" with novelist Don Winslow about a team of undercover agents; pilot greenlighted by NBC|
|Produced his own documentary for public access "Sundown: The Future of Children and Drugs"|
|Worked on developing "Bay of Pigs" for director Ving Rhames|
|Signed with CAA and got out of his TV deal|
|Assigned to develop action features "A Season in Hell" and "Thunder Blow" with producer Arne Schmidt|
|Received first feature screenwriting credit for "Armageddon"|
|Met director Michael Bay and began work on the Jerry Bruckheimer produced "Armageddon"|
|Met acclaimed "Boyz N The Hood" director John Singleton; co-wrote screenplay for "Shaft" (2000)|
|Hired to rewrite "Alien vs. Predator" which was released in 2004; never received screen credit|
|Worked on writing a script with filmmaker and personal idol Michael Mann about the drug trade|
|Worked on developing two more features, the thriller "Breakdown" and a script about the Zodiac serial killer for Touchstone|
At the age of 20, Salerno landed a one-year apprenticeship on the set of "NYPD Blue" after meeting with producer Gregory Hoblit. During this year, Salerno soaked up all he could about the workings of the entertainment industry. He started commuting from San Diego, but soon moved to Los Angeles where the hungry young scribe read everything he could get his hands on while attending industry lectures and events whenever he could. He wrote his own television pilot, a drama about two minority cops and gave the teleplay to anyone in the industry who would read it. His pilot was met with praise and through this writing sample he landed a three-year deal with Universal Television and producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order) on his newest show, "New York Undercover." Though unrelated to Salerno's pilot, Wolf's new show also featured two minority cops and Salerno seemed to be a perfect fit to write for the show.
At 21, Salerno found himself a staffed writer on one of the most popular cop dramas on the air. But he was unhappy at his new job and though he wrote several well-received episodes of series, Salerno found the television world to be less than satisfying. He clashed with the other producers and writers and said his time on "New York Undercover" was "the worst experience of my life."
Against the advice of everyone around him, Salerno got out of his contract and turned to writing features. Amazingly, he was met with equally astounding opportunities in the feature world. Within a matter of weeks after breaking his NYU contract and leaving the show, Salerno began developing "A Season in Hell" for producer Arne Schmidt, an action flick about an arsonist. Schmidt was also pitching a submarine story, "Thunder Below" which Salerno convinced Schmidt to let him write. Both projects were ultimately stalled, but not before "A Season in Hell" was bought for mid-six figures and "Thunder Below" was greenlighted by Steven Spielberg for DreamWorks. These breaks led Salerno to the job of helping with the re-write of "Armageddon" and from there he scored the screenplay and story credits for the 2000 remake of "Shaft" with John Singleton.
In the middle of working on a host of other high-profile projects, including starting his own production company and landing a slew of impressive studio deals, Salerno got his own pilot. NBC greenlighted Salerno's drama he had created about a group of undercover investigators. Salerno returned to television with the series "UC: Undercover" which aired in the 2001 season. While the show was not a success with the critics or in the ratings, it did develop a rabid fan base with an internet fan site on which Salerno himself frequently posted. The show was cancelled after one season but Salerno began working on other television pilot ideas for the 2004 season, both related and non-related to the characters of UC.
In addition to developing these pilots, Salerno's collaboration with actor Ving Rhames on "Night Train" began to move forward. The feature "Night Train" was set to begin production in the summer of 2002 with director William Friedkin ("Rules of Engagement") attached. In that same year, Salerno was also actively developing a thriller vehicle with George Clooney attached, showing no signs of slowing down his breakneck-paced charge through Hollywood.
|St. John's College High School|
|San Dieguito High School|
|Salerno was voted "Most Likely to be Famous" in high school and was often compared to Alex P. Keaton, Michael J. Fox's character from "Family Ties"|
|Salerno has stated that he has never smoked, drank or done any drugs in his life|
|"There is a real difference between arrogance and confidence. For me, if you don't get it right, I don't understand what the point is of doing it. The worst thing you can be is ordinary." - Salerno quoted in The Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2002|
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