Todd Traina

Silicon Valley - Movie Writer and Producer

Movie writer and producer Todd Traina is a West Coast local whose talents in the movie industry have landed him over 20 feature films, including the newly released I Hate Kids. Traina loves to spend time with his family, though he explains that his favorite part of his job is working with “super-talented filmmakers and actors... and getting to watch people enjoy the finished product in a movie theater.” Traina's producing skills have landed him on the list of 'Top Ten Producers to Watch' by Daily Variety. If Traina isn't writing or producing new content, he is likely with his wife, daughter, and dogs in Napa, taking a leisurely stroll through the vineyards.

Q&A:

Hometown?

San Francisco.

Place you call home now?

Pacific Heights.

Any notes on your education?

BA from Connecticut College.

Favorite sport to watch?

Tennis and Motocross.

Favorite sport to play?

Tennis and Skiing.

Best vacation ever?

Scuba-diving at the Great Barrier Reef on my honeymoon, staying on the Dal Lake in Kashmir, India with my Dad, and a wild trip to Corfu for a family wedding when I was a teenager.

Dream trip destination?

Anywhere with a white sandy beach and calm crystal clear water. And I want to see Machu Picchu.

Favorite dinner?

A Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the fixings. Also pretty much anything you would eat off the grill on the 4th of July is my speed.

Favorite dessert?

Butterscotch pudding from anywhere and a Chocolate d’Oberge cake from Gambino’s Bakery in New Orleans.

Best meal you've had at a restaurant?

I had a pasta with incredibly fresh truffles sometime in the early 90s at some cafe in Perugia that I still dream about. Also pretty much any meal at the Golden Lamb Buttery in Brooklyn, CT is outstanding and worth the trip.

Road trip -- three in the car with you. Living or dead. Who are they? Why?

Peter Sellers in character as Inspector Clouseau and Gene Wilder in character as Young Frankenstein, because as Mark Twain said: “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” And Sigmund Freud because the 3 of us would desperately need his help for the duration of the trip.

Favorite TV show as a kid?

The Brady Bunch & The Carol Burnette Show.

Favorite movies?

Jaws. Star Wars. Witness. Austin Powers. Young Frankenstein. Anchorman. The Party. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Return of the Pink Panther. Boogie Nights.

Favorite actress and or actor?

Robin Williams, Will Ferrell, Peter Sellers, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Gene Wilder, Marisa Tomei, Goldie Hawn, Kristen Wiig.

Favorite bands?

The Police. Fleetwood Mac. Frank Sinatra. The Smiths.

Most impressive live performance you ever saw?

Musically- Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 tour dress rehearsal. They went so deep into their catalog. The band had just reformed with the original “Rumours 5” lineup and they played for 200 of us at Culver Studios. Amazing.

Also, I would have to say the Day on the Green with The Police headlining on their Synchronicity tour. September 9, 1983. Oakland Stadium. Opening acts were The Fixx, Madness, Oingo Boingo and the Thompson Twins. It was the New Wave zenith!

Car you drive now?

Dodge Durango R/T and occasionally my ‘67 Camaro.

Car you’d like to drive?

My Dad’s old ‘59 Facel Vega HK500.

Best car you've owned?

My Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon which used to belong to my grandmother and still runs beautifully.

Motorcycle?

2018 Yamaha XT250, ‘97 BMW F650, ‘84 Honda XL 125R, 1970 Honda CB 350.

Wear a watch?

Been a collector for most of my life.

Got a favorite watch?

My Franck Muller Conquistador and my Cartier Santos given to me by my wife for our anniversary.

Got a dream watch?

A vintage Rolex “Coke” GMT Master II

Summer drink of choice?

The amazing Blondie Mary with fresh yellow tomatoes at Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa. And a Dark & Stormy from the Clarke CookeHouse in Newport, RI.

Winter drink of choice?

Lots of hot chocolate and occasionally a Martini with olives. Straight up.

Bourbon or Scotch?

Scotch.

Vodka or gin?

Vodka.

Cologne?

I find cologne overwhelming. I’d rather just smell freshly showered! A great smelling soap is the best cologne.

Go-to red on a wine list?

Joesph Phelps Cabernet/Schafer Cabernet.

Go-to white?

Don’t drink it.

Favorite beach?

Kauna’oa Beach aka Mauna Kea Beach at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii.

Best work advice you ever got?

Never do business with anybody who is running to catch a train.

Best thing about your career?

I get to work with super talented filmmakers and actors and I get to watch people enjoy the finished product in a movie theater.

What do you do now for work? Tell us something about your work and career path...

I have been producing films for most of my career. I’ve produced over 20 feature films but more and more I am enjoying writing which is new for me. I recently wrote a comedy called “I Hate Kids” which is available on Amazon, iTunes and DVD.

Do you have any philanthropic interests/endeavors?

I have been on the board of SFFilm for many years. We put on the San Francisco International Film Festival and we have fiscal sponsorships, year-round programming, artist-in-residence programs, educational programs and more. I’ve been on the Board of the International Tennis Hall of Fame for many years. I am also on the board of Vision of Hope which helps run a number of Inner City schools offer affordable private education for underprivileged kids. My wife and I also give to a lot of causes that help the homeless and at-risk youth.

Add anything else about yourself here that you would like the world to know about you.

My wife, daughter and dogs are the light of my life. I had spectacular parents and despite the usual curves that life throws you, I feel blessed to have a large and wonderful family for which I am eternally grateful.