The Making of Another Major Cinematic Masterpiece
Hutchinson Heinemann, $32.99
Tom Hanks is one of the funniest actors of the past few decades, looking less like a glamorous movie star and more of an actor and person.In addition to being prolific—about 90 acting (and producer) gigs—he’s also remarkably versatile (think of his two most recent roles, as a man named otto as colonel parker Elvis Presley). Now, he has to add the word “novelist” to his daunting resume, because under the oddly named title above, the cover says “a novel.”
However, this is far from traditional fiction in which characters, events, and (sometimes) ideas interact in a causal fashion that leads the reader to a satisfying ending. Novelists as far back as James Joyce or as recently as William Boyd have shown that the deployment of the usual ingredients is not mandatory, and the title of Hanks’ first novel immediately suggests something different, This Is Us what you get.
In part, what shaped the book was the way it connected the key phases of filmmaking, starting with the “backstory” and grasping how its complex program involved an ever-changing group of people, whose functions and interactions with each other. Dealing with others personally helps to enrich the texture of the novel. Real-life names (like, John Wayne) and footnotes (not overdone, the content is as fictional as the things it refers to) remind us of other works of literature and cinema, while it also embeds itself in its own false stylistic achievements doctrine.
Chapter titles (“Chapter” is all too common) are meant to announce the stages involved in making a film, from “source material” to “casting” and “shooting” etc. The procedures involved certainly reflect reality as Hanks himself knew it, but they also provide an understanding of the lives involved, what it feels like to be one of the hierarchy of filmmaking and how the position achieved in the latter can harness and shape the individual Life.
Here, director Bill Johnson wants to make a superhero movie rooted in underground comic books.The latter, again, was the work of the nephew of a World War II veteran who would years later turn his uncle’s story into a heroes under fire later still Knightshade: Firefall LatheWhen you learn that the comic books were all written by Hanks (and illustrated by Robert Sikoriak), you realize what a strange one his first novel was.
But the actual content of the film isn’t so much the book’s constant source of ingestion as it is the production process that Johnson hopes will become the franchise’s success. In these processes, the casting and framing of the scenes are very interesting.
The female lead, for example, will be played by the household name Wren Lane (real name Wendy Lank), a movie star with male issues and — as tactfully pointed out — flying a plane to ground her. Not enough ground to deal with OKB (Bailey), the megalomaniac co-star responsible for the disastrous first-day footage, soon to be fired by the director and replaced by Ike Clipper, whose relationship with Rayne His wife Thea cares more closely than his relationship.