the movie book project


So, I'm writing a book. One of my many bucket list items is to finally see my name across the cover of a published work, and what better way to cross that item off than to write a book about movies.  It's still in the process... I'm around 68,000 words in (67,995 to be honest... I just looked), which puts me at about 200 pages thusfar, so I figure I'm 75% done... but not quite.  But soon. 

I thought what better way to promo the book than to give you the introduction of said book... so here ya go:

Welcome to my movie book.  Yes, yes, this is a movie book.  A book about movies. It’s a book.  A book with movies in it.  There are bunch of movies in this very book. It’s a movie book.
I wanted to toss that out up front, so when you read this next part, you won’t think “Is this a memoir book?” or “is this a Granny book?” you’ll think “This must be a movie book.”

Let me ‘splain.

No, there is too much, let me sum up.

When I was a young child, 2, maybe 3 years old, I was living with my grandmother and grandfather (hereto known as Granny and Grandpa), and had just moved from Winter Garden, Florida (near Orlando) to the capital city of Austin, Texas.

We lived there until 1984, when we packed up and moved to a small town called Samson, deep in South Alabama, with our house being a mere 9 miles from the Florida state line.  No kidding, you could take a left out of my driveway, drive for an hour, take another left, take a right five miles later, and in 10 minutes, you’d be at the beach.  Theoretically, you could skip school, get to the beach by mid-morning, have a few ocean side hours soaking up the sun, have a quick seafood lunch at a local dive, and return back to Samson in time for the 3p bell and afterschool band practice.  By the way, I never did this.  No seriously, I never did. Looking back, I wish I had’ve.

I know what you are thinking… “Geez, d$, you said this was a movie book, and instead we get a list of hometowns?  So… is this your memoir? And you live such an uninteresting life that you have to disguise it as a movie book to get people to read it?!”

Though that might be what I have to do to get people to read about my uninteresting life, I promise you this IS a movie book, because I wanted to tell you about my lifetime of watching movies… honestly, I only recently figured it out.

Like some Grannies and Grandpas, mine didn’t get out much. So while all the other kids were going to their grandparents and fishing or camping or playing with the cool toys in the backyard until it was time to go home to Mom and Dad’s house, I was actually WITH my grandparents at home.  Usually watching movies.

Oh, sure, I played games and ran outside a lot and had swords and dragons and spaceships and went swimming but in the evening… well, we watched movies.  George Burns movies. Gregory Peck movies. Lee Marvin movies. And lots of “Night Court” – the TV show mind you, as my Granny was a Harry Anderson fan.  Personally, 8 year old me thought Markie Post was really pretty, but Dan Laroquette was the funniest one of all.  Well, except for Richard Moll as Bull, and strangely enough, that’s not the last Richard Moll mention in this book.

So I can honest say that I truly have been watching movies all of my life, and while I’m not a fancy movie critic, nor am I a connoisseur of finer acting and production quality and allegorical meanings of stories and so on, I know what I like and what I don’t. Like many movie lovers, there are many movies I’m supposed to like but don’t (“Annie Hall” for example), and many movies I’m not supposed to like, but do (anything that contain both “Grown” and “Ups” in the title).

And that’s why I wrote this book… to tell you all about the movies I like, and even a few I don’t.

But I must give you caution. 

If you are a film critic, I want to warn you. If you are a movie snob, let me stop you for a minute right here, right now. (when I wrote that, I automatically imagined Troy and Gabriella from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” singing that song).

If you are a cinephile, or a motion picture elitist, or just someone who cannot be entertained by a film unless the effects are nearly perfect, the production is nearly flawless, and the actors are giving a clinic of the craft, then let me tell you straight up…

You may, in fact, hate this book. 

This is a movie book.  This book is about my favorite (and a few not so favorite) movies. This book you are holding in your hands is a labor of love, and an ode to the craft that I hold so dear, that being the motion picture.

I’ve been watching movies nearly all of my life, from the first movies seen in the theater to random superstation airings of “Smokey & the Bandit II” to my middle school years with HBO and Showtime, and then on into high school, college and beyond. 

But I caution The Movie Snob because it may be hard for me to earn their trust.  Can you believe I’ve never even see “Citizen Kane”?  And honestly, I’m okay with that, because it just doesn’t look like my bag, baby.

Of course, this was just as difficult as anything else I could have written—what to say about certain films, why do I love that movie over this, how do I explain that “The Godfather Part II” is a brilliant piece of work but yet, I’d watch Dane Cook’s “Employee of the Month” if it were on at the same time—but for better, or worse, I wrote a book… one that I’m actually quite proud of.

My goal in this is to have you hate parts of it.  To have you put the book down and say “Holy crap, how could he have THAT movie anywhere close to his favorite films list??” or have you say “OMG, I thought I was the only one who loved that movie!!” or maybe say “Hmm… I’ve never seen that.  I think I might have to finally sit and watch it” or any other number of responses.  You’ll agree with my thoughts on some, disagree on others, and that’s okay… because in this crazy world we live in, if 

I can get you to escape reality for a little while and talk about movies, then I’ve done my job right nicely.

Check it out, Mrs. Peterson… I wrote a book.

A movie book.

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