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'Chiseltown' is completed. It is an intensely personal story, although it has nothing to do with me personally, as odd as that may sound. It's about a fictional filmmaker and a movie, from the first phone call to the last. That's how movies are made. I suppose it's not so different in other walks of life. Somebody calls, you do something, there's another phone call to find out if they liked whatever it was that you did. A producer calls, a movie is made, and then there's another phone call from a preview screening to report average Jane and John Doe audience response, in Fresno traditionally. Audience cards don't matter. What matters is whether the movie made them laugh and gasp and cry real tears, because movies should do that. Along the way, 'Chiseltown' presents a detailed, accessible education in filmmaking, how a script is written and funded and translated into actors and location shoots and sound stages with forced perspective to create a convincing night exterior scene, or an apartment, or a repair shop. Bruno Heckmeier is making a low-budget movie. There are severe obstacles to overcome. He has an unusual home life. There's an enormous amount of comedy for light entertainment purposes. Some of the story is serious literature. Some is slightly adult. I found that I cared very deeply about the 7 or 8 principal players in this story. There are many more bit players, and if it seems unusual to have so many characters, please consider that the movie Bruno makes involves a production company of fifty skilled professionals, stunt men, two very capable stars, and an unusual supporting cast. It's a very short schedule, six weeks to organize it, six weeks to shoot everything, and six weeks of post production. Trust me, that's working at lightning speed. It's a personal story in two respects. I had to write the movie for Bruno to make. And I had to live in Bruno's shoes (and those of all the other characters) with honesty, humor, drama, and a deep understanding of the men and women who call themselves "show people," no matter what their specialty or contribution to a motion picture is. Camera grip, driver, bookkeeper, electrician, set decorator, or seamstress -- they are people who sacrifice much to work a few weeks on a movie, a collaborative art that cannot be created without them. I've done many "below the line" production jobs for an hourly wage, in addition to "above the line" writing, producing, and directing. You have to take my word for it. Directing is a high privilege. It's done by lots of different men and women. 'Chiseltown' is directed by a talented, goofy, warmhearted, intelligent middle aged guy who got stuck on Poverty Row doing low-budget movies, while others did studio pictures with an average budget of $75 million. Bruno has to conceive and execute a feature film on 1/5 as much money, and he wants it to succeed, not only at the box office, but critically as well. Being an "indie" confers a great deal of freedom. No studio moguls, Teamsters, or IATSE work rules. The whole of Los Angeles as a locale, in a "period" setting that's fun to shoot. I always experience emotional awe when I've finished a story. 'Chiseltown' is in a class of its own, among all the stories I've written, among all the fictional characters that I loved and still love, of course. The story of making a movie is a personal confession of my lifelong passion. 'Chiseltown' is a movie I didn't get to make, and it's deeply gratifying to have directed its fictional creation. Many of the characters are based on people who I knew and worked with and loved and respected. Please buy a copy ($5 at Lulu.com) and review it. Thanks. http://www.lulu.com/shop/wolf-devoon/chiseltown/paperback/product-24236289.html
Long-time Objectivist Robert Bidinotto's new thriller novel Bad Deeds was just published today on Amazon. It's a follow-up to his previous 2011 best-seller, Hunter, featuring many of the same characters. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy, and I can report that this new book is simply outstanding. The hero of the story is a tough guy and "lone-wolf vigilante" (Bidinotto's own words) in the tradition of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Showtime's Dexter, and many cartoon superheroes. Also in the tradition of the dynamos of Ayn Rand. The lead character is investigative reporter Dylan Hunter, and he's an independently wealthy guy who's in love with the ideal of justice. But when exposing the truth about something in a newspaper doesn't do the trick, or when attacked directly, avenging angel Dylan Hunter...doesn't entirely work within the law in fighting back against deadly evil. My kind of guy! http://www.amazon.com/BAD-DEED...
I am just beginning the third part of Atlas Shrugged and I am sad to see it end. My perspective on life has certainly been changed, and I am so glad I decided to read this book. My question pertains to objectivist novels, are there other novels that preach objectivism not written by Ayn Rand. I never like to read the same author twice in a row and would like the read something in-between Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. Thanks, David C.