Book Review: The Producers: Profiles in Frustration

Here’s a recent blog post:

SEATTLE, Washington – In case you’ve wondered what it is that a television or movie producer does – you can read The Producers and still not be quite sure what they do.

Author Luke Ford has been around the block. A few of us would read his porn gossip website when we were in grad school in the late 1990s. This type of profession was unusual for a convert to Orthodox Judaism, and he wrestled with this for years (a struggle chronicled in his XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without a Shul) and appears to have finally thrown the porn reporting over the rail.

The book contains interviews with 68 different producers. If you’re interested in movie scuttlebutt at all, the material is interesting. Luke doesn’t talk a lot in the interviews, and when he does it’s often to ask questions about values and Judaism. Luke’s the kind of guy that throws all his stuff onto his website, so you can read most of the interviews…on his website. Some good example interviews are Peter Hyams (I never seem to like his movies) and Christopher Mankiewicz (for his repeated bashing of producer Arnold Kopelson).

I also did throw a dozen or so movies into the Netflix queue while reading the book, including The Man From Elysian Fields, Trees Lounge, and Sordid Lives.

One amazing thing about Ford’s writing is his incredibly bad spelling. For a guy obsessed with Hollywood, he inexplicably misspells names like Lee Strasberg and Hal Wallis. He must call Sidney Lumet "Sydney Lumet" a dozen times. At least his mistakes aren’t confined to names – Luke, there’s no such thing as "du-op" music. Luke, "He’s the worst human being whoever lived" is not a valid sentence. I’ll forgive Luke for writing that Don Phillips "grew up in Ventner, New Jersey, a heavily Jewish town" – the name’s wrong but it was a heavily Jewish town in the 1940s.

Ford claims he was laid up with "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" for six years, perhaps those were the years when spelling is learned.

I spent $3,000 getting my book proofed. I was robbed!

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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