We have never spoken but I just finished you book Rebels on the Backlot
and felt compelled to write you. I am a producer who has wanted to be
one since 5th grade. Six years ago I partnered with Michael Bay to form
Platinum Dunes, which specializes in under 20 million dollar horror
films. 2007 wasn’t a great year for our company… Then I picked up your book. It was like talking to a friend who
understood. I wasn’t the only one suffering. What’s more, the
directors, producers, writers of the movies that made me want to stick
it out when all I had was hope, all went through the same thing. Only
worse. I couldn’t put your book down. What’s more, despite my own
experiences, I gleaned so much insight from your description of the
experiences the directors endured that I have a further appreciation
for their struggle and dare I say better understanding of my own
Your book should be required reading for anyone who wants get into the movie business and everyone who forgot why they did.
Over the holidays, I apparently won the Alan Furst sweepstakes as my brother sent me an Amazon package of everything written by him. Included was a copy of "Rebels On The Backlot" … I made the wonderful error of peeking into your book. The upshot is I wanted to thank you for an well written book about an interesting subject and all the hard facts, the interviews and followups that you must have done in order to write it. Certain times, you see, hear or read something and marvel at what went into it to make it. Just wanted to say that I appreciated all your hard work. Waiting for your next book.
I graduate from undergrad in exactly two days with a degree in Political Science. I have always been passionate about movies, but have never wanted to stray from my path of eventually becoming a lawyer. I am not done with it, but what I have read of your book has already inspired in me a personal revelation: I must make movies. Tarantino inspired me when I did a ninth grade project on him. Your words, especially on Tarantino, have spoken to me and they tell me: I must emulate the great and make a movie. I don’t think my dad will be too happy, so don’t worry I won’t tell him your name, even though you are the main reason I have decided to changed my career goal from lawyer to producer. I don’t know where and how to start, but this does not concern me.
Thank you so much for writing Rebels,
James Knox Waller