The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture MasterpieceThis is the first novel from the A-list actor (after a few non fiction books), and while it takes a decent few chapters to find your feet and figure out what he’s doing, it’s rewarding in the end.

The plot is about the making of a superhero movie, with an entire big studio film production taking over a small California town to do so.

If you’re even a little bit curious about how a movie is made, Hanks (undoubtedly with more experience than most) puts you there. From housing A list stars to the union transport drivers (teamsters) that essentially move an entire small town of people and objects every time there’s a location change, the book touches on every aspect of a film production down to the smallest detail, much of it with the jargon and nomenclature of the industry but still easy to follow.

Even when a major star is fired and another one dies mid-shoot, Hanks wrangles a big picture view of it, as concerned with the Holy Grail (staying on schedule and budget) as he is with the emotions and fallout the characters feel.

In doing so, he has a singular and at times delightful turn of phrase that will remind you a little bit of Stephen King talking about his own turf (small town in the 60s).

It’s a long book – a little over 410 pages, and the reason is because it goes deeply and forensically into the backstories of the major characters. The first few chapters, when you wonder why he’s talking about a comic book-loving kid growing up after World War II fascinated by his war veteran uncle, turn out to be about the guy creates the comic as an adult that’s later being made into the movie in the main story.

But everyone – from a Uber driver-turned production runner to the major cast and even the star’s make-up artist – get detailed rundowns of how they came to be where they are, leaving no stone unturned.