A few years ago my former editor, J.T. Lindroos, who edited my three published books, suggested that I adapt my historically-based screenplays into books. I thought, “What an interesting idea,” then jumped right into “Devil Dogs: The Battle of Belleau Wood.”
Three or four months later I had 30,000 words of prose, which is 10,000 short of a short novel, putting it into the nebulous realm of novella or novelette (and below that is a novelini), which is unsalable. Worse still, I liked it better as a screenplay.
I repeated the process with “The Winds of Fate,” and once again ended up with 30,000 words of prose that was better as a screenplay. And the same thing proved true with “Cycles.”
Somewhat daunted, I tried yet again with “Head Shot: The True Story of JFK’s Assassination.” It too came out at 30,000 words, but I added a bunch of photos, and I think it came out pretty well. Okay, it’s a novella, so shoot me. But I like the book version better than the script, although I think it really deserves to be made into a movie.
So then I decided to write an original historical novel, which came out being “Hitler’s Dog Fuchsl.” It’s 25,000 words, although it was up to 40,000 at a point, but I cut 15,000 words. So it’s a novelette. I think it’s pretty good, and the early life of Adolf Hitler is fascinating to me, but I’m not sure that my literary conceit in the story really comes off. You tell me.
Then, just for the hell of it, and since I was basically in the same time period, I rewrote my first novel, “Mann’s Revenge,” which I originally wrote when I was twenty-five, in 1983. It’s a short, full-length novel, and I’ve always liked it.
I have since written two and a half more historical novels, on Stephen Decatur, ancient Rome, and General Lew Wallace, and I don’t like any of them and won’t post them. I found it to be a difficult genre to work in, and I’m willing to put it down for a while and happily go back to screenplays.
The Complete Guide to Low-Budget Feature Filmmaking
Most books about film production assume that you have an idea and a script to shoot. Most screenwriting books are geared to how to write a script that you can sell to Hollywood (as though the authors of these books had the slightest clue) and do not take into consideration that you might be shooting the script yourself, possibly with your own money.
This book is about how to write a script properly that you can rationally shoot, how to shoot it, how to finish it, how to sell it, and also how to get it shown.
Before Josh Becker made movies with some of the past giants of the silver screen like Anthony Quinn, Josh grew up making movies with some of the current giants of the silver screen, namely his childhood buddies Sam Raimi (of SPIDER-MAN fame) and B-movie legend Bruce Campbell.
Today Josh is a well respected film and tv director-writer, and the author of two other books. When he left his home in Michigan in 1976 at the age of 17 and moved to Hollywood, all he knew was that he was pursuing his dream– to be in the film business. Arriving, he found that dreams don’t always work out like they do up on the silver screen.
Gaining a foothold in this notoriously difficult line of work requires as much passion, luck and ambition as it does frustration, heartbreak and folly. GOING HOLLYWOOD is the true story of a driven young man willing to go to the ends of the earth in order to fulfill his dreams.
Josh Becker has been making movies since he was a teenager. His first film was made at age thirteen, and by 9th grade he was tackling Oedipus Rex with future cult-icon Bruce Campbell. Since then he has written and directed numerous short films, four feature films, several television movies and worked on successful tv shows. RUSHES is at heart a passionate, honest and opinionated look behind the scenes of writing, producing and directing low-budget movies. From Josh’s early days working with future Spider-Man director Sam Raimi on his original Evil Dead to his days writing and directing Xena: Warrior Princess in New Zealand and beyond, RUSHES is filled with stories. Whether you’re a budding thespian, scriptwriter, director or you simply just love movies, you’ll find insights, frustrations and answers to your questions in the experiences Josh has enjoyed and endured in his three and a half decades of filmmaking trenches. His supporting cast in these adventures include aforementioned Sam Raimi and frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell, as well as stars small and great like Anthony Quinn, Lucy Lawless, Rob Tapert, Renee O’Connor, Gary Jones, Scott Spiegel, Joe LoDuca, Rick Sandford, Mariah Carey, Stephen Baldwin, John Cassavetes and many, many others.