Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Another addition to the Links..

In 1996, a set painter and lead scenic artist named J.R. Helton published a book called “Below the Line” describing his life and experiences working on twenty-five feature films shot in Texas and throughout the southeast. I first read it five years ago, and immediately bought half a dozen copies to send to various friends (most of whom neither knew nor particularly cared about the film business), and they all loved it. “Below the Line” is a terrific book – funny, poignant, and haunting – offering a down-and-dirty inside look at what it’s really like to toil in the Movie Machine beyond the Hollywood mainstream.

A second edition of “Below the Line” (with a new cover painted by R. Crumb) was published in 2000. Helton is a compelling writer with a finely-tuned sense of humor and a real appreciation for the absurd. He tells the kind of stories you can’t put down. His book will resonate with anyone who knows about, or is interested in, the reality of life behind the silver screen -- but beyond that, it’s just a really great read. Check out his website at:

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