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Rocky Mountain Moving Picture Association: 03/18/08
The early years of filmmaking, and the move to California is a favorite topic of mine. The days before the film industry in America was known as "Hollywood" was a free for all of mavericks going up against huge monopolies. Tiny fly by night companies popped up as fast as Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) could shut them down. The Rocky Mountain Moving Picture Association is a fictional one of these rogue "indies".
The hero of this odd ball historical novel is Dmitri Andreivitch Pulski an ice sales man from northern California who leaves the family business to become a scenario writer under the name Tom Boston. As Tom learns the ropes we learn what it was like to run one of these silent film studios. We also get a glimpse of what Los Angeles was like.
From my own research and experience, I can vouch for Loren D. Estleman's descriptions of things. Take for instance the bungalow that Tom and Yuri rent, these bungalows still exist in Los Angeles county. In fact, Ian and I lived in one from 1997-9. They really are as tiny and noisy as described.
The Rocky Mountain Moving Picture Association isn't a typical novel. Although time passes and the characters do evolve, the chapters are more like the two reel shorts that the studio is making. There are flash forwards to the Depression where Hollywood as we know it had taken firm root in the film industry, thoroughly crushing the old MPPC system.
Sounds like I'd love this book. I went to film school and work occasionally on different projects - I'll have to keep my eye out for this one."
I also went to film school. So yes, you'll probably enjoy this book. It is still available on Amazon and your local bookstore can probably special order it for you. Happy reading!"
You got me. I'm adding that book to my must-read pile.;)"