Rating:

Reviewed by Leigh A.

Trying to get a good film made is difficult, even in the best circumstances. Even with studio backing, the right script, the right actors, and everything lined up, you’re still fighting with egos, weather, and a thousand different little irritations.

The odds only get worse when you’re working independently: from insanely expensive rented equipment that you risk each time you haul it out on location, to working with low-paid extras and crew in the hopes that you might actually get a good shot. A good film can still be made under these conditions, but it needs experience in the script and experience behind the camera.

Trying to make a film without money, connections, and with the barest amount of experience is a suicide mission. It takes balls, brass, and a quixotic determination just to get the basic footage shot.

And even then, there is no guarantee that success will come quickly or smoothly.

But Logan and Noah Miller had a reason to take on this suicide mission. Their father, a homeless man who died in jail after fighting alcoholism for decades, knew his sons had written a movie about his life. He was hopeful it would eventually get made. He liked Ed Harris to play him.

Getting the movie made was one of the last things he mentioned to his sons. So, one way or another, the Miller boys were going to get their dad’s movie on-screen.

[amazonify]0061763179[/amazonify]Either You’re in or You’re in the Way is the brothers’ retelling of the journey to get this impossible project made. With sparse, sharp phrases worthy of Hemmingway or Tom Robbins, the sons tell of complication after complication, goofy story after goofy story. Never distant, never impersonal, this wildly wonderful read feels like a good interview, packed full of unforgettable ‘did I ever tell you about the time’ drinking stories.

This book has deservedly found #1 spots on national book lists. Phrasing like ‘it sucks you in’ and ‘impossible to put down’ have been used liberally. But those catch phrases don’t do justice to the flawless, seamless quality the book shows from start to finish.

Anyone who goes on the book’s website InOrInTheWay.com or on the movie’s website TouchingHomeMovie.com can see just how good the finished movie is. But seeing the brother’s talent translated into a book is just as stunning.

The fact that the brothers say time and again they’ve written dozens of other scripts makes you hopeful about what other projects they could be coming out with in the near future.

Leigh is a fearless writer who never met a genre, subject, or format she didn’t like. She has written professionally for the past six years and enjoys biking, exploring odd corners of Northeast Ohio, and discovering those good books she hasn’t read yet.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Logan and Noah Miller. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.