Do you realize that every time you read a book without pictures you become a production designer, casting director, and costume designer? Hell, you can be a director if you want to. Whether you know it or not, when you read a book without pictures, your brain fills in the blank spots. You can see the people, how they are dressed, which way they are moving, and what it looks like around them. Neat, huh?... (read more: click \'Introduction\' on menu above)

About Peter Wooley

Posted by admin On July - 28 - 2009

“As I look back on all of this, it comes to me that this story is really what Hollywood is all about. Or at least what it’s supposed to be about,” says Wooley as he describes an antic casting session with Mel Brooks before they gallop off to shoot Blazing Saddles. Wooley’s autobiography is a fast-paced, humorous memoir of scouting and creating sets for numerous feature films and TV movies. Designing often translates into transporting or re-making, as when he dismantled and moved a derelict, vermin-infested house for Sounder and re-created Dom DeLuise’s childhood kitchen for Fatso.

Frequently, location scouting comes to nought and the film is aborted. See, for instance, Wooley’s adventures in Nigeria or in Cleveland, where almost-famous boxing impresario and executive producer Don King introduces him to physicians financing his film Blood, Black and White, “so that the doctors could see that we were, indeed, legitimate Hollywood types.” Wooley’s behind-the-scenes cohorts are as interesting as the notables he encounters, which include Robert Mitchum, James Cagney, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Hepburn. A welcome antidote to star and director bios.