You probably have no idea who Dan Bessie is, yet you may have seen his work somewhere on the TV or movie screen. Then again, you may not have. But rest assured, his story is the stuff Hollywood dreams are made of – long years toiling away in the industry waiting for his big break, only to realize most big breaks are the ones you make for yourself.
Bessie is an award-winning filmmaker, but he started out in animation, working on such notables as Tom and Jerry and Mr. Magoo before rising up the ranks to a point where he could actually begin writing, producing and even directing his own films, both live and animated. His journey is filled with trials and successes, challenges and failures, poverty and, well, more poverty, and even a few joyful moments in a long and illustrious career.
Reeling Through Hollywood is filled with humor, anecdotes about plenty of recognizable movie stars and films, and lots of behind-the-scenes insight into how the movie business really works, warts and all. Bessie writes with honesty, warmth and humor of his roller-coaster ride, coupled with his occasional forays into liberal and socialist politics, which provide an equally intriguing backdrop to his film pursuits.
After 40 years in show biz, Bessie lays it all down on the pages of this book, which is part memoir, part how-to (or better still, how not-to), and part inside scoop. It’s a book that is as fascinating as the subject matter – Hollywood, written by someone who actually jumped into the fire and lived to tell about it, and to go on to a career as an independent filmmaker. With plenty of heart, lots of laughs and a surefire collection of stories that say more about Hollywood than any grocery store tabloid, Reeling Through Hollywood is an entertaining and informative book about having what it takes to take it until you make your break.