Now in paperback, High Fidelity meets The Player in this hilarious and insightful first novel that takes place behind the scenes of a movie set, where a depressive dolly grip tries to turn his life around, hoping for his own happy Hollywood ending.
Informed by his years on the set of dozens of television shows and Hollywood movies, Based on the Movie is Billy Taylor’s satirical debut novel that shows readers what it’s really like behind the cameras. Nine months after Bobby Conlon’s wife, Natalie, dumped him for a hot young director, his life is out of kilter. But it’s time to throw out that year-old Christmas tree decorated with 500 empty Vicodin bottles and fly to Texas to work on a movie starring Ralph the Swimming Pig. Once in Texas, Bobby realizes he has signed on to the most dysfunctional movie ever. The director can’t direct, the pig catches pneumonia, and just when things can’t get any worse, Natalie and her boyfriend are hired to take over the movie. Suddenly, Bobby’s personal and professional lives collide, and no matter which way he turns, fresh disasters await. Still, in spite of everything, Bobby clings to the hope that a happy ending might be possible. This is the movie business, after all. A side-splitting look at what actually happens on a film location, told from the perspective of the hardworking and long-suffering men and women behind the scenes, Based on the Movie is a captivating and entertaining read that brings real life and reel life together to great effect.
After graduating from film school, Billy Taylor worked as an electrician on Lifetime Network’s “Good Sex with Dr. Ruth.” Feeling a need to be closer to what was happening in front of the camera, Billy became a dolly grip and spent the next decade on dozens of movies and television programs including “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” and “My Cousin Vinny.” After a back injury ended his grip career he worked for a boutique Wall Street consulting firm. Tiring of that, he and his wife moved to South Central Texas where he began writing full time. He is now a stay-at-home dad and writes between diaper changes, which he finds surprisingly similar to much of the work he did while on the set of a film.
Publisher: Washington Square Press (August 4, 2009)
"Dripping with acid wit and authenticity, Based on the Movie is an outrageously funny and deeply sympathetic novel about the brokenhearted dreamers and misfits who populate the lower echelons of the filmmaking world." -- Jonathan Tropper, author of The Book of Joe and How to Talk to a Widower
"Based on the Movie is the real deal -- one of the funniest and most entertaining novels I have read in a long time. Billy Taylor has written that rarest of books, one that is not only a hilarious, biting satire, but also an absorbing and emotionally satisfying work of fiction." -- David Liss, author of The Coffee Trader and The Whiskey Rebel
"In his ribald debut, Billy Taylor reveals, with real humanity, the trials and tribulations of the men and women who toil behind the scenes all day and get drunk and screw all night in the world Hollywood calls 'below the line' -- a laugh-filled, beer-goggled tour of that perverse circle of hell known as a film set. Read this book and you'll finally know the difference between a gaffer and a best boy." -- Mark Haskell Smith, author of Salty and Moist
"In Based on the Movie, one of Hollywood's unsung heroes sings with perfect pitch about the maddening, addictive dysfunction of the film business. It may be lonely at the top, but Billy Taylor's pithy insight suggests that it's pretty damned funny at the bottom." -- Billy Frolick, writer of the film Madagascar