- Publisher: Scarecrow Press
- Format: Paperback | 472 pages
- Dimensions: 135mm x 213mm x 25mm | 612g
- Publication date: 7 October 2003
- Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
- ISBN 10: 081084964X
- ISBN 13: 9780810849648
- Illustrations note: Illustrations, ports.
- Sales rank: 716,335
No movie has ever been made, or made well, without the character who toils just outside the spotlight. He arranged for the spotlight, hired the spotlight operator, and even made sure that it was trained correctly on the stars. At the end of the day, there would be no blinking movie screens, no blinking Oscar winners, no finished films, good or bad, without the Assistant Director. Jerry Ziesmer was an assistant director for over thirty years, working on countless films before his retirement in the middle-nineties. He has worked with some of Hollywood's biggest directors, and its biggest stars. In this memoir, he recounts his time in Hollywood including his work on the sets of Apocalypse Now, Close Encounters, and Jerry Maguire. Written with the craft and humor that made Jerry Ziesmer one of the most sought-after assistant directors in Hollywood, this book will be a treasure for students and fans of twentieth-century Hollywood. Cloth edition previously published in 2000.
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Jerry Ziesmer is a long-time member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Directors Guild of America. In 2006, Jerry Ziesmer was presented with the Frank Capra Achievement Award in recognition of Career Achievement by the Directors Guild of America for an Assistant Director. He attended Northwestern University and did his graduate work at UCLA where he wrote Stan Laurel: The Little One, a study of comedy film techniques. He and his wife, Suzanne, live in Los Angeles and are currently working for Steven Spielberg on another Cameron Crowe project. They also teach film production classes each year for UCLA extension, as well as mentoring serious film students and young professionals by e-mail at AC563@LAFN.ORG.
Saying that Jerry Ziesmer probably has delivered the greatest assistant director book ever written doesn't do it justice...this book relates that biz and its lore with color, intimacy, candor and horse sense... Directors Guild Of America Magazine ...one of the best books of the lot... Suffice it to say that Ziesmer's treatment of Apocalypse Now alone is worth the price of the volume. In addition, his discussion of other films that he worked on, including John Huston's Annie, is equally frank, incisive, and entertaining. Ready when You Are is a well-deserved toast to the unsung heroes of moviemaking - the assistant directors. Literature/ Film Quarterly ...the book is at once so personal and so professional that you'll find yourself longing to have "been here when" and worked with Jerry either at DGA or on pictures or both. This is, quite simply, not only the best book ever written about what we so often bandy about as the "craft" of the Assistant Director, it is one of the best books I've read in a long time, period. The Call Sheet If you ever wondered who has the best behind-the-scenes anecdotes in Hollywood, then Ziesmer wins hands down. His book contains some astonishing tales, ranging from life-affirming friendships made under the most trying of circumstances through to the most indulgent star behaviour imaginable. Put it all together and you have an instant five-star classic. Film Review ...Jerry Ziesmer, who has been a top AD in Hollywood for 30 years, has a real gift for writing that shines through in his recollections from the front lines of movie production. Ziesmer's war stories about filmmaking are hilarious, heartbreaking and hair-raising all at once, as he recounts his experiences... American Cinematographer