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Smashwords book reviews by Roger McClannen
- Zebra's Rock and Me
on July 12, 2011
Bill Hillman has had a pretty remarkable life. If you've read his bio, you know that he has worked as a screenwriter, a director, a producer and an actor. He was part of the cast of Days of Our Lives for two years, then was offered a role in one of the biggest movies of 1967, Ice Station Zebra. Zebra was directed by John Sturges and starred Rock Hudson at the top of his career, Patrick McGoohan who took a break from filming The Prisoner series to play his roll, Ernest Borgnine and Jim Brown. Hillman got to know all of these people.
I ordered the book because I'm a fan of Patrick McGoohan's work, and I was hoping there would be some insights on working with McGoohan. McGoohan is only mentioned a few times in the book, but I wasn't disappointed at all because of the wonderful stories that Hillman shares about Rock Hudson and John Sturges. Through Hillman's narrative, I really felt that I was getting to know these men.
During the filming of the movie Hillman had lots of free time when he wasn't needed on the set. Instead of just hanging around with the rest of the cast, Hillman used the opportunity to learn how movies are made, by shadowing Sturges and many of the technical people who worked on the film. He hadn't been to film school, but he learned the craft by watching some of the most talented people in the industries. Hillman's descriptions of how films get made make the book a must-read for anyone interested in film making.
All in all, an excellent read and highly recommended.