Verdict: Magar is--in every sense, an insider--a director/writer/producer who's got the chops and stories to make this a must read for fans and hopeful neophytes in the industry.
Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot is actually two books. The first part of the story traces author Guy Magar’s roller-coaster career in the movie and tv business; the second recounts his wife’s battle with leukemia.
Magar writes in a straight ahead, concise, no bull-shit style and packs a truckload of strange stories and information (which will be of particular interest to prospective filmmakers) in 310 pages. Warning: your life is going to seem dull compared to his. He is ambitious, but he also is incredibly determined to move forward despite rejection and roadblocks. One theme is how stunningly frustrating the industry is. You think you’ve got a project green-lit, then a studio honcho leaves and his replacement drops the whole thing and you have to start over.
Magar illustrates his points with stories that leave the reader shaking their head. One example: Magar was directing a video of Hawthorne’s “Dr. Heidigger’s Experiment” for a university art department and the makeup woman was so bad, instead of aging the actors, she made it seem like “pieces of rubber flesh were hanging off their faces.” There was no way this video could be shown without severe ridicule. Magar did not, however, throw the tape away. He sent it to the people hiring on the soap “Capitol” with a letter of explanation. He said he had taken the liberty of adding a twist to the Hawthorne story by making all the characters lepers. Drinking the water not only turned them young, but cured their leprosy. The “Capitol” producer thought it was brilliant and hired Magar to direct 35 hour-long episodes, a huge boost to his career.
Magar includes dozens of great photos of film and tv ads for shows he’s done. The man has met many A, B, and C list folks in his travels and gives insights into the behind-the-scenes machinations of how projects are put together, stressing the importance of a good script over all else. Magar doesn’t hold back when he describes the difficulty in moving up the ladder. You have to like people. Networking is vital to have a career. And frightening chutzpah.
Magar’s tracing of the treatment his wife Jacqui’s leukemia is just as detailed. As tough as he had to be to succeed, Guy Magar still retained the capacity to love and share a life. That is obvious when he writes of their relationship. His drive to get Jacqui the best treatment exceeds even his professional determination.
Magar is also founder of Action/Cut Filmmaking Seminars and Short Film Competition, an important resource for new filmmakers. He is–in every sense, an insider–a director/writer/producer who’s got the chops and stories to make this a must read for fans and hopeful neophytes in the industry.
Reviewed by Joe DelPriore for IndieReader
Purchase Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot from Amazon