Lessons Learned from My Life On Set with The Sopranos and in the Film Industry
by Mark Kamine
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Pub Date 06 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 17 Dec 2023
Steerforth Press, Steerforth
An inside look at the film industry for fans, students, and aspiring professionals — featuring a foreword by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning creator of The White Lotus, Mike White
This page-turning account of starting at the lowest rung on the production ladder among enormously famous & outrageously demanding people will be devoured for its insights, gossip, humor, & storytelling. Married and with a child, the author takes unpaid gigs to get a foot in the door, and eventually ends up working on all seasons of The Sopranos, often named the best TV show ever.
The show's setting and its creator's insistence on accuracy placed the native New Jersey author in the right place at the right time to become part of television history, and to witness the effects of sudden fame and acclaim on the show's principal players.
Includes many stories about guest stars like Steve Buscemi, Peter Bogdanovich, and Lauren Bacall, as well as the beloved cast, including new tales of James Gandolfini, who Kamine first meets after David Chase casts him as the Dean of Admissions in the classic first season "College" episode. Later, after he’s been promoted, Kamine gets the calls from Gandolfini when he's hungover, or still drunk, and might or might not make it to the shoot that day. One night, Kamine tries to prevent Gandolfini from taking a swim in the ocean after they've been drinking all night, telling him it could be dangerous but Jim doesn't listen.
Woven in is a personal story of home life and strife, achievement and frustration, anxiety and accomplishment. The book's epilogue brings readers up to the moment as the author, after many more years as an anonymous everyman, eventually enjoys outsize professional success as executive producer of the HBO hit series created by Mike White, The White Lotus.
“An engrossing, unique look at one man’s journey through the production of film and TV.” — Kirkus Reviews
"A delightfully wry, frank, funny and generous account of the hard labor that goes into film and TV production, it not only takes us behind the scenes but into the alert, cultivated, observant mind of Mark Kamine. It's so well-written I found it stimulating and a pleasure to read." — Phillip Lopate
“Location managers are the diplomats, finaglers and flak-catchers of the film and TV business, dealing with public officials, star-struck fans and the often unreasonable expectations of their employers- think Henry Kissinger with a bolt-cutter in the trunk of his Nissan. Mark Kamine has shared an honest and very personal report from the trenches.” — John Sayles
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
I was intrigued as this book is about a location scout who worked on the television show, The Sopranos. He also worked on other shows, movies, and was even a book reviewer.
I liked all of the tidbits on the locations of some of the primary places on The Sopranos. I didn’t realize how much work goes on behind the scenes.
Thrown in was also about his life growing up and what he did between seasons.
Overall, I really enjoyed it.
I have been enjoying memoirs lately. I know I’m not the norm, but I watch very little television (as I’m so addicted to books). Although I’ve never seen an episode of Sopranos, I think that the behind the scenes look at the Sopranos was pretty interesting. Mark Kamine's role in TV production was finding/selection filming locations and ensuring that locations were ready for filming (which included local approvals, police, neighbors, strip club owners). The author drops names and stories; interesting. Even to someone who knows literally nothing about the Sopranos. So if I really liked On Location, someone that liked the show ... will probably love it. And there's pictures.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Steerforth Press for approving my request to review the advance review copy of On Location in exchange for an honest review.
Loved the show. Not so much the violence but the characters and the production were superb. This book added to my enjoyment with background and in depth info. Wonderful. Makes me want to watch it again.
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love The Sopranos, and have seen it at least 3 times, and have the DVD set. Also, I lived in the Los Angeles area for most of my life, and have been around 'the industry' for decades. I learned a lot about the business from this book! It would be interesting to be a location scout, but like most jobs, there is plenty of stress. The author works on more shows and movies, so it's not all about The Sopranos.
If seeing how things are behind the scenes interests you, you will enjoy this book. Some tea is spilled, but you need to read between the lines. A well-written book!