This book was born out of an idea to have it as a bonus “The making of.” It was going to be marketed with the Movie: what movie you say? I’ll tell you; FIZZY DAYS was the movie that my book is based on. It was in the making for a very long time!
FIZZY DAYS AND PLASTIC MONKEYS FROM CREWE TO MALIBU Is the chronicle of trying to get that movie made. My book is about growing up in the 70s UK, moving to London then on to the USA. Finally making a movie. How do you do that? There is no set path or plan? Here’s my route. With a little back story. The 80s 90s and 2000s were all good times to be creative. These are the decades I inhabited to get here. One year turned into two, two into four, you get the idea until we had a few decades under the hood in my quest for silver screen immortality – to make this movie. I already worked in Hollywood should be easy right? I wrote it all down.
I was going to make my film FIZZY DAYS. Ever wondered what it would be like to try and make a movie and see your work on the big screen? I’d been in ‘the business’ all my working life, I drew movies for filmed content. I was a storyboarder – a guy who draws storyboards as a visual storyteller! I made a leap toward movie-making success. This novel is about my leap. My leap has lasted a little longer than I expected and truth be told I’m still leaping, but I expect to land soon. It all started years ago but here we are today now in post-COVID. I wrote a bunch of scripts and won some awards. I made a bestselling pilot and short film to showcase my perspective feature product and how it was going to look on the big screen. It’s an alchemy to get a script into production.
How everyone is a producer, a writer, a director, an actor, an agent, a lawyer, or a colonoscopist. Fate is fickle and luck is mercurial, but most of all it’s a ‘never give in’ ‘never surrender,’ persist until you die, kind of tale.
It’s an autobiographical account of growing up in the midlands moving to London then on to America – and my involvement in an Indie film project about a moped (a Fizzy). The original script was loosely based on my misspent teen years. The book is more about my post-teen years. I moved to London in my early 20s in the 80s from up north. I worked right in the middle of London with some good advertising and film people. People of notable film pedigree. People in London encouraged me to go to America, where they make movies like meat pies! Go and spread your wings, and meet Hollywood people, they’ll be willing to share some info on how to get ahead! So I did. It’s a sort of ‘From Here to Eternity in ‘Hollywood – land,’ a memoir and cautionary tale. It may appeal to the pop culture nostalgia gang or people that are just maybe interested to read my story of how many hurdles and pitfalls there are to producing and trying to raise finance and interest in a small independent movie. Hopefully told with a smirk and a sense of humor.
I’m actually a visual storyteller. A storyboard artist – it’s the only job I have really done since my early 20s. I tell stories with pictures. I draw the visuals for other people’s stories. Mapping out shots of what is to be filmed in front of the camera. In my line of work, I get to read a lot of other people’s scripts and construct what they would look like visually. So it seemed a natural progression to write a few of my own stories and paint some pictures with words, lets’s see how that goes. I started writing scripts in the USA. It’s mandatory if you live here in Los Angeles, everyone does it! I managed to get a couple of options and awards so I thought hey, I can have a serious go at this. They never much went further, but I developed the writing bug, or should that be sickness…?
Humor is a genre I admire and appreciate, we all like a good laugh don’t we! I appreciate good humor; funny stuff that genuinely makes you laugh, which living here in the United States is sometimes in short supply. I have genuinely found that to be one of the elements I miss most living here in the USA, it’s whacky humor along with an affordable healthcare system! Oh and lately a political system that doesn’t leave scratching your head in amazement!
Mark Millicent is a UK writer and illustrator originally from Cheshire he is based in the USA. He works in the advertising and film world of Los Angeles living by a lake in the Santa Monica Mountains with his wife and family, a cat, a peacock, along with several rather destructive squirrels.