John Mulholland & Richard Zampella Filming Elmore Leonard Documentary Interviews in Detroit

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Elmore Leonard’s life, his works, his place in the American literary pantheon, is the subject of this new documentary from Writer/Director John Mulholland & Producer Richard Zampella. The documentary film explores how he started, why he wrote what he did and how he arrived at his lean, terse, minimalist trademark.

Richard Zampella

Elmore Leonard: the Dickens of Detroit Documentary Film

'I’ve always seen my books as movies.' -Elmore Leonard

Writer/Director John Mulholland and Producer Richard Zampella are in Detroit, Michigan this week, filming Interviews for the upcoming documentary, Elmore Leonard: The Dickens of Detroit. The documentary, from Transmultimedia Entertainment, explores Elmore Leonard’s life, his works and his place in the American literary pantheon. When Elmore Leonard died on August 20, 2013, at age 87, he left behind more than 40 novels and dozens of short stories. By almost universal consent, he is the finest American crime writer in the 20th Century. Many critics argue that, if anything, the reference to genre slights his contributions. Martin Amis described him as “a literary genius” and “the nearest America has to a national writer.” Throughout the '50s, Elmore Leonard was an obscurity, toiling in a dying genre – the Western – putting down first drafts on yellow notepads from five to seven in the morning, before laboring all day on the Chevrolet truck account at Campbell Ewald, a Detroit ad agency. By the 1970s, Leonard had turned to crime fiction -- set usually in Detroit or South Florida -- and the men and women who commit the crimes. And then, in 1985, featured on the cover of Newsweek, Elmore Leonard became the proverbial overnight sensation and a New York Times best-selling author. Leonard became a household name, profiled in GQ, Rolling Stone and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. Praised by authors and critics, Time Magazine dubbed him “The Dickens of Detroit.”

When he died in 2013, at age 87, he was still writing, still a New York Times best-selling author. Chances are you knew him, even if you didn’t know his name, by such film titles as: Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Out Of Sight, or the TV series Justified. As Elmore Leonard once said, “I’ve always seen my books as movies.”

John Mulholland (Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen) has been immersed in everything Elmore Leonard for a year, his writing – novels, short stories, screenplays, and films based on his work -- and much of what has been written about him over the decades. He is in the process of interviewing Leonard’s family and closest friends, along with a rich assortment of women and men who worked with Leonard or who have written about and studied Leonard.    

Visit Website: http://www.dickensofdetroit.com

About John Mulholland & Richard Zampella

Writer/Director John Mulholland and Producer Richard Zampella recently completed the documentary film Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen for Transmultimedia Entertainment. The documentary is about the 20-year friendship between writer Ernest Hemingway and film actor Gary Cooper. The film is narrated by actor Sam Waterston with actor Len Cariou as the voice of writer Ernest Hemingway. The film was reviewed by The New York Times film critic Andy Webster on October 11, 2013 and was named an New York Times Critics’ Pic by Manohla Dargis, A. O. Scott and Stephen Holden. Webster said the picture was proof that the work of these two men "endures and so does what they stood for."

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Richard Zampella
@Transmultimedia
since: 04/2013
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