Boy on a String: From Cast-off Kid to Filmmaker through the Magic of Dreamsby Joseph Jacoby
Boy on a String is the inspirational memoir of Joe Jacoby who worked in the early days of live TV and went on to become a pioneering filmmaker. Jacoby has never before revealed that his childhood was spent in foster homes and institutions. A New York University film school colleague of Martin Scorsese, Jacoby survived a childhood wrought with abuse and neglect. His
Boy on a String is the inspirational memoir of Joe Jacoby who worked in the early days of live TV and went on to become a pioneering filmmaker. Jacoby has never before revealed that his childhood was spent in foster homes and institutions. A New York University film school colleague of Martin Scorsese, Jacoby survived a childhood wrought with abuse and neglect. His mother's unpredictable and sometimes dangerous behavior forced friends to commit her, which then led Jacoby to grow up in seven foster homes in Brooklyn, and two institutions (one for emotionally disturbed children). Yet, propelled by the power of his dreams, Jacoby came to realize his passion for puppetry and movies and made his first feature at the age of twenty-seven (now in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent archives). He also recounts, often with hilarity, his dealings with the last of the movie moguls, Joseph E. Levine.
- Da Capo Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.25(d)
Meet the Author
JOSEPH JACOBY, film writer, producer and director, began his career as a writer & creator of television game shows and as a puppeteer. Mr. Jacoby joined the Bil Baird Marionettes as a puppeteer, performing at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair for Chrysler Corporation and became involved in professional filmmaking through Baird's extensive work in filmed commercials and industrials, as well as Morey Bunin’s work in the development of Aniforms, a patented live-animation process. He subsequently began to produce and direct industrial presentations and commercials for major U.S. corporations including AT&T, US. Keds, Seagrams, American Motors and others. He continues to freelance in this area.
He later returned to the world of game shows and wrote for "Let's Make a Deal" (NBC), served as a free-lance writer for "Magistrate's Court" a television production for Screen Gems International, and co-produced "The Michael Jackson Show" (KTTV - Metromedia).
Mr. Jacoby’s first directed and produced theatrical feature film “Shame, Shame..Everybody Knows Her Name” was made a permanent part of The Museum of Modern Art’s archives. He next directed, wrote and produced his first major motion picture, A Joseph E. Levine release, "Hurry Up, Or I'll Be 30" (with Danny DeVito - DeVito's first feature film). It was honored at the USA Film Festival as one of the Best Directed Films of the Year. He next wrote, directed and produced "The Great Bank Hoax," "a bouncy unpretentious comedy exploring the post-Watergate symptoms of social corruption." (Mosk, VARIETY) and “Carrying a class look, a distinct throwback to some of those better comedies of the 40s.” (Robert Osborne, Hollywood Reporter/Turner Classic Movies). The film (a Warner Bros. release) starred Richard Basehart, Ned Beatty, Burgess Meredith, Michael Murphy, Charlene Dallas, Paul Sand and Arthur Godfrey. It won the SPECIAL JURY AWARD and Jacoby won BEST NEW DIRECTOR at the Virgin Islands International Film Festival. It was for this film that Jacoby was featured at the Judith Crist Film Weekend at Tarrytown, N.Y., with another guest, Woody Allen.
Returning to his roots in the mid-90s, Jacoby started Children’s Video Theater® with the purpose of producing high-quality family programming for television and video. “Davy Jones’ Locker,” a family musical starring The Bil Baird Marionettes, was seen nationally on the PBS stations and Japan’s NHK, to both critical and ratings success. The film was awarded The Unima Citation of Excellence (Unima is affiliated with UNESCO) and, in 2002, was chosen for the Ten Years Winner’s Circle by Unima and The Puppetry Arts Center in Atlanta.
“Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” is currently in development as is a docu-drama, based on BOY ON A STRING, to be co-ventured by Jacoby and Albert Maysles (whose film “The Gates” will be seen on HBO this fall). This is to be a prequel to Jacoby’s feature film based on his book.
The Museum of Modern Art is scheduled to present a retrospective to Jacoby’s film work in Spring 2006.
As an adjunct Professor of Film at The New School for Social Research in New York City, Jacoby originated the course "The Making of the Independent Feature," (a New York magazine “Best Bet,” ) and has appeared on numerous talk shows and lectured at universities throughout the country. Mr. Jacoby is the author of some half-dozen theatrical screenplays.
Joseph Jacoby has been a contributing essayist to New York Woman Magazine and is a subject of biographical record in Marquis' WHO'S WHO IN ENTERTAINMENT.
EDUCATION: B.A. New York University, Washington Square College of Arts & Science.
(Major: Television/Motion Pictures.) AWARDS/HONORS: Dean's List; Griffith Hughes Award
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