Here's the kicker, Mike can't spell... or type... nor does he have any command of the English language. None of that has held him back. Actually, not much holds him back. Not even having a half-inch shorter left leg. Courtesy of a motorcycle jumping accident while serving eight years in the Marines.
So after, staff sergeant's Uva's medical discharge, he decided to become a Licensed, FAA - Aircraft Mechanic at LAX, in California. If that wasn't enough...he later wanted to be a State Licensed Building Contractor. How selfish was this guy? He wanted to, "follow his bliss..." whatever that is, and make it to Hollywood? There, he actually, found bliss. Richard Bliss, who gave him street directions to Paramount Studios.
He made a left... or right turn, or maybe just went straight. But I digress. The point being, he did go on, through twenty miles of snow... this high... Okay, he became a motion picture Key Grip in the film industry. He had arrived!
Well, one would think that one would have been content... not Mike. He decided to author a book, (Remember... can't spell.) Not surprising to Mike, just the rest of the world, it did relatively well... eventually.
So then he decided to teach at U.C.L.A. at the Extension course. He has been there; seen that, and most likely broke it. But yet, you say, you have never heard of any of the things that he has been part of? That's because Hollywood has a huge respect for each other. We never have leaks, we never squeal, or write tell all books. Most stories are all closely held and guarded set secrets... until now!
Mike has worked with the Lone Ranger, Elvira, Val Kilmer, Al Pacino, and a few really famous people as well. So why would he break tradition and give away these secrets of how to get in the unguarded, unlocked, back doors, you ask?
I posed that very question to him. "Mike, why did you give away all these secrets that you have had, tucked away, upstairs in that melon head of yours for over thirty-five plus years?" His answer was quite simple... "Ah... What?" (He's a grip; dare I say more?) I rewrote the question, "Why now?" His amazing answer... "It's time!" (I reiterate; he's a grip!) There, you have it folks, literally straight from the horses mouth... or the bulls other end! You will just have to read it and decide for yourselves. See you all in Hollywood very soon... or not!
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About the Author
Author - The Grip Book, (Taylor/Francis, Fifth Edition - ISBN: 9780415842372.)
35 years as a Key/Dolly/Grip
Local ITASE # 80 Union Member (Retired)
Over 20 years as a part time Instructor (See list below)
I have instructed at:
1) UCLA Extension Courses
2) Phoenix Film Commission
3) Cleveland Cuyahoga College
4) Bakersfield Film Commission
5) Albuquerque Film Commission
Other technical books I have written:
1) Uva's Rigging Guide for Studio and Location (Focal Press, ISBN: 978-0240803920)
2) Film Dollies-Cranes-&-Camera Heads From Around The World! (I.C.T.V. - Self-Published) Paperback: ISBN-13: 978 1502339720. 580 Pages.
I hold an FAA Airframe & Power Plant Mechanic License. (Inactive) I also hold an active and currently bonded California State Contractors License.