I knew Jerry Bruckheimer was a huge name in the film industry, but I didn't realize just how big until I started looking into the new book about his career, Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes - Four Decades of Filmmaking. Besides producing iconic film favorites like Flashdance and Top Gun, there's also Black Hawk Down and the string of hits that make up the Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Johnny Depp (who wrote the foreword for the book).
There are many more feature films to his credit, and he's also produced the hit television series' The Amazing Race and the CSI franchise. Bruckheimer wrote the introduction for this book, but we also had the chance to ask him a few questions of our own about his life and career:
Seira Wilson: What was your favorite film growing up?
Jerry Bruckheimer: That would have to be David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai. The film was an amazing combination of epic war adventure and intimate drama, which raised some important questions of the true meaning of heroism.
SW: What on-location spot did you most enjoy, and why?
JB: I'm not evading the question when I say that every single one of them is special in their own way. Whether a beautiful natural location or a gritty city, you come away with wonderful memories of filming in them, and the people you meet along the way.
SW: Do you have a specific genre of books you like to read?
JB: I really enjoy history, biographies and spy novels.
SW: Do you tend to read biographies of people in show business?
JB: I do enjoy reading biographies of people in the entertainment business, because they always seem to have lived such interesting lives, and I can learn something from their experiences.
SW: The book, Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes-Four Decades of Filmmaking is a biography of sorts for your career in the industry--has this been something you’ve thought about putting together for a long time?
JB: Not at all, putting such a book together never really occurred to me. But when the idea was presented, we thought it could be a really fun book for movie fans, and also people interested in photography. It gives them a chance to relive some memories of our films, and perhaps get an inside look at the work which has gone into them by so many great directors, writers, actors, and crew members. They're the ones who make me look good.
SW: What do you find most interesting about working in television that is different from motion pictures?
JB: Both are fun to do, but I'm always amazed how much faster the development process is in television rather than feature films.
SW: What’s your most memorable moment working in Hollywood?
JB: Putting my hand and footprints in wet cement in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, alongside some of the greatest names in movie history. It was very humbling and a great honor.
SW: What’s the last movie you saw?
JB: That's easy. It was a rough cut of "Beware the Night," our new paranormal thriller starring Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Joel McHale and Olivia Munn and directed by Scott Derrickson, which is opening for the fourth of July holiday in 2014.
SW: What’s the last movie you saw as a regular audience member?
JB: The last movie I saw with a regular audience was Thor, but I see movies that way as often as I can.