Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bill Finger: The Secret Documentary on the Secret Co-Creator! *

* not the official title

As regular readers of this blog know by now, when it comes to Bill Finger, nothing comes easy.

The following news has been eight years in the revealing, the story 76 years in the unmaking.

In 2008, two years before I sold a spec manuscript called Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, a documentary about my efforts to honor Bill began shooting. This was with the now-defunct new media division of Time (as in the magazine).

In 2009, this attempt was scrapped for legal reasons.

In 2011, I revived the project with different filmmakers and a different corporate partner—A&E Indie Films.

In 2011, this attempt was scrapped, and again for legal reasons—but different legal reasons than the last time. (You'll have to wait for that story.)

After the 9/18/15 credit announcement, we resumed filming, now with Hulu—and this time's for keeps.

 TV Guide broke the news.

 Under Hulu, filming kicked off in February and wrapped in July.

Bill lived most of his life in New York and never flew on a plane. Counting both the 2011 and 2016 iterations, the first film about him was shot in nine states:

  • with me: Florida, California, New York, Maryland, Virginia
  • sans me: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, South Carolina

Glimpses of filming:

 in my office

 Note the name in magnets.

 Interviewing Joel Pollack, the gracious owner of my comic shop,
Big Planet Comics.

My wardrobe changes in one day.
(The daily record was, I think, five.)
  Batman producer Michael Uslan 
being interviewed in his limo en route
to the 3/20/16 NYC premiere of
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester, VA (1.5 hours from me),
where I watched the film on preview night,
Thursday 3/24/16.

Soon as I entered the cinema, a stranger halfway
across the lobby pointed to me and said "Like your shirt."
Hard to imagine that happening a decade ago.
(First of all, hard to imagine such a shirt existing a couple of years,
let alone a decade, ago.)

 Before the trailers, the theater ran a innovative
montage of the times Batman's origin has been
depicted in film or animation; the scenes did not
appear one after the other but rather simultaneously. 
 Filming with Bill's longtime friend and sometime
writing partner Charles Sinclair (age 92) in Brooklyn.

  Charles inherited this from Bill.

 Cheekily named garage near Poe Park in the Bronx.

More—much more—to come.

1 comment:

Bob Rivard said...

I find the Alamo Drafthouse "take it or leave it" release, "irrevocable... in perpetuity.. without limitation...without compensation", sort of ironic. While I applaud all recognition for Finger, other creators families have decided that similar releases, willingly signed by competent adults, still warrant lawsuits decades after the fact.