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Either You're in or You're in the Way: Two Brothers, Twelve Months, and One Filmmaking Hell-Ride to Keep a Promise to Their Father Paperback – Bargain Price, March 30, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Book Description

The hilarious, implausible, and touching story of twin brothers accomplishing the impossible—making a feature film (with a cast and crew with 11 Academy Awards and 26 nominations) with no experience, no money and no contacts.

When identical twin brothers Logan and Noah Miller's homeless father died alone in a jail cell, they vowed, come hell or high water, that their film, Touching Home, would be made as a dedication to their love for him. Either You're in or You're in the Way is the amazing story of how—without a dime to their names nor a single meaningful contact in Hollywood—they managed to write, produce, direct, and act in a feature film alongside four-time Academy Award-nominated actor Ed Harris and fellow nominees Brad Dourif and Robert Forster.

Either You're in or You're in the Way tells of the desperate struggle of two sons fighting to keep a vow to their father, and in so doing, creating a better life for themselves. A modern-day Horatio Alger on steroids, this fast-paced thrill ride of heartbreak and redemption will both captivate and inspire.

Writing with Four Hands by Logan and Noah Miller

When shooting a movie, every faculty is humming at its highest frequency. You don't sleep. It's intoxicating. You're operating on the edge of delirium and grandiose promises of immortality. You think that if you do everything right the gift of the gods is attainable. And then it ends. And there you are each morning. Alone again.

We were left with an emotional hangover after we finished directing Touching Home, a movie about us and our father. Less than a year earlier our father had passed away in jail. On that day, we had made a vow to him that we would make our movie--and we had just realized that commitment. We were supposed to be happy now. But we were miserable. For the last 350 days all our thoughts had been on the mission, the team of people we were working with. Now our thoughts were focused inward and it was a tough place to be.

But the torment wasn’t enough…

So we decided to dive into another long-shot mission: Write a book about our moviemaking hell-ride.

Where would we find the time? After all, we were still making the movie—post-production, editing. We searched for days. And then found it in the sleeping patterns of our editor, Academy Award nominee, Robert Dalva.

You see, Robert is a night man. Not a party man, just a guy that goes to bed late. We are morning men--we go to bed early and rise early, like man before electricity. Robert showed up at our house each day at 11am, where we were cutting picture downstairs. This gave us several hours to write each morning before he showed up.

And we write with four hands, which sometimes takes twice as long.

One man types while the other writes freehand. Then we blend it. We only have one computer so space and time are limited. Logan is the typer and Noah is the handwriter. And it's never pretty. One bro furiously smashing plastic squares, the other furiously carving ink onto paper. Later, the two are brought together in a clash of abusive language, each brother claiming the other is bipolar, illegitimate, the bastard son of an entire city. That their mother sang lullabies to one and terrible songs to the other. That his diaper was rarely changed and it ruined his brain. That he has written absolute tripe. That it belongs in the trash heap of failed street poets. We yell and scream. We throw chairs and hot cups of coffee. Punch holes in the sheetrock… And somehow, before Robert arrived, we had embedded words into the memory of our computer.

Writing the book brought back the excitement, allowed us to relive the boom and noise, the chaos and uncertainty. It unleashed the dopamine gush, washed the drug over the brain, gave us another goal.

We started writing in mid-April 2007 and had an ugly draft by October. We cut through it with a chainsaw and by February 2008 it was prettier and ready to product test. We gave the draft to a few trusted friends, one of them being national bestselling author Tess Uriza Holthe. Tess and the crew liked the manuscript--and they are a very tough bunch. Tess gave the manuscript to her agent. It was an unpleasant week, the mental sauna--the self-inflicted victimization that all writers suffer when waiting to hear what an agent thinks of their work. It gives you the stomach jungle; hot rivers, chimps, and hairy insects howling in your gut. Then Mary Ann called and said that she really liked our manuscript and our temperature left the tropics. She gave us some notes, we went back into the manuscript, smoothed out some things, and then it was ready to send to publishers.

An editor at HarperCollins read our manuscript the morning it was sent out and then tossed it up the ladder to his boss, who took it home that night. The following day HarperCollins made us an offer--and we took it. They were extremely enthusiastic about our book and we were equally enthusiastic about being paid. It had taken us nearly ten years of writing diligently, working one mindless job after another, to finally get a paycheck for mental work. It was time to move on from Top Ramen. Of course, we’ll revisit the noodle delicacy, but out of choice, rather than necessity.

So we signed the contract with HarperCollins and began working with an editor on turning the book into something the entire world would appreciate--another delusion. And now we’re done. For now.

It was our intention to make a movie, not write a book. By accident, we did both.

And now we're here. Wherever that is. Somewhere between obscurity and the rocket ride.

Movie Stills from Touching Home (Click to Enlarge)

Ed Harris (playing our father) at the Papermill Creek Saloon, a rock throw from the "Shed" Logan working on his abs in the rain--after the fight scene. The brothers argue on Red Barn Road. There's about seventy people just off-screen.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Twin brothers Noah and Logan are devastated when their alcoholic father dies in jail. Determined to pay tribute to his difficult life, the Millers head to Los Angeles to make an independent film about his plight. With virtually no money and few connections in Hollywood, the twins barrel ahead, reading books on filmmaking and placing phone calls to studios. After impressing an executive at Panavision with their passion and focus, the twins receive a Panavision New Filmmaker grant, which gives them access to the equipment necessary to make their movie. They manage to assemble a crew on their limited budget, but two major challenges await them: getting financing for the film and convincing Ed Harris, the actor they’re convinced must play their father, to take the role. Luck and sheer determination come together to allow the twins to make their movie, despite the overwhelming odds against them. An upbeat and downright inspiring read, the Millers limn both the nail-biting tension they endure as they face each hurdle and the heights they reach with their many triumphs. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061763179
  • ASIN: B005M4OUSM
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,945,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Hill HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Miller brother's "Either You're in or You're in the Way" literally drew in me after the first few pages. I finished the 280 page book in a single sitting. I was expecting something along the lines of Robert Rodriguez's Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player, which was about a young film maker working outside the Hollywood model, and instead got a touching story about two brothers trying to fulfill a dream and promise to their deceased father, while working (bulldozing) their way through the Hollywood establishment. The brothers, or "Bros" as they call themselves, wrote and eventually filmed "Touching Home" a semi-autobiographic story about their failed professional baseball careers and an alcoholic father in a cycle of self-destruction. As you learn fairly quickly in the telling, the Bros had set some lofty goals for producing this movie, including securing "real" actors like Ed Harris (A Beautiful Mind, Radio, Enemy at the Gates, etc).

You could look at this book in two different ways, first as a how to guide on getting a movie made when you have no experience or creditability in Hollywood, or secondly as study on the effects of an alcoholic father and a dysfunctional family life on two brothers.

As a guide, the book illustrates the challenges, hard work, and sleepless nights aspiring moviemakers can expect to face. It also makes you appreciate the effects of luck, both good and bad, on achieving long standing goals.
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Format: Hardcover
" This book is a "How to" manual for overcoming adversity and reaching ones goals and dreams in order to lead an extraordinary & fulfilled life. I absorbed this book over 4 days, laughing, reflecting and crying ("Full Circle") from cover to cover.

Everyone who has ever had a dream, lost one or achieved theirs, NEEDS to read this book by the Miller Twins. No matter your age, profession or station in life you will find a pearl of wisdom, laugh you're a_ _ off and cry for the experiences of Noah and Logan as they pursued their dream to make the beautiful and inspiring film, "Touching Home" starring 3 academy award nominees, including Ed Harris.

The writing is visceral (young Noah grabbing the goose by it's neck and punching it, living from shack to shed), refreshing, uplifting, magnetic, hard charging Red Bull reading reminiscent of "Fear and loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S Thompson with one major twist, the story and characters are ALL real.

As a sales & leasing professional I was attracted by the "Seven thoughts" particularly 2) Surround yourself with gray hair and listen. 3) Never wait for a phone call 5) There are only solutions and 7) Either you're in or you're in the way. REFRESHING advice from kids so young yet so mature.

Cast away your fear, uncertainty and doubt and chase your dreams with every ounce of energy you've got. Noah and Logan can show you how!

Order this book now!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually read this book two or three years ago at the library and wanted my own copy. When I say I read it "at" the library, that's exactly what I did. I sat down and started reading it and didn't leave until I was finished. I never even needed to check it out. Yeah, it was that good.

My interest in the story was mostly rooted in my experiences as a filmmaker, and I wanted to see how the brothers got their project off the ground. So in that realm, it was highly motivational for me. However, even if you're not a filmmaker and you need motivation, inspiration and confidence to pursue your own project (creative, business, personal, it doesn't matter), this book will serve you well.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I picked this book up based on the reviews, having never heard of the Miller brothers or their movie. It arrived today, and I read it straight through in a few hours. I couldn't put it down.

There are really two aspects to this book. The first is the story of how two determined brothers managed to make a movie with no experience, no money, no training, nothing but determination. That aspect is a good story, and might have been interesting enough to get me to read it straight through like I did.

But it's the other aspect that makes this a truly great book: the insight you get into the hearts and minds of two individuals who have a dream and will not let anything stand in their way of achieving it. These guys started with nothing but a friend who gave them names to call, and other names they found in books about the business. They got on the phone, asked for help, followed up every lead and every long trail of referrals until eventually they found every person, skill and resource they needed. They got some of the best actors in the business to be in their movie for the love of acting. They did this with nothing but drive and desire.

If you've had a dream for a long time, you may be a bit miffed that these guys are successful and you are not (yet). Don't waste another second of your life thinking that way-the Miller brothers wouldn't. They're too busy writing scripts, working the phones, and making their next dream a reality.

Five stars for a pure motivational joyride. Now I'm off to track down a copy of the movie. I hope I can get it overnight.
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