Director Ron Shelton and actor Robert Wuhl are slated to have a conversation about the making of the hit 1988 romantic sports comedy Bull Durham at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on Tuesday, September 13.
Shelton recently published his memoir on the making of the film, The Church of Baseball. The book’s subtitle, The Making of Bull Durham: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, and a Hit, alludes to the the challenges, drama and ultimate big rewards making the movie entailed.
“Hollywood is really Burbank,” commented Shelton. “I’ve never lived in Burbank but it feels like I’ve spent half my life there. I’ve certainly made more than half my movies there, and I’ve made none in Hollywood proper, though there’s nothing proper about Hollywood.”
“Most movies have horror stories behind how they got made – although if you can laugh at the horror, you might prevail,” he continued. “These are my horror stories, and I’m still laughing. But it took 35 years!”
“It’s really a story about my creative process, and the story of a movie from its inception to the market place,” Shelton added. “Like I say, it’s a horror story so it’s funny.”
The success of Bull Durham led to Shelton’s writing-directing career for movies such as White Men Can’t Jump, Blaze (1989), Cobb and Tin Cup. Shelton directed Jordan Rides the Bus, a documentary about Michael Jordan’s year in the minor leagues, as well.
Wuhl portrayed assistant team manager/pitching coach Larry Hockett in the film. He is perhaps best known as the creator and lead actor of comedy series Arli$$, also set in the sports world, and a number of other roles in major films including Tim Burton’s Batman and Good Morning, Vietnam.
“Ron Shelton is a great storyteller, and the story he tells in The Church of Baseball is the story of how a movie actually gets made, something that should be of great interest to everyone in this, often starry-eyed, filmmaking town,” commented Librarian Hubert Kozak. “What is wonderful about this book is that you learn the lessons along with Shelton as his story unfolds, and they become every bit as memorable as your favorite scenes from the movie.”
“This is a story about baseball, and it’s a story about moviemaking, but it’s also a story about our flaws and our ambitions, about our need for connection, and about and how we sometimes manage to get along with each other and make something almost miraculous happen. His book, like Bull Durham, tells that story with truth, humor, and a lot of wisdom.”
Copies of The Church of Baseball will be available for purchase at the event. During the author signing immediately following the conversation, Shelton will only sign copies of The Church of Baseball. The Library notes that no other books or memorabilia will be signed.
While the event is free to the public, purchase of The Church of Baseball books at the event will support Friends of the Burbank Public Library.
The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street. Plentiful free parking is available on site.
For more information visit the Library event page.