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Cold Case – Book Him… Danno?

bruckheimer_page_00_coverSpeaking of Hawaii Five-O…  No, actually that (including in its 2010 revived form) is one of the few recent cop-shows that Jerry Bruckheimer has not had anything to do with.

In late October of last year we saw one of the few public appearances in 2013 by Kathryn.  The event was the launch of Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes – Four Decades Of Filmmaking, a book chronicling the life of film and TV producer extraordinaire Jerry Bruckheimer.  Jerry and his company JBTV are behind such TV shows as the CSI triumvirate and, of course, Cold Case.  The book was on sale from mid-December.

In that previous post I used the word ‘tome’ just as another word for book.  However, the more correct usage in referring to large, heavy books was more accurate than I could have thought.  The phrase ‘weighty tome’ would be more appropriate.  It’s not so much a coffee table book, more of a coffee table.  Stick four legs on it and you’ve got a significant piece of furniture.  At 41.5 x 28.2 x 3cm (16.3 x 11.1 x 1.2″) it’s a whole lot of book.  Roughly A3-sized for those outside the US.  And it weighs a fair bit too so you get a lot of book for your money.

I won’t bore you with too much detail but When Lightning Strikes covers Jerry’s whole life as well as his career in film and TV through words as well as hundreds of photos from behind the scenes as well as stills from dozens of projects.  Fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films (how many of been released?  four? with at least two more on the way! that’s films not fans 😉 ) will be particularly interested in a foreword by Johnny Depp and whole section dedicated to the monster franchise.

So what about Cold Case and our Kathryn?

In a chapter titled “The Evidence Never Lies: Lightning Strikes Television”, author Michael Singer (a regular collaborator of Bruckheimer’s) details the move into TV and Jerry’s wish to bring a cinematic aesthetic to the medium.  In the same way the Pirates films will lead any talk of films it is not surprising that the CSI shows are at the fore here.  Cold Case does, however, get some very honourable mentions including in this section:

Cold Case (created by Meredith Stiehm), which premiered on September 28, 2003, was Bruckheimer’s next procedural hit for CBS and Warner Bros. Television.  Its pilot episode, directed by Mark Pellington, introduced the signature “minimovie” flashback opening that came to epitomize the powerful JBTV aesthetic.  The show chronicled the investigative work of a homicide division of the Philadelphia Police Department that specializes in cold cases – crimes that had never been solved.  “We loved the idea that just because the trail may have gone cold on a crime, it doesn’t mean that there’s no chance for justice,” says Bruckheimer.  “A crime committed fifty years ago is just as terrible… there’s no expiration date.”

Alongside the plot of each individual case, strong characters were developed, particularly the lead, Detective Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris), who suffered as the result of a dysfunctional upbringing by an alcoholic mother.  The show revolutionized the use of popular music in television, with episodes built around the catalogs of such top artists and groups as Bruce Springsteen and Nirvana (both very sparing in licensing their work to films and TV).  The use of period-correct music was intended to put the viewer into an instant time machine, and by the time the show had finished its highly successful seven-year run, Cold Case had indelibly impacted the medium with its style and intelligence.

Without A Trace and Cold Case were two seminal television shows that took premises that nobody could ever make work on TV, and made them work through inventive storytelling and emotion,” observes Jonathan Littman [another producer at JBTV and co-exec producer on CC].  “We expanded to much more emotional story lines that went to the personal side of crime, rather than the science.”

In amongst images from all the other TV shows there is also a small collection from CC.  Small examples have been added to the Gallery.

You can find on the UK and US Amazon stores (other books stores are available) here and here respectively.

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