Cypress author’s Hollywood book could go to big screen

If you met Manny Pacheco, you would immediately recognize three traits he enthusiastically demonstrates: passion, persistence, and patience.

 Those qualities have driven him to succeed as a local broadcaster and popular karaoke DJ and host at Orange County restaurants. But the Cypress resident has scored a triple play, earning praise and awards for his third career – author. His first book, “Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History,” is selling well in stores and on Amazon, and it’s now been tapped for a film project.

Vision4Media Inc., a Brea-based film production company, signed a development deal earlier this month to produce a documentary based on Pacheco’s insights on the Golden Age of Hollywood and “forgotten” character actors from the ’30s to the ’60s.

 Vision4Media co-founder David Bojorquez, who will direct the film, said. “What makes this media property compelling for us are the stories behind some of the most beloved movies and cinematic legends from Hollywood’s Golden era, and how many of these true accounts are surprisingly relevant for our times.”

 “Within this rich, untold history of Hollywood lies a treasure trove of great and poignant social commentary. As an example, one of the documentary segments focuses on Ward Bond’s misguided zealotry to expose actors suspected of ‘anti-American,’ Communist activities during the McCarthy era. This little known, true story provides a perfect allegorical background to the terrorist fear-mongering we face today, and the civil rights abuses which have became way too prevalent since 9/11.”

 “Younger viewers will especially discover that none of the issues we wrestle with in the 21st century are new. ‘Forgotten Hollywood’ is a powerful, moving allegory to the greatest challenges we are still wrestling with today – from immigration, to race relations, to even the rights of the disabled. And, our goal here is not to be didactic, but simply to relate the untold stories of the actors, directors and movies from a ‘forgotten’ Hollywood era, that when revealed, suddenly become powerful reminders of how much work we have left to do,” he said.

 Vision4Media specializes in socially conscious projects. According to Bojorquez, “It’s simply to create media imbued with an ‘enlightened purpose.’ It allows the audience to see something they may not have considered. And it’s through such awakening that society eventually evolves.”

 “Social commentary is nothing new in motion pictures. Movies have always served as both a mirror and a barometer to the consciousness of our nation. And if we do our job right, my hope is that this movie encourages dialogue vital to creating a more united, compassionate world,” he said.

First step in the partnership is to shop the highly touted project at the American Film Market convention in Santa Monica in early November. “They will be looking at all options,” said Pacheco, indicating the documentary may go theatrical, or cable TV. It will also be tied into the release of a second “Forgotten Hollywood” chronicling additional character actors.

 The paperback book is available at 40 Barnes & Noble stores in California and Nevada, 27 Southern California Borders stores, the Hollywood Mega chain of souvenir gift shops, the historic Hollywood Heritage Museum, and the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. It is also at ArcLight Cinemas, and is on Amazon.com.

 It has won four national awards, and is in the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. It is also in the Louis B. Mayer Library of the American Film Institute, the Writers Guild Foundation library, seven branches of the Los Angeles Public Library, and two branches of the Orange County Public Library.

This article also appeared on MSNBC news site.

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O.C. DJ Manny Pacheco honored for Hollywood book

   Manny Pacheco has enjoyed a successful 29-year career in radio, television. Still, there was something missing in his life. And so he wrote a book about a subject close to his heart – Hollywood history.

   It’s one thing to say you will write a book, and something else to actually get it done. Pacheco spent years researching actors such as Claude Rains, Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, Van Heflin, and Basil Rathbone, to name a few. His fresh take was to show how their films offered a parallel to America’s history. He called it Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. When a draft was completed, Pacheco showed it to me and I agreed to write the foreword to it. I asked questions, made suggestions, but overall found his book compelling reading. But would it sell, I wondered.

   I underestimated Pacheco. He and his wife Laurie, who live in Cypress, did what most authors don’t do – they got out there and promoted the heck out of it. Book fairs, negotiations with Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, a YouTube video, and probably most important of all, a site – www.ForgottenHollywood.com — updated with fresh content on an almost daily basis to keep people coming back.

   The result: it won a key National Best Books 2009 Award this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has added it to its Margaret Herrick Library, telling Pacheco the book was deemed “culturally significant.”

   At a time when most entertainers write tell-all books about themselves, it’s refreshing to see one write about history.

   This article also appeared on MSNBC, USA TODAY, and SIRIUS XM RADIO news sites.

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