The myth is, movies get made in one of two ways: Either awesomely powerful movie moguls get together and wield their billions, or scrappy, down-on-their-luck believers in the American Dream fast-talk their way onto the big screen. The latter method is generally considered nobler; moguls are in it for the money, but the dreamers are doing it for Art, full of deep intentions and noble ambition. Logan and Noah Miller, identical twin brothers and amateur filmmakers, go this one better. In their new memoir, 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, the Millers tell how the death of their alcoholic dad drove them to find a way to honor his memory. Their adventures make for an exciting, fast-paced read, for those who can withstand a hefty dose of hyperbole.
Growing up in various forms of poverty, the Miller brothers originally dreamed of becoming professional baseball players, but after surrendering that goal, they wound up in California, trying to find a way into Hollywood by any means possible. When their father died, the twins decided it was time to make good on their ambitions. They had a screenplay—Touching Home, a story inspired by their own lives. All they needed was money, equipment, locations, and the talent required to overcome all other concerns. Blessed with confidence, luck, and a refusal to bow to the way things should be done, the twins attracted the attention of Ed Harris, whose involvement gave the project legitimacy; the only trick was keeping him interested.
Either You’re In has an undeniable momentum, moving from crisis to crisis without pausing much for breath. A few short sections aside, the Millers write as one, and they have a fun, energetic style that keeps things brisk. The only drawback is, once that style becomes familiar, it’s easy to see through it; the brothers introduce a problem, discuss its impossibility at great length, then describe how the difficulties magically melt away. Enough of that, and the underdog tone no long seems so accurate. Their success is gratifying, though its drama wears thin after a while, true story or no. Their book is breezy, lacking in depth, but entertaining all the same.