Title: Ready When You Are: Cecil B DeMille’s Ten Commandments for Success!
Author: Robert Hammond
Review: This is an interesting premise for a book. Robert uses the story of the production of the Ten Commandments. This was one of the most famous movies made “twice” by the producer and director Cecil B DeMille.
In starting this book I expected it to be the “Ten Commandments for Success” just like the title stated, but it got rather off track, for which I was grateful. This small book (can be read in an afternoon) told the story and philosophy of the Epic movie maker and gave insight into how he accomplished the things he did in his lifetime.
I believe this book shows the determination of a man who had a dream and was going to see that dream become a reality no matter the cost!!
When DeMille decided to go to Hollywood and make movies, it was in the early 1900s and no one went to California, especially to make movies. It was a desert with a few orange groves, a very large desert and a long shoreline of ocean. At the time DeMille moved there, all the “non talkies” called silent films were made in New York in side warehouses. But Cecil B DeMille had a dream he was going to see become reality no matter the sacrifice by himself and others, so he packed up and went out to the deserts of California and the rest is history!
“Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.” Cecil DeMille
When DeMille decided to go into movies he could not be discouraged, not even his family could talk him out of it. He asked his brother to invest five thousand dollars in the new production company but was turned down and so he went to his friends Jesse Lasky and Jesse’s brother in law Sam Goldfish. Sam was a glove salesman at the time. He later changed his name to Goldwyn, This later became known as the Metro Goldwyn Meyer or MGM.
There are stories told in the book of the filming of the chariot races from the 1935 epic. The drivers refused to drive on the top of the sand drifts feeling it was too dangerous for the horses and for themselves. DeMille knew the best scenes would be filmed from the top of these drifts. He thought it over and leaned on his 8 year old daughter and told her to show them how it was done. She jumped up on her pony, rode him straight up to the top of the sand dunes and raced him right on the edge. When she returned, the humbled chariot drivers went back and completed the epic scene.
“Begin with humility and your opportunities will be limitless”
All the way through the book there are quotes that he learned to live his life by. He knew that he could achieve his goals but he always had to work with others and for that he learned “Be ready, Be wise, Be steadfast, Be courageous, Be spectacular, Be visionary. Be truthful and be generous.”
An example of each of these virtues is given in the book. One of the ones I liked the best was the one under SPECACULAR. The author tells the story of returning to his tent between shootings and there running into the producer who read items from the budget. “Look! medical bills, five thousand. Horses ten thousand. Orchestra equipment, seventeen thousand. What is going on here?”
“We only have a few more scenes to go….said DeMille quietly
The producer wasn’t putting up with this, “You have got to cut the budget in half. Waive your guaranteed profit or cut out the parting of the Red Sea.” To which DeMille answered,
“What do you want here, Five Commandments?”
The book then moves on to include stories told by DeMille himself of the making of his movies and how his philosophy of movie making became the philosophy of his life that he loved to teach others.
I found the book fascinating as I love reading about famous people that made and achieved great success by not giving up even when things became tough. Just as many famous and non famous people, he made many mistakes that caused unhappiness in his own life and the lives of those he loved, but he pushed forward with his dreams in spite of or maybe because of this.
DeMille had an ideal that he expected of himself and he demanded it of all those around him even his own family.
In his own words:
“Be true to your vision, even when others cannot see it. Imagine your impossible dreams coming true.”
I enjoyed this book but it is definitely not for everyone. I give this book a 3 out of 5, I believe that it will take history buffs and those interested in the rich and famous to really enjoy it.
As far as a book to help others succeed as DeMille did, perhaps the book fell a bit short. I will add though, that Robert has made me want to know more about this colorful man, his personal and professional life and how he handled living in the real world.
Thanks go to Eileen for this review.
Publisher: Published July 21st 2012 by New WayPress
Quick Review: 3 out of 5 stars
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review
Synopsis: Imagine if the legendary director who invented Hollywood and the Biblical epic offered you his personal secrets to unlimited wealth and power. Ready When You Are: Cecil B. DeMille's Ten Commandments for Success reveals the hidden keys for winning the race, decodes the secret strategies for resolving conflicts and turning enemies into allies, and uncovers the dynamic principles to becoming a valued and admired person at work and in your personal life. Cecil B. DeMille illustrates his unique insights and interpretations of the Ten Commandments with anecdotes about his personal successes and failures along with powerful and practical applications for living life beyond your wildest dreams. Ready When You Are weaves the timeless truths of one of our greatest spiritual foundations into a detailed road map for successful living today. When acclaimed director Steven Spielberg fell in love with movies after watching Cecil B. DeMille's Academy Award-winning film, The Greatest Show on Earth. Spielberg credited DeMille for teaching him how to put a lot of money on the big screen and then make the studios pay for it. In this powerful book, comparable to such classics as 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Purpose Driven Life, and Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, visionary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille reveals his breakthrough strategies to achieve a life of financial success and personal fulfillment.
Author Biography: ROBERT HAMMOND is an award-winning writer, producer, and screenwriting instructor. He has authored ten self-help books and is a popular national speaker on the subject of personal and professional achievement. He has an MFA in Creative Writing and develops literary properties for film and television.
Hammond is the author of Ready When You Are: Cecil B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments for Success and the novel/adapted screenplay C.B. DeMille: The Greatest Showman on Earth - soon to be a major motion picture.
Hammond’s bestselling book, Life After Debt: Free Yourself from the Burdens of Money Worries – Once and for All sold over 100,000 copies.
As the author of Identity Theft: How to Protect Your Most Valuable Asset, Hammond was the spokesperson for Capital One Financial Corporation’s Identity Theft Prevention Program.