Updated: Mar 28
What makes Ghostbusters such a special movie? Why does it continue to inspire audiences globally almost four decades on? What is its wider cultural impact? And why was it so difficult to get a third movie made?
A Convenient Parallel Dimension has been described by reviewers as the "addictively written, utterly engrossing read that Ghostheads have been waiting for since 1984." It charts the evolution and up-and-down story of the franchise and the people behind its success.
As a freelance writer based in Texas, James has previously authored This Music Leaves Stains: The Complete Story of The Misfits and Brave Punk World, and has written for a host of publications including Orlando Weekly. He joins Second Mountain Comms' founder (and lifelong Ghostbusters fanatic) Ben Veal for episode 10 of the Good Journeys with Second Mountain, the podcast series that explores the lives of inspired people and their inspiring stories.
Episode ten of the Good Journeys with Second Mountain podcast is out now.
Apple Podcasts https://tinyurl.com/3kf35sb6
Amazon Music https://tinyurl.com/2p99yxzx
why ghostbusters was so successful
"There was a huge tale to tell..."
"When I was a kid, I recognised that a lot of the [Ghostbusters] humour was going over my head ... Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Aykroyd had their own original style. You won't find that anywhere else."
In A Convenient Parallel Dimension, Greene Jr. meticulously distills down the key ingredients that went into making Ghostbusters such a cultural phenomenon upon its cinematic release in 1984. Charting the rise of director Ivan Reitman and the quick-witted stylings of the founding trio of 'Busters - forged through being intimately intertwined through the Saturday Night Live comedy scene - it's a book that really sets out to chart what made Ghostbusters so distinct and why, almost four decades later, we're still fascinated by it.
"I've always been a huge Ghostbusters fan, and I felt that there wasn't a book like this that told the entire story," the author tells the #GoodJourneysPod, "not just of how they made the movies, but how the talent came together, what the cultural impact was ... it just felt like there was a huge tale to tell."
GHOSTBUSTERS: beloved worldwide
"It's a pretty fertile concept"
Ghostbusters is a globally-beloved movie franchise, which the author believes is grounded in its universal appeal: "It's a pretty fertile concept ... folklore about ghosts exists in every culture. [The Ghostbusters provide] a concrete solution to a problem that everyone wonders about. It's imaginative, and the [Ecto-1] car's really cool too, which never hurts either."
His driving motivation for writing the book was to draw together, investigate and present the long-and-winding journey of the movie's rich history: everything from the backstage behaviours of its famous stars, to New Yorkers' attitudes to the film's disruptive production schedule, to all of the many creative ups and downs on the journey towards 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
"With all the Ghostbusters films, there's been a lot of backstage rumour and conjecture," says Greene Jr. "How serious were they about getting Eddie Murphy in the first movie? What were the different iterations of Ghostbusters 2? I felt it was important to put this into a cultural context ... I really wanted to chart what was its lasting power, where it felt in the evolution of Hollywood, and why was it so difficult to get a third movie made?"
Be sure to check out the #GoodJourneysPod with special guest James Greene Jr. now on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, YouTube and more - episode 10 will make you feel good!