DOWNLOAD: Cool fabricator: The strange and beautiful case of Tom Kummer

Bad Boy Kummer: The poster for the inevitable biopic

In the course of researching my new book on resignations, I’ve been wading through a lot of parting shots from journalists.

 

Well, they have the public forum. Most of us pass through our careers without leaving a trace. We speak as representatives. We curtail our language. We stick to the script. This makes workplaces strangely preliterate, at least in terms of studying them. In the absence of personal testimony, we need to turn anthropologist.

 

It’s not like that with journalists. Everything they write is a personal testimony. Their/our careers are (often, at least) all footprint. And sometimes, the testifying is all there is.

 

So I’ve been wading through the last flare-outs of Jonah Lehrer, Johann Hari, Jayson Blair and others. And those cases reminded me of another that I’d known more than a decade before. This case never got quite the fame in the English-speaking world; but then, if it hadn’t been for our anglophone insularity, perhaps it could never have happened in the first place.

 

It’s the strange, strange story of a Swiss-German Hollywood reporter called Tom Kummer. He was Germany’s man on the inside throughout the 1990s. Nobody – not the LA Times, not Vanity Fair – could get the access he got; or get the stars to open up like him. He interviewed Brad Pitt about his bogies; Courtney Love about dinosaurs; Sharon Stone about post-structuralism. The world asked: how did he do it? What was his secret?

 

Well, you can guess. But there was a twist to Tom Kummer’s story that nobody saw coming. I wrote a feature about him in Jack magazine back in 2003. So I dug it out. Here it is.

 

It’s not perfect. But it sure is weird.

 

Matt_Potter_Tom_Kummer_1Matt_Potter_Tom_Kummer_2

WEEKEND FREEBIE: Stream a sample of the new Outlaws Inc. audiobook

 

Thanks to the lovely people at Audible.com in the States, you can stream an extract of the new Outlaws Inc. audiobook here, for a limited period.

 

The book is read – which, I suppose means I’m played – by Jeff Kafer, a Seattle-born voice actor and veteran narrator and voiceover artist. And he does a really great job with my mad sentences. I almost forgot it wasn’t me speaking with that West Coast drawl. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Stream by clicking the green ‘Play’ button here.

 

News: Film deal for Outlaws Inc.

 

Well, it’s happened. An 18-month film option on Outlaws Inc has been bought by a major Hollywood production company, Thunder Road Pictures. Thunder Road are the outfit behind big noises like The Expendables, Clash of the Titans (above) and Ben Affleck’s The Town, as well as the new Jeff Bridges/Julianne Moore blockbuster Seventh Son. Boss Basil Iwanyk is apparently Hollywood’s most bankable producer. So, er, blimey.

 

As things progress, I’ll be working on the project as Consultant Scriptwriter. So it’s all pretty exciting. And it’s thanks in large part to my agent, Humfrey Hunter, and film/TV rights agent, Rebecca Watson at Valerie Hoskins Associates. (See, I’m doing the Oscar Speech Thing already.) Rebecca is the lady who represents Fifty Shades Of Grey, so the studios seemed to take her calls for some reason.

 

Now, where will we get all the Russian planes for the movie, cheap? Oh hang on, I know just the people