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I AM VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE ENGAGED JAMES SCURLOCK IN THIS endeavor. James conducted many of the interviews used in the movie, Divorce Corp. James is known for directing the movie, Maxed Out, as well as for authoring the companion book, Maxed Out. He also authored the highly successful book King Larry. Without James, this book would not have been nearly as engaging or interesting. James’ ability to capture the human perspective made this book far more relatable than I could have managed. Divorce can be a depressing topic, and the intricacies of family law are nearly impossible to understand. Fortunately, James’ ability to weave the emotional considerations together with the facts greatly enhanced this work, and his perceptive insights helped bridge many of the concepts into a coherent story. I hope to work together with James on future projects, and anticipate more great things from him.
Philip Sternberg has been an inspiration, for both the movie and the book. Philip may not intend to be a perfectionist, but if he is not one, then they do not exist. His relentless pursuit of high quality work product has kept me on track for much longer than my own impatience would have allowed. While he was dubious about the subject matter when I first suggested the topic of divorce, he quickly recognized the power of the tragic stories that were all too common for those who have been through the family court system. As a veteran of the entertainment business, he saw that this topic could be developed into an engaging movie and an informative book.
Blake Harjes, the primary editor of the movie, also provided great insight and research on the subjects of divorce and child custody. Being merely a first-time director, I naively thought than an editor was someone who was good at making cuts and splices. I did not realize how much Blake would eventually contribute to the telling of the story and unveiling the facts behind it, much of which was also used in the book.
Michael McIrvin provided an excellent copy edit for this book. Not only did he fix some poor grammar and loose references, he questioned some of the concepts and conclusions in ways that helped improve the meaning.
I want to thank David Hoffman, Doug Kepanis, Forrest Mosten and Katherine Porter for reading the manuscript at an early stage. The joke goes, “Why do 99% of the lawyers ruin it for the rest of them?” Well, it’s not politically correct to say that anyone is in the 1% any more; so let’s just say that these folks are on the good side of the practice of law. They have all recognized a role for compassion and humanity in the practice of law and have chosen approaches that are far more holistic than that practiced by a majority of their colleagues. Thank you for your vision!
Meagan Piker has been incredibly helpful in taking an early look at the manuscript and in helping facilitate many of the communications and interactions that are absolutely necessary to accomplish the writing and marketing of a book.
I‘d like to thank Andrew Firmin, Alexey Novoradosky, Amber Dozier, Woody Thompson, and Alison Kane for helping to sort out the intricacies of book publishing and distribution, especially in today’s e-world, and for helping me stay focused. The publishing industry is changing rapidly. Hopefully the Amazon/Apple oligopoly will give way to other, more competitive forms of distribution and the hard work that these people did in getting this book completed and distributed will be less time consuming in the future. And then there is an extremely long list of people who have helped in many direct and indirect ways. If I were to attempt to name them all, I would undoubtedly forget a few and forever feel sorry. Therefore, I will only mention a few. But no doubt, I do appreciate the impact that so many people had on me and on this endeavor. I appreciate the support that my children Kristina, Andrew, and Daniel (now all very successful adults) have shown toward the creation of the movie and the book. I am pleased to say that although they lived through some of the acrimony that the family courts bring out in parents, they managed to stay above the fray, and are actually able to discuss various topics in the movie and book with me without getting dragged back to a less happy time. Three cheers for the benefits of settling the divorce, at least, out of court! And special thanks to Daniel for keeping his minor’s counsel under control – if you can manage a lawyer whose holding a blank check, Dan, you can manage anyone . I also want to thank my many friends, especially Hanna Mauritzson, for understanding how time consuming making a movie and writing a book can be. If one can find happiness without the interference of a dysfunctional government, why get them involved? I also want to thank many of my friends who have been married and divorced, and shared some of their painful stories with me, especially Gordon Wangers, Peter Ellman, Dave Zeiger, Dwight Dubois, and Michael Scally. And for my single friends, like Chris McClure and Bryan Touhey, who have said that Divorce Corp has scared the daylights out of them, well, hopefully we’ll get some decent legislation passed and you will be able to consider marriage sometime before you get too old to say “I do”. And for my married friends: congratulations. You beat the odds!
Lastly to the victims depicted in our movie and book, my heart goes out to you. The system wronged you. Evil and greedy people with power took advantage of you. I don’t know if I could have survived what you have been through. You are all very brave for telling your stories to the public. Hopefully this exposure will help uncover injustice and oust some of the tyrants of family court. I hope that we can join together with others in the reform movement going forward and bring about meaningful change. Buy the book to read more…