Sunday, January 08, 2006

Wall Street (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wall Street (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coincidentally, these two movies came out in December of their respective years, just less than two months after the two biggest stock market crashes in American history (Wall Street Crash 1929 and Black Monday (1987).

One of my favourite movies out there is this Gordon Gecko classic.

Another one of my favourite movies of all time is Full Metal Jacket. For Christmas this year, I got the book Full Metal Jacket Diary from my brother.

This is a great book so far, written by the main character of the film, Matthew Modine aka Joker. It is almost as if you are walking into snippets of his life on and off the set of the movie. The book is unique in that it's dustcover is actually a 'full metal jacket' and has a collector # stamped in it. (I'm 4950 / 20,000)

A great gift for anyone who owns the movie.

Matthew's limited edition book, FULL METAL JACKET DIARY has been hailed as a masterwork by photographers and critics. The book was released on October 25th and will go into a second printing in December. The first edition, with it's unique, stainless steel book jacket (20,000 copies) will never be reprinted. The publisher and Matthew wanted to make the first addition a prized possession for film buffs and collectors. The publisher, Rugged Land, is considering it's second printing with an unusual Kevlar jacket. Please go to your local, independent book store and ask for a copy. Or click here.

This may seem to be getting off the topic of stocks, but not really. A friend of mine once told me that the best way to make money is while you sleep. I was a bit confused. He put it to me something like this.

If a book sells while you are sleeping, you are no longer tied to an hourly wage for money. You can sell books all night (hypothetically) and then wake up the next morning to a nice paycheque.

What Matthew has done, other than write a really nice book, is to limit the availability (or seemingly so). The key to having something of value is to build desire. Usually the more limited the supply, the more demand goes up. Hence Berkshire Hathaway not splitting shares. Or Xbox 360 selling for $1000 on Ebay. Appearances are also deceiving. The 20,000 number is a funny number to pick, don't you think?

Q) How many books would you expect a medium size publisher to sell of an Egyptian travel story.

A) I'd guess the average trade book sells about 2,000 copies the first year, maybe a couple hundred a year on backlist after that for a few years. Keep in mind the reason publishers keep doing them is they want to have the one that catches on and sells 20,000, but that's in the average, the mean travelogue probably doesn't break 1,000. I don't have any special insight in the genre, I'm using fairly standard non-fiction numbers for medium publishers.

So by printing xxxx/20,000 it is almost like a counter of how many books they would like to sell to make a good profit.

Since they are already talking about rereleasing the book (with a Kevlar cover, no less) the limited edition count itself is really for Stanley Kubrick fans, as something of a feel-good tracker of owning a share in his history.

What I really like about Matthew's writing is that he jumps right to the stereotypical Kubrickian questions that he probably heard throughout and after working with Stanley. "What was he like?" "Was he really afraid of airplanes?" "Did he really have a plane fly over his house to spray for mosquitos?"

Read the book to find out. It's worth it.

More essays and articles are available in the Full Metal Jacket links above.

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