About

I started Under the Hollywood Sign in February of 2009 to help publicize my documentary of the same name. It soon became far more successful than the film, no doubt because WordPress is free. Though stubbornly unremunerative, my blog has allowed me to explore not only the topics my documentary, but life in Los Angeles, Japanese films and filmmaking in general, and I am glad for it.

Though it wasn’t always apparent to me when I was working on them, my writings and films have a theme: the history of misunderstood places and people. I felt this blog should do the same, though more expansively than was possible in film. More than five years later, I’m amazed at how much research and writing I’ve done on local history, but even more surprised at how much I’ve written about current events in Beachwood. The latter was prompted by the huge increase in tourist traffic to the Hollywood Sign, thanks to GPS and the advent of small tour vans.

For those readers who might be interested in my work, “Under the Hollywood Sign” is available on DVD at www.underthehollywoodsign.com A new DVD, “Peg Entwistle: The Life and Death of an Actress” contains my two short films on the actress and is available at http://hopeandersonproductions.com/?page_id=3361: Coming in the fall of 2014 is a new version of my first documentary, “Jim Thompson, Silk King,” with new narration, additional images and music, and a DVD extra on Thompson’s disappearance.

My two eBooks, On Blade Runner: Four Essays and Peg Entwistle and The Hollywood Sign, both of which contain essays first published here, are available for sale at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other ebooksellers. The multitudes who come to my blog via Internet searches for “Blade Runner” and Peg Entwistle would find satisfaction in them, if they could stand to pay $4.99.

Happy reading!

Hope Anderson

§ 30 Responses to About

  • Daniel Gill says:

    Hope –

    Shawn Sites sent me your blog and told me about your upcoming documentary. I’m wondering if you have any information about the doc which I can post on my Facebook page, BeechwoodK: Below the Gates?

    Thanks,
    King Daniel
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beachwood-Below-the-Gates/74246251729

    • I’d be happy to send you a synopsis. My new website for the film isn’t up yet, sadly, but should be soon. In the meantime, I’ll get in touch with my contact information in case you want to see the film.

      Thanks for highlighting my piece on the Theosophists!

  • minta says:

    where can we see the film?? i would love to learn more about the area and its community.

  • Richard Rosing says:

    Hope,

    I can’t wait to see — or buy — your film. I grew up across the street from Mary Astor’s Moorcrest. I was friends with the boy whose family owned the home and I used to play on its grounds and swim in the old dragon-shaped pool. My mother’s family moved to Hollywood in 1914. I grew up on stories of the old Hollywood. I’m so glad there are those documenting those times.

  • Aunt Snow says:

    Hi, Hope,

    I’ve enjoyed your postings – well, all of them, really – but especially the ones about Krotona. I, too, am blogging about my impressions of Krotona and the people who lived there, and Los Angeles of that time. I am not a native, and only just learned about Krotona recently. I am grateful for your posts, which helped guide my way. Come visit if you like.

    http://doves2day.blogspot.com/

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi there,
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog and was wondering if you knew anything about our house?? Can you email and we can discuss?

  • Ken McLachlan says:

    Just watched The Switch which was thoroughly enjoyed. The reference to Anita Gordon is I assume mentioned on the credits. Is that correct? What a lovely story and congratulations on your tenacity. Sad in a way she never saw your unfinished work.

    Kindest regards, congratulations and a happy safe Easter to you and yours from near Melbourne Victoria Australia where we are in the middle of Autumn (Fall)_

    Ken :-))

  • Sebby says:

    Um, techically, Nu’uanu isn’t on the windward side of O’ahu, since it’s not quite over the pali going north… maybe you have figured this out by now or someone else has mentioned it.

  • Don Collins says:

    Hello, awesome blog. I do have a question that I hope you can help me with. I was recently emailed a photo of the Hollywood sign. In the bottom left corner of the photo is what appears to be a statue. The person who sent me the photo thinks it is a “ghost” related to Peg Entwhistle, who committed suicide by jumping from the sign. I believe it is simply a statue. I was hoping that by viewing the photo you might be able to tell me if it is indeed a statue from a nearby church and specifically which one? I appreciate your time.

  • Skye Scott says:

    Hello! I was doing some family research when i found your article on A.F Frankenstein- my great grandfather, and his song. I can get a bit more information about the copyright owners, and even the man himself. Please feel free to contact me and i can hopefully flesh out the story a bit more.

  • bcxists says:

    Hi Hope,

    I’m working on a biography about Eden Ahbez, the songwriter who penned the enduring pre-hippie classic, “Nature Boy.”

    He also apparently camped out by the Hollywood Sign for a while. Did you ever run across any evidence of that? My site is here:

    https://bcxists.wordpress.com

    I once spoke to Ahbez’s friend and fellow nature boy, Bob Wallace, who told me that Ahbez used to sleep next to the shack behind the Sign during the 1940s, which an elderly gentleman lived in and switched on the lights every night, and off every morning. I’m assuming that shack was inhabited by Albert Kothe. Any truth in this?

    Feel free to contact: bcxists (at) gmail (dot) com.

    Brian

    • Hi, Brian–Your blog is fascinating. I had never heard of Eden Ahbez or the song “Nature Boy,” and no one ever mentioned him to me when I was working on UTHS. It’s quite possible that he used to sleep in the shack behind the Sign, though Albert Kothe never did–he lived in a cabin at end end of Beachwood Drive. (The cabin used to house the foreman of the masonry crew that built the granite stairs and walls on Hollywoodland. The masons lived in tents. The camp doesn’t exist anymore; it was converted to housing lots in the 1950s.) The shack had no plumbing or electricity and was used for storage–electrical cables, light bulbs and tools for the Sign. But since Eden was used to living outdoors, it probably suited his needs.

  • globaldenny says:

    I could read your blog for hours & days. English is a powerful language when used well, and when an articulate American uses it, the language transforms.

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