Beyond Showgirls and Basic Instinct

Just read Joe Eszterha’s The Devils Guide to Hollywood; The Screenwriter as God . Well how do you even begin to talk about Joe E? The man cast a long shadow. But I’m glad I read the book and plan to KEEP reading the book as a reference on people and survival strategy. So what is this book? Well it seems to be many different things; a guide to new screenwriter is what it is first and foremost, but in the process of being a guide it strolls into the territory of tell-all. But I would say its exposing trivia about Hollywood in a good way.

It’s not just random facts just for the sake of it, all this info is laid out to support Joe’s central points. Writers get treated poorly, but take as little crap as you can. There are benefits to working in the system, try to reap those benefits. There are snakes in the grass, keep your eyes open and watch your step. A lot of people write about writing, choose who you listen to carefully. As you can see it’s mostly a roadmap to a place that most people wander into without preparation-and you shouldn’t be one of those people. He’s pulled tons and tons of quotes from Hollywood insiders; interviews, conversations, and comments from God knows where to convey his message. He’s speaking from a position of a guy who played the game, took some hits, did some dirt and won more than he lost, so it’s a take it or leave kind of attitude. My advice about his advice? It can’t hurt.

Another Showbiz book review

So I’m generally going to be talking a lot about industry books for a while because at the moment I’m pretty much immersed. Chris Gore of FilmThreat fame wrote a book WAY back in 1999 called Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide and pound for pound its the best book out there for what to do AFTER you make your movie. He’s got a lot of personal experience and he interviewed lots of filmmakers to get their experiences. And let’s be real, if you’re making an indie or student film is where you’re destined to go if you want to get your film seen/sold.

Hey a month later and I’ve finally got something to say

So I’ve been reading Short Films 101: How to Make a Short and Launch Your Filmmaking Career by Frederick Levy and it’s a helpful book. Talks about the value of short films if your goal is to be a filmmaker. And it gives lots of first hand examples of people who’ve done it, as well as generalized building blocks of making a film. But the book title really says it all; launch your career. My copy is from the library, but this might be one of those books I buy a used copy of for reference; because a lot of the names that pop up are people who’ve been pretty successful.