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So You Want to Be a Producer Paperback – September 6, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • So You Want to Be a Producer
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  • Producer to Producer: A Step-By-Step Guide to Low Budgets Independent Film Producing
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Turman has made smart, superior films for forty years. This is a no B.S., straight-forward, and clear guide to being a producer.” —Paul Newman, Oscar-winning actor

“A smart, savvy survivor’s guide to the glamorous (and treacherous) producing game.” —Peter Bart, editor in chief, Variety

“Far more than a simple how-to book, Larry tells you what it really takes to get a movie made—and how you can make a career of making movies.” —Jeffrey Katzenberg, cofounder of DreamWorks and executive producer of Shrek 2 and Shark Tale

“It’s worth four years of film school.” —David Brown, four-time Oscar-nominated producer of Chocolat, The Verdict, A Few Good Men, and Jaws

“Whether you’re just starting in this business or a seasoned professional, there is something to be learned from Larry’s book. This is a must-read!” —Jane Rosenthal, cofounder and producer of the Tribeca Film Festival

About the Author

Lawrence Turman has produced more than forty films, including The Graduate, The River Wild, Short Circuit, and American History X, and is the Endowed Chair of the famed Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; First Edition edition edition (September 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400051665
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400051663
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Neely on April 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was great for being in the shoes of a producer. I wouldn't buy this book for tips on HOW to be a producer because you simply won't find any. That said, I enjoyed the book as a means to understand if I would want to subject myself to a producer's lifestyle. Lots of work, little recognition, ego management, gambling for a paycheck. I would recommend this book to anyone considering a career in producing.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not a producer. I'm a graphic designer. And from what I can tell from Mr. Turman's book, there are a lot of parallels between the two. In fact, that's why I bought the book in the first place: I suddenly found my creative-self undergoing mitosis, and generating a business counter-part. That's the part that doesn't just create a job, but has to sell and manage it. During my frustrations with having gone from "Designer" to "Orchestrator" a friend of mine told me that I was becoming more a less a "Producer." Around the time he said that, I was feeling more like worn-out ready to discard product than a producer.

And then I came across this book, and the title matched perfectly with the mood. Sort of. The author still loves what he does for a living. He's a masochist.

I got exactly what I wanted from this book: That is, a big reality check. Turman is probably dealing with the largest ego's the world will ever know - Cinema Artisans. Artists, when unfulfilled and unappreciated, are insecure. Invert that whole scenario and that insecurity turns into something that only a Producer or agent will tolerate. And when I read Turman's descriptions about many of the off-stage *characters* he's had to juggle, suddenly my life and work didn't seem so bad after all. Of course, I know jack about Producing a movie. But that's not the point. This book essentially illustrates how any type of "producing", places that person at the very center of a massive crowd that will undoubtedly span the gamut of personalities - all of which have to be juggled if the job is to be finished. Turman warns that it is not a job for the faint of heart.

And he covers every topic from what I can see. Like *collaboration*. A word that makes me laugh everytime I hear it.
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I recommend reading this book in conjunction with "The Indie Producers Handbook: Creative Producing from A to Z" by Myrl Schreibman. These two books together will give you a terrific foundation to being your indie producing career. "So You Want to Be a Producer" is definitely a lighter, and in my opinion, more fulfilling read because it is less business-oriented than Schreibman's. Turman shares many of his stories from decades of producing in Hollywood. This should be every producer's go-to book for inspiration and gratification.
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The problem with Turman's book is two-fold. It is a memoire wrapped (read: disguised) as a 'How To' book. I specifically was looking for insight into producing from a veteran producer.
While I enjoyed the recollections of his career, I was highly disappointed this was sold under this cover.
The title should have been, "Lawrence Turman: My Storied Career In Hollywood." From the producer of "The Graduate," comes blah blah blah. THAT would've been a more accurate title.
The book reads as though he dictated into a recorder and it was transcribed, with a few edits. Which would not have been a problem, had the wrapper stated as much.
The print was so small, and difficult to read.
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Format: Paperback
Simply a well written and entertaining book that really gives you great insight into being a film Producer. Keep in mind the studios and the industry works differently now a days, but Turman makes this read a must. He removes the secrecy of The Producers role in Hollywood and he really drives home the point of how committed you must be in your goals, passion and drive to make a film happen.

Great book, quick read and well worth it. I reread sections of it to get inspired.
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This is a very informative book. I just bought it here and I think that it is a MUST have! Thanks Mr. Turman for giving us more insight on being a producer. This is an excellent book and I like your honesty and your enthusiasm for the craft. This book has inspired me.
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A well written, inside look at the life and work of a producer. I appreciated his emphasis on ethics, as few others note this, yet it is essential to building a career and reputation in Hollywood, despite what the cynics say about it. If you are interested in producing, this is a must have. If you're just interesting in getting a look at what this role entails, it is a great read, filled with fun anecdotes and interesting insights. I highly recommend this book. A fun read.
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If this hadn't been required for a class I wouldn't have purchased this. Unfortunately, every moment spent reading this book, will have the little voice inside your head giving a snarky delivery of "so what." Really is a waste of time. Just comes off dated. Not to say that some of the anecdotes aren't interesting, but Mr. Truman needs to come back and revamp this to give it currency.
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