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


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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: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

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See all 15 customer reviews
This is a very informative book.
GKS777
I would recommend this book to anyone considering a career in producing.
T. Neely
And maybe that's the best part about this book: commiseration.
Ghost in the Matrix

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ghost in the Matrix on April 25, 2006
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hal Wallis on October 10, 2011
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Vieira on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D.S. on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lawrence Turman emphasizes that this is not a how to book and rightfully so. This is mostly a memoir on how he made it in the business. He writes numerous times he is part of the Peter Stark porucing program at USC, so many times that it feels that you're being hit over the head with a baseball bat to make sure it sinks in.

He does write on what it takes to be a producer but I wish more emphasis was placed on how to get your foot in the door. He name drops so many times, it brings truth to the old Hollywood adage, "It's not what you know but who you know."

However, his stories on how he produced the Graduate and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, two great movies, are well worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Beals on December 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I've read related to the profession of producing movies. It is very inspiring. Thank you Lawrence Turman. The book is great.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sanjay Madhav on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
this is a really intended to introduce one who doesn't even know what a producer or does to the basic job functions. as a producer, i found it a little be text book'ish. a producer really needs to learn more about business in general and the politics of film making.

dark arts productions
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maureen foster on December 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lawrence Turman's book is lively, engaging, and informative reading, full of terrific anecdotes, quotes, advice and philosophy. Entertaining and very useful.
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