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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2011
In a sentence, I found this book to be an inspirational, captivating and brilliantly profound treatise on Christian film making.

Much more than a mere reference manual on film making, this book embodies the practical application of virtuous Christian principles in business and in life.

Mr. Baehr masterfully defines the role and responsibility of the Christian film maker by tracing the history of the arts in the Church and then distilling those lessons learned into a methodology based on a Christian world view.

This book should seriously be considered as the Christian film makers Bible.
What I particularly liked about it was how it methodically paralleled each aspect of the film making process to its biblical counterpart. i.e. Relating ones Christian growth [faith] to character development or the importance of the script and its analogy to John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . ." Corny, no; relevant, yes. To use a quote from the book by W. C. Fields; "Tell them what you're going to say; say it; then tell them what you said." Like the Bible, "It's all about the STORY!"

The book also provides great practical advice too. "You don't go out looking for a job as a producer." You get your toe in the door as a temp, go-fer, production assistant or whatever and then it's just a matter of talent, passion, patience, faith and persistence that will eventually allow you to achieve your goals. There is rarely an easy or "fast track" to success. It requires discipline, commitment and hard work.

The later chapters of Mr. Baehr's book are a "How To" for the novice or even the advanced film maker.
These chapters cover everything from effective networking and finding an agent to funding production, budgeting, shooting, scheduling, camera blocking, rehearsing, casting, editing, marketing and distribution.
It's just a great "road map" to help the "Newbie" navigate the otherwise complicated business of film making.

I highly recommend this book to any aspiring film maker. It is not an option it is a must! In my opinion this magnificent book should be required reading for any Christian who is seriously considering a career in film or, for that matter, in any field of communication or the arts.

After reading Mr. Baehr's book, "How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Loosing Your Soul)" my only regret is that I was deprived of this exceptionally valuable resource as a young man on my way to Hollywood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you have ever had the yearning to become a Christian screenwriter or actor or producer or director, then you will take years off wasting your time with this book. Dr. Ted Baehr has written a comprehensive guide. As he writes in the introduction, " It is a critical time for people of faith to communicate through the mass media of the entertainment industry...This book intends to help you to do just what Jesus commanded: herald His good news in movies and television, the marketplace of entertainment." (Page xxviii)

Dr. Baehr breaks the contents into two main sections: Foundations and Step-by-Step. Each section is loaded with practical yet detailed information into the business. While the author has years of experience, he has reached out to 30 diverse Hollywood experts with stellar credentials. He interweaves these contributors throughout the book and it strengthens the message and impact of the contents.

While this book is loaded with practical information, I want to give one detailed example as a taste of the contents from the chapter, "If It's Not On the Page...":

"Remember that the average movie takes nine years from start to finish. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST took ten years. EVITA took twenty-three years. BATMAN took seventeen years. There are several reasons why it takes so long. First, there are 300,000 scripts submitted every year to the Writers guild of America and many more are written that are never submitted, aside from the flood of novels every year, but less than three hundred movies open in theaters every year. Thus, most scripts never make it into production. Second, Hollywood movies cost over $104 million to produce and distribute in 2010, and it takes a long, long time to get all the elements together so that some distributor or investor will want to put up this kind of money. Third, most people take years to get the script right. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES interviewed a woman who was trying to twenty years to sell her script. She said that in all those years she had not had the time to take a scriptwriting course or read a book on scriptwriting. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES and all of us should be perplexed: What was she doing all that time that she could not take a moment to learn her chosen craft?" (Page 150 to 151)

Before you follow the beckoning siren of Hollywood, you need the detailed information in HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL). This book is excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
I graduated from a Christian film school so I've read a lot of books about filmmaking and the Christian's role in the arts today. I like "How to succeed in Hollywood" because it incorporates stories from Christians working in the industry. There is also a significant portion dedicated to helping you find your own voice and develop your own stories. If you've never read a book about the film industry this provides a nice overview of what it takes to get a film from the inception of an idea, through pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution. The one thing I didn't like was that the writers are a little long winded, often hounding the same idea from multiple angles. Because of my background a lot of it was review but I am a firm believe in review. The Christian church's interest and involvement in the film industry is rather new so it is difficult to find books about Hollywood and film production written from a Christian perspective. All in all, I would suggest this book to any other filmmakers or lay people interested in how Christians are interacting with the film industry. Happy reading!

Other books like "How to Succeed" that I have enjoyed (listed from shortest to longest):

Digital Film-Making by Mike Figgis (short, sweet, and funny. One of my favorite film production books ever).
Producing with Passion: Making Films That Change the World by Dorothy Fadiman and Tony Levelle (specifically written for documentary filmmakers but applicable lessons for all)
The Independent FIlm Producer's Survival Guide: A Business and Legal Sourcebook by Gunnar Erickson, Harris Tulchin, and Mark Haloran (a LOT of technical jargon but once you plow through that this provides a great primer to the nitty-gritty-nuts-and-bolts-business side of film production).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Before I started my film career 30 years ago, I was very concerned with what I would say as a filmmaker. I knew that films can reach many people and change lives -- for the better or worse -- so I was concerned.

Dr. Baher addresses these concerns and brings it all together for the filmmaker, showing one how they can make ethical choices in subject matter and execution. This book also gives an excellent overview of Hollywood, how it operates and how to succeed, as the title promises.

Don't venture into THE BIZ without this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2013
Ted shares his wealth of knowledge of the 'business' of show business and brings his own wise counsel as well as life experiences from some of the industry's most successful followers of Christ. This is a thorough yet highly readable 'nuts and bolts' for aspiring artists who want to share their gifts and calling through the film industry--and navigate those waters with integrity. A must-read!

Nancy Stafford
Actress ("Matlock" & "Christmas with a Capital C") and Author of "The Wonder of His Love" and "Beauty by the Book"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2011
Ted Baehr's Book, How To Succeed In Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul) is a must for every person entering show business. Christians do belong in Hollywood, as long as there is not too much Hollywood in the Christian. Pick it up and buy it today, you will be glad that you did.

- Two time Academy Award Winner, Al Kasha
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As a writer, producer and professor of creative writing, I've read many books on the subject of visual storytelling and making it in the entertainment industry. Ted Baehr has succeeded in Hollywood (without losing his soul) and he graciously opens the doors for other people of faith, hope and love to enter. This insightful book provides a detailed roadmap for Christians looking to take a leap of faith into the motion picture and television industry. In addition to philosophical questions and soul-searching exercises, How to Succeed in Hollywood contains practical guidance in every major aspect of film and television, including screenwriting, producing, editing, cinematography, distributing, marketing, acting, and consulting. Readers will also learn some startling statistics and secrets to marketing your project to the biggest possible audience - without compromising your values. Includes insightful interviews with many industry standouts including Randall Wallace, Andrew Stanton, Jane Russell, Ralph Winter and Linda Seger, just to name a few. I highly recommend this as a true field guide for Christian screenwriters, actors, directors, and more.
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on July 31, 2012
WOW! 541 pages of the greatest step by step instructions that I have ever read.I have been working on a screen play for a good part of my life.How to Succeed in Hollywood ( Without Losing Your Soul) came at just the perfect time for me.Dr. Ted Baehr asked important questions which really made me stop and think.Such as what does God want me to communicate and what motivates me? The sharing and tips from his friends were inspiring. This book was an answer to my prayers.Thank you Dr.Baehr. God Bless You.
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on August 10, 2013
Dr. Baehr's book provides a wealth of information for any one who wants to be successful in the entertainment industry without compromising his/her faith. I was blessed to also participate in a workshop with Dr. Baehr. He is very passionate about this area and about encouraging more Christians to get involved. Read it! And if you have the opportunity to take one of his workshops, do it! You will be glad you did.
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on June 6, 2014
This is an excellent book for Christians wanting to get into the film industry. It gives a great overview of the whole process and explains what some of the jobs look like. Most people know what the job of the actors, director, and writers are but there are obviously a lot more jobs in the industry. This book is a great way to identify what you want to do and then move forward learning more about that specific job with other resources.

I really enjoyed the interviews of Christians working in the industry. I also loved the perspective about the quality required. The moral of the story is, Hollywood doesn't care about your beliefs, they just want talent. Also, movies are about good stories, not preaching. When you tell the story well, you'll reach a much wider audience on a deeper level.

Only negative to me (and the reason it gets 4 stars) is that the book can be quite repetitive. For instance, I think the Passion of the Christ is used as an example 15 times in the book. Great movie and great example, but I would have preferred a shorter book with less repetition. Still, a great read for Christians curious about the film industry.
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