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The Man Who Heard Voices: Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale and Lost Paperback – Bargain Price


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (June 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159240247X
  • ASIN: B001G8WKGM
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,188,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Stands alongside Lillian Ross’s Picture and Julie Salamon’s The Devil’s Candy as that rare inside look at how Hollywood actually works. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

About the Author

Michael Bamberger is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and the author of four books, including Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School, published in 2004 to extensive acclaim.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stantz on September 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're hoping to direct one day...if you go to NYU, USC, UCLA, and hope to be a successful filmmaker, megaplex, arthouse, or otherwise...if at some point you've criticized Shyamalan yet known in the back of your head that at least SOME small percentage of the vitriol was driven by an understandable jealousy...READ THIS BOOK.

Most of the reviews of this book were written by Shyamalan fans, many of whom are shocked - SHOCKED! - that this is how he behaves in public and private. This is amusing to me, in many ways. I work in the NYC film production world and have served on films with directors ranging from Spielberg to Ridley Scott - and I have seen countless directors and actors with a quarter of Shyamalan's talents copping attitudes light years worse than his.

What this book reveals is the story of a very talented filmmaker who got too big too quickly, and the horrors that your own insecurities can play on you. Confidence is a necessity in Hollywood - every bad movie out there was made by a guy who was confident he was going to make a good one, and spread that confidence to investors, production companies, his crew, and actors. Confidence has led to the worst films in history.

When we pick up with Shyamalan, we find a man who is nagged by insecurities, someone who has grown up with parents that were disappointed that he was only on the cover of Newsweek and not Time, a person desperately seeking approval from literally the entire world. Yet at the same time, Shyamalan has a vision and is desperately trying to bring it to reality, trying to have that 100% confidence at all times, only to have this feeling be undermined by the simplest of incidents - someone asking a question about the continuity of a screenplay, for example.
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By briannash on January 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really didn't like Shyamalan when I started this book, and I expected to like him even less after reading. The opposite held true. He comes across as a thoughtful, talented filmmaker, and I retreat the ill feelings I might have had towards him. I'm not about to run out and see his next movie -- I still think most of them suck -- but I will wish him well and hope they do better than they have done. The book is very well told and very informative.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Emilio Corsetti on April 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I almost didn't read this book after reading some of the reviews and comments made by others on this site. I'm glad I decided to give this book a chance. This is a must read for anyone interested in the process of film making. The fact that the author is a sports writer and not involved in the film industry gives the book more authenticity, not less. The journey from script to completed film is told through the eyes of someone seeing it for the first time and not prejudiced by other films.

I read the book first and then saw the movie (on DVD). If you haven't seen the movie, this is the order I would recommend. You'll especially like the DVD extras after reading about the various collaborators in the book. If the "Lady" script had been submitted by a no-name screenwriter, it would never have made it past the script readers. Yet not only did Night get to make a movie based on a weak story idea with a weak script, he got Warner Brothers to put in over a hundred million dollars to film and market it. No matter how talented the actors, the cinematographer, or the director, if it doesn't work on the page it isn't going to work on the screen. This book shows how bad movies get made.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kacunnin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Sportswriter Michael Bamberger is not a film expert - he makes that clear in the first chapter of THE MAN WHO HEARD VOICES. His decision to write a book about M. Night Shyamalan's struggle to make his 2006 film "Lady in the Water" came from a chance meeting with the director at a dinner hosted by mutual friends. Bamberger was impressed by Shyamalan, maybe even awed by him. And when Shyamalan agreed to allow Bamberger access to his life over the next few months, the result was this book, which is about how "Lady in the Water" got made. The problem is, because Bamberger is no film expert (he says, "Mostly I just like the escape"), there is nothing at all in this book about whether or not this film SHOULD have been made.

Many agree that Shyamalan's first three films showed talent and promise - "The Sixth Sense" (1999) was lauded as one of that year's best, and people started referring to the director as "the next Hitchcock." His next two - "Unbreakable" (2000) and "Signs" (2002) - made a ton of money for both Shyamalan and Disney, although critical opinion of both was less glowing. After "The Village" (2004), which was the first of his films to generate real negative reviews, Shyamalan was determined to make a film he hoped would be his crowning glory, a very personal exploration of ideas and images that would define him as the influential director he believed himself to be. That film, which he based on a fairy tale he had created for his children, would become "Lady in the Water."

Bamberger's book follows Shyamalan's efforts to complete his script, sell it, and get it made. When he first sent the final version of the script to three Disney execs, none of them "got it." This was devastating for a director used to being praised for his work.
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