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The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God! Paperback – September 18, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
After 31 years in the Hollywood trenches and 15 films including Flashdance, Basic Instinct and Showgirls, screenwriter Eszterhas delivers a dishy, catty mix of reminiscences and Hollywood trivia in the guise of a handbook for wannabe screenwriters. Writing in a format perfect for readers with ADD, Eszterhas offers hundreds of instructive epigraphs, each an excuse for a short, gossipy paragraph. He includes a smattering of basic advice (avoid having your ideas ripped off by going to pitch meetings with a witness), warnings about producers, agents, directors and actors ("The word star is rats spelled backwards"), self-aggrandizing tales of wheeling and dealing, and tangents about various sexcapades (his own and other screenwriters'). He doesn't stint on snide comments about people he's worked with, like Sharon Stone, or about those he's refused to work with, like Michael Ovitz. Eszterhas includes fun quotes from Hollywood legends like Ben Hecht and Raymond Chandler and his fellow Hungarian, Zsa Zsa Gabor, but his forte is skewering sycophants and phonies in this opinionated showcase of the underside of Hollywood life. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Eszterhas, whose credits include Basic Instinct, Flashdance, and Jagged Edge, is one of the best-known screenwriters around and has penned a laugh-out-loud funny and useful guide for those who aspire to making it big in Hollywood. Make no mistake: Eszterhas is frank about his aim to write about the commercial aspect of screenwriting. Through quotes, quips, and anecdotes, Eszterhas lays bare the cruel and often downright strange world of moviemaking. From getting paid $4 million for an outline to learning that a rewriter is trying to take credit for one of his films, Eszterhas has an intimate knowledge of the way the business works. He firmly advises aspiring screenwriters not to live in Los Angeles, a city he finds far removed from the rest of the world, and cautions them about talking about their ideas. "Real writers sit down and write; wannabe writers sit around and talk." Aspiring and practical would-be screenwriters looking for good advice will find this offering inspiring and hilarious. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
What cross my mind was this book's content and organization naturally lends itself to a "Museum of Hollywood and Screenplay." Many of the bite-sized content could each fill a text panel/plate to accompany a display piece, memorabilia, A/V booth, etc. I for one would love to see the Robert McKee corner.
For non-screen writers, the book offers a fascinating, unparalleled view of the way Hollywood works and of the lives of named people: writers, actors, directors, producers, etc. I myself am not an aspiring screen writer, so did not need to read the whole book to get a good sense of the Hollywood world. I am very glad I read the first two thirds, though. I've seen nothing like it anywhere.
Gross language appears everywhere in the book. This is because gross language is endemic in Hollywood. You couldn't describe Hollywood honestly without it.
Funny, very funny (Mr. Eszterhas is straight as an arrow and really politically uncorrect), but especially full of concrete suggestions to write and sell a script. Better than many Screenwriting Guides.
Anyway, even tough you are not a wannabee screenwriter, buy just movie fan, you should not miss this book.
1. Easy Read
2. Funny Parts
3. Motivated me to write faster.
4. Point on script readers/coverage is accurate.
1. Doesn't offer advice on screenwriting.
2. Out of Date Information.
3. If you do some of the things in the book, it will do more harm than good.
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