- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001O9CAJA
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,124,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God! Paperback
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
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 alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
Some of the quotes are interesting and relevant but for the most part the stories will be repetitive if you read Hollywood Animal. The author is clearly in deep love with himself ... The bragging in this book and diminishing others as an example of how great the author is gets old after page 8. You'd think that this writer's head could get no bigger but then you flip a page and it does.
The book is borderline annoying but clearly the author has done his research (days of being a reporter paid off) and uses some pretty topical quotes. Around halfway, the book feels like it runs in circles and gets super repetitive and you just want to finish it. It is not an easy or quick read despite the format because it wears you out.
I would give this as a gift to anyone who is entering the movie industry. I feel like the tone and some of the tips would be relevant to an industry person. However talking about movie execs from the 1930s - 1990s, you do feel that the book.is a bit dated.
Worth the read for an industry person but the bragging and self exaltation really wears thin early on with this book.
His book is interesting at times, long winded at others but mostly just a collection of seemingly unconnected anecdotes about screenwriters and the people the deal with. That's pretty much it. Not a really great read as far as I'm concerned.
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.
"The Devil's Guide to Hollywood" is like a cliff noted version of his memoir, plus a plethora of random sayings and stories from numerous celebrities.
If you're using this book as a how-to for screenwriting, you're not going to find much here in the way of pointers or inspiration:
Write 6 pages a day, 8 hours a day for 20 days, wait a few weeks, edit.
I recommend "Hollywood Animal" over "The Devil's Guide..." by far.
In the former, at least, Eszterhas mentions his first hand experience from his early days as a screenwriter, and the reader could garner some sort of appreciation at the dedicated intensity in which screenplays are written.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
1. Easy Read
2. Funny Parts
3. Motivated me to write faster.
4. Point on script readers/coverage is accurate.