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Hello, He Lied: And Other Truths from the Hollywood Trenches Hardcover – September, 1996
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Hollywood producer Lynda Obst (Flashdance, Sleepless in Seattle) recounts her own battles in Hollywood's trenches--from her beginnings as a journalist to her current role as the maker and breaker of careers. Like other "classic" Hollywood books--Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger and You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again by Julia Phillips--Hello, He Lied is saturated with sleaze and proves, once again, that most of Tinseltown's stars are seriously lacking in the upstairs department.
From Publishers Weekly
In her first book, movie producer and former New York Times Magazine editor Obst creates a peculiarly Hollywood kind of hybrid, a memoir/survival guide that describes what it's really like to get a movie made while still managing to say something nice?or at least benevolently neutral?about everybody in power. Obst left a dream job at the good gray Times to become a "development girl" (scouting material and overseeing script writes) for hyper-ambitious studio head Peter Guber. From Guber she learned that success means never going to a meeting (or doing anything) without a strategy. Her strategy here is to portray herself at work, describing how she has learned to handle tough situations and tough people. Thus, supermogul David Geffen, who once mused during a meeting that she should consider collagen shots, is praised for his personal manager-like interest in his employees' lives. Obst distills her experience into a coda for survival. She knows not to buck major trends ("Ride the Horse in the Direction Its Going," reads one chapter title). She knows when to put projects on the back burner ("Putting It on the Roof"). Above all, she understands the "Tao of Power," as explained in a chapter that reads like a contemporary Hollywood version of The Art of War: "The secret that all powerful people know is that no one else gives you power.... With power, there is no permission to be granted. Permission must be seized." At times, the writing is awkward: "The latent energy that makes imploding friendships so dangerous is the fact they are playlets of this familial struggle." But there are gems in the gravel. Obst's rundown of the difference between an arty "fuzzy girl" as opposed to an Armani-wearing "crisp girl" is worth the price of admission. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
You think you want to be a Hollywood producer? This book might be for you: the author worked her way up partway (she was, after all, listed as a producer on Interstellar) and has some amusing examples of conversations with footnotes as to the true motives behind the words. She also provides useful rules for various aspects of the business. In fact, these may be the true value of this work, as these rules are applicable well beyond the craziness of Hollywood. She also provides useful information for women in business, where there is plenty of room for improvement. Also in academe.
If you are reading this for insights into individuals, it may be less useful, as it was published in 1996.
If you are a wannabe writer, director, agent or studio mogul, reading this or anything else will not help.
Towards the end it gets a bit self-serving, as others have noted.
Most recent customer reviews
every Page is Like Torn from the authors Personal Black Book.Read more