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The Hollywood Assistants Handbook: 86 Rules for Aspiring Power Players Paperback – May 7, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As a former assistant myself, I know well the dirty little secret of Hollywood ... all knowledge resides with the Hollywood Power Player's assistants; they are the ones who know how to get things done. The only danger in reading this book is that if you become too good an assistant, your boss will never let you go on to bigger and better things. Read this book—it will tell you what to do!"
—Laura Ziskin, producer, Spiderman 1, 2, and 3 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

It's the assistant, and here at last is the essential book for how to get a foot in the door and begin your exhilarating climb to Hollywood Power Player. The Hollywood Assistants Handbook is the ultimate insider's guide, packed with practical tips, unwritten rules (#37: Please don't touch the celebrities), quizzes, industry secrets, humor and advice ("Giveaways are never given. They're traded. Most likely for your soul…") All of it priceless knowledge for anyone who's ever dreamed of making it in la-la land.
Been there, done that, kept notes:
• Minimum-wage workplaces to put you in the path of HPPs
• Perfect that resume
• Homework: the must-see movies, the must-read books
• What to wear to your first interview
• Boss genres and personality types
• The 18 favorite insults
• How to roll calls
• Swag!
• To gift or not to gift: the holiday dilemma
• Why there is nothing better than interns
• The 20-10-10 trick to reading a screenplay
• Your very own entourage
• Appropriate company party behavior
• Fail up
• Knowing when to quit
• Rolodex management
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; annotated edition edition (May 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761147462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761147466
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was actually the first book I had ever read when preparing for my career search in the talent agent realm. There were a few reasons for this. First of all, I knew so much that this was a beginning stage of breaking into the career (if not the mailroom, of course). Second, it's an easy read. A concise 208 pages broken into 86 separate chapters. I love reading books like that because it's easy to feel accomplished when you crack away at 5 chapters in a day in your spare time! Third, it seemed like a good way to get a broad perspective on what it's all about being an assistant, or the agent itself. Finally, and most importantly, I found myself in a situation where I could put these rules to use, which made them much easier to comprehend and capitalize upon.

The book is broken into 5 major parts that serve to lead you to situations as they would (supposedly) happen in your actual career. As we know, nothing is predictable. I did find some of the lingo to be interesting and good to know, though I'm not sure everything they say is important in the book really is.

A lot of the content itself is nothing shocking, but it does allow you to consider whether this is something you really want to consider as a starting point of a career. Look, you might not love it, but it's temporary, as long as you stick to it and give it your all at least.

Mostly, just keep conscious of the lessons and take notes on what you really need to. That's subjective to everyone, of course. For me, I was unfamiliar with some of the terminology used on occasions, so I made a point to note that. However, I already know how to deal with certain personalities, and I don't get star-struck, so those sections I breezed by.
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Format: Paperback
As a production assistant, I found some of the material useful. I think it's more for a development office or an agent's desk.
It's a good book to help people decide if they really want to enter the entertainment industry.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sort of a silly book, but I suppose that was the point. It becomes very repetitious , saying over and over "your boss is a jerk and you MUST do whatever she asks you to." Say that on page one, turn this into a poster or infographic, and save a whole lot of digital trees!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't care for this book. Didn't finish it. I had to read it for a class at film school. Overall most of the advice was fine (if a little basic) but it was written in such a snarky, I'm-more-clever-than-you tone that it was hard to get in to. (I had the same problem with Snyder's "Save The Cat") I'm sure if you can get passed the style, there is information to glean here. But I just couldn't do it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only was it an interesting read, but it provided very helpful and essential tips for surviving as an assistant in Hollywood. When I worked in LA, I found myself seeing a lot of truth to what Peter Nowalk wrote in this handbook. Definitely worth picking up!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked the personal stories they added and the titles of the chapters. They covered every aspect of the job and I feel more prepared now. Thanks! Good luck to all my co-sufferers! Don't worry, a promotion is on the way. :)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is seriously funny! i had just moved to LA and got this as a gift from a friend. had a list of all the classy restaurants hang outs and lingo thats associated with la la land. a must read. definitely entertaining!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very insightful and point on for the industry. A MUST for agency and celebrity assistants. Not as complete from the writer office side of PA/Assistanting but there's more than enough overlap to still be 100% worth the read.
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