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Reel Power: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood

Reel Power: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Mark Litwak
Publisher: Silman-James Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 336
Pub. Date: 1986
ISBN-10: 1879505193
ISBN-13: 9781879505193

About the Book:

Reel Power by Mark Litwak is a comprehensive look at how today's Hollywood works — who has the power and how deals are made. Part consumer guide, part sociological survey, part business report and part gossip column, Reel Power is indispensable reading for anyone in the film business.

Drawing on interviews with more than 200 top film industry insiders — agents, packagers, writers, directors, producers, performers, distribution people and journalists — Mark Litwak leads you through the maze of Hollywood politics. Well-written, and filled with case histories of specific films, Reel Power tears down myths, relates anecdotes, and reveals the inner workings of the Hollywood film business.

Mark Litwak tells the story of how Hollywood works today: Agents are more powerful than studio heads. Writers are paid fortunes but are powerless to prevent their scripts from being mutilated beyond recognition. Studios are led by lawyers and ex-agents who know little about moviemaking and are so worried about keeping their jobs that they are reluctant to risk trying new talents or ideas, preferring to make formula pictures with established stars. Studios are owned by conglomerates more interested in short-term profits than long-term development. Chapter by chapter, Litwak X-rays each element of the film system. He uncovers the truth about casting couches (they rarely exist these days), drug use (it is widespread), and creative accounting (the problem is usually in the contracts, not the accounting).

Reel Power documents the triumph of deal-making over moviemaking, showing how quality and even commercial appeal have been subordinated to the deals, the connections, the power plays, the ego trips. Inside the complex, labyrinthine, unavoidably political world of the movies, those who succeed are not the most talented and intelligent but the most tenacious and savvy. The movies themselves are increasingly a homogenized product designed for mass consumption as the studios vie to create the next blockbuster. Yet the studios' reluctance to take risks, and their wasteful practices, jeopardize their future.

What people say:

"A Baedeker to Hollywood … an intelligent perceptive guide through the labyrinths of Studio corridors, Byzantine behavior, and baffling mores of the Hollywood scene." — Steven Bach, Author of Final Cut

"[Litwak] is an astute observer of the business...[He] interviewed 200 members of the movie industry and each chapter of the book … is filled with pertinent anecdotes, as well as with an extremely intelligent and sound analysis of the various aspects of the business." — Newsday

"This is the story of the real power behind behind filmmaking; the agencies, the studio heads, the dealmaking, what's commercial, breaking in, moving up, holding on, the writers, directors, actors and stars, producers, sex, drugs and creative accounting, and Hollywood journalism…. Delicious, shivering horror." — Kirkus Reviews

"A painfully accurate look at the movie business today. A real eye-opener." — James Bridges, Director, Urban Cowboy, The China Syndrome

"Fascinating in its pertinence and exacting in its description of the day-to-day processes involved in setting up a movie…. It is a primer for anyone interested in the movie business. If you want to earn your living in Hollywood, read it and save five years apprenticeship." — American Film

"Such books as McClintick's 'Indecent Exposure' and Bach's 'Final Cut' have given us glimpses of the beast, but Litwak's Reel Power is the first that lets us look the monster in the face … a chilling study of that frightening creature that is the new Hollywood." — Chicago Tribune

"Accurate…. An exhaustive breakdown of the industry today." — L.A. Weekly

"…Unprecedented detail on the fragmentation of the executive power in Hollywood … Litwak is on solid ground." — Fortune

About the Author:

Mark Litwak is a veteran entertainment attorney with offices in Beverly Hills, California. His practice includes work in the areas of copyright, trademark, contract, multimedia law, intellectual property, and book publishing. Litwak also functions as a Producer's Representative, assisting filmmakers in the financing, marketing and distribution of their films.

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