James W. Seymore
October 25, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Letter from the editor

The odds are as long as scoring the winning lotto ticket at your local gas station. Yet year in and year out, thousands flock to film schools and acting classes, hit the road with their bands, and spend countless hours tapping out the screenplay they hope will set Hollywood on its ear. They dream the impossible dream: to see their name in lights. If you’ve ever fantasized about breaking into showbiz, then this is the issue for you. And as for the rest of you, we’re betting you’ll find plenty to entertain you in these pages as we demystify the process of becoming the next Scorsese, Sarandon, or Stipe. We’ve divided this special package into three sections, each chock-full of valuable insider tips: ”Getting Started,” complete with a guide to choosing the right film school; ”Catching a Break,” which just may convince you that starting in the mailroom is an excellent career strategy; and ”Staying Alive,” with advice on how to remain on top once you’ve arrived there.

Here’s where we clue you in on everything from how to secure funding for an indie movie to dressing for success in the land of excess.

The idea for this issue originally came from Norman Pearlstine, Time Inc.’s editor in chief, and ”we finally made it happen,” says EW executive editor Peter Bonventre. ”I’m assuming that not a few of our readers have stars in their eyes. And who knows? If what they read here helps them a little in realizing their Hollywood dream, maybe they’ll remember us when we come asking for an interview.”

Aiding Bonventre in this production: assistant managing editor Maggie Murphy and special projects editor Cynthia Grisolia, who played leading roles; senior editor Tina Jordan; photography director Sarah Rozen and art director John Walker (along with assistant picture editor Nola Tully and designer Sean Bumgarner), whose cinematic vision graces every page; and reporters Bob Cannon, Rebecca Dameron, Amy Feitelberg, Raymond Fiore, Alice M. Lee, Allyssa Lee, Joshua Rich, Erin Richter, and Lisa Levy, who know that success lies in the details. If we’re all lucky, this stellar team will still be around when EW covers your first masterpiece.

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