Herewith the showbiz-industry bibles — the serious-minded as well as the salacious — that best epitomize life in or behind the spotlights. Read ’em, and they might make you a star.
Both a professional memoir and practical guide, in which Lumet — whose 44 director credits include 12 Angry Men and The Pawnbroker — dissects the filmmaking process, from picking the script to the movie’s first screening.
EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS
A scintillating history of how the finest directors of a fine film decade — the 1970s — lit up Hollywood with gems like The Godfather, Chinatown, and Taxi Driver even as they were flaming out from bingeing and bad behavior.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS
Donald S. Passman
Passman provides a nuts-and-bolts guide to the business and legal sides of the music industry. The recently released fourth edition pays close attention to the changing electronic frontier and the Internet.
SPIKE, MIKE, SLACKERS & DYKES
In his entertaining history of the recent American art-movie business, Pierson explains the luck of timing, the importance of marketing, and the politics of indie-film financing and festivals.
ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE
Goldman, a two-time Academy Award winning screenwriter for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men, takes readers on an irreverent ride into Hollywood’s inner recesses. His conclusion: When it comes to why and how films get made, ”nobody knows anything” — which has become a Hollywood mantra.
THE FIRST TIME I GOT PAID FOR IT…WRITERS’ TALES FROM THE HOLLYWOOD TRENCHES
Edited by Peter Lefcourt and Laura J. Shapiro
This collection of 54 essays from writers like Cameron Crowe and Delia Ephron proves that no beginning — whether crafting phone-sex scripts or editing a welding magazine — is too humble.
THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
With an early promise not to ”Strunk you over the head with rules about style,” Lerner, a former editor in New York’s top publishing houses, provides inspiring, uncondescending advice for writers.
ACTING AS A BUSINESS
O’Neil, a former talent agent and personal manager, shares his business savvy in this slim, practical-minded actors’ guide that covers everything from approaching agents to assembling resumes.
In his enduring classic, the former casting director of Broadway shows (Gypsy, Chicago) and films (The Graduate, The Sound of Music) outlines his 12-step approach to nailing auditions.
A & R
A onetime rock critic and current senior VP for VH1, Flanagan’s wry novel about an A&R (artists and repertoire) man turned sour by a corporate-minded business serves as fair warning for would-be music moguls who still believe in peace, love, and rock & roll.
WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN?
On the Waterfront screenwriter Schulberg introduced the fictional Sammy Glick to audiences almost 60 years ago, but this archetypal Hollywood character’s ruthless climb up the ladder is no less entertaining — or informative — today.