By D.A. Ball
Updated February 11, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

What’s it like to play a sex scene with Tom Cruise or Sharon Stone? Where do screenwriters get their ideas? Why are smart actors nice to costume designers? You’ll find out in From Script to Screen: The Collaborative Art of Filmmaking, filled with richly informative interviews with actors, screenwriters, producers, designers, editors, composers, and almost everyone else involved in creating movies. Robin Williams, cinematographer Haskell Wexler, and director Peter Weir are especially articulate. The only drawback to the interviews: No one seems willing to criticize anyone else, so they’re enlightening but never candid. The weakest voices are those of the book’s editors, who gush about how wonderful it all is, and even think The Crying Game, a British import, was a Hollywood movie. Nonetheless, read this book, then watch (or re-watch) Dead Poets Society, the subject of its best interviews. You’ll like films much more when you know how they’re made. B+