Lights, camera, inaction!--as we follow seven recent, and surprisingly dull, film-school grads trying to succeed in...

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WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS DIRECT: Seven Film School Graduates Go to Hollywood

Lights, camera, inaction!--as we follow seven recent, and surprisingly dull, film-school grads trying to succeed in Hollywood. As it now exists, the American movie industry is predicated largely upon saying ""No."" And if you're fresh out of film school, like the seven in this book, the odds against you are overwhelming. Over the three-plus years they were tracked by Frolick, an entertainment journalist and New York University film school graduate, only one of them managed to direct a feature film. The rest eked out semi-precarious livings in a variety of freelance film jobs. Most of these filmmakers hardly seem the sort to inspire confidence in a studio exec. While they may be a diverse group (black, white, gay, straight), they are almost identical in their unreflective narcissism and their obsession, not so much with films, as with the idea of being FILMMAKERS! In fairness, they aren't helped by Frolick's style of writing. All too rarely does he break into their otherwise ceaseless monologues to provide perspective, commentary, or the occasional brief but revealing interview with an industry professional. And he neglects one of screenwriting's cardinal rules: Create characters the audience cares about. There is also very little here on the film school experience and how it prepared (or didn't prepare) these filmmakers for the realities of Hollywood. Frolick does succeed in capturing the strange, arbitrary nature of the business: He makes clear that any of these seven could become established filmmakers. Once you've cleared the low talent hurdle, he suggests that success is more a question of luck, persistence, and good connections than any special gifts or abilities. Frolick's debut effort features some boffo scenes, but it's much too talky, and poor performances and awkward editing will likely limit its box-office appeal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1996