This is a not entirely edifying tour that leaps from Hollywood to New York and is based upon interviews with professionals in every field from a smiling official ""greeter"" to Twentieth Century Fox's right-hand man Stanley Hough to Paramount's big ""Chief"" to Patty Duke and Karl Malden, and underground experimentalists Stan Vanderbeek and Jonas Mekas. There is a disconcerting range of opinion about the business and how to break in and the advice is as ephemeral as the many slightly mad spirits who give it. Everyone has his own notion about what one's background should be and what direction one's career should take. The general consensus is that a good liberal arts background is helpful; dedication and a gambling spirit are essential. The effect may be discouraging but at least this does point up some of the harsher realities of the business. Unfortunately it's not only bemusing, it's confusing.