Despite interesting insights from Paul Haggis, Walter Kirn, Rex Pickett, Vikas Swarup and others, this disjointed,...

MAKE YOUR STORY A MOVIE

ADAPTING YOUR BOOK OR IDEA FOR HOLLYWOOD

A book about writing or adapting for the screen that doesn’t seem to fit its title.

The target readership for this Hollywood how-to guide would seem to be readers who already have a script in hand (or at least a very strong idea) and a chance of beating the astronomical odds for a newcomer to see her vision realized on the screen. “[T]his book will lay down the ground rules,” writes Marlow (Nano, 2004), “explaining what Hollywood looks for in source material and in screenplays, what’s involved in creating a good—or great—adaptation, and how to find help, or strike out on your own.” In the process, the author offers standard screenwriting advice such as “classically structured films have three major acts and seven plot points.” Yet there are many books already available for the aspiring screenwriter, and this book aims to distinguish itself by shifting the focus to adaptation, thus introducing a whole set of complications and challenges that the novice will be ill-equipped to handle. Unless the writer is adapting her own source material, there are all sorts of negotiations over rights and credits, along with advice that won’t be of much help to an outsider. Yes, you’ll improve your chances by packaging your adaptation with a proven director and a bankable star, but what are the odds of that? Yes, having well-connected representation might help, but, the author suggests, “Hollywood ‘reps’ (meaning agents and managers) are notoriously hard to land. In fact, if getting a book agent is the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest, then finding a good manager is something akin to, say, a journey to the moon—and landing an agent more like a mission to Mars.” Good luck with that.

Despite interesting insights from Paul Haggis, Walter Kirn, Rex Pickett, Vikas Swarup and others, this disjointed, often-repetitive book fails to find its purpose or focus.

Pub Date: Dec. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-00183-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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