REEL POWER: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood by Mark Litwak

REEL POWER: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Barracuda time in Hollywood--an even more depressing survey of corporate savagery than Steven Bach's Final Cut or David McClintick's Indecent Exposure. This is the story of the real power behind filmmaking: the agencies, mainly Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the studio heads, the deal-making, what's commercial, breaking in, moving up, holding on, the writers, directors, actors and stars, producers, marketing, distribution and exhibition, independent filmmaking, sex, drugs and creative accounting, and Hollywood journalism. Especially to be screwed are the most powerless, the architects of the script: the screenwriters. ""Some directors don't even allow writers on the set. These directors are so arrogant that they believe they alone can best make last-minute script changes, or they are so insecure that they feel their authority is threatened by the presence of a writer who may disagree with them. . .""'[The] writer [on the set] is very much like a hooker who has been fucked and paid and is there by sufferance,' says Stirling Silliphant."" The power today, says Litwak, lies not with studio heads but with the agents who straddle both the creative and the business sides of movie-making and who put together the costly packages that studios find themselves buying. But agents are constantly being sucked away from agencies and hired as studio heads. Meanwhile, the whole film world carries on an open season on writers, cheating them, stealing from them, using them like Kleenex. Says one screenwriter: ""They ruin your stories. They massacre your ideas. They prostitute your art. They trample your pride. And what do you get for it? A fortune."" Delicious, shivering horror.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1986
Publisher: Morrow