BREAKING IN by Nicholas Jarecki


How 20 Film Directors Got Their Start
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Candid, captivating interviews reveal how various filmmakers seized success.

Aspiring director Jarecki, a recent NYU Film School grad, gained access to 20 artists who run the gamut from mainstream Amy Heckerling (“I’m the world’s biggest Mean Streets fan, but because I did Look Who’s Talking, I have this house and my daughters go to a good school”) to quirky Abel Ferrara, creator of the violent exploitation flick Ms.45. As Jarecki and his animated subjects reveal, among the few ways to become a director are writing a script, making low-budget independent films, and working for a production company. After enduring a torturous interview at a stock brokerage house, Ben Younger took a job as a waiter so he’d have time to write Boiler Room, a film about Wall Street. When Younger served lunch to a studio executive, he had a screenplay ready to sell. To raise $25,000 for the production of In the Company of Men, Neil LaBute contacted car-accident survivors who had won large insurance settlements. Peter Farrelly delights with his tale of jumping into the industry with a marvelous script but no experience. Misleading New Line studio executives into believing that he could direct Dumb and Dumber, Farrelly suffered a panic attack on the first day of shooting when the truth came out. Although Jarecki asks each person the same routine questions, he reaps surprising answers every time. Kim Pierce, director of Boys Don't Cry (1999), was denied a college scholarship because her uneducated parents refused to sign admission forms. Pierce’s intimate account of filming the story of “sexual misfit” Teena Brandon reveals how some directors are driven to express their own personalities through their characters. We also gain insights into the talents of John Carpenter (Halloween, 1978), Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, 1998), John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy, 1969), and many others.

Inspiring true stories about once-common folk who made their career dreams reality.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7679-0674-8
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Broadway
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2001


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