The script-writer's place in the Hollywood has traditionally been somewhere near the bottom of the food-chain, 'Below the heads of publicity but above the hairdressers' said screenwriter Donald Ogden Stewart.
In this vastly entertaining book, Marc Norman seeks to reverse that perception by tracing the whole history of the industry from the perspective of the oft-abused and much-derided individuals who actually provided the foundations upon which the directors, stars and studio bosses erected their titanic egos. He takes us through the early days of silent movies when teams of anonymous hacks churned out storylines and sub-titles on a weekly basis, through the 20's and 30s, when it sometimes seemed as if half of Manhattan had relocated to California as the studios sought to corral literary lions in their gilded cages, into the dark days of McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklists and on into the era of the auteur and the rise of the writer-director.
Along the way we learn how movies were made - and how close many came to never being made; glean choice bits of hard-won wisdom: 'Emotionally involving the audience is easy,' advised George Lucas.
About the Author
Marc Norman won two Oscars for Shakespeare in Love in 1999, one for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (with Tom Stoppard) and another for Best Picture (shared with Donna Gigliotti, David Parﬁtt, Harvey Weinstein, and Edward Zwick), along with a Golden Globe, a Writers Guild Best Screenplay Award, a New York Film Critics Circle Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Silver Bear Award from the Berlin Film Festival. He lives in Santa Monica, California. This is his ﬁrst work of nonﬁction.
"'The movies: they tear you away from your home, draw you into a pigsty of people, make you do stuff that disgusts you, rip out all your ambition of inventiveness, reduce you to a hack - and what do you get for it? A fortune.' Screenwiter Samuel Hoffenberg 'Will you accept three hundred per week to work for Paramount Pictures? All expenses paid. The three hundred is peanuts. Millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Don't let this get around.' Telegram from Herman Mankiewicz (who wrote Citizen Kane) to Ben Hecht (who wrote The Front Page) 'They're destroying my script. They're wrecking my beautiful story' Paddy Chayefsky on the filming of Altered States 'Naa, you know, what he did was cross out a lot of stuff that I wrote, and he told me to do this and that, and we usually fought about it, and sometimes he really f**ked things up.' Robert Towne, on being asked if Warren Beatty, who got the first credit, had written any of the script for Shampoo"
Number Of Pages: 553
Published: 1st April 2008
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6