Published on Feb 25th 2013, BREAKING INTO HOLLYWOOD is a new addition to the Guerilla Filmmaker Pocketbook series. Written by Genevieve Jolliffe, the book details – unsurprisingly – how to “break in” to Tinseltown and is divided into two parts:
Part One is “Working In Hollywood” and looks at such important elements as the studios and how they break down; what agents do and the various types (large vs boutique), plus Managers; Lawyers and what they do; fees; pitching; packaging; how Television works; The Writers’ Guild of America and The Directors’ Guild; even The Art of Schmooze and the various expressions and words you’ll hear and what they mean! Oh and there’s the whole writing thing as well of course!
Part Two is “Living In Hollywood” and looks at the tricky processes of getting a Visa or Green Card; why you should always carry your ID on you at all times; The Police and Roadside Assistance; Night Life; Tax; Social Security Numbers; Film Trades websites and much more.
As someone who has always fancied dabbling a foot in the water across the pond, I think it’s a great book that offers some really cool insights for Brit writers and filmmakers. Here’s my top 3 reasons for buying it:
1) It’s short … I’m always colossally busy and spend my day reading, so reading outside work too?? No thanks … Usually. Yet this book is short and compact, well laid out and can be digested in short chunks with handy “post its” summing up chapters throughout the book that we’ve come to associate with Guerilla Filmmaker, along with great quotes from the likes of Producers like Jeremy Bolt; Todd Hoffman, an agent at ICM; and Hollywood Pitching King Bob Kosberg.
2) … And to the point. Genevieve gives the information in typical no-nonsense fashion, but never once does it feel overwhelming. I am a poor traveller since I always panic at the thought of going to far away places as it seems like far too much trouble – yet this book got me fired up and interested in the possibility of going on Gen’s Hollywood Field Trip, which I have heard consistently good things about from the Bang2writers. There is also added value to the book, since there are also online resources especially for reader, including seminars on pitching in Hollywood; how an actor & filmmaker with no contacts landed the SAW franchise; selling your script in LA – and more!
But most importantly:
3) It’s by a writer and filmmaker who’s been there and done it! I’m always suspicious of academics writing about screenwriting and filmmaking; whilst I don’t feel they are entirely invalid of course, I prefer to get my information from those who have actually done what they’re writing about. Genevieve and her husband Andrew Zinnes actually moved out to LA and did all the things she outlines in this book. What’s not to like, there?
If you’re interested in breaking into Hollywood, or even if you’re just curious about what goes into US filmmaking and how it differs to our industry, this book offers a great “crash course”, breaking down all the details for you; plus it offers great online resources for the reader, including seminars. A good value, clear and no-nonsense little tome. Recommended.
UPDATED — COMPETITION NOW CLOSED
To be in with a chance of winning a FREE hard copy of BREAKING INTO HOLLYWOOD, answer this question:
What are the other two names the “finder” is known by in Hollywood?
Find out by downloading chapter one.
Once you know, EMAIL YOUR ANSWER ONLY to Bang2writeATaolDOTcom, with “Hollywood” in the subject line by 5PM (GMT) Friday, March 22nd, 2013 [CONTEST NOW CLOSED].
The winner will be picked at random from the correct answers after the above date and sent a copy of the book. Tell all your filmmaking and writer friends!
UPDATED — COMPETITION NOW CLOSED
AND THE WINNER IS … Watch the video
Buy the book for your Kindle, here.
Buy as a hard copy book, here.
Find out about Hollywood Field Trip, here.