You do not have to want to be a screenwriter to enjoy “Adventures in the Screen Trade.” This is a fun read, and if you do want to be a screenwriter, you can get to that in the latter chapters.
Two-thirds of this book are wonderful stories about dealing with Hollywood studio big wigs, the ego-filled attempts to deal with the stars and figuring out how to get your next job - even if you are one if not the top screenwriters in Hollywood.
You’ll learn about the stars who jacked up the pay scale and how they did it; why rewrites are the bane of the business; how the final script can look like the first one from years ago; and how Hollywood meetings are like most other meetings - a waste of time.
The growth of the importance of the star to all that is Hollywood is fascinating. Author William Goldman dealt with them and the multitude of trials and tribulations that came with it. Great reading.
You’ll smile a lot.
Goldman brings this to us having written the screenplays for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Harper,” “The Stepford Wives,” “All the President’s Men” and “A Bridge Too Far” to name a few.
You get the feeling reading the book that Goldman was never blinded by Hollywood’s bright lights. In fact, the bright lights brought the human condition into better focus and that shines through in this work.
I was not aware of just how the screenplay defines not just the words, but the very movements of the actors. Goldman’s stories on some of the actors demands for just what those movements would be and why is pure gossip you’ll love.
While this book was published in 1983, the stories are fresh and relevant. The movies may be from another time, but the human interactions in the Hollywood milieu are as true today as then.
“In Hollywood, no one knows anything.” ― William Goldman
“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the 50 cents.” ― Marilyn Monroe
Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2019 season is his 13th with the club and 34th covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County, for the 8th consecutive year, have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March.
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