Monday, September 19, 2011

Writing Movies For Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at The Box Office and You Can, Too!

Lennon and Garant have written a book, part how-to, part slapstick, and the title pretty much says it all. 

Writing Movies For 
Fun and
 Profit:  How We Made a Billion Dollars at The Box Office and You Can, Too!

Probably you know their work: Reno 911, the remake of Herbie, and the Night at the Museum movies.

Not the kind of DVDs you are going to put on your rack with Citizen Kane or Casablanca, for fear of corrupting the images by association, but as they point out, their movies have racked up a billion and a half dollars, so they do have some idea of what sells.

Geeks, but rich and successful geeks. And smart enough to figure out what works, including some good advice on software, writing it tight, rewriting, and writing some more. 

They tell you what they think will sell, and how to go about doing it, all the while taking potshots and cheapshots at all things Hollywood. I found it amusing, a fast read, and based on my limited experience in The Biz, all-too-true. 

Things like, if you write and sell a movie, chances are 99% that you'll be fired as soon as you turn it in. The producers will say, "It needs fresh eyes ..." And how to deal with that. 

They cover the ins and outs of what to do, and what not to do, who not to piss off, and how to talk with Movie Stars, as opposed to Movie Actors and Personalities.

Hollywood, they say, is like a gorgeous young woman with great legs ...

Great legs. And Alzheimer's ...

If you are thinking about getting into the LaLaLand game, this would be a good book to have read first. It's raucous, profane, and funny in spots, though I think they sometimes go over the top. Do we really need a list of every In-and-Out Burger location in SoCal? That runs for pages and pages? They do have an idea of that about which they speak, however. Worth checking out. 


Joe said...


The Alzheimers symptoms are not limited to Hollywood. When I started at a company in Milwaukee I immediately put together a series of procedures for purchasing similar to the automotive companies. They took about half of the procedures, put them in place and gave me a thank you and a transfer to a different department. A lateral promotion.

The procedures worked so well that the manager went back, grabbed my old file and put the rest of the ideas into action. Since they were "his ideas" he got promoted and received a bonus that probably would have paid off most of my mortgage.

Since I don't respond well to this type of BS - I left the company.

I don't think I'd do well in Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

Is this implying that a MWNM movie may be in the works?

- Anon E. Mouse

Steve Perry said...

Well, I'd be the first to hope that a movie of TMWNM would hit the silver screens soon, and there is that option in play. Mark Kilbane is hustling, but as of now, the script is still circulating. Some traction, but a long way from finishing that race.

No, I just pointed out the book because I liked it and thought it a worthwhile read.

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