Entertainment Book Club

Acting, Directing, Screenwriting Books - Selections

An Agent Tells All
Tony Martinez

'An Agent Tells All' is an uncensored look at the business of acting from the perspective of a working Hollywood agent. There is no other book on the market written by someone who is currently employed as an agent. In a frank and humorous tone, Tony Martinez lays out a detailed business plan to help actors achieve their goals. Some of the topics covered include: Tools of the Trade The Right Way to Get an Agent How a Meeting Can Go Horribly Wrong The Secret to Being a Good Client Do You Really Need A Manager? The Truth About Pilot Season It's time to stop listening to all the wrong people. 'An Agent Tells All' is the one book you need to take charge of your acting career.
-from Amazon

How to Stop Acting
by Harold Guskin (Author), Kevin Kline (Introduction)
Paperback: 208 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.54 x 8.22 x 5.48 Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st edition (June 25, 2003)

In How to Stop Acting, Guskin reveals the insights and techniques that have worked wonders for beginners as well as stars. Instead of yet another ¡°method,¡± Guskin offers a strategy based on a radically simple and refreshing idea: that the actor¡¯s work is not to ¡°create a character¡± but rather to be continually, personally responsive to the text, wherever his impulse takes him, from first read-through to final performance. From this credo derives an entirely new perspective on auditioning and the challenge of developing a role and keeping it fresh, even over hundreds of performances. Drawing on examples from his clients¡¯ work and his own, Guskin presents acting as a constantly evolving exploration rather than as a progression toward a fixed goal. He also offers sound and original advice on adapting to the particular demands of television and film, playing difficult emotional scenes, tackling the Shakespearean and other great roles, and more. His book will find an eager and appreciative audience among novices and established actors alike.

Notes on Directing
by Frank Hauser, Russell Reich
Hardcover: 160 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.72 x 7.96 x 5.06
Publisher: RCR Creative Press; 1st edition (February 15, 2003)

The classic guidebook to the director's craft. After 50 years in the theatre, English director Frank Hauser joins New York writer and director Russell Reich to bring you an inspirational and practical guide that critics are calling "provocative," "lucid," and "indispensable." Luminaries like Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Richard Eyre, Edward Albee, Moises Kaufman, Rosemary Harris, and Jerry Zaks have hailed "Notes on Directing" as "witty," "bold," "audacious," and "an instant classic." More than a how-to book, this is a tool for directors looking to translate the page to the stage ? or to the screen ? and is of immense value to actors, playwrights, students, and teachers. Essential for any student of film or theatre, here is what all directors need to know, and what every actor, scriptwriter, and audience member wants them to know. Includes four appendices, an original acting exercise, a recommended reading list, and an index.

Writing the Comedy Film: Make 'Em Laugh
by Stuart Voytilla, Scott Petri
Paperback: 180 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.59 x 9.10 x 6.02
Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions; (March 2003)

Take a journey into the world of laughter and discover how you can craft better comedy. Using concise examples from Preston Sturges to the Farrelly Brothers, from Duck Soup to American Pie, Voytilla shows you how to apply the "tenets of laughter" to your comedy writing. Learn the successful mechanics and characteristics of the essential comic story forms, how to plant effective comic setups and payoffs, visual and verbal bits and gags, and much more. KEY FEATURES: * Provides a detailed understanding of the comedy genre using concise examples from the comedy masters: from Duck Soup to Shrek. * Provides clear guidelines on the mechanics and characteristics of comedy films and shows how to apply them to writing. * Gives a good understanding of what makes us laugh.

Twelve Step Plan to Becoming an Actor in L.A.: New 2004 Edition
by Dawn Lerman (Author), Dori Keller (Author)
Paperback: 160 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.41 x 9.02 x 5.90
Publisher: iUniverse Star; (January 4, 2004)

Succeeding in acting is no accident. The Twelve Step Plan to Becoming an Actor in L.A. is an innovative step-by-step plan for turning dreams into reality. This one of a kind guidebook, written by two working actors turned casting director and drama therapist, will jump start any actor's career. Authors Dawn Lerman and Dori Keller navigate the actor month by month through a year in Los Angeles. The Twelve Step Plan to Becoming an Actor in L.A. is supplemented with acting and self-help exercises, monthly progress pages, career/financial worksheets, journal pages, inspiring quotations, and personal stories that complement and sustain the spirit. With every step, this in-depth text imparts key lessons from professionals. Lerman and Keller share the insider's black book of photographer referrals, classes, resume services, car rentals, insurance brokers, expert and affordable body/beauty services, and numerous other useful resources. The Twelve Step Plan to Becoming an Actor in L.A. is the new bible for aspiring actors in Los Angeles.

How to Adapt Anything into a Screenplay
by Richard Krevolin (Author)
Paperback: 218 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.64 x 9.02 x 6.04
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; (March 7, 2003)

From concept to finished drafta nuts-and-bolts approach to adaptations Aspiring and established screenwriters everywhere, take note! This down-to-earth guide is the first to clearly articulate the craft of adaptation. Drawing on his own experience and on fourteen years of teaching, screenwriter Richard Krevolin presents his proven five-step process for adapting anything?from novels and short stories to newspaper articles and poems?into a screenplay. Used by thousands of novelists, playwrights, poets, and journalists around the country, this can¡¯t-miss process features practical advice on how to break down a story into its essential components, as well as utilizes case studies of successful adaptations. Krevolin also provides an insider¡¯s view of working and surviving within the Hollywood system?covering the legal issues, interviewing studio insiders on what they are looking for, and offering tips from established screenwriters who specialize in adaptations. Outlines a series of stages that help you structure your story to fit the needs of a 120-page screenplay Explains how to adapt anything for Hollywood, from a single sentence story idea all the way to a thousand-page novel Advises on the tricky subject of just how faithful your adaptation should be Features helpful hints from Hollywood bigwigs award-winning television writer Larry Brody; screenwriter and script reader Henry Jones; screenwriter and author Robin Russin; screenwriter and author Simon Rose; and more

From Reel to Deal: Everything You Need to Create a Successful Independent Film
by Dov S-S Simens
Paperback: 418 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.10 x 9.14 x 6.14
Publisher: Warner Books; (July 1, 2003)

Based on his acclaimed "2-Day Film School"(tm), Dov S-S Simens serves up a flawless and detailed blueprint for creating successful independent films. With his signature in-your-face, no-holds-barred advice, the Godfather of Independent Film teaches readers everything they need to know to create full-length feature films. From screenwriting ("There are two types of scripts: It's great or it sucks!") to distribution ("Who are the whores of Hollywood?"), Simens provides encyclopedic, precise, and creative instruction for making a vision a reality. By the end of the book, readers will know exactly what to do to make their films.

Acting Is Everything: An Actor's Guidebook for a Successful Career in Los Angeles
by Judy Kerr
Paperback: 552 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.23 x 8.48 x 5.80
Publisher: September Publishing; 10th edition (April 2003)

This really is the ultimate guidebook for actors who are determined to initiate and sustain a successful acting career in Los Angeles or in their hometowns. Filled with practical advice, Acting Is Everything helps beginners avoid scams so they can get down to the business of getting work. Written by a renowned acting coach, it helps actors do it right the first time-saving them time, money and heartache. Enlisting the thoughts and advice of many Hollywood insiders, Kerr teaches actors to approach acting as an art, a business and a career, and gives them the tools to succeed in all three areas

The Biz: The Basic Business, Legal, and Financial Aspects of the Film Industry
by Schuyler M. Moore
Paperback: 373 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.79 x 8.98 x 7.02
Publisher: Silman-James Press; 2nd edition (February 2003)

Today's film industry is a legal and financial obstacle course that all independent filmmakers must learn to master. In view of this, The Biz--a highly accessible overview of the industry's important business, legal and financial aspect--is a must-read for all filmmakers. It includes thorough explanations and discussions of: Film-industry business jargon; Raising financing; Business structuring; Securities laws; Budgeting essentials; Dealing with the guilds; Loans; Completion guarantees; The legal and financial ramifications of distribution deals; Calculating net profits; Film-industry accounting practices and contingent payments; Copyright, publicity, and trademark laws; Screen credits; Talent demands; Litigation problems; Bankruptcy; Taxation of film companies; The Internet distribution of film . . . and much more. The Biz also includes a dozen useful sample forms and agreements.

Shaking the Money Tree: How to Get Grants and Donations for Film and Video
by Morrie Warshawski
Paperback: 200 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.52 x 8.98 x 5.99
Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions; 2nd edition (June 1, 2003)

Warshawski, a long time consultant on documentaries and narrative films, breaks down the various processes of fundraising by individuals, corporations, foundation, government grants, small businesses and non-profits. He gives different strategies for documentary filmmakers, for animators, for narrative filmmakers and for experimental film and video artists. He includes resources, such as a sample letter for fundraising written by a celebrity, a successful grant proposal and budget form for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a list of other helpful books and websites that will lead a filmmaker to direct funding sources. But the strength of SHAKING THE MONEY TREE is the way Warshawski educates the reader about how to think about fundraising

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