Friday, July 13, 2012

review: writing movies for fun and profit by robert ben garant & thomas lennon

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (the guys who wrote Night and the Museum and Reno 911!: Miami amongst others) lays out, step-by-step, what you need to know to write a movie and get it sold.  The keyword here is profit.  The authors focus on studio blockbusters because that’s where the money is.  Two big pieces of advice are to write something that’s entertaining and to always be writing.  In fact, half of page 15 is taken up with the big, bold words, “Always be writing.”  It’s written with a comical approach, but the advice is very real; these guys aren’t going to coddle your dreams.  They explain you will likely be fired from your own movie, but you can be rehired or asked to work on another film if you handle things well.  For those looking for slightly more serious guidance, the authors include sample outlines (one of which is for the never produced sequel to Reno 911!: Miami) and a detailed glossary of movie industry terms.

My favorite chapter is titled, “I’m Drinking Too Much, Is That a Problem?”  The answer is no, drinking helps with your writing.  I’ve long thought this might be true (I wrote some brilliant papers in college), so I was beyond pleased to receive confirmation from two very successful writers.  (How successful, you ask?  Well, the introduction says their screenwriting has made $1,467,015,501 and counting.)  Now off to find some vodka.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Touchstone Books.

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