Screen & TV Reference

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The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made
By Chris Gore
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100 Years of American Film
by Frank Eugene Beaver (Editor)
Library Binding
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The Big Deal: Hollywood’s Million-Dollar Spec Script Market
by Thom Taylor So, you want to write a movie. You could do worse than read The Big Deal, a collection of funny, horrible, and/or inspiring stories of Hollywood break-ins by former Oliver Stone employee Thom Taylor. What’s most striking about the book is the madly random nature of films’ gestations. Allison Anders got her break (and off welfare) via the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowship (one of several competitions Taylor recommends). Total Recall was optioned for $1,000 16 years before it got made. The Elephant Man script got to its producer because the coauthor’s girlfriend baby-sat for him. Alien only got made because Steven Spielberg liked it. Andrew Kevin Walker, the Tower Records clerk who wrote Seven, wrote a letter to then barely known screenwriter David Koepp (Bad Influence), who improbably hooked him up with a deal that collapsed partly because the studio’s co-owner was distracted by becoming the president of Italy. Various moguls rejected and almost destroyed the story; Brad Pitt saved it, and it grossed $340 million. “If Hollywood scoured the earth looking for the world’s top furniture designers,” Taylor writes, the studios “would bring them all to Los Angeles to design $6 plastic chairs to sell at the local Wal-Mart.” But it’s the only Hollywood we’ve got, and Taylor has got its number.
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The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics
by Sydney Ladensohn Stern
Herman J. (1897–1953) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909–1993) wrote, produced, and directed over 150 pictures. With Orson Welles, Herman wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane and shared the picture’s only Academy Award. Joe earned the second pair of his four Oscars for writing and directing All About Eve, which also won Best Picture. For this first dual portrait of the Mankiewicz brothers, Sydney Ladensohn Stern draws on interviews, letters, diaries, and other documents still in private hands to provide a uniquely intimate behind-the-scenes chronicle of the lives, loves, work, and relationship between these complex men. “Beautifully researched and deftly structured….This model biography tells a story of two gifted brothers, only one of whom exceeded expectations. But underneath the surface wit and brio, The Brothers Mankiewicz is a harrowing tale of a subtly lethal sibling rivalry that ultimately strangled them both.” – Scott Eyman, Wall Street Journal
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Chaplin and Agee: The Untold Story of the Tramp, the Writer, and the Lost Screenplay
by John Wranovics
More a dual biography than a close analysis of a literary document, Wranovics’s account is a deft profile of two artists he clearly admires, and he takes care to underscore the surrounding social and political concerns. But while the book is well-researched, it’s bogged down by dry prose, out-of-place commentaries, and lengthy asides. More seriously, Wranovics fails to present an illuminating argument about the two men’s friendship, admitting, “to what extent, if any, Agee’s ideas served as an influence on Chaplin is impossible to say.” But while the novice historian’s thesis could be sharper, there’s no denying the cultural significance of his study.
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Camp TV: Trans Gender Queer Sitcom History
by John Wranovics
Sitcoms of the 1950s and 1960s are widely considered conformist in their depictions of gender roles and sexual attitudes. In Camp TV Quinlan Miller offers a new account of the history of American television that explains what campy meant in practical sitcom terms in shows as iconic as The Dick Van Dyke Show as well as in more obscure fare, such as The Ugliest Girl in Town. Situating his analysis within the era’s shifts in the television industry and the coalescence of straightness and whiteness that came with the decline of vaudevillian camp, Miller shows how the sitcoms of this era overflowed with important queer representation and gender nonconformity. By charting this unexpected history, Miller offers new ways of exploring how supposedly repressive popular media incubated queer, genderqueer, and transgender representations.
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Created By: Inside the Minds of TV’s Top Show Creators
by Steven Prigge (Author), Ted Danson (Foreword)
As entertaining as it is enlightening, Created by . . . presents a stellar cast of 21 show creators, including J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost), Alan Ball (Six Feet Under), Mark Brazill (That ’70s Show), and Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), who candidly talk about writing and selling hit television series.
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The Dorama Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese TV Drama Since 1953
by Jonathan Clements, Motoko Tamamuro
Deeply connected to Japanese anime, manga, music, and film is . . . Japanese TV. This encyclopedic survey of the next cultural tsunami to hit America has over one thousand entries–including production data, synopses, and commentaries–on everything from rubber-monster shows to samurai drama, from crime to horror, unlocking an entire culture’s pop history as never before. Over one hundred fifty of these shows have been broadcast on American TV, and more will follow, perhaps even such oddball fare as a Japanese “The Practice” and “Geisha Detective.” Indexed, with resources for fans, couch potatoes, and researchers.
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Future of Television: Your Guide to Creating TV in the New World
The book’s journey into the future of television begins with “You Are Here,” delving into “The Great Convergence” of television and Internet and the vortex of change we all inhabit now. Then, glancing back, we explore “The Old World” of broadcast television to understand how we got to this moment of transition. Next, traveling “Between Worlds,” we visit cable television and see how the boundaries between network, cable, and Internet are mutating. After that, we enter “The New World” that ranges from empires like Netflix and Amazon down to Kickstarter-funded web series, and all the creative expressions that abound. Finally, we look ahead to the “Far Frontier” of interactivity and transmedia and a distant, fantastic future. All these experiences are focused on how a writer, producer, director, or entrepreneur can use the emerging possibilities to create original television now and in the coming decade.
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Gotta Minute? Sell Your Screenplay: Your Guide to the Independent Film and Television Producer
by Andrea Leigh Wolf
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Hollywood Rolodex: Over 3,000+ Valuable Industry Contact Listings to get your script SOLD
by Deidre Berry
From the publisher: “Attention screenwriters: If you have a well-written screenplay, then you have a valuable commodity in your hands, and Hollywood is looking for you! Is your script perfect for Will Smith or Steven Spielberg, but you just don’t know how to go about contacting them? Not to worry; with the Hollywood Rolodex you now have valuable contact information for some of the industry’s biggest A-list players.
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The Hollywood Rules
by Anonymous
They say that the one rule in Hollywood is there are no rules. There are, however, a series of “conventions” that exist, that if properly adhered to, will significantly smooth that otherwise rocky road to a career in film and television. While there’s no substitute for talent and just plain old perseverance, there’s also no excuse for handling yourself naively in a pitch meeting or acting like an ass when meeting a Really Big Star. Here, with this insider’s guide, you’ll be able to avoid the traps and pitfalls that have stymied so many other creative people and realize your full potential as a writer, director or producer.
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Hollywood Said No: Orphaned Film Scripts, Bastard Scenes, and Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show
by David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn
Odenkirk and Cross, who created and starred in the HBO sketch-comedy series Mr. Show, offer up the scripts to their two unproduced features as well as several sketches. The first of the scripts, Bob and David Make a Movie, finds Odenkirk and Cross on a quixotic journey throughout Hollywood to get their movie green-lit. They brave fast-talking doctors, Korean movie bootleggers, and sleazy producers. Before skewering Hollywood, Odenkirk and Cross penned Hooray for America, which finds David as an improbable candidate for president, backed by a sinister chemical company, while Bob, after being humiliated on national television, ends up working as the diabolical company’s mascot.
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Hollywood Screenwriting Directory: A Specialized Resource for Discovering Where & How to Sell Your Screenplay
by Writer’s Store Editors
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I Liked It, Didn’t Love It: Screenplay Development from the Inside Out
by Rona Edwards, Monika Skerbelis
The most commonly used rejection line spewed by studio executive honchos when they do not buy a script is, “I liked it, didn’t love it.” What happens to your screenplay or novel when it leaves your hands and is submitted to a studio or production company? What happens to it after it’s optioned or sold? What does “in development” really mean? Rona Edwards and Monika Skerbelis will shed light on all those questions for both those who are new to the business, and those already journeying through the “storied” halls at a film studio, television network, or production company.
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Inside the Room: Writing Television with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
What does it take to go from being a fan to professional television writer? For the first time outside of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Programme classrooms, TV writers whose many produced credits include The Simpsons, House M.D., and Pretty Little Liars take aspiring writers through the process of writing their first spec script for an on-air series, creating one-hour drama and sitcom pilots that break out from the pack, and revising scripts to meet pro standards. Learn how to launch and sustain a writing career and get a rare, intimate look inside the yearlong process of creating, selling, and getting a TV show made.
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Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards
Discover the illustrations that inspired the historic, Oscar-winning film’s every shot in this graphic novel drawn by Director Bong Joon Ho himself. As part of his unique creative process, director Bong Joon Ho storyboarded each shot of Parasite prior to the filming of every scene. Accompanied by the film’s dialogue, the storyboards he drew capture the story in its entirety and inspired the composition of the film’s every frame and scene. Director Bong has also written a foreword and provided early concept drawings and photos from the set, which take the reader even deeper into the vision that gave rise to this stunning cinematic achievement.
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Party in a Box: The Story of the Sundance Film Festival
by Lory Smith
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The Screenwriter’s Legal Guide
by Stephen Breimer
This authoritative guide will help both fledgling and established writers to negotiate the best deal, protect their work, and get fair compensation for it. One of the most powerful entertainment lawyers in Hollywood provides easy-to-understand, expert advice on all the legal issues involved in the business of screenwriting. He gives an enlightening explanation of the screenwriter’s position in the industry and then provides a thorough discussion of contracts, options, and working with agents and lawyers.
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“The Script is Finished, Now What Do I Do?”: The Scriptwriter’s Resource Book and Agent Guide
by K. Callan, Barry Wetmore (Illustrator)
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Sharp Cut: Harold Pinter’s Screenplays and the Artistic Process
by Stephen H. Gale
Best known as one of the most important playwrights of the twentieth century, Harold Pinter has also written many highly regarded screenplays, including Academy Award-nominated screenplays for The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Betrayal, collaborations with English director Joseph Losey, and an unproduced script for the remake of Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of Lolita. In this definitive study of Pinter’s screenplays, Steven H. Gale compares the scripts with their sources and the resulting films, analyzes their stages of development, and shows how Pinter creates unique works of art by extracting the essence from his source and rendering it in cinematic terms.
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Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show
by Tara Bennett
The official companion to the documentary Showrunners, this highly informative book features exclusive interviews with such acclaimed and popular showrunners as Joss Whedon, Damon Lindelof, Ronald D.Moore, Terence Winter, Bill Prady, Shawn Ryan, David Shore, and Jane Espenson.
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Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community
by Saul Austerlitz
Astute and bursting with information — “an entertaining treat for sitcom fans and a valuable contribution to TV history.” — Kirkus Reviews
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Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business
by Lynda Obst
Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.
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Sundancing: Hanging Out and Listening in at America’s Most Important Film Festival
by John Anderson
Book Description: Every winter, 8,000 feet above sea level in the Utah snow, the hopes and dreams of young moviemakers are put on display at the Sundance Film Festival — the haven for independent films where you can show up a kid and go home a star. John Anderson, chief film critic for New York Newsday, attended his ninth Sundance in 1999, but this time he did more than screen films and leap for tables at overbooked restaurants. He interviewed performers and filmmakers of all kinds, including top prize winners, but also uncovered the effect of all this ballyhoo on the indie film scene–and on the bemused Park City locals. Together, they form the most candid, most fascinating, most hilarious, and most human-sized coverage of the Sundance Film Festival ever achieved.
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Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made?
by David Hughes
A compulsively readable journey into the area of movie-making where all writers, directors and stars fear to tread: Development Hell, the place where scripts are written, actors hired and sets designed… but the movies rarely actually get made! Whatever happened to Darren Aronofsky’s Batman movie starring Clint Eastwood? Why were there so many scripts written over the years for Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’s fourth Indiana Jones movie? Why was Lara Croft’s journey to the big screen so tortuous, and what prevented Paul Verhoeven from filming what he calls “one of the greatest scripts ever written”? Why did Ridley Scott’s Crisis in the Hot Zone collapse days away from filming, and were the Beatles really set to star in Lord of the Rings? What does Neil Gaiman think of the attempts to adapt his comic book series The Sandman? All these lost projects, and more, are covered in this major book, which features many exclusive interviews with the writers and directors involved.
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This Business of Screenwriting
by Ron Suppa
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This Business of Television
by Howard J. Blumenthal, Oliver R. Goodenough
This comprehensive guide to the legal, economic, and production aspects of the industry has been completely revised and restructured to reflect the rapid changes in television today, both domestically and internationally. A user’s guide to television contracts, plus directories of associations, government agencies, and producers and distributors, make this book an invaluable resource for anyone involved with — or simply interested in — the business of television.
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The Oxford History of World Cinema
by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
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When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry
by Rosanne Welch;Foreword by Cari Beachamp (Author), Rosanne Welch (Editor)
This collection of 23 new essays focuses on the lives of female screenwriters of Golden Age Hollywood, whose work helped create those unforgettable stories and characters beloved by audiences–but whose names have been left out of most film histories. The contributors trace the careers of such writers as Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Lillian Hellman, Gene Gauntier, Eve Unsell and Ida May Park, and explore themes of their writing in classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ben Hur, and It’s a Wonderful Life.
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The Writer Got Screwed (But Didn’t Have To): A Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry
by Brooke A. Wharton
You’ve got to love a lawyer who advises, “Don’t make your lawyers rich.” Entertainment lawyer Brooke A. Wharton provides an authoritative and, yes, entertaining primer for the beginning entertainment writer not just on the legal and business issues of writing for the industry, but also on how to get a career jump-started. The first section covers copyright, libel, and contracts, so that if you can’t “control the exploitation of your scripts and written work … at least [you’ll] know when you’re being screwed.” The following section delineates the murky differences between the roles of agent, lawyer, and manager. The gist of it is that you don’t need all three, but which ones you need depends on the type of person you are and the type of agents/lawyers/managers they are (industry insiders are not prone to job-title limitations). The next section has a series of interviews with writers, agents, and a producer, all of whom help to enlighten us about the various writing jobs the industry offers, from film to television to cyberspace. (If you’re surprised to learn that “most writers working in the film industry do not make their living from the sale of a spec screenplay,” I’ve got a good deal for you on some land in Florida.) Finally, there are lists of competitions, fellowships, internships, and agencies. And what about jump-starting that glamorous career? Contacts, baby. Contacts. And wouldn’t you know, if you ain’t got ’em, Wharton’s got great advice on how to make ’em.
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The Writers: A History of American Screenwriters and Their Guild
by Miranda J. Banks
The only comprehensive qualitative analysis of the history of writers and writing in the film, television, and streaming media industries in America. Featuring in-depth interviews with over fifty writers — including Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, and Frank Pierson — The Writers delivers a compelling, behind-the-scenes look at the role and rights of writers in Hollywood and New York over the past century. Granted unprecedented access to the archives of the Writers Guild Foundation, Miranda J. Banks also mines over 100 never-before-published oral histories with legends such as Nora Ephron and Ring Lardner Jr., whose insight and humor provide a window onto the enduring priorities, policies, and practices of the Writers Guild. Published on the sixtieth anniversary of the formation of the Writers Guild of America, this book tells the story of the triumphs and struggles of these vociferous and contentious hero-makers.
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