Reel Power: The Struggle for Influence and Success in the New Hollywood (William Morrow 1986). BOOK
Mark Litwak provides the most comprehensive look at the film business since Hortense Powdermaker's Hollywood, The Dream Factory, published thirty-five years ago. Using interviews with 200 film insiders, including Jane Fonda, Barry Diller, Robert Altman, Martin Sheen, Robert Evans and Paul Newman - to name only a few of the writers, directors, performers, agents, producers and journalist he quotes at length - Litwak leads us through the maze of power and politics in Hollywood. In the process, he cites specific examples, tears down myths, relates anecdotes and reveals the inner workings of the industry. This is the original hardcover book that is New.
Original New Hardcover Book $ 4.95
"[Litwak] is an astute observer of the business...[He] interviewed 200 members of the movie industry and each chapter of the book...is filled with pertinent anecdotes, as well as with an extremely intelligent and sound analysis of the various aspects of the business."
"This is the story of the real power behind behind filmmaking; the agencies, the studio heads, the dealmaking, what's commercial, breaking in, moving up, holding on, the writers, directors, actors and stars, producers, sex, drugs and creative accounting, and Hollywood journalism... Delicious, shivering horror."
- Kirkus Reviews
'Final Cut'' have given us glimpses of the beast, but Mark Litwak`s ''Reel Power'' is the first that lets us look the monster in the face. Unflinchingly evoking its outward appearance, courageously dissecting its inner organs, and dispassionately describing its bizarre feeding habits, Litwak`s work is a chilling study of that frightening, irrational creature that is the New Hollywood." -Chicago Tribune
The author talked to people in all branches of the business, and the result is an objective, clear-sighted account of an industry that stresses making deals over making films.There are numerous situations cited in the text that strike one as crosses between satire and tragedy. Readers may wonder how a good movie ever gets on the screen. - Publishers Weekly
In Reel Power, Mark Litwak provides the most comprehensive look at the film business since Hortense Powdermaker's Hollywood, The Dream Factory, published thirty-five years ago. Using interviews with 200 film insiders, including Jane Fonda, Barry Diller, Robert Altman, Martin Sheen, Robert Evans and Paul Newman - to name only a few of the writers, directors, performers, agents, producers and journalist he quotes at length - Litwak leads us through the maze of power and politics in Hollywood. In the process, he cites specific examples, tears down myths, relates anecdotes and reveals the inner workings of the industry.
Litwak tells the story of how Hollywood works today: Agents are more powerful than studio heads. Writers are paid fortunes but are powerless to prevent their scripts from being mutilated beyond recognition. Studios are led by lawyers and ex-agents who know little about moviemaking and are so worried about keeping their jobs that they are reluctant to risk trying new talents or ideas, preferring to make formula pictures with established stars. Studios are owned by conglomerates more interested in short-term profits than long-term development. Chapter by chapter, Litwak X-rays each element of the film system. He uncovers the truth about casting couches (they rarely exist these days), drug use (it is widespread), and creative accounting (the problem is usually in the contracts, not the accounting).
Case histories, such as the story of the movie Rhinestone, illustrate this information. How could a film with a good script, a promising director, two top box-office draws and studio enthusiasm become a commercial and critical flop? And there is the description of the most powerful man in Hollywood - Michael Ovitz, head of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which represents many of the biggest stars, and where talent is brokered, "properties" are packaged and enormous profits are made.
Reel Power documents the triumph of deal-making over moviemaking, showing how quality and even commercial appeal have been subordinated to the deals, the connections, the power plays, the ego trips. Inside the complex, labyrinthine, unavoidably political world of the movies, those who succeed are not the most talented and intelligent but the most tenacious and savvy. The movies themselves are increasingly a homogenized product designed for mass consumption as the studios vie to create the next blockbuster. Yet the studios' reluctance to take risks, and their wasteful practices, jeopardize their future.
Part consumer guide, part sociological survey, part business report and part gossip column, Reel Power is indispensable reading for anyone in the film business
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Welcome to Hollywood
2. The Rise of CAA
3. The New Power Brokers
4. Inside the Studios
5. Studio Business
6. What's Commercial
7. Breaking In, Moving Up, Holding On
11. Actors and Stars
14. Distribution and Exhibition
15. Independent Filmmaking
16. Sex, Drugs and Creative Accounting
17. Hollywood Journalism