Hollywood loves making movies about Hollywood, but those films are rarely worth anything to anybody outside of the industry. And it’s even rarer that these films give any real sense of what the world of movie making is actually like. Which is why Barton Fink and Sunset Boulevard are such gems - they’re not just great movies about making movies, they’re great movies period. And they both happen to be about how tough it is to be a screenwriter, and what sorts of sacrifices and whoring you have to do to succeed.
Which is exactly what Writing Movies For Fun And Profit: How We Made A Billion Dollars At the Box Office And You Can, Too! is about. Written by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, this book is the single most honest and actually useful guide for working screenwriters I have ever seen. Fuck saving the cat, this book will tell you exactly how to pitch, what your parking pass location means the studio thinks about you and where to find every In ‘n Out in Los Angeles. This isn’t a book for people who want to make Minnesota mumblecore but a book for people who want to make a living making movies people actual see.
The book is in stores now, and to celebrate Lennon and Garant are throwing a screening at the New Beverly tomorrow, showing those two aforementioned classics. I understand Sunset Boulevard - by the immortal Billy Wilder - is a brand new print. And Lennon and Garant will be there, answering your questions about The State as well as just how big a dick Billy Crystal is (in the book they reveal he’s apparently a huge asshole).
Click here to buy tickets. If you’re in LA you should be going to see these movies no matter who is presenting them - what a killer double feature. And I strongly recommend the book as well, which you can buy below.