Shoot out: Surviving the Fame and (Mis)Fortune of Hollywood

Overview

Two of Hollywood's major players come together to share their insights and anecdotes about the art and business of filmmaking in the twenty-first century. Inspired by the graduate course that they have taught at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, Shoot Out is animated by observations from more than three decades in Hollywood.

As Peter Bart and Peter Guber follow the path from the "eureka" of the original idea until the denouement of its appearance on late-night ...

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Overview

Two of Hollywood's major players come together to share their insights and anecdotes about the art and business of filmmaking in the twenty-first century. Inspired by the graduate course that they have taught at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, Shoot Out is animated by observations from more than three decades in Hollywood.

As Peter Bart and Peter Guber follow the path from the "eureka" of the original idea until the denouement of its appearance on late-night television, the driving force behind the narrative is the ever-present "shoot out"-the standoffs and confrontations, entanglements and dilemmas as writers, directors, producers, stars, and agents vie to put forward their own-often conflicting-agendas in the search for the Holy Grail. From the rise and fall of the studio system to the emergence of stars as entrepreneurs to the dynamic role of the independents, Shoot Out draws on a vision of the future as well as the repeated and often unheeded lessons of the past.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Everyone has a favorite film (or 2 or 20) that has served as a milestone in their life. For Hollywood executives Peter Bart and Peter Guber, the movie business is the road itself, and their job as studio executives has been to bring stories to the big screen that will create those watershed moments.

Bart and Guber's Shoot Out details the filmmaking and film-selling process, from the germination of an idea to the financial complexities of international distribution, a process that often entails bitter battles of will, compromise with fiscal constraints, and the pacification of the well-known mercurial characters that contribute to the final cut. This dynamic pair have provided a step-by-step tour of the inner workings of the movie business that is rare for its candor and insight. In essence, they have put on the printed page the content of the extremely popular course they teach at UCLA. Rich in star-studded anecdotes and historical references, this is a road map of the movie business.

Throughout, Bart and Guber's love of film is apparent, and their inexhaustible zeal shines through on every page. They retain a childlike giddiness that 30 years in the business, numerous sour deals, and the inevitable failures haven't been able to squelch. Indeed, Shoot Out is an elixir for anyone intrigued or infatuated with the magic of the movies. (Ann Kashickey)

Publishers Weekly
Writing in a direct, refreshing and honest style, Bart (Variety's editor-in-chief and a former v-p for production at Paramount) and Guber (the founder and head of Mandalay Entertainment and one-time production head at Columbia Pictures) offer an intimate view of the film industry and its unending economic, political and artistic clashes. While a reliable guide to the mechanics of movie making, the book is best at telling fascinating illustrative anecdotes that range from the scary (e.g., Frank Sinatra sending "one of his goons" to ensure that Roman Polanski would ask Sinatra's wife, Mia Farrow, to do only two takes of each scene on the set of Rosemary's Baby) to the charming (as when Guber is thrilled that Jimmy Stewart asks his opinion of a scene, only to realize that the star is interested in everyone's opinion, even the cleaning man's). This isn't a tell-all expos , la Julia Phillips's You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again, but rather an informal, highly entertaining step-by-step survey of how all the parts of filmmaking fit together. From a succinct history of how TV spots and trailers have been developed to the problem of casting and managing megastars (e.g., Bruce Willis ended up in the huge hit The Sixth Sense because he needed an $18 million loan to get out of an independent film), the authors convey with irony and good humor the reality that "[t]he so-called `creative industries' are big business," but despite the huge economic stakes involved, "the vision keepers will win in the end." (May 13) Forecast: Shoot Out's curious mix of behind-the-scenes mechanics and funny anecdotes will help it reach two audiences: die-hard industry followers and curious moviegoers. Bart and Guber are high-profile guys with plenty of PR and publicity contacts; expect boffo sales. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Most popular films are the end product of unique, creative filmmaking talent and technical expertise. However, sometimes the personalities involved in the production of a film steer the direction that the film takes. In this book, two filmmaking production veterans, Bart (editor in chief of Variety) and Guber (founder, Mandalay Entertainment), tell stories about the people who have affected the reality of popular film. Their years in the industry give them the wherewithal to relate all kinds of interesting anecdotes about famous directors, screenwriters, studios, and other members of Hollywood film production society past and present. In some entertaining asides, Bart and Guber trade off giving short sidebars on famous personalities in the film industry. The result is an insider's view of how some of the most popular films in history were made and subsequently consumed by the public. This will appeal to evolving filmmakers and others interested in learning about the day-to-day process of getting movies into production and up on the screen. Recommended for media libraries and academic libraries emphasizing popular film. David M. Lisa, Wayne P.L., NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Two Hollywood insiders describe the power struggles that "vision keepers" confront to get a film produced. Guber, the producer of and , teaches a class at UCLA with Bart, editor-in-chief of and a former studio executive. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399148088
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/9/2002
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Bart, editor-in-chief of Variety and Daily Variety, has been a reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He has played key roles in developing and supervising such films as Rosemary's Baby, True Grit, The Godfather, Paper Moon, and Harold and Maude. He served as vice president for production at Paramount, senior vice president at MGM, and president of Lorimar Films. He is the author of several books, including Who Killed Hollywood? and Fade Out.
Peter Guber, the founder and head of Mandalay Entertainment, has served in a variety of key executive posts, ranging from head of production at Columbia Pictures to president of Sony Entertainment. He has been associated with many award-winning and successful films, including The Deep, Midnight Express, Rain Man, Batman, and Enemy at the Gates. He has been a faculty member at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television for more than twenty years, where he established and teaches, with Peter Bart, a graduate course in the Independent Film and Television Producers program.

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Table of Contents

Roll Credits 1
1. Eye of the Storm 5
2. The Holy Grail 31
3. The Mapmakers 61
4. The Alchemists 81
5. The Illuminati 109
6. The Zookeepers 135
7. The Golden Rule 153
8. The Crucible 187
9. The Dream Merchants 211
Reshoots 255
Bibliographical Note 263
Index 265
About the Authors 275
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2003

    Great Insider Look - Couldn't put it down

    This was an incredible read. It was thorough, it was lighthearted, it was informative, and the authors' personal reflections at the end of each chapter are a nice touch. As a film lover/student, I found this extremely engrossing, as well as unbelievably entertaining, even hilarious at times. A definite recommendation!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2002

    Hollywood Campfire Tales

    I had a chance to hear Bart and Guber speak at the Los Angeles Times Book Fair about this book and to meet them at the book signing afterward. My initial interest was in trying to find out if the stories you hear about guys like this are true. Was Guber really the type of person depicted in Kim Masters' book 'Hit and Run'? Was Bart really the most hated man in Hollywood as a recent Los Angeles Magazine article suggested. Was Shoot Out (a loaded title if I ever heard one) the chance for these two guys to launch a full scale assault against their numerous critics? If that's what anyone is expecting (I know I was) you might be a bit disappointed. But it's not all bad. This book is an interesting guidebook through the process of making movies from A to Z and I have to admit that it was a pretty enjoyable read. These guys have been in the entertainment business a long time and clearly know a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to making movies. I found many of the stories and anecdotes amusing and relevant not only to 'the industry' (in which I toil away at a menial production job currently) but relevant to many business practices in general. In a way, I respect them for not pandering to the lowest common denominator and writing a Lynda Obst or Mike Medavoy style tell all (in case you haven't noticed I read way to many of these types of books). Shoot Out is not a great book, but for anyone who wants to learn about the true inner workings of Hollywood from two guys who've held a bunch of high level jobs, it is well worth your time.

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