The Hollywood Assistants Handbook: 86 Rules for Aspiring Power Players

The Hollywood Assistants Handbook: 86 Rules for Aspiring Power Players

by Hillary Stamm, Peter Nowalk
     
 

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Are you young, eager, smart, and heading off to LA to make it big in the entertainment business? Time for a reality check: Leave your diploma at home, put your grandiose dreams on hold (where hopefully they'll get tired and hang up), and start by repeating the first rule of the industry: Who you work for is more important than who you are. Then leapfrog

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Overview

Are you young, eager, smart, and heading off to LA to make it big in the entertainment business? Time for a reality check: Leave your diploma at home, put your grandiose dreams on hold (where hopefully they'll get tired and hang up), and start by repeating the first rule of the industry: Who you work for is more important than who you are. Then leapfrog over everyone else by reading The Hollywood Assistants Handbook.

Written by two very sharp and successful assistants to HPPs (Hollywood Power Players), here are 86 lessons packed with a combination of blunt truth, insider humor, and juicy secrets that explain the unwritten rules of how to get a foot in the door and make all the right moves as you climb to the top. Here are the minimum-wage jobs that will put you in the path of HPPs. An annotated resume roundup. The clubs to frequent and the cocktails to order. Movies to watch and books to read (it's called homework). Dressing do's and don'ts. How to get on the Free List. A lineup of boss genres—the Horror Show, the Romantic Comedy, Mr. Action—and how to dodge the tirades that will soon be hurled your way, along with the proper outlets for venting. Plus, the ins and outs of your most important tool, the telephone—when to listen in (always!), who to put through and who to put off, and your new best friend forever, the Plantronics CS70 cordless headset.

With its hilariously snarky tone—the gate-keeping quiz is "How to Tell if You're a Moron Who Should Pack Up the Corolla and Move Back Home"—The Hollywood Assistants Handbook is as baldly entertaining for everyone who loves reading about Hollywood as it is indispensably practical for the job-seeker.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761147466
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
357,870
Product dimensions:
4.94(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

You and your best friend have just road tripped all the way from Ohio with the VW Jetta packed to the brim and visions of champagne and caviar dancing in your head. Your BFF Mandy is going to be an extra until someone notices she’s the next Rachel McAdams, while you’re going to be the next Scorsese and rock everyone with your brilliant art house film about female empowerment in a small Sudanese village.

Slow down. Before you swagger on stage to accept that Oscar, you’re going to want to brush up on what is known as the informational meeting. Yes, you’re going to want to call up every person you know in this town and set up a time to talk to them. That includes the line producer you met in the Coffee Bean, your uncle’s friend who edits trailers for all of Jerry Bruckheimer’s flicks, and that chick from high school who supposedly dated Jon Stewart.

It may not seem worthwhile right now, but these are the same people who may be able to recommend you for that dream job later. The more you learn about the various facets of the Biz by taking the time to meet FOFs (Friends of Friends) the better off you will be in the long run. Sure, Jason’s friend Cassy seems like a snot, but she works for the president of production at Buena Vista (that’s Disney, in case you didn’t know, sport). So ask her out for coffee already. You never know when that huge opportunity is right around the corner, and it’s hard to find the time if you’re too busy drafting your Best Director acceptance speech.

What do you do in the meeting? Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions, most of which should revolve around the person with whom you’re meeting. Everyone likes to talk about themselves, after all. You’ll get your chance one day.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"As a former assistant myself, I know well the dirty little secret of Hollywood ... all knowledge resides with the Hollywood Power Player's assistants; they are the ones who know how to get things done. The only danger in reading this book is that if you become too good an assistant, your boss will never let you go on to bigger and better things. Read this book—it will tell you what to do!"
—Laura Ziskin, producer, Spiderman 1, 2, and 3

Meet the Author

Peter Nowalk was born in New Jersey and is a graduate of Brown University. He worked as an assistant at an agency, production company, and major studio before becoming a writer. He resides in Los Angeles.

Hillary Stamm, raised in Seattle, Washington, is a graduate of Stanford University. She's worked for a bevy of production companies, as well as the chairman of a motion picture studio. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles and is working on her first novel.

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