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Posted March 25, 2005
For any aspiring screenwriter who dreams of one day seeing his or her produced script up on the big screen, the daunting task of breaking in to a system that often appears to be completely closed off and totally uninterested remains the single most reason most writers never make it beyond a first draft. What with rejection, rejection, oh, and more rejection, making it big in Hollywood can seem like more of a longshot than winning a gazillion bucks in the PowerBall Lottery. But author, screenwriting teacher, speaker and all-around good guy Skip Press has written a comprehensive field guide to being a writer, hopefully a working one, in Hollywood. ¿The Ultimate Writer¿s Guide to Hollywood¿ is just that, the ultimate guide, sort of a Thomas Brothers road map that takes the writer on a journey through the pitfalls, detours, roadblocks and finally, to the straight and narrow road to success, with pages and pages of usable and motivating information. Press, the author of ¿The Complete Idiot¿s Guide to Screenwriting¿ and ¿How to Write What You Want and Sell What You Write,¿ acts as tour guide along the trip, which is both highly entertaining and informative each and every step of the way. Because the author has been there, done that, we readers get a real inside look at what it takes to break in, make a good first impression when you do get in, and stay in once you¿re in. This big, thick manual of screenwriting advise and inspiration covers everything from who you need to know, how to get to them, what to do once you find them, and how to make your writing, and yourself, marketable and desirable in a town that salivates over the next big thing. There are chapters covering networking, learning the ropes of pitching, going the indie route, working for television, the booming video game industry, foreign movie buyers and what they want, finding and working with managers and agents, locating producers who are willing to look at new writers¿ scripts, how to plan your career, focusing on the best genre for your writing style, speaking ¿Hollywoodese,¿ and how to find resources on the Net that can help get your writing read by the right people. The author also provides plenty of advise on where to learn more about production and selling to Hollywood, so that you can never say this book didn¿t lead you right where you needed to be. Throughout, the author provides readers with some of his own personal experiences working in the industry, and often these anecdotes provide more insight than all the other information combined. Press writes in a friendly, direct style that makes you feel like you are hanging out at Starbucks, talking with a buddy about the industry, although that buddy happens to be someone who knows the ropes, and Press is so open with his advise and willingness to educate and inspire, you wish you really did know him personally! As an aspiring screenwriter with some connections, I can truly say that this is high on my ¿all-time best screenwriting book¿ list of the dozens and dozens of books I¿ve read. It is not a ¿how-to¿ about structure or style or dialogue. It is, and this is what makes it worth its weight in gold (and it is a big, heavy book!) a priceless and essential weapon every screenwriter wanna-be should and MUST have in his or her arsenal. After all, it¿s a jungle out there!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.