From the Publisher
"These two guys are the reason Night at the Museum won so many Oscars"
"These guys are proof that with no training and little education, ANYONE can make it as a screenwriter."
“These guys probably ripped off everything in this book just like they do in all their screenplays. That would explain why it’s actually kind of good.”
“Tom and Ben are two of the writers currently working in Hollywood. I can add they make a ‘profit’ on each of their writing jobs, as I believe they have very little overhead. Therefore, they are clearly qualified to write this book. Having not read it, I can tell you that it is uproariously funny, perhaps the best book on writing ever."
—Zak Penn, Film Screenwriter & Director
"Tom and Ben's valuable insight into writing for a Volkswagen bug and creating the ‘Lawrence of Arabia of Ping Pong films’ make this book far more informative to the young dramatist than the vastly over-rated ‘Aristotle's Poetics.’"
—Jonathan Glickman, Film Producer, President of MGM, Motion Picture Group
“Ben and Tom are a great fit for me. I love working with talented writers and then telling people everything was my idea. This is a great book, that I pitched to them a while back... I'm thrilled that they finally got around to writing it.”
“Some screenwriters have a knack for capturing the heart and soul of characters, the nuance of themes, the richness of the human experience. And some are like Tom and Ben.”
—Shawn Levy, Film Director & Producer
Garant and Lennon are best known as the creators and stars of Reno 911. Their credits include screenwriting Night at the Museum, The Pacifier, and Taxi, to which they can add authoring the first screenwriting manual that is as entertaining as it is informative. Names are dropped (riotously abruptly in the cases of Billy Crystal and Sandra Bernhard), war stories are told (Herbie Fully Loaded went from original concept to cinematic disaster via one executive), and lunches with Jackie Chan are had (the book's anecdotal apex). What is most impressive is the practical advice mixed in among the aforementioned. Readers learn rudimentary structure, formatting, and the requisite work ethic (type until you get carpal tunnel syndrome). Garant and Lennon also include information about Swiss chalets, foreign sports cars, and five-star restaurants in the Eiffel Tower for when readers hit it big. VERDICT A unique combination of the practical and the whimsical makes this an essential addition to the screenwriting manual canon.—John Frank, Los Angeles P.L.
A hilarious and helpful insider's guide to launching a successful writing career in Hollywood.
The co-creators of the TV series Reno 911 and such films as Night at the Museum Garant and Lennon take a gut-busting stab at the published world in their first book. Unapologetically designed as "a guide to writing hit movies that make you and the studio piles of money," the authors offer invaluable advice that much of Hollywood would shudder to reveal. And they would know—the pair has grossed "$1,467,015,501.00 and counting at the box office." Garant and Lennon take on the Goliath-like task of explaining the entire screenwriting process from pitching to selling, studio development to a practical guide to writing with a partner (which they swear will have "you writ[ing] twice as fast as you would without"). They emphasize the importance of both humor and practicality, both of which are imperative tools to a successful career working in "the Dream Machine." The authors demystify the secretive world of screenwriting in Hollywood by offering tips on everything from sequels ("Never discuss the sequel before the movie comes out!") to, arguably, the biggest question of all: "Why does almost every studio movie suck donkey balls?" Their answer: "Development Hell."They even provide helpful hints on how to discern one's importance to the studio, suggesting that "the easy way to tell what the studio's opinion of you is where...they let you park."
The only compass readers will ever need to navigate the treacherous waters of filmmaking.