Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!

by Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant

Hardcover(Simon & Schuster)

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Overview

This is the only screenwriting guide by two guys who have actually done it (instead of some schmuck who just gives lectures about screenwriting at the airport Marriott); “These guys are proof that with no training and little education, ANYONE can make it as a screenwriter” (Paul Rudd).

Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon’s movies have made over a billion dollars at the box office—and now they show you how to do it yourself! This book is full of secret insider information about how to conquer the Hollywood studio system: how to write, pitch, structure, and get drunk with the best of them. Well…maybe not the best of them, but certainly the most successful. (If you’re aiming to win an Oscar, this is not the book for you!) But if you can type a little, and can read and speak English—then you too can start turning your words into stacks of money!

This is the only screenwriting book you will ever need (because all other ones pretty much suck). In these pages, Garant and Lennon provide the kind of priceless tips you won’t find anywhere else, including:

• The art of pitching
• Getting your foot in the door
• Taking notes from movie stars
• How to get fired and rehired
• How to get credit and royalties!

And most important: what to buy with the huge piles of money you’re going to make!

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit will take you through the highs and lows of life as a professional screenwriter. From the highs of hugging Gisele Bündchen and getting kung fu punched by Jackie Chan to the soul-crushing lows of Herbie: Fully Loaded.

Read this book and you’ll have everything you need to make your first billion the old-fashioned way—by “selling out” in show business!

A portion of the authors’ proceeds from this book are being contributed to the USO of Metropolitan Washington, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving active duty military members and their families in the greater Washington, DC, region.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439186756
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 07/05/2011
Edition description: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Thomas Lennon attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where he co-founded the influential sketch comedy group The State. He and Ben Garant have written nine feature films together, including: Night at the Museum, Taxi, Reno 911!: Miami, Balls of Fury, and The Pacifier. Tom has also appeared as an actor in numerous films. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the actress Jenny Robertson and his son, Oliver.

Robert Ben Garant spent the early nineties in New York, with the comedy group The State on MTV. He and Tom Lennon then created two more hit shows on Comedy Central: Viva Variety and Reno 911! Since relocating to Los Angeles, he’s written films for Disney, Spyglass, Imagine, Warner Brothers, Columbia, Paramount, New Line, Dimension, and Universal Pictures. Please visit WritingMoviesForFunandProfit.com.

Table of Contents

Foreword John Hamburg ix

Introduction xi

Part 1 Selling Your Movie

1 Getting Started in Hollywood 3

2 Why Isn't Anyone Buying My Brilliant Script? 11

3 How to Pitch Your Movie 18

4 Joining the Writers Guild of America, West 24

5 I Sold It! Now What Happens? 29

6 Idiot Check 38

7 Coverage! or How a Kid Getting College Credit Can Make or Break Your Movie! 51

8 Have I Made It Yet? 55

9 They Love My Script! ... and I Got Fired? 59

10 Why Does Almost Every Studio Movie Suck Donkey Balls? 62

11 The Art of Nodding or How to Take Notes 71

12 Directors 82

13 Producers 89

14 Herbie: Fully Loaded 92

15 Redlighting or How to Get Your Movie Un-Greenlit! 101

16 Turnaround 108

17 How to Pimp Your Movie 110

18 Naysayers 114

19 The Silver Lining 116

20 Our Lunch with Jackie Chan 120

21 Credit$ 124

22 Living in Los Angeles 130

Part 2 Writing a Screenplay

23 If Your Screenplay Doesn't Have This Structure, It Won't Sell, or Robert McKee Can Suck It 147

24 In a Few Pages, We'll Teach You How to Formulate Characters in a Script 154

25 How to Write a Screenplay 166

26 Writing Action and Description 170

27 Advice for Writing with a Partner 175

28 Rewrites: You Want It When? And I'm Getting Paid What?!?!?!!? 180

29 Martin Lawrence Has a Few Thoughts or How to Take Notes from a Movie Star 188

30 Arbitration or Who Wrote This Crap? 193

31 Sequels! 198

32 Getting the Book Rights 201

33 I'm Drinking Too Much. Is That a Problem? 204

34 Final Thoughts 208

Appendix Sample Outlines 211

Glossary 295

Acknowledgments 313

Index 315

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Writing Movies for Fun and Profit 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
l_manning on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I should start by mentioning that I have no interest in writing a screenplay. I do however love The State, Viva Variety, and Reno 911!, so I was very familiar with the authors of this book. Naturally I was dying to read it. It was everything I expected and more. There was tons of humor mixed with some really useful information. My favorite section was probably the chapter on determining if you had made it in Hollywood by where the different studios sent you to park. Through all the humor, you get a real sense of passion for writing. They don't just do this for money; they write because they feel compelled to. They go through their process of writing an outline, pitching to studios, and then writing the screenplay. There is also a lot of useful information about how the studio system works and what to expect from the entire movie making process. I also learned a lot about all the different writing and production credits and the arbitration system with the writing guild. It's all very complex and fascinating. Clearly if you are interested in writing screenplays, there is a lot of useful information here. Even for us non-writers though, there is so much stuff to learn from this book. Naturally, it's all relayed with tons of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in movies. It is sure to entertain!Galley provided by publisher for review.
l_manning More than 1 year ago
I should start by mentioning that I have no interest in writing a screenplay. I do however love The State, Viva Variety, and Reno 911!, so I was very familiar with the authors of this book. Naturally I was dying to read it. It was everything I expected and more. There was tons of humor mixed with some really useful information. My favorite section was probably the chapter on determining if you had made it in Hollywood by where the different studios sent you to park. Through all the humor, you get a real sense of passion for writing. They don't just do this for money; they write because they feel compelled to. They go through their process of writing an outline, pitching to studios, and then writing the screenplay. There is also a lot of useful information about how the studio system works and what to expect from the entire movie making process. I also learned a lot about all the different writing and production credits and the arbitration system with the writing guild. It's all very complex and fascinating. Clearly if you are interested in writing screenplays, there is a lot of useful information here. Even for us non-writers though, there is so much stuff to learn from this book. Naturally, it's all relayed with tons of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in movies. It is sure to entertain! Galley provided by publisher for review.