The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God!

The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God!

Joe Eszterhas

Language: English

Pages: 416

ISBN: 0312373848

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"There's just one hunk of funny anecdote after another, quotes from everyone who ever mattered in the movie biz, and the thing is jam-packed with screenwriterly advice. Plus it's hilariously funny, ribald, sexy and brilliant."―Liz Smith

In The Devil's Guide to Hollywood, bestselling author and legendary bad-boy screenwriter Joe Eszterhas tells everything he knows about the industry, its players and screenwriting itself―from the first blank sheet of paper in the Olivetti to the size of the credit on the one-sheet.

Often practical and always entertaining, The Devil's Guide to Hollywood distills everything one of Hollywood's most accomplished screenwriters knows about the business, from writing advice to negotiation tricks, from the wisdom of past players to the feuds of current ones. Eszterhas has selected his personal pantheon of the most loved and loathed players in the business and treats the reader to a treasure trove of stories, quotes and wisdom from those luminaries, who include William Goldman (loathes) and Zsa Zsa Gabor (loves).

The Devil's Guide to Hollywood could only have been written by someone who loves the business as much as Eszterhas does―but who also has its number.

"Eszterhas delivers a dishy, catty mix of reminiscences and Hollywood trivia…his forte is skewering sycophants and phonies in this opinionated showcase of the underside of Hollywood life."―Publishers Weekly

Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption

My Reading Life

Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales

Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering

Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music

Dancing in the Light


















360–361 age level, 49 agents, 22, 40, 124. See also promotion and sales; specific agents and agencies firing of, 198 Ovitz, Michael, 193–197 producers and, 270 relationship with, 190–193, 197–198 roles of, 187–190 selection tactics, 184–187, 191 sexuality, 183–184 studio executives and, 192–194 aggressiveness, in self-promotion, 70 AIDS, 63–64 Alba, Jessica, 18 alcohol abuse of, 98 avoidance of, 67–68, 353 hotel bills, 74 writing process, 159, 362 Alexander, 224 Alien, 223

241, 246, 249–250, 332 credits, 232, 233, 234, 250, 251 critics and, 338–339 dealing with, 211–212 findings of, 211 partnerships, 106 personalities of, 51, 229–243, 248–253 producers and, 231 rewrites, 214–215 role of, 50 sadism, 244 writers and, 13, 25, 51, 68, 79, 89, 223, 252–253 writing process, 170 “dirt sandwich,” defined, 44 Dirty Harry, 145 disappointment, in expectations, 60 Disney, Walt, 46 distribution, 218 The Doctor’s Wife, 94 documentaries, Academy Awards, 113

MAKE THEM BABY-SIT YOUR DOG Screenwriter John Milius, at the height of his success, forced producers to make side deals with him. Not only did they have to sign a contract for him to write the script; they also had to baby-sit his dog on certain days so he could write that script. ALL HAIL Harlan Ellison! After he won a copyright court battle with Paramount over a TV show, the screenwriter/novelist bought a billboard just outside the Paramount lot. It read WRITERS—DON’T LET THEM STEAL FROM

writing to yourself. Don’t expend the energy you’ll need to write it by talking your story instead, telling friends in bars, restaurants, and beds what you’re working on. I’ve heard too many good stories from screenwriters who talked but never wrote them. I’ve come to the conclusion that your characters get angry at you if you speak about them … and stop you from giving birth to them on the page in revenge. Remember: Real writers sit down and write; wannabe writers sit around and talk.

doubt part of my creative work.” The Third Man was written by Graham Greene. Welles played the part of Harry Lime. He wrote no dialogue for the character. Orson Welles was a big fat liar. The only film I wrote from the first to the last word,” Welles said, “is Citizen Kane.” Welles directed Citizen Kane, but he didn’t write it. It was written by Herman J. Mankiewicz. You’ll meet all kinds. When Joe Mankiewicz was on the set directing, he always wore white cotton gloves. He had eczema, which

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