Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. Read more...
Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.
Combining her own industry experience and interviews with the brightest minds in the business, Obst explains what has stalled the vast moviemaking machine. The calamitous DVD collapse helped usher in what she calls the New Abnormal (because Hollywood was never normal to begin with), where studios are now heavily dependent on foreign markets for profit, a situation which directly impacts the kind of entertainment we get to see. Can comedy survive if they don't get our jokes in Seoul or allow them in China? Why are studios making fewer movies than ever--and why are they bigger, more expensive and nearly always sequels or recycled ideas?
Obst writes with affection, regret, humor and hope, and her behind-the-scenes vantage point allows her to explore what has changed in Hollywood like no one else has. This candid, insightful account explains what has happened to the movie business and explores whether it'll ever return to making the movies we love--the classics that make us laugh or cry, or that we just can't stop talking about.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-08
- Reviewer: Staff
In this must-read on the ever-evolving movie industry, Obst (Hello, He Lied) examines how Hollywood has transitioned from what she calls the Old Abnormal to the New Abnormal ("because Hollywood...is never actually normal"). A producer known for her involvement in movies like Sleepless in Seattle, The Siege, and The Fisher King, Obst shares trivia, personal experiences, and second-hand anecdotes to explain how and why the entire movie-making system has changed. From the death of the DVD market, to the meteoric rise of the marketing department's influence, from the growing involvement of international partnerships to social media, she dissects the business. Though she occasionally gets bogged down in dry, technical moments, her narrative is otherwise accessible and entertaining. She conveys an oft-bemused air of exasperation, amusement, and world-weary frustration as she chronicles her experiences, transitioning from a movie producer whose projects can no longer get a greenlight in the New Abnormal, to a television producer for shows like Hot in Cleveland. Obst pulls back the curtain on an industry built on lies and illusion, allowing readers to get in on the ongoing joke. Agent: Sloan Harris, International Creative Management. (June)