Recommended: Rebels on the Backlot
According to author Sharon Waxman and her sources in Rebels on the Backlot (click on book cover photo to purchase- affiliate link), at least four out of the six subjects of her book either hated or were ambivalent about their mothers and/or idolized their fathers.
I’m not a fan of dirt on celebrities (mostly, I could care less), but as an examination of the lives of six young, talented film directors, this book is very instructive about where the inspiration for their early work came from and how they negotiated the complicated world of independent and studio filmmaking.
Some did it badly, some did it well, but all of them got at least one project through the process with their vision largely untainted. Witness…
Paul Thomas Anderson- Boogie Nights, Magnolia
David Fincher- Fight Club
Spike Jonze- Being John Malkovich, Adaptation
David O. Russell- Spanking the Monkey, Three Kings
Stephen Soderbergh- sex, lies, and videotape, Traffic
Quentin Tarantino- Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction
If you are interested in becoming a screenwriter, director, or producer, or even an agent or an executive at a production company or studio, this is a must-read.
Though the names of the players have changed somewhat and the climate is slightly different (these guys caught an indie wave started by sex, lies, and videotape and by Tarantino’s earliest work), it’s a fantastic portrait of working the system and trying to get your voice on-screen.
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