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Well, obviously this is not a DVD Extras review. However, it is of significance. This book is from one of THE insiders in the Hollywood movie industry and her insights are most enlightening. If you are in the industry or have ever been curious about the how and why movies are made and what is the driving force behind the executive level decisions, you should check it out. It was just published in June, 2013.

Reading this book got me thinking about what is the one movie I want to have available if I were stranded on a “desert island.” My answer is Contact with Jodie Foster. I’ve seen this movie a hundred times and I’ll see it a hundred times more. Such a movie could not be made today. It would not even any further than the concept stage. Why, because it would not fit neatly into the demographics for the International market. The international market is the driving force behind movies today. And as you probably guessed it is financially biased. It is so bizarre to me to realize that a movie stands little chance of being made if it does not fit into a neat little box with a giant “R.O.I.” (return on investment) stamped on it. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it is for film makers to come up against this reality.

Do you like 3D movies? Really. Do you?

Ever wonder why every blockbuster is released in 3D? And do you ever wonder why theaters are not packed week in and week out for these very movies? The US movie going public has a distaste for 3D movies – probably because of those glasses. And perhaps it is because of the lousy quality of 3D conversions (taking originally 2D movies and processing them to look 3D). But, the Asian market loves 3D. And that is what drives the creation of 3D movies. The problem is that you don’t have an internationally viable movie unless you front the enormous costs involved in making it 3D.

So what other factors drive 3D. Construction companies have found a revenue generator in the design, building, and maintenance of 3D theaters in China and other countries. In China, they love 3D so much they are building 10 new theaters a day!

Another interesting fact is the sequel formula. And it has to do with something they call “Preawareness.” Metrics show that a sequel is viable only if it meets certain criteria. Like a star that is familiar to the non USA target market (usually Asia – China to be more specific), or a concept based on a very familiar story. Sequels are fine, in my opinion, but they will only be made if they are bankable. The concept script won’t even make out of the printer tray if it can’t meet Preawareness.

But, there are good stories too. Linda tells it like it is, like it was, and like it will be. Quick read even at 300 pages.

This is timely and important book for anyone involved in the industry. It should be a text book at Universities and Colleges.

Sleepless in Hollywood by Linda Obst at Amazon hardcover and Kindle