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

Rating: 
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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

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439186766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439186763
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

Customer Reviews

Best book on WORKING as a screenwriting

One person found this helpful.
 on January 21, 2017
By jk Smiles
The BEST book ever written on the BUSINESS of working as a screenwriter. These guys deal with studios, producers, directors, actors, managers, agents at the highest level in Hollywood. They know how to navigate the waters and impart their considerable experience to you, the reader. The sections on writing techniques is more sparse and is a recap on all the conventional well-known ideas (but good nonetheless). Must buy for budding screenwriters!

Informative and hilarious!

 on October 3, 2017
By Just Carrie
BEST truthful version of what the movie biz is and does. What to do and don’t do. These guys are hilarious which makes it fun to read! It’s in my arsenal of industry books.

Surprisingly good!

 on April 16, 2013
By Mothership
I bought this book after meeting another aspiring writer. She had told me about this book and said I should have a look-see. I researched it briefly — does looking it up on Amazon count? I was not at all impressed with the writers credits nor works. But, I was interested to see their perspective on the matter. I had been taking writing classes in college for some time, more than I was actually allowed to take and receive credit for. And so I was well capable and intelligent in understanding structure in all it’s form, but I had not much of an understanding of the industry as a whole. Being that I worked in the area mentioned in the book and lived in another place mentioned in the book I was well attuned to the humor represented in the book regarding ‘local spots’. It was a bit of an eye opener; some things I had never heard of in the industry, even from my old writing professor. This really wasn’t about structure or had anything to do with writing in general. It had more to do with expectations as a writer in the film/television industry. In fact, the only real advice about writing is to — Spoiler — write ‘Die Hard’. Really, that’s what they bring up over and over; and they seem to hold the film in very high regard. I don’t, it’s really a lousy film and it a horrid example to even mention as a good film/script for many reason; this isn’t even up for debate. It’s logically inconsistant much like the ‘Dark Knight’. But back to topic.

Fun and Informative

One person found this helpful.
 on September 6, 2013
By Bob Schulhof
If you are looking for good take on how the Hollywood writing scene functions and like to learn with bit of humor this is probably the book for you. As the authors are quick to point out…again and again….they’ve done pretty well writing screen plays and their movies (with a few exceptions) have made good box-office bank. They are not in anyway apologetic that their films are not “Citizan Kane” and are flat out honest on the point that they write to make money and to do that you write to what the studios search for, namely movies that have mass appeal and make money. If you want to do art-house films, buy a different book, or hang out with Parker Posey (which really would not be to bad but I am getting off point).

Fun Read — interesting and fun tips

3 people found this helpful.
 on March 13, 2012
By JoeK
A little about me: I’m a young screenwriter/tv writer that is in the middle of entering the Hollywood world. While this book is not on the same level as say Syd Field’s Screenplay or Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat (great book IMO), it gives great periphery information as well as tips on how they go about writing.

This is one of the best books about screenwriting out there

One person found this helpful.
 on April 5, 2015
By Matt Sadler
This is one of the best books about screenwriting out there. Not only do they talk about writing, they discuss what it’s really like to be a writer living in Los Angeles. And, much like their movies, it’s funny as hell. I’ve been a Tom Lennon fan for awhile but didn’t know as much about Ben. After reading this book, I feel like I know them both personally. Their writing is so inviting and honest. Even if you have no interest in writing a screenplay, I suggest picking up this book just for a good laugh and a list of In N Out locations.

Greatest DVD making-of extra EVER that isnt on a DVD nor an extra!!!!

2 people found this helpful.
 on July 25, 2011
By 3ToF
If you are even thinking about writing screenplays for hollywood, stop reading my review, purchase and consume this book quickly. Honestly. Just do it. Will be the smartest move you can make.

A very nice inside view into the Hollywood filmmaking scene

One person found this helpful.
 on January 13, 2017
By Tom Hester
A very nice inside view into the Hollywood filmmaking scene. This is more of a “how to” get a script SOLD than a “how to” write a screen play. Although, it does have very valuable insider experience that one should know when (and before) writing a script.

The Business of Writing

One person found this helpful.
 on March 24, 2014
By Jonathan Koester
I really loved this book. I found parts of it to be quite funny, and I honestly think that this books give advice that no other book that I’ve read really gives. There are plenty of books on how to improve your dialogue and how to write better characters, but this isn’t one of them. It that is what you are looking for you might want to try a different book.

Writing Movies for Fun

One person found this helpful.
 on August 29, 2011
By elisabeth cohn
I’ve read more than one book on screenwriting, and if you want to write screenplays so should you, and I will happily recommend this one. It’s not so much a guide for how to write, it’s more about how to survive in Hollywood. They don’t even get to the writing tips until the second part of the book. The insight into this mad, crazy industry though is priceless. It’s told with a sense of humor that makes you smile even when the anecdote is cringe inducing.

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