It takes an insider to take us on an inside journey of how the current movie business works. And the person is none other than Lynda Obst, a veteran producer of movies such as Sleepless in Seattle and The Siege.
The New Abnormal as Obst coined it in her book refers to the cultural change of Hollywood in recent years. When it comes to pitching, casting and friending, it’s a vast change from the old abnormal. Executives are constantly on the lookout for the next tentpole and franchise, it must have preawareness and must sell overseas. According to Obst, nobody is keen to make the next Forrest Gump or Driving Miss Daisy these days.
Want to know what kind of movies doesn’t travel? Obst has it all analyzed. Sports movies can’t jump and the only exception happened to be Moneyball which by the way took 12 years to get made. The other one is mixed genres. Examples: Cowboys & Aliens and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, ideas that look good on paper but ridiculous onscreen.
It’s good to have influential friends all over as Fox Chairman Jim Gianopulos frankly puts it across the reason why they could make Ice Age forever because internationally the box office figures are crazy. Now you know why you shouldn’t go out there and buy another ticket to a tired franchise.
The first few chapters of Sleepless In Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business are tremendously good read. Obst is witty, funny and sardonic in her writings and references to the close people she worked with is priceless. She even shared with readers the tumultuous times she experienced at Paramount, the company that is responsible for Mission Impossible and Star Trek.
Unfortunately, Obst couldn’t sustain the fun and anecdotes later on as she devoted considerable length about the writer’s strike and the golden age of television. Jonathon Nolan brother of Christopher even gets some airtime as he explained why he jumped on the television wagon instead of the movie industry.
In short, Obst’s book is an easy read if you have an interest behind the movie business. Questions behind why DVD sales are lagging or why Hollywood churned out endless sequels to Transformers instead of a nice romantic comedy, then this book probably solved half of the mystery.
Review by Linus Tee
SEAN HOWE'S "MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY" Book Review
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER "TOTAL RECALL: MY UNBELIEVABLY TRUE LIFE STORY" Book Review
JODY DUNCAN JESSER'S "THE ART AND MAKING OF THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY" Book Review
RICHARD SCHICKEL'S "STEVEN SPIELBERG: A RETROSPECTIVE" Book Review
GARRY MARSHALL'S "MY HAPPY DAYS IN HOLLYWOOD: A MEMOIR" Book Review
PAMELA GLINTENKAMP'S "INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC: THE ART OF INNOVATION" Book Review
VIC ARMSTRONG'S "THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST STUNTMAN" Book Review
TINA FEY'S "BOSSYPANTS" Book Review
SIMON PEGG'S "NERD DO WELL" Book Review