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978-1-58648-013-4 / 9781586480134

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About the book:

The First Time I Got Paid For It is an unprecedented collection of essays by over 50 leading film and television writers, edited by Laura Shapiro and Peter Lefcourt for the Writers Guild Foundation, with an introduction by screenwriting legend William Goldman. Linked by the theme of a writer's "first time"--usually the first time they got paid for their work, but sometimes veering off into other, more unconventional, "first times," these essays examine what it takes to succeed, what it takes to write well, and other aspects of maintaining creativity and integrity while striving for a career in Hollywood. Richard LaGravanese ( The Fisher King, The Horse Whisperer, Living Out Loud ) confesses that his first paying writing job was crafting phone sex scripts. Nicholas Kazan ( Reversal of Fortune, Mathilda ) explains why, in Hollywood, a verbal "yes" often turns out to be a written "no." Peter Casey writes about the unparalleled pitch meeting for the award-winning NBC series Frasier. Virtually every big name writer in Hollywood has contributed to this collection; it is essential research material for anyone trying to make it in the entertainment industry, and a perfect read for movie buffs everywhere. The First Time I Got Paid For It is an unprecedented collection, edited by Peter Lefcourt and Laura J. Shapiro for the Writers Guild Foundation, of essays by Americas best screenwriters. Linked by a theme of the writers first timeusually the first time they got paid for their work, but sometimes something a bit more unconventional, each essay investigates what it takes to succeed in Hollywood and what it takes to write well. Richard La Gravanese ( The Fisher King, The Horse Whisperer, Living Out Loud ) confesses that his first paying writing job was crafting phone sex scripts. Nicholas Kazan ( Reversal of Fortune, Matilda ) explains why, in Hollywood, a verbal yes often turns out to be a written no. Peter Casey writes about the unparalled pitch meeting for the award winning NBC series Frasier. Amy Holden Jones ( Mystic Pizza, Indecent Proposal ) discusses her first sale: Slumber Party Massacre . Cameron Crowe ( Jerry McGuire, Say Anything, Singles ) tells of his astonishment when his screenplay for Fast Times at Ridgemont High makes people laugh. Steven Bochco ( NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues ) writes about his first job: (unknowingly) rewriting the legendary Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame. Daniel Petrie , Jr. ( Beverly Hills Cop, The Big Easy ) explains why being fired from his job as an agent was the first step toward becoming a real writer, and Alan Alda discusses the challenges of writing for M*A*S*H, and why dancing around a hotel room is a sure sign of a script coming together.Over fifty writers, virtually every big name in Hollywood, have contributed to this collection, which is essential reading for anyone who wants to make it as a writer in Tinsel Town. Each essay reveals what life as a writer in the real Hollywood is actually like. Full of wisdom and incredible stories about surviving in the movie business, The First Time I Got Paid For It is crucial for anyone whos dreamed of hearing their words spoken on the silver screen. With a foreword by screenwriting legend William Goldman, it is also a perfect read for anyone who is a movie bluff or curious about what happens on the other side of the camera.

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