As some of you may have gleaned, I've written my first book. Finally.
The book is "The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System" and will be published by Newmarket Press for It Books/an imprint of HarperCollins, on March 4. I'm putting together various book signings, talks and parties in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other places, in the coming months. Stay tuned for details.
You may have questions. Why did I write this?
Inspired by William Goldman's classic book, "The Season," about one year on Broadway, I have long wanted to write an in-depth, informed chronicle of what goes on within one year inside the motion picture industry from my reporter's point of view. I believed it could provide insights and a behind-the-scenes perspective on every aspect of the business of movies like no other book had done before. The 2012 slate provided me the perfect opportunity to take on this challenge, resulting in "The $11 Billion Year." It was tough.
Is it a business book?
It's like the blog--it's intended to inform smart film lovers about the inner workings of the business. In nine chapters--plus an afterword, photo insert, glossary, and box office charts-- I follow the transformative year 2012, from the Sundance Film Festival to the Oscars, just as I covered it here, but with more more in-depth reporting. I show how the global business of Hollywood really works by detailing the making and marketing of movies, from low-budget indies to studio blockbusters, the players, winners, and losers.
Starting at Sundance in January, I follow the eventual nine Best Picture contenders through their long road to the Oscars. I cover the indies and their new distribution models at Sundance. Why did "Beasts of the Southern Wild" become the darling of the festival? What might the exhibitors' jockeying at Cinema-Con, the studio summer tentpole showcases at Comic-Con and the fall's "smart" films and BIG films of the holiday season introduced at Telluride, Toronto, and New York Festivals have to do with making or breaking a film's chances? How did Harvey Weinstein's maneuvers at the international scene at Cannes benefit "Django Unchained" and "Silver Linings Playbook"? Looking at "Zero Dark Thirty," how are women filmmakers and movies about women faring, are things improving? I show the the glamour of the Oscars. Why did "Argo" beat "Lincoln" for Best Picture?
What are the nine movies?
"Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Amour," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," and "Argo." Plus a look at some Oscar-bound documentaries and foreign films and Hollywood's love affair with franchises and comic book movies.
What sets this book part from all the other Hollywood books?
I'm dealing with recent history and movies folks may have heard of, using these films as a window into examining the Hollywood machine at work, from script development and production to marketing and distribution, as studios decide on their release strategies, schmooze with media influencers, and face the myriad challenges now facing the industry, including declining DVD sales, soaring production and marketing costs, escalating box office ticket prices, shorter exhibition windows, and the incredible impact of the digital revolution-from 3D to VOD and IMAX.
How can I buy it?
You can pre-order the book at Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Books-A-Million , or Google, or you can ask your local independent bookstore to order it. The publisher is HarperCollins and the ISBN-13 is: 9780062218018. There's more info on the book here.
How can I order a copy for possible review or interview?
You can contact HarperCollins publicity manager Joseph Papa at Joseph.Papa@HARPERCOLLINS.com.
Can I book a Q & A or book signing or a 2012 flick at a movie theater or bookstore?
Sure, contact Joseph.
I hope you like the book. It's a picture of my world.