Received a copy of a new Hollywood classic for my birthday: The Healthy Edit, by my friend John Rosenberg. The subtitle is Creative Editing Techniques for Perfecting Your Movie...
Since we're currently staying in a house "high in the Hollywood Hills" while developing some film projects, I dove straight into it. I've been reading it carefully and making notes, so I'm only a little ways into it, but I can already say with confidence that this is a book every filmmaker and film student should read. (That film editors and aspiring film editors should own it probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway.)
John is a brilliant film editor and has a real gift for explaining complicated ideas and theories in a way that's entertaining, clear, and concise. (He's also a fine fiction writer and I'll alert you when his upcoming novel "Tincture of Time" comes out.)
Here are four other Hollywood books I recommend--the last one, "Haywire," I also got as a gift last week. They are all memoirs, and all feature great writing and some sort of historic importance.
Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx and a co-writer...
Julia Phillips' You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again
Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
And last but not least, Haywire by Brooke Hayward. This is a new paperback edition (2010) of a book I had remembered loving long ago, and yes, it is as good as I remembered. Of course, the subject matter is once again, angst and the sins of our fathers (and mothers) and how drugs and drink were one's only allies in the war to keep from screaming aloud every minute of every day.
However, she is a fine writer, and the times and the bizarre cast of characters, both known and unknown, are truly fascinating.