[Book Review] Hollywood Game Plan – Carole M. Kirschner
The sniping words of despotic Hollywood executive, Buddy Ackerman, in the scathing film satire Swimming With Sharks (1994), echoed around my mind.
“Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, ‘What do you really want?’”
It’s a vital life question. What is it you really want? If you’re drawn to the dream factory, to Hollywood, that celebrated capital of mythmaking and stardust where do you start? Well, Carole M. Kirshner’s Hollywood Game Plan is definitely for you. In a fabled town where apparently nobody knows anything, I have to say I knew so much more after reading this.
Who is Carole M. Kirshner I hear you ask? Because, like me, you may be dubious of such Hollywood guides which offer to demystify the process of getting ahead in the film and television industry. Never fear as the author has walked the walk and talked the talk in Hollywood, grafting her way up to a senior-level Hollywood executive for CBS and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.
Yet, Hollywood Game Plan is not the work of a jaded burnt-out hack. Rather, it’s a dynamic and positive journey structured from start to finish to help you achieve the goal of getting a job in Hollywood. If that is what you really want then read on.
One of the book’s major strengths is a well-designed spine that teaches the reader the basics, getting us prepared for the long Hollywood road trip ahead, training our brains for obstacles that may come our way, and not filling one’s mind with dreamy possibilities. There is hard graft ahead through research, networking, pitching, phone calls, interviews, more networking, staying positive, facing rejection, and having a never-say-die attitude. As the author states finding a full-time job in Hollywood is a full-time job in itself.
The writing throughout is punchy and unpretentious. There is real honesty that leaps from the words on the page. Moreover, I was especially impressed by the goal-oriented aim of the book. If you’re like me and enjoy hitting targets then Carole M. Kirshner’s chapter exercises really build what she calls that “Los Angeles Armour.”
Indeed, how to write a killer C.V., perfect a covering letter, find a mentor, write, and pitch your own personal history, and even how long to wait before you follow up on a hot lead are just a suggestion of the priceless advice in this book. It will most definitely get you ahead of the competition during the Darwinist task of moving up the Hollywood food chain.
Because it is survival of the fittest in Hollywood. You’ve got to work to earn your lucky break. There’s rarely such a thing as overnight success. As well as the target-based exercises there are many testimonials from professionals within Hollywood, including those who have taken Carole M. Kirshner’s Hollywood Game Plan course. These and the informative appendices at the back of the book provide an invaluable set of tools for the journey ahead.
So, in conclusion, ask yourself what you really want? If it’s a job in Hollywood and you’re out of shark repellent, barbed spears, and a protective underwater cage, you could do worse than arm yourself with Carole M. Kirshner’s enlightening book, Hollywood Game Plan.
Get your copy here.