Cover image for Development girl : the Hollywood virgin's guide to making it in the movie business
Title:
Development girl : the Hollywood virgin's guide to making it in the movie business
Author:
Davis, Hadley.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 204 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
"A Main Street book."
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385494311
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PN1995.9.P75 D38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Read bestselling books for a living. Watch films for money. Go to see Broadway plays for work. Socialize at premiere parties for pay. I am a movie "development girl," and, believe it or not, this is my job description. Do you think my career sounds fabulous and fun? Well, you aren't alone-- Countless people dream of a career in the movies.Development Girl: The Hollywood Virgin's Guide to Making It in the Movie Businessis industry insider Hadley Davis's indispensable guide to making that dream a reality. Starting with a crash course on the ins and outs of the movie business (What really goes on in a production company? How does a project evolve from script to finished film?) and moving on to topics ranging from entry-level positions and interview tactics to sex and fashion, Hadley reveals how to become a film executive on the rise. Funny, honest, and full of juicy behind-the-scenes tales,Development Girlis essential reading for anyone who wants to make it in the movie business. Includes advice from Barry Josephson, Producer, Sonnenfeld/Josephson Ruth Vitale, Co-President, Paramount Classics Carla Hacken, Senior Vice President, Fox 2000 Jack Lechner, Senior Vice President, Miramax Films Other industry luminaries


Excerpts

Excerpts

Read bestselling books for a living. Watch films for money. Go to see Broadway plays for work. Socialize at premiere parties for pay. I am a movie "Development girl," and, believe it or not, this is my job description. Do you think my career sounds fabulous and fun? Well, you aren't alone. Ever since I started "in the business"--show business, that is--everyone I know--and many I don't--has come knocking at my door. In fact, if I had a dollar for every ounce of advice I've given away free in the last few years, I'd be rich (or at least own a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes)! The requests for "informational interviews" from college graduates and undergrads, MBA's, lawyers, friends of friends, parents' friends' kids, peers' siblings, you name it, have been staggering. Letters have come from strangers, questions from audience members attending the panels I've served on. What does it mean to be in "Development"? How do you become a movie executive? How do you break into the business? Is your job as glamorous as it seems? They've wanted to know what my life is like. They are looking for a window into a career path that is not as easily imaginable as that of doctor, lawyer, architect, or professor. I found that I had lots and lots of advice to give--advice resulting from my adventures in "the industry" working for both a major studio and production companies--and too little time to fill all of the requests. So I decided to write it all down, and Development Girl: The Hollywood Virgin's Guide to Making It in the Movie Business is the result. This is a guidebook I wish I had had when I was graduating and job/career hunting. Designed for those interested in the business of film (rather than in becoming a writer or director), this is a pragmatic approach to the industry--to landing and keeping a job and to understanding what it really takes to become a young executive on the rise in  Hollywood. And, by the way, "Hollywood" is not about a place. It's about an institution, a club, a way of life, a state of mind. In order to belong, you must know its language, its code, its lingo. If getting into bed with a director, making a pass to an agent, and being picked up by a distributor sound to you like X-rated activities, then you, my dear, are a Hollywood Virgin. But don't despair. This is your book. Within these pages lie the tricks of the trade--from the trades to the schmooze to the pitch. Read on and you'll learn not only how to talk the Tinseltown talk but what to wear, where to work, and whom to date. And in no time you'll be prepared to play with the players. --Hadley Davis, May 1999 Dressing (To Be a D) This is the movie business we're talking about here. Superficiality is incredibly important. Image. Perception. Youth. Beauty. Style. They are all synonymous with Hollywood. They count. A lot. I know you can't afford an Armani suit (yet), but that doesn't mean you can't look fashionable. Follow me. . . . Wake up--time to shop. --Richard Gere as corporate raider Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman Garb for Girls I firmly believe in dressing day into night. In other words, wear clothes to work that can take you through the evening--whatever it may hold. You never know when a drinks meeting with a cute young writer will suddenly turn into a date or when at the last minute your boss will give you tickets he can't use to a premiere or a Broadway show. You have to be good to go. Simple, dark clothes (navy, black) are the best bet, as they are slimming and versatile. What Every D-Girl Needs The most essential component to this wardrobe is a great, seasonless, black jacket in a light wool, stretch nylon, or crepe. Some of my favorites are Club Monaco, Chaiken & Capone, and Theory. It should fit well and make you feel chic. The requisite staple jacket can be easily mixed with flattering pants. I prefer pants to skirts for several reasons: 1) Pants and the connotations of "wearing the pants" make a more powerful statement. 2) Skirts appear as though you are "trying too hard." You want to seem as though getting dressed was effortless. After all, you are thinking about the script notes you're working on, not your pantyhose. 3) Comfort is key. You will be sitting at the computer and running back and forth to the fax machine all day. Wearing something that will be riding up or need pulling down or fussing with is just silly. Every D-Girl should have a designer touch or two in her ensemble. Designer accessories provide status, quality, and fashion. Sure, they're expensive, but they say "I'm worth it." And you are. With the right shades on as you stroll across the lot (worn on top of your head when the sun has gone down), you will look like a baby maven in the making. In addition, an outfit should be finished with an aspirational Prada or Gucci belt. I am an advocate of the designer sunglasses and belts rather than shoes because they are more practical and cost less. Both are timeless, seasonless, durable items to be worn over and over again. Your Trademark It is important to have a personal accent that defines you and projects your unique sensibility. This trademark should be identified with you and no one else in your workplace. It will help to set you apart and to subliminally reinforce the fact that although you are an assistant, you are an individual with a particular point of view and personality. Some examples of trademarks might include: baby barrettes, baby T's, or baby blue nail polish. Whatever it is, keep it simple, but don't leave home without it. Mandatory Maintenance Keep people in your life who can help you to maintain your own special inner and outer glow--from your therapist to the psychic to the manicurist to that hairdresser who does a quick wash-and-dry for a mere twenty-five dollars (I believe that professional blow jobs are the best kind). Accessories of Choice A Filofax is a must-have for every D-Girl. It's where she keeps her appointments with that hot new director and with that fabulous masseuse. It's where she writes down the drinks date with the agent and the real date with the investment banker. Your schedule is hectic so you don't have enough time to be disorganized! Rely on your friend the Filofax to keep your life uncluttered and to keep you a sane dame. D-Guys: The Dappers Versus the Hipsters Let's be honest, guys don't need to have as many clothes or think about them as much as girls. This is not to say what they wear is not just as important. After all, good things happen to those who dress well. Guys just have to get it right (and that for them is always the hard part). D-Guys must not make the mistake of being either conservatively dapper (think Tom Wolfe) or tragically hip (think SNL's "Sprockets"). The movie business is one in which art meets commerce--both categories should be represented and transcended in style. In other words, you shouldn't look like a rocker and you shouldn't look like a banker. A Suitable Suit, a Surefire Shirt Rule #1: Always dress for the position you want to have. Dress not for who you are but who you want to be. This probably means wearing a suit to work. The thing is, you'll get more props with a suit. You'll look older, more serious, authoritative, confident--like you're prepping for the art of the deal (which, of course, you are). The suit should be of the three-button variety. A light wool is excellent because it is seasonless, works on either coast, drapes well, and wrinkles less. The key to the suit is not too flashy but not too boring, not too stiff but not too trendy. Your jacket will come off in the office during the day, making the shirt equally important. Plain-front, European-style shirts are more in vogue and look terrifically cool open without a tie, which isn't necessary. Never wear a button-down collar. You don't need to have racks of outfits, just a few good things. Go for quality. Go for what lasts. If possible, splurge. Barneys Warehouse Sale (a phenomenon in both California and New York) and Century 21 (designer discount store near Wall Street) are terrific sources for beautifully made Italian stuff at cut rates. Banana Republic is the place for well-designed Donna Karan or Calvin Klein knockoffs. Having advocated the suit, I must make a qualification or two. The business does have an increasingly casual aesthetic, and for a growing number of high-profile execs, worn jeans have become de rigueur. If you find yourself working for an ultracasual guy, a suit isn't a good idea--but nor is holey antique denim. Look neat and together. Wear nice new jeans (by Diesel or Levi's) with a shirt and jacket as described above. The other situation for which to dress down is a meeting with talent--(for example, some scruffy scribe who might be put off by your groovy garb). Accents I'm not talking about your New Yawk accent. But your choice of accessories can say as much about you as a bad Long Island or Valley twang! Shoes: A loafer--a little chunky but not too chunky--again, if in doubt lean toward the classic. I'm a fan of Kenneth Cole, Patrick Cox, and J. P. Tod's. Watch: If you don't have some fancy Rolex or Tag from graduation, buy a chrome Swiss Army watch--funky and functional at once. Glasses (sun or real): Frames with a vintagey vibe. You can't go wrong with Paul Smith or Oliver Peoples. A designer insignia on the side of shades is a big no-no for guys. Too too! Spare and simple all the way. Car: Yes--your car is an accessory. So find a ride with flair. Seek out a used conversation piece--a 1970s Mercedes, Porsche, Mustang, Bug, or Caddie (no more expensive than a new Honda), which will be associated with you and you alone. Name: If you aren't blessed with a first name that automatically sets you apart (like Guymon or Mills or Beau--or Hadley, for that matter), you might want to consider a stage name. Not that there is anything wrong with being a Josh, John, or David, but for a long time you will be just another David in a sea of assistants named David populating lots stretching from Pico to Washington. You will be David who? When a peon named Doug became "Disco," identifying himself and the Miramax maven on whose behalf he was calling by a single word, he assumed the status of assistant-legend. In no time Disco was boogying to an exec gig in Sony's chairman's wing (complete with seventeen-thousand-dollar hardwood floors). Hair Come on, cut it, boys. Don't be afraid. You are the master of your mane. Short and neat sends a message of control. Go to a real old-school Italian barber--the kind that uses an actual razor. In L.A. you can find him on Larchmont Avenue and in NYC down in the East Village. For those who need to express their wild urges through their do, a little streak of color in front is all the rage. A highlight gets the stamp of approval so long as it is in the realm of natural (rather than primary) color. Excerpted from Development Girls: The Hollywood Virgin's Guide to Making It in the Movie Business by Lam Kamchuen, Hadley Davis All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
1. who's that d-girl? (or guy)p. 1
2. the biz (there's no business like...)p. 9
3. l.a. (versus nyc)p. 25
4. getting hired (and not fired)p. 41
5. use me (abuse me)p. 65
6. the fine art (of menial tasks)p. 75
7. classified (secrets for success)p. 85
8. dressing (to be a d)p. 101
9. sex (and the single d-girl and guy)p. 113
10. the sequels (d's you wanna be)p. 125
11. advice (from those who've arrived)p. 141
afterwordp. 161
talking the talk (a glossary)p. 167

Google Preview