Book Excerpt: Making It In Hollywood


In an excerpt from Bryan Hidalgo and Gail O’Donnell’s  new book, Making It In Hollywood: What To Do & How To Do It From More Than 100 of Today’s Top Actors, Screenwriters, Directors and Producers, we get to learn the secrets of how to become a successful actor, screenwriter, director, or producer from the people who’ve made it—and are continuing to make it.  Authors Bryan Hidalgo and Gail O’Donnell have interviewed more than 100 of today’s top actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers—including Oscar and Emmy winners—who reveal, in their own words, how they started, how they work, how they got where they are today, and how you can get there too.

The result is a truly inspirational compilation of interviews, with answers, encouragement and guidance straight from the horse’s mouth. Discover where to start, what training to pursue, when to get an agent, how to be your best at auditions, and much more.

In-depth interviews were conducted with stars, creators, writers, directors, or producers of such hit TV shows as Lost, 24, House, The Shield, Sex and the City, Breaking Bad, Desperate Housewives, Hawaii Five-O, How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Southland, Law and Order: SVU, Medium, Castle, One Tree Hill, Boston Legal, Without a Trace, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, Nip/Tuck, Moonlighting, X-Files, and Oz, and motion pictures such as Twilight, Marley & Me, Hairspray, Pulp Fiction, When Harry Met Sally, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, X-Men, Serpico, Back to the Future, Spider-Man, Jurassic Park, Mrs. Doubtfire, Catch Me If You Can, The Devil Wears Prada, Forrest Gump, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, The Phantom of the Opera, Harold & Kumar, Austin Powers, Eat Pray Love, American Beauty, The Proposal, and Face/Off, among many others.

Making It In Hollywood Book Excerpt


Filmmakers are a special kind of people.  They are inspired and passionate individuals, reliant upon colleagues to bring their collective vision to the screen.  Making It In Hollywood is a readable, accessible, all-purpose guide – designed to be dipped into at any point, or read c over to cover – for aspiring entertainment visionaires, as well as for those people curious to learn who does what in bringing a film from concept to completion.

And who knows better than the people involved – actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers – what that actually takes?  Through personal accounts of their careers, and discussions about some of their most well-known projects, these experienced veterans and popular newcomers reveal – in their own words – the subtle secrets to cussess: what it took to get “discovered”; getting representations; preparing for auditions; staying positive in spite of all the negatives; the rewards and frustartions of the business; the preparation it takes to succeed.

If there are any common threads that hind these creative, successful people together, they are passion, perseverance, and vision – and a bit of luck, certainly.  If you share these qualities and are seeking to create your own luck, the words of Seneca, the great Roman philosopher, bear repeating: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  In our book, we’ve endeavored to give you the knowledge and the inspiration – the keys – to get you to that state of preparedness.  Then, when your opportunity comes knocking, and the door to realizing your dreams in the entertainment industry is poised to swing wide open, you just might become one of the “lucky” ones Making It in Hollywood.

Bryan Hidalgo is an entertainment attorney who worked for several years in Business and Legal Affairs for Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, MCA Records, and Geffen Records, before transitioning to private practice.  He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law.  Prior to his legal career, he performed as a concert pianist, and was an Official Pianist for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Opening Ceremonies.  In addition to serving as an industry consultant, Bryan is currently working on his next book.  He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Gail Gradin O’Donnell is an accomplished Hollywood makeup artist. Her artistry has graced some of the most beautiful and recognized celebrity faces in the world on all the major film and television award shows, including the Academy Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. She has recently launched her own line of makeup. Prior to her career as a makeup artist, Gail was employed by the prestigious Creative Artists Agency, Inc., and has been a personal assistant to Alan Alda. She resides in Los Angeles, California.

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