Sleepless in Hollywood

Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business

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The veteran producer and author of the bestseller Hello, He Lied takes a witty and critical look at the new Hollywood.

Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.

Combining her own industry experience and interviews with the brightest minds in the business, Obst explains what has stalled the vast moviemaking machine. The calamitous DVD collapse helped usher in what she calls the New Abnormal (because Hollywood was never normal to begin with), where studios are now heavily dependent on foreign markets for profit, a situation which directly impacts the kind of entertainment we get to see. Can comedy survive if they don’t get our jokes in Seoul or allow them in China? Why are studios making fewer movies than ever—and why are they bigger, more expensive and nearly always sequels or recycled ideas?

Obst writes with affection, regret, humor and hope, and her behind-the-scenes vantage point allows her to explore what has changed in Hollywood like no one else has. This candid, insightful account explains what has happened to the movie business and explores whether it’ll ever return to making the movies we love—the classics that make us laugh or cry, or that we just can’t stop talking about.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476727745 | 
  • June 2013
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Video

Lynda Obst on Hollywood and Foreign Markets

Lynda Obst, author of Sleepless in Hollywood and producer of 16 feature films, talks about Hollywood’s reliance on foreign markets and what films play best overseas.

Read an Excerpt

Sleepless In Hollywood SCENE ONE THE NEW ABNORMAL
I can trace the moment when I noticed that what seemed like normal was changing—that the ways we’d always done things since time immemorial (at least in the three decades since I came to Hollywood) were beginning to become obsolete. It was the death of what I now call the “Old Abnormal” and the birth of the “New.”

I call them the Old Abnormal and the New Abnormal because Hollywood, let’s face it, is never actually normal.... see more

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