In 2001, Max Adams published the first edition of her Screenwriter’s Survival Guide. I’d been acquainted with her in an online message board community, and since I worked in the Entertainment Business, I was interested in what she had to say. That book was chocked full of real-life advice about working in the Hollywood entertainment business that for years afterward I would recommend it to new immigrants to Hollywood.
Max Adams has now updated the Survival Guide to cover the changes the advances in digital technology have made to how business is done in Hollywood. But those tech changes haven’t made significant difference to how the people of the Industry operate. Her descriptions and advice on these matters remain pungent and clear-headed.
I will still recommend the book to the seriously aspiring newbie to Hollywood. Max’s sense of humor in conveying Holywood realities stands as an example of one quality to survival in The Business (because for those in Hollywood there is only one business).
Even if you know most of these matters that she discusses, the book is a fun read. From quips about idiot questions you might hear in meetings to some of the odd ordinary life peculiarities you can encounter living in Los Angeles, she applies her sharp wit to making the information available to the reader.
Max Adams is the founder and instructor of the Academy of Film Writing, where she teaches online courses for screenwriters to improve their skills.