Which Lie Did I Tell? - William Goldman
Goldman returns to his scribe/insider role, going over his career in the movie trade and telling tales of what happens when feature film sausage is made. It’s truly a redux of Adventures In The Screen Trade, with sections talking about Goldman’s hits (and misses - despite a screenwriting career that’s more successful than most could hope for, he still endured years of being seen as a has-been, 8 years – if I remember correctly - where none of his scripts made it to production); the processes of writing and pitching (and why the first draft is not the pitching draft which is not even the first production draft); juggling the demands of studio suits, directors, stars, and the story; breakdowns and critiques from other high profile screenwriters; and a hefty dose of the film industry’s grimy side, including the anecdote that furnished the name of the book.
If you’re interested in film beyond the shiny surface of stars and sequels or want to read war stories about the craft and dirty work of screenwriting, Bill lays out a smorgasbord of moments from his career and the wisdom gleaned therein. A breezy, easy read spiked with Goldman’s acerbic wit and worth the time spent on it.