The business of Hollywood seems more and more what the general population considers its own business. Never before has there been so much interest in the inner-workings of the movie industry: Witness the success of "Entertainment Tonight," or popular recent books that reveal behind-the-scenes intrigue.
Likewise, Mark Litwak's "Reel Power" attempts to take readers to the other side of the cameras. The former consumer attorney was himself bitten by the movie bug, moved to Los Angeles and, trading on his association with Ralph Nader, was able to persuade a studio to hire him because he had some interesting plots in his head. Litwak admits his naivete about protocol helped him, but he rudely learned how things really operate in the film factory, when the studio management abruptly changed and he was out of a job.
He then tried producing for a few years, leading him to the firsthand experience that provided the groundwork for this overview. Too bad that he didn't write from his own perspective--that might have humanized the recitation of facts.
Instead, in textbooklike fashion, Litwak reports about all corners of the industry--from the studios and talent agencies to accounting rooms. He offers facts, quotes from more than 200 knowledgeable persons (many recognizable names) and anecdotes.