Hollywood 101: Survival in and Mechanics of the Entertainment Industry

AS.061.101.01 (H)

Hollywood 101: Survival in and Mechanics of the Entertainment Industry

Intersession 2010

Johns Hopkins University

Film & Media Studies

Instructors: Chris Aldrich with Josh Siegel and JB Blunck

4 Meetings: Tuesday, January 19 – Friday, January 22; 9:30am – 6:30pm

1 credit, graded: S/U


Hollywood is infamous for its glamour and wealth, but what goes on behind the façade? Join Hopkins entertainment industry alumni in an intensive one-week program and explore the business side of fame. Use this course to learn how the industry works and how to network and navigate your way through it. The course will cover various aspects of development, production, distribution, financing, marketing, and representation within the film, television, publishing, music, and internet markets.


Day            Topics:

Tues 1/19

Morning        Introduction to Entertainment Business and Potential Careers; Overview of business cycles in Film, Television, Publishing, and Music

Afternoon     Creative Development Process in Feature Film; Writers, Directors, Producers, Actors; Packaging

Wed 1/20

Morning        Financing; Production; Above and Below-the-Line

Afternoon     Physical Production/Principal Photography;

Thur 1/21

Morning     Representation Business (Agents and Managers)

Afternoon   Representation Business (Advanced Topics); Music Industry; Marketing and Distribution

Fri 1/22   

Morning        Publishing: Books, Newspapers; Television Production, Distribution

Afternoon    Case Study: Starting a Cable Network


Recommended Texts

The subject we’ll be covering is necessarily incredibly broad and a great deal of literature exists covering it. There will be no required text for the course. The brief and incomplete list of recommended texts below will give you an idea of some of the material you may wish to take a look at in the coming years should you pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Reading some or even all of the material below will give you a tremendous advantage within the industry as you move forward in your career.


Blumenthal, Howard J. and Goodenough, Oliver R.: This Business of Television, Third Edition (2006) Billboard

Brown, John Seely and Duguid, Paul: The Social Life of Information, Harvard Business School Press

Farber, Donald C.; Baumgarten, Paul A. & Fleischer, Mark: Producing, Financing & Distributing Film, Second Edition (2004) Limelight

Gershon, Richard A.: Telecommunications Management: Industry Structures and Planning Strategies (Lea’s Communication Series)

De Vany, Arthur: Hollywood Economics: How Extreme Uncertainty Shapes the Film Industry (Contemporary Political Economy) (2004) Routledge

Gerbarg, Darcy: Television Goes Digital (The Economics of Information, Communication and Entertainment), Springer

Izod, John: Hollywood and the Box Office: 1895-1986 (1988) Columbia University Press

Kindem, Gorham: The International Movie Industry, Southern Illinois University Press

Lazarus III, Paul N.: The Film Producer

Levy, Frank: Hollywood 101: The Film Industry (2000) Renaissance

Lieberman, Al and Esgate, Pat: The Entertainment Marketing Revolution: Bringing the Moguls, the Media, and the Magic to the World, FT Press

Nuesch, Stephan: Economics of Superstars and Celebrities (2007) Gabler

Passman, Donald: All You Need to Know About the Music Business

Sickels, Robert C. (ed): The Business of Entertainment (3 volume set), Praeger

Squire, Jason E.: The Movie Business Book, Third Edition (2006) Open University Press

Vogel, Harold L.: Entertainment Industry Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis (7th Edition), Cambridge



Scheer, Laurie: Creative Careers in Hollywood (2002) Allworth

Brouwer, Alexandra and Wright, Thomas Lee: Working in Hollywood (1991) Avon



Appleton, Dina and Yankelevits, Daniel: Hollywood Dealmaking : Negotiating Talent Agreements (2002) Allworth

Biederman, Donald E.; Martin E. Silfen, Robert C. Berry, Edward P. Pierson, Jeanne A. Glasser: Law and Business of the Entertainment Industries, 2006, Praeger

Fisher III, William W.: Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment, Stanford Law and Politics

Litwak, Mark: Dealmaking in the Film and Television Industry From Negotiations Through Final Contracts: 2nd Edition Expanded and Updated (2002) Silman-James Press

Wharton, Brooke A.: The Writer Got Screwed (but didn’t have to): Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of Writing for the Entertainment Industry (1997) Harper



Asher, Steven and Pincus, Edward: Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age (2007) Plume

Clark, Barbara and Spohr, Susan: Guide to Postproduction for TV and Film: Managing the Process, 2ed.

Silver, Alain and Ward, Elizabeth: The Film Director’s Team (1992) Silman-James Press



Arnheim: Film as Art

Eisenstein: Film Form

Andrew: Concepts in Film Theory



Sklar, Robert: Movie Made America



Rose, Frank: The Agency

Bakker, Gerben: Entertainment Industrialised the Emergence of the International Film Industry, 1890-1940 (2008) Cambridge Studies in Economic History-2nd Series)



Anderson, Chris: The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More

Geoghegan, Michael and Klass, Dan: Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Audio and Video Podcasting, Second Edition

Newman, James: Videogames (Routledge Introductions to Media and Communications)



Von Clausewitz, Carl: On War (1832) Translations by Colonel J.J. Graham, 1874; O.J. Matthijs Jolles, 1943; Michael

Howard and Peter Paret, 1976, Princeton University.

Machiavelli, Nicollo: The Prince (1513)

Sun-tzu: The Art of War

Unknown: Bienseance de la Conversation entre les Hommes (1595) Or Hawkins, Francis: Youths Behavior, or Descency in Conversation amongst Men (1640) Or Washington, George: The Rules of Civility & Descent Behavior In Company and Conversation

De Callieres, Francois: On the Manner of Negotiating with Princes (1716)

Juran, J.M.: Managerial Breakthrough (1964) McGraw-Hill

Carnegie, Dale: How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) Simon and Schuster

Carnegie, Dale: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1944) Simon and Schuster

Goleman, Daniel: Working with Emotional Intelligence (1998) Bantam Books



The Hollywood Reporter

Daily Variety