Friday, October 10, 2014

BOOKS TO READ: The Man Who Heard Voices, Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale (2006)

[Quick Summary: Philadelphia sports writer Michael Bamberger meets M. Night Shyamalan at a 2004 dinner party, and follows him over two years during the creation of Lady in the Water.]

A few weeks ago, I saw this book mentioned on Twitter.

I was curious because they said this was a "cautionary" tale.

I didn't see it the same way.

I thought it was an excellent look at how decisions are made behind-the-scenes.

The author covers it all:

- The tense dinner with studio execs over Shyamalan's script
- The good and bad on set
- Shyamalan's angst when readers didn't get his story, etc.

If nothing else, read this book for:

1) How Shyamalan outsmarted Harvey Weinstein (p.20-21)

2) An amazing primer on how to handle a NYU student director who saw a private rough cut and posted a review without Shyamalan's knowledge (p. 255-258; Shyamalan turned it around in a big way.)

3) Dealing with doubt and desperation

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I will not forget the priceless story on how to truly apologize to a crew member (p. 238-239).

The Man Who Heard Voices, Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale (2006)
by Michael Bamberger

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