Recommended Books

Greenhouse Community

There are all sorts of books that we strongly encourage people to read to really understand the arts & entertainment world, so we’re providing the following lists of recommended reading. Some of these materials should be read by anyone in the entertainment industry, while others we’ve broken down by discipline. You can get these books at any number of places, but we’ve provided links to Amazon where we can, just to get you started. We’re kinda helpful that way.

The Top Ten Books Every Creative Should Read

No matter what your discipline is, here are the top books we strongly recommend you read if you want to succeed as a creative professional.


The Movie Business


The War of Art


The Biz


Creativity, Inc.


Steal Like an Artist




More than a Movie: Ethics in Entertainment


The Artist’s Way


One Big Thing: Discovering what you were born to do


The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood

Sorted by creative Discipline


All You Need to Know About the Movie and TV Business
Gail Resnik & Scott Trost

The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era
Thomas Schatz

The Movie Business Book, 3rd Ed.
Jason E. Squire

My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk about Their First Film
Stephen Lowenstein

My First Movie, Take Two: Ten Celebrated Directors Talk About Their First Film
Stephen Lowenstein



Acting for the Camera
Tony Barr

Acting in Film: An Actor’s Take on Movie Making
Michael Caine

Acting Is Everything: An Actor’s Guidebook for a Successful Career in Los Angeles
Judy Kerr

Acting Professionally: Raw Facts About Careers in Acting
Robert Cohen

Acting: The First Six Lessons
Richard Boleslavsky

The Actor’s Encyclopedia of Casting Directors: Conversations with Over 100 Casting Directors on How to Get the Job (2016)
Karen Kondazian

An Actor Prepares
Constantin Stanislavski

Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part
Michael Shurtleff

The Film Actor’s Complete Career Guide: A Complete, Step-By-Step Checklist of All the Things Actors Seeking Film Careers Can and Should Do, and When
Lawrence Parke

Getting the Part: Thirty-Three Professional Casting Directors Tell You How to Get Work in Theater, Films, and TV (Softcover)
Judith Searle

How to Audition: For TV, Movies, Commercials, Plays, and Musicals, 2nd Ed.
Gordon Hunt

How to Be a Working Actor: The Insider’s Guide to Finding Jobs in Theater, Film & Television, 5th Ed.
Mari Lyn Henry & Lynne Rogers

How to Stop Acting
Harold Guskin

Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques
Viola Spolin

The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor
Larry Moss

The Power of the Actor
Ivana Chubbuck

Respect for Acting
Uta Hagen

Sanford Meisner on Acting
Sanford Meisner

Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business, 4th Ed.
Bonnie Gillespie

Your Film Acting Career: How to Break Into the Movies & TV & Survive Hollywood
M. K. Lewis



Bankroll: A New Approach to Financing Feature Films, 2nd Ed.
Tom Malloy

The Complete Film Production Handbook
Eve Light Honthaner

Film Budgeting: Or How Much Will It Cost to Shoot Your Movie?
Ralph S. Singleton

Film Scheduling: Or, How Long Will It Take to Shoot Your Movie?
Ralph S. Singleton

Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents
Louise Levison

From Concept to Screen: An Overview of Film and Television Production
Robert Benedetti

How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under 10,000 (And Not Go to Jail)
Bret Stern

Independent Film Producer’s Survival Guide: A Business and Legal Sourcebook
Gunnar Ericsson, Harris Tulchin & Mark Halogen

Making Movies
Sidney Lumet

Making Your Film for Less Outside the U.S.
Mark De Wayne

The Producer’s Business Handbook: The Roadmap for the Balanced Film Producer
John J. Lee, Jr. & Anne Marie Gillen

The Production Assistant in TV and Video
Avril Rowlands

The Reel Truth: Everything You Didn’t Know You Need to Know About Making an Independent Film
Reed Martin

Shooting to Kill: How an Independent Producer Blasts Through the Barriers to Make Movies that Matter
Christine Vachon & David Edelstein



All You Need to Know About the Music Business
Donald S. Passman

Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business
Fredric Dannen

Music Industry Forms: The 75 Most Important Documents for the Modern Musician
Jonathan Feist

Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail
Mike King

The Plain & Simple Guide to Music Publishing: What You Need to Know About Protecting and Profiting from Music Copyrights, 3rd Ed.
Randall D. Wixen

This Business of Music, 10th Ed.
M. William Krasilovsky & Sidney Shemel

Monetizing Media

YouTube Black Book: How To Create a Channel, Build an Audience and Make Money on YouTube
Christopher Sharpe

YouTube Marketing Strategies
John Tighe


Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting
William Goldman

The Art of Character: Creating Memorable Characters for Fiction, Film, and TV
David Corbett

Art Of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives
Lajos Egri

The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style, 2nd Ed.
Christopher Riley

How To Write For Television
Madeline DiMaggio

Making a Good Script Great, 3rd Ed.
Linda Seger

The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue & Vice for Box Office Success
Stanley D. Williams

On Writing
Stephen King


Reading for a Living: How to Be a Professional Story Analyst for Film and Television
T.L. Kathy

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
Syd Field

The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 6th Ed.
David Trottier

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need
Blake Snyder

Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide to Every Story Ever Told
Blake Snyder

Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get into… and Out Of
Blake Snyder

Writing Screenplays That Sell: The Complete Guide to Turning Story Concepts into Movie and Television Deals
Michael Hauge

Writing Television Sitcoms
Evan S. Smith


Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know
Jennifer Van Sill

Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television
Judith Weston

Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics
Michael Rabiger

Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation
Francis Glebas

Directing Your Directing Career: A Support Book & Agent Guide for Directors
K. Callan

Film Directing: Cinematic Motion, 2nd Ed.
Steven D. Katz

Film Directing Fundamentals: See Your Film Before Shooting
Nicholas T. Proferes

The Film Director Prepares: A Practical Guide to Directing for Film and TV
Myrl A. Schreibman

In the Blink Of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, 2nd Ed.
Walter Murch

Kazan on Directing
Elia Kazan

MasterShots Vol 1: 100 Advanced Camera Techniques to Get an Expensive Look on Your Low-Budget Movie, 2nd Ed.
Christopher Kenworthy

MasterShots, Volume 2: 100 Ways to Shoot Great Dialogue Scenes
Christopher Kenworthy

Master Shots, Volume 3
Christopher Kenworthy

Moviemakers’ Master Class: Private Lessons from the World’s Foremost Directors
Laurent Tirard

On Directing Film
David Mamet

On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director
Alexander Mackendrick

Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
Robert Rodriguez

Sense of Direction: Some Observations on the Art of Directing
William Ball

The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV & Digital Media
Bruce Block

Business & Legal

The Business of Media Distribution 
Jeffrey C. Ulin

This Business of Television 
Howard J. Blumenthal & Oliver R. Goodenough

Contracts for the Film & Television Industry, 3rd Ed.
Mark Litwak

Dealmaking in the Film & Television Industry, 4th Ed.
Mark Litwak

Digital Media Law, 2nd Ed. 
Ashley Packard

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In 
Robert Fisher & William Ury

Give and Take: The Complete Guide to Negotiating Strategies and Tactics 
Chester L. Karrass

Hollywood Dealmaking: Negotiating Talent Agreements for Film, TV and New Media 
Dina Appleton & Daniel Yankelevits

Movie Money: Understanding Hollywood’s (Creative) Accounting Practices, 2nd ed. Bill Daniels, David Leedy & Steven D. Sills

Philosophy & Spirituality

Addicted to Mediocrity: Contemporary Christians and the Arts
Franky Schaeffer

Art and the Bible
Francis A. Schaeffer

Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film, and Culture
Barbara Nicolosi & Spencer Lewerenz, eds.

The Heart of the Artist
Rory Noland

History of Beauty
Umberto Eco

Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts
Steve Turner

More Than A Movie: Ethics In Entertainment
F. Miguel Valenti

On Ugliness
Umberto Eco

The Purple Curtain
Brian S. Chan

Reflections on the Movies (Reflective Living Series)
Ken Gire

Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture
Makoto Fujimura

Roaring Lambs: A Gentle Plan to Radically Change Your World
Bob Briner

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art
Madeleine L’Engle

The Saints & The Poets
Shun Lee Fong

Trade Magazines

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