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We’ve compiled a list of resources from the pros.

Check out these books, podcasts, trade publications and suggested sites if you’re looking for an in-depth glimpse at what it’s like to work in the creative industries.

Books

  • The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up by David Rensin
  • Power House: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency by James Andrew Miller
  • The Agency: William Morris & the Hidden History of Show Business by Frank Rose
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
  • Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad
  • The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood by Tom King
  • You’ll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again by Julia Phillips
  • When Hollywood Had a King: The Reign of Lew Wasserman by Connie Bruck
  • Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans
  • When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead by Jerry Weintraub
  • The Hollywood Assistants Handbook by Peter Nowalk & Hillary Stamm
  • They Can Kill You But They Can’t Eat You by Dawn Steel
  • A Pound of Flesh: Perilous Tales of How to Produce Movies in Hollywood by Art Linson
  • Hit & Run: How Jon Peters & Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood by Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters
  • Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
  • Hello, He Lied & Other Tales from the Hollywood Trenches by Lynda Obst
  • Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
  • Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field
  • What Makes Sammy Run by Budd Schulberg
  • An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood by Neal Gabler
  • Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion
  • The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz
  • The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work by Joseph Campbell
  • The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood by Sam Wasson
  • What It Is by Lynda Barry
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  • Tiny Beautiful Things by Cherl Strayed
  • Belonging by Toko-pa Turner
  • Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott
  • Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World by John O’Donohue & Krista Tippett
  • Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
  • Blasted by Sarah Kane
  • Mr. Burns by Anne Washburn
  • Red Noses by Peter Barnes
  • Huis Clos (No Exit) by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Endgame by Samuel Beckett
  • MFA vs NYC by Chad Harbach
  • An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski
  • A Director Prepares by Anne Bogart
  • Audition by Michael Shurtleff
  • Acting as a Business: Strategies for Success by Brian O’Neil
  • Tragedy: A Tragedy by Will Eno
  • The Children by Lucy Kirkwood
  • Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio by Jessica Abel
  • Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks
  • And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations With 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks
  • The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith
  • Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live by Doug Hill
  • Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests by James Andrew Miller
  • The Business of Expertise: How Entrepreneurial Experts Convert Insight to Impact + Wealth by David C. Baker
  • So You Want to Direct TV? Sixteen Professionals Share Their Paths to Success by Jacob Pinger

TV/Film

Television

  • Bojack Horseman (Netflix)
  • Carnivale (HBO)
  • Fosse/Verdon (Hulu)
  • Fargo (Hulu)

Films

  • The Tale
  • Magnolia
  • Midsommar
  • Amélie
  • Moonstruck
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Muriel’s Wedding
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous
  • The Post
  • Shattered Glass
  • Frost/Nixon

Great Film/TV Adaptations of Plays

  • Angels in America (HBO)
  • Titus (directed by Julie Taymor)
  • Romeo + Juliet (directed by Baz Luhrman)
  • Doubt (directed by John Patrick Shanley)
  • Amadeus (directed by Milos Foreman)
  • Marat/Sade (directed by Peter Brooks)