Readers' Corner

Best Memoirs and Autobiographies by Hollywood Filmmakers

The lives of Hollywood filmmakers make for thrilling and exciting stories. From humble beginnings in small towns of menial jobs to the highs of Academy Award-winning films and high-budget blockbusters. Many of the most notable filmmakers from Hollywood present their lives in the form of memoirs and autobiographies, and some of them make for informative reads. Keep reading this article to find out the best Hollywood filmmakers’ memoirs.


A Place in the Sun By George Stevens Jr.

A place in the Sun by George Stevens Jr is the memoir of Stevens Jr’s life told by his son. Stevens Jr is a producer and director, best known for his work in the 20th century, working on notable productions such as “The Thin Red Line” and “The Murder of Mary Phagan”. It is one of the best memoirs and it is an eclectic and informative book about George’s long career in Hollywood.

Spanning 90 years, the book encapsulates some of the modern day’s most pivotal moments, such as Stevens Jr’s experiences of World War II, working with the legendary James Dean, and meeting world-changing President Barack Obama. From the humble beginnings of creating training films for the United States, Air Force to becoming the founder of the American Film Institute, George Stevens Jr’s life makes for a thrilling read-perfectly poised in his memoir. This isn’t just a book of the film but of a rich and full life, telling the true and exciting story of a Hollywood filmmaker.


Something Like An Autobiography By Akira Kurosawa.

Kurosawa is a filmmaker who needs no introduction and his work in Japanese cinema is a testament to that. His pictures such as the 1950 film “Scandal”, the 1952 “Ikuru” or the later 1985 hit “Ran” are just a few of the spellbinding movies he created. “Something Like an Autobiography” is a book that highlights a world-renowned career. It’s not only a memoir but gives a look behind the fourth wall, sharing stories of Kurosawa’s filmmaking knowledge. This book is the best way to understand and connect with Kurosawa’s work, giving a detailed insight into not only his beliefs in life but in film.


Making Movies by Sidney Lumet.

Sidney Lumet’s memoir isn’t just an autobiography but is an educational tool for upcoming filmmakers or lovers of the art. It reflects partly on his life and partly on tools and tricks to learn the rules of filmmaking. The book talks of a long and successful 40-year career in Cinema, including pictures such as “Network” and “The Verdict”. The Academy Award winner leaves no stone unturned when discussing his life and work in this 1996 book.


Rebel without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez is a filmmaker, working namely in visual effects, he is known for working mainly in his home state of Texas or the nearby country of Mexico. Rebel Without A Crew is a 1995 book written by Rodriguez, detailing his work as a young filmmaker starting. It describes how he got his break, making El Mariachi for a measly $7000 after funding the picture through medical testing. It shows how he managed to promote the film at film festivals in Hollywood. The book is the perfect read for young filmmakers who find the world of Hollywood or movies in general as a closed-off, daunting place to be. It brings hope in a light-hearted way, showing anyone can make it.

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