Synopsis of “Surviving Hollywood North”

Hi all, one last post (!) before I sign off until next week. This is a one-page synopsis of my book, which I wrote to accompany my query letters to agents and publishers. Pretend you’re a literary agent or a publisher, and let me know what you think.

Surviving Hollywood North:
Crew Confessions of an Insider

By Ellie Presner


“Surviving Hollywood North: Crew Confessions of an Insider” entertains the reader with my exploits in the world of film production in Montreal.

I fell into the business of being a script coordinator on films and TV series by accident, but darn good thing I was a quick learner – and computer literate, more or less. I soon discovered that film and television productions consist of a zillion moving parts, with tons of incredibly talented people all focused on one task: making something amazing out of words on paper: a script.

I talk about what it was like working on a variety of shows: popular kids’ TV series such as Are You Afraid of the Dark, or “erotic horror” like The Hunger, produced by Tony Scott’s company and featuring David Bowie and Terence Stamp. I worked on ’em all—feature films, miniseries, and TV Movies of the Week, all churned out at our very busy production companies.

I enjoyed a sublime interlude working closely with Patrick McGoohan, who had produced and starred in a cult ’60s favourite, The Prisoner. Patrick, who was in Montreal to work on a film being shot here, was in the throes of writing a big-budget Hollywood sequel to The Prisoner, and he wanted me to help him as a typist and sounding board. We got on so well that he invited me to Carmel, California to continue working with him at his home. It was such a transcendent experience for me that I dubbed myself “Cinderellie.”

Afterwards I go on to tell of crazy times on the shooting of that titillating TV series, The Hunger, with highlights—and lowlights—of talent and tantrums galore.

I write about dark days of dealing with some nefarious characters among the many actors, producers, directors, and other colleagues I met. A few were difficult but others, divine—and sometimes both at the same time!

My “confessions” and reminiscences are interspersed with original memos and emails. An appendix including my filmography, Prisoner notes and photos rounds out my account.

It is unfortunate that the “Hollywood North” heyday in Montreal came to an end. By 2001 almost all of our major film companies had closed up shop. But oh! How exhilarating it was to have had a role in this glamourous field! The memories still make me smile, and I know my readers will be entertained and fascinated as well.

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