Meredith Jordan’s New Book Reveals How Hollywood Makes Movies Today

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It is a rare thing for a journalist to be embedded during the making of a major motion picture, and it took her nearly 10 years to get on a project. After the movie wrapped she began the arduous work of researching all she had seen. Through “BELOW THE LINE” Jordan leverages “Last Vegas” as the vehicle to explain the present-day movie industry in detail.

BELOW THE LINE: Anatomy of a Successful Movie. Book Cover

“These are the real people of the movie industry behind the scenes—the production designer, costume supervisor, camera operator, editor, the props department, the artists and artisans, and the production assistants and accountants,” Jordan says.

What really goes on behind the scenes of a movie set? That’s what award-winning journalist Meredith Jordan set out to answer in “BELOW THE LINE: Anatomy of a Successful Movie,” just released by Citation Press.

The author wanted moviegoers to understand how a quality major motion picture is made, from start to finish, in the new millennium. She captured the essence of the entire process while on the set of the major studio release “Last Vegas” during the film’s five months of physical production.

It is a rare thing for a journalist to be embedded during the making of a major motion picture, and it took her nearly 10 years to get on a project. After the movie wrapped she began the arduous work of researching all she had seen. Through “BELOW THE LINE” Jordan leverages “Last Vegas” as the vehicle to explain the present-day movie industry in detail.

The movie, a comedy about four retired guys who throw a bachelor party for the last one of them to get married, included a stellar cast: Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen. For a change, however, Jordan’s book isn’t about the A-list stars. In these pages, the iconic actors play supporting roles while the crew takes the lead. “BELOW THE LINE” takes the reader behind the cameras and shows the complete journey of making a movie, including the contributions of many integral players who are invisible to movie audiences.

“These are the real people of the movie industry behind the scenes—the production designer, costume supervisor, camera operator, editor, the props department, the artists and artisans, and the production assistants and accountants,” Jordan says. “Don’t forget the pop star who wrote the score, the musical director, the orchestra manager, and the
director at the nerve center of it all. The list goes on and on – well beyond the A-list actors.”

Throughout the production and later, all of these unsung but important people stopped to explain to Jordan, in detail, how things happen during the demanding and fascinating process of making a major motion picture. “BELOW THE LINE” reveals how the big money moves – what the stars were paid, their perk packages, the cost of making “Last Vegas” and its budget, its estimated box-office grosses, and more. It explains why “Last Vegas” was shot in Atlanta, which is now a dominant production center in the United States.

Using one large-scale movie as a telling microcosm of how Hollywood operates in the new millennium, Jordan’s in-depth reporting and diligent research took the better part of five years. Part business story, part insider’s look at the “new Hollywood,” “BELOW THE LINE” details all the dynamics of making movies in the 21st century and lifts the curtain on the vital behind-the-scenes people who make them happen. Check out more at http://www.BelowTheLineBook.com.

About Meredith Jordan
Meredith Jordan spent 25 years as a journalist working full-time for east coast-based operations like Dow Jones & Co., Cox Communications, American City Business Journals and National Geographic, along with smaller newspapers, wire services and magazines. All of them were rooted in traditional journalism and none involved writing about Hollywood, which gave her a fresh eye. Jordan, who called Atlanta and Washington, D.C., home for many years, now lives in Southern California.

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