"Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business," by Lynda Obst

Amy Stuart,Simon and Schuster
Sleepless in Hollywood, Lynda Obst
Simon and Schuster, Amy Stuart

Jeff Glor talks to Lynda Obst about "Sleepless in Hollywood."

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Lynda Obst: I was inspired to write the book by a statement my son Oly made to me at dinner one night as I expressed-- vociferously, as we do, my frustration at being unable to get a really good script made. The kind I used to be able to get made during the first half of my career. It was by a terrific screenwriter, I had big stars interested, and the studio execs were looking at me blankly as I talked about which directors to submit it to. Just stares. Many of my colleagues were having similar troubles getting their movies made too. Oly said to me, "Mom, trying to get a movie made because it's good is so 2003." I was stunned. I realized something huge had happened, and I didn't know what it was. Was it permanent? Systemic? I was determined to figure it out by talking to the smartest people I knew. Everything seemed at stake, as far as the future of movies was concerned.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

LO: What surprised me during the writing of the book was how hugely the foreign markets have come to dominate what we make. When I started the domestic market was 80 percent of the movie going audience, and the international, 20 percent. Now it is reversed. The international market wants familiar titles, explosions, superheroes, amazing special effects and 3D. When they are 80 percent of the market they will get it. China especially is the critical market now. In 2020 it will be the No. 1 market in the world, surpassing North America. This has staggering implications for what we will see.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

LO: If I weren't making movies and TV and writing I would probably want to try to study theoretical physics. I would fail of course, but I am a physics groupie. All my besties are physicists and they would have to pull me through the math. Or I would be teaching philosophy of physics so I could skip the math.

JG: What's next for you?

LO: Next for me is a big exciting "tent-pole" coming out in November 2014 that I can't and won't talk about, as I am in a cone of silence, which is kind of fun. I am also executive producing a SyFy series with Ron Moore called "Helix." Both are science oriented.

For more on "Sleepless in Hollywood," visit the Simon & Schuster website.

  • Jeff Glor

    Jeff Glor was named anchor of the Sunday edition of the "CBS Evening News" in January 2012 and Special Correspondent for "CBS This Morning" in November 2011.