The Hollywood MBA by Tom Reilly ReviewThe Hollywood MBA: A Crash Course in Management from a Life in the Film Business by Tom Reilly
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 10th 2017
Pages: 272
Purchase on: AmazonBarnes & NobleTargetWalmartBooks-A-Million
My Rating: four-half-stars

About this Book

What would you do if alligators were loose in your office? Or if your place of business changed 80 times during a four month period? What if two of your key employees were infant twins? Or you were asked to manage 130 people who were hired yesterday?

Successful management isn’t about what you want; the question is, what do you NEED?

Tom Reilly has faced these obstacles and thousands more in his three-decade career managing major motion pictures. An experienced professional filmmaker, he’s led more than 100,000 employees and been responsible for overseeing over two billion dollars in pro-rated production budgets.

Without an office or a single sick day in over thirty years, Reilly was forced to adopt and hone a unique set of strategies to accommodate for extreme workplace conditions and the challenge of leading and managing big budget projects, a revolving-door workforce of technicians, and actors such as Al Pacino, Robert de Niro, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand, Sean Connery, and Harrison Ford.

Reilly explores the ten key strategies he utilized to manage big crews, big budgets, and big personalities on major motion pictures, and shows us how these strategies can be leveraged in any business for success.

With an eye for making small adjustments to management strategy that produce big results, Reilly utilizes the narrative backdrop of the film set as an extreme case study in modern management identifying proven, easy-to-implement, and often counter intuitive practices that will increase engagement, team cohesion, efficiency, creativity, quality, and the bottom line in any industry.


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I love business books, but that wasn't what drew me to The Hollywood MBA. What made me interested in this book was actually the connection to Hollywood. I think so many people are fascinated with Hollywood and where movies are made. I know I am.

Author Tom Reilly has been a filmmaker for over thirty years and has collaborated on over 100 film and television projects for major studios. Naturally he knows the business and likely experienced so much the business has to offer.

What made this book really interesting were the examples between filmmaking and business. While they may be simple, I could see how they could have a positive impact on a work setting.

While I probably picked up this book for a different reason than many other readers, I found it to be very interesting, both in a business setting as well as learning more about Hollywood filmmaking.

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