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“BELOW THE LINE: Anatomy of a Successful Movie” A Rare Behind-the-Scenes Look


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” to be released by Citation Press.

Jordan was on the set of the major studio release “Last Vegas” during the film’s five months of physical production. 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 take the leads.

“BELOW THE LINE” shows the entire process of making a movie, including all the players. These are the real people of the movie industry behind the scenes—the production designer, costume supervisor, camera operator, editor, props department, the artists and artisans, production assistants and accountants, the pop star who wrote the score, the musical director, the orchestra manager, the director at the helm—all of whom stopped to explain, in detail, how things happen along the way.

“BELOW THE LINE” reveals 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 the dominant production center in the United States.

The author wanted to understand how a quality major motion picture was made in the new millennium, using one movie as a vehicle, and it took the better part of five years. Part business story, part insider’s look at the “new Hollywood,” “BELOW THE LINE” details how major movies are made in the 21st Century. Check out more at

Meredith Jordan spent 25 years working full-time for east coast-based operations like Dow Jones & Co, Cox Communication, American City Business Journals and National Geographic, along with smaller newspapers, wires and magazines. All of them were rooted in traditional journalism and none of them involved writing about Hollywood. Jordan, who called Atlanta and Washington, D.C., home for many years, lives in Southern California.


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