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“Beyond The Red Carpet” – Francine Brokaw

BeyondBy: Judy Shields

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) November 19, 2014 – Book Review.  “I still today, keep myself quite busy with movie reviews, award show and event coverage.”  “Today is no different with several movies I have to watch, then do the review, grab some lunch and watch more movies.”  Francine Brokaw, author of “Beyond The Red Carpet” told The Hollywood Times.

It was such a delight to have spoken to her on the telephone today, to tell her how much I really enjoyed her book and that everyone should have a copy of it in their library.  We spoke at great length about her years as an entertainment journalist and how truly difficult the job can be at times and also how many years it took her to say “no” to some entertainment coverage of events.  I know exactly what she meant, since being a new reporter, I take everything that comes my way.

brokawI asked Francine Brokaw why she wrote this book and she said the publishers were looking for a book on entertainment journalist and Francine believes this book is for educational purposes and should be added to high school and college curriculum.  She mentioned that you truly can’t be taught in school how to become an entertainment journalist.  It is a hands-on job and that is how you learn to become good at it.  Great advice indeed from a woman with many years of experience.

Francine started out and still does print articles and not the video type interviews or event coverage.  She is currently working on a screenplay and a couple of novels.  I can’t wait to read her next one and she said they have asked for another type of educational book like “Beyond The Red Carpet.”

The Hollywood Times Senior editor, Valerie Milano is good friends with Francine Brokaw and Ms. Brokaw gave a copy of her new book to Valerie Milano. Since Valerie Milano knows how much I enjoy reading and most importantly, in my opinion, since I just started out as a reporter earlier this year, what a great book it would be for me to read.

Well, guess what, it was an amazing book.  Francine Brokaw had me from the very first sentence in the Introduction of this book.  As I quickly read through this book, which I didn’t want to put it down.  It was almost like I had wrote some of this book myself.  It was enlightening to have read in her book, what I was thinking and feeling, when doing celebrity interviews and especially covering the red carpets for award shows.

The beginning of the book starts out with “When people hear that I am an entertainment journalist, they usually imagine a life of glitz and glamour: they envision me going to cocktail parties, decked out in stunning jewelry and designer dresses, and hobnobbing with A-listers over drinks and hors dóeuvres.” Now, that statement right there is so true, because all of my friends and family sure did make this sort of statement to me.

Honestly, when I got to do my first red carpet back in March of this year, it was at the Paramount lot to attend the Make-Up and Hair awards show and Johnny Depp was receiving an award.  All I could think of was being able to interview Johnny Depp.  I had met him a couple of times down at the premieres for the Pirate movies at Disneyland.  But I sure was nervous about interviewing him.  To my disappointment he did not show up at the red carpet, but I did get to interview Ed Asner and Johnny’s make up guy.  So it turned out really great and I made some new journalist friends and had a marvelous dinner.  Well, as Francine Brokaw mentioned in her book, although it is a fun job and there are some perks, it is still time consuming waiting around. Then, the hard part is writing about the interview, the event itself and the time we need to get it to our editors and hope for a great story.

The greatest part about her book is that she got many of her journalist and publicists (thirty of them) friends she has made throughout her career, to give their opinions to several questions she had on celebrity interviews.  First Francine Brokaw gave her answers to those questions with such wit and honesty. So these questions and answers alone are worth purchasing her new book.

She asked questions like… How did you get started in the business?  What is the most memorable interview you’ve ever conducted?  What is the best swag you’ve ever received?  Have you ever had to interview someone rude?

This is one of those books that everyone should read to better understand the life of a journalist covering the stories, you the reader, enjoy to read.  Francine Brokaw covers all aspects of the business of entertainment journalism.  It is a very humorous book, especially to read about the different interviews with well-known stars.  There are several journalists, including Francine Brokaw that interviewed Robin Williams, and with his recent passing, it was really great to have read about him.

Chapter 2 “Misconceptions” is so spot on, where Francine Brokaw explains in detail that is it not all fun and games doing her job.  “This job requires intelligence, wit, tenacity, time, a way with people, a way with words, and a lot of hard work.  This a 24/7 profession and that news does not happen between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, so one is on call every single day of the year, every year!” Quoted in the book.

If you think the lives of these hard-working journalists are all glitz and glamour, you need to read this book to find out what their jobs really entail.  Some of the stories will have you laughing out loud while others will have you wondering if your favorite celeb is a winner or a loser off camera.

This book won second place at the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Awards.

Check out Francine Brokaw’s website for more information at http://www.francisebrokaw.com/.

What a great book for your collection or it would make a wonderful holiday gift and You’re In Luck, Francine just happens to be offering a deal on multiple copies of her book, if you mention you saw this article.

Just email her at francine@francinebrokaw.com to start your holiday shopping.

About Francine Brokaw

Francine Brokaw has been an entertainment and political journalist for over twenty years. She has interviewed countless politicians and celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Julie Andrews, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Lindsay Lohan, Ashley Judd, and many more. Her articles can  be found in a variety of national and international magazines, both in print and online. Francine is accredited by the MPAA and is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).

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