Start to Finish (Paperback)

Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking

By Eric Lax

Vintage, 9780804170840, 368pp.

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (10/2/2017)
Hardcover (10/3/2017)

List Price: 17.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In this fascinating insight into the artistic process, longtime Woody Allen biographer Eric Lax follows the legendary director through the making of a movie—from start to finish. Charting the production of Allen’s forty-sixth directorial feature, Irrational Man—starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone—from inception to premier, Lax takes us onto the set and behind the scenes, revealing the intimate details of Allen’s filmmaking. We see the screenplay being shaped, the scenes being prepared, and the actors, cinematographers, editors, and other participants at work. We hear Allen’s colleagues speak candidly about working with him, and Allen speaking with equal openness about his career. An unprecedented insight into one of the foremost filmmakers of our time, Start to Finish is sure to delight not only movie buffs and Allen fans, but everyone who has marveled at the magic of the movies.

About the Author

Eric Lax’s books include Woody Allen: A Biography, an international best seller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Bogart (with A. M. Sperber); and Conversations with Woody Allen. Lax has written for The Atlantic, Esquire, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For Start to Finish: Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking

“A veritable master class in filmmaking.” —The New York Times Book Review

“An undeniably captivating read. . . . A seriously up close and personal book. . . . Lax has an innate understanding of how Allen works.” —The Buffalo News

“A highly personal portrait of Allen—we see his insecurities, his vulnerabilities, and his dogged pursuit of a good story, be it for comedy or for deep examination of human morality—and the narrative is ripe with anecdotes and quotes. But the real achievement is seeing in detail the arc of any creative process. . . . The intimate access makes the book.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A clear and entertaining introduction to the moviemaking process. . . . The reader becomes immersed in the careful work that goes into [Allen’s] films. The book succeeds simultaneously as biographical snapshot, primer on filmmaking, and documentary of an artwork’s creation.” —Publishers Weekly
“Having written a first-rate biography of Woody Allen and then published a collection of interviews with the comedian-turned-filmmaker, Eric Lax now shares the experience of observing Woody at work. . . . From concept to filming to editing and polishing, this book offers a closeup look at the process of a true auteur, one of the rare American filmmakers who has complete control over his work.” —Leonard Maltin,
“Quite simply, this is unprecedented access to the creative process and Lax is a kind, patient observer.” —PopMatters