Below the Line: Anatomy of a Successful Movie

Anatomy of a Successful Movie is a nonfiction narrative about how major motion pictures are made today using one movie as a vehicle.


Meredith Jordan provides a holistic look at movie production that includes all aspects and all players. The core material is based on research for Below the Line: Anatomy of a Successful Movie. The book, to be published by Citation Press this Fall, is based on her imbedding start-to-finish with a major motion picture. It took nearly 10 years to get on a movie and another five to write a thorough book that includes all components – costumes to camera, movie stars to musicians – along with specific business details. The movie was Last Vegas, which starred Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen. The actors play big, but the real story is the crew. The book follows along real time providing rare insight into exactly how it all pulls together. It contains material from hundreds of interviews of crew as well as individuals at prop and costume houses, Panavision, and post-production facilities. Jordan is a career journalist who spent the first 20 years of her work life at news organizations, from small local papers to Dow Jones & Co., Cox Communications and National Geographic.