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Video Slut: How I Shoved Madonna Off an Olympic High Dive, Got Prince into a Pair of Tiny Purple Woolen Underpants, Ran Away from Michael Jackson's Dad, and Got a Waterfall to Flow Backward So I Could Bring Rock Videos to the Masses

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When video killed the radio star, Sharon Oreck was calling the shots. Video Slut takes an irreverent look behind the scenes of the music-video industry during its eighties heyday. Oreck, one of the top producers of all time, bluffed her way into the business with no experience whatsoever and went on to produce more than six hundred video shoots with Madonna, Sting, Mick Jag When video killed the radio star, Sharon Oreck was calling the shots. Video Slut takes an irreverent look behind the scenes of the music-video industry during its eighties heyday. Oreck, one of the top producers of all time, bluffed her way into the business with no experience whatsoever and went on to produce more than six hundred video shoots with Madonna, Sting, Mick Jagger, Prince, and several members of the increasingly unstable Jackson family—not to mention a cadre of delinquent caterers, deranged interns, self-absorbed record executives, and malfeasant animal trainers. Oreck also shares the at turns hilarious, biting, and poignant story of her origins as a single teen mother, disowned by her middle-class parents, and of her journey from welfare to kung fu movie sets to film school. She approaches her own delinquency and that of the superstars she encountered with humor and candor. The result is an acerbic but sympathetic account of the outrageous effects of fame, power, and money on people in the entertainment business. No one is spared, especially herself.


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When video killed the radio star, Sharon Oreck was calling the shots. Video Slut takes an irreverent look behind the scenes of the music-video industry during its eighties heyday. Oreck, one of the top producers of all time, bluffed her way into the business with no experience whatsoever and went on to produce more than six hundred video shoots with Madonna, Sting, Mick Jag When video killed the radio star, Sharon Oreck was calling the shots. Video Slut takes an irreverent look behind the scenes of the music-video industry during its eighties heyday. Oreck, one of the top producers of all time, bluffed her way into the business with no experience whatsoever and went on to produce more than six hundred video shoots with Madonna, Sting, Mick Jagger, Prince, and several members of the increasingly unstable Jackson family—not to mention a cadre of delinquent caterers, deranged interns, self-absorbed record executives, and malfeasant animal trainers. Oreck also shares the at turns hilarious, biting, and poignant story of her origins as a single teen mother, disowned by her middle-class parents, and of her journey from welfare to kung fu movie sets to film school. She approaches her own delinquency and that of the superstars she encountered with humor and candor. The result is an acerbic but sympathetic account of the outrageous effects of fame, power, and money on people in the entertainment business. No one is spared, especially herself.

30 review for Video Slut: How I Shoved Madonna Off an Olympic High Dive, Got Prince into a Pair of Tiny Purple Woolen Underpants, Ran Away from Michael Jackson's Dad, and Got a Waterfall to Flow Backward So I Could Bring Rock Videos to the Masses

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book took me much longer to read than it should have because I kept having to go to my computer and YouTube the videos described within. For a child of the 80's I was really less familiar with them than I should have been. It might have been helpful for Oreck to put up a website with links to her work to make tracking them down less complicated. For the most part, chapters regarding Ms. Oreck's large-scale productions were interspersed with ones about her personal life prior to becoming a r This book took me much longer to read than it should have because I kept having to go to my computer and YouTube the videos described within. For a child of the 80's I was really less familiar with them than I should have been. It might have been helpful for Oreck to put up a website with links to her work to make tracking them down less complicated. For the most part, chapters regarding Ms. Oreck's large-scale productions were interspersed with ones about her personal life prior to becoming a rock video producer. I actually found the personal stories far more heartfelt and entertaining than the ones about spoiled celebrities and their crises. The writing is, well, highly profane. Not that that was surprising considering the title, but some readers might be put off by it. It also seemed that there was an excessive amount of hyperbole and subterfuge. I'm sure Oreck felt she needed to spice things up a bit, but I'd venture to guess that a straightforward account of her experiences would have been just as fascinating. That said, however, it was fascinating. I would have liked to read more of it, actually.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris King

    I picked this up because I'd just read that big MTV book and it was really good. Sharon Oreck gets a lot of space in the pages of that book because she's on OG music video director. I thought this book would be great as a companion to that one but.... The author tries her best to cram WIT WIT WIT MOTHERFUCKING WIT into every goddamned sentence, making it pretty much unreadable. You never get into any narrative groove because Oreck is trying so fucking hard to show you how clever she is. This one' I picked this up because I'd just read that big MTV book and it was really good. Sharon Oreck gets a lot of space in the pages of that book because she's on OG music video director. I thought this book would be great as a companion to that one but.... The author tries her best to cram WIT WIT WIT MOTHERFUCKING WIT into every goddamned sentence, making it pretty much unreadable. You never get into any narrative groove because Oreck is trying so fucking hard to show you how clever she is. This one's going back to the library before its time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Falduto

    This was quite a fun read! Sharon Oreck writes about her career making music videos in the 1980s, she writes with a sort of Dave Barry humor (and the idea that I think she is making at least some of it up); she also writes like a woman who had to make it in a man's world in the 1980s so writes like "one of the boys." This is a funny and fun story that flashes in between her world of working on music videos and her past as a teenage mom. A little light on some details in the music video world; it This was quite a fun read! Sharon Oreck writes about her career making music videos in the 1980s, she writes with a sort of Dave Barry humor (and the idea that I think she is making at least some of it up); she also writes like a woman who had to make it in a man's world in the 1980s so writes like "one of the boys." This is a funny and fun story that flashes in between her world of working on music videos and her past as a teenage mom. A little light on some details in the music video world; it's not a tell-all so much as a pop up video segment. Great escapist read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I enjoyed the celebrity gossip and behind-the-scenes stories of some iconic music videos, but I HATED the author's writing style. I mostly skimmed over the non-video parts.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Krys

    This book was exhausting! It felt like work just trying to read it. It set on my nightstand for far too long as I often felt like I just didn't have the energy to labour through it. At the heart of the problem is Sharon's "writing". Often all of three run-on sentences, compromising two paragraphs, take up an entire page's text. I'd have to mentally take a deep breath just to finish a sentence. A sentence that contains more hyperbole than the Grand Canyon could hold. A sentence packed with every This book was exhausting! It felt like work just trying to read it. It set on my nightstand for far too long as I often felt like I just didn't have the energy to labour through it. At the heart of the problem is Sharon's "writing". Often all of three run-on sentences, compromising two paragraphs, take up an entire page's text. I'd have to mentally take a deep breath just to finish a sentence. A sentence that contains more hyperbole than the Grand Canyon could hold. A sentence packed with every possible witticism, snarky snuff, and insider's "gossip". For all her industry knowledge, Sharon doesn't reveal much about the birth of music videos, except what we mostly already know from popular culture. Yes, Madonna is tirelessly driven and equally narcissistic. Papa Joe Jackson exploits the talents of each of his children through tyrannical parental abuse. And surprise, surprise! Prince is difficult. Each of these stories could have been engaging, illustrative, interesting. But Sharon doesn't write. She talks. Like a cokehead with a speed habit who just sucked down an add shot with her Venti mocha, Sharon practically babbles. And, strangely, it's exactly as it should be, because Sharon is "sooooo L A," as the saying goes. Her delivery, her excessive use of every twenty dollar word she can grab onto, the way every statement is packed to the rafters with more words but little information, speaks to the type of world she inhabits. I've lived in Los Angeles, and I've known people in the industry. People quite similar in background, experience and profession to Sharon. Once I realized that familiarity was what she served up best; the utterly self-absorbed, vapid, vacant, irrelevant self-importance of being a "somebody" in LA, I could allow myself to have a snide chortle at these people and their world. But it didn't really make the reading process more profound, only slightly more amusing. Honestly, the best part of this book was having finished it, so that I didn't have to read it anymore.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chantay

    Sharon Oreck interposes her professional and personal life into a wacky, hilarious tale. From trying not to get her ass kicked by Joe Jackson to getting michael to fein interest in Naomi Campbell, you are introduced to how exactly she was put into this positions of power in the first place. A teen mother at 16, kicked-out, alone and on welfare. Sharon refused to live off the system anymore and did what she could to survive to:( i.e. bullshit her way to the top). it's a quick read, funny at times Sharon Oreck interposes her professional and personal life into a wacky, hilarious tale. From trying not to get her ass kicked by Joe Jackson to getting michael to fein interest in Naomi Campbell, you are introduced to how exactly she was put into this positions of power in the first place. A teen mother at 16, kicked-out, alone and on welfare. Sharon refused to live off the system anymore and did what she could to survive to:( i.e. bullshit her way to the top). it's a quick read, funny at times, slightly momentous at others. You will find yourself going to Youtube to look over the videos mentions. I would even suggest listening to the song as you read the chapter its about.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alnora1227

    You really have to have been a teen-ager in the 80s to get the utter hilarity and fabulousness of this book. Sharon Oreck manages to meld her autobiographical account of how she went from pregnant teen to video director extraordinaire and she does it with humour, good-natured self-deprecation, and lots of cred. Totally worth the price of admission for the accounts of what Prince and Madonna demanded during a shoot, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson's asshat of a father, and the unlikely and mete You really have to have been a teen-ager in the 80s to get the utter hilarity and fabulousness of this book. Sharon Oreck manages to meld her autobiographical account of how she went from pregnant teen to video director extraordinaire and she does it with humour, good-natured self-deprecation, and lots of cred. Totally worth the price of admission for the accounts of what Prince and Madonna demanded during a shoot, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson's asshat of a father, and the unlikely and meteoric rise of MTV. If you're an 80s kid do yourself a favor and read this. You will laugh a LOT. I promise.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Funny! She is a pretty good writer, not amazing but if you like her voice (I did) you will probably be OK. Her story is interesting, the vignettes are often funny, and the insight into a few famous videos you remember and maybe loved is great. There are a couple slow parts and awkward transitions but if you can get past that stuff and just get into the story you will enjoy it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This witty narrative goes back and forth between Sharon's life as a teenage mom and Sharon's life as a successful rock video producer. I especially enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at popular 80s videos - and then enjoyed watching them on YouTube after reading about them. Contains course language and several drug references, but is a funny nostalgic read for children/teens of the 80s.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Half of the chapters in this book were about specific music videos the author produced (fun!) and the other half were about the author's life before she produced music videos (snooze). The "behind the scenes" stories about some of the most popular videos ever (Like A Prayer, Wicked Game, Nasty) were hilarious.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Entertaining and occasionally inspiring read that combines anecdotes about film/video projects the author worked on alongside the general story of her life. Anyone seeking serious career advice, however, should look elsewhere...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    The most interesting parts of this book was when she talked about her past.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    A producer from the "golden age" of rock video tells her own life story as well as shares some behind-the-scenes looks at the hot personalities of the day...Madonna, janet, Michael, ect...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Fechner

    The music video stuff isn't terribly revealing ... and it's actually only half of the book: the book is equal parts autobiography and career memoir.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Made me want to go back and watch some of the videos to see the locations that she talks about.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shaz

    If you are a child of the 80's, READ THIS.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Ugh. I feel like I have to read this, since I spent the $9.99 for it.... but seriously, it's gonna be tough to get through.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Tennant

  19. 5 out of 5

    C. M.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Judy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katharine

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aviva

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Harmon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  26. 5 out of 5

    Silvercast

  27. 4 out of 5

    Henry Griffin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carmen Armillas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Wros

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