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Just Most Writers Are Writers, most film producers are producers, most actors are actors, and so on, so the entertainment industry is a popular setting for works of fiction.

In plots set in the entertainment industry, action takes place on the back side of three-wall sets and in the trendy bars and eateries of Hollywood, California, the Big Applesauce, or other artistic havens. This provides a good setting for explaining, lampooning, or critiquing the industry.

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Prima Donna Directors, White Dwarf Starlets trying to make a comeback, difficult Former Child Stars trying to get their life together, struggling screenwriters/directors Doing It for the Art, innocent farmgirls trying to become stars, pompous and dramatic stage actors, unscrupulous money-grubbing executives, and imperious or selfish established actresses all populate these settings. It's quite a place.

Usually, this stories are behind the scenes of a Show Within a Show. Occasionally, screwy Metafictional works may Break The Fourth Wall by showing the production of the work itself.

Troubled Production and The Show Must Go Wrong are common sources of drama in these settings.

Note that this only covers professional productions. For works about amateur performances, see School Play or Amateur Filmmaking Plot.

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This is a supertrope to The Musical Musical. See also Work Com.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Skip Beat! follows the life of naive everygirl Kyoko Mogami as she decides to become a superstar to get revenge on the boy who broke her heart. She doesn't start out with the goal of becoming an actor, but she ends up stumbling into the job anyways. Much of the story takes place on the set/ between takes of whatever project she's working on... or at the location shoot of the film her love interest is working on... or the set of the tv series her best friend is in... or the set of the promotional video her mortal enemy is shooting.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Kiss Me Kate is a movie (and stage play) about the production of a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.
  • I Know That Voice is a documentary that explains the work Voice Actors go through, with much of the film being interviews with well-known voice actors.
  • Singin' in the Rain is a Rom Com musical that portrays a time when The Jazz Singer was released and a film studio's response, changing from silent films to "talking pictures". Shows the the tools of the trade, sets viewed from off-stage, etc. Moses Supposes for example, is a dance number about actors undergoing speech training from a dialect coach.
  • Mulholland Dr. takes place in Hollywood, and the heroine is a young woman who moved to LA to be an actress. A subplot involves a director struggling to get his movie funded, and later on some scenes take place on the set of his movie, a 1950's romantic Period Piece.
  • La La Land in part follows Mia, an actress trying to make it in Hollywood.
  • Birdman is about a washed-out action star trying to make an artistic Broadway play, and almost entirely takes place backstage of the theater.
  • The original The Producers, which wasn't a musical, is about two Broadway producers deliberately trying to make a flop. The film was then adapted into a musical, an example of The Musical Musical.
  • Late Night takes place mostly in the writers' room of a fictional late night Talk Show
  • The Spanish movie La niña de tus ojos (The Girl of your Dreams) revolves around a group of Spanish movie actors in the late 1930s'. As the fascist are winning the Spanish Civil War, they are then invited to Nazi Germany to film a localized version of their movie, and they have to deal with the fact that some of their cast and crew are Jewish, and the star of the movie is being pursued by Joeseph Goebles.
    • It's sequel, La reina de españa (The Quuen of Spain) takes place just over twenty years after the first film, and show the actors coming together to rescue their old director, who was locked up in a concentration camp at the end of the first film, from a labor camp. The star of the film, tells [{Historical-Domain Character Franco]] what she really thinks of him at the end of the film.
  • Hasta la lluvia (Even the Rain) centers around a Spanish film crew that travels to Bolivia to film a movie about Christopher Columbus. Had they decided to make it in English, the crew would be given as much money as they needed by an American film studio and filmed on location in the Caribbean, but since they wanted to film it in Spanish, they had to find somewhere cheap. Unfortunately, they arrived during the Cochabumba water war, and production had to shut down due to the massive protests.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Classic Albums: This documentary series about the creation of classic music albums shows the viewer a glimpse how the sessions, production and personal history of the songs and the album itself came about.
  • Drop the Dead Donkey is set in the offices of "Globe Link News", a fictional TV news company. This includes the TV studio, with many episodes featuring the hijinks of the anchors Henry and Sally as they prepare to go to air.
  • Made in Canada is set in the meeting rooms of Pyramid Productions, a Canadian film and television production company, and on the sets of the various films and television series they produce. It uses this premise to satirise the corner-cutting, compromising, and executive cynicism that goes on at television production companies.
  • Aaron Sorkin seems to be a fan of this trope.
    • Sports Night follows the production of a sports news show and the quirks of its cast and crew.
    • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is about the production of a late night variety show in the vein of Saturday Night Live and how hard it is to write comedy.
    • The Newsroom follows a cable news show and uses the setting to commentate on news, politics, and the purpose of television news in contrast to entertainment media.
  • NewsRadio is a comedy set at (fictional) news radio station WNYX set in the 1990s, in New York City, initially focusing on it's director and later other characters as an ensemble.
  • Remember WENN is set at the ficitional Pittsburgh radio station WENN in the 1930s-1940s.
  • Sonny with a Chance is a Disney Channel show, although instead of trendy bars and eateries a lot of the action takes place in the studio commissary, complete with Mystery Meat and a school lunch lady clone.
  • UnREAL is about the production of a The Bachelor-type show called Everlasting.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show was partly this (Rob worked for a variety show) and partly a domestic sitcom.
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    Theatre 
  • Kiss Me Kate is a movie (and stage play) about the production of a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Noises Off shows three different points in the sex farce Nothing On - the final rehearsal before opening night, backstage partway through the run, and when the wheels come completely off toward the end of the run.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: The episodes The 138th Episode Spectacular and Behind the Laughter play with this trope. If depicts The Simpsons as a show and does this in a Mockumentary style.
  • Bojack Horseman, with its actor protagonist, has several arcs about the making of media. Most of Season 2 is about production of the Secretariat movie, and a number of flashbacks take place on the set of Horsin' Around, the sitcom that made Bojack famous.

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