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Julian Mironov
Julian Mironov

Get On Directing Film by David Mamet as an EPUB File - A Must-Read for Filmmakers


On Directing Film by David Mamet: A Review and Guide




If you are interested in filmmaking, you have probably heard of David Mamet. He is one of the most acclaimed playwrights, screenwriters, and directors of our time. He has written and directed films such as Glengarry Glen Ross, The Spanish Prisoner, and House of Games. He has also taught film directing at Columbia University and written several books on the subject.




on directing film by david mamet epub download



One of his books, On Directing Film, is considered a classic in the field. It is based on a series of lectures he gave to film students in 1987. In this book, Mamet shares his insights and advice on how to tell a story through film. He covers topics such as story structure, scene construction, shot selection, directing actors, and editing.


In this article, we will review On Directing Film by David Mamet and provide a guide on how to apply his principles to your own filmmaking projects. We will also discuss some of the benefits and challenges of reading this book. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what makes a good film and how to achieve it.


The Art of Storytelling




According to Mamet, storytelling is the essence of filmmaking. He believes that a film should be a simple, clear, and coherent sequence of events that leads the audience from point A to point B. He argues that a film should not be a representation of reality, but a creation of reality. He says that a film should not be about what happens, but about what it means.


Why storytelling is the essence of filmmaking




Mamet explains that storytelling is the essence of filmmaking because it is what engages the audience emotionally and intellectually. He says that a film should make the audience care about what happens next, and why it happens. He says that a film should make the audience ask questions, anticipate answers, and experience surprises. He says that a film should make the audience feel something.


Mamet also explains that storytelling is the essence of filmmaking because it is what distinguishes film from other art forms. He says that film is unique in its ability to show rather than tell. He says that film is not a medium for expressing ideas or opinions, but for showing actions and consequences. He says that film is not a medium for explaining or describing, but for demonstrating and illustrating.


How to craft a compelling story from a simple premise




Mamet suggests that a good story can be derived from a simple premise. He defines a premise as a statement that summarizes the main conflict and goal of the protagonist. For example, the premise of The Godfather is "the son of a mafia boss must take over the family business". The premise of Jaws is "a sheriff must kill a shark that terrorizes a beach town". The premise of Die Hard is "a cop must stop terrorists who take over a skyscraper".


Mamet advises that a good premise should be clear, concise, and specific. It should also be original, intriguing, and challenging. It should pose a question that the audience wants to know the answer to. It should create a problem that the protagonist has to solve. It should imply a series of obstacles that the protagonist has to overcome.


The three-act structure




Mamet recommends using the three-act structure to organize your story. He defines the three acts as follows:



  • The first act introduces the premise, the protagonist, and the inciting incident. The inciting incident is the event that sets the story in motion and forces the protagonist to pursue a goal.



  • The second act develops the premise, the protagonist, and the complications. The complications are the events that make the protagonist's goal harder to achieve and increase the stakes.



  • The third act resolves the premise, the protagonist, and the climax. The climax is the event that determines whether the protagonist achieves or fails his or her goal and how he or she changes as a result.



Mamet warns against deviating from the three-act structure or adding unnecessary subplots or twists. He says that a good story should be simple, linear, and logical. He says that every scene should advance the story and reveal something new about the characters or the situation. He says that every scene should have a purpose and a direction.


The scene and the beat




Mamet explains that a scene is a unit of action that takes place in one location and time. He says that a scene should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. He says that a scene should have a conflict, a turning point, and a resolution. He says that a scene should have a clear objective for each character and an obstacle that prevents them from achieving it.


Mamet also explains that a beat is a unit of action within a scene. He says that a beat is a change in the relationship or status of the characters. He says that a beat is a shift in power or emotion. He says that a beat is what makes a scene dynamic and interesting.


Mamet advises that each scene should have at least three beats. He says that each beat should raise or lower the tension or suspense in the scene. He says that each beat should reveal something new or unexpected about the characters or the situation. He says that each beat should move the story forward or backward.


The shot and the cut




Mamet instructs that a shot is a unit of action within a beat. He says that a shot is what you see on screen at any given moment. He says that a shot is what you choose to show or hide from the audience. He says that a shot is what you use to create visual interest and meaning.


Mamet also instructs that a cut is a unit of action between shots. He says that a cut is what you use to change from one shot to another. He says that a cut is what you use to create rhythm and pace. He says that a cut is what you use to manipulate time and space.


Mamet recommends using shots and cuts sparingly and deliberately. He says that each shot should have one clear point of focus and one clear point of view. He says that each cut should have one clear reason and one clear effect. He says that each shot and cut should serve the story and not distract from it.


How to avoid common pitfalls of storytelling




Mamet warns against some common pitfalls of storytelling that can ruin your film. He identifies three main traps that you should avoid: the exposition trap, the character trap, and the dialogue trap.


The exposition trap




The exposition trap is when you try to explain too much to the audience through dialogue or narration. Mamet argues that exposition is boring, confusing, and unnecessary. He says that exposition breaks the illusion of reality and makes the audience aware of your presence as a storyteller. He says that exposition tells instead of shows.


The character trap




The character trap is when you try to create complex and realistic characters through backstory or psychology. Mamet argues that character is not something that you invent or explain, but something that you reveal or imply. He says that character is not what a person is, but what a person does. He says that character is not a noun, but a verb.


Mamet suggests avoiding the character trap by focusing on your characters' actions and reactions. He says that you should not tell your audience who your characters are or what they think or feel. He says that you should show your audience what your characters do or say or how they behave or respond. He says that you should let your audience infer your characters' traits and motives from their choices and consequences.


The dialogue trap




The dialogue trap is when you try to convey information or emotion through words alone. Mamet argues that dialogue is not the primary tool of storytelling, but the secondary or tertiary one. He says that dialogue is not what people say, but how they say it. He says that dialogue is not a substitute for action, but a supplement to it.


Mamet suggests avoiding the dialogue trap by using dialogue sparingly and purposefully. He says that you should not use dialogue to explain or describe what can be shown or implied visually. He says that you should not use dialogue to express or reveal what can be conveyed or suggested nonverbally. He says that you should use dialogue to create conflict or contrast, to reveal character or subtext, or to enhance humor or irony.


The Craft of Directing




According to Mamet, directing is a collaborative process that involves communicating your vision to your crew and actors, and executing your vision on set and in post-production. He believes that a director should be a leader, a teacher, and a learner. He argues that a director should not be a dictator, a critic, or a spectator.


Why directing is a collaborative process




Mamet explains that directing is a collaborative process because filmmaking is a team effort that requires the skills and talents of many people. He says that a director cannot make a film alone, but needs the help and support of his or her crew and actors. He says that a director should respect and appreciate the contributions of everyone involved in the film.


Mamet also explains that directing is a collaborative process because filmmaking is an organic and dynamic process that requires flexibility and adaptability. He says that a director cannot make a film exactly as he or she planned it, but needs to adjust and improvise according to the realities and challenges of the production. He says that a director should listen and learn from the feedback and suggestions of his or her crew and actors.


How to communicate your vision to your crew and actors




Mamet advises that a director should communicate his or her vision to the crew and actors clearly, concisely, and consistently. He says that a director should have a clear idea of what he or she wants to achieve with the film, and be able to articulate it in simple and specific terms. He says that a director should also have a concise plan of how he or she wants to achieve it, and be able to share it in an organized and logical way. He says that a director should also have a consistent approach of how he or she wants to execute it, and be able to follow it in an orderly and disciplined way.


The storyboard and the shot list




Mamet recommends using a storyboard and a shot list to communicate your vision to your crew. He defines a storyboard as a series of drawings or sketches that illustrate the shots of each scene in your film. He defines a shot list as a written document that describes the shots of each scene in your film.


Mamet suggests using a storyboard and a shot list to communicate your vision to your crew because they help you visualize and organize your film in advance. He says that they help you plan your shots according to your story structure, scene construction, and shot selection. He says that they help you coordinate your shots with your crew members such as the cinematographer, the production designer, the sound designer, etc.


The rehearsal and the feedback




Mamet recommends using rehearsal and feedback to communicate your vision to your actors. He defines rehearsal as the practice of performing the scenes of your film with your actors before shooting them. He defines feedback as the comments or suggestions that you give to your actors after rehearsing or shooting the scenes of your film.


Mamet suggests using rehearsal and feedback to communicate your vision to your actors because they help you refine and improve your film in progress. He says that they help you test your scenes according to your story structure, scene construction, and beat selection. He says that they help you guide your actors with your objectives, obstacles, and beats.


The trust and the respect




Mamet emphasizes using trust and respect to communicate your vision to your crew and actors. He defines trust as the confidence and faith that you have in your crew and actors to do their jobs well. He defines respect as the appreciation and recognition that you show to your crew and actors for their work and input.


Mamet advises using trust and respect to communicate your vision to your crew and actors because they help you create a positive and productive working environment. He says that they help you motivate and inspire your crew and actors to give their best performance. He says that they help you collaborate and cooperate with your crew and actors to achieve a common goal.


How to execute your vision on set and in post-production




Mamet instructs that a director should execute his or her vision on set and in post-production by using the tools and techniques of filmmaking. He says that a director should be familiar with the technical aspects of filmmaking such as the camera, the lighting, the sound, the editing, and the music. He says that a director should also be creative with the artistic aspects of filmmaking such as the composition, the color, the mood, the rhythm, and the style.


The camera and the lens




Mamet teaches that a director should use the camera and the lens to execute his or her vision on set. He says that a director should choose the right camera and lens for each shot according to the story, the scene, and the beat. He says that a director should consider factors such as the format, the resolution, the frame rate, the aspect ratio, the focal length, the aperture, the depth of field, etc.


Mamet explains that a director should use the camera and the lens to execute his or her vision on set because they affect how the audience sees and perceives the film. He says that they affect factors such as the perspective, the angle, the movement, the distance, the focus, etc.


The lighting and the sound




the right lighting and sound for each shot according to the story, the scene, and the beat. He says that a director should consider factors such as the source, the direction, the intensity, the color, the quality, the volume, the pitch, the tone, etc.


Mamet explains that a director should use the lighting and the sound to execute his or her vision on set because they affect how the audience feels and reacts to the film. He says that they affect factors such as the mood, the atmosphere, the emotion, the tension, etc.


The editing and the music




Mamet teaches that a director should use the editing and the music to execute his or her vision in post-production. He says that a director should choose the right editing and music for each scene according to the story, the scene, and the beat. He says that a director should consider factors such as the order, the duration, the transition, the pace, the genre, the tempo, the melody, etc.


Mamet explains that a director should use the editing and the music to execute his or her vision in post-production because they affect how the audience understands and interprets the film. He says that they affect factors such as the continuity, the causality, the contrast, the emphasis, etc.


Conclusion




In conclusion, On Directing Film by David Mamet is a book that offers valuable insights and advice on how to tell a story through film. It covers topics such as story structure, scene construction, shot selection, directing actors, and editing. It also discusses some of the benefits and challenges of reading this book.


Summary of the main points




Here are some of the main points that we learned from this book:



  • Storytelling is the essence of filmmaking. A film should be a simple, clear, and coherent sequence of events that leads the audience from point A to point B.



  • A good story can be derived from a simple premise. A premise is a statement that summarizes the main conflict and goal of the protagonist.



  • A good story should follow the three-act structure. The three acts are: introduction, development, and resolution.



  • A good story should consist of scenes and beats. A scene is a unit of action that takes place in one location and time. A beat is a unit of action within a scene.



  • A good story should be told through shots and cuts. A shot is what you see on screen at any given moment. A cut is what you use to change from one shot to another.



the audience through dialogue or narration. Character is when you try to create complex and realistic characters through backstory or psychology. Dialogue is when you try to convey information or emotion through words alone.


  • Directing is a collaborative process that involves communicating your vision to your crew and actors, and executing your vision on set and in post-production.



  • A director should communicate his or her vision to the crew and actors clearly, concisely, and consistently. A director should use tools such as storyboard, shot list, rehearsal, and feedback.



  • A director should execute his or her vision on set and in post-production by using the tools and techniques of filmmaking. A director should be familiar with the technical and artistic aspects of filmmaking such as camera, lighting, sound, editing, and music.



  • A director should use trust and respect to communicate and execute his or her vision. A director should respect and appreciate the contributions of everyone involved in the film. A director should listen and learn from the feedback and suggestions of his or her crew and actors.



Recommendation and call to action




We recommend On Directing Film by David Mamet to anyone who is interested in filmmaking, especially in directing. We think that this book is a great source of inspiration and guidance for aspiring and experienced filmmakers alike. We think that this book will help you improve your storytelling and directing skills, and make better films.


If you want to read On Directing Film by David Mamet, you can download it as an epub file from this link: https://www.epubdrive.com/on-directing-film-epub.html. You can also buy it as a paperback or a Kindle edition from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Directing-Film-David-Mamet/dp/0140127224.


We hope that you enjoyed this article and learned something new from it. We also hope that you will read On Directing Film by David Mamet and apply his principles to your own filmmaking projects. We wish you all the best in your filmmaking journey.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about On Directing Film by David Mamet:



  • What is the main idea of On Directing Film?



The main idea of On Directing Film is that filmmaking is storytelling, and storytelling is showing a simple, clear, and coherent sequence of events that leads the audience from point A to point B.


  • Who is David Mamet and why should you read his book?



David Mamet is one of the most acclaimed playwrights, screenwriters, and directors of our time. He has written and directed films such as Glengarry Glen Ross, The Spanish Prisoner, and House of Games. He has also taught film directing at Columbia University and written several books on the subject. You should read his book because he offers valuable insights and advice on how to tell a story through film.


  • How can you benefit from reading On Directing Film?



You can benefit from reading On Directing Film by learning how to craft a compelling story from a simple premise, how to avoid common pitfalls of storytelling, how to communicate your visi


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