On Directing Film Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Preface and Chapter 1: Storytelling

• In his Preface, David Mamet explained in a rather humble manner that he wrote "On Directing Film" in 1987 when he had just completed his second film-directing assignment.

• Looking back, Mamet acknowledged that at that point there was a lot he did not know.

• The book is based on a series of lectures Mamet conducted at the Columbia University film school.
• There are several approaches a director can take in making a film.

• One is to follow the protagonist around and devise the most interesting and imaginative shots possible of his activities and movements.

• A second method is a series of images presented in a comparative light.

• This is a simplistic description of Eisenstein's theory of montage: Tell the story in cuts; a series of shots that tell the story rather than a narration that spells everything out for the audience.
• The sequence or juxtaposition...

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