On Directing Film Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the rule which Mamet says means "Keep it simple, stupid"?

2. The newspaper reviewer criticized an author for attempting screenwriting because he was nearly what?

3. According to Mamet, the storyteller did NOT need something in Chapter 2. What was it?

4. What term means a filmmaker, usually a director, who exercises creative control over his or her works and has a strong personal style?

5. Screenwriting is a craft based on what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What scenario did Mamet put forth to the class in Chapter 2? How did Mamet relate the suggested opening shot of this scenario to television?

2. How did the class progress in the details of their hypothetical film in Chapter 2?

3. How did Mamet describe film in terms of syllogism in Chapter 3?

4. What is a "MacGuffin", and who coined this phrase?

5. How did Mamet relate the "School of Countercultural Architecture" to film directing?

6. What are ways that directors attempt to keep the audience's attention when the design of a film fails?

7. How did Mamet describe human nature in piecing together stories from film?

8. What writers and filmmakers did Mamet refer to in the Preface and Chapter 1 regarding screenwriting and film direction?

9. How did Mamet describe Eisenstein's theory of montage?

10. What did Mamet write about drama school and film school in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Define and discuss the terms "modern art" and "performance art" in the text. How did Mamet feel about these genres? What is the role of politics in film?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the similarities between film and dreams. What writers did Mamet cite in his discussion of this topic?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Mamet's take on exposition and narration in storytelling and specifically in film.

(see the answer keys)

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