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. A good writer only gets better by learning to do what, according to Mamet?

2. Who did Mamet compare with Frank Capra in Chapter 3?

3. What unit does the director want to concern himself with?

4. Mamet says in Chapter 1 that it is the __________ that makes the movie. What was he talking about?

5. According to Mamet, film directors should all aspire to be what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Mamet think of the steadicam?

2. What did Mamet write regarding dreams and film in Chapter 1?

3. What was Mamet's rule of thumb for cutting extraneous material from a film?

4. What is the backdrop of On Directing Film? From what setting did the author base the text?

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

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

7. What does Mamet say in terms of withholding information from the audience, in Chapter 2?

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

9. What are the different approaches Mamet discussed as methods of storytelling in film, in Chapter 1?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Mamet's approach to the director's interaction with the actors and the camera operators on the set. What did he suggest in these interactions, and why?

Essay Topic 2

Compare the films of Frank Capra and Werner Herzog. How do these directors differ in their approach and storytelling? With whom do Mamet's theories most relate?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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