On Directing Film Themes

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Stay True to the Story

David Mamet's book, "On Directing Film" is based on a series of lectures given by Mamet to students at Columbia University's Film School. Of his chief theories in creating good film, one that stands out as fundamental and most important is the necessity of staying true to the story. The director's job in pre-production is to work hard to understand the story of the film he is to direct and create a "shoot list." That is, amass a chronological list of all the shots that will be necessary to tell the story the screenwriter has written. Once the director understands the story and understands that it is job to tell that story, his job becomes easier.

When a director goes awry and veers off the design (shoot list) to "make a statement" or present "performance art" that is when the movie is doomed. The...

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This section contains 686 words
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