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On Film-Making - Alexander Mackendrick

Hardcover Published: 1st July 2005
ISBN: 9780571215614
Number Of Pages: 336

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A priceless examination of the filmmaker's craft, from the renowned director of Sweet Smell of Success

After more than twenty years in the film industry as a screenwriter, storyboard editor, and director of memorable films such as The Ladykillers, Alexander Mackendrick turned his back on Hollywood and began a new career as the Dean of one of the country's most demanding and influential film schools. His absolute devotion to the craft of filmmaking served as a powerful impetus to students at the California Institute for the Arts for almost twenty five years, with a teaching style that included prodigious notes, neatly crafted storyboards, and handouts containing excerpts of works by Kierkegaard, Aristotle, and others. At the core of Mackendrick's lessons lay a deceptively simple goal: to teach aspiring filmmakers how to structure and write the stories they want to tell, while using the devices particular to the medium of film to tell their stories effectively.

In this impressive volume, edited by Paul Cronin, the myriad materials that made Mackendrick's reputation as an instructor are collected for the first time, offering a chance for professionals as well as students to discover a methodology of filmmaking that is challenging yet refreshing in its clarity. Meticulously illustrated and drawing on examples from such classic films as North by Northwest, Citizen Kane, and Touch of Evil, Mackendrick's elegant lessons are sure to provide inspiration for a new generation of filmmakers.

Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Prologuep. xxxv
Dramatic Construction
The Pre-Verbal Language of Cinemap. 3
What is a Story?p. 9
Expositionp. 22
Modernist Trendsp. 27
A Technique for Having Ideasp. 36
Slogans for the Screenwriter's Wallp. 40
Exercises for the Student of Dramatic Constructionp. 44
When Not to Write a Shooting Scriptp. 66
Once Upon a Time...p. 76
Activity versus Actionp. 86
Dramatic Ironyp. 92
William Archer Revisitedp. 97
Plausibility and Willing Suspension of Disbeliefp. 111
Density and Subplots in Sweet Smell of Successp. 116
Cutting Dialoguep. 160
The Solomon Exercisep. 165
The Director and the Actorp. 179
Film Grammar
The Invisible Imaginary Ubiquitous Winged Witnessp. 197
How to be Meaninglessp. 200
Mental Geographyp. 204
Condensing Screen Timep. 209
Drawing Lessonp. 218
Point of Viewp. 222
The Axisp. 235
Shot-to-Shot Relationshipsp. 251
Camera Coveragep. 258
Camera Movementp. 272
Citizen Kanep. 280
Epiloguep. 289
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780571215614
ISBN-10: 0571215610
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st July 2005
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 1