You are here

David Mamet's ON DIRECTING

I recently read this book and i found it very interesting. Mamet sees himself more as a screenwriter, so his directing approach is telling a story through cuts. The book is an excerpt from lectures he taught at Colombia film school some years ago.

I've read The Working Director by Charles Wilkinson, and it described nearly everything one would need to know or expect in the director's chair. What to look out for and things to do and such. It's a quick and enjoyable read. Entertaining as it was instructional, but i suppose that would be because i just love to read about directing and cant wait to do it myself! Stephkaye

Sounds like a great book. I know im gonna pick it up soon.:)

its really worth it. trust me. Stephkaye

Mamet's thin but enjoyable book is a hoot. Favourite part is when he talks about putting a post in a pig. Funny stuff, but it really isn't a practical guidebook for directors (his directing instincts, I find, are obtuse and not useful) - it's more for writers as it is anecdotal and clever. Although I don't know if you really can learn how to direct from books, I think you can learn things about the film industry and set ettiquette, as well as hear some good anecdotal stories from people far more experienced than us. To that end, I think Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman is a must read for any filmmaker (even though it's dated now, and it's about screenwriting, it pertains also to filmmaking). It gets you excited about making movies, and joining the storied history of film and filmmakers. Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television: by Judith Weston has some good tricks and ideas about how to talk to and respond to actors (which, really, is sometimes the hardest thing for new directors to wrap their heads around). Her idea about using action verbs is quite good - although everytime I'm talking to actors, it's hard for me to remember what she wrote! There's a great book out there called Moviemaker Master Class by Laurent Tirard which has 20 interviews by some of the world's best directors in sort of a filmmaker's classroom structure. Very good read, and if you're a fan of any of the interviewed directors, it's required reading. WPS

I am currently reading Directing Actors from Judith Weston and i like it overall although the structure of the book could be better. I agree with WPS that you can't learn directing from books but they give you useful hints on already successful ways to do it...then its up to you to find your own style and make something out of it.

I think Directing Actors is one of those on my shelf. I havent gotten to it yet though, right now im reading Film Directing Fundamentals: See Your Film Before Shooting by Nicholas T. Proferes. pretty good so far. It sets up scenes, and gives visual aides like storyboards and floor plans for setups and the like. And it studies scenes from other films to show you how the some of the Greats planned things out. It really takes you through some studying. Definitely a must-read. Stephkaye

I have the Mamet book and it's okay. Not one of my favorites, but I'ma bout to read Sidney Lumet's book and the chapter titles alone have me hooked.

the book is terrible. this book should be how HE does things not what STUDENTS should do. he is a hypocrite. also he is a terrible director, his first work is considered his best. dont buy this book and if your in a class that requires it well be prepared for suckage.

"the book is terrible. this book should be how HE does things not what STUDENTS should do" Are you talking about Lumet's book or Mamet's? Lumet's book is one of the clearest and most practical overviews of the filmmaking process that I've ever read. It's one of the first books I would give to a newbie who wanted to know exactly how movies "happen".

mamet

what is the title of lamet's book? i think i might pick it up if its that good at explaining things..... Stephkaye