On Film-Making by Alexander Mackendrick

By Alexander Mackendrick

Hugely praised through James Mangold and different ex-students, Alexander Mackendrick's time at Cal Arts led to a set of mimeographed papers and illustrations that experience eventually made it into print. the 1st 1/2 the e-book gathers Mackendrick's lectures on screenplay writing; the second one part is extra often approximately movie reviews. The ebook additionally incorporates a fit pattern of the recognized observe card slogans that disguise the partitions of his place of work.

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Lit. On the other hand. i_i;e' ol cinema that ha\'e so tar developed (and con— tiiiue to evolvel. 1],{llL\IlU|1 and seiisihility land the essential energy. concentratioii and sell-disciplinel eaii learn, teaching iheniselves. { until you have discovered it afresh for yoiirsell. s in taking esistini; conventions, stiidyiiig how they govern the niedium_ and finding utterly new ways to use them. There are no concrete forinulas availahle to the filiii-maker, or at least none that should not he immediately ziluiitloiied if another arises that suits the eircuiiistaiices.

But l suggest you make a real effort to follow my formulas as a temporary exercise. Not to ‘express yourself’. Not yet. You can do that as much as you like, later. So put aside your hunger for instant gratification and creativity, at least for long enough to understand some basic ideas and practical pieces of advice that you are perfectly entitled to discard later. Anybody who wants out please say so now. PROLOGUF. xxxix PART O N E Dramatic Construction The Pre-Verbal Language of Cinema involves the rationalising of our feelings and impulses, something lm directors of the silent era discovered they could Speech .

Obviously, the substance of that scene is not in the dialogue, which is strictly conventional, but in what these people are thinking about. ‘ Puzzled by the difficulties encountered by many students as they tackle the problems of writing for the cinema, l wonder if this is because we are educated to think verbally. This conditioning to express oneself in literate word systems can be a stumbling block to young writers and directors, a handicap to those trying to master the prc-verbal structures of narrative cinema.

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