On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Aug 31, 2005 - Performing Arts - 291 pages
2 Reviews

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.

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On film-making: an introduction to the craft of the director

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Although Mackendrick (1912-93) made most of his pictures, including the classic Sweet Smell of Success , in the 1950s, his stature has only increased in the intervening decades. In 1969, he abandoned ... Read full review

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This has become a reference book that I read continually, if you want to be involved in making films you have to own this book.

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About the author (2005)

Alexander Mackendrick directed several films, including The Man in the White Suit, which earned him an Oscar Nomination for Screenwriting. He died in 1993.

Paul Cronin is the editor of Herzog on Herzog.

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