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On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
Alexander Mackendrick directed several films, including The Man in the White Suit, which earned him an Oscar Nomination for Screenwriting. He was the author of the book On Film-making. He died in 1993.
Paul Cronin is a writer and filmmaker. He edited Roman Polanski: Interviews and writes for numerous publications, including Sight and Sound.
Martin Scorsese was born in New York City and graduated from New York University with a degree in film. Widely considered one the best filmmakers in American history, his movies include Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, After Hours, Cape Fear, and Gangs of New York.
"He doesn't soft soap his audience with advice to lie back and let their inner child do the work. Instead, he offers up the accumulated wisdom of a disciplined and productive career." - The Guardian