Sunday, 8 September 2019

On Film-Making An Introduction to the Craft of the Director by Alexander Mackendrick

"There are many exercises that the student of dramatic construction can undertake, but I have found that some of the most effective are born of very simple ideas."

When you are a film obsessed nerd dating the same, the conversation often turns, unsurprisingly, to movie making. So when "the Chief" suggested I borrow his reading material, I was intrigued and dived in. Just in time for a four hour flight, I began my journey into the true machinations of movie making.

Mackendrick deftly describes the technical concerns of a script and how they are a very different beast to the shot versions that I've read which have been published. The sparsity of words make them more like poetry and open for interpretation both by the Director, the Editor and all the other major contributors - which is an interesting concept. I particularly related to the layout sections when the author described the impact of his early experience in publishing. It was something I could relate to wholeheartedly having learnt the hard way about what works and what doesn't on a page during my time creating tender submissions - I love my indesign. I feel I've gone off on a tangent... back to the book.

I especially love the worked examples throughout the book including examinations of many films that I absolutely love such as The Third Man  and North By Northwest. The author was a director known for such films as The Man in the White Suit (which he also wrote)  and one of my absolute favourites Whiskey Galore! (see video link) and The Ladykillers.

So it was a relatively un-bumpy flight and in between watching a couple of movies - the secret to a short flight is to fast forward all the advertisements - I also managed to make a big dent in my reading. I finished this the other day and had a new found understanding and respect for the mechanics behind movie magic and for that I'm grateful.

5 out of 5  - and Scorsese is also a fan!

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