Lesson time 12:02 min
David tells us that there isn't a fairy dust that will fix your script and explains the simple difference between him and an artist who spends his or her days simply dreaming about becoming a writer.
Topics include: Outlines • Rewriting • Write it Down
There's an old joke about-- they used to have the writers' rooms at the studios, where they put the writers in these rooms-- they're kind of prisons. And they put 10 of them there. And they used to have studio spies. And a spy-- one day, he came around, and he reported to his boss. He says I stood outside the writing room, and there was one guy in there. He wasn't writing for three whole minutes. As far as I know, writing is mainly thinking. It's thinking and worrying and writing and thinking and worrying and taking a nap and trying to jump out the window and, eventually, something gets done. You're not quite sure how. I try not to write on the weekends. But other than that, I just write every day. And I used to work in his cabin, very much like this, in Vermont. And one day, I got up, and I tried to get through 9:30, 10:00 o'clock in the morning. I got my little mug of tea. And my daughter, who's now 33, was 10. And she says Dad, where you going? I said I'm going off to write. She said nighty, night-- because a lot of my writing those days just consisted of taking a nap, because, sometimes, you just get burnt out. Well, eventually, you have to end up with an outline for a play-- eventually and especially for a movie. So I don't know if I mentioned before, but what I try to do is take an unformed idea and write scenes and notes and blah, blah, blah, until I can get the outline down to 15 lines on one page. And that's going to be the movie. And so what I do when I direct a movie, written and directed a movie, I've gotten the script, and I've rewritten the script. And I've reduced the script to a series of sequences that I can remember. And I reduced the sequences to the scenes. And I reduced the scenes to the shot list, so that I know every shot in the movie before I set foot onto the set. And when I set foot onto the set, of course, I never look at the notes. Why-- because I know them. Because if I don't know them when I stand up on the set, I've done something wrong. Now, I may and many times will come off the shot list. But if I don't got the shot list and get a better idea, or somebody might say what about this? But if I don't got the shot list, if I don't have an outline, what am I shooting when I get onto the set? I was talking to some executive from a studio, I said how are you doing? He said oh, I've got this big movie coming out, this $150 million movie coming out on Friday. I'm concerned about it. I said well, why are you concerned about it? He said well, the ending doesn't work. And I thought well, why didn't you fix it? If you know the ending doesn't work, who's going to sprinkle fairy dust on your movie? If the outline doesn't work, the movie's not going to work. And so there's this thing called the pitch process, where you come in and you talk to some executive for 10 minutes or f...
David Mamet sat in on a poker game full of thieves and left with the inspiration for American Buffalo. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Glengarry Glen Ross takes you through his process for turning life’s strangest moments into dramatic art. In his writing class, he’ll teach you the rules of drama, the nuances of dialogue, and the skills to develop your own voice and create your masterpiece.
Amazing. Inspired me so much. My favorite so far and so grateful to Mr. Mamet and the Masterclass team. This will stay with me throughout my life and was a complete revelation <3 Sending blessings!
i call my self a film maker, film director... but in last 10 ears i create nothing. Professionally i do nothing; only some ideas, short film scenarios
This class helped me with many things that were technical as well as emotional and even spiritual. I loved DM's class, and I appreciate his humor and his approach to this subject. This experience was invaluable to me, and I will be taking this class again. It's hard to put in to words, which I guess is not good, seeing as how I am a writer.
Just hearing mr. Mamet talk about his experience with his process and his view on being an artist was absolutely worth every penny I paid for the full Masterclass package. This course offers some technical knowledge on developing plot and a few other aspects of the writing process, but its main strength is a wide open view into the mindset of a true artist. Incredibly inspiring.