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Alexander Mackendrick On Filmmaking: A Masterclass in Cinema

Alexander Mackendrick On Filmmaking Epub 13: A Review

If you are a filmmaker or an aspiring filmmaker, you might have heard of Alexander Mackendrick, one of the most influential directors and teachers of cinema. His book, Alexander Mackendrick On Filmmaking, is a collection of his lectures, notes, and essays on the art and craft of making movies. It was published in 2004, more than a decade after his death, and has been praised by critics and filmmakers alike as a masterclass in filmmaking.

Alexander Mackendrick On Filmmaking Epub 13

But what is this book about? And why should you read it? In this article, I will give you an overview of the book, its structure, its key lessons, and my personal opinion on its value. I will also explain what filmmaking epub is and why it is a convenient format for reading books on your devices. By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of whether this book is worth your time and money.


Who was Alexander Mackendrick?

Alexander Mackendrick was born in Boston in 1912, but grew up in Scotland. He started his career as an illustrator and graphic designer, before moving to London to work as a scriptwriter and editor for Ealing Studios. He made his directorial debut in 1949 with Whisky Galore!, a comedy based on a true story of a shipwrecked cargo of whisky on a Scottish island. He went on to direct several more successful comedies for Ealing, such as The Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers, and The Maggie.

In 1957, he moved to Hollywood, where he directed four more films, including Sweet Smell of Success, a noir thriller starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis as a ruthless gossip columnist and his press agent. This film is widely regarded as his masterpiece and one of the best films ever made. However, Mackendrick had a difficult time working in the Hollywood system, where he clashed with producers and studios over creative control. He eventually quit directing in 1967 and became a teacher at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he taught film theory and practice until his death in 1993.

Mackendrick was known for his meticulous preparation, his attention to detail, his visual style, his wit and humor, his humanism, and his ability to elicit great performances from actors. He was also a brilliant storyteller who understood the principles of drama, suspense, character, and emotion. He influenced many filmmakers who studied or worked with him, such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Schrader, James Mangold, John Lasseter, Judd Apatow, and many more.

What is filmmaking epub?

Filmmaking epub is a format for electronic books that allows you to read them on various devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones, e-readers, etc. Epub stands for electronic publication and it is a standard format that is compatible with most platforms and software. Epub files have the extension .epub and they can be downloaded from online sources or transferred from one device to another.

One of the advantages of filmmaking epub is that it can contain multimedia elements such as images, audio, video, animations, etc. that enhance the reading experience and illustrate the concepts and examples in the book. Another advantage is that it can adapt to different screen sizes and orientations, allowing you to customize the font size, style, color, layout, etc. according to your preferences. You can also bookmark, highlight, annotate, search, and navigate the book easily with the help of tools and menus.

Filmmaking epub is a convenient and affordable way to access books on filmmaking without having to buy physical copies or carry them around. You can store hundreds of books on your device and access them anytime and anywhere. You can also share them with others or sync them across your devices.

Why is this book important for filmmakers?

Alexander Mackendrick On Filmmaking is not just a book about filmmaking. It is a book about storytelling, directing, acting, cinematography, sound, editing, and everything else that goes into making a film. It is a book that distills the wisdom and experience of a master filmmaker who spent decades in the industry and taught generations of students. It is a book that covers both the theory and the practice of filmmaking, with examples from Mackendrick's own films and other classics. It is a book that challenges you to think critically and creatively about your own work and how to improve it.

This book is important for filmmakers because it offers you a comprehensive and insightful guide to the art and craft of filmmaking. It teaches you how to develop your ideas, write your scripts, direct your actors, compose your shots, design your sound, edit your footage, and more. It also teaches you how to deal with the practical and emotional challenges of filmmaking, such as working with collaborators, handling feedback, coping with stress, overcoming obstacles, etc. It also inspires you to pursue your vision and passion for filmmaking, regardless of the circumstances.

This book is important for filmmakers because it is not just a manual or a textbook. It is a conversation with a mentor who shares his knowledge, his advice, his anecdotes, his humor, his philosophy, and his love for filmmaking. It is a book that will make you a better filmmaker and a better storyteller.

Main body

The structure of the book

The book is divided into four parts, each focusing on a different aspect of filmmaking. Each part consists of several chapters that explore various topics and techniques related to that aspect. The book also includes an introduction by Paul Cronin, who edited the book and interviewed Mackendrick; a foreword by Martin Scorsese, who was one of Mackendrick's students at CalArts; an afterword by James Mangold, another former student; and an appendix with some additional material from Mackendrick's lectures and notes.

Part one: The director and the script

This part deals with the process of developing a story idea into a screenplay. Mackendrick discusses the elements of storytelling such as premise, theme, plot, structure, character, dialogue, conflict, genre, etc. He also explains how to use tools such as loglines, outlines, treatments, index cards, etc. to organize and refine your story. He also gives tips on how to write visually and cinematically.

Part two: The director and the actor

This part deals with the process of working with actors and directing their performances. Mackendrick discusses the role of the director as a leader, a collaborator, a coach, a psychologist, etc. He also explains how to communicate with actors effectively, how to cast them appropriately, how to rehearse them properly, how to motivate them creatively, how to handle their problems professionally, etc.

Part three: The director and the camera

This part deals with the process of designing and executing the visual aspects of filmmaking. Mackendrick discusses the role of the director as a painter, a composer, a choreographer, etc. He also explains how to use tools such as storyboards, shot lists, camera angles, camera movements, framing, composition, lighting, color, etc. to create expressive and meaningful images.

Part four: The director and the sound

This part deals with the process of designing and executing the auditory aspects of filmmaking. Mackendrick discusses the role of the director as a musician, a conductor, a sound engineer, ```html as dialogue, sound effects, music, silence, etc. to create expressive and meaningful sounds.

The key lessons from the book

The book is full of valuable lessons and insights that can help you improve your filmmaking skills and understanding. Here are some of the key lessons that I learned from reading this book:

The principles of storytelling

Mackendrick emphasizes the importance of storytelling as the foundation of filmmaking. He teaches you how to craft engaging and compelling stories that capture the attention and emotion of the audience. He also teaches you how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes that can ruin your stories. Some of the principles he shares are:

  • Start with a clear and simple premise that can be expressed in one sentence.

  • Develop a strong theme that expresses your point of view and message.

  • Create a plot that has a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a logical and satisfying progression of events.

  • Create characters that are complex, believable, relatable, and active.

  • Write dialogue that is natural, concise, relevant, and revealing.

  • Create conflict that is internal, external, and interpersonal, and that drives the story forward.

  • Use genre conventions wisely, but don't be afraid to subvert or challenge them.

The techniques of directing

Mackendrick also emphasizes the importance of directing as the art and craft of filmmaking. He teaches you how to use your vision and creativity to translate your story into cinematic language. He also teaches you how to use your skills and knowledge to execute your vision effectively and efficiently. Some of the techniques he shares are:

  • Prepare thoroughly before shooting, by doing research, writing notes, making sketches, etc.

  • Plan carefully before shooting, by using tools such as storyboards, shot lists, floor plans, etc.

  • Communicate clearly before and during shooting, by using tools such as scripts, diagrams, models, etc.

  • Collaborate respectfully before and during shooting, by working with your crew, actors, producers, etc.

  • Adapt flexibly during shooting, by being open to changes, improvisations, accidents, etc.

  • Edit ruthlessly after shooting, by cutting out anything that is unnecessary, redundant, or distracting.

The challenges of filmmaking

Mackendrick also acknowledges the challenges and difficulties of filmmaking as a profession and a passion. He teaches you how to cope with the realities and pressures of working in the film industry. He also teaches you how to overcome the obstacles and frustrations that you might encounter along the way. Some of the challenges he addresses are:

  • Dealing with the business side of filmmaking, such as budgets, contracts, deadlines, etc.

  • Dealing with the creative side of filmmaking, such as ideas, inspiration, originality, etc.

  • Dealing with the technical side of filmmaking, such as equipment, software, formats, etc.

  • Dealing with the personal side of filmmaking, such as ego, emotion, stress, etc.

  • Dealing with the ethical side of filmmaking, such as responsibility, integrity, honesty, etc.


Summary of the main points

In conclusion, Alexander Mackendrick On Filmmaking Epub 13 is a book that every filmmaker should read. It is a book that covers all aspects of filmmaking from story to sound. It is a book that offers practical and theoretical guidance from a master filmmaker who had a long and successful career in both Britain and America. It is a book that will teach you how to tell better stories, how to direct better films, and how to face better challenges in filmmaking.

Recommendation and rating

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in filmmaking or storytelling. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, a student or a professional, a fan or a critic, you will find something useful and inspiring in this book. You will learn from Mackendrick's wisdom and experience, you will enjoy his humor and anecdotes, you will appreciate his style and clarity. You will also benefit from the filmmaking epub format, which allows you to read the book on any device and access multimedia elements that enhance the book.

I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. It is one of the best books on filmmaking I have ever read. It is a book that I will keep reading and referring to for years to come. It is a book that I hope you will read and enjoy as much as I did.


Here are some frequently asked questions about the book and the topic:

  • Where can I buy or download the book?

You can buy or download the book from various online sources, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple Books, etc. You can also check your local library or bookstore for availability.

  • How long does it take to read the book?

The book has 336 pages and it takes about 8 hours to read it, depending on your reading speed and comprehension. You can also read it in sections or chapters, as each one is self-contained and informative.

  • Who are some other filmmakers who have written books on filmmaking?

There are many other filmmakers who have written books on filmmaking, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Lumet, David Mamet, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh, etc. You can find a list of some of them here:

  • What are some other resources for learning filmmaking?

There are many other resources for learning filmmaking, such as online courses, podcasts, blogs, magazines, documentaries, etc. You can find a list of some of them here:

  • How can I contact Alexander Mackendrick or his estate?

Alexander Mackendrick passed away in 1993, but his legacy lives on through his films and his book. You can contact his estate through his publisher, Faber & Faber, here:

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