Thursday, November 3, 2011

David Mamet Does It Again

Ten years ago, reading David Mamet’s book True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actorwas a revelation.

Unlike so many of the method acting books I was reading at the time, Mamet laid out an incredibly simple view of how to be a good actor – just show up and say the words. A playwright-centric opinion of acting, to be sure, but a refreshing change to what seemed to be a long tradition of overthinking.

Yesterday, I finally read David Mamet's missive on television writing that was allegedly intended only for the writers of The Unit,but got leaked and spread around the Internet like wildfire.

Again, Mamet impresses me by breaking good television writing down to the basics – every scene starts with a character wanting something and ends with him failing to get that thing, which leads to the next scene. That’s it! Practical wisdom that I’ll be applying to this pilot outline I’m working on. Thanks, David!

Check out his television writing theory for yourself, if you haven’t already. He tells it like it is.

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