24 March, 2010

David Mamet's editorial notes for TV show

"But note: the audience will not tune in to watch information. You wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. No one would or will. The audience will only tune in and stay tuned to watch drama.

Here are the danger signals. Any time two characters are talking about a third, the scene is a crock of shit.

Any time any character is saying to another “as you know”, that is, telling another character what you, the writer, need the audience to know, the scene is a crock of shit.

Do *not* write a crock of shit. Write a ripping three, four, seven minute scene which moves the story along, and you can, very soon, buy a house in Bel Air *and* hire someone to live there for you.

I close with the one thought: look at the *scene* and ask yourself “is it dramatic? Is it *essential*? Does it advance the plot?

Answer truthfully.

If the answer is “no” write it again or throw it out."

Article in full


Neil said...

Thanks for this! A really interesting article. Seems to be a lot about exposition. I find myself getting trapped in one of those "As you know..." scenes at least once in every script. It's tricky business but that's what rewrites are for ;)

Cheers again!

Kid Sis said...

Cool advice!

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