As a director, you must have a concept, a "director's
idea", to shape your approach to the actors, the camera, and
the script. With this clear idea your film will be deeper and more
effective, and you will be able to differentiate - and therefore
make the choice - between competent directing and great directing.
Using case studies of famous directors as real-world examples of
"director's ideas", the author has provided the
theory and the practice to help directors immediately improve their
work. It enables to improve your work and make your film deeper,
more layered, and more effective. This book is a great blend of
theory and practice. Case studies of famous directors bring the
concepts to life.
Ken Dancyger's books are a rare mix of theory and practice,
which this book represents. This has proven a successful formula in
his last books. Dancyger is the author of such popular books as The
Technique of Film and Video Editing and Alternative Scriptwriting,
to name a few. The central idea of this book is that the director
of a film must have a concept, an interpretive notion,
or"director's idea,"to determine their approach to
theactors, the camera, and the script. With a clear director's
idea, the film will be deeper, more layered, and ultimately, more
effective. Featuring an explanation of what it takes to go beyond
being a competent director to become a great director, the author
then illustrates these principles through real-life case studies.
By exploring the tools available to the director and how these
tools can be deployed, this book will make the competent director
"The Director's Idea explains in precise language how cinematography influences every aspect of story-telling and character portrayal in a film--it will certainly help young directors understand the importance of making critical choices along the way. It is especially useful to talk about camerawork in the context of a book about directing--linking the technical and creative aspects is the key to great film-making." --Michael Ballhaus, Cinematographer, THE GANGS OF NEW YORK and WORKING GIRL "Ken Dancyger interprets my films accurately, intelligently, but most importantly for me, with a great deal of heart. He allows himself to be gripped by a character, to be moved by a powerful performance, and that is why he so clearly understands the priority of emotion in my films, that the personal journey defines the political story, and not the other way around. The beauty of Dancyger's book about directing is that he writes simultaneously as an impressive intellectual and as a lover of cinema. That is rare and refreshing" --Margarethe Von Trotta, Director, ROSENSTRASSE and MARIANNE AND JULIANNE "This book takes a scholarly look at moviemaking...but creates a keen appreciation of the art as a result." - What Digital Camcorder "The idea behind the book is that each director's unique vision begins with an idea, a unifying principle that will carry through every decision in all of his or her films." - Back Stage West, June 22, 2006 "This book is a compendium of information about directing and what makes a good (or great) director. What kept us reading was the author's use of well-known films and directors to illustrate and complement the concepts he presents in the book." -Camcorder & Computer Video
Ken Dancyger is the author of numerous books on screenwriting, editing, and production. He conducts screenwriting forums and workshops in North America, Europe, and Asia. A past chair of Undergraduate studies in the Department of Film and Television at NYU, he is currently Professor of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Part I, What the Director Does: Introduction The Director's Idea The Competent Director The Good Director The Great Director Text Interpretation The Camera The Actor Part II, Case Studies: Sergei Eisenstein John Ford George Stevens Billy Wilder Ernst Lucitsch Elia Kazan Francois Truffaut Roman Polanski Stanley Kubrick Steven Spielberg Margarethe Von Trotta Lukas Moodysson Catharine Breillat Mary Harron Conclusion Appendix