Saturday, August 26, 2017

David Mamet Masterclass Review - Is It A Scam?


DAVID MAMET MASTERCLASS REVIEW - IS IT A SCAM?














Review by Sam Longoria

There has never been a better time in the history of the world to be a Screenwriter. Today all the movies in the world are on YouTube. You can look at movies all day long as reference, if you want to.

You can E-Mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anyone on the surface of the planet for guidance, or advice, or even a structured Mentorship.

Here’s where a seasoned Professional Viewpoint will help you understand what actually you are trying to accomplish, with your story and your screenplay.

If you want to find, and approach, and then learn from a seasoned Screenwriting Professional, it would be good if his work is celebrated, and he has picked up an Award or two. I am thinking here of the Pulitzer Prize.

By those criteria, it would be difficult to find a Screenwriter in higher esteem than David Mamet.

In any review, a good and standard bit of advice is, “do your due diligence.” Look for other’s opinions and put them to service, in forming your own opinion. Get out there, do your homework. Any money you earmark toward it is an investment, so shop, shop, shop!

The Masterclass is an excellent brand. For Actors, Dustin Hoffman teaches Acting, Werner Herzog teaches Filmmaking, and Steve Martin teaches Comedy. Many other experts, each teaches his own particular field.

Today, I’m here to tell you about “David Mamet Teaches Dramatic Writing.”
Mr. Mamet has written 17 books, 29 screenplays, and 36 plays. He has directed 11 films, some of which are my own favorites, like “House of Games,” “Things Change” and “State & Main.” His credentials are solid, he is a recognized authority, and the chance to learn from him is, in my view, most worthwhile.


The Masterclass videos have several levels: The video itself, a community discussion arrangement, the class structure to process the Interactive Assignments, and an “office hours” setup, where you can query Mr. Mamet himself, and receive an answer.

The class will be achieved over six weeks, at a cost of $90. Compared to a Film School at $20,000, or any number of higher-priced college courses or institute seminars, it is a remarkable value.

For $90 you get about six hours of video, to be seen and reviewed, as often as you like. That’s about $15 a week. If you bought a ticket to a David Mamet lecture to cover some of the same material (and they won’t let you record it), that alone is a serious improvement.

Mr. Mamet starts with the basics, at the very beginning of Literature and Drama, at Aristotle’s Poetics! I read it in college, and now that I’m older and know more, it is wonderful to see how it actually relates to the movies and screenplays that I love.

My years in Hollywood, and working on others’ and my own films during those years, have taught me the importance of a good script. "If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage."

I value simplicity and what is a good Screenwriting class. This one is good. All the elements, and their underlying principles. It’s all here. And you can back up and replay, until you get it, which in real life only tends to annoy instructors in a classroom.

Mr. Mamet begins by discussing his theory of Drama and its rules. “The story has a Premise, and a Hero. The Hero wants something, just one thing. That is his Objective. He has to go through Hell to get to it. Once he achieves his objective, the movie is over."

He says that Structure dictates that every scene must be necessary to the play, and every word of the Dialogue must be necessary to move the story along. Or else, out it should go. What is the purpose of Drama? Mr. Mamet is very clear. The purpose of Drama is to hold attention, and fill the Audience with curiosity, as to what happens next.

He says, “The purpose of Drama is not to make people better, or to teach. It is not the purpose of drama to be cautionary tales." He says something I've not heard elsewhere, that the story must challenge the Writer, to the point where he doesn’t necessarily know the ending of his own story, or its resolution.

He says, "If you can't think your way out of it, the Audience can't either.” So, your job is to push past your own boundaries, write yourself into a corner, and then discover how your Hero can get out of it. That is the wonder that comes crafting your Writing, and to get good at it, is an Achievement.

I have heard some of this before. “If you think you can cut something, cut it," is standard, both relating to Film Editing and to cleaning out the refrigerator. Mr. Mamet says this is a lesson his Editor reteaches him by removing what usually is his favorite scene. That process actually is painful, but he says “there is only “one rule: Don't be boring."

No obligatory scenes, either! (Scenes which are there only because we expect them, like the scene where the characters stand in a room and describe the plan they have to follow, in order to save the world). Every scene must have the Hero’s attempt to achieve his goal. That goal, and that scene, must fit the overall structure. The Hero’s Journey — from Point A to Point B.

Every scene, of every play or film you write, must answer three questions:
1) Who wants what, and from whom?
2) What happens if he doesn't get it?
3) Why now?

Mr. Mamet says the Story must force a change in the Hero. “To manipulate the character is to manipulate the audience and I never manipulate the audience."

That may not be his intent, and I’m sure he probably wouldn’t call his Story Structure “manipulation,” but I sure have seen Mr. Mamet steer his Audience exactly where he wants them to go, even if it’s by causing a vacuum without comment, which leads rather than pushes them. I admire him for that, actually.

Class Assignments are clear and recognizable Screenwriting exercises. They require the Screenwriter to take actions which reveal his motives, and the forces which drive his Characters and Story.


Mr. Mamet has defined his Writing principles, and then refers to some of his most successful works, like “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Oleanna,” and “American Buffalo.” These now are in stark relief, and one can see how they were put together. Story and Structure, Dialogue, Action, and Exposition.

This is a good course, this is what you came here to learn. I think one of the strengths of it is, I felt I was in a room with Mr. Mamet, and he is intent on imparting to you what you want to know.

There's zero chatter or Audience distraction. We need to learn this to Write a great Screenplay, and here that is. What you need to know. Bing bang! It is most excellent.

Now, when I told friends I wanted to take this course, and learn from David Mamet, they said, in varying degrees of loudness:

“Why do you want to do that? These online class thingies are all a SCAM! They get your money, and you just hear some talk, and then you don’t really get anything. Everything there can be found for free on the Internet.”

Well, I took the course, and my friends did not. I know for sure what I learned is not found for free, unless one is privileged to sit at Mr. Mamet’s table at dinner for a series of evenings, and for some unknown reason, he tells you what you need to prevail, as his competition in a most competitive endeavor. That is, in my experience, most unlikely.

He said what he would teach, and he taught it to me. Entirely honest, in my view. Certainly not a scam. I didn’t discard my friends, but I know I’m better prepared for the Screenwriting game than they are. That is a hundred bucks well spent.

Here's my biggest Caveat Emptor: Know where you are now, and where you want to be, and with a few evenings of enjoyable video watching, and diligent follow-up you'll enjoy doing, Mr. Mamet will teach you what are the steps, and how to take them. He will teach you quickly and well.

Considering that your Screenplay, when it is purchased, is worth around $150,000 I think Mr. Mamet’s Dramatic Writing Course is a lot of value for only $90.

Mr. Mamet’s Screenwriting Course is linked here to
http://bit.ly/-david-mamet




david mamet
dialogue
masterclass
online course
scam
screenwriting
writing

Monday, July 31, 2017

Margot Escott Interviews Sam Longoria on Movies, Improv, and The Firesign Theatre.

Margot Escott - Interviews Sam Longoria on Movies, Improv, and The Firesign Theatre.
Sam Longoria interviewed by Margot Escott, Sam was in Hollywood, Margot was in Florida. They chatted about fasting, Ghostbusters The Firesign Theatre Stan Freberg Bill Cosby Donavan Freberg Richard Edlund George Lucas ILM 2010 keywords Sam Longoria samlongoria.com filmmaking film production Keyword Planner samlongoria.com filmmaking film production 2017-08-02 at 04-37-37 academy award winners academy awards best director director greater movie hollywood cinema hollywood movies los movies movie editor oscar award oscar nominations oscar nominees oscar predictions oscars best picture screenwriter the oscars 1920 movie 2014 oscar nominees 2016 oscar winners 8mm movie academy award for best animated feature academy award for best picture academy award movies academy award nominations academy award nominees academy award winners 2016 academy award winning movies academy awards 2016 academy awards best picture award winning movies best film editing best films best movies ever made best picture nominations best picture oscar best short films china hollywood creation movie film companies film crew film director film editor film la film producer film script film sitesi film techniques filmon tv foreign movies greatest movies history of film hollywood film hollywood new movies how long does it take to make a movie how to write a screenplay independent films indie films la movie lafs list of best picture winners list of oscar winners los angeles movie make a movie make movie make your own movie most oscar wins movie director movie film movie producer movies los angeles new films new hollywood movies oscar award winners oscar for best picture oscar list oscar movies oscar movies 2016 oscar nominated movies oscar nominated movies 2016 oscar nominations 2016 oscar nominees 2016 oscar winner oscar winners 2016 oscar winners best picture oscar winners list oscar winning actors oscar winning movies oscar winning movies 2016 oscars predictions sam online school movies screenplay format screenplay writing script writing shooting movies short films the academy awards the best movies ever the producers movie the world's most interesting man tv producer tv production writing a screenplay

Monday, July 10, 2017

David Mamet - Teaches Dramatic Writing - MasterClass

David Mamet - Teaches Dramatic Writing - MasterClass

I first discovered David Mamet when I got onto his screening list, for his feature movie "House of Games," with Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna, and Ricky Jay. Screenings were at MGM in Culver City.

I watched several iterations of his movie, dutifully filled out my audience cards from my arrogant young view as a Filmmaker and Editor, and was invited back, called by an Assistant, to see subsequent edits.

Before my wondering eyes, I saw his movie grow from the original tight straight linear story, to a more artful, lighter telling of the tale. Minor changes usually, but once I saw a whole section put into a different order, and the whole was quite improved.

I had built my improv theatre by that time, and all I knew of David Mamet was, if you got "David Mamet" as a style suggestion, the quickest way to a laugh was do a scene of foul language. That was our understanding of him.

Seeing the changes he made, in repeated viewings of his first commercial feature film as Director, gave me an entirely different view of him as an Artist. I more understood what he wanted to do. 

Seeing what he shaved away, and what he carved off in chunks, showed me what he thought important, and what was inconsequential. I also went to screenings of his "State and Main," which also was excellent.

He definitely has an ear for Dialogue, and a clear view of how he wants it to serve his scenes. He doesn't put anything in, which doesn't push his story forward.

I am delighted Mr. Mamet has a video Masterclass. I know it will be good, and it will be insightful. Please tell me if you get into it, and how it helps you.

-- Sam Longoria




Improv
MasterClass
Master Class David Mamet
Joe MantegnaScript Writing
Teacher VideoOnline Classes 
State and Main
Lindsay Crouse
House of Games
How To Be A Writer 
How To Be An Actor 
Glengarry Glen Ross 
Writing Short Stories 
Glengarry Glen Ross Play
David Mamet MasterClass





Sunday, June 11, 2017

Movie Tech - When Did They Invent Gun Sound Effects For Movies?

Movie Tech
When Were Movie Gun Sound Effects Invented?

Vanessa, of Seattle Washington, asks:Pondering who invented the "sound" of gunfire?

Vanessa
The very first motion picture was driven by an electric motor, and had synchronized sound. Did you know that?


Unfortunately, Mr. Edison's Kinetoscope - Kinetophone (Camera - Projector) 1894 show, entitled "Dickson Experimental Sound Film," did not alas have gunshots in its track. 


Commercial sound movies wouldn't be offered until 1929, but another popular medium - Radio - developed soundtrack production, all through the 1920s. Dramatic shows on radio often needed guns, BUT... gun sounds were problematic. 


Gunshots are "impulse noise" which means "very suddenly very loud," and then the decay must match a room characteristic. Echo, reverb, etc. 


That means "real" gunshots only POP weakly, like firecrackers, because they just shut down mics and electronics. It took a long while to learn to record them.


During development of Sound Movies, Mr. Jack Donovan Foley created the Art of "Post-sync recording," at Universal, in 1927. We still call "Performing sound effects live to picture" by his name - "Foley." If anybody invented movie "Gunshots," it was he.


Sound movies arrived in 1929, with Warner Brothers' "Don Juan" and "The Jazz Singer." When movie tracks needed guns, it was quickly noticed that the sound of REAL guns is flabby, ineffective, and weak.


Often, the Radio technique of hitting a cardboard box with a wooden slat was used, because its Attack was softer, a slow sound to simulate gunshots. They tried everything else. Hitting an oil drum, hitting a wooden box, etc.


For 1930s - 1940s Westerns, they recorded the sound of full-load blank cartridges, black powder rounds, making a softer sound than modern smokeless powder, and smaller (1/4 and 1/8 sized) powder loads.


When it became possible to edit sound effects, on optical film and then magnetic tape, sound was improved, and whole libraries were compiled. Each studio had its own jealously guarded Sfx (sound effects) library, on disc and tape and magnetic and optical film.


They recorded everything - Bullet striking flesh, bullets striking wood, bullets on pavement, bullet ricochet,etc. Gunshots, percussion cap weapons, machine guns, and automatic rifles.


For a long time, the best Sfx libraries available were the BBC Library, and the Valentino Brothers Library. I had both, and it was a big deal when they became available for sale. 


Then three movies changed movie sound, and one could license their Libraries for use. All this changed seemingly overnight.


When Walter Murch created the sound (and the term "Sound Designer") for Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," he had to create all the location gunfire and other tracks, from scratch. All this great war footage - and it was all silent. Mr. Murch invented a way to record Foley...outside, to video playback.
They recorded guns, with modern mics and electronics, even the sound of spent brass cartridges, hitting the ground. 


Then they equalized them, boosting the frequencies they wanted to hear. Dynamic range was controlled by careful electronic limiting. Suddenly guns sounded close-miked, big and fat, and more real then real.


Same thing happened with the Sfx for George Lucas's "Star Wars" movies (1977 - 1983) with Sound Design by Ben Burtt. I never heard such good sound effects, as were in those films. 


"Raiders Of the Lost Ark" (1981) brought in newly recorded new guns, and movie gunfire and location effects now were fresh and exciting to listen to. 


Ben Burtt and his crew cheated big guns over little ones, and for me, from "Apocalypse Now" to "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," THAT is where gunshots really started sounding great.

INDIANA JONES Sound Design Featurette part 1


INDIANA JONES Sound Design Featurette part 2

-- Sam Longoria



Thursday, April 06, 2017

THE EPIC JOURNEY OF BERTHA DEBLUES - Gina Wilhelm - Sam Longoria - Big Bertha's Big Breakthrough - Seattle Tunnel Boring Machine - @BerthaDeBlues Bertha Deblues

Big Bertha's Big Breakthrough - Seattle Tunnel Boring Machine - @BerthaDeBlues Bertha DeBlues

New before/after photo highlights the changing
landscape at the tunnel’s future south portal.


Bertha DeBlues ryan‏ @ryanrogers 6 Oct 2016
@BerthaDigsSR99 let's not get cocky just yet...

Bertha DeBlues‏ @BerthaDeBlues 6 Oct 2016
That's right, a PLANNED stop.

Bertha @BerthaDigsSR99
Bertha reaches planned maintenance stop. Crews
have tunneled 4,721 ft. and built 717 concrete rings.


Bertha DeBlues‏ @BerthaDeBlues 3 Oct 2016
Halfway through! Hey, @MarketMagicShop, can you help a girl out? #PrettyBalloons

Bertha @BerthaDigsSR99
By passing @pike_place, Bertha has reached the halfway
point of the 9,270-foot tunnel drive!
#BalloonsOverBertha

Bertha DeBlues @BerthaDeBlues 20 Sep 2016
What a relief, I was afraid people would be taking tours behind my bum.

Bertha @BerthaDigsSR99
Spots are filling up for our free bike tours of the future tunnel route!
Explore on two wheels, through end of October.


Bertha DeBlues @BerthaDeBlues 15 Sep 2016
So take THAT!

Bertha @BerthaDigsSR99
Thurs. progress update: Seattle Tunnel Partners
has mined 4,222 feet and built 641 concrete rings.


Bertha DeBlues‏ @BerthaDeBlues 13 Sep 2016
"On the Road Again..."
Or in front of and under it....

Bertha @BerthaDigsSR99
Bertha back on the move

Bertha DeBlues @BerthaDeBlues 4 Sep 2016
I see I am now followed by @TVWritersVault. Has anyone pitched a show about a sentient tunneler trapped under a city on a fault line? Dibs!


THE BEGINNING



        Scroll Down - Read Upward
        THE EPIC JOURNEY OF BERTHA DEBLUES
        Gina Wilhelm - Sam Longoria

        4 Years To Travel 1.76 Miles! (2013-2017)
        Cost $500 million!


    The world's FIRST Twitter play!
    Written over 8 months, at a cost of $500 million.
    Available for Public Performance, contact us.
    © 2017 Gina Wilhelm & Sam Longoria, All Rights Reserved






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