Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quote of the Day: David Mamet

David Mamet, the potty-mouthed playwright who turned from liberal to raging, bitter conservative, wrote an indignant memo to the writers of his (now canceled) CBS special forces drama "The Unit" back in 2005 explaining how he wanted the show done. Here's an excerpt:

THE JOB OF THE DRAMATIST IS TO MAKE THE AUDIENCE WONDER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. *NOT* TO EXPLAIN TO THEM WHAT JUST HAPPENED, OR TO*SUGGEST* TO THEM WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

ANY DICKHEAD, AS ABOVE, CAN WRITE, “BUT, JIM, IF WE DON’T ASSASSINATE THE PRIME MINISTER IN THE NEXT SCENE, ALL EUROPE WILL BE ENGULFED IN FLAME”

WE ARE NOT GETTING PAID TO *REALIZE* THAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS THIS INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND THE NEXT SCENE, BUT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THE SCENE BEFORE US SUCH THAT THE AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED IN WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

YES BUT, YES BUT YES *BUT* YOU REITERATE.

AND I RESPOND *FIGURE IT OUT*.
The whole thing, which was posted this week by a film blog, is in caps.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Sarah said...

It's true. I read a study from the University of Wisconsin in the 50s in which they tested the ability of a group of certified dickheads to write BUT, JIM, IF WE DON'T ASSASSINATE THE PRIME MINISTER IN THE NEXT SCENE, ALL EUROPE WILL BE ENGULFED IN FLAME. The dickheads had a 100% success rate, while the control group of jerks only managed 66%.

7:36 AM  

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