This is one of books I’ve used to teach comics over the years. Published in 1991, On Directing Film is based on a series of classes that Mamet taught at Columbia. Mamet believes that the heart of visual story telling “is a succession of images juxtaposed so that the contrast between these images moves the story forward in the mind of the reader.”
This thin volume is loaded with Mamet’s unequivocal takes: “a piece is moving in proportion to how much the author can leave out” and “the audience is only going to look at the most overriding thing in the frame. You must take charge and direct their attention… That’s basically what film is; it is design.”
Students have strong reactions to this book and it is a great way to get a conversation started about cartooning.
— James Sturm