Chapter 1

Breaking Down the Script for Story

The late great director Sydney Pollack said, “The director is the teller of the film, the director tells the movie, like you would tell a story, except in this case you’re telling a movie.”1 So how do you become a good teller? One of the most important skills a director needs is to be able to read well! The director’s first task is to interpret the script, so it is critical that you develop the ability to read and understand the material. You have to be able to break down the story into its parts and map out how those parts add up to the whole.

The good news is that people have been telling stories forever: Homer writing about Odysseus, troubadours singing epic tales, cowboys spinning yarns around ...

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