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Notes on Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair (Performance Books)
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Notes on Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair (Performance Books)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  391 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews

At last in paperback, the brilliant primer on directing for film and theater that Dame Judi Dench calls “a gem—witty and full of insight.â€

Five years ago, Frank Hauser, a retired director, and Russell Reich, his former student, co-wrote Notes on Directing, which Reich self-published. It was immediately acclaimed as a timeless classic—and is now finally available i

Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 15th 2008 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2003)
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David Wagstaff
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Directing is far trickier than being president of the United States. Diplomacy and nuance are required in copious amounts. The temptation to talk too much is taller than the Tower of Babel. The responsibility is absolute. There are few books of any help. David Mamet's On Directing Film and Three Uses of the Knife are essential for the simple reason that they deal with practical considerations clearly stated. Notes on Directing is the same. In fact, it is a sort of Strunk and White of how to do t ...more
Brendan Hodge
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in a hundred and thirty short numbered lessons (ranging from a sentence or two to a page in length) and organized chronologically from the directors first encounter with the play to final production, this book is a set of in lessons on stage play directing, but it is also so much more.

Reading it did indeed provide retroactive insights into my directing experiences in college, but much of the advice on getting at the core of what the story is about, understanding conflict, and breaking a
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Practical, helpful but so succinct that it leaves large gaps of information for the neophyte.
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Second reading.
After directing four stage productions and one radio play it can be quite useful to review the work one does as a director. I decided to look back on my work and think about how I can improve as a director. Notes on directing provide easy tips on directing, being the opposite of a treatise on directing it provides practical hints as to how to improve as a director and handle actors.

The advice leans heavily toward the British style of theater: the script is at the center of it all
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was quite good. It's a slim little tome, an adaptation of the even more terse notes on directing shared by Frank Hauser with apprentice director Russell Reich. Reich fleshes the 130 suggestions out with just a few examples and extra text. The suggestions here are suggestive rather than exhaustive, that is, the advice is simply put but gets the reader thinking about how he or she would put the principles into practice.

In particular, there's plenty of good advice about blocking and about work
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must say I greatly enjoyed the book. My interest is non-professional although keen because I find acting and directing really have a key to self-knowing, self-challenging and accepting the world with more senses that you are used to do. Besides you may have also noticed/felt that these people have the great potential to be leaders and influencers in the broadest sense of the word. At the end it is all about the big science of life – how to communicate with people to make them feel encouraged t ...more
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: film-related
A very brief, terse, economic, and succinct primer on stagecraft. I like it. It's an unfussy collection of tips and tricks. So it is all very easily-absorbed and makes a trim, lightweight reference to have on one's shelf or in one's pocket. Not filled --as many similar books on this topic are--with endless theatrical-history anecdotes, reminisces, or name-dropping. Good bibliography & footnotes at the end. Also, the table-of-contents exactly mirrors each page (and all the advice is numbered) ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very quick, yet informative read. Though the book primarily focuses on the employee/employer relationship - the lessons are applicable re: relations with co-workers of like title/responsibilities as well.

Don't let the fact that the book provides advice for the acting world lead you to think that its not relevant to your industry - leadership is universal and it isn't hard to apply the lessons to your own business.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a way this book made me sad, as I know I'm not going to be able to direct theater for at least the next two years. Other than that, this book is truly amazing, short and to the point, and I really recommend it.

what I'm taking with me
• Giving criticism as a compliment is genius.
• Directing is a wonderful thing.
• Helping your actors, together creating the play, being present together, understanding the fundamentals and returning to them.
Brian Ging
Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film & Theatre Directors
Really great tips to directors about all kinds of things. Its like being mentored by a great director and he sits there telling you tip after tip, each one is not in any books on directing. They are all so practical and helpful, like how to talk to actors, when to arrive to the set, how to give negative feedback on a performance while accounting for the actors feelings, etc.
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FRANK HAUSER is a retired freelance director living in London. Born
in Wales in 1922, he attended Oxford University during the 1940s; worked as a
drama producer for the BBC; and, in 1956, formed the Meadow Players at Oxford.
He was Director of the Oxford Playhouse for seventeen years and directed
frequently in London and New York. In 1968, he received the award of Commander
of the Order of the Bri
More about Frank Hauser...
“The Director's Role: You are the obstetrician. You are not the parent of this child we call the play. You are present at its birth for clinical reasons, like a doctor or midwife. Your job most of the time is simply to do no harm.
When something does go wrong, however, your awareness that something is awry--and your clinical intervention to correct it--can determine whether the child will thrive or suffer, live or die.”
“10. Appreciate that character is the result of conduct. As Aristotle taught us, we know people primarily by what they do. What others say about them, or what they say about themselves, may or may not be true.” 0 likes
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