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Directing, 3rd Edition by Michael Rabiger

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CHAPTER 4

A DIRECTOR'S SCREEN GRAMMAR

 

SCREEN LANGUAGE

As children we learn to communicate because language is a tool to get or accomplish things. My elder daughter's first sentence was, “Meat, I like it.” Effective, if a little shaky in syntax. All languages operate under conventions, and those determining screen language began developing in the 1890s as camera operators and actors competed to rush elementary stories before paying audiences. Soon they were joined by directors and editors as movies became big business and a production line evolved requiring greater division of labor. Though the first movies were very simple, most of today's screen language emerged in the first two decades of silent cinema.

Separately, in the world's various ...

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