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Directors Tell the Story, 2nd Edition by Mary Lou Belli, Bethany Rooney

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Chapter 4

Production Design

Back when most productions were shot on film, we knew that a camera recorded what was transpiring in front of it at a rate of 24 frames per second. And we could imagine that each of those frames was a literal picture: a moment in time that was frozen in a little box. And everything in that box—except the actors—was an element of the production design. Although now most “films” are shot digitally (and are thus are sadly lacking in frames), the concept remains the same. Everything within the “frame” that is not human is part of the production design.

The production design helps tell the story. The color of the walls, the style of the furniture, the specificity of the props, the cut of the costumes—each choice helps the ...

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