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Television grammar

 

Who needs it?

Every television director does. That's who needs it. Television has a language. It is a language of pictures but also of words and sounds and music. For the most part this language derives from the cinema, which is over a century old. Cinema grammar is understood by practically the whole human race. Many of the conventions of both television and the cinema derive from photography which is nearly 200 years old, and the theatre, which is considerably older than that.

A great deal of the way we perceive the composition and lighting of pictures, and the way we read stories into them, derives from conventions established in Renaissance European painting.

John Grierson, the father of the British documentary, had ...

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