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Chapter Nine. On the Set > Artful Composition

Artful Composition

Storyboards and shot plans represent an idealized notion of what you want to capture in every shot. But when you're on the set, the dreaming stops. You can only shoot what's in front of you, with the tools at hand. Unless you're Alfred Hitchcock, you'll rarely be able to capture a shot that duplicates your original sketch perfectly. But that's OK. Sometimes, when working on the set, you can compose a shot that's better than anything in your sketches.

Composing a video shot uses many familiar principles of graphic design. In fact, the arrangement of people and objects in a visual frame, as well as the framing of the shot itself, both follow some basic rules of graphic composition.


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