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Chapter Eight. Preproduction > How Much Structure?

How Much Structure?

Chapter 5 contrasts the structured approaches of Hitchcock and Spielberg with the improvisational approaches of Coppola and Altman. Early in your project, you'll have to decide between structured and improvisational production styles. Aesthetic issues aside, a structured approach will allow you to create far more accurate schedules and budgets.

How Much Coverage?

Choosing whether to shoot in a structured or in an improvised mode impacts a crucial tradeoff, one that involves every aspect of scheduling and budgeting: how much coverage you'll need to shoot. If you don't have a shot plan or storyboard, you won't know how the sequence will cut together—which means you'll have to spend lots of time and money shooting coverage so when you do get to the editing room, you'll have all the angles you need. On the other hand, if you have a detailed shot plan—including designing shots in advance—you'll know exactly what shots you need, and you can stop shooting when you get them.


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