Chapter 22 of 32 from Ron Howard

Frost/Nixon: Feature Staging for Coverage

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Ron shows you how he shoots all the coverage he knows he will need in order to optimize for creative choices in the edit.

Topics include: Shoot for Coverage • Tighter Coverage and Pickups

Ron Howard

Ron Howard Teaches Directing

Ron Howard teaches directing, editing, and storytelling in 32 exclusive video lessons.

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What I want to do now is crash in and start to design some coverage, OK? Let's do a sort of a reverse master. Let's maybe let you do this now. B camera, it's B on this side. Keep the wide. Stay fairly wide. And let's go in with David, OK? And we'll plot this. And we'll make a few decisions as to where they should go. In to frame? I would just let him come into frame and then follow him. And then let the others sort of drift in also around you. OK? Let's take it from the top. Now let's see, what do we want to do with A camera at this point? We've got to watch out that we don't get you in. So let's put A camera-- hmm. Where can we get you? At this point I think-- I wonder if, could you do kind of a profile thing? Something like this. And stay out of his shot. Try to get into his-- I don't know what you're going to get. I think we're just going to have to let you sort of improvise something a little tighter. What were you on there? Maybe go to like a 40 or something like that. So let's try it again. You good? And-- oops. And action. What revolution, David? You just let Richard Nixon claim the country was in a state of revolution with protesters bombing and assaulting police officers. That's not how I remember it. What I remember was people protesting peacefully and legitimately against the Vietnam War. That's what I remember. Music off, please. Music off. By the end, wiretapping students and breaking into journalists' homes was beginning to sound like a rational response. I'm sorry you feel this way. But I simply cannot share your view. About what? About any of it, frankly. I thought today was a huge improvement. Oh, let's see. Let's hang on. So on that spot I think you're going to want to come this way. I agree. Right, so you get kind of a group. Great. So we'd wind up with frame something like that. OK, go. I thought today was a huge improvement. Are you nuts? Let me tell you how bad things were today. After the taping finished, I overheard two members of the crew say they never voted for him when they had the chance. But if he ran again today, he'd have their support. You're making him look presidential, for Christ's sake. And forget about the trivia, David. Who cares whether Nixon took the White House bed to Europe when he traveled? I do. Well, it's irrelevant. Good, cut. OK, good. If you can, we'll do one more. And maybe you can go with him and walk back and get a tighter over the shoulder. So you keep him in the foreground, and then throw the focus deep. OK? Let's try one more. Good. Why don't you-- this time as an alternate, because you've sort of got that wide group shot-- this time why don't you try to come in, and when they're here at the desk, sort of get a loose 50/50. ...

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Ron Howard made his first film in 22 days with $602,000. Today, his movies have grossed over $1.8 billion. In his first-ever online class, the Oscar-winning director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind decodes the craft of directing like never before. In lessons and on-set workshops, you’ll learn how to evaluate ideas, work with actors, block scenes, and bring your vision to the screen—whether it’s a laptop or an IMAX theater.

Watch, listen, and learn as Ron Howard breaks down directing in his first-ever online class.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, assignments, and supplemental material.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Ron will also answer select student questions.

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Ron Howard

Ron Howard Teaches Directing