The mechanics of directing were simple in those days. I had only to know my left from my right for entrances and exists. If one exited right from a scene, one came in left in the next scene; if one exited towards the camera, one entered with one's back to the camera in the next scene. These, of course, were primary rules.
But with more experience I found that the placing of a camera was not only pscyhological but articulated a scene; in fact it was the basis of cinematic style. If the camera is a little to near, or too far, it can enhance or spoil an effect. Because economy of movement is important you don't want an actor to walk any unneccesary distance unless there is a special reason, for walking is not dramatic. Therefore placement of camera should effect composition and a graceful entrance for the actor. Placement of camera is cinematic inflection. There is no set rule that a close-up gives more emphasis than a long shot. A close-up is a question of feeling; in some instances a long shot can effect greater emphasis.