November 3, 2014

Hit Your Mark on Set

Film SetHit Your Mark on Set

What is ‘Hitting Your Marks’? For actors it means walking to various markings the director has for you throughout different points of the scene. This keeps the actor in frame and on focus for the shoot and the director isn’t spending all his time trying to focus the camera on you. Of course walking to a spot on the floor without ever looking down can be difficult. These few steps will help you hit your mark without interruption.

The first step is knowing where these marks are. The crew will usually mark them with a bright X or T. Your job is to know where they are and how many there are per scene. This keeps you in frame and in focus so you must hit them exactly.

Begin rehearsing by maneuvering to them without looking down. Say your lines and mark the script at the exact point that you get to your mark. Try to make time to rehearse repeatedly before filming, noting your steps.

Know what is around you when you hit your mark so that you stop moving when you are at that spot. Look for visual markers. Note whether your marker is at the end of a table or next to a sofa. It’s also a good idea to make the visual markers at eye level, is there a painting you can look at that will let you know when to stop.

Never use other actors as your markers, they are never consistent and the director may make changes to their movements.

When you are moving towards a marker try to make it as natural as possible. Make a note of any awkward locations. If there is no natural way to hit your mark be sure to discuss it with your director so that any appropriate changes can be made.

Lastly, practice every chance you get before coming to set. Try practicing with a video camera on a tripod. The more you practice the easier it will be to hit your marks.

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