We got a lot of doubts about the stages of a film shoot, like how will you block actor’s, camera? Do you rehearse while film shoots? Etc. So here, we are trying to describe the Filmmaking stages of shooting a film scene. Mostly shooting a film scene consists of 5 stages.
It is the most crucial part of the whole process. As a director it will become one of the hardest steps you want to take care of. You have to determine where the actors will be on the set and the position of the first camera. For that you need to understand the script and your character well.
The best practice used for blocking is you should read the sequence which is going to shoot to each and every characters and cameraman. So they get an exact idea what they are going to do and can help each other also.
After that you can ask them to enact what they are going to do. So you can watch them and compare it with your visualization in your mind. Then you can tell them the changes you need. – Try to figure out the physical layout of the room and discuss with your actors – the door an actor will come through, which chair they can sit at etc.
First thing you have to keep in mind is, this is the first time the actors have been together on the set and they need their time to explore. So when you watch how they enact the scene, you get some idea, you understand the plus and minus of their performance. You will know how they are relating those character/ that situation to their life.
Next you need to give suggestions to them, consider the pace and movements of the characters. Once you complete giving suggestions let them do it again. This time you can figure out the position of the first camera based on their actions and movement.
After fixing the first camera position you walk around the actors and check the other shots you already drawn in your storyboard to shoot this scene. You can discuss with the cinematographer about the camera shots and actors positions. While blocking a camera assistant will mark the positions of the actors on the floor.
This is the time for the Cinematographer to light the entire set and position for the first shot. Light the set according to the movement and actions of the actors. Actors will replaced by the Assistants and they enact the movements to check and fix the light accordingly.
After finishing the lighting, you can call the actors back for final rehearsal. Let them know the positions of the light, camera and changes of their positions made for better lighting and camera angles if any.
This Rehearsal is for the whole team (cast and crew), the actors should walk through their positions and let the Camera Operator stop them to adjust their end marks or let the Sound Man find a better position for his mike. Once the crew is happy about positions and lighting, begin a full rehearsal.
During this first full rehearsal, watch the camera movement and the placement of the actors in the frame. Make sure you got everything you visualised about the shot. Once you are satisfied with crew side, concentrate on the actors and dialogue delivery.
You better start shooting the sequence on the final rehearsal itself, because sometimes the best output comes during the final Rehearsal.
After the first take, make any technical adjustments and talk to ALL the actors. This is the first time you have seen them working up-to-speed and it is important that you give them all some feedback.
Start Camera Action….. And Repeat the process