Blocking. It's not just for football.
There are so many terms that are used on a film set that it can be hard sometimes to understand what the crew is talking about at any given moment. “Blocking a scene” is one of those terms.
What is Blocking?
Blocking put simply is when you work out the details of an actor’s moves in relation to the camera. I like to thinking of it as the choreography of the scene. When you’re setting up a scene to shoot, Blocking the scene is one of the first parts if not the first part (after equipment is set up) of a video or film shoot.
Here are a few blocking tips:
1. Start with a shot list which acts as a map. This gives you a path to your destination but you can take different routes.
2. Figure out where the camera is placed in conjunction to what is important in the scene.
3. Work out the scene with the actors and go ahead and take their suggestions into consideration before hand so you’re not wasting time on a decision during the shoot.
4. Blocking is like putting together a puzzle. Keep working at it until the whole scene works.
5. For budget friendly video productions or lower budget films, time is money - so go ahead and block some scenes in one direction so you don’t have to keep reversing angles.