Sunday, June 6, 2010

SHOOT RECAP - blocking

No storyboards were used in the making of this movie. Really? How could we? Well, running, gunning, and unknown quantities abounding. 
Blocking was done according to time and coverage.  Actors would rehearse the scene as they might ‘play it out’ naturally, the Set General would get all the coverage in his head and then shoot.
As per usual there was never enough time, so many times we’d have to just stud one take in order to get EVERYTHING in a master. This usually meant a little more time blocking, putting actors in just the right spots where we’d need the least amount of set ups. 
The biggest blocking challenge was the mother of all scenes(day 10), where up to 11 characters were interacting at once. The General had ‘em go through the scene as they would naturally, which ended up looking like a stage play, not working at all. Waiting for their next marching orders, the actors started chatting in small groups, each one irrespective of the others. There was our answer. 
The ten page scene(which has since been cut down and checker boarded), was split in two parts, each taking over an hour to block. But got all that time back in well conceived set ups, which were broken down to the minimum amount necessary. 
Moral of the story... block-block-BLOCK to get the most out of your time and coverage.
photos by Suzan Jones