How to Hit Your Mark on a Film Set

By Jonathan McLelland

Acting on a film set is unlike any other experience. The technical aspect of film acting is often overlooked by actors. However, if you know a couple of basics you will be able to take on a film set. One of the most important aspects of film acting is knowing how to hit your mark. A mark is exactly how it sounds, it’s a placement on the floor where you must stand during various points throughout the scene.

Hitting Your Marks

The first step to hitting your mark is knowing where they are. Throughout the rehearsal process, the director will provide you with various markings on the floor that you must hit throughout different points in the scene. There may be as little one mark, to as many as ten within a single scene.

After you have your marks set, you will need to begin rehearsing maneuvering to them without having to look down. To do this, make visual marks that are at eye level. If your mark is at the end of a table, make a mental note that will inform you to stop moving when you are at this location.

Once you have made several visual markers that will inform you when to stop, you will need to start rehearsing the scene. You may notice that previous blocking will be altered due to these marks. With your fellow actors, run through the scene by moving from one mark to another, you may want to take notes of movements that are awkward.

If after rehearsing the scene you find that several marks are awkward to hit, discuss this with the director. Always make sure that you have a suggestion before making a complaint about a mark. If the director has you moving to one side of the chair, but you find that moving to the other side will be more natural, inform him or her of this.

Tip

If you are unsure about a mark, always inform your director.

Warning

By not properly hitting your mark, you can cause the camera to go out-of-focus, which will cause the entire scene to have to be re-filmed.

About the Author

Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.