Blocking a Scene: What You Need to Know Before You Shoot

Before you hit record on your next scene, you've got to figure out where your actors, as well as your camera, are going to be.

Like a graceful ballet or a hip-hop routine, blocking is all about choreography. You have to figure out where your actors are going to be, where they're going to go, and how your camera is going to capture it all. In this video, the team over at The Film Look goes over the many elements of blocking, including what kinds of things to keep in mind before making a decision, how to direct your actors, and how to keep the visual communication between your camera and your audience clear and intentional. Check it out below:

So, what is blocking anyway? It's basically figuring out where your actors are going to be in the scene and how they're going to move in relation to your camera. You can have a static shot in which your actors and camera are stationary. You can have more kinetic shot in which your actors and camera are both moving around the set. You can have one where your actors are moving but your camera isn't and vice versa. Really, you can block your scene however you like; you can get as creative as you want!

Even if you've already decided on how you're going to block your scene, one important thing you should do before you shoot is rehearse your scene to make sure the blocking works. Keep a close eye on framing, lighting, and continuity while doing this, especially if you've got a lot of movement in your shot.

What are some other important aspects of blocking? Let us know down below.     

Your Comment


One of the first signs of amature work: actors just standing around talking, doing nothing.

February 20, 2018 at 10:45PM

Daniel King
Videographer, Editor

The next sign of amateur work is having people walk or move around with no purpose. Everything should be for good reason.

February 21, 2018 at 1:42PM

Robbie Patton

I've read that it's a common issue for directors coming into film from stage production, where, of course, there is no camera to have movement with.

February 21, 2018 at 4:21PM, Edited February 21, 4:21PM

Julian Richards
Film Warlord


February 22, 2018 at 7:16AM

Tesha Koirala