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stage (theatre) wikipedia


1. blocking actors (stage: Oleanna scenes)

2. staging camera

3. montage

staging action = 1 + 2 + 3

Here are some things to consider when blocking your actors in a play:

1. Let the script do most of the work for you. As a director, you may have plenty of ideas on changing the setting or the costumes or the dialogue, but leave the basic stage direction as intact as possible. You aren't trying to reinvent the wheel, just making sure your actors know where to stand and when to cross. Most scripts already contain enough staging information to allow you to form a rough idea of blocking. You should know when the characters are supposed to enter and exit, and what obstacles are in their way during their dialogue. Trust the script notes to paint the broadest strokes you will need to do basic blocking.

2. Avoid clutter - keep the audience in mind. A traditional proscenium stage should be viewed as a living painting. No artist would dare place all of his painting's elements on one side of the painting. Balance the stage movements so that the audience has a feeling of aesthetics. If a character has no interaction with others in the scene, move them to the opposite side of the stage for balance. If you have furniture on stage, avoid piling every actor on the couch center stage. You might set up more furniture on both sides of the stage to keep your actors from crowding each other. You might also consider building various levels to keep all actors in plain view. Build up different parts of the set, and when one actor moves to a different 'level', move another actor to replace them. If done subtly, the audience should not notice the continuous shift.

3. Allow the actors to improvise and contribute to the blocking process. During the rehearsal process, a director must be an benevolent dictator and democratic leader at the same time. There are some blocking directions that should be seen as immutable, such as exits, dramatic crosses and entrances. These movements need to be fixed and unchanged, so that lighting directors and other technical people can get a proper fix on actor positions. But some elements of blocking, such as internal monologues and staged arguments, can be modified through improvisation and actor input. You should listen carefully to your actors' ideas, even if you still veto them. Actors can get a feel for where their characters would want to move during a scene, so their input can be very useful indeed. During a conflict scene, you may feel that the couple would naturally move away from each other to get some emotional distance, whereas the actors involved may feel like moving in closer to increase the tension between them. Both actions seem reasonable, so see which movements improve the scene. Be prepared to adjust your original ideas accordingly- move other actors out of the scene or change the stage layout.

4. Never let the props or set do the acting. If your set has a lot of furniture or levels or props, keep their presence to a minimum. Make sure your actors' movements upstage the furniture, rather than risk the furniture upstaging the actors. Unless the stage directions call for it, do not allow actors to perform entire scenes BEHIND a prop or furniture. Keep the actors visible and clutter-free. If a prop is misplaced or a set piece is in the way of an actor's path, tell your actors to get it out of the way by any means necessary. No one should feel obligated to tip-toe around a piece of misplaced scenery. I once saw a play in which an ashtray was accidentally left on center stage while sets were being changed. It stood out as if it were a 50 foot Godzilla. The next set was a carver's workshop, which did not call for an ashtray. The actor who was scheduled to enter the scene simply scooped up the ashtray as he came through the door, then proceeded to light a cigarette and hold the ashtray in his hand as he spoke. The prop stopped being the center of attention, and the scene was saved. Your actors should have this same flexibility when blocking problems arise. (blocking)


acting and actors


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stage and staging

floor plan exer.

floor plan

























scene/monologue ____________


Mamet: Oleanna (texts) [in class/homework?]

staging camera
primary and secondary motion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A sound stage is a hangar-like structure, building or room, that is soundproof for the production of theatrical motion pictures and television, usually inside a movie studio.

Structures of this type were in use in the motion picture industry before the advent of sound recording. Early stages for silent movies were built with large skylights until electric lighting became powerful enough to adequately expose film. With the coming of the talkies in the late 1920s, it became necessary to enclose the stages, eliminating noise and distractions from outside. Buildings without soundproofing are still referred to as silent stages. While a film is being made, people behind the camera can make as much noise as they like on a silent stage whereas they must be careful not to make any unnecessary noise on a sound stage.

An enclosed stage makes it easier for the crew of a production to design and build the sets to exact specifications, precise scale and detail. The art director makes an architectural plan and the carpenters build it. After it is painted, the set dresser furnishes it with everything that the set designer, under the direction of the art director, has selected for the interior. The camera can be placed exactly where the director wants it, and achieving the desired lighting is easier because each stage has a metal framework with catwalks and lights suspended from the ceiling. This makes it easier for the cinematographer to have the grips position each light so the camera operator can get exactly the right shot.

Though it is an expensive process, working on a sound stage saves time when setting up. As all the scenes can be filmed on the sets inside the sound stage, it also eliminates having to move the movie company from location to location.

2007 An online course supplement * Film-North * Anatoly Antohin. * eCitations *
2005 by vtheatre.net. Permission to link to this site is granted. Film DIRECTING amazon film-north blog

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