When you look at a scene in a film what do you see ? In any well shot scene there are a few things ; Composition, Framing, Lighting, Art Direction, Actors and Blocking.
So what is blocking and why are we talking about it? I have made a video essay on the topic which you will find below but let me explain a few things.
First of all (go down low) , lol. Ok, seriously. Blocking is a term borrowed from theatre that refers to the positioning and movement of the actors in the stage. When it was brought to film the camera and the lights became a part of the equation. Part of blocking is deciding where they actors will be in each part of the scene, the lines they would deliver, and most importantly, WHY.
As a Director, blocking is something you will always have to do in interpreting the script, revealing character and telling a story. You have to figure out why a character is where they are at any point in time on screen in relation to their story and character. While also deciding where the camera is placed and how the scene is lit, if you are going to move the camera and/or the characters .
In this scene from short film, THE ENCOUNTER( Dir Tolu Ajayi ) we see a conversation which is mostly dialogue be blocked beautifully and show the change of the relationship between these two men slowly transform from soldiers acknowledging each other’s rant to old friends reminiscing to executioner and his prisoner within a few minutes. Watch a more detailed Video essay i made of the film
If you haven’t seen the movie, you may want to watch it first then come back to the video. Below is the movie Encounter:
Olu Yomi Ososanya (Oludascribe) is a FilmMaker/Writer/Creative/Film Nerd Graduate of London Metropolitan University(Creative&Cultural Industries) and SAE Institute (Digital FilmMaking) and School of DVD Directors commentary Directed and Written films that have been at Cannes,AFRIFF and Fastnet Film other film festivals Written for and worked on TV shows for Mnet, Ebony Life and terrestrial television.
Check out his cool blog on oludascribe.com