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What is 'blocking out'?

To be honest, until a movie was shown at a club meeting about 'blocking out', it was a case of 'blind antelope' (No Idea!) for me. What 'blocking' is about, is planning where everything is going to be in your scene. The actors, the props, the cameras, the lights etc. ; and considering the shot types you will be taking to maximise audience buy-in.

Recently, we decided to make 'blocking out' the focus of our next 'Pop Up Movie' (Casual shoot). Peter Waterman wrote a brief, one scene script about a couple of gangsters and three of us rocked up, ready to take turns 'blocking out' and acting.

Peter Waterman went first and incorporated a range of shots. He even decided to call in the special effects team (Tricia Waterman) for dramatic effect! His final product was edited in black and white for effect.

Jenny Wallace, an absolute newbie to film making was more than happy to participate, wielding an iphone and a gimbal as her weapons of choice. She shot it in two takes.

Here is her version with 'Hammer and Thongs'.

Dressing the part, but not having put much planning into it, I went with the basic two shot and a couple of 'over the shoulder' shots. The end result seemed effective.

Peter's movie 'Hammer, Podge and the Stinger' clearly demonstrates what an impact a little planning into shot placement you can have on the end product.

Overall, what a fun evening we had! At the same time, it was opening our minds to new ways of thinking. By the way, if anybody is looking for some amazing actors.... Oh, scrap that.... never mind.

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