The Studio Production - Rehearsals Part Two

Rehearsal00In many types of productions, directors prepare and rehearse the entire action and treatment until it really works, then record the polished performance.

In other productions, each small section is rehearsed and recorded before going on to the next segment.

CAMERA BLOCKING/STUMBLE-THROUGH/FIRST RUN/STOPPING RUN

Camera blocking-also known as the first run or stumble-through-is usually when the director controls the production from the production control room, only "going to the floor" when on­ the-spot discussion is essential (See table). Otherwise, his or her eyes and ears are focused on the camera monitors and the speakers. All communication with the crew is through the intercom system, with the floor manager cueing and instructing the talent through intercom guidance.

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Many directors use the whole method, going continuously through a segment (sequence, scene) until a problem arises that requires stopping and correction. The director discusses problems, solutions, and revisions, then reruns the segment with corrections. This method gives a good idea of continuity, timing, transitions, and operational difficulties. But by skimming over the various shortcomings before the breakdown point, quite a list of necessary minor corrections may develop. The cast and crew usually prefers the whole method.

Other directors, using the stopping method, stop action and correct faults as they arise-almost shot by shot. This precludes error adding to error, ensuring that everyone knows exactly what is required throughout. For certain situations (chroma-key treatment), this may be the only rational approach. However, this piecemeal method gives the impression of slow progress, and can feel tedious for everyone involved (crews usually dislike this style). The continual stop­ping makes checks on continuity and timing much more difficult. Later corrections are given as notes after the run-through.

FLOOR BLOCKING

Using this method, the director works out on the studio floor, viewing the camera shots on studio monitors. Guid­ing and correcting performers and crew from within the studio, the director uses the intercom to give instructions to the AD or technical director for the switcher. During the actual recording, the show may be shot as seg­ments, scenes, or continuous action.

 

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