How to Shoot a Scene

Learn the process of how to shoot a scene: blocking, light, rehearse, tweak, and shoot.

How to Shoot a Scene

Developed by Jason Tomaric, FilmSkills
ABOUT THIS LESSON
Shooting a scene is a complex dance amongst the various departments, the actors, and the director.  Knowing how this dance works can be the difference between a well-run shoot day where your vision is fully realized on camera, and a wasted day.
 
In this module you will learn the process of how to shoot a scene: block, light, rehearse, tweak, and shoot.  Go on set with veteran filmmakers and see how the pros do it.
 
Run you set properly and get the results you want by knowing how to properly shoot a scene.
  • 39:23 video that takes you through the process of shooting a scene
  • Illustrated companion guide
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
  • How to block actors
  • How to conduct a rehearsal for the crew
  • What is a marking rehearsal
  • What the crew is doing during the blocking
  • What happens during the lighting phase
  • How a scene should be technically rehearsed
  • The role of Second Team
  • How to tweak and finesse a shot
  • The role of the crew during a take
ABOUT THE LESSON AUTHOR
Jason Tomaric

Jason Tomaric

Director, Cinematographer Los Angeles, California
Jason J. Tomaric is an Emmy, Telly, and CINE Award-winning director and cinematographer of four internationally-distributed feature films, dozens of national television commercials, music videos, and the largest film training content library in the world, published author of 8 books - used in many top universities, and creator of AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform. 
 
Jason has worked in Los Angeles and around the world in over 20 countries. His clients include Disney, NBC/Universal, National Geographic, McDonald’s, Toyota, Scion, Microsoft, and Paul Mitchell, with narrative work screened at Sundance, Slamdance, and South by Southwest film festivals as well as on Netflix and on all broadcast networks.
 
Jason has taught and/or guest lectured at some of the nation's most prestigious film schools including UCLA, Columbia College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, San Francisco State, University of Notre Dame, and numerous film festivals.
 
Jason has written eight industry-defining books, all sold in bookstores, and used in film schools around the world. The American Society of Cinematographers hails Jason's books - "There are no wasted words in Tomaric's tome, which concisely summarizes each facet of the director's craft.  It's difficult to think of a step in the process that Tomaric fails to address." 
 
Jason’s DVD training series on Hollywood film production have trained filmmakers in over 40 countries, with distributors in Europe, Hong Kong, New York and Australia.
 
In 2010, Jason launched FilmSkills, which combines the world’s largest film training video library with his proprietary learning management system.  Adopted by 47 universities within the first year, FilmSkills is now the leading industry-standard training solution for motion picture and television production.
 
In 2015, Jason launched AccuSkills.com, an industry-changing learning management platform that bridges the gap between academia and industry.
THIS LESSON HAS BEEN UPDATED BY
Kingsley Benham

Kingsley Benham

West Hollywood, California FilmSkills
UPDATED ON 1/22/2016
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS LESSON
Bethany Rooney

Bethany Rooney

Critically acclaimed Director, "Brothers and Sisters", "Grey's Anatomy", "Desperate Housewives", and "Private Practice"
In an environment where less than ten percent of dramas on television are directed by women, Bethany Rooney has enjoyed a long and esteemed career.  She has directed over one hundred and fifty episodes of prime-time network shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, and Private Practice.  For cable television, she has directed In Plain Sight, Weeds, and Drop Dead Diva.  She began her directing career on the 1980’s iconic television show, St. Elsewhere, where she had served as associate producer.
 
She has also directed eight television movies, including three Danielle Steel adaptations for NBC.  Her movies have earned reviews such as the following from Variety:  “Bethany Rooney’s sensitive direction makes for some vivid and understated moments,” and the Hollywood Reporter noted her “carefully paced and involving direction (featuring) magnificent acting.”   She has directed Oscar winners and contenders Denzel Washington, Hilary Swank, Mary Tyler Moore, Angela Bassett, George Clooney, Alfre Woodard, Felicity Huffman, Sally Field, and Robert Downey Jr., among many others. She is also the author of The Director Tells the Story.
Dan Riffel

Dan Riffel

Gaffer, "Iron Man", "G.I. Joe," "Hancock," "Spiderman 3," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "Charlie's Angels"
Dan is a Los Angeles-based gaffer with numerous A-list credits including Battleship, Cowboys and Aliens, Iron Man 1 & 2, G.I. Joe, The Mummy, Hancock, Live Free or Dir Harder, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Spider Man 2 & 3, Charlie's Angels, and many more.
David Stump, ASC

David Stump, ASC

Academy Award and Emmy-winning cinematographer, "A Quantum of Solace", "Flight Plan", "Fantastic Four", and "X-Men"
David Stump, ASC, works on numerous motion pictures and television productions as Director of Photography, as Visual Effects Director of Photography and as a Visual Effects Supervisor, garnering Emmy nominations and an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement for Camera Data Capture Techniques.  His credits include such projects as James Bond 22 A Quantum of Solace, Flight Plan, Fantastic Four, X-Men 1 & 2, Into the Blue, Garfield, Panic Room, Deep Blue Sea, Batman Forever, Hollow Man, Men of Honor, Stuart Little, The Sphere, Contact, Batman & Robin, Mars Attacks, Executive Decision, Stargate, Free Willy, and What Love Is, among others.
 
A member of the Producer's Guild of America (PGA), the Visual Effects Society (VES), the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), Stump has been involved in Digital Visual Effects for over 20 years, since the advent of Computer Generated Images for film.  He has also been involved in shooting High Definition images for many years and has been an advisor and consultant to numerous HD camera manufacturers.  In 2001 he was accepted for full membership into the American Society of Cinematographers, where he is currently chairman of the Camera Subcommittee of the ASC Technical Committee.  His work there helps to shape the future of digital cinematography, by bringing together working cinematographers with the builders of their tools. He is currently working on a book that will demystify digital and high definition cinematography.
 
Harry C. Box

Harry C. Box

Camera Operator, "Heroes," "Brothers and Sisters," and Author of "The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook"

Harry C. Box has worked in television and motion picture production since 1989. Over the years he has done substantial work as a lighting technician, gaffer, camera operator, director of photography, and as an educator. His recent credits include network and cable television series, such as "Heroes" (NBC), "Brothers and Sisters" (ABC), and "Everybody Hates Chris" (CW). He has worked on major motion pictures, independent feature films, telefilms, documentaries, music videos, commercials, and industrials. Harry has also written "The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook," now in its fourth edition.

Jason J. Tomaric

Jason J. Tomaric

Emmy-winning director/Cinematographer
Jason J.Tomaric is a multiple Emmy, Telly and CINE Award-winning director and cinematographer. With four feature films, sixty commercials, music videos and an educational DVD series on the market, Jason's approach to filmmaking has made for a successful, fulfilling career. Jason has worked in over 20 countries as a director and has taught at some of the nation's most prestigious film schools including UCLA and the New York Film Academy. Jason's book, "Filmmaking"(Focal Press) is available in bookstores worldwide.
 
Jason is also the creator of FilmSkills.
Lance Fisher S.O.C.

Lance Fisher S.O.C.

Camera Operator, "House M.D.", "Blade: Trinity", "The Shield"
Lance Fisher is a camera oerator and member of the S.O.C.  His extensive credits include House M.D., Krog, The Shield, Jonas, Las Vegas, Blade: Trinity, Paycheck, Dark Angel, Level 9, Scream 3, Godzilla, Chicago Hope, and Party of Five.
Mike Uva

Mike Uva

Key Grip "Nip/Tuck", “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, "Everybody Hates Chris", and author "Uva's Grip Book"
Michael G. Uva is a well-respected Key Grip in Hollywood, with over 20 years of experience in film, TV movies, and commercials to his credit, including the recent hit shows "Nip/Tuck," “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, and "Everybody Hates Chris." He is the author of The Grip Book.