Acting Definition: Mark (“Hitting Your Mark”).
A “mark” is just that, a marker that lets the actor know where he or she is to position themselves during certain parts of a scene. Marks are particularly useful in filming, since an actor needs to be in an exact place for the camera to have a proper frame. Imagine how terrible a scene would be if the actors were too close to the camera, too far away or off to the side of the camera when delivering their lines. Marks ensure this does not happen.
Indoors, a mark is usually a piece of colorful tape placed on the floor, out of the camera’s view, so as not to be seen by the viewer. When filming is outdoors, a mark can be anything. It might be a stick or rock, anything that the viewer would not recognize as unnatural to the scene.
“On Your Marks”
A director might use the phrase, “On Your Marks”, when speaking to actors. This means it is time for actors to line up in their designated spots, in proper position for the camera, before filming begins.
“Hitting Your Mark”
The phrase, “hitting your mark”, means that the actor, when moving, must land at an exact spot or “mark” when delivering their lines. Not “hitting your mark” could throw filming off completely, including camera framing, lighting, editing and even the sound quality.