What is a “Mark”?

By Webmaster

  • What is a “Mark”?

    Marks are particularly useful in filming. They are also a valuable aid for on-camera auditions.

    (by Tonya Tannenbaum)
    A “mark” is just that. It is a marker that lets the actor know where he or she is to position themselves during certain parts of a scene. Marks are also useful during on-camera auditions.

    Breaking Down “Marks”

    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 way-off to the side of the camera when delivering important, dramatic lines. It would throw the scene completely off and distract the viewer from what the actor is saying.

    Marks ensure this does not happen.

  • When filming indoors, a mark is usually a piece of colorful gaffer tape placed on the floor. It is carefully positioned out of the camera’s view, so as not to be seen by the audience. When filming outdoors, a mark can be anything. It might be a piece of tape, a plastic bottle, a stick or a rock; anything that the viewer would not easily recognize as being unnatural to the scene.

    Marks at an Audition

    Marks are also a valuable aid for on-camera auditions. Marks are set up to ensure that an actor’s image is properly captured on camera while slating and during the audition. In an imaginary world where marks do not exist, actors would come into an audition room and stand anywhere. The camera would have to be adjusted with each audition, wasting valuable. And, if the camera is not adjusted, each actor’s audition would show up differently on camera.

    Marks ensure this does not happen at a live audition. Each actor comes into the audition and stands at a preset mark, so that only slight adjustments need to be made to the camera with each audition.

  • Learning the Industry Lingo

    There are several popular phrases used in the entertainment industry, when it comes to “marks”. Below are a few:

    “On your marks, please” or “Get 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.

    At an on-camera audition, a casting director or session director will usually ask actors to “get on your marks” before an audition. In this case, actors position themselves for the purpose of slating their names to the camera before beginning their auditions.

    “Hitting your mark” or “Landing on your mark”
    The phrase, “hitting your mark” or “landing on 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.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Related:
    What is “Slating”?
    What are “Sides”?
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • 3 Minor Violations to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé

    3 Minor Violations to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing levels of crime that an actor can commit. Here are 3 Minor Violations. (by…

    “If you get good enough, all that other stuff will take care of itself.” (Ed Harris)

    “I would just say, if this is something you’re pursuing as an actor… It’s one thing to learn about acting, it’s one thing to become a better actor, it’s another thing to want…

    What are “Profiles”?

    What are “Profiles”? Profiles give casting a more complete picture of how the actor looks when performing on-camera (by Tonya Tannenbaum) Profiles are a request for additional information about an actor’s appearance, particularly…

    You’re Not Really Acting When You’re Over-Acting

    You’re not really acting when you’re over-acting It’s amateurish and does a disservice to the script, your fellow actors and to the audience. (by Jim Webb) It’s understandable for aspiring actors to want…

    “Don’t become an actor, unless you HAVE to.” (Mandy Patinkin)

    “Don’t become an actor, unless you HAVE to.” (Mandy Patinkin) Here’s the best thing I ever heard about acting, that my wife said: “Don’t do it (become an actor), unless you have to.”…

  • Ad

  • Today’s Rundown

    TODAY’S RUNDOWN Thought of the day: Thinking of quitting your acting career? Hang in there! You don’t have to have all the answers today. You only have to survive the day. #actorslife  …

    What is a “Sense Memory”?

    What is a “Sense Memory”? Armed with a sense memory, the actor’s experience is no longer rooted in fantasy. It is now real to them. (by Tonya Tannenbaum) Sense memory is an acting…

    Booking Commercials: Talent, Looks or Luck?

    Booking Commercials: Talent, Looks or Luck? What does it take for an actor to be successful in commercials? (by Carmichael Phillips) What does it take for an actor to be successful in commercials?…

  • Ad

  • What are “Notes, Adjustments and Redirects”?

    What are “Notes, Adjustments and Redirects”? Regardless of what one might call them, these changes are usually necessary for a thorough evaluation of the actor’s fitness for the role being cast (By Tonya…

    Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition

    Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition Don’t apologize during an audition. Ever. If you stumble over your words or make a mistake, simply correct it. Confidently. (by Carmichael Phillips)…

    Never Do This on Your Acting Résumé!

      Never Do This on Your Acting Résumé! This is a brief “NEVER and WTF Were You Thinking!” list (By Carmichael Phillips) Sometimes there are “Should and Shouldn’t” lists. Sometimes there are “Do…

    5 General Rules for Demo Reels

      5 General Rules for Demo Reels Before you get knee-deep into this endeavor, there are a few general rules you should consider. (By Jim Webb) Are you putting your first demo reel…

    Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together!

    Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together! Before you approach an agent, make sure that you are ready to present yourself as an actor who understands the business and understands what…

  • Ad

  • 3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating

    3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating While the slating process may seem insignificant, it represents an additional opportunity for actors to stand-out, when done properly (By Jim Webb) You already know what slating is….

    5 Reasons Why Background Acting is a $h*tty Job

    5 Reasons Why Background Acting is a $h*tty Job Let us count the ways… (By Jim Webb) Recently, I listed five benefits to beginning your acting career as a background actor. To be…

    Look to Acting to Be Your Creative Savior, Not Your Financial Savior

      Look to Acting to Be Your Creative Savior, Not Your Financial Savior Fame and fortune must not be your primary pursuit. They should be the fortuitous byproduct of a larger pursuit (by…

  • Ad

  • 5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve

    5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve So many riddles to solve. So little time. And on it goes… (By Carmichael Phillips) In a normal profession, everything is clear and easy to understand. The…

    What is “Slating”?

      What is “Slating”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) The term, “slating”, for auditions, describes a standard industry practice whereby the actor briefly introduces themselves while facing the camera. This process usually happens right before,…

    5 Basic Facts About Method Acting

      5 Basic Facts about Method Acting Method acting refers to a collection of training techniques meant to aid actors in the understanding and building of their characters (By Jim Webb) Method acting…

    What are “Inner Motives”?

      What are “Inner Motives”? In order to consistently deliver natural, emotionally sincere performances the actor must understand their character’s inner motives (By Tonya Tannenbaum) Inner Motives are the rationales that an actor…

    What are “Animal Exercises”?

    What are “Animal Exercises”? An actor can study how an animal or animals move and, then, use some of those movements when preparing to capture the physicality of their character (By Tonya Tannenbaum)…

  • Ad

  • Actor Stories: How John Krasinski Almost Gave Up on Acting

      Actor Stories: How John Krasinski Almost Gave Up on Acting (By Carmichael Phillips) Check out the story of how actor, John Krasinski, almost gave up on acting, right before his big break….

    Make Sure Your Name is Added to the “Nice” List

      Make Sure Your Name is Added to The “Nice” List You may not get the role you auditioned for, but make sure your name is added to the “nice” list (By Jim…

    Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business

      Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business Of course, each time you repeat this process, your career becomes stronger! Your power becomes stronger. (By Carmichael Phillips) No professional actor…

  • Ad

  • “You have to keep at it!” (Kate Winslet)

    “You have to keep at it (acting)! You do. And if it is the thing you really believe you want to do with your life, you will get there. You just have to…

    5 Benefits of Being a Background Actor

    5 Benefits of Being a Background Actor (By Jim Webb) Who the heck would want to be a background actor? The real question is, why would anyone not want to be a background…

    Actor Stories: How Silvester Stallone Made Himself into a Star

    Actor Stories: How Sylvester Stallone Made Himself Into a Star (By Carmichael Phillips) How bad did Sylvester Stallone have it when he was an aspiring actor? Well, let’s just say that, even doors…

    “You do have to keep working at it. You do have to keep practicing things.” (Kate Winslet)

      “I think what I would honestly say to people starting out [in acting] is that it is difficult. It is definitely a hard job to do. And you do have to keep…

    Will Hollywood ‘Ban’ Georgia?

    Will Hollywood ‘Ban’ Georgia? The ‘Heartbeat Bill’ might end up killing the heartbeat of Georgia’s booming television and movie industry (By Carmichael Phillips) The state of Georgia has become America’s third largest state…

    “It’s not about losing yourself in the role. It’s about finding yourself in the role.” (Uta Hagen)

    “It’s not about losing yourself in the role. It’s about finding yourself in the role.” (Uta Hagen)     _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hagen went on to explain: “In 1947, I worked in a play under…

    3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping

      3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping This new wave of self-taping also offers actors enormous advantages (By Carmichael Phillips) Self-taped auditions are the wave of the future, in part, because they offer casting…

    3 Reasons Why You Should Never Audition Just to Book the Job

      3 Reasons Why You Should Never Audition Just to Book the Job If you don’t book this particular job, so what? You’ve now made fans of the auditors in the room. (By…