Tip: Marks for your Actors

As a gear-head filmmaker, it's very easy to get so wrapped up in the technical end of your film that you sometimes forget to go the extra mile for your actors. They want to do the best job possible, and sometimes you can greatly aid them with a little help.

Today's example concerns marks on the ground. These are points where you want your actor to stop or pause in your scene. You've composed the shot in such a way that your character needs to "hit their mark" for the composition to work. This can be a challenge if you are using whatever is lying around for this purpose. Environmental debris can often blend into the location making it tough on your actors, especially if they are depending on their peripheral vision.

One solution for this is to use something that really sticks out and is easy to see. I used field marker disks that I purchased at Wal-Mart. They are bright (easy to see), flimsy (won't cause injury) and cheap. They are also compact and several be easily toted in a small container.

I've provided some links below to some other things you can use, but the idea is the same.
Give your actors a highly visible mark, and the odds go way up that they will hit it in as few takes as possible.