Topic 3: Blocking


Actors are professionals who bring their experience and creativity to the roles they play. Blocking is the choreography of the actors and the camera. Blocking is all about how actors move, using their physical presence to help tell the story. Blocking is the result of collaboration between the actor and the director. Directors might have a vision for a scene, but they also allow the actors to bring their ideas to the moment. Their collaborative efforts result in memorable moments you see on the big screen.

Consider what the various blocking sequences below suggest about characterization, conflict, tension, and re-connection.




Photo series by cottonbro from Pexels

Watch this video (warning: mature content — language) to learn how the late Robin Williams brought his blocking talents and expertise to several of his films. After viewing the entire video, rewind and cue the video up to 4:07. What are the benefits of using blocking to tell the story? Record your impressions about blocking in your Elements of Film handout.

Extend Your Understanding

View this insightful video essay that develops blocking and composition as key contributors to effective visual storytelling.