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Being on a Film Set - "Sense and etiquette on the film set!"

Being on a film set can be an incredibly fun and exciting experience. As a new actor, it can be difficult to know what is expected of you when you show up on set. Because of that we've created a blog series in four parts where we list some things that will make things easier for yourself and for everyone else around you. In turn, this will help the film crew to remember you in a positive way and perhaps have you in mind next time they’re filming something!

In this first post of the blog series, we will talk about what expectations there are on your behavior while filming, or as we like to call it: "Sense and etiquette on the film set!"

A young guy is filmed during an Acting for the Camera course that simulates a film set. He’s sitting by a desk.
During the courses Acting for the Camera (Step 1) and Acting for the Camera (Step 2) the classes simulates a film set.

The Actor's behavior while filming - "Sense and etiquette on the film set!"

1. Keep acting until the director says "cut"

During the shoot, it is important to continue the scene until the director announces that it is over. Stay focused and keep acting even if you forget a line, feel unsure or have said all the lines in the script. The director may want to capture an unexpected moment that can be valuable to the film. Trust that the director and film crew will give you the right guidance if something needs to change.

2. Do not look straight into the camera

It is important to avoid looking straight into the camera unless specifically instructed. Instead, you should focus on your scene partner and act as if the camera is not present - it creates a more natural and believable interaction. This can be difficult at first but gets easier the more you practice it.

3. Hit your mark

Hitting your mark means positioning yourself in the right place for the camera. Sometimes, centimeters can decide whether you end up in or out of focus. Ending up in different places in different takes also means that the shots cannot be edited together. It is more important that you hit your mark than that you deliver the lines perfectly – if you end up in the wrong place, the take cannot be used.

Often a mark is taped to the floor so you know exactly where to stand. If the floor is not visible throughout the take, the mark might remain while filming, otherwise it will be removed before filming. Just remember to not look down at the floor on your way to your mark, it looks weird on camera. Two things that can help you to hit your mark are to use your peripheral vision to see things in your surroundings that can help you orientate yourself or count the number of steps it takes to get to your mark.

4. Don't make noise during the call to action or while the camera is rolling

The call to action takes place right before shooting. Usually it goes something along the lines with:

- Sound?

- Rolling

- Camera?

- Rolling

- Slate?

- Scene 1, take 1

- Action!

During the call to action, it's important to be quiet and not disturb anyone. Continue to be quiet throughout the entire take. The microphones are often very sensitive and can capture even small background sounds. Respect and follow the instructions of the production team to keep the sound level down until the director cuts. And remember to put your phone on silent!

5. Remember that many people are involved in making the film

Filmmaking is a multi-person craft - make sure you cooperate with everyone on the film team to make sure the production is as fun and rewarding as possible for everyone involved.


Hope you learned something new! In the next part of this blog series, we will talk about acting and how to use your voice in front of the camera! Stay tuned!

Are you interested in learning to act for the camera? At Elin Hilläng Studios we offer Acting for the Camera (Step 1) and Acting for the Camera (Step 2). Click below to read more and book at! The classes are taught in Swedish.

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