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Framing and filming a scene

A hands on workshop

Delivered by Tom McDaniel

4 October, 2023 @ 7:45 pm 10:00 pm

This Wednesday we’ll be using the clubs new camera and lenses to shoot a mini scene. 

Have you ever thought about why a film scene makes you feel a certain way? What is happening with the direction of the characters during a particular moment?

Well be looking into how different lenses and blocking influence the mood and create drama.

We’ll be splitting into teams and breaking down the technical and artistic processes at work.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about framing and blocking and the impact it can have on how you tell your story. 

Framing and Blocking: Crafting Your Cinematic Narrative

In the world of filmmaking, every frame tells a story. The way you frame and block your shots holds the power to shape your narrative, evoke emotions, and immerse your audience in your storytelling universe. It’s an art form within the art of filmmaking, and it’s the secret ingredient that can make your film truly unforgettable.

Framing: The Canvas of Your Story

Imagine the frame as your canvas, and every shot as a brushstroke. How you position your subjects within this frame can convey volumes about your characters and the world they inhabit. It’s the visual language of cinema.

  • Composition: Framing isn’t just about fitting characters within the screen; it’s about composing the elements within the frame to create balance, focus, and visual interest.
  • Emphasis: Through framing, you can direct the audience’s attention to what matters most in the scene. Is it the protagonist’s face reflecting their inner turmoil, or is it the ominous shadow lurking in the background?
  • Storytelling: Framing is storytelling. The choices you make, from wide shots that capture sweeping landscapes to intimate close-ups that reveal raw emotions, are all part of the narrative.

Blocking: The Choreography of Emotions

Blocking is the choreography of your scene. It’s the movement of your actors within the frame, and it’s where the magic happens. Effective blocking can breathe life into your characters, enhance their relationships, and deepen the emotional impact of your story.

  • Character Dynamics: How characters interact with each other within the frame can speak volumes. Are they drawing closer or pulling away? Is their body language open or closed? These subtleties reveal the complexities of human relationships.
  • Pacing: Blocking can influence the rhythm of your film. Fast, dynamic movement might convey excitement or urgency, while stillness can create tension and contemplation.
  • Visual Metaphors: Through blocking, you can incorporate visual metaphors that resonate with your themes. Characters ascending a staircase might symbolize personal growth, while descending into darkness can represent a moral decline.
  • Transitions: Thoughtful blocking can smooth transitions between shots, scenes, and even emotions. It’s the glue that holds your film together, ensuring continuity and coherence.

The Impact: Crafting Immersive Narratives

When framing and blocking are executed masterfully, they transcend technicality and become an integral part of your storytelling arsenal.

  • Emotional Resonance: Precise framing and blocking can elicit visceral reactions from your audience. It’s how you make them laugh, cry, or hold their breath in suspense.
  • Subtext: Beyond the spoken words, framing and blocking allow you to convey subtext—those unspoken thoughts and emotions that simmer beneath the surface.
  • Visual Cohesion: Consistency in framing and blocking creates visual cohesion in your film, making it more aesthetically pleasing and engaging.
  • Narrative Depth: Every element within the frame can contribute to your narrative, adding layers of meaning and depth that linger long after the credits roll.

In the world of filmmaking, framing and blocking aren’t just technical choices; they are storytelling tools that can transform a good film into a masterpiece. It’s where creativity meets technique, and where your vision comes to life on the screen. So, next time you watch a film, pay attention to how it’s framed and how the characters move within the frame. You’ll discover a whole new dimension to the art of storytelling.

£5 for members £8 for non-members (first two nights free as our guests)

Sutton FilmMakers Club – Parochial Rooms

42 The Broadway
Cheam, Surrey SM3 8BL United Kingdom
Member Benefits

Development of skills

Help and support members

Interesting workshops

Networking with other members

Community Services

Helping not-for-profit organisations

Helping new filmmakers

Offering advice on filmmaking to local businesses and organisations

Contact us here

Sutton Filmmakers
Parochial Rooms,
42 The Broadway,
Cheam, Surrey,
SM3 8BL,
United Kingdom