What are marks and why are they important?
Marks are used so that the actors are standing in the correct positions for the lights and camera. They can either be toe marks – strips of gaffa tape stuck to the floor to guide you to the correct position for both feet; if the floor is seen in shot, then marks can be furniture – the arm of a couch for example. Or you may have side marks, usually a small sandbag which you can feel with the side of your foot when you move to the required position. There could also be several marks scattered about the set for the actors to move to during the scene.
Once on your mark “nail your feet to the floor” so that you are standing erect on the mark and play it from there. Don’t sway or move around on your marks unless directed to do so, as this type of movement is distracting and looks ridiculous on-screen.
The camera likes stillness and standing still and delivering from your marks will increase the intensity of your performance. By standing still, I don’t mean standing like a statue as you can use your hands, arms, face and eyes to more than adequately express yourself.