chapter  15
8 Pages

Staging

If light is the dominant influence on picture composition, staging performance, action, actors and props in relationship to a setting is at the heart of all film and television production. What people do as well as what they say is equally important in a visual medium. The interpretation of a narrative is initially the combined task of writer, director and performer. Making it all meaningful within a frame is often achieved by the combined skills of director and cameraman. It is difficult to separate out the distinctions between a performance and the visual treatment of a production. A successful project is seen as a succession of significant images and action but there are also many other craft skills in the realization of a production such as editing, sound, design, costume, make-up, etc. They all have a essential input in staging and composition and to adequately cover their role would require many books. The relationship between people can be established quickly by their

position in a frame and how they are staged in depth. In many ways, using pictures to tell a story is the quickest and most effective way to establish motive, response, mood, point of view, and all the other myriad feelings that can be expressed by the face or body attitude. All these aspects of staging are in the director’s domain but camera movement, camera position and choice of lens all influence production decisions. This chapter deals with a few considerations when staging for shot composition, but it far from exhausts all aspects of production decisions when staging action.