On-Set Rehearsal

On-set rehearsals make sure that the stage is ready for filming.

The realization of each script scene begins with a rehearsal in which the director, together with the actors, develops the sequence of the scenes described in the script. This rehearsal is the basis for being able to resolve and shoot the scene on camera. This is called blocking and involves figuring out the actor's movements and how they will be captured on camera. In addition, the rehearsal gives all crew members the necessary information to prepare and carry out their specialist work for the shooting processes.

This rehearsal takes place directly on the set, and how it progresses depends on the way the director works. The goal is not to rehearse the scene in all its details. Instead, the basic process of the storyline is clarified so that the actors know their positions in space, know where to speak which text, and play through the scene in one go. For this reason, it is not necessary that the set is completely set up. On the other hand, it is important that the furniture is in the right place and that all the props are ready, so that the actors can practice in conditions as close as possible to cinematic reality. As long as it does not affect their preparation, the actors do not need to rehearse in the right costume or make-up. However, if someone pulls off a jacket in the scene or the costume is very unusual and has effects on movement (for example a knight's armor or a flowing robe), the movements must then be practiced in the rehearsal. In the vast majority of cases, the make-up only plays a role when important elements – such as a prosthesis, a cuff, or a neck brace – are required. Emotions can be part of a test rehearsal; the director, however, must make sure that the actors do not exhaust themselves before the camera runs.

The test rehearsal is also the basis for the technical work of the specialist departments. The DOP and gaffers comprehend the motions of the actors and know what positions they need to light and what lenses to use. The prop master can see that the scene features smoking and can prepare cigarettes. The make-up artist sees the actress tie her hair together during the rehearsal and can prepare to straighten her haircut after each take. And the sound engineer figures out where he cannot wire the actor, because in the scene he takes off his sweater and the transmitter would become visible.