I’m typically a fast walker, and in my times standing in during “walk & talks” (scenes when the camera faces or tails walking principal actors), I’ve had to learn a few things.  Here are three important tips to keep in mind when standing in during walk & talks.

Know the Pace of Your Principal Actor

First, during the marking rehearsal, it is important to note the pace of your principal actor.  “Slow,” “medium,” or “fast” may be helpful descriptors, but if the camera department needs a better sense of the pace, you may need a more precise evaluation of it.  Finding a song you know that synchs with the actor’s pace may aid you in matching the pace later.

Watch the Speed of Your Walk

Second, during the camera rehearsal with second team, it is important to consider the speed of your walk.  When you do your first rehearsal with camera for walk & talks, often you will walk the scene at less than full speed.  For example, if the walk & talk involves a steadicam, a first rehearsal at full speed could be too much, especially if the steadicam operator is walking backwards, figuring out turns, framing, etc.

What does a steadicam look like?  Click here to view the Steadicam Gallery on Steadicam.com.

If the camera department hasn’t clarified the speed you should go for the camera rehearsal, just before the rehearsal ask the camera department or an A.D. if the rehearsal should be at half speed, full speed, or some other speed.

Keep the Proper Distance between You and Camera

Third, during the camera rehearsal with second team, it is important to consider the distance between you and the camera.  When you are walking while the camera is front of you, you want to maintain the distance the camera department requires of you for the proper frame and focus.

The camera dolly may cast a laser on the ground to signify the distance you should be from the camera at any time.  If it’s not clear to you how far from the camera you should be, ask the camera department how far away is best.  If you walk too close to the camera, you may make it difficult to frame you.

Do you have additional tips for standing in during walk & talks?  If so, please share them below!