On a film set, there are markings on the ground indicating various points at which your first-team actor stops or stands in a scene.  These markings are referred to as “marks.”  Commonly marks are laid out in tape in the shape of the letter T, especially if the location is indoors.  Other times, especially if you are shooting outdoors, marks are laid out with beanbags or stakes, or even drawn in chalk.

If the mark is in the shape of the letter T, your feet should go on opposite sides of the stem of the T, and your toes should touch the underside of the top of the T.  Marks usually designate a very specific location determined first by the actor in the rehearsal of a scene, then adjusted by the camera department as they set up the shot.

When you are standing in on your mark, often you will be adjusted by the camera operator.  This movement almost always implies that you will need to be “remarked.”  The responsibility of remarking you is that of the camera assistant. This is usually the crew member who originally laid down the marks during marking rehearsal, but more generally it is the responsibility of the camera department.  Remarking is not the responsibility of the stand-in.

From time to time, you will be moved from your original mark and need to be remarked.  Here are some tips on how to address getting marked or remarked when you’re standing in.

Wait to Be Remarked

The most common scenario you will find yourself in is that you will be repositioned from your original mark.  This will mean that you will need to be remarked.  Often, the camera assistant is paying close attention to whether you’ve been moved during the setup of a shot, and the camera assistant will take care of remarking you without needing to be asked.  However, sometimes the camera assistant will be busy doing other tasks, meaning the camera assistant will miss that you’ve been remarked.

In general, do nothing if you’ve moved but not remarked.  Instead, wait for the camera department to call for you to be remarked.  In most cases this will happen within a few minutes of your being repositioned.

Ben’s Tips!
#1 – When you’ve being remarked, pay attention to where your feet are.  Sometimes in your new position you will be standing on the tape for your old mark.  In making your new mark, the camera assistant may simply move the old tape.  So, make sure you give the camera assistant room to move your mark … but also stay on your new mark!
#2 – All the while, try to keep your attention up and where it should be while you’re getting remarked.  While you’re being remarked, the DP might be looking at you to see how the light falls on you.  Staying focused on the ground can take away precious time from the DP as the shot is being set up.

Ask to Be Remarked

If you are asked to move to a second position (that is, from your first mark to your next mark in a scene), it is usually critical that you are first remarked before you move to the second position.

If you’re being asked to move to your second mark before being remarked, politely let the camera department know that you need to be remarked.  You can tell either the camera assistant or the camera operator.  (If for some reason neither is available, let an A.D. know that you need to be remarked.)

Generally, do not move to your second mark until your new first mark has been remarked.  Doing so will preserve the work already done in setting up the shot.

Ask for a Mark

Sometimes a mark will not be laid down during the marking rehearsal at a place where your actor stops or stands.  Other times an additional position will be added to a scene after the marking rehearsal.  If you’ve been positioned in a place without a clear mark, and you feel the actor will need that mark in performing the scene, you might ask for a mark.

In such a case, again, politely ask the camera assistant or camera operator for a mark.  A mark may or may not be important to the camera department in such a case, but it can’t hurt to ask if you feel a mark would be helpful.

Ask Before Moving Your Mark

If things are a bit crazy on set, and if the camera assistant is nowhere to be found, it might be easier for you to remark yourself than to have someone else remark you.  In general, though, do not remark yourself without asking.

If it looks that it might be optimal for you to remark yourself, first ask permission from the camera operator if it’s okay to remark yourself.  In so doing, the camera operator may immediately call for the camera assistant to remark you, or the camera operator may even remark you.  At other times, the camera operator may say it’s okay to remark yourself.

However, very rarely would you remark yourself.  Marking and remarking yourself is not your responsibility.  If you marked and remarked yourself without asking, you potentially would interfere with the camera assistant’s responsibilities and potentially cause conflict.  In general, always ask permission before moving your mark.

Do you have any tips on getting marked or remarked as a stand-in?  Have you had any interesting experiences in terms of getting marked or remarked?  If so, please share below!