When you are working as a stand-in on a TV or film set, a camera assistant will place marks on the ground where your actor stands.
When you are standing in, sometimes you will be asked to move to a slightly different place. Subsequently, this will mean you will need to be “re-marked.” The camera assistant will go to you to adjust your mark.
From time to time, blocking may change and your actor may not stop during a shot in the same place where your actor stopped in a rehearsal.
In such a case, essentially that mark is no longer of use.
What do you call that mark?
What You Call a Mark No Longer Being Used
When a mark on the floor is no longer being used, it is called a “dead” mark.
When a mark is dead, that means it is no longer a place an actor stops.
When a mark is dead, in theory, a camera assistant may remove it from the floor because it’s no longer being used.
How to Handle Dead Marks as a Stand-In
From time to time a camera assistant may approach you and wonder, amid the sundry marks, what a particular mark on the floor is supposed to represent.
Marks can get confusing where there are a lot of them placed during the marking rehearsal, and when they are subsequently moved, adjusted, or added.
If a camera assistant asks you what a mark on the floor is supposed to represent, and if you know the mark is no longer being used, you can simply say “That mark is dead.”
Granted, it’s probably not your responsibility to answer that question because you are not the authority on whether an actor’s position should be marked or not. But if you are inclined to explain a mark is no longer being used, you can say, “That mark is dead.”
Do you call dead marks by some other name? To what extent do you explain marks to a camera assistant? Post your experiences in the comments below!