From David Bordwell’s marvelous ‘Observations on Film Art‘:
“In some books and some web entries (most recently, here and here and here and here), I’ve tried to trace the rich tradition of ensemble staging. From almost the start of cinema, filmmakers have explored creative ways of moving actors around the set, aiming at both engaging storytelling and pictorial impact. Since the 1960s, on the whole, this tradition has been waning. Now, I fear, it has nearly disappeared.
“I’m not going to reiterate those earlier arguments. [But you should study them. Ed.] Instead I want to talk about one simple staging tactic that directors almost never employ today. I offer it at no cost to young directors. Try it! You might get a taste for a range of cinematic expression that is nowadays neglected.”
I would add that the rapid modern movement of the camera – on picture cars, shot-makers, cranes, steadi-cams, dollys and handheld by the operator – which has done something to cloud the minds of directors regarding the movement of their actors, is no excuse not to move the actors too. A director, DP and operators should be thinking like choreographers and that means giving at least the potential for movement to everything in a scene.
Find David’s whole piece on crossing moves here.
Posted by Såladin.