As I understand it, camera men generally discriminate between a "focus mark" and an actor's mark or "land". Is the idea that a land is just where the talent goes when they are not the subject, but a focus mark is where they go when they are the subject?

For example, if the lead is red and there is a red mark put down, then why would we need a separate pink mark for focus? Why not just focus on the lands?

  • That's a very good link, @Paulie_D - but you must read the comments underneath for some good real world tips too. Most of the guys I see measure 'soft' to the nose not the eyes if they know their DoF is going to be shallow - it's a good 'escape plan'. – Tetsujin Sep 14 '17 at 18:50
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    Huh? I thought the focus mark was the mark on the lens that tells the focus puller where to stop. Actor's marks are on the floor, where the actor stops. Regardless, this seems like it's off topic here but should be on topic on Video Production. – Catija Sep 14 '17 at 19:52
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    Can you show some example of this in actual use? – Catija Sep 14 '17 at 21:50
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    I'm with @Catija on this... I've seen a million marks dropped for actors & a million bits of random coloured tape dropped by the focus puller for a long follow shot; but I've never seen anyone bother to co-ordinate the colour scheme. It's a lot more organic than the question would seem to suggest. All marks are lifted if the ground is in shot, of course & then everybody is guessing - but these are professional guessers. I've also worked on fast turnover stuff where you'd be looked at oddly if you asked for a mark - they expect you to get it right by take two. – Tetsujin Sep 15 '17 at 7:28

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