Final Blocking

My final blocking pass tied up loose ends and pushed George’s personality in a new direction. A space astronaut swaying back and forth to hip-hop tracks was the silliest idea yet, but the more I thought about the possibility, the more I liked the way it strengthened perception of his machismo. I recorded terrible reference of myself dancing, then used none of it.

Added bonus: dancing security man on the moon was much more specific and interesting than guy standing in place breathing. I wanted to maximize entertainment value and boring keep-alive wasn’t communicating anything.

The other important change was a new body pose right before George tossed his gun in the air. I settled on a 3/4 stance that felt balanced and strong, the kind of pose you see from heroes on movie posters. I wanted George’s body language to say, “I am a badass.” And I paid a lot of attention to silhouette, purposely locking his knees to achieve a specific leg curve. I knew that pose would create more work during polish (courtesy of Maya’s ancient IK solver!) but it was totally worth the extra time spent.

I also added a rock for George to trip over. Props: they do stuff.


Everything was pretty well-developed at this point—except for the ending. This came back to haunt me later in the shot when my brain was in polish mode and the trip/fall/slide still needed breakdowns and a more flexible blocking mindset. I shouldn’t have been so afraid of the difficult movements because on a production shot, I might have run out of time and paid the price for procrastinating.