Friday Questions for your weekend shopping pleasure.
Jerry Smith gets us started.
Are series regulars on any level paid for shows on which they don't appear? For example, of the last two Walking Dead episodes, one featured none of the main actors and the next featured long shots of a few of them with no dialog. How do stars feel when they are not the subject of their shows?
It all depends on their contracts. Most series regulars sign for “all episodes.” In that case they get paid whether they’re in an episode or not, although generally they are in every episode.
Some actors will sign for a partial season like eight out of thirteen. If you have a show with a large cast like THE GOOD WIFE or MAD MEN you will often sign actors for partial schedules.
As for WALKING DEAD, I don’t know whether the series stars all got paid or the producers knew before the season they were not going to need the main cast for a couple of episodes and made deals for say ten of thirteen.
Laura Es asks:
I've been reading many multi cam scripts, and noticed they always jump from scene E to scene H. Is there a reason why there are never Scenes F and G?
Yes, F looks too much like E and G looks too much like C. Camera assignments are marked on the floor with white tape. Example: the third camera move in the second scene would be B-3. Camera operators have to be able to clearly distinguish where they need to go. They can’t be looking down thinking is that C-4 or G-4?
From John Philipps:
I was at the Two and a Half Men recording yesterday. There were 7 pre-recorded scenes showed on the audience screens. I heard laughter on the sound track besides our audience laughter. Did those laughs come from the crew or a test audience during recording, were they added digitally, or did I just hallucinate?
Also, pre-shot scenes don’t get the same level of laughter as live performances. They just don't. The temp laugh track can help prompt the audience a little.
On shows I’ve directed or produced I will sometimes pre-shoot a scene and instead of showing that, have the actors do a dummy version live on the stage. Example: a scene of two people in a car driving. Instead of showing the pre-shot scene I’ll just have the two actors sit in two card chairs and play the scene live. I don’t film it. Just record the audience. We then take the actual laughter and lay it in the pre-shot scene. I know. Sneaky, aren't we?
And finally, from Hamid:
I love that Cheers always kept its title sequence in an era where every show revamped its titles and jazzed up its theme tune each season, so I wondered if the network ever tried to persuade you guys to change the titles over the years? I know it was slightly altered after Nicholas Colasanto passed away but I think that was the only change.
The comment section awaits your question. Thanks.