Bewitched : Pickup Shots

Pickup Shots

Bewitched was, like most one-camera comedies, rarely completed in its three-day
shooting schedule. The focus was on the guest actors, as they didn't want to
have to pay them for coming back. So, any closeups of Liz, York, White, etc, might
be competed weeks, or even months later.

Am I the only one who can usually (but not always) detect these isolated shots?
Most of the time, one can see that Liz's hair is much more faded in a closeup than
in the body of the series.

A glaring example: In the season five finale, "Samantha and Darrin in Mexico
City", Sam looks tan, ultra blonde and very well made up. Clearly, this was a
"holdover" ep, shot very early in the season but "saved", mainly to end the series
with a York show.

In the scene where Sam pops into the kitchen to get Endora to lift the spell, Liz's
hair is shades and SHADES darker, heavily teased and piled high, and she is very
hard looking - pale, with a totally different shade of lipstick. It's pretty
noticeable, when you look at scenes directly before and after.

Anyone else notice these sorts of shots in episodes?

Re: Pickup Shots

The whole one camera usage still doesn't make sense to me re efficiency. Since I've been aware of this it drives me a little nuts being aware of the multiple angles and the effort to get that. It destroys the magic for me.
I didn't notice the hair differences but will now.
Your comments about the guest actors gives more food for thought and didn't realize the pickup shots were done that far down the road.
What was the advantage using one instead of multiple cameras then editing them together?

Re: Pickup Shots

In Samantha's Better Halves, Samantha's hair is much shorter in her close-up when she and Darrin are talking to Larry at the beginning of the episode.

Re: Pickup Shots

The episode where Tabitha pops into the puppet tv show has noticeable changes in Sam's hair between asking the kids what they want for lunch and then in the kitchen answering Darren's phone call.

Re: Pickup Shots

Yes, "TV or not TV" (the first shot for season eight) is LOADED with
hairstyle changes that make no sense.

Adam: One-camera is the way movies are filmed. You shoot the master, then
the close-ups. Bewitched was one of the shows (like Get Smart, That Girl,
Green Acres) that was filmed like this. It is a style of filmmaking,
allowing the director to focus on one shot at a time. While time-consuming,
I totally get it, and see why it was used here.

Shows like I Love Lucy and Mary Tyler Moore (among many others) were shot
like a play. The point was to see the actors play off a real studio

I like both methods, and would never want any show done differently than
how it was, except

Happy Days: The first season was one-camera, with a laugh-track. It was
a more intimate show then, gently looking back at the '50s. When it
became a hit, they went three-camera, shooting in front of a studio
audience. They really wanted to milk Fonzie's character, and have
the audience whistle and roar at his antics. I, however, prefer the
series one-camera in its first season.

Re: Pickup Shots

I was just reading up on that technique as you wrote this in Wikipedia. It answered a question I had. Sometimes, ven though it's called one camera, they can use two shooting the same angle at the same time. One close, the other medium.

I think that was what I was hung up on and thought a waste of time using only one cam to get those two shots I was noticing on Bewitched. All coming together in my mind now. Thanks.

Re: Pickup Shots

GBSam has both the "season 8" and "Season 7" (brushed back from her forehead) going on in this episode. Nobody caught it? Was there a continuity person?

I also - on a side note - agree with you 100% on HAPPY DAYS. It was much nicer and more faithful to the 50s before it turned into the screaming and hooting mess it became after it started filming live.

Re: Pickup Shots

It is possible "TV or not TV" was filmed for the end of season seven, then
went "unfinished" for season eight. Tons of pickup shots, with Liz sporting
(at least) three different hairstyles (and shades) within the SAME scene.

Re: Pickup Shots

The one I always remember is in "Bewitched, Bothered and Baldoni" in the scene on the courtyard where Venus and Adonis get turned back into statues. Sam still has her voluminous hair in the shots with Endora, but she has her most-of-season-8 flat hair style in the shots where she's alone.

Re: Pickup Shots

Wow, Phoebe, I'm shocked you noted that one, as it's a quick shot. I
wouldn't have thought anyone else noticed that but me. Good one!

My eye is so schooled on this (after 40-plus years of viewing) that I can
notice the pickups in early season four where Sam still sports her season
three hair and makeup, but has her more season four look in a few clos-ups.

Re: Pickup Shots

They really wanted to milk Fonzie's character, and have
the audience whistle and roar at his antics. I, however, prefer the
series one-camera in its first season.

I completely agree. I pretty much stopped watching "Happy Days" when it became all about Fonzie, with the audience SCREAMING every time he walked in. I also could do without the Joanie-Chachi storylines. What bothered me the most was as the series progressed to the three-camera set up, production got lazy and everyone (except Fonzie) had current 70s shag haircuts, even though by then it was supposed to be 1959, 1960.

As for the one-camera set up, yes, that's the way movies are made. Back in the days when Technicolor was in its infancy, studios had to reserve and RENT the cameras from Technicolor for color productions. Since color was expensive, and there weren't that many cameras, one had to do. The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind are examples of movies made during this era.

I read where Marion Lorne, as an actress, did not like the one-camera process, and found it hard to get used to. This is understandable since she was primarily a stage actress.

Here's a picture from a stage production I found from her bio: