Shop Talk Directors : How come scenes are re-filmed over and over despite brilliant performances?

How come scenes are re-filmed over and over despite brilliant performances?

Inspired from learning a single episode of Charmed takes 8 days to film and one scene is shot multiple times even by the talented leads for something as simple as walking down the door steps while talking with each other.

I saw some of the now released footage of filming the scenes and god I learned to appreciate the professionalism of Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and later Rose McGowan! By the first few takes they done the scenes flawlessly as though they were rehearsing professional Tony class theater live!

Yet despite that, the footage released of behind the scenes show them doing a single 2 minute scene for ten minutes straight and thats not even 1% of the amount of time spent filming a simple 3 minute dinner conversation!

I also was watching footage of Gone With the Wind and the scene where Hattie is talking to Vivien out from a window took a whole day to film even though its less than 5 minutes and not important to the film in the grand scheme of things. Vivien and Hattie already shows professionalism that the first take was oscar worthy but they spent the whole day refilming the same line over and over.

Is there any reason why multiple shots of an already Shakespearian class of acting is needed for a single scene? I might if the schedule is so tight why spend the whole day filming a 1 minute scene? In some of these Charmed outtakes the director even praises the performance as top class by the 5th repeat filmed performance but still asks for more hours of the same scene acted over and over and accumulate an hour worth of footage of multiple performances of the single scene.

What is the reason for this?

Re: How come scenes are re-filmed over and over despite brilliant performances?

Because directors are perfectionists and they want to be sure that they capture everything perfect in every scene so they will film more than one take and choose what they think best conveys that scene.

Re: How come scenes are re-filmed over and over despite brilliant performances?

Say there's a scene of character walking from the kerb to the front door of the house.

The director needs a profile wide-shot of the actor walking from the kerb to sidewalk.

He probably is going to want an angled shot of the same thing.

Then, he's going to want to a close-up of this, so there may be a camera on a trolley, in front of the actor, moving backwards as the actor walks forward to the door.

In the wide shot, there's no camera in front of the actor. But later in editing, it's cut together, with close-up footage, to appear as one seam less scene.

Multiple shots of the same scene gives the editor more footage to splice through later in post-production.

The next reason is line delivery. If actors perform the same scene more than once, they're going to deliver their lines differently each time.

In the Dark Knight trailer, Joker says, as a formal oration, "You've changed things. Forever. There's no going back." As well as, "Starting tonight. People will die. I'm a man of my word…" and "it's simple. Kill the Batman.

But in the film, he says, more casually and improvised, "People will die. Starting tonight" and "It's uhh simple. We uhh, kill, the Bat…man?"

This is an example of Nolan shooting with multiple deliveries and taking what he thought worked best for the film.



I Was Just Looking For Someone Who Could See What I See, Feel What I Feel.

Re: How come scenes are re-filmed over and over despite brilliant performances?

A scene could be played beautifully by the actor/s, but there may be other reasons…


Lighting wasn't quite right?
Others in the scene messed it up?
The props didn't work properly?
It wasn't what the director was going for?

You asked a pretty question; I've given you the ugly answer.
Fasten Your Seatbelts….
It's Going To Be A Bumpy Night!

Re: How come scenes are re-filmed over and over despite brilliant performances?

Photographers will take multiple pictures of the same thing and pick the best one. It is probably the same way with directors. You never fully know what you have until you go back and look at it later so you want multiple takes to be safe.
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