Happy FRIDAY!! My 3 day weekend is on it’s way…well I have work but it’s personal work. Which I’ve learned is the only true way for me to feel like work is not work. I love what I do, I love working on all these shows and films but at the end of the day it’s still work that I’m putting in for someone else’s vision. I’m alright with that but I’m at a time right now where I’m trying to shift my life more towards my visions and ideas. I want to start putting more time into making those a reality and eventually shifting all my time towards it. These changes will inevitably ripple through all my content and so there will be some new creative changes to this blog as well…Good changes! Well…some are good. The first change is shitty one, sadly last week was our last “Wednesdays at The Corner”post here at We’re Not Rolling. It’s creator Alfredo had some concerns and so we are officially moving on from the segment. There’s no negative sentiments about the change by any of us and we are currently trying to come up with a new segment to fill the Wednesday void. Alright well, let’s get into this shall we?
Matching the Background. Arguably one of the dumbest things any AD or PA can get all worked up about. I’ve seen 1st ADs get all pissed off at 2nd 2nd ADs for not matching. I’ve seen 2nd 2nd ADs lose their shit on a PA for not matching the BG and I’ve seen everyone go off on the BG for not matching. Bottom line, NO ONE should give these extreme levels of shit about these small insignificant mistakes. I’m not saying that we should never match the BG and that we should just let the BG run around crazy because that would never work. I’m just saying that no ones blood pressure should rise over it. Once again, this is not surgery. There is no cataclysmic event that is going to come to the show or film if the BG does not match. The viewers are not going to stop watching because the (BG) person that was sitting behind the actor in the restaurant scene was there in one shot and gone the next. While us crew people might notice that and point it out as a grave mistake the average viewer will either not even notice or assume the person went to the bathroom…you know..how people do in real life? I think at times in the production department we get so concerned with creating reality with the BG that we forget what people DO in reality. Which includes getting up from a dinner table and going to the bathroom.
Another thing I like to point out to some of my coworkers that spend their valuable time making detailed BG crossing charts and taking notes on their sides as to what BG person crossed on what line as they listen to the dialog on their cans is that about 90 percent of the time all that BG, they’re all blurry. If you watch any movie or TV show you will quickly notice that all that atmosphere surrounding the actors and actresses most the time is just blurry as all hell. This is because the focus is supposed to be on the heroes of the TV show/Film and visually the lens is always focused on them and not the people doing exactly timed crosses in the background. I once worked on a show where the 2nd and 2nd 2nd AD rehearsed, charted a gigantic scene that we were filming in a mall 2 hours prior to us filming it just to make sure all the BG was on the same page. They worked really hard at making sure every cross was perfect. When we filmed the scene the ADs were all excited and impressed with their work and preparation of their BG crossing work of art. It all played out masterfully and looked great live. However a few weeks later after viewing the episode during our lunch period the 2nd turns to the 2nd 2nd AD and says “it’s all just blurry nothing, we literally saw absolutely nothing we coordinated.” Yep, everything they planned, rehearsed and stressed out about was all for nothing. Every shot just had blurry moving images in the Background. They could’ve easily just hired 10 people in clown suits to walk back and forth in the background and it would’ve looked the same. Once again while one can argue that an AD must always be prepared for them not to be blurry my reason for writing this is not to argue against that but to point out that the stress that accompanies it can and should be avoided. There’s more important things to focus your stress on, matching the background should never be one of them.
I rarely set up background now a days because I’m always running first team but when I did I never stressed out about the BG not matching. I didn’t purposely not match them but from time to time something would go out of sync and I’d just correct it on the next take. I never got heated or took out my anger on the BG or anyone else. I just waited till they cut and then told the BG what their cue is so they could hit it on the next take and if there was no next take then obviously whatever the BG did or did not do was not bad because no one at video village saw it or complained about it. The people watching the monitor are ultimately the all seeing eye that approves everything they see on the screen and I respect that.
Ok everyone, that wraps up another week here at We’re Not Rolling. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you all have an excellent weekend. I’ll be back here again next week beginning with The Toke Talking Podcast on Monday followed by the Tuesday and Friday blog posts. Please don’t forget to subscribe and check me out on Instagram and FB. Be good to one another.