Definition July 2021 - Web


With a telescoping

very small, 5ft to be exact, and has to look up at other actors when performing. For some reason, that caused more reflections. Glancing in a different direction seemed to help, though.” This constrained approach to acting filtered its way into the lighting, which couldn’t be adjusted at all once it had been positioned in the right spot. However, after about a month, Robbins was able to secure an anti-reflective plastic to replace the original PAPR screen. This was better, but expensive. “They were also more delicate,” she says. “Each piece was $1000 – and actors were a bit slapdash with them at the end of a scene, pulling the PAPR over their heads, because it would have no doubt been stuffy to wear.” But it was still cheaper than relying on VFX, which the team had to use in the month they were operating a fastidiously designed lighting set-up. “Digitally removing reflections from a plastic screen is very expensive, because of the facial structure and moving mouths that need to be reanimated,” explains Robbins. “In some instances, when it was impossible to get the reflection out – even with the anti-reflective – we had to pull the screen out completely and put tracking marks around the helmet for the VFX team to digitally paint back in, and that was also very expensive.” KEEPING YOUR DISTANCE Filming took place while the pandemic was still rife in the real world, creating its own

crane, you can get closer to the actors without having to man the camera

set of complications. Crew had to maintain a safe distance from the actors and relied heavily on specialist remote production gear to ensure they remained at the heart of the action. One useful tool was a new telescoping crane from Servicevision, called Scorpio 17’. Shipped in from the UK, the Grey’s Anatomy production was its first job on American soil. “For this season, we needed a telescoping crane, because you can poke it out and get closer to the actors without having to man the camera, which was good for social distancing.” says Robbins. “I’ve been a fan of the Chapman Miniscope for a long time, but it does have limitations. So, when Steve at the Crane Company – which sources and supplies all our cranes and remote heads – told me about the Scorpio 17’, we had to get it for the whole season. It’s designed specifically for interiors and allows for a small and compact configuration for taxiing through doorways. This was perfect for the labyrinthine hospital corridors.” The team were also reliant on the far-flung capabilities of LED, especially

10 The number of hours crew were permitted to work a day during the pandemic 6 The number of former series regulars who returned for Dr Grey’s Covid coma

BELOW Crew had to wear masks and maintain a Covid-safe distance from the actors, as well as rely on remote production gear

14 DEF I N I T ION | JULY 202 1

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