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BWW Blog: A Zoomtastical Production - Filming

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This virtual version of It’s a Wonderful Life follows what my director calls a theatre performance approach.

BWW Blog: A Zoomtastical Production - Filming

In my last blog "A Zoomtastical Production: The Rehearsal Process", I discussed my work as an Assistant Director for my school's virtual production of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. After a few initial weeks of filming, I am back continuing onto this series, discussing how we've filmed our virtual show during this global pandemic.

Following the protocols of CDC and those of my university, this virtual version of It's a Wonderful Life follows what my director calls a theatre performance approach. You see, this show intertwines traditional theatrical material with elements of film and COVID-19 restrictions. So, how did we do this?

Moving from Zoom rehearsals, our actors each were (and still are) filmed on a set. For our production, we have three different sets, two of which are traditional settings while the other is a green screen. The sets and the actors were caught on camera, as all the scenes are filmed prior to our virtual "opening night" with no live components. Although we are putting on a play, I will say, the filming process has felt more like a movie.

Believe me, filming a movie-like show already put me out of my comfort zone as an Assistant Director. Then, add all the pandemic complications on top! Let's just say the filming experience of this piece continues to be a learning experience for all.

Wisely so, our university only permits one performer to be unmasked at a time. What exactly does this mean? Along with de-densifying our theatrical spaces, each actor films their lines individually. They have one or two readers in another space on a headpiece, reading into the unmasked actor's earpiece. In the final production, editing will splice the actors together, but in the meantime, each performer films alone, making the filming process take an exceptional amount of time and effort.

Along with de-densifying our spaces and filming individually, other protocols, such as proper sanitation, additional masking, and airing out rooms are in place, maintaining safety and comfort during these strange times of theatre.

As an Assistant Director, I continue playing many different roles during this project. I have been a reader. I have been a second pair of eyes. I have ensured the continuity of scenes. I have directed. I have been directed. I have been a videographer. Let's be honest, who hasn't worn many types of pants throughout this craziness?

As I mentioned before, filming It's a Wonderful Life has and continues taking an immense amount of time, effort, and patience. This is why we will have a total of over three weeks of filming, taking us right up to our Fall Break, right before the week of Thanksgiving.

For my next blog, expect an interview from a cast and team member, giving another look into our production of It's a Wonderful Life! For information about Point Park's production of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, please click this link: https://www.broadwayondemand.com/not-live/Pb3T1d8cvuZb-its-a-wonderful-life-a-live-radio-show--the-pittsburgh-playhouse?channel=live-productions

Stay tuned to BroadwayWorld Student Blogs' IG this Friday the 13th for my takeover where you can find out more about this show and life as a BFA Theatre Arts major at Point Park University!



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From This Author Student Blogger: Mary Felix