EastEnders boss Jon Sen has revealed how the BBC One soap will handle kissing scenes.
Filming on the serial drama resumed back in June, and therefore social distancing was implemented on set in accordance with government guidelines.
The social distancing means that kissing scenes are pretty much impossible — but Executive Producer Jon Sen — alongside the soap’s team of core directors — devised some pretty innovative methods to ‘cheat’ the distance and allow for such scenes to become a reality.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk about this clever methods, Jon — who’s as much a director as he is a producer — said: ‘When we came back, we had to devise methods whereby we could cheat the distance.
It’s very odd shooting like this. Never before in TV history have we made drama in this way.
‘As a director, you’re constantly looking at the blocking of actors and how you bring them closer together — or not, as there can be a tension in distance.
‘Suddenly, we were forced to work with this two metre rule.
‘I, alongside a few of our core directors, got together and tested and tested, and worked out what methods we could employ to actually cheat distance.
‘It was like learning from the very beginning!
‘The perspex screens that we use, you can bring people closer together and that’s really good as it gives an intimacy to the performance that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
‘We use plate shots which are basic CGI shots, really, where you have too people — who in the final scene you’ll see them sitting at the same table — but actually they’ve been filmed in isolation.
‘When the actor is filming, they’ll be talking to space, essentially, and then that will happen with the other actor, and then you put them together, and it’ll look like they’re at the same table.
‘We hit on the idea of supporting artists from the same households. So, to reflect the world outside, we have a household of students, or a husband and wife who would be walking down Bridge Street, and of course they can get closer together, or they cold be kissing in the street.
‘It adds to the sense of life.
‘We have to choose our moments for on screen kissing carefully as it takes so much time but those crucial moments, we have invited real life partners of the actors on set, to be able to cheat those moments.
‘There are other genius stuff that we won’t give away because we don’t want to spoil the illusion of the drama. The cheats are hard to spot.’
EastEnders returns Monday, September 7 at 8:05pm on BBC One.
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