The ‘Soap’ Shooting Schedule

Finally back to work on the Soap book. Just finished putting together a little section about the tough shooting schedule they had in those days. There wasn’t a lot of time for breathing back then….

Shooting an Episode: The 5-Day Schedule

Monday: Cast and crew come in around noon to read and block out the script. They would then rehearse the first act and go home.

Tuesday: Cast and crew would come in at 10 a.m., rehearse the second act, go to lunch, and review how the first act was going. At 3:30 p.m., the cast would have a formal run-through of the script. Susan would rewrite any scenes she deemed necessary.

Wednesday: Everyone would report at 10 a.m. for more rehearsal. At 4 p.m., they would have another run-through of the script, this time for the Standards and Practices people from the network.

Thursday: By 9 a.m., they would run through the entire episode again, this time incorporating the camera to make sure everything – blocking, lighting, etc. – looked all right. From 4 to 5 p.m., the cast would don the clothes they would wear for the episode, allowing the wardrobe department a chance to make sure everything looked as it was meant to. Everyone would call it a day by 6 p.m.

Friday: Shooting Day. Everybody would arrive at noon and spend about 15 minutes on each scene. Lunch would be from 2 to 3, with different actors being called away to hair and makeup starting around 2 as well, to ensure all will be ready in time. From 5 to 6 p.m. the first performance would be taped in front of a live audience. From 6:30 to 7:30, cast and crew would go to dinner, where they would receive notes from the producers about what needed to be changed for the next taping (in front of another live audience) at 8.

By 10 p.m., it was all over.

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