The Documentary I Want to See

Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Gavaris at a table read for Orphan Black

You know how actors say they never know what’s going to happen next on a show until they sit down with the scripts for a table read? If that’s true and not just something actors are told to say during publicity appearances, then I have a documentary I’d like to see.

It would start with the table read. We would see the actors, who don’t know what’s coming, react to what they read.

Anna Silk getting coached on knife techniques during the filming of Lost Girl
Anna Silk getting coached on knife throwing techniques during the filming of Lost Girl

Then we would see preparations for the shooting. Costume choices, props production, make up choices. We would see the director working with the actors to develop each scene. We would see lighting decisions getting made. We would see actors rehearsing their parts. We would see any stand ins do their parts. We would see stunts getting worked out.

Finally we would see the actual shooting. We would see the goofs, the retakes, the time it takes to film one small moment.

We would see things that are changed after the shooting such as voices being looped in, music being added, editing being thought through.

I would love to see all that behind the scenes work for an episode of a TV show and then be able to sit down later and watch the episode. Knowing what went into it from the moment the actors first saw the scripts to the moment it was declared finished would be fascinating.

That may sound like I want to spoil the magic, ruin the illusion. I don’t. I want to see the magic.

I’d like to see something like this only more detailed and a lot longer:

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