WHY THEY DON'T LIKE BLOCK SHOOTING
Had an interesting conversation with our line producer today about block shooting.
My last show was all block shot. That is, all eight eps were shot in a block of eight. The advantage to block shooting is that if you have one location that's used once in each of eight episodes, you can shoot all eight scenes on the same day. You pay one location fee, and you move the company to the location only once. Saves time and money.
On the other hand most productions don't block shoot. The difficulties with block shooting are several. The actors (and that means the director) have to keep track of where their characters are emotionally in different scenes shot in the same place. That's difficult, and if someone slips up, you may see reactions that make no sense for the season.
Even if you do keep all the details of wardrobe and emotion straight, who shoots the scenes? If you have different directors for the different episodes, you have to bring all the various directors to the location to shoot their separate scenes. Directors aren't going to like that. For one thing, the first director may hog the company's time -- what does he care if the next director doesn't get the shots he wants?
Or, you have one director shoot all the scenes. But directors have different styles. The shots may stick out like a sore thumb in the episode.
You can solve this problem by hiring one director to shoot multiple episodes. I'm still not sure entirely why that doesn't happen. Part of it is you are often working with directors you're not entirely familiar with. You decide as you go along who's going to get more episodes to shoot, and whom you'll send on his merry way. (Directors are almost always men, though there are a few female tv directors.) If you block shoot, you could find yourself stuck with someone you don't like. No one wants to change horses in midstream.