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The Sopranos


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#1 Markus

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 06:03 PM

Hi,

I just read that article http://www.editorsgu...0/sopranos.html and it says that they shoot an episode of The Sopranos in 8 to 9 days. I mean they must be working at least 25 hours a day?
Does anbody know how many set-ups they shoot per day and what budget an episode has?
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 07:15 PM

Hi,

Most US TV drama eps, around 45 minutes of material, are shot in 7 or 8 days. I remember being surprised to read that about Star Trek, but they were mainly just hanging around the same sets all the time.

Phil
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 07:57 PM

They can put in some long days on episodic dramas, especially the ones not based on a soundstage but are hopping around town.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 08:17 PM

Hi,

Most US TV drama eps, around 45 minutes of material, are shot in 7 or 8 days. I remember being surprised to read that about Star Trek, but they were mainly just hanging around the same sets all the time.

Phil


It was probably 45-46 minutes back when Star Trek was running, but that number has graadually whiddled down to 42 minutes with more and more minutes going to commercials. It's actually funny how much things have changed since then. My father audio-taped the Apollo landings, and occasionally he forgot to cut out a commercial break. They APOLLOGIZED whenever they did two commercials in a row and had a little announcement about what show was playing and that they'd be right back with it after this second commercial.

Regards

Karl Borowski
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 01:57 AM

I just spoke to a Key Grip friend of mine today that works on E-Ring and he said his wife was ready to divorce him (but not really) because he was doing 75 hours a week on the show. I think that's about standard for episodic TV.
As Phil would say.....it's just a cushy union job where people get paid tons of money to do very little. :huh:
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#6 Sidney King

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 02:24 AM

I know someone who AD'd the Sopranos, don't know the # of setups but he said the budgets were 4-5M per episode (this was a couple season ago, it might be more now). They also shoot additional coverage (PG-13) for syndication.

For instance, in the BadaBing when there are topless strippers in the background, they would put on a top and just literally re-shoot the scene (or that particular set-up). And they reshoot certain lines of dialogue as well, for the same reason. Someone's thinking ahead...
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 07:13 AM

Hi,

> As Phil would say.....it's just a cushy union job where people get paid tons of money to do very little.

I suspect he's being paid a fortune plus the first born son of the producer in order to do it, and there's doubtless work like that every day if he wants it, so my sympathy is... muted.

Phil
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 02:08 PM

No sympathy is needed. He works very hard and makes a decent living (not a fortune). Imagine if there were no union......even longer hours, no benefits, and much less money.
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#9 timHealy

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 02:31 PM

I worked on the Sopranos during the first and second seasons and yes they did originally do 8 days or so per episode, but they also worked about 18 hours a day and it was extremely brutal. I missed the first month of the first season where they had 18-20 hour days everyday. My first day on a Monday was 19! freaking hours. And it was a MONDAY! I don't have to tell anyone here in production what that does to your week, motivation, and attitude.

I broke away from the show before the third season just as things were getting a little better. The shop steward on the job worked it out that the crew would not work past 16 hours and the salaries for the crew got much better but I was burnt out. Unfortunate, because I do like the show and even though there are as many bad episodes as there are good ones, it is darkly funny! And I am also a citizen of NJ and very familiar wih some of the sterotypes they do poke fun at. I thought Dominic Chianese (SP?) was great the first season with some brilliant lines!

But as they show got more critical acclaim and more successful they started adding more days, spending more money on the production on each episode. I think I heard that they may have had an 18 or 20 day shooting schedule for an episode for this new season, but that was through a friend of someone on the show. And where they would use a few chinese lanterns in the first season they now use a 20k or a Dino light. Everything developed and got bigger.

I recall that the first season cost about 30 million dollars to produce and HBO made 500 million dollars alone on European rights. They had to spend more money on crew and the creative process.

One thing for sure is that HBO productions were notorious for their hours. Even Sex and the City was just as bad. I think the first day of season three they had a 22 hour day!

Even though I haven't worked a day on the show in a few years, I am very sure there is no such thing as a cushy union job on The Sopranos.

Best

Tim

Edited by heel_e, 27 January 2006 - 02:37 PM.

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#10 Gordon Highland

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 05:18 PM

I am very sure there is no such thing as a cushy union job on The Sopranos.

'Cept maybe for those waste management union guys. . . :lol:
Just a joke, fellas. I don't need the Jersey La Cosa Nostra coming after me.
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