What's Wrong with This Picture?
I realize that it's easier to see the main characters without extras in those seats. I totally understand how hard it is to get the audience to focus on the right thing when Mrs. Big Hair and Mr. Tall are right in front of your stars. I totally get that.
But if you're going to leave those two seats empty, leave a few other seats empty as well. This will do at least three things:
- Make your scene less conspicuously staged
- Save you money on extras
- Not make your editor hate you for doing something stupid on set that he can't "fix in post"
The Lesson: As you look through your veiwfinder or at your monitor, don't just look at color, lighting and aesthetics. Ask yourself: Does this even make sense?
In this scene from Law Abiding Citizen, it's not just the two empty seats. It's the fact that there are so many people listening to a 10 year old play cello. There should be more empty seats and/or less nice suits with some kids.
Your Media Production Mentor