‘The View’ flies a drone through its studio, offices for extended open — before it’s ‘taken out’ by Whoopi
ABC’s “The View” opened its Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, edition that contained some key talent announcements kicked off the show with a three-minute continuous drone shot that took viewers both backstage and on-stage.
The shot, which appeared to be captured in a single take, started out in a backstage area with some large palm tree set pieces being moved by (in a sort of ironic way that backstage “SNL” segments feature everything from llamas to dancers in the background) and a small audience line-up.
The entire sequence was accented by a variety of ambient audio that changed based on what part of the building it was captured in, including what sounded like an audience coordinator reminding those waiting in line to silence their cell phones in the first scene.
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This was followed by backstage banter between crew in what appeared to be a break room or similar area. The craft then flew toward the ceiling as a crew member adjusted a lighting unit while zipping by what appeared to be a storage area for throw pillows.
As the drone flew around what seemed to be an informal backstage rehearsal for a beauty segment, the show’s announcer could be heard reading a script about makeup. Around this time, the crew can also be heard searching for moderator Whoopi Goldberg.
Next up was a look at a makeup area where co-host Joy Behar could be seen getting ready and heard refusing to wear a “stupid” yellow flower.
It then traveled up the stairs as Sara Haines walked down them, flying by Sunny Hostin trying to make a wardrobe decision while also wondering where her legal notes were. Thankfully, they were found in an upstairs office and someone could be seen grabbing them and running back down to the studio, all as the drone continued to buzz along.
The craft then flew through the control room with appropriate background banter added in before heading back down to the studio level and flying, impressively, through the bottom of a utility cart.
At this point, Goldberg was found — standing near the space where the hosts prepare to walk out and, after getting their cue, they walked out into the studio to seemingly start the show.
The drone continued to circle around the studio, including above the audience, while also showing the handled and jib camera units the show uses as the co-hosts walked out on set.
The drone, which apparently wasn’t quite calibrated to the refresh rate of the set’s primary video wall (given that it showed some odd color distortion), then landed on the iconic table, where Goldberg could be seen “swatting” at it. Haines appeared briefly wondering why Goldberg “broke” it before the damage Goldberg did apparently made the device fade to black.
It’s likely that the drone “dying” was simulated by adding video glitch effects.
It also appears that the segment was pre-taped with all of the hosts wearing the same wardrobe either earlier that day or on a previous day.
One key giveaway to this was that audience members changed between the drone shot and when the show actually started.
though it’s not surprisingly that this was done given that the significant planning likely went into the continuous shot that needed to be timed perfectly with, perhaps, some post-production of audio thrown in.
Drone shots either done in a single take or simulated to appear to be shot that way have been used for a variety of productions in the past, including an ESPN one in January 2022, a Peacock holiday shopping special in December 2021 and the regular open for CBS’s “The Late Show.”
“The View” and its production offices are filmed at the same New York facility that houses “ABC World News Tonight” and other productions. For the first 17 seasons, it used Studio 23, located on the 300 block of West 66th Street. It uses Studio TV1, with ABC-produced daytime talker “Tamron Hall” using Studio TV2.
In 2015, the show moved uptown to the main ABC campus (which has a primary address of 77 West 66th), taking over the spaces previously used by the ABC-produced syndicated talk show “Katie” featuring Katie Couric.
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