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External Scenes in American Soaps


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Did US soaps ever shoot external scenes? I believe that in order for the shows to be modernised they need to film externally. All the external shooting inside a studio looks silly and fake. I really like Days but I think US soaps are lagging behind UK and Australian soaps.

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1 hour ago, Edward Skylover said:

Did US soaps ever shoot external scenes? I believe that in order for the shows to be modernised they need to film externally. All the external shooting inside a studio looks silly and fake. I really like Days but I think US soaps are lagging behind UK and Australian soaps.

Gloria Monty used location shooting a lot on GH, and it became a staple on GH for over a decade.  The expense slowed it down.  Frank did some when he first got on GH, and recently there were some scenes in a real park.

 

They all did remotes and externals once upon a time.  But the speed they create the shows needs an environment they can control.  So they all fake it now for the most part.

 

Was AMC the first major one?  For Erica and Tom Cudahy's honeymoon?

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2 hours ago, Edward Skylover said:

Did US soaps ever shoot external scenes? I believe that in order for the shows to be modernised they need to film externally. All the external shooting inside a studio looks silly and fake. I really like Days but I think US soaps are lagging behind UK and Australian soaps.

Soaps in the 80's did locations shoots all the time. Some of the shoots were done locally some were done in foreign countries. I think the earliest location shoots were done in the late 60's. I love the look and production values the UK soaps have. The American soaps look cheap  as hell. For example everyone on Days is going to Memphis. Yet i doubt they will go on location for it. 

14 minutes ago, Edward Skylover said:

Has Days ever shot externally?

 

Perhaps they should cut down to half hour episodes again and start shooting external scenes.

Days went on location all the time in the 80's.  All the fun action/adventure/love stories would climax on location.

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Days had a special outdoor set called Salem Place, that was at the studio and looked like a shopping mall. People could tour the studio and see that area even if they couldn't go inside the soundstage. This was in the 90s, and no longer exists. 

 

All of the US soaps still on the air, have done remotes over the years. 

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Ironically, DAYS put the other soaps to shame from '92 to 2004 when they had Salem Place, an outdoor set on the NBC lot. It was a large shopping complex set with a few store fronts and the Java Cafe (and they looked way more realistic than the cheap, wobbly cardboard Horton Town Square). It also had the front to a movie theater (in reality, the doors to NBC's gift shop). They would shoot during daytime and nighttime. 

 

DAYS would frequently shoot outdoors around 1999-2004, whether it was a real-life park, or the parking lot outside Salem Place (like when Stefano's car burst into flames or the Last Blast teen crew playing football). 

 

They've shot on the beach a few times, most recently in early 2016 when Brady was having random flashbacks of a chick named Summer attempting to drown herself (long story, not even worth mentioning).  Bo and Hope had an outdoor carriage ride around 2006. The most recent big location shoot I can remember was in 1999 when John & Marlena had a summer honeymoon in Hawaii. 

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3 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

The most recent big location shoot I can remember was in 1999 when John & Marlena had a summer honeymoon in Hawaii. 

In 2001 they did a location shoot on Catalina Island (Puerto Rico in the storyline) for the boat scenes and in LA for the beach scenes.

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In 2002 Brady and Chloe were in Colorado although I think the outdoor scenes were shot somewhere else.

Edited by Sindacco
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I think the first remotes were done in the 50's on Edge of Night, where they shot on rooftops and streets near the studio. This was not a common occurrence on the show however.

 

The shows were live at the time and it was expensive and time consuming to do this.

 

Through the 60s and 70s soaps pretty much stayed indoors. I recall that Secret Storm had scenes at a lake, but I imagine they would have been filmed not taped and there would have been no dialogue. 

 

Doug and Julies  on Days wedding episodes showed characters arriving at a church but there was no dialogue, just a long shot of a car pulling up and people entering the church.

 

It wasn't until the late 70's when videotape was easier to use and cheaper that soaps went outside more often.

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One soap did attempt to shoot outdoors all the time, unfortunately they filmed it with hand held cameras so it looked DREADFUL. 

 

That being said, I do know that ATWT, AW, Days, B&B, GL, Passions, OLTL, Sunset Beach, Santa Barbara, and Y&R had done/did plenty of external scenes and remotes over the years and all serials filmed internationally at some point whether it was Canada(AW), Spain(ATWT), the Caribbean(ATWT, GL, Y&R), France(Days, Passions, Y&R, B&B), Italy(B&B) or even in the Southern Hemisphere(OLTL, B&B)

 

@Sindacco Ugh the only thing I remember from that story was this: 

 

 

 

 

Edited by soapfan770
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B&B has several external scenes a month - the restaurant, the outdoor deck at FC are seen almost weekly. Despite the erratic storytelling, B&B's production and the use of the LA setting (plus the international trips) is light years above any current or past US soap. Not even close.

 

DAYS hurt themselves by getting rid of external scenes, but then, again, this is a soap that films 5 months in advance to save money. 

 

Y&R added more external scenes starting a year ago, but those seem to have become less frequent. 

 

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My mother once recalled that it was in the early '80s that All My Children started incorporating establishing shots of the characters' homes, and various locations.  There is a rather lengthy one of Langley driving up to Phoebe's home that was seen in one of the A Daytime to Remember episodes.  I'm assuming Cliff and Nina's on location wedding helped usher in the trend.

AMC did a lot of park scenes when they moved to L.A.

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I recall Chuck sitting on a bench next to a Pine Valley hospital sign deep in thought over some issue and then walking into the hospital. The next scene was him inside. I always wondered about the logistics of taking the actor on location just for a 30 second scene, but perhaps they took a bunch of actors and did a lot of these types of shots.

Edited by Paul Raven
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Certainly, exterior scenes enhance the storytelling, but I don't think it matters, so long as the story itself is engaging.

 

That being said...?  I still recall when GL taped scenes in Central Park as part of Phillip and Beth's "love on the run" storyline during the holiday season of '83.

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There were exterior scenes on various soaps during the 1950s to 1970s. TEON probably did more than any other soap, although outside footage was still relatively rare on that show too. OLTL on location in Central Park for Joe and Viki's second wedding in the early 1970s, and RH went to Ireland when Mary married Jack in the mid-1970s.

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