Things We Notice Because We Work in Production

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Nothing can pull you out of the magic of your favorite TV show or movie faster than noticing a production error. 

And because we eat, live, and breathe all things production, we have a keenly trained eye to spot some other directors, or editors, or departments blatant faux pas. Least not we judge because we know that we all have been guilty of one of these in the past, but for now let us relish in some of the fine imperfections of our craft. 


1) Continuity Errors

Production Manager - Problem Solver

If the actor's hair is up then suddenly down, or if a cigarette goes from being a dwindling stub to freshly lit … you're going to notice it. Unless there are wizards and/or time travel involved. Then it’s okay.


2) Boom Mic Dropping Like It's Hot

boom mic getting into shot

Nothing takes you out of the scene quite like seeing the boom mic descend into frame like a menacing UFO on a mission to destroy your suspension of disbelief.

3) You KNOW That Dog is Staring at the Animal Trainer

dog ignoring cupcakes for personal trainer

Everybody loves dogs, but let’s face it, there’s a reason they’re not going to be up for an Academy Award anytime soon.


4) Reflection of Production Lights in Eyeglasses

Production Manager - Problem Solver

When a character is supposedly alone in a dark sewer, but the reflection in his glasses imply he’s about to make first contact with every alien ship from a planet specializing in light bulb manufacturing… you’re going to notice it.


5) Actors that Aren't Really Driving Cars

Production Manager - Problem Solver

When an actor is paying about as much attention to the road as a half asleep baby in a stroller does, it’s pretty clear there’s not a lot of real driving going on. All while you find yourself about to yell at the screen for them to keep their eyes on the road.

6) Bad Wigs

baby wearing a bad wig

All of them. You're going to notice all of the bad wigs.

7) Crafty Left on Set (can you find the water bottle?)

Production Manager - Problem Solver

We all remember this. If there is crafty left on set or a plane that flies through a movie set in the 1700's … you're going to notice it.

8) Crew Members in the Shot (can you find the PA?)

PA on set

We've all wandered into a shot at some point. The best you can do is fight the urge to make the PA-caught-in-the-headlights look and keep an eye out for your surprise cameo on the DVD. Don't hold your breath for any royalties, though.

9) Painfully Obvious ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement)

joey from friends bashing hands against ears

Two actors, in a room, exchanging dialog, the camera cuts to the back of an actor's head and suddenly he sounds like the host of a morning talk radio show. Yeah, we all notice it.

10) That Puffy Shirt Hiding a Lav

puffy shirt hiding mic

You know you've seen it... the bump on an actor's chest where a mic is hiding, or the bulge in the back where you know the transmitter is. No amount of moleskin is going to be enough to battle 100% cotton and its mocking flexibility.

Yeah, we notice it all. Don't we?


What other production fails can you think of for the industry?  Or better yet, what weird things have you seen during a show that totally took you out of the moment?  Comment below! 

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