Eastenders is slashed to 20 minutes in the post coronavirus schedule.
Eastenders has seen its time slot shortened with The One show adding an extra 10-muntes to their programming to make up for the short fall when the show returns from the 3-month hiatus imposed by the coronavirus lockdown in the UK.
The decision was taken to enable the long-running viewer favourite to “catch up” after a the long hiatus to enable the soap to return to our screens as soon as possible with some additional fan-favourites returning to the show.
The BBC’s head of continuing drama, Kate Oates, took the opportunity to talk about Eastenders being slashed to 20 minutes. She said, “As things change, we’ll change our approach. But at the moment, this is what’s best for the show and best for us.”
However, the volume of content is not the only issue in the post coronavirus schedule that has had to be contended with in the run up to the return of the soap.
Directors and actors have had to content with filming the drama with as much social distancing as possible and large plastic screens have been installed on the set.
The casting department has also had to ensure that they use members of the same household as extras on set to create more realistic looking scenes in the post coronavirus schedule.
Jon Sen, the Executive Producer of the long running soap, said: “To reflect the world outside, we use support artists from the same household.
“We have supporting artists who are in a house of students or a husband and wife, who can be seen walking together and can kiss in the street.
“For those really crucial moments where two characters kiss, we’ve invited real life partners of the actors onto the set to cheat those kinds of moments … With Perspex screens, you can bring people really close together.”
Sen continued, “That’s good because it gives an intimacy to the performance. We also use plate shots, where two actors look like they are sitting at the same table but they have been filmed in isolation. You put the shots together.”
Sen concluded, “We’re putting a lot of emphasis on getting people up to speed on where the characters have been during lockdown and what’s been happening.”
Eastenders return to BBC One on 7th September 2020.
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