How was HBO's "In Treatment" filmed/produced?
June 19, 2012 3:33 PM   Subscribe

I am very much enjoying HBO's In Treatment. I was amazed by the number of episodes in each season and then learned it was originally broadcast daily on week nights. How was this managed in terms of filming, cast availability etc.? Was it filmed entirely ahead of broadcast, as I understand HBO series tend to be? it seems unmanageable and risky otherwise.
posted by Hugobaron to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't have a cite, but I'm 100% sure it was.

The only shows that shoot as the season goes on are old-school multi-camera sitcoms with live studio audiences.

Anything that is single-camera (ie, looks like a movie, no laugh track) shoots like a movie: shooting is wrapped long before any episodes air.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:38 PM on June 19, 2012

Sorry, the above answer is just plain wrong. I state that as a person who has worked in production, and whose entire family works in production. In particular, Mr. BlahLaLa just spent two seasons working on a well-regarded, but now cancelled 1-hr TV series. It was shot single camera and most definitely was shooting as the series aired. I can't think of any show he's worked on lately that wasn't shot in this manner.

But I guess I'm not really understanding your question. Why would the cast not be available to shoot? These things are doe under contract and they can't take other jobs that would conflict.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:50 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Why would the cast not be available to shoot?

I'm not involved in TV production, just a viewer, and I wondered if a 40 plus week series (if filmed over that time period) might involve difficulties in terms of continuity, casting, etc., particularly with high profile or in-demand actors. And I guess what I was interested in is whether each patient-arc might have been filmed in a more concentrated period of time and then the series edited in the way it plays out, with five parallel strands each week.
posted by Hugobaron at 4:02 PM on June 19, 2012

This interview with Gabriel Byrne from 2009 says that it took five months to shoot the second season, in advance, and that HBO moved his character from Maryland to NYC, where Byrne lives, in order to shoot and use locations close to his home.
posted by holgate at 4:04 PM on June 19, 2012

(Another interview here: the filming of the first season, though set in Maryland, took place in LA.)
posted by holgate at 4:07 PM on June 19, 2012

Your instincts are right about some of the differences though. Much has been made in the media about how 'speciality' cable shows like Mad Men or HBO's own quality flagships like The Sopranos are finished with a season before it airs -- so it doesn't get the opportunity to futz with the stories based on audience feedback, the way a typical network drama would be.

I can't find any specific details on In Treatment, but I do remember that it almost didn't come back for Season 3 because of it's unique scheduling challenges. (discussed in an interview here)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:08 PM on June 19, 2012

Phaedon, I forgive you for that accurate snark.

Thank you very much guys. Just really enjoying this show that was not at all on my radar.
posted by Hugobaron at 4:17 PM on June 19, 2012

FYI - you might be interested in knowing that In Treatment was based on an Israeli show, BeTipul. It's been a while since I've seen them, but if I remember correctly, the first two seasons were almost word for word translations of the original (not just adaptations).
posted by beisny at 8:15 AM on June 20, 2012

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