so,to get this straight,why do you think they filmed seperately? how is that evident by the scene? what did they have to gain from it? i dont get it
OKAY nonny, let’s see if I can explain this using my admittedly very limited knowledge of the film-making process.
Say you want to fill 9 min of air time, with dialogue broken down about equally between 3 characters. So around 3 min each. When Real TPTB are making Real Episodes, the three actors would be there together, interacting, reacting, together they make magic, etc. etc. Look at literally any other episode, you can see the effort and the care that they take to stage shots so that as many people are in the shot as possible. The one that always comes to mind is when everyone scolds Mycroft for shouting at Mrs. Hudson at once, but there’s oodles more in every episode. That’s what makes it feel like they’re all there together, that’s what makes it feel real, that’s what makes the show so great.
So in Real Setlock Land, that means 3 actors all working for however long it takes to make 9 minutes of show. One guy flubs one line, all three shoot another take together. One guy doesn’t have a line for a solid 2 minute chunk of those 9 minutes? Doesn’t matter, he’s still there in the shot, silently acting his lil butt off. Want a long, continuous shot over a particular chunk of that conversation? Everybody had better know their lines damn well, because that’s a lot of man-hours to reshoot and exponentially more opportunities and people to muck it up.
But say we’re not in Real Setlock Land. Say we’re in Fucky Setlock Land. Say for some reason you were pressed for time. Let’s just say, completely hypothetically, you had a full calendar of primary shooting responsibilities to prepare for, but you also had to produce a low-rent slasher film using just your nights, weekends, and lunchbreaks. How would you produce 11 and a half minutes of some semblance of a scene with only the bare requirement that your physical form be physically on a set speaking physical words to a camera?
The scene in 221b looks cheap and bad because it is cheap and bad, precisely because it’s A LOT easier to produce. Ben and Martin are the main limiting resources here, so the first corner to cut right out the gate: they don’t need to film together! Now, any day that Ben is off standing in the middle of the road or Martin is being sad at the Watson flat, the other one can be filming on the 221b set with Director Mark and the B Team. Efficiency #1, simple.
Once you make that decision though, you realize that the way you’re going to have to shoot the scene - cutting from face to face as people say their lines, as to not show the empty room - gives you a lot more incidental efficiencies. Like for instance, now Ben doesn’t actually have to sit there patiently waiting for Mark to recite The History of Eurus if the camera is going to be on Mark that whole time (spoiler: it was). Suddenly, Ben’s 3-minute share of talking becomes 3 minutes of show to make total, consisting of 100% Ben’s lines and 100% Ben’s face. The most efficient and painless way to waste an Oscar-nominated actor’s time filming a low-rent slasher movie possible.
It also means there’s no long scenes or monologues for anyone (Ben) to memorize. Cutting away between every single line means he can reshoot a single line at a time, even sit there and memorize a line at a time if he wanted. Of course the greatest actors of our day don’t bat an eye at a few extra lines to learn, but, just assuming here that they have been double-booked for over a month, hypothetically producing at the same time the greatest love story every put to film, it doesn’t hurt that the stakes here become astronomically low with this production method.
Another corner they cut? They never move. They never move. Easier to keep track of where your imaginary conversation partner is if they aren’t moving, easier to pick camera angles that will reliably conceal the fact that there’s no one else in the room if they aren’t moving.
Anyway, did I answer your question? tl;dr: fake fake fake fake just my analysis