The season ten premiere of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, “Family Affair”, featured a spectacular opening shot in which the camera found its way through the middle of the action during one hectic moment in the lab. Check out behind-the-scenes info about the scene, including a video, after the jump!
The opening shot lasted two-and-a-half minutes and travelled through the autopsy room, the CSI lab and outside to where Nick Stokes (George Eads) and Sara Sidle (Jorja Fox) were shooting at the men who broke into the lab to steal a body from the morgue. “That shot alone was definitely the most expensive shot we’ve ever done,” explained co-producer Brad Tanenbaum. “It’s the most technologically advanced shot we have ever done for sure, if not in television. I don’t think you really appreciate it until you see how it was done and how it was broke down.”
“It took six weeks of planning,” he continued. “It took two months worth of digital effects to do it. It took three days of motion control shooting, which is never done. We brought the motion control crane to set. We set up the crane. We used every single one of our cast members, which we never do on my unit. It’s very, very difficult.”
During the early stages, the crew talked with director Kenneth Fink about the route of the shot, what it would look like when it was finished and how to approach each individual shot. After the footage was filmed, it came down to the visual effects department to finish the scene. “This was definitely a unique challenge for the show and for the crew and for my guys to put together, so this was definitely the biggest thing I’ve ever done for the show,” said Visual Effects Supervisor Rik Shorten.
Tanenbaum added that the CSI crew doesn’t get bored despite being on the air for a decade. “What keeps us going is the writing. The writing really challenges us,” he said. “We don’t get bored. They really give us a brand new challenge.”
You can watch the full behind-the-scenes clip below:
(Thanks to Shane from TalkCSI for the heads up.)