>A) Did Jeff Conaway have a set script or was he to make some up as he
>went, just to ensure he hit some high points?
Improv was never much allowed; he said what was written line for line.
>B) How many takes did it require to get the scene?
Not many, he nailed it just fine every time.
Funny thing about that scene...we were told before filming that the script was
8-10 minutes longer than it should be, and I had to make cuts. I didn't agree,
but the director was very concerned, so with great reluctance, I snipped about
8 minutes out.
So on practically the last day of filming, we get a report from the film editor
that we're about 6 minutes *short*. The director suggested ways to expand the
last few shots, and we could add some more CGI, but it wasn't nearly enough. I
now had to write a new scene to make up the difference. (If I'd not had to
make the cuts in the stuff shot to that point, we'd've been fine.)
Given that it was the last day or so, we'd already released a number of the
cast, and struck many of the sets. I asked what we had left to work with. We
had Zack, and Lyta, some extras...and an elevator. So with that in mind, I
wrote that scene in about 20 minutes and turned it over to Jeff, who memorized
the lines overnight and showed up the next morning and nailed the scene.
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