Thursday, May 12, 2011

Throwback: Recycled Footage

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

It should come as no surprise to anyone that television shows and movies alike tend to recycle some clips in order to save money. Nothing major, but bits and pieces appear again. You've probably heard of the youtube clip that shows a bunch of Disney films with the same dance moves in multiple movies. But today, I want to direct your attention to some Beverly Hills, 90210 recycling.

Now, I'll admit... I love Beverly Hills, 90210... and I've seen every episode, as I've mentioned here before. But, every day they show two episodes on SOAPnet, and I DVR them. Currently, I started doing this just after season 4 started, and we're currently in season 8. I first thought about the idea for this post at the end of season 6, when I saw a few seconds of footage that looked strikingly familiar. I thought about it for a moment and remembered where I saw it... and that's what I'm addressing today.

One of my favorite episodes in the series is Season 4, Episode 3's "The Little Fish," which opens with Brenda coming home from Minnesota, having dropped out of college. Immediately afterward, the gang registers for their classes, and we see bunches of students on campus. Memorably, there's a girl on rollerblades wearing clothes that resemble an American flag. It was a very strange thing to see (since I didn't watch it in its original 1993 setting... more like 2008), and stands out in my memory. Therefore, when Season 6, Episode 27's "Strike the Match" shows the same girl on campus, I knew I had seen it before! I mean, it's pretty hard to believe that they filmed the same girl on rollerblades and the same outfit more than once. I can't necessarily pick out any other random kids that are the same in both scenes, but I'm fairly positive that they shot all sorts of footage for the opening scenes when the kids go to California University, then just use some more of it later. And, in first run, I bet it would have been very hard for someone to remember that one girl, who only appears in a grand total of several seconds. But, in reruns, the episodes are shown only a couple months apart, making it easier to recognize the recycled filming.

If you want to see the actual clips, you can look at this video, starting at 4:40, and then this video, starting at 3:28. Below, I screen-captured the girl side-by-side, with her first appearance on the left and her second on the right.
So, I leave you wondering... what recycled footage can you think of in television shows?
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