“Shadow Play”: Behind the Kiss
The differences between the director’s cut we showed the network and the final version of "Shadow Play" as it was broadcast can be measured, for the most part, in frames
The only place the finished episode differs noticeably...and the difference is slight...is in Emily and Paige’s love scene.
You’ve seen the broadcast version, now let me walk you through the original structure and placement of the scene.
We start the same way in both director’s cut and broadcast, with Hanna at her switchboard.
Then we cut to Paige at the window. The scene at the window plays the same in both versions.
But where the broadcast version dissolves from the two girls by the window to the two girls already in bed, the director’s cut wipes from the window back to Hanna.
And from Hanna, we go to Spencer and Toby in the interrogation room.
Where the kiss at the end of the interrogation room scene in the broadcast version dissolves to Aria at The Brew, the director’s cut did something different.
The director’s cut dissolves from the silhouettes of Toby and Spencer to the shadows of Paige and Emily on the bedroom wall, connecting the lovers.
The shot then pans off the shadows to find the girls sitting on the edge of the bed.
Putting the pull back from the window and the bed sequence together was a request from the network who wanted to stay with Emily and Paige at this point in the story. This makes sense, but robbed me of one of my favorite transitions in the episode. And, frankly, by separating the window and the bed, I wanted to give the impression that the two girls had been making love throughout the other scenes.
The broadcast version and the director’s cut sync up at this point...almost.
The network felt the scene in the director’s cut was too explicit and went on too long for a program on ABCFamily. They asked for changes. We went back and forth pushing as far as we felt we could, but not wanting to jeopardize the entire sequence. I felt this was something important for the characters and the audience to experience, even in a slightly toned-down version.
Film Editor Robert Lattanzio went back into the scene, shortened some shots and selected different takes. The scene of the two girls in bed in the broadcast version is approximately nine seconds shorter than the version in the director’s cut.
The images that follow are from the long version of the scene.
The finest direction I have ever given anyone in my entire career was when I told Shay Mitchell to slip her hand under Lindsey Shaw’s bra strap.
The sequence ended with a slow dissolve to Aria waiting in The Brew.