‘All American’ Showrunner Reveals How They Filmed Large Crowd Scenes Amid Pandemic

All American is BACK on The CW TONIGHT (January 18) for it’s third season!

The series returns with some changes due to filming during the pandemic.

Showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll opened up about how the series tackled the changes.

“The biggest thing is we are a young adult show that loves to throw parties — homecoming, everybody’s birthday — and now it’s just like, ‘Uh uh, what three people are getting together to have coffee and a chat?’” she told Variety. “We started writing the season end of February — I rolled directly from Season 2 into Season 3 — so by the time the pandemic hit and it was like it was here to hang out for a while, we went back and did our COVID pass on [scripts] and flagged scenes with too many extras in it.”

For party scenes or large gatherings, they switched them up to focus more on private moments happening, and for the football scenes…

“Football’s full contact; socially distanced football works for drills at practice but not for games and it’s their senior year so it just felt crazy [not to have football] if we weren’t addressing COVID on the show,” she added. “Effectively, what we created was a football bubble, modeled after what the NBA did.”

During quarantine, the more than 50 players and experts who make up the different football teams were tested four days a week, were given “individual sanitization bags,” which included masks and hand sanitizer. One of the masks in the bag was flesh colored so they could wear it during filming and it would be easy to edit out if caught on camera.

“There’s going to be a lot of halftime, on their way to the bathroom conversations this season so we can put them on our stages instead,” Nkechi said.

Improvised hugging or kissing was also not allowed, and the only included “moments of a hug or a kiss in a script if it was absolutely integral to the storyline.”

Tune in to All American season three on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 8pm ET/PT on The CW!

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