How Ted Lasso Turned 20 People Into a Stadium Crowd of 26,000

A new video explores how Ted Lasso turned 20 people into a crowd of 26,000. The Apple TV+ show inspired by star Jason Sudeikis’ eponymous character from a series of NBC Sports commercials became a hit when it released in August, 2020. Its second season is currently underway, with three episodes left to air over the next few weeks.

Ted Lasso quickly made a reputation for itself as a return to uplifting, heartwarming television, and in the midst of the pandemic, this was a very welcome surprise for many. It depicts Sudeikis’ titular coach as he goes from college football in America to managing a Premier League soccer team in the UK, met initially with hostility from players and fans for his total lack of experience with his new sport. However, over time, Lasso’s relentlessly positive attitude and genuine empathy starts to change hearts and minds at AFC Richmond, and his approach to coaching helps those around him improve as people.

Related: Ted Lasso Season 2 Finally Rectifies Its Coach Beard Misuse

Even with all the lives Sudeikis’ protagonist touches, a new video from Entertainment Insider shows that there aren’t as many actual people in Ted Lasso as fans might think. As a result of COVID-era filming protocols, the crowd shots required for Richmond’s matches became even more difficult than usual, requiring some creativity on the part of the special effects team. In many cases, this video reveals, the people in the stands were filmed on an entirely different continent from those on the pitch:

Click to watch the video

The video explores a number of interesting techniques that Barnstorm FX and the Ted Lasso team resorted to when filling out the soccer games, which range from classic to cutting-edge. Because they weren’t allowed to film in the actual stadium, it had to be entirely recreated with CGI, which enabled them to also fill up to 90% of the crowds with digital doubles. For extras closer to the camera, real people were filmed against a green screen and edited in, and they could then be repeated across different bleachers with a process called tiling.

It’s always interesting for fans of any series to get a glimpse behind the curtain, and the extensive work required by the Ted Lasso VFX team might surprise viewers that didn’t perceive the Apple TV+ program as especially tech-heavy. The ability to apply multiple techniques to realistically recreate crowds has been a saving grace for pandemic filming, and could significantly impact how such logistically complex scenes are done in the future. Even if the crowds take up so little of the audience’s attention, if Ted Lasso had to forgo them entirely, the show might have ended up more eerie than heartwarming.

Next: What #COYGH Means In Ted Lasso

Source: Entertainment Insider

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