NCIS: Los Angeles star Daniela Ruah once revealed a nifty behind-the-scenes camera trick. The crew uses it to help capture high-chemistry moments with her co-star Eric Christian Olsen. Ruah and Olsen play husband and wife in the series.
Ruah plays the intelligent and dynamic Kensi Blye, whose an NCIS junior field agent. Meanwhile, Olsen plays Marty Deeks, a (now former) LAPD-NCIS liaison officer. The two have incredible chemistry on the show. While a lot of it is due to the acting and writing, the camera crew works quite hard to capture the essence of their relationship.
The Camera Trick Allows the Two to Improvise More
In a 2017 MCM Comic Con interview, Daniela Ruah spoke about the trick.
“For those of you who don’t know it’s a camera on him and a camera on me and there’s one behind us and everything,” she began. That’s how they traditionally film a scene in NCIS: Los Angeles.
But there are a lot of moments between Kensi and Deeks that the two actors come up with as they go. They both like to play around with the tone of the scene, but that means a different approach to filming is needed.
“Sometimes you kind of have to have a camera on both of them simultaneously because the things that you get in the moment are going to be different every single take. One of them might be in a more emotional place or a quieter place whatever it is. To get the matching reaction from the other person you have to enjoy that there’s a camera on both of you so you don’t get mismatched takes between us,” Ruah said. She attributed the camera trick to the fact that she and Eric work in a very specific way.
“I think that Eric and I have created a certain dynamic over the years,” she said. She also noted that the two of them are always aware when they’re shooting a scene that’ll get both of them in one shot. It allows them to play around more and improvise a bit.
‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Has a Surprising Reason for all its Daytime Shots
Capturing the relationship between Kensi and Deeks isn’t the only way the NCIS: Los Angeles crew films creatively. You may have noticed that NCIS: Los Angeles doesn’t have many nighttime shots. That’s a pretty rare move for a police procedural.
But the crew and the cast both like to film during the day in order to capture all the different areas in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is considered a sort of character of the show. The team behind the show wants to prove that it’s more than Hollywood Boulevard and traffic.
If you want to keep up with NCIS: Los Angeles this year, it’ll air its 13th season in the fall. It also won’t be the only NCIS show to air as a part of CBS’s 2021-2022 broadcast season. NCIS is approaching its 19th season and NCIS: Hawai’i just started filming its first.