‘The Waltons’: Mary Ellen Actress Judy Norton Points Out ‘Lighting’ Error in ‘The Scholar’ Episode

by Keeli Parkey
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During her “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons'” video series, Judy Norton has covered a variety of topics about the famous family drama. She has talked about her costars, stunts, as well as working with the show’s directors.

In a segment she released in February 2021, the Mary Ellen Walton actress discussed a lighting error she noticed in the first season episode titled, “The Scholar.”

“A little bit of a continuity error that I saw here,” Norton said. “When John-Boy is helping Verdie in the barn and you see Elizabeth go by in the background and it’s daylight. But then, on this reverse angle where you’re over John-Boy and Verdie and you see Elizabeth in the background, they didn’t put enough light behind Elizabeth out there, so it looks like it’s nighttime.”

While rewatching this episode of “The Waltons,” this made the actress do a double-take.

“I literally went back and checked and went, ‘Did they like shoot some of this during the day and some at night?'” Norton shared. “But then, when they go into the closeup of Elizabeth, of course, it’s lighter out there.”

Norton also offered an explanation for what she believes led to this lighting error on “The Waltons.”

“So, the distance there from the lens was making the outside look dark at that point,” she said. “So, just caught my eye. I don’t know if it caught any of your eyes.”

Judy Norton Shared Another Interesting Detail She Noticed While Watching This Episode of ‘The Waltons’

In addition to noticing the lighting error in “The Scholar” episode of “The Waltons,” Judy Norton noticed something else interesting.

“Another thing I notice all the time and suddenly caught my eye in this one is particularly in the truck, and not just the truck, but quite often people open those doors, the driver’s door from the inside,” Norton explained. “They reach outside to open those doors. In this case, John-Boy opens the truck door in that sense. But I have seen him do that in other vehicles as well.”

Why her costars on “The Waltons” did this was not clear to Norton. She also suspected that the windows of vehicles were usually rolled down for a reason.

“So, I don’t remember if it was just hard to open the inside door or if the inside door was broken and the inside handle didn’t open it or what, or if it was just easier. So clearly, the windows were always down,” Norton said. “But, I guess also, the windows were probably down a lot of times for dialogue purposes and also so that the light, the reflection on the glass of the window wouldn’t show the camera and all the lights in the background. But, I don’t know. I don’t know if that was a common thing at that point in time or just something that the actors did for ‘The Waltons.’ Who knows?”

You can watch Judy Norton talk about the lighting error in “The Waltons” below. Her comments begin around the 6:45 mark of the video.

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