The Sopranos Had One Unbreakable Rule For Filming Tony’s Therapy Scenes

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, David Chase discussed the one unbreakable rule the camera crew followed when filming Tony Soprano’s therapy scenes. It was essential for Chase that the sessions reflected authenticity on Tony’s part, and to have that kind of absolute consistency about them, the camera remained stagnant. There was no going up front, no close-up stills to claustrophobically capture Tony’s emotions, nothing.

Every minute and dialogue was critical, and Chase wanted to ensure that it translated through the camerawork. Viewers wouldn’t be assisted by close-up shots that indicated that a specific moment was meaningful — the entire sequence was crucial.

“During the therapy scenes, the camera was not allowed to move. We wouldn’t do any dolly push-ins on somebody’s face as they’re really getting into what they really mean. I said, ‘No, that’s just not the way therapy is. You’re not told when it’s getting important. You’re flailing your way through it.’ And so no dolly-ins. I also had a rule about no overhead shots, but that was a different thing. That was just about money.”

“The Sopranos” aired its final episode on June 10, 2007, and the mob-family drama has had a massive impact on television ever since. While the series is teeming with violence and illegal activities, Tony Soprano’s therapy sessions gave viewers the opportunity to engage with and see through the many personalities that came together to create television’s favorite antihero.

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