on the Set of Wilfred on the Set of Wilfred
The FX television series “Wilfred”, starring Elijah Wood, needed to shoot new backing plates for their hit show. Cinematographers take plate shots of empty sets using the same lighting as the final scenes. These “plates” can be used later for special effects. Kurt Jones, Director of Photography, decided to use the new Nikon 28mm 1.8G lens. He needed 13 of them to mount onto 13 Nikon D800 bodies. was able to supply the DP and his television series with the tools they needed. The show shot exterior shots of the character, Ryan’s, house on location in Venice, CA. They then filmed all of the interior shots at a full-sized house that was wrapped in Green Screen on a sound stage at FOX Studios in Los Angeles. The plates are shot of the surrounding neighborhood and composited into the Green Screen during the VFX part of Post Production. Day Plates and Night Plates were photographed over a full day of shooting for Kurt and his crew. Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the equipment at work. Photos courtesy of Kurt Jones/FX. Season 3 of Wilfred will begin airing on June 20th. Kurt Jones’ work can be found on his site and on his Facebook page. 

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Alexandria Huff's photography and lighting tutorials can be found on 500px and her blog. She is a Marketing Coordinator for and also writes for SmugMug. She learned about lighting and teaching while modeling for photographers such as Joe McNally and has since gone on to teach lighting workshops of her own in San Francisco. See her chiaroscuro-style painterly portraits on her website.


  1. I don’t understand why you need 13 at the same time?

  2. Some additional details would have been very helpful. I’m puzzled as well.

  3. Are these for back up background scenes, in case they have to add footage later with new CG effects?

  4. All shots need to be taken at the same time so lighting is the same in all the shots that would then be stitched together in a large panoramic of the neighborhood.

  5. well the lighting and time of day all need to be captured at the same time so that the scenes would match. if he does it one at a time the sun will move and the shadows will change as well as the color temperate.

  6. This was a useless article with no substance. It would have been more interesting if the show as actually filmed with the camera.

  7. A “plate” is a photo of a background inserted or projected behind the actors. Think of a John Wayne movie where you see a big desert panorama behind him. Many times it was Wayne in a studio with a “plate” dropped in behind him.
    The multiple cameras allow them to shoot the entire perimeter of the house facing outward so that if an actor opens the front door or we see the view out the window they can insert a plate that would show the exterior at the correct time of day.

  8. You need three 28mm’s to shoot a roughly 180 degree panarama at once. Ya want to shoot a plate looking out the front door, out the back door, out the windows (here you’ll cheat and shoot say from corner windows and center windows pov). You want to do this in as few of takes as possible because ya gotta clear the set for each shot. Ya also want to shoot one pan in one shot because all has to match and ya got so many views to do. Bottom line, ya just want to get everything taking care of NOW.



  1. Weekly Nikon news flash #218 | Nikon Rumors - [...] BorrowLenses rented 13 Nikon D800 bodies and 28mm f/1.8G lenses for the shooting of the FX television series “Wilfred”. Read the whole…
  2. Weekly Nikon news flash #218 | Nikon Cameras Blog - [...] BorrowLenses rented 13 Nikon D800 bodies and 28mm f/1.8G lenses for the shooting of the FX television series “Wilfred”. Read the whole…
  3. Weekly Nikon news flash #218 | PhotoZ Press - [...] BorrowLenses rented 13 Nikon D800 bodies and 28mm f/1.8G lenses for the shooting of the FX television series “Wilfred”. Read the whole…

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