October 2, 2019

Here is How Billie Eilish Danced on the Ceiling LIVE

SNL shares how they turned Studio 8H upside-down for Billie Eilish's live performance.

Billie Eilish's debut SNL performance set the internet ablaze last Saturday night during the premiere of the show's 45th season.

At the start of her hit tune "bad guy," there were very few indications that something unique was brewing, despite a few camera shakes and a couple of nervous cheers from the audience. But then Billie proceeded to dance on the walls and the ceiling in what is believed to be the first performance of its kind on live television.  

Besides a brief look at the camera rig at the tail end of Saturday's performance, few secrets were given away on how SNL pulled off the live Fred Astaire inspired scene. But today, Saturday Night Live finally lifted the curtain on the historic Studio 8H performance by sharing a video on how they achieved the feat, including Billie's original filmed proposal (complete with a tissue box) and rehearsals with the camera rig, which was attached directly to the moving set to create the illusion.  

 

The side by side diagram of the camera view and camera reveals how SNL achieved live, gravity-defying magic: while the camera view stays the same, the rig and camera move together. In order to recreate this look, the camera used must not auto-rotate (like an iPhone), in live view.

At 17 years old, singer-songwriter Billie Eilish has already achieved musical history. She has the record for the most simultaneously charted Hot 100 songs with 14 tracks. She is the youngest female musician to chart at No. 1 in the U.K. And now, with the help of Saturday Night Live, she can now add defying gravity to her growing list of accomplishments. 

You know what they say, "one person's ceiling is another person's floor." (Denis Waitley)       

Featured image from Billie Eilish's Live Performance, SNL on YouTube

Your Comment

6 Comments

I think it is cool that they tried something different.

Certainly surprised NBC could have not figured out a work around that would have involved a remote rotating camera that would have been synced to the movements. The Rigging worked okay, but the illusion not complete.

October 3, 2019 at 9:48AM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
885

Can't watch - because I'm in Australia.

Am I the only one who thinks SNL (which is one of the few) and their regional locking is a relic of a bygone era?
Seriously, I thought this was supposed to be a global community and platform, SNL... jeez...

October 3, 2019 at 8:02PM, Edited October 3, 8:02PM

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Jared Adamo
Creative Director / Producer
134

Umm...didn't we already figure out this trick with Fred Astaire in the movie "Royal Wedding" like 70 years ago?

October 4, 2019 at 10:34AM

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kbelli
editor / cinematographer
18

Agreed. I thought it was an "homage" but maybe the kids think it's an innovation.

October 7, 2019 at 2:35PM

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Jordan Brady
Filmmaker
152

Did you not watch the BTS video?

October 7, 2019 at 3:22PM

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And as if no one has seen "2001" or "Inception," where this has been copied/hommage'd. (Okay, those weren't dancing scenes.)

October 7, 2019 at 9:15PM

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Bob Byars
184