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Why Debra Jo Rupp Says Filming That '70s Show's Iconic 360 Shots Were High-Pressure Situations

"That '70s Show" may have premiered in the late '90s, but many elements came together to make the Fox sitcom representative of the times it was set in. The fashions, hair, and music made the series a masterclass in period comedies, but one groovy aspect stands above the rest. A hallmark of "That '70s Show" was the usage of 360 shots meant to simulate the passing of illicit substances. These sequences were pulled off with the use of a single camera that a camera operator would pivot to focus on the respective characters. The use of these shots carried through the series so that even the parents had a turn in The Circle.

One of the best episodes of "That '70s Show" is "Garage Sale," where Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith), his wife Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp), and Donna's (Laura Prepon) parents Bob and Midge Pinciotti (Don Stark and Tanya Roberts) accidentally consume some special brownies. But while the more experienced actors had their turn with the 360 shots, it wasn't all fun and games. Rupp still remembers exactly what was so stressful about filming those sequences.

No mistakes were allowed in The Circle

The older generation had some experience with 360 shots that were used for dinner scenes, but they finally got their chance to experience the perspective of the kids in Season 2. In a retrospective promoting the sequel series "That '90s Show," Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith spoke to Entertainment Weekly about their favorite scenes from "That '70s Show." This included "Garage Sale" with the unfortunate brownie incident. Red, Kitty, Midge, and Bob all huddle in the garage, unaware that their behavior has been influenced. But Rupp noted that despite all the laughter, shooting the scene was also high pressure.

"At the time that this was filmed, you couldn't miss a line because they couldn't edit it," Rupp said, indicating the scene. "So if anybody missed their line you had to start all over again." For a group of professional actors, that shouldn't be too hard to accomplish. But Rupp noted there was one actor who consistently had difficulty with the process. The late, great Tanya Roberts played Donna's absent-minded mother and often forgot her lines. When it was time for the camera to turn to her, she would become overwhelmed by nerves. To her credit, Rupp admitted that it wasn't an easy shooting day for anyone when the cameras were rolling.

"The pressure was actually a little intense," the "WandaVision" actor conceded. "You didn't want to be the one to mess up."