Sybil (1976)

Continuity mistake: When the psychiatrist is holding up the horse figurine, the way she's holding it in the closeup is quite different than in the wide shot.

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Question: I have always wondered how the movie crew and cast worked with Natasha Ryan, the actress who played young Sybil. There were scenes that were very frightening, dealing with terrible tortures. I always wondered if that was traumatic for the young girl? Or, if not, how was trauma avoided. More generally, does anyone know how movie productions deal with children on the set of films with frightening, traumatic and/or controversial themes?

Michael Albert

Chosen answer: In these types of movies, where young actors are involved in intense scenes, every precaution is taken to ensure that they are never frightened or emotionally compromised. Child psychologists, acting coaches, and the director are on set and work closely with them. A child's parent or guardian is also always close by. Child Protective Services oversee how child actors are being utilized in films and TV shows and there are strict laws and regulations regarding how child actors are treated, how many hours per day they can work, etc. Scenes are also carefully filmed and edited in such a way that can appear to be very intense, but were not emotionally stressful to the child. Also, stand-ins can be used for certain shots.




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