Keith Mitchell was a guest on the Talk Is Jericho podcast recently. He is an experienced wrestling producer and was involved with AEW during the height of the pandemic. Every company tried different things without fans, but for him, it was important not to have screens.
“From us, there was several different things. The zoom wall or this, and I really didn’t want to do that. I don’t know if I talked Tony out of doing it,” he said. “To me, it just felt like it would be canned, it just didn’t seem like to me it would come across well on television. That was my concern.
“It was difficult to mix the sound of the people, the look, to me it just came across like it was going to look real plastic, and real fake. Not that energy that I was talking about earlier with the crowd,” Mitchell claimed. “You wouldn’t have felt you were sitting at ringside, you would feel like you’re watching a video game or whatever.”
In the end, AEW ended up bringing in wrestlers to stand at ringside in order to provide an atmosphere. The likes of Pineapple Pete would go on to benefit from that, and Keith Mitchell thinks it was a good idea.
“It was a big transition. But I think having the guys come in, you know the talent sitting at ringside was a genius idea,” he said. “I think that was probably Tony’s idea. It helped out a lot of guys, brought them in so they could work on Dark and Elevation. It was enough.”
AEW stuck with Daily’s Place throughout that period of time, which became a home for the company. Keith Mitchell believes that was the right location as it was intimate. He then described how they shot things in order to make it work.
“It just worked, it was just intimate. Once again, you don’t reveal the dimensions of the room that you’re looking in. And by doing that, you allow people to suspend disbelief and they feel like this is a full building,” he revealed. “The dimensions aren’t defined, you don’t see an end to the crowd. Shooting towards the stage, it gave us the opportunity to lose a whole wall. We only needed to worry about two now.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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