Knowing that Barry Sonnenfeld has just finished shooting a series for Apple TV+—a tongue-in-cheek take on Studio Era musicals called Smigadoon—and that it was one of the first projects to go into production in the midst of the pandemic, we were curious to check in to see how he fared. He proved eager to talk not just about how he and his team rose to that challenge but about a slew of other topics as well, especially his plans to create a new screening room in a less than hospitable space.
Given all the ground we covered, it seemed best to opt out of the usual description of topics and provide a stripped-down road map instead:
4:39 His experiences shooting during the pandemic.
8:15 The virtues of filming in Vancouver.
8:52 The similarities of shooting Smigadoon and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
11:23 The similarities between Smigadoon and Pushing Daisies & his other work.
13:17 Apple TV’s and Netflix’s requirements for shooting in 4K.
15:33 Fighting HDR.
19:17 Working with Apple TV and Netflix vs. traditional studios.
22:37 The emergence of cinematic television.
23:53 His various screening rooms.
26:05 The challenges and opportunities of his new screening room.
26:44 The Apple app for accessing Academy screeners.
27:32 Jumping into Atmos.
28:38 Digital room correction.
29:06 Get Shorty.
35:45 Can they pull off the Oscars this year?
37:02 Somehow, we end up talking about the designated-hitter rule.
37:52 The fate of movie theaters and its impact on film financing.
40:21 Should streaming-only content be eligible for Oscar consideration?
41:12 Doing professional film production on an iPhone.
42:55 His James Randi project.
44:33 The intersection of art and technology.
44:59 The one good thing about 8K.
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Michael Gaughn—The Absolute Sound, The Perfect Vision, Wideband, Stereo Review, Sound & Vision, The Rayva Roundtable, marketing, product design, some theater designs, a couple TV shows, some commercials, and now this.