Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Twelfth Night...of Filming MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

By Kerri Grogan, BMFI Staff Assistant

What can you do with twelve days and a cast of actors you know and love? If you're Joss Whedon, the answer is Much Ado About Nothing, and it's playing here at BMFI until at least Thursday, July 11!

Joss Whedon's delightfully modernized take on Shakespeare was filmed in only twelve days at his own home, while he was on break from the set of Marvel's The Avengers. Whedon is no stranger to this sort of "Do It Yourself" film productionhis 2008 web-musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was entirely self-created and funded during the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strikebut even he was intimidated to try filming a production of the magnitude of Much Ado in such a short window.

"I had to convince Joss that this was a good idea," Kai Cole, Joss's wife and a producer of the film, said in an interview with Women and Hollywood. "He was exhausted and more than a little skeptical." Shakespeare had long been something Whedon and Cole wanted to tackle. For years, Whedon and his friends (including Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof, who play Beatrice and Benedick in the film) had been doing play readings at his home, and it was one of these readings that inspired the production of the film.

 Joss Whedon and actress Amy Acker (Beatrice) on the set of Much Ado About Nothing. The entire production was filmed in Whedon's Beverly Hills home, which was designed by his architect wife, Kai Cole.

Much Ado about Nothing was filmed in black and white using only natural lighting, accentuated with mirrors and glass. In an article by Emma John, Whedon speaks to some of the challenges he faced by filming in such a do-it-yourself style: "I did everything they say don't do... Great idea to shoot next to a golf course, by the way. You know what they do on golf courses all day? Mow."

Did you know? In Shakespeare's original play, set in Italy, the character of Claudio is a young lord of Florence. Click here for details on how you can enter BMFI's raffle to win a seven-night stay for two in Florence–including $1500 in spending money!

Kerri Grogan is BMFI’s Staff Assistant. She studied animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and moonlights as a dice-rolling, video gaming geek, blogger, and comic artist.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed "Much Ado About Nothing!" It was my favorite Shakespearean play in high school---and college. Whedon's interpretation was a pleasant surprise, and the black-and-white effect only added to the movie's whimsical charm. I am a frequent moviegoer at BMFI, and I usually find reasons to watch certain films more than once. I didn't have any problems here! The cast was strong, and the actors seemed to play well off of each other. My hope is that Whedon will tackle another Shakespearean work! I look forward to it!