MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Abour the Production
In the late summer of 2011, Joss Whedon completed principal photography on Marvel's The Avengers. Upon his return to Los Angeles Whedon was contractually obligated to take a week off before beginning his director's cut of the film. Rather than travel to an exotic location, or disconnect from the world and unwind, Whedon and his wife, producer Kai Cole, chose to make a completely different kind of film. A film that would be shot almost entirely in their home, a film that would be shot in just under 12 days, a film that would be made with close friends and a sincere love for the text, a film that would be Much Ado About Nothing.
Over the last 400 years, Shakespeare's plays have continued to intrigue and excite audiences. His plays have been performed in every medium imaginable. There is a quality to his work that continues to evolve beyond the style and structure of plays from that era. "Much Ado About Nothing" is the kind of witty and acerbic comedy that still manages to inform love. The self-doubt, humility and growth that everyone must go through in the pursuit of love is something unchanged in these 400 years.
Whedon and Cole had organized readings of Shakespeare with friends and colleagues for many years. Actors who had been theatrically trained as well as those who had never read Shakespeare would come to their house and perform these classic texts. When Whedon had decided he was going to film Much Ado About Nothing, none of his actors batted an eye. Most thought it would just be another reading, perhaps with a camera somewhere, hastily recording. To their surprise they arrived to a hustling and bustling film set complete with catering, costumes and an entire crew ready to shoot.
The casting process went about with Joss asking friends whom he had worked with as well as some he had hoped to work with for the first time, some trained in Shakespeare and some who had never performed in their lives.
The location was also of particular importance to the movie, as it was the home of the filmmakers - Whedon & Cole. Kai Cole, an architect, had designed every inch of the house to be an open and beautiful environment for the family. It was only natural that the movie should be set in a place they all knew so well, had complete control over and one perfectly suited to a play set in a single, large location.
Immediately after production, Whedon had to begin post-production on the Avengers. He and his assistant, Daniel Kaminsky, would edit Much Ado About Nothing on a laptop between lunch breaks and weekends. It would be another seven months before the Avengers was completed and the additional post-production team of Sound Supervisor Victor Ennis and Colorist Dave Cole were brought on board to give the film a cinematic polish.
Continuing in the DIY ethos that guided production and post, Much Ado About Nothing marks Joss Whedon's debut as a cinematic composer. He along with Music Supervisor Clint Bennett designed a simple system that allowed Joss to create melodies and structure on his own, Debroah Lurie was then brought on to help arrange those sketches and themes into the score that would later be performed by musicians. Joss' brother Jed Whedon contributed to the music as well, by co-writing, performing and producing a number of the "needledrop" moments in the film.
The filmmakers hope that the result, is a reflection of the joy and freedom the cast and crew had in making it. They also hope that audiences will see something that is true to the original text while being as intricate and compelling as any contemporary film.
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