Visual History with Barry Sonnenfeld Hero
This is a Visual History Recording

Visual History with Barry Sonnenfeld

Interviewed by: Bo Welch

Barry Sonnenfeld looks back on his 31-year career, sharing his unique approach to directing comedic features (The Addams Family, Men in Black, Big Trouble) and episodic television (Pushing Daisies, Schmigadoon!, A Series of Unfortunate Events).

On Directing Tommy Lee Jones

Director Barry Sonnenfeld shares how he prevented Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black from playing the comedy in his role as K, believing that his character would ironically be funnier because of the grounded tone of the film.

On Creating a Faster Pace

Sonnenfeld advises comedy directors to create a faster pace on set rather than the cutting room and to ensure action plays out in wider shots as opposed to cutting to a punchline in a closeup.

On the Support of the Guild

Sonnenfeld recalls how the DGA’s ten-week rule for assembling a director’s cut was a bulwark during his directorial debut on The Addams Family, preventing producers from seeing his film before it was ready.