Theodore Braun discusses Viva Maestro

Director Theodore Braun discusses ¡Viva Maestro!

July 6, 2022 A Special Projects Documentary Series Screening

A behind-the-scenes portrait of conductor/Los Angeles Philharmonic music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel is unveiled in Director Theodore Braun’s documentary, ¡Viva Maestro!

Braun’s film follows Dudamel around the world as his international tours are disrupted by deadly protests across his native Venezuela and reveals how he responds to unexpected and imposing obstacles with stirring music-making that celebrates the power of art to renew and unite.

Following the DGA Special Projects Documentary Series screening in Los Angeles on July 6, Braun sat down with DGA Special Projects Documentary Series Subcommittee Chair Ondi Timoner (Mapplethorpe) to discuss the making of ¡Viva Maestro!

About principal photography Braun said, “The challenge filming rehearsals was to put the audience in the middle of this musical conversation between Dudamel and the orchestra. After experimenting we ended up using four cameras to capture the creative dynamic and varied the tools– dolly, steadycam, crane – depending upon the style of the piece.” Speaking about sound work in a film about music, “Recording, editing, and mixing were all focused on getting the audience to hear subjectively - with Dudamel’s ears. We’re the first feature doc to use ATMOS to do that with an orchestra. Ron Bartlett wove it all together brilliantly.” (Bartlett recently won an Oscar as the re-recording mixer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune).

In addition to ¡Viva Maestro!, Braun’s directorial filmography includes the documentaries Betting on Zero, Darfur Now, We're Here to Speak for Justice; an episode of the television documentary series, Combat at Sea; and the scripted HBO short Practice Time. Braun has been a DGA member since 2006.

You can listen to Braun's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Q&A photos by Shane Karns Print Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

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