Craft Considerations, curated by the IndieWire Crafts team, is a forum for filmmakers to discuss recent work that we believe is worthy of award consideration. For this edition, we look at how director and star Bill Hader, cinematographer Carl Herse, and stunt coordinator Wade Allen pushed the filmmaking of “Barry” to new heights in collaboration with HBO. Nothing could be more visually plain and unshowy than the travails of aspiring actors in Los Angeles, even if they are reluctant hitmen. But Bill Hader, the creator of “Barry,” has always enjoyed films in which “you’re in such a unique world that when it’s over, you’re stuck in that world.” According to Hader, he tackles the show’s filming from as a cinematic a standpoint as he can, using sight and sound in particular to depict the emotions and mental processes of individuals who are stranded by their own poor decisions. It’s also a comedy. The series, which was created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, centres on Barry Berkman (Hader), a melancholy former U.S. Marine who has been acting as a hitman since being released from the service. When Barry is then given the task of killing an aspiring actor while in Los Angeles on business, he learns that Gene Cousineau, a previously famous actor, is teaching an acting class (Henry Winkler). Barry tries to leave his work as a hitman to pursue a career in acting after becoming lured to the class and Gene’s instruction, but he keeps getting sucked back in by the industry. Along with Stephen Root and Sarah Goldberg, “Barry” also stars Sarah Goldberg as Barry’s romantic interest Sally Reed, an aspiring actress, and Stephen Root as Monroe Fuches, a hitman.
How “Barry” Is Directed:
In “Barry,” Hader’s visual style has changed throughout the course of its three seasons. While he has always attempted to shoot his episodes from the perspective of the characters, there has been a change from trying to create scenes that embody filmic conventions to those that attempt to find a more grounded, less generic way through; from trying to make suspense scenes look and feel like a Hitchcock thriller to taking the more observant view of, perhaps, a Preminger. “Since the scene [in Season 1] where Fuches (Stephen Root) gets his teeth filed, I feel like I’ve learnt so much,” the actor said. There was simply something about it that evoked memories of “A Movie,” according to Hader. Hader has discovered while directing the programme that, occasionally, the police are the exact last thing we need to see in order to comprehend the reality of the situation and how seriously Barry has messed up.
In ten words or fewer, describe “Barry’s” visual aesthetic;
“Extremely expressive and actually still very basic” is a good way to describe “Barry’s” visual aesthetic in ten words or fewer. Herse positions the camera to best capture a character’s emotional response, but frequently does it first from a distance. The movie “Barry” puts us in the protagonists’ shoes, making us empathise with their misfortune and compelled to watch them struggle. Gene Cousineau (Harry Winkler) is caught in Jim Moss’s garage in episode eight, “beginning now,” and as his terror grows, the DIY questioning gradually intrudes closer and closer on Winkler’s face.
Although what Moss is saying is crucial, you’re actually attempting to convince the viewer that Cousineau is currently entrapped, Herse added. “The way that Bill likes to use sound lends itself very well to a shot like that where you understand the geography of where Moss is but when you hear the chair scraping on the ground, you hear those kind of echo-y noises, and you know what’s coming, it’s still shocking when he enters the frame so aggressively and [so close] in the foreground,” says one critic. Watch Herse describe how the cinematography can convey all the information about the characters that we require without the use of conversation in the video up top.