“Singing Stephen Sondheim is like calculus for singers and actors,” “Into the Woods” producer Marc Platt remarks in Disney’s new behind-the-scenes featurette, exclusive to Thompson on Hollywood, about the musical’s intricate sound design. With commentary from Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, and director Rob Marshall, among others, the video highlights the complexities inherent in bringing Sondheim’s work to the big screen.
From the “seamless marriage” of prerecorded and live performances to editor Wyatt Smith’s “fluid” cutting among multiple characters in the bravura, 16-minute opening sequence, “The Magic of the Woods” illuminates the team effort required the ensure both entertainment and narrative clarity. “You’re dealing with very strong human conflicts and deep relationships and everything,” Baranski says, “But then you go suddenly from dialogue into singing.” Watch the seven-minute featurette below.
Though late-breaking in the awards season derby, “Into the Woods” picked up steam at the box office and among awards voters this week. The musical is now an ACE Eddie nominee for Best Edited Feature (Comedy or Musical), and made bank over the holiday weekend. (More in our box office report here.)