SUPERSTORE: Ben Feldman on Stepping Behind the Camera for 'Carol's Back' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUPERSTORE: Ben Feldman on Stepping Behind the Camera for ‘Carol’s Back’

March 25, 2020 by  

Superstore Ben Feldman directing

SUPERSTORE — “Carol’s Back” Episode 519 — Pictured: (l-r) Ben Feldman as Jonah, Nichole Bloom as Cheyenne — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

Ben Feldman steps behind the camera for the Thursday, March 26 episode of SUPERSTORE, as Carol (Irene White) returns to Cloud 9—much to the horror of her colleagues.

Feldman previously helmed season 3’s “Lottery”—which was his directorial debut—and had been looking for the chance to do it again. This go-round, the order for additional season 5 episodes helped allow him to step in.

“It’s actually scarier to give a new director one of the last [episodes of the season],” Feldman notes. “There was a lot more trust than you normally would have in someone, because there’s usually heightened situations going on towards the end of the season. [There was] nothing crazy [here], but I did get another full day of location outside [the traditional Cloud 9 set], which was the hardest day ever. But other than that everything went pretty smoothly.”

Directing “Carol’s Back” also allowed Feldman to shake off his first-time jitters and appreciate the creative experience of stepping behind the camera more.

“I think so much of the first time I directed was spent stressing about making sure that I made the day[’s schedule],” he admits. “All the things that I’ve never had to deal with before [that first time]: I’ve got the line producer making sure that I make the day, we don’t go over budget, and we get all the coverage. [While that is going on] I’m checking in with the editor to make sure that I’m not screwing up any of the shots and not sending him garbage. You’re juggling so much in your mind, because you’ve never done it before.”

“I’m not an expert on maintaining the line in shooting, like understanding exactly how to match coverage or which kind of lens fits into which [camera]—that’s not my thing, and it never will be; there are people who are incredible at that,” he continues. “But what I can bring to the table is story and performance. So this time around, without all of the stress of being worried that I was going to screw up, I actually had moments to just sit back and watch the cast be incredible and to have discussions about their performances. To talk with the writers about the story. When you’re more relaxed, you can actually pay attention to the creative way more rather than just feeling like it’s a massive math equation that you’re ill-equipped to solve.“

Although the cast had some fun (at his expense) with his directing debut, they were well-behaved this time—well, at least as far as Feldman knows.

“I think the novelty of me directing had worn off by this time,” he says. “There was still ball-busting, to an extent, but you’re also so busy as a director, that they very well all could have just spent the entire week talking s— about me and I wouldn’t know, because I would run on stage, give direction, and then have 30 million other things to deal with. So who knows? But as far as what I was getting, everyone was pretty cool.”

And, yes, Feldman is hoping to direct again—and hopefully with less of a break between episodes.

“This episode, at least as far as the creatives at SUPERSTORE are concerned, turned out well,” he says. “So hopefully next season I’ll get a directing slot.”

SUPERSTORE, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC


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