When it came to mounting Disney+/Marvel’s WandaVision which thrusts Avengers protags Wanda Maximoff and Vision into various sitcoms from Bewitched to Malcolm in the Middle, director Matt Shakman and production designer Mark Worthington took the advice of comedy legend Dick Van Dyke and ran parts of the production “like a play.”
Shakman tells us today that by running the production of the episodes in a linear fashion “was crucial to the success on Dick Van Dyke” and thus was key for achieving authenticity on WandaVision which even lights star Elisabeth Olsen just like Elizabeth Montgomery on Bewitched. A vet of the Geffen Playhouse, Shakman tapped into his theatrical sensibility having the actors rehearse as a group, which isn’t typical on some TV series nowadays given the production time crunch. Taping in front of a live studio audience, who sat in wooden chairs, just like a crowd would in the 1960s, was all part of the m.o. for creating a realistic atmosphere as possible for an out-of-this-world type of Marvel show which deals with a woman’s grief and her sense of dimension.
Below is our Crew Call conversation with Shakman and Worthington: