“The Layered Absurdity” of Mrs. Maisel’s Wonderful Magic Wheel Scene

Also, the real Wonder Wheel has cars that rock and roll back and forth, but the team decided it would be too difficult to spin with these while listening to the dialogue, so they were cut. from the start of the plan. They decided that each character would be in a stationary white car and would only go around once, although the ride would go around twice in real life. They also played around with the colors of the original wheel a bit, staying true to the show’s signature style. “Mrs Maisel has such a look, and we decided to stick with those pastel colors even though the real Wonder Wheel is a bit more garish with its colors,” says Robson-Foster. “We decided that each cart would be cream colored…So it has a bit of Maisel stardust on it, which was important to do.

To film the scene, they came up with a plan to replicate cars on a stage in front of a green screen so they could then film each actor in the cage and put them together. Robson-Foster spent hours using his model to figure out all the logistics of who would be in front of whom at all times while the wheel was spinning. “After a moment of Lesley explaining, explaining, explaining, ‘It has to go here and it has to go here, then they have to be here and they have to be here’, it’s like, literally, I just need to whiskey,” Sherman-Palladino laughs. “I just needed a drink before I sat down and watched another animatic. It was very technical and very precise.

Precision was key for the cinematographer M David Mullen, who rode the real Wonder Wheel with Robson-Foster as part of his research. “We drove around with my little video camera and I filmed Lesley in the car just to see what the light looked like,” he says. “I kind of knew where the sun tended to rise and set outside, but the light inside the car is pretty flat as it hits you from all sides except overhead. your head.” Mullen wrapped the entire cage in large, soft lights to create the ambient sky effect.

When it was time to shoot the scene, the entire cast came into position so they could shout their off-camera lines to the actor sitting in the actual car. “It was an entire day of these actors yelling at each other,” says Sherman-Palladino, who also directed the episode. “I was so afraid that they would tire or lose their voice. And no, they enjoyed yelling at each other for 12 hours. And it was really fun.

The stage is full of Maiselsignature elegant chaos. For example, Shalhoub’s character is shocked to see his daughter, whom he thought was on tour in Europe. But, in typical Abe fashion, he focuses on discussions about other things, like his wife’s budding career as a matchmaker.

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