Adam Bernstein Q&A: ‘Fargo’ director
When director Adam Bernstein joined the "Fargo" production team, he had the luxury of many months to prepare. Alongside showrunner Noah Hawley, they crafted the look, mood, and feel based on the wintery Canadian location of Calgary. They also took cues from the Joel and Ethan Coen source material from the 1996 film and their other movie "No Country for Old Men."
In our recent webcam chat (watch below), he reveals, "When you're doing a pilot, there's a much larger piece of the pie that you're involved with. You're involved in setting up the main characters and the recurring characters. You're deciding what this environment is going to look like, what the color palettes are going to be, how you're going to light it, what the camera style is going to be. There's a lot of design work involved and a lot of prep work, but it's very rewarding."
Bernstein is nominated at the Emmys for helming "The Crocodile's Dilemma," the first episode of the FX miniseries. He also went on to to direct the second hour, called "The Rooster Prince." Other directors of the 10-hour project followed his lead on the vision for the program.
In the Best Movie/Miniseries Director category, he is up against Colin Bucksey ("Fargo"), Stephen Frears ("Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight"), Alfonso Gomez-Rejon ("American Horror Story: Coven"), Nick Hurran ("Sherlock: His Last Vow"), and Ryan Murphy ("The Normal Heart"). According to our Gold Derby odds, Bernstein is currently in second place just behind Murphy for the win.
Bernstein already has one Emmy on his shelf as one of the producers of "30 Rock" when it won as Best Comedy Series in 2007. He directed the pilot for that classic Tina Fey laffer plus five other episodes.
Recalling the beginnings of that show, he says, "When we were prepping that, Tina not only wrote the pilot but she was obviously also acting in the whole thing, so she had a pretty good burden. For me, it was a really fun collaboration helping to realize it. In order to make things seem slightly more real, I wanted to shoot it almost like it was a cop show."