Anthony and Joe Russo shared a 2004 Emmy for co-directing the pilot of “Arrested Development” but could be pitted against each other this year for helming episodes of “Community.” They admit to Gold Derby “this is a high class problem to have.” For their Emmy submissions, Anthony has chosen “Basic Rocket Science” — the second of the four episodes he directed this season — while Joe has opted for “A Fistful of Paintballs,” the last of his eight episodes.
“Community” stars Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong, and Danny Pudi as a ragtag group of students in the same study group. The show shifts styles and formats from one episode to the next. Joe allows, “It’s by far and away the hardest job we’ve ever had. Anything we can think of, we try to execute. Whether it be a zombie episode, or a spoof of space movies, or spoofing Westerns, or ‘Star Wars.’ It’s a phenomenal challenge, and we love it.” Anthony adds, “With television, you don’t have a lot of time, and you don’t have a lot of money. For our crew to be able to dig the looks out of these episodes week after week is a lot of hard work and a lot of love that goes into the show.”
With regards to their Emmy selections, Anthony compares “Basic Rocket Science” to “Apollo 13,” “The Right Stuff,” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” and sees it as the show’s “love letter to space movies … with more scope, camera movements, and an elaborate style not usually accomplished in a television comedy.” And Joe thinks of “A Fistful of Paintballs” as a tribute to Sergio Leone movies “with an extreme…post-modern Western look” that was filmed in a short period of time by small cameras located throughout the set.