VEEP Scene Re-Creation – “Selena vs. Gary”

One of my favorite scenes we’ve done starring one of the greatest up-and-coming actresses and one of my great friends Shalini Bathina (Long Slow Exhale, Little Voice). We normally have a couple rehearsals before we shoot but Shalini is an incredibly busy and in-demand actress so we had to work around her schedule but also I had a hectic schedule during this time as well. Adding to that, it was just really difficult for us to find a good scene to work on together. Initially we had played around with a scene from ‘You’ve Got Mail’ but it was hard to really feel anything when we rehearsed (might be because we did it on Zoom but we’ll never know now!). But we put that away and kinda didn’t have anything for a while. Then I re-watched VEEP for the third time and started kicking myself. I realized how hilarious that show is but also more importantly that this would be a PERFECT show to do with Shalini because Shalini IS Selina Meyer. And wouldn’t you know it from the very first read-through of the script Shalini knew exactly what she was doing and turned in this performance that you see above.

Another thing we did in this scene versus ones prior was include a lot of hand-held camera movement. Credit goes to our DP Quinn Hester and our B-Cam operator Mauricio Zambrano. It was difficult in the edit to match both movements because we had two different cameras and two very different backdrops for each angle. For this shot we thought that since Shalini as Selina was the main character, we’d shoot her with the nicer camera and more interesting backdrop.

If you’re a fan of this scene, check out the others in our series and subscribe to my social media channels for more!

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