Go Behind-the-Scenes: Comments from 'ANNIE' Filmmakers
ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage was produced by Jill Landaker Grunes and Joshua Seftel (Seftel also directed the film). During an online live-chat, both filmmakers provided behind-the-scenes commentary. Enjoy some of the highlights below.
Jill Landaker Grunes: “Believe it or not, Emily is not the youngest actress in the show...Tyrah (Tyrah Skye Odoms, pictured) is the youngest of the original 8.”
Joshua Seftel: “It was fun to watch Susan Hilferty (pictured) create these costumes from her head...lots of paintings and visits to the fabric store to get to the final costumes.”
Jill Landaker Grunes: “Especially interesting because she had never seen ANNIE!”
Joshua Seftel: “She also designed the costumes for WICKED.”
Joshua Seftel: “The writer of ANNIE, Tom Meehan, also wrote the movie 'Spaceballs'…He was originally a comedy writer for The New Yorker.”
Viewer question: “Did you guys have the ‘single number’ focus from the beginning?”
Joshua Seftel: “Yes, that was always the plan...It made it much easier and organized our approach to telling the story.”
Jill Landaker Grunes: “It also limited the number of hours we filmed in rehearsal. We would have still been editing if we filmed the whole process.”
Pictured: The young actors who play the orphans in ANNIE perform "It's the Hard-Knock Life."
Viewer question: “How many times did everyone get interviewed? Was it during rehearsals or at a separate time?”
Joshua Seftel: “We probably interviewed Andy [Blankenbuehler, the choreographer] 10 times.”
Jill Landaker Grunes: “It was a different number of times for each person, both in and out of rehearsal.”
Pictured: Andy Blankenbuehler and the cast of ANNIE.
Viewer question: “Did any of the girls cry or have fits?”
Joshua Seftel: “There were very professional almost all the time.”
Pictured: Emily Rosenfeld, Georgi James, and Andy Blankenbuehler.
More from Go Behind-the-Scenes: Comments from ‘ANNIE’ Filmmakers
It’s been 35 years since the little orphan Annie first stepped onto a Broadway stage. For Annie’s return to Broadway, this documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look, from the earliest phases of discussion among the creative team, rehearsals with actors, to opening night on Broadway.