Go Behind-the-Scenes: Comments from 'Mel Brooks: Make a Noise' Filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg
American Masters’ Mel Brooks: Make a Noise was written, directed, produced and edited by Robert Trachtenberg. During an online live-chat, the filmmaker provided behind-the-scenes commentary. Enjoy some of the highlights below.
Viewer question: “Since Mel Brooks seems to be such a private person, how did you convince him to go along with this documentary?”
“I didn't! Susan Lacy, executive producer of the series, had secured him before I came on board.”
Pictured: Susan Lacy, Mel Brooks and filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg at the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, CA. Photo credit: Rahoul Ghose/PBS.
“How many days did you have Mel for these sit-downs?”
“I shot Mel once a day for four months - so about 30 hours.”
Pictured: Mel Brooks and filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg during the filming of American Masters 'Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.'
“All those pictures of Carl and Mel were from a photo session I did with them years ago.”
Pictured: Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. Photo Credit: Robert Trachtenberg.
“Do you have a favorite of Mel's go-to actors, such as as Madeline [Kahn], Gene [Wilder], etc.?”
“Cloris [Leachman].” (pictured)
“Please note that almost all the background music you hear [in the American Masters film] was written by Mel Brooks...I adapted his songs from THE PRODUCERS and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (Broadway) for this film.”