Barry Sonnenfeld: “I always want to use the camera as a storytelling device, as a character”

Barry Sonnenfeld (b. 1951) has had an incredible career in films so far. The gifted director of cinematography began working in the film industry in the 1980s with, among others, three films directed by the Coen Brothers—“Blood Simple” (1984), “Raising Arizona” (1987) and “Miller’s Crossing” (1990)—and two Rob Reiner films, “When Harry Met Sally…” (1989) and “Misery” (1990).

In the early 1990s, he turned to directing and producing when producer Scott Rubin suggested him to direct “The Addams Family” (1991), based on characters created in 1938 by cartoonist Charles Addams, and after Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam had passed on the project. The film featured an all-star cast that included Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston, the late Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd, and became a surprise hit, grossing $113 million in the U.S. and $191 million worldwide off a $30 million budget.

Mr. Sonnenfeld’s first feature films as a film director: “Addams Family” (1991), “The Addams Family Values” (1993), and the romantic comedy “For Love or Money” (1993)

By now, Mr. Sonnenfeld may be best remembered for directing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in “Men in Black” (1997), “Men in Black 2” (2002) and “Men in Black 3” (2012), a trilogy with a cumulative gross of $622 million in the U.S. and $1,658 million worldwide. Other well-known films of his include “Wild, Wild West” (1999) and “RV” (2006) with Robin Williams. But his delightful and charming ensemble pieces such as “Get Shorty” (1995) starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, or “Big Trouble” (2002) with Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci and Sofía Vergara, are simply outstanding and, especially the latter, highly underrated.

He published his autobiography, “Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker” (Hachette Books) in 2020, which, as the dust jacket of the book describes, ‘follows Sonnenfeld from childhood as a French horn player through graduate film school at NYU, where he developed his talent for cinematography. His first job after graduating was shooting nine feature length pornos in nine days. From that humble entrée, he went on to form a friendship with the Coen Brothers, launching his career shooting their first three films.’

While “Disenchanted,” his latest project as producer, starring Amy Adams, is currently in post-production, Mr. Sonnenfeld was a guest of honor at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) about a week ago where I sat down with him to talk about his work and his craft as a cinematographer and a filmmaker. This interview was conducted at Brussel’s Palais 10 where the BIFFF was located; the historical building, only a stone’s throw away from the Atomium, was originally constructed for the 1935 World’s Fair and re-used during the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, a.k.a. Expo 58, which was held on the same site.

Mr. Sonnenfeld, before you became a film director, you were a very successful cinematographer. How did you become a DOP?

I thought I wanted to be a still photographer. I had a Leica M2 with a 35mm lens and I wanted to be a street photographer like Gary Winogrand, Elliott Erwitt or Lee Freedlander, but I realized it was too lonely a profession. I wanted to do something where I was in a more social situation. So I went to graduate film school at NYU with really no interest in film at all, but I discovered that I had the ability to be a cameraman. I have always been a very wide angle guy; my favorite lens is a 21mm lens which is very wide angle, and if you look at the movies I shot for the Coen Brothers, Danny DeVito and Rob Reiner, and then the movies I directed, I would say I use the 21mm lens more than half the time in all the shots I’ve ever done. And why did I do that? I’m very social and the wide angle lens brings the audience close to the actors; for me, to use a close-up with a 21mm, I would have to be two feet away from you, and I think the audience senses where the camera is. They sense they are in the scene with the actors, compared to, let’s say, Michael Mann or the Scott Brothers [Ridley Scott, Tony Scott] that use long, telephoto lenses. Telephoto lenses are very beautiful, but they remove you from the action. It becomes much more of a reportage, and it’s not an emotional lens. So for me, the 21mm lens has several advantages. One is, it makes the audience feel it’s really with the actors, but also, there is a tremendous energy. I don’t have the looks to be an actor and I have no acting ability, but I wanted to have the audience know that Barry did this, and the 21mm lens has so much energy. I can be five feet away from you and see your whole body, and then with just this little movement, I’m in a close-up. That energy makes the audience conscious of the camera. I always want to use the camera not as a recording device, but as a storytelling device, and to be a character in the movie. So if you look at the work that I’ve done with the Coens, the camera is incredibly self-conscious. There’s a shot in “Blood Simple” [1984] where we track down the bar and there’s a drunk person in the way so the camera tracks over the drunk person and continues. Even though no one speaks, that got a huge laugh because the camera was funny. So for me, I found a way for my personality to be in my movies. In fact, when I was shooting the first “Men in Black” [1997], at some point, I turned to Will Smith near the end of shooting, and I said, ‘You know, Will, someday you’ll be at the premiere, you’ll be sitting in the audience and you’ll hear people laughing. They’re laughing at me, not you.’ And Will said, ‘I know, I know that’s true.’

“Men in Black” (1997, trailer)

How do you explain that you are one of the very few cinematographers to become a successful director?

Jan de Bont was one, but there are very few. There have been amazing cinematographers, like Gordon Willis, who is my favorite cameraman ever; he directed one movie, “Windows” [1980]. William A. Fraker, another brilliant cameraman, directed a couple of movies, including “The Legend of Lone Ranger” [1981]. John A. Alonzo, who shot “Chinatown” [1974] and “Farewell, My Lovely” [1976]—beautiful movies—directed one movie called “FM” [1978]. Before I directed “The Addams Family” [1991], which was my first movie as a director, I wanted to learn why those guys did not succeed as directors. And I realized in every case that they moved their camera operator up to cinematographer, which meant they didn’t really want to give up being a cameraman, so that way they could still boss around the cameraman. I then knew that for me, to be successful as a director, I had to remove myself from worrying about the camera. So I hired the best cameramen I could and I wouldn’t say, ‘Move the camera over there,’ or something like that. I hired Owen Roizman who had shot amazing movies like “The French Connection” [1971, directed by William Friedkin], so he would be much better than I was and I couldn’t tell him what to do. That helped me to really decide, ‘I am a director. I’m no longer a cameraman.’

“Bringing Up Baby” (1938, trailer)

You have worked with a huge variety of actors like Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo, Raul Julia, Gene Hackman, Sofía Vergara—the list is almost endless. How do you interact with all of those people and their different acting styles?

The secret is just two words. If you can say these two words, you can be a successful director. And these two words are, ‘Talk faster.’ No one ever talks fast enough. And if you don’t create pace on the set and try to create pace in the cutting room later, it forces you into too many cuts to tighten things up. And cutting is often the enemy of comedy. My favorite comedies are Preston Sturges comedies and Howard Hawks comedies. If you look at “Sullivan’s Travels” [1941] and “Palm Beach Story” [1942, both directed by Preston Sturges], or “Bringing Up Baby” [1938] and “His Girl Friday” [1940, both by Howard Hawks], those actors are talking so fast that they are almost not listening to each other, and the other thing that happens is that you can stay in shots longer, you can stay in master shots. Because that is where comedy comes in; you get to see action and reaction in the same shot. You see Cary Grant wearing a bathrobe while Katharine Hepburn is calling him Mister Bones, but that is not his name. It’s hilarious because it plays out in a two-shot. You see both Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in that same shot with him reacting, trying to get a word in while she’s blabbering on. Also, for me as a comedy director, you don’t want anyone like some of the actors you mentioned—Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo, Raul Julia—working on your comedy, whether it’s the actors, composer, costume designer, cinematographer, to know they’re working on a comedy. You want everyone to play the reality of the scene. If the scene is absurd or silly, or the words are funny, it will be funny. But don’t ever acknowledge that it’s funny. When we did the first “Men in Black,” Tommy Lee Jones had never been in a comedy before. In the first scene we shot with him, Tommy is talking to an alien named Mikey [played by John Alexander] who has flippers and is speaking in an alien language. Tommy’s line—first day of shooting—is, ‘That’s enough, Mikey. Put up your hands and all your flippers.’ That is funny, as long as you don’t acknowledge it is funny. So there I am, with Tommy Lee Jones, very very intimidating. First take, Tommy goes, ‘That’s enough, Mikey. Put up your hands and [with a high voice] all your flippers.’ Cut. ‘Tommy, it will be funnier if you don’t acknowledge it’s funny. This is a government issue for your character, you do this every day. All these aliens have flippers and this and that.’ And for twenty-one weeks, Tommy hated me. His agent would call me and say, ‘You only want Will Smith to be funny, you don’t want Tommy Lee Jones to be funny.’ And I said, ‘You know what? Tommy will see this movie and realize that he is funnier than Will because every comedy needs a straight man and a funny man. You need George Burns and Gracie Allen. You need Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin.’ You don’t want two funny guys in your movie because you need the straight man. And so, for twenty-one weeks, Tommy just hated me. And every time I said, ‘Tommy, don’t be funny.’ Then he saw the movie at the premiere and we had all of these press junkets. Everybody asked Tommy, ‘How did you learn to be so funny?’ And Tommy said, ‘The secret to being funny is to stand next to Will Smith and do whatever Barry Sonnenfeld tells you to do.’ So it all worked out. That’s really my secret: never let anyone acknowledge they’re in a comedy and make the actors talk faster. I watch movies and TV shows, and my wife always has to sit on my right side and hold my arm down because otherwise, I’d be waving to the screen to make them talk faster [laughs]. So I can’t stand slow movies. I just don’t get it, especially comedies.

“Men in Black” (1997), “Men in Black 2” (2002) and “Men in Black 3” (2012)

With all the success you had so far, are you powerful enough so you don’t have to compromize when you are negotiating with studio executives?

No. I always have to compromize because I have no power. Studio executives like to work with young first-time directors; they really think they know better and they want to be able to push people around. So you have to ignore them and pretend that you’re listening to them. Mel Brooks once said, ‘The secret is to say yes and ignore them.’ And they don’t follow through, they don’t watch dailies and realize you didn’t do the thing they told you to do. In “Addams Family Values” [1993], near the end of the movie, there is a scene with Pubert Addams who is their new baby, and while Joan Cusack’s character has kidnapped all of them and has them up in the attic and threatens to kill them, we intercut with Pubert on an adventure where he escapes and he goes down a flight of stairs and gets popped in the air and goes into space—anyway, it’s hilarious. Paramount wouldn’t give me the money to shoot this whole Pubert sequence. They said, ‘We don’t need this,’ but I thought this would be very funny, it would be full of action and physical comedy. So all I said was, ‘Okay.’ And I shot it anyway, it was just five days of shooting. They could have literally looked at any of those dailies and say, ‘Barry, what are you doing? We said you couldn’t shoot that?’ But they don’t look at dailies, and they don’t remember what they said or didn’t say. And then they saw the movie and they loved it.

“Addams Family Values” (1993, trailer)

Does that happen a lot?

Let me give you another example. I started “The Addams Family” at Orion, but Orion went bankrupt and was sold to Paramount. The person that bought Orion got fired and then Stanley Jaffe became the new head of Paramount. He saw the ten weeks of dailies and said, ‘This footage is uncuttable and unreleasable.’ So by then, all the Paramount executives were a nervous wreck because there were still about six weeks of shooting. They were calling up Dede Allen, the famous editor who was cutting “The Addams Family,” saying, ‘Does Barry know what he’s doing?’ This film was my directorial debut. Dede said, ‘It’s gonna cut together great.’ Anyway, the filming gets done and the head of the studio takes me to lunch and says, ‘Look, I know contractually you have ten weeks to make your directors’ cut before we ever can see it, but we’re your friends, we want to help, so don’t wait for ten weeks. Show us the movie right now.’ I said, ‘I’m not going to do that, and you’re not my friend. The film is not ready to show it to you and you wouldn’t know how to look at it. When my contract is up, you’ll see it.’ And then the president of the studio said, ‘If you won’t show it to me, will you at least tell me what it’s like?’ And I told him, ‘I really shouldn’t do this, but I’m going to tell you. “The Addams Family” is like a much sadder version of “Sophie’s Choice”,’ and I left. Obviously, you can’t look at dailies of “The Addams Family” and think it’s a sadder version of “Sophie’s Choice”—I was kidding! So I got back to my office, producer Scott Rubin called me and said, ‘Did you just tell Gary Lucchesi [then-Paramount head of production] that “The Addams Family” is a sadder version of “Sophie’s Choice”?’ I said, ‘No!’ He said, ‘What did you tell him?’ I said, ‘I told him it’s a much sadder version of “Sophie’s Choice”.’ So Scott said, “Call him back and tell him it’s funny.’ So I called him back and said, ‘You know that I told you that it was a sadder version?’ ‘Yeeaaaah.’ ‘Well, I was just joking.’ ‘So what’s it really like?’ ‘It’s really funny.’ ‘That’s fantastic!!’ That’s what you’re dealing with with studio executives. But they think they know. The single best experience that I ever had in my life, for three years I was the showrunner—which means you’re both the producer and director—of a series for Netflix called “A Series of Unfortunate Events” [2017-2019], based on these thirteen books, and Netflix’s philosophy was to hire the right director and then trust him. Take your time, find the right guy, but when you find him, you trust him because he knows more than you do. And for three years Netflix was fantastic! I would show them my first edit, they would give me notes and then I’d say, ‘Do you want me to do all these notes or just the ones I know that will work? How do you want me to work?’ And they said, ‘It’s your show. These are our suggestions, do whatever you want.’ That is so rare in the film and television business, and it’s too bad because I would never tell a doctor what scalpel to use, and I wouldn’t tell a dentist where he should drill, but everybody thinks they know how to make movies. That’s unfortunate; I think most films aren’t very good anymore. I miss old-fashioned movies. I sound like a really old bitter guy, but I’m not.

“Get Shorty” (1995, trailer), another highly rated box office hit for Mr. Sonnenfeld

Casting-wise, are you usually able to cast the actors that you have in mind?

It’s often difficult. In the case of “The Addams Family,” producer Scott Rubin and I both wanted Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston. We thought they were the right types of actors for those roles. Anjelica looks very stately, and Raul has this love of life that his character Gomez had. Orion wanted Cher and some other famous guy, but we were able to convince Orion, which was a very pro-director studio, unlike most. They trusted us because we convinced them that the lead in that movie was the concept of the Addams family, that they didn’t need a star, and that the intellectual property of the Addams family was good enough. In the case of “Men in Black,” Steven Spielberg, who produced it, really wanted a guy named Chris O’Donnell for the role that Will Smith played, and also Clint Eastwood. I wanted Tommy Lee Jones, and my wife, who I trust tremendously, suggested Will Smith. So Spielberg said, ‘I really want Chris O’Donnell. Take him to dinner and convince him to do it.’ So I took Chris O’Donnell to dinner in L.A.—I was there for some reason, I don’t live there—and Chris said, ‘I’m really worried about the script. I also got this other movie. What do you think?’ I said, ‘You should take the other movie. I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t think I’m a good director, I think the script is awful and if you got a better movie, take it.’ So Chris took the other, turned down “Men in Black” and then I got Will Smith to meet Spielberg. You can’t meet Will Smith and not be charmed by him. So there was a little bit of magic there to get Will. But casting is very difficult and movies have become so expensive, not only to make but also to market, that there are two ways that movies get made now. Either in intellectual property, like a Marvel comic or something like that, or with a few superstar actors. But if you want to make a movie now without a big-name actor that isn’t part of the Marvel universe, you go to streaming television like Netflix or Apple. You don’t go to Sony or Warner Brothers, they’re not in that business anymore of making small, interesting movies. It costs $40 million dollars just to release a movie, so they don’t want to make a movie for $10 million that will cost four times that much just in TV ads to get it on the air.

Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival,
September 8, 2022

FILMS

BLOOD SIMPLE (1984) DIR – SCR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen PROD Ethan Coen CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Roderick Jaynes [Ethan Coen, Joel Coen], Don Wigemann MUS Carter Burwell CAST John Getz, Frances MacDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh, Samm-Art Williams, Deborah Neumann, Holly Hunter, Barry Sonnenfeld (Marty’s Vomiting [voice only, uncredited])

COMPROMISING POSITIONS (1985) DIR – PROD Frank Perry SCR Susan Isaacs (also novel “Compromising Positions” [1978]) CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Peter C. Frank MUS Brad Fiedel CAST Susan Sarandon, Raúl Juliá, Edward Herrmann, Judith Ivey, Mary Beth Hurt, Joe Mantegna, Anne De Salvo, Josh Mostel, Deborah Rush, Joan Allen

RAISING ARIZONA (1987) DIR Joel Coen PROD Ethan Coen SCR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Michael R. Miller MUS Cater Burwell CAST Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, M. Emmet Walsh

THREE O’CLOCK HIGH (1987) DIR Phil Janou PROD David E. Vogel SCR Richard Christian Matheson, Tom Szollosi CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Joe Ann Fogle MUS Tangerine Dream CAST Casey Siemaszko, Anne Ryan, Richard Tyson, Jeffrey Tambor, Phillip Baker Hall, Stacey Glick, Jonathan Wise, John P. Ryan, Paul Feig

THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN (1987) DIR Danny DeVito PROD Larry Brezner SCR Stu Silver CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Michael Jablow MUS David Newman CAST Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, Kim Greist, Anne Ramsey, Kate Mulgrew, Branford Marsalis, Rob Reiner, Bruce Kirby, Joey DePinto, Oprah Winfrey, Stu Silver

BIG (1988) DIR Penny Marshall PROD James L. Brooks, Robert Greenhut SCR Gary Ross, Anne Spielberg CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Barry Malkin MUS Howard Shore CAST Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Jon Lovitz, Mercedes Ruehl, Josh Clark

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… (1989) DIR Rob Reiner PROD Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman SCR Nora Ephron CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Robert Leighton CAST Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby, Steven Ford, Lisa Jane Persky, Michelle Nicastro, Gretchen Palmer, Tracy Reiner, Estelle Reiner

MILLER’S CROSSING (1990) DIR Joel Coen PROD Ethan Coen SCR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (novels by Dashiell Hammett) CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Michael R. Miller MUS Carter Burwell CAST Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman, Albert Finney, Mike Starr, Al Mancini, Steve Buscemi, Danny Aiello III, Frances McDormand

MYSERY (1990) DIR Rob Reiner SECOND UNIT DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman SCR William Goldman (novel “Mysery” [1987] by Stephen King) CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Robert Leighton MUS Marc Shaiman CAST James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall, Graham Jarvis, Jerry Potter, Thomas Brunelle, Rob Reiner

BARTON FINK (1991) DIR Joel Coen PROD Ethan Coen SCR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen CAM Roger Deakins ED Roderick Jaynes [Ethan Coen, Joel Coen] MUS Carter Burwell CAST John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, Tony Shalhoub, Jon Polito, Steve Buscemi, David Warrilow, Frances McDormand, Barry Sonnenfeld (Page Calling for Barton Fink [uncredited])

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1991) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Scott Rubin SCR Caroline Thompson, Larry Wilson (characters created by Charles Addams) CAM Owen Roizman ED Dede Allen, Jim Miller MUS Marc Shaiman CAST Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya, Elizabeth Wilson, Judith Malina, Carel Struycken, Christina Ricci, Zelda Rubinstein, Barry Sonnenfeld (Passenger on Gomez’s train [uncredited])

ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES (1993) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Scott Rubin SCR Paul Rudnick (characters created by Charles Addams) CAM Donald Peterman ED Jim Miller, Arthur Schmidt MUS Marc Shaiman CAST Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Joan Cusack, Christina Ricci, Carol Kane, Jimmy Workman, Barry Sonnenfeld (Mr. Glicker), Peter Graves

FOR LOVE OR MONEY (1993) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Brian Grazer SCR Mark Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner CAM Oliver Wood ED Jim Miller MUS Bruce Broughton CAST Michael J. Fox, Gabrielle Anwar, Anthony Higgins, Michael Tucker, Bob Balaban, Isaac Mizrahi, Patrick Breen, Udo Kier, Simon Jones, Dan Hedaya

GET SHORTY (1995) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher EXEC PROD Barry Sonnenfeld SCR Scott Frank (novel “Get Shorty” [1990] by Elmore Leonard) CAM Donald Peterman ED Jim Miller MUS John Lurie CAST John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito, Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini, Jon Gries, Renee Props, David Paymer, Barry Sonnenfeld (Doorman), Harvey Keitel, David Letterman, Penny Marshall, Bette Midler

MEN IN BLACK (1997) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes SCR Ed Solomon (also screen story; six comic books “The Men in Black” [1990-1991] by Lowell Cunningham) CAM Donald Peterman ED Jim Miller MUS Danny Elfman CAST Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Lowell Cunningham, Danny DeVito, Karen Lynn Gorney, George Lucas, Barry Sonnenfeld (Alien on TV Monitor), Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone, Dionne Warwick

OUT OF SIGHT (1998) DIR Steven Soderbergh PROD Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg EXEC PROD Barry Sonnenfeld SCR Scott Frank (novel “Out of Sight” [1996] by Elmore Leonard) CAM Elliot Davis ED Anne V. Coates MUS David Holmes CAST George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Catherine Keener, Steve Zahn, Dennis Farina, Luis Gurmán, Viola Davis, Samuel L. Jackson

WILD WILD WEST (1999) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, Jon Peters SCR Peter S. Seaman, S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price (story by Jim Thomas, John Thomas) CAM Michael Ballhaus ED Jim Miller MUS Elmer Bernstein CAST Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, M. Emmet Walsh, Ted Levine, Frederique Van Der Wal, Musetta Vander, Sofia Eng, Bai Ling, Garcelle Beauvais

THE CREW (20) DIR Michael Dinner PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, Barry Josephson SCR Barry Fanaro CAM Juan Ruiz Anchía ED Nicholas C. Smith MUS Steve Bartek CAST Burt Reynolds, Seymour Cassel, Richard Dreyfuss, Dan Hedaya, Jennifer Tilly, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lainie Kazan, Miguel Sandoval, Jeremy Piven

BIG TROUBLE (2002) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, Barry Josephson, Tom Jacobson SCR Matthew Stone, Robert Ramsey (novel “Big Trouble” [1999] by Dave Barry) CAM Greg Gardiner ED Steven Weisberg MUS James Newton Howard CAST Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Stanley Tucci, Zooey Deschanel, Sofía Vergara, Tom Sizemore, David Koepp, Barry Sonnenfeld (Confused Radio Call In [voice only]), Dave Barry

MEN IN BLACK II (2002) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes SCR Robert Gordon, Barry Fanaro (story by Robert Gordon; comic book “Malibu Comics” [1991] by Lowell Cunningham) CAM Greg Gardiner ED Richard Pearson, Steven Weisberg MUS Danny Elfman CAST Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Lara Flynn, Johnny Knoxville, Rosario Dawson, Tony Shalhoub, Rip Torn, Patrick Warburton, Jack Kehler, Peter Graves, Barry Sonnenfeld (Neuralyzed Father)

THE LADYKILLERS (2004) DIR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Barry Josephson, Tom Jacobson SCR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (story and screenplay THE LADYKILLERS [1955] by William Rose) CAM Roger Deakins ED Roderick Jaynes (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) MUS Carter Burwell CAST Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst, Diane Delano, George Wallace

RV (2006) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher SCR Geoff Rodkey CAM Fred Murphy ED Kevin Tent MUS James Newton Howard CAST Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Joanna Jojo Levesque, Josh Hutcherson, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth, Hunter Parrish, Chloe Sonnenfeld, Alex Ferris

ENCHANTED (2007) DIR Kevin Lima PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, Barry Josephson SCR Bill Kelly CAM Don Burgess ED Stephen A. Rotter, Gregory Perler MUS Alan Menken CAST Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel, Rachel Covey, Susan Sarandon, Julie Andrews (voice only)

SPACE CHIMPS (2008, animated) DIR Kirk DeMicco PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, John H. Williams SCR Kirk DeMicco, Robert Moreland (story by Kirk DeMicco) CAM Jericca Berman ED Debbie Berman MUS Chris Bacon CAST (voice only) Jeff Daniels, Cheryl Hines, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton, Kristin Chenoweth, Kenan Thompson

MEN IN BLACK 3 (2012) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes SCR Etan Cohen (comic by Lowell Cunningham) CAM Bill Pope ED Don Zimmerman MUS Danny Elfman CAST Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Emma Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mike Colter, Nicole Scherzinger, Michael Chernus, Barry Sonnenfeld (Husband Watching Launch), Tim Burton, Rip Torn

NINE LIVES (2016) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Lisa Ellzey SCR Gwyn Lurie, Matt Allen, Dan Antoniazzi, Caleb Wilson, Ben Schiffrin CAM Karl Walter Lindenlaub ED Don Zimmerman, David Zimmerman MUS Sacha Galperine, Evgueni Galperine CAST Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Walken, Robbie Amell, Cheryl Hines, Mark Consuelos, Malina Weissman, Talitha Eliana Bateman, Barry Sonnenfeld (Additional Cat Voice [voice only])

TV FILMS

WELCOME HOME, BOBBY (1986) DIR Herbert Wise PROD Cyma Rubin, Thomas De Wolfe SCR Conrad Bromberg CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Robert M. Reitano MUS David McHugh CAST Timothy Williams, Tony Lo Bianco, Adam Baldwin, Nan Woods, Stephen James, John Karlen, Gisela Caldwell

CLASSIFIED LOVE (1986) DIR – PROD Don Taylor SCR Diane English (book by Sherri Foxman) CAM Barry Sonnenfeld ED Tom Stevens MUS Artie Butler CAST Matt Craven, Dinah Manoff, Franc Luz, Michael McKean, Ronald Guttman, Stephanie Faracy

PARTNERS (1999) DIR Brett Ratner PROD Paul Kurta, Paul Marks EXEC PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, Brett Ratner, Nat Bernstein, Barry Josephson CAM Dean Cundey CAST Philip Baker Hall, Daniel Stern, Jeremy Piven, Khandi Alexander, R. Nelson Brown, Lady Chablis, Gigi Rice

PLAY OR BE PLAYED (2008) DIR – EXEC PROD Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Dana J. Kuznetzkoff, Graham Place TELEPLAY Lukas Reiter CAM David S. Tuttman ED Jonathan Posell CAST Elizabeth Bogush, Marcus Chait, Christina Chang, Frankie Faison, Kurtwood Smith, Joshua Bachove

HACKETT (2008) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Mychelle Deschamps SCR Denise Moss CAM Greg Gardiner ED Steven Rasch MUS Charles Sydnor CAST Donal Logue, Rachel Boston, Carmen Gloria Pérez, Kayla Laws, Brandon Haas, Ashley Fink

THE BRIDGET SHOW (2009) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld SCR Alex Herschlag CAM Michael Weaver ED Michael Karlich CAST Lauren Graham, Lucy Davis, Holly Robinson Peete, Deenie Castleberry, Rao Rampilla, Hash Patel, Randy Ross, Kevin Lapsley

BEVERLY HILLS COP (2013) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld SCR Shawn Ryan CAM Karl Walter Lindenlaub ED Amy M. Fleming MUS Robert Duncan CAST Eddie Murphy, Brandon T. Jackson, Kevin Pollack, Judge Reinhold, Chasty Ballesteros, B.J. Britt, Kenzie Dalton, David Denman,

DEAD BOSS (2014) DIR Barry Sonnenfeld PROD Dan Kaplow SCR Patricia Breen, Sharon Horgan CAM Karl Walter Lindenlaub MUS Jim Dooley CAST David Cross, Amy Sedaris, Jane Krakowski, Justine Lupe, Rachel Dratch, Jeff Hiller, Cedric Yarbrough, Annie Chang

DISENCHANTED (2022) DIR Adam Shankman PROD Barry Sonnenfeld, Amy Adams, Barry Josephson TELEPLAY Brigitte Hales (story by Richard LaGravenese, J. David Stem, David N. Weiss; characters created by Bill Kelly) CAM Simon Duggan MUS Alan Menken CAST Amy Adams, James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey, Gabriella Baldacchino, Jayma Mays, Maya Rudolph, Oscar Nuñez, Idina Menzel