Community: The Russo Brothers on How Paintballs Led to Captain America

So the last time we checked in on what was going on with Dan Harmon's Joel McHale (Jeff), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), Danny Pudi (Abed), Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley), Alison Brie (Annie), Donald Glover (Troy), Ken Jeong (Ben Chang), and Jim Rash (Craig Pelton)-starring Community, the directing team of Anthony Russo and Joseph Russo (the Russo Brothers) were offering some insight into how directing the pilot gave them some on-set insight into how Harmon works. This time around, we're sticking with the Russo Brothers as Vanity Fair invites them onto "Notes on a Scene" to break down scenes from their past projects. In this case, the duo looks at the paintball battle from S02E24 "For a Few Paintball More" and how moments like those led to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige to offer them Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Image: Screencap

Beginning around the 16-minute mark in the video below, Joe and Anthony discuss how they "obsessed over and watched everything" everything they could, crediting themselves with having "a very diverse range of interests" that they were then able to incorporate into their filmmaking. Their work on "For a Few Paintballs More" (much like Hot Fuzz) didn't hesitate to call out in a comedic way the action movie cliches they were exposed to growing up while still showing a love for the genre. "'Community' was us playing in a sandbox, expressing those influences, making fun of action films while we were embracing them," Joe explained. And it's also evident that the Russo Brothers' comfort with dealing with large ensemble casts also came from their time working on the NBC-to-Netflix series. "If you count up the amount of characters that were recurring or were important to the story in this [episode], I mean it was crazy," Joe shared. "And the scale of the ensemble that we would have to juggle from episode to episode to make sure each character got their moments. I mean, this is really where our pension for handling 'Infinity War' and 'Endgame' began. You can trace the roots directly to this ridiculous shot of 'Community.'"

Last summer, McHale opened up about what the Community experience was like when he checked in with Michael Rosenbaum's (Smallville, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) Inside of You podcast. Specifically, what it was like working with Chase and the incidents with him on set. In the following clip, McHale explains that he believes Chase wasn't a fan of the hours needed to produce each episode that would result in "not great moods" and times when production schedules were shifted to attempt to accommodate. He also discusses Chase's departure under "quite crazy circumstances", that "it could be tough some days; other days, great," and the last time he called his ex-co-star:

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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