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Doc Maker Got Directing Tips from Jerry Lewis

Seven years after profiling Phyllis Diller in Goodnight, We Love You, Gregg Barson is set to unveil his documentary look at another comedy legend. It was in fact while making that previous project that Barson first met Jerry Lewis.

Probably the biggest difference when it came to making Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, which premieres tomorrow night on Encore, was how involved his latest subject was in the filmmalking aspects of the assignment. Barson tells THR reporter Lesley Goldberg that the king of comedy was extremely “hands on:”

“There were points where I’d be shooting him and he’d say to get a shot from a different location,” Barson recalls. “”I thought, ‘Jerry Lewis is helping me direct and giving me pointers.” During the process, Lewis screened cuts of Method and offered notes on the craft, cutting, timing and pacing.

It’s must-DVR-TV for any Lewis fan and, hopefully, as entertaining as the comedian’s appearance to promote it this past summer. Among those talking about Lewis’ influence in the film are Quentin Tarantino, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Alec Baldwin and Carol Burnett.

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