Donald Glover is making his directorial debut on Atlanta with tonight’s episode “Value.” Prior to that Hiro Murai took care of the first five episodes, and will be handling episodes eight and 10 (Glover will also be directing the episode that follows “Value,” which is titled “B.A.N.”).
In a new interview with MTV Murai discussed how he and Glover first started working together, and how their working relationship ultimately led to them teaming up for Atlanta.
If you’re not familiar Murai has become a go to for music videos. Glover, Earl Sweatshirt, Flying Lotus, St. Vincent — his resume is extensive. This is why his move into directing a TV series is so interesting, but it’s obviously worked so far.
“I’m not trying to diminish what TV directors do, but when Donald and I started talking about the show, we were both so interested in tone and atmosphere, which is stuff you don’t necessarily see on the page when you read the script,” Murai said. “…That’s why I ended up doing so many episodes and Donald ended up doing two of them.”
The interview then goes into the show’s infamous “Nobody Beats The Biebs” episode, that features a black Justin Bieber. Initially, Murai didn’t get the idea.
“When they first told me the [black Justin Bieber] idea, I had no idea how much the show would oscillate between the two.” Murai said. “I would say, ‘How does that fit into our world?’ But as I saw the other scripts fill in the gaps, I realized that the show, because it’s a half-hour comedy, because it’s a little more fluid than an hour-long drama, it has the capacity to be both.”
But one of the more surprising aspects of the interview might very well be learning one of Atlanta‘s main influences — Adventure Time. That’s right, the popular Cartoon Network series.
Read the rest of the interview here.