“Keeping Score”: Where the Classics Are Current — and High-Tech Page 4


Right to left: co-producers/directors Joan Saffa and David Kennard, with cameraman Michael Anderson

Keeping the production bar high for Keeping Score, Thomas and SFS Media have relied on a team of top-notch, award-winning video and audio professionals. Leading the team are co-producers/directors Joan Saffa and David Kennard of Bay Area-based InCA Productions, who have to their credit more than 30 documentaries for the likes of HBO, PBS, CNBC, History, Disney Channel, and Turner Broadcasting.

“When you work on a series for nearly 10 years,” reflects Saffa, “much changes technically over the course of the project. When we began these Keeping Score documentaries, we were shooting on DigiBeta tape. A few shows in, we switched over to HD. In all cases, however, we were trying to harness the technology of the day to get an evocative look, in order to transport our viewers to the time and mindset of our featured composer.”

The Maiernigg summer home

The Maiernigg summer home

Another pivotal development was Saffa’s relationship as director with an ever more video-informed Michael Tilson Thomas. “This series is very much a reflection of Michael’s vision of classical music. Over the course of the series, he also got more comfortable and more involved with the filming and editing process. And as one of the world’s leading Mahler interpreters, he was most immersed in the crafting of the Mahler shows.”

(For my complete chat with Saffa, click here.)