Genius isn't your typical Albert Einstein biopic. It starts with a brutal assassination and immediately jumps to the renowned physicist in flagrante with one of his assistants. The series is director Ron Howard's second offering for National Geographic, following Mars. And notably, Genius is the first of Howard's scripted TV shows that he's directing, after serving as a producer for countless series like Parenthood, Arrested Development (where he played the iconic narrator) and Felicity.
During SXSW this week, I sat down with Howard to chat about Genius, which premieres on National Geographic on April 25th; the role of technology in his filmmaking; and his thoughts on VR. He moved to digital filmmaking with Rush in 2013, and not surprisingly, it's making it even easier for him to get through shoots these days. And while he's intrigued by the potential of virtual reality, he doesn't see it as an entirely new medium for artists.