Writer/performer/woman-who-makes-us-laugh Julie Klausner loves a lot of things, including tourists, (some) scary movies, and both Jethro Tull and Alice Cooper. She also loves Stop Making Sense, the seminal 1984 Talking Heads concert film, which she and Pauline Kael both believe is “a dose of happiness from beginning to end.” She attended a sold-out screening Friday night at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Sound + Vision Festival, and stuck around for the Q&A with former Talking Heads frontman and cycling enthusiast David Byrne. Here is what she learned.

1. The first night of filming was a wash: The concert, shot over the course of three days at the Hollywood Pantages Theater, was lit, choreographed, staged, costumed, designed and otherwise completely conceived by the Byrne-helmed Talking Heads for the tour behind their Speaking in Tongues album. But once Byrne worked closely with cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth (best known for Blade Runner) to adapt his stage lighting for the camera, and Demme had figured out how to track the action without resorting to any previously-abused live concert film techniques like close-ups of shredding guitar solos, it was time to consider the audience. The first night, Demme lit the crowd, which, Byrne explained, really dampened the energy of the show. As Billy Joel will shout at you, lighting the audience is never a good idea—their enjoyment of the concert is all of a sudden the subject of the film all these cameras were there for. The first night of filming was later used for a couple of wide shots, but otherwise, the rest of the film was cut from footage Demme got on nights two and three.

Later, Demme would almost eliminate shots of the audience from the film except for at the end, in reaction singles. This was a big deal, because it was one of the first concert films, along with Scorcese’s The Last Waltz, that didn’t lean on what Byrne called the “they’re having fun! Why don’t you have fun, too!”-pressure implicit in showing smiling, dancing concert-goers cut into footage of the band playing music.

2. Director Jonathan Demme was super-pissed at Goldie Hawn throughout the production: Demme was recruited to document the Talking Heads’s live show after they saw and liked his film, Melvin and Howard. Demme had just completed an edit of a Goldie Hawn vehicle, Swing Shift, and was in the middle of a heated creative battle with Ms. Hawn, who used her final cut clause to demand the film be re-shot and re-edited. To this day, there are two versions of the film Swing Shift: one Demme approved, and the one we all know and love today. Right? Oops.

Anyway, directing Stop Making Sense while drowning in a Big Budget Movie Kerfuffle was a rewarding artistic experience for the man who would later go on to win the Best Director Oscar for Silence of the Lambs. And Hawn met Kurt Russell on the set of that movie! See? A happy ending for all involved.

3. Digital Audio is a good idea!Stop Making Sense, to this day, sounds absolutely incredible. Some of the songs on its soundtrack are more vital and bear more canny clout than their original recorded versions, and the audio clarity, combined with the film’s narrative technique of bringing each band member out one by one, helps you hear each part—from Tina Weymouth’s bass lines to Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt’s stunning back up vocals—both singularly and in a “bigger than the sum of its parts” kind of way. Byrne said that the sound quality came from their decision to forsake his beloved analog methods (they get muddy after time and repeated play and transfer) for new, digital methods. Good call, guys!

4. David Byrne was really bummed that he missed last month’s Katy Perry show: The questions from the packed room full of Talking Heads fans—and, with all due respect, David Byrne fanatics make They Might Be Giants fans look like The New York Dolls—ran from the technical to the “What is your creative process?” variant. After Byrne talked about the influences he drew upon for the film (downtown theater, Pentecostal Church), one of the attendants asked about Byrne’s inspirations for his recent work, and Katy Perry’s live performance came up. He mentioned he was out of town at the time, but that he would have loved to have caught it. He’ll catch the DVD.

5. Byrne made this video to promote the film back in 1984: Here is a hilariously weird short film that Byrne, wearing his Noh-inspired “big suit” from the film, made, featuring himself being interviewed by a string of silly characters he plays, asking himself questions he figured media outlets would abuse repeatedly once it came time to promote the film. His reasoning was that, if MTV asked for an interview, he could just send this video along instead.