He did, yes. Joss and some of his "regulars" (writers and cast both) have been doing Shakespeare readings at his house for over a decade prior to deciding to film this adaptation.
Yeah, I do that all the time as well! er, no, shit I'm happy if I can get people to watch a movie or football game...
That looks like a porn parody of itself. The cinematography in stuff that Whedon's directed has never been particularly good, but that is just comical. It's like the camera work was done by a sophomore from Hofstra.
Oh, Jesus, the DP is the guy who shoots Kitchen Nightmares and other reality television shows. This explains everything
If I had just seen that trailer with no context as-is with Acker and Denisof in Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing I think I would've thought it was parody.
And in my mind you can't just remove the color when filming black-and-white you need to play with contrast, shadows, grain, etc.