Final Cloverfield Update and New Details!
January 18th is only 14 days away and after months of waiting, J.J. Abrams' Cloverfield monster will finally be revealed. Some extra juicy details have arrived courtesy of Anne Thompson on Variety and they are all quite intriguing to read. The new details come from the film's director, Matt Reeves, where he talks about everything from the equipment they used to shoot to the theme and feel they were going for, including having to convince Paramount to let them do it, and to the crème de la crème - confirmation on contact with the monster.
For the sake of getting right to the good stuff, we'll just dive right in. To kick off the story of Cloverfield, Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams "first met as 13-year-olds screening their early shorts at an 8mm film fest in Los Angeles." "They've been creative confidantes ever since." The script for Cloverfield first arrived as a 60-page treatment written by Drew Goddard. Reeves' first response was, "This is enormous. There was so much in it."
Reeves continues on with the details about convincing Paramount about the concept. "The filmmakers coaxed Paramount into letting them use no-name actors who could improvise, low-key natural night light, herky-jerky HandyCams (as opposed to SteadiCams, which can be artificially jerked around later; 'People would smell that in a second,' says Reeves), and no musical score at all -- just source music and well-orchestrated ambient sound."
As opposed to using larger 3 lb. cameras for filming all of the scenes, Reeves used the small and lightweight minicam to shoot "intimate scenes among the actors." The scenes are so intimate the Reeves kept tweaking them, shooting upwards of 60 takes. "You see the reflections of the actor holding the camera."
We've already seen it in the trailers and footage, but the visual effects are a key part to the experience. Reeves and his team seamlessly combined all of the shots and worked with multiple visual effects studios, including a stop-motion effects artist, to create "massive effects" including "one five-minute shot incorporates 20 VFX elements."
And as for contact with the monster? Reeves promises "by the end you have intimate contact." Reeves emphasizes the importance of showing the monster, saying, "I didn't want to have all that anticipation and not reveal him. The fun thing is you do see everything over the course of the movie in several different ways, but it's filmed heavily from one point-of-view."
Do you need to be convinced any more? I'll see you in theaters on January 18th wearing my Slusho shirt and with my excitement at the extremes!