Why You Won't See Any Amateur 'Spider-Man' Set Photos on FS.net
Ever since Sony released that first official photo of Andrew Garfield in the newly redesigned costume for Marc Webb's Spider-Man, which is filming now, the floodgates for amateur set photos have been jammed permanently open, and a nearly non-stop stream of fascinating/distributing low quality shots of Spider-Man have been rolling in. Has the internet become the new Daily Bugle? If you haven't noticed, we didn't post any of these set photos, and there's a reason - it may not be a good one and I may be losing hits, but it's my decision and I'm sticking with it. And in the meantime, we're going to chat about Spidey, at least this once.
Before I get into it, I need to tell you a story. In the early years of FS.net, the big movie that everything was leading up to was Spider-Man 3. I had attended Comic-Con in 2006 (my very first year) and everyone was buzzing like crazy over Venom and Sandman and much more. But then Sony's marketing machine kicked in and in the final 6 months leading up to its release on May 4th, 2007, I was smothered in an endless barrage of media: photos, trailers, clips and more clips! I watched the entire Harry vs Peter snowboard fight at CES in January, which I saw a few times later. Then I attended a press junket in April, which is where an official Beta tape was released containing the entire crane sequence with Gwen Stacey, almost every cool Sandman scene, and half of the Venom transformation in the church. All that was left that I hadn't seen by the time it came out was the final fight between Venom, Spidey and Sandman at the construction yard - which, as we all know, wasn't that cool anyway. I think that explains why Spider-Man 3 felt like such a huge letdown to me.
I was a changed moviegoer after that. Yea, it may seem a little cheesy that I learned some kind of big lesson from not enjoying a movie, but I love the experience of movies and it's my job. From that point forward, I have always tried to limit the amount of footage I see before a movie, and will no longer post any full clips from a film on the site. If I'm seeing something really big (like Inception or Tron Legacy) I will usually stop myself from watching any trailers, TV spots or footage at all for the three weeks leading up to my very first screening. Its definitely helped and I'm happy to always make these choices. In the end, I get to see the full movie as its meant to be viewed, and most of it is actually a surprise but still entertaining to watch when finally seeing it on the big screen - which is ideally the way every movie should be seen for the first time.
So here we are again in 2011 and we've got another entirely new Spider-Man coming next year. No one had actually seen photos of the costume before that first shot, but now that it's out, no one is holding back. And the shots that are making headlines on other movie websites around the web are just horrifying. Not only is the Spidey costume tweaked both in color and function in order to account for certain stunts or CGI sequences, but it just doesn't look right. I would much rather wait to see the vision of Spider-Man that Marc Webb has in his mind, and more importantly his lens, than any shot some paparazzi is taking 300 feet away hiding behind their parked car. Do we really need to see these poor quality photos to be satisfied as fans?
Of course, there are exceptions. In fact, I've tossed up a few different shots in this post for a couple of reasons. I've already been talking about these photos and my dislike of them with Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm. He made the argument, at least for a specific new set of pictures that were just revealed, that there were some neat things to discover by looking at them that readers also might like to learn about, and none of it would ruin the movie. Take, for example, these two photos to the right. We now know that Webb is opting to shoot a lot of the web-swinging scenes practically, with an actual man-in-suit-on-wire stunt rig. In fact, tons of these kind of shots have popped up different places, and there's even some cool videos, too. I'm actually impressed. It's pretty awesome to know that instead of the CGI Spidey flying through New York like the last three films, we're literally getting an actual Spider-Man flying around New York. This is going to look amazing... and in 3D, too. While watching Spider-Man literally fling himself off of a truck in real-life is awesome, I usually prefer not to ruin that scene.
So there we go, that's more than enough justification to post a few of these for you guys. You got me, I get it, a few of them are cool to see. But... that doesn't mean we're just going to start rattling off posts left 'n right about the new yoga positions Spidey's trying on his trainer. Additionally, I am not trying to stop you guys from seeing these. In fact, it's your choice and yours alone, though I'd hope that a few might follow in my footsteps and limit themselves from seeing too much before a movie is released. This happens all too often, like it did with Captain America, and probably will for The Hobbit, too. I just think it's best to show you guys the real, official stuff that they want us to see because that's how it'll look in the movie, rather than the stuntman version that's currently makin' the rounds. It will be better in the end and you're not missing much anyway, don't worry.
This isn't meant to be a pretentious editorial telling you what's best. I get that some folks want to see these photos and they may help build more buzz anyway, but I'm just explaining why I've lost my appetite for posting them. I'm sure I'll continue to remain immensely excited for Sony's newest Spider-Man, but I'll be happier knowing I didn't ruin every scene in the movie looking at paparazzi photos two years out. Every time one of these galleries hits, I usually get emails from someone saying to check them out. I do notice them all, but I skip most of them, mostly because I want to enjoy the new Spider-Man that Webb is cooking up for us. In due time we'll get an official poster, plenty more official photos, even trailers. Then on July 3rd, 2012, a mere 17 months away, we'll finally be able to sit down together in movie theaters around the world to enjoy Marc Webb's Spider-Man as it is meant to be seen - on the big screen (in 3D).
Until then, you'll probably only see official shots on our site (including magazine scans). But to finally shake all these paparazzi shots our of system once and for all, enjoy this last ridiculously goofy shot of Spider-Man running across a street in silver ballet flats. I'm pretty sure he won't look that cheesy in the movie. Capiche?